* Trouble erupts after acrimonious budget row
* Opposition calls for civil disobedience campaign
* Local media say at least six people injured in clashes
* Deputies brawl in chamber, parliament speaker evacuated
(Adds quotes from opposition leader)
SKOPJE, Dec 24 (Reuters) - The opposition in Macedonia was
ejected from parliament on Monday for brawling, prompting it to
pledge to boycott the chamber and initiate a campaign of civil
disobedience after a rancorous disagreement over the size of
next year's budget.
The incident occurred after thousands of pro- and
anti-government demonstrators clashed outside parliament in
Skopje, the capital, and allowed the government to push through
a vote in favour of its contested budget proposals in which only
just over half of MPs took part.
As opposition MPs scuffled with pro-government counterparts
to try to prevent a debate on a budget they felt was too
profligate from getting underway, security guards evacuated
parliament speaker Trajko Veljanovski from the plenary hall.
Security guards then forced opposition deputies out of the
parliament building who joined their supporters in the streets
as the government pushed through a 64-4 vote in favour of its
own budget proposal. Parliament has 120 members.
Branko Crvenkovski, the head of the opposition Social
Democrats, accused the centre-right government of Nikola
Gruevski of suspending democracy.
"From today, Macedonia has no constitution, no parliament,
no government. We have a dictatorial regime on one side and the
people on the other," Crvenkovski said.
"From tomorrow we will begin (a campaign of) civil
disobedience," he told a crowd, without elaborating further.
The government proposed a 148-billion-denari ($3.2 billion)
budget for 2013 last month, forecasting a deficit of 3.5 percent
of gross domestic product. It put growth next year at 2 percent
But the leftwing opposition condemned the budget proposal as
profligate at a time of economic crisis and demanded a cut in it
equivalent to about $260 million. The government refused and the
opposition then submitted about a thousand amendments to the
draft before tensions flared on Monday.
Outside parliament, police had to intervene to separate pro-
and anti-government supporters who pelted one another with
bottles and stones. Local media said at least six people had
The ruling rightist VMRO-DPMNE party accused the opposition
of attempting to topple the government. "To do that they
(opposition) mobilised their supporters, some of whom have a
criminal background. ... This will not succeed," the party said
in a statement.
Earlier, Gruevski, who is also head of the VMRO-DPMNE,
accused Crvenkovski of masterminding the crisis: "This is all
about the vanity of one man, of (Branko) Crvenkovski and his
political survival," he said.
Macedonia's economy came out of two quarters of recession in
the third quarter of 2012, posting 0.3 percent GDP growth.
The central bank has cut its 2012 growth forecast to zero
from 2.4 percent, reflecting the negative effect of the euro
zone crisis across the Western Balkans, but sees growth perking
up to 2.6 percent in 2013.
($1 = 0.7590 euros)
(Writing by Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Mark Heinrich and