(BBC - 29/08/06; Makfax - 25/08/06; AP, Makfax - 15/08/06; Official Web Site of the Macedonian Government; Wikipedia; SEE Online)
Nikola Gruevski[Getty Images]
Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski took office on 26 August 2006, after his centre-right VMRO-DPMNE won the country's parliamentary elections in early July.
Gruevski was born on 31 August 1970 in Skopje. He obtained his Bachelor's degree in economics from the Faculty of Economics in Prilep in 1994 and later completed a diploma course at the Securities Institute in London. He began his professional career in 1995, when he joined the Balkan Bank in Skopje. He later became head of the financial institution's liquidity department.
In December 1999, Gruevski was appointed minister of finance in the VMRO-DPMNE government headed by Ljubco Georgievski. Achievements during his nearly three-year tenure in the post include the introduction of the VAT in his country and the implementation of financial reforms, including measures aimed at fighting tax evasion.
Gruevski is a member of ACI - The Financial Markets Association and of Macedonia's FOREX CLUB.
After VMRO-DPMNE lost the September 2002 parliamentary elections to the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia, months of political bickering within the party ensued. Gruevski emerged as the party's new leader, replacing Georgievski in May 2003.
After nearly four years in opposition, VMRO-DPMNE and its allies in the For a Better Macedonia coalition came in first in the country's parliamentary elections on 5 July 2006, winning 44 seats in the 120-seat parliament. After weeks of consultations, the VMRO-DPMNE leader formed a coalition government, including representatives of four other parties -- the Democratic Party of Albanians (DPA), the New Social Democratic Party (NSDP), the Socialist Party (SP) and the Liberal Party (LP).
"The government's priority is economic recovery," Gruevski said on 15 August after submitting to parliament his proposal for the composition of his cabinet. "This is going to be a long, difficult and painful journey, but we have a team of able and honest people who will give (their) maximum effort."
Other priorities he outlined were accelerating the process of Macedonia's Euro-Atlantic integration and fighting unemployment and poverty. Gruevski also pledged stronger efforts in the combat against organised crime and corruption.
Gruevski speaks English and has some knowledge of French and German. He is married.