Those interested would have to prove their intelligence with a certificate from MENSA, the international IQ society.
After an advertisement by the ministry was published in several newspapers, local media outlets reported on its strange requirement. Within 24 hours, the news had reached international media outlets such as "The Washington Post" and "The Huffington Post," much to the joy of Macedonia’s local media who within minutes began reporting that international media had picked up on news from Macedonia.
In a phone interview with the local Alfa TV channel, the minister rejected suggestions that the advertisement was discriminatory.
“The idea is to use ultraintelligent people who will help out with questions concerning health, because these people either think differently or approach these issues differently,” Todorov said.
Todorov also likened his quest for highly intelligent advisers to a height requirement necessary for the performance of certain jobs.
Macedonia’s commission for antidiscrimination has said it will investigate the case further.
Even so, regardless of the discrimination issue, it appears that the IQ requirement in the advertisement cannot be measured locally.
In an interview with the news website eReporter, Beti Popova of MENSA’s Macedonian branch put an end to the media buzz by telling reporters that her branch does not use the exam with the 140-point threshold that is specified by the ministry.
“We are using an exam which only shows a coefficient of 131," Popova said. "This means that those who want to participate in the advertisement would not be able to receive a certificate if they are tested on our premises.” .
Intelligence, however, apparently does not pay well. According to the advertisement, the geniuses will receive a daily fee of 3,000 to 5,000 denars or around $64 to $100.
Despite the media's somewhat lighthearted approach to the issue, there is evidence to suggest that top-level politicians could indeed use a little extra brainpower to help them do their jobs.
As Balkan Insight reports, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton are among just a handful of U.S Presidents who have scored higher than 140 in an IQ test.
On November 9, one day after the advertisement was published, the Health Ministry announced that they had received their first application, which came with a MENSA certificate showing an IQ of 156.
-- Deana Kjuka