High levels of air pollution have prompted the mayor of Macedonia's capital to warn the residents to avoid going out.

Skopje Mayor Koce Trajanowski has warned pregnant women, children, the chronically ill and elderly people to stay at home, and industries to limit their activities when they resume work Monday.

The culprit is the widespread use of old wood- and crude-oil-burning stoves for heating, as many residents seek to avoid spending more on heating oil for central heating.

The same pollution issue has afflicted cities in neighbouring, crisis-hit Greece, although authorities there haven't issued similar warnings.


The mayor's statement Saturday didn't specify the exact levels of dangerous particles. It only warns that the recommendations have been issued "due to the impaired quality of the air."

- AP