While we are waiting for the prime ministers of Greece and Macedonia Alexis Tsipras and Zoran Zaev to talk on the phone or meet in person, and to inform the world that the 30-year debate, more tangled than the Gordian knot, has been untangled, one story from the neighborhood came to my mind, a story they say is completely true. One day, Serbian Patriot Vuk Drsakovic, as a minister in the government, asked the prime minister what would happen if Albanians from Kosovo asked to return to Serbia. The answer was: "God forbid." Yes, this is the reality, but do you communicate it to the public. I wonder what will happen to us, to our patriots, if indeed Greece and Macedonia find a mutually acceptable and sustainable solution that will make both sides equally happy to declare victory, or equally unhappy that they have not received everything they wanted, which in both cases is better than no solution. It will be unsustainable if one side declares a great victory, while on the other one overcomes the feeling that a betrayal of national and state interests has been signed.
Indeed, can we assume what will be our reaction if the prime ministers Tsipras and Zaev jointly cut the knot as Alexander, both Great and Macedonian, and agree that an acceptable solution has been prepared. Or, contrary to what will be, if governments publish statements that there is no solution, the negotiations have failed due to the fault of the other. It is about issues and assumptions that should always be accepted with reserve, but I think that most of the citizens of Macedonia can guess what will be the reactions in both cases, that is, if there is no solution.
Although after 25 years, public awareness has already prevailed that it is not possible for the constitutional name to remain and that it is necessary to accept a geographical addition, of course, provided that if we still want to become members of the EU and NATO, if not, then we should not change anything except the homeland. If we change the name and this new name enters the constitution, the opposition will immediately declare that capitulation has been signed and that it is a betrayal, that we have been left without a national identity, without language and without dignity, that the pride of the Macedonians has been crushed, that Macedonia has been humiliated. The bells will be tolling for the great misfortune, articles will be written to the citizens in the “better grave than a slave” style that the constitution cannot be changed, that it does not recognize capitulation and that parliament cannot accept a pact with an enemy signed by the traitors of the people who usurped the power, and who are not legitimate representatives of the people.
Across the street from the main entrance of the Parliament of Macedonia, in front of the ASNOM monument, there is already a billboard on which Prime ministers Tsipras and Zaev are smiling in Davos at their first meeting, and through the whole photograph the word TRAITORS with large red letters has been written. It is unclear why they are both traitors, if ours has been deceived and accepted all the demands of the Greeks. It would be more logical if he was the only traitor. Or, perhaps the opposition parties both in Greece and in Macedonia think alike, so they jointly, patriotic and fraternal, ordered and paid for the expenses for the two traitors.
The opposition in both countries is least concerned about the danger of irredentism and the loss of national identity. They are worried that leaders and people who push this thing will succeed and enter history. That's the problem, nothing else. Neither Macedonia can cause any irrational danger, nor can anyone give and take identity and language with a signature on paper.
President Gjorge Ivanov, in case of finding a solution, will address the public with a dull voice to announce that a great misfortune has occurred in Macedonia, of which he personally repeatedly warned and pointed out. The drums for anxiety will be bang, people will be called to protest for 60 days, and in a referendum to defend the homeland. They will demand urgent early elections to annul the embarrassing and humiliating deal. That would be an optimistic option. The pessimistic option is one for which the historian and famous socialist from Serbia, Latinka Perovic, argues that Serbia, analogously to the Western Balkan countries, will disappear if they do not become part of Europe and if they are not Europeanized. It is nothing new in the contemporary history, says Latininka. The Serbs learned the lesson and set out to achieve their goals, constantly complaining and crying about Kosovo that turned out to be very profitable. This time they are wise enough not to say “God forbid Albanians return to Kosovo” loudly.
Well, let's leave the pessimistic estimate if an agreement between Greece and Macedonia arrives. Let's see what happens to opponents of betrayal if there is no agreement. Of course, there will be no cheers and applause. The opposition will not welcome the failure of the negotiations, although all the time leads in that direction. It will not declare even a victory of its determination to terminate the negotiations. There will again be announcements that the wrong approach in the negotiations and the unqualified negotiators cannot bring anything good, neither to the state nor the citizens. The government promised to find a mutually acceptable solution, gave all concessions to Greece that did not make any compromise and in such a subordinate position when Macedonia could not meet all the demands of Greece came to a total collapse of the negotiations, led by an incompetent government and a prime minister who works against the interests of Macedonia all the time. Former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski will announce to the public that his policies towards neighbors have proved to be correct and that it was never possible to find a solution with Greece. That there was no obstacle at all to disturb democracy, crime and corruption, but that the only obstacle is Greece's unwillingness to compromise.
What can the prime minister and government choose in such a situation when in both cases, in both finding and not finding a solution with Greece, they will face strong resistance and blockade. The answer was given by Zoran Zaev alone as the leader of the opposition when he threw bombs on the regime's bunker. He said he was ready for self-sacrifice. Well, now is the time to clear whether he will be a sacrifice for the interests of Macedonia, or a victim of the primitivism of desperate people seeking salvation as to avoid the justice and judicial resolution of their abuses and crimes. The self-sacrifice of entering the two largest political and economic and military alliances in the world and the future of its homeland and citizens is a heroic act, and its withdrawal will signify sprinkling with ash and defeat. The citizens of Macedonia will not allow it. In this historical circumstance there is no place for dilemmas. The choice is one. Changes and a new beginning. Everything else is defeat and decay.