Shadows over the Balkans

Shadows over the Balkans

Zvonko Davidovic

These days, a fierce campaign is taking place in my country, which seems to be a campaign ‘for’ or ‘against’ the referendum, with which citizens would declare their opinion membership in NATO and the European Union. I say seemingly, because in my country everything could be twisted, polluted, disfigured and the essence is never discussed and debated, but the only things that are discussed and argued are minor and marginal things that are more fun for the public by the principle of the Roman gladiatorial games, than solving the problem or the situation. The major and important things about our country have always been reduced to historically empty and hollow rhetoric, quasi-patriotic shouts, sweet-talking and flattering the people with mandatory sympathy with their difficult financial situation, which is mentioned only then, and the scarcely understandable screaming of the diaspora. Never, and I mean never, during these almost three decades of Macedonia's independence, the position and the opposition has not sat down together at the same table and has not opposed the arguments for or against a certain issue. Instead at a table or the assembly, these issues are debated on Facebook, cafes, streets, alleys and corners.

The diversity in thinking or the diversity of attitudes on certain issues is the wealth of a nation, the wealth of democracy. But people are fooling themselves if they think that what's happening is a difference in thinking or seeing things, because in order to think differently from someone you need to have your own position on a certain issue, a stand that has arguments that are logical. What is happening in the moment, and it happened regularly in the past, is not the expression of one's own position but it is the frustration and oppression of someone's built and firm attitude only because of the daily political points and the concealment of crime.

I do not believe that there is a person in Macedonia who does not want to live a better life. I do not believe that there is a person who does not want to have a job, a good salary, a quality education and health system, and a fair legal system. At this moment, regardless of the political affiliation or membership of a particular party, the general opinion is that no institution functions properly. The education system is in a state of collapse and it is not known who is more dissatisfied, pupils and students or professors, and the quality of knowledge varies from school to school, from faculty to faculty. The healthcare system almost nonexistent within the state institutions and clinics where doctors transfer to private healthcare institutions, in which conditions and earnings are much better, but also the service for citizens is more expensive than in the state healthcare institutions. The legal system is defective and does not function as a third power, but as a pendant or tool of the executive power. Social policy exists only on paper or as a starting point, and the number of socially disadvantaged and the number of families that are included in the category of poor families is growing on daily basis.

In such state of the country and society, a political party and a group of people close to it, which until recently managed the country and has a great contribution to this situation, goes out and tells the people that it will boycott the referendum for NATO and EU membership. The excuse is that they are patriots and that they do not sell nor change the name for anything in the world. Many arguments could be used to oppose this, but I will not do it now and here; however, it does not matter because everyone has the right to their own opinion, but what bothers me are two things. Why won’t you share your point of view and communicate it through a vote, a democratic and honest way and a principle of working for one party that you have called on for in the past ten years. And most important of all - you may be against a certain issue, decision, process, call it as you like, but you have no other proposal.

This way of behaving and practicing power or trying to conquer it is not serious and it is not appropriate for any political party, especially not the one that ruled with the country until recently. And it's not the first time that they close their eyes before truth and reality. In the past, they, as a political party, denied that there was wiretapping despite the published recordings, then they claimed that they were cut, glued, edited, but the few procedures that are being conducted, especially the evidence in them show and prove the opposite - we are massively wiretapped because of the madness or the paranoia of a small group of insane people. They denied that there is a highly organized crime and an excessive criminal spending of state funds, and it turned out that the situation is exactly that. They denied that the judiciary was captured and that the judges were selected from the signatures of Goca and Saska, and it turned out that this is not only true but the situation is even worse. But, despite the denials and closing of the eyes before the truth and the situation in the society or opposing certain solutions, this party or group of people has never offered an idea or solution to the problems. Apart from criticism, denial and quasi-patriotism, they have not shown anything else.

Not only does this group of people lacks honesty and sincerity in recognizing the situation, they never had the courage to call the conditions with their actual name and recognize their share and contribution to it. Instead of courage and sincerity, they urged other people to do their dirty laundry, and when it comes time take responsibility they hide behind the back of these misled people like cowards and leave them to take the blame for both their own and their actions. The best examples are the cases of the SPO, and especially the case of the ‘bloody Thursday’.

We have shown that we do not have the capacity and political consensus to correct and advance the situation in society, and that the sole goal is to hide the unimaginable and unprecedented crimes of a certain group of people who run the state and the judiciary. Only the accession into NATO and the EU will force us to start and finish the reform processes, and we have no other alternative. Again, I repeat, the opponents of the referendum neither offer nor give any other solution.

Changes are a law of life. Those who always look back in the past or the present are doomed to miss the future. Our past and our present are wrapped in shadows, shadows hanging over the Balkans, fratricidal wars were fought, blood was shed and brotherly hatred was created precisely because of this attitude and way of ruling, with eyes looking back into the past. Let's all look together in the future, disperse the shadows, and allow Vergina, the sun of freedom, of the Egyptians, however you like to call it, rise, the sun is still the sun.

Many more things can be said and written, but I will finish this article with the thoughts of the great Martin Luther King Jr. History will have to notice that the tragedy of this period of social change is not the cruelty of the bad people, but the apathetic silence of the good people. Our lives begin to end on the day we begin to keep silent about the important things. We must learn to live in communion as brothers, or we will all disappear together as fools.

The author is a lawyer

Views expressed in this article are personal views of the author and do not represent the editorial policy of Nezavisen Vesnik

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