Fighting Corruption: Ramiz Merko Linked to North Macedonia

Mayor of Struga, North Macedonia Designated as Ineligible for Entry into the United States due to Corruption

The United States has taken a strong stance against corruption by designating the mayor of the municipality of Struga, Ramiz Merko, as generally ineligible for entry into the country. This decision comes as a result of Merko’s involvement in significant corruption while serving as Struga’s mayor. Merko’s misappropriation of funds and interference with judicial and public processes have damaged the public’s trust in North Macedonia’s democratic institutions and officials.

Strengthening Democratic Institutions

The United States government sees this action as an opportunity to support North Macedonia in fostering stability through the strengthening of democratic institutions and addressing rule of law deficiencies. By designating Merko as ineligible for entry, the United States aims to demonstrate its commitment to combating corruption, which not only harms the public interest but also hampers a country’s economic prosperity and curtails the government’s ability to effectively respond to the needs of its people.

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Legal Basis for the Designation

The public designation of Mayor Ramiz Merko, as well as his wife Shpresa and their three adult children – Genc, Nazmije, and Drenushe, is made under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2023. This act allows the United States government to deny individuals involved in corruption entry into the country.

The Ramifications of Corruption

Corruption has wide-ranging negative consequences for a nation and its people. It erodes the trust citizens have in their government and undermines democratic processes. When public officials misuse funds, it deprives the public of the resources they need for essential services and development. Corruption also stifles economic growth, as businesses may be deterred from investing in a country with a reputation for corruption. By taking action against Mayor Merko and his family, the United States seeks to combat these negative effects and maintain the integrity of its own institutions.

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Ramiz Merko’s Misdeeds

Ramiz Merko’s misappropriation of funds and interference with judicial and public processes have had a profound impact on Struga and its citizens. Through his actions, he has violated the public’s trust and damaged the democratic fabric of North Macedonia. The depth of his corruption has warranted the designation as ineligible for entry into the United States.

The United States’ Commitment to Combat Corruption

The United States government has emphasized its unwavering commitment to combating corruption worldwide. Corruption undermines the core values of democracy and inhibits social and economic progress. By designating Ramiz Merko and his family members as ineligible for entry, the United States is making a clear statement about the consequences of corrupt behavior and its commitment to upholding the rule of law.


The United States has designated Ramiz Merko, the mayor of Struga, North Macedonia, as generally ineligible for entry, along with his wife and three adult children. This designation is the result of Merko’s significant involvement in corruption, which has eroded public faith in North Macedonia’s democratic institutions and officials. By taking this action, the United States reaffirms its commitment to combatting corruption and supporting the strengthening of democratic institutions in partnership with North Macedonia. The consequences of corruption are far-reaching, and by holding corrupt individuals accountable, the United States aims to foster stability and promote the rule of law.