More than two weeks have passed since the “historic” French “no” to EU enlargement, and thus to our infamous date for opening accession negotiations. The outbursts of discontent, disappointment, and criticism of the government for failing, lasted well beyond the usual “everything passes in three days”, but three days have passed, so after the euphoria over it has settled, all I am left to do is point out theories about this outcomes that have not been publicly disclosed.
Let’s start with the more interesting – the conspiracy theories behind the decision of French President Emmanuel Macron. Much has already been written about the complex situation Macron faced that week, from having the same rating with the National Front leader (far right in France), to the shame he faced with the EU Parliament with the election of his candidate for commissioner, Sylvie Goulard (along with the candidates from Romania and Hungary, all based on possible corruption). But I also heard some other thoughts and theories that I didn’t seen in the media, so I’ll share three of them, albeit just for the readers’ amusement.
The Jesse Ventura Effect. The first of these theories relates to the power that the president has in the French political system, which, by using our phraseology, can be reduced to the conclusion “that he just can”. Or, for comparison, one could use the explanation of the designated critic of American society Michael Moore as to why Trump would win the presidential election a few months before it really happened. He put forward five arguments in favor of such an outcome, and the fifth was the so-called Jesse Ventura Effect (the case of electing a professional wrestler as the governor of Minnesota). According to him, voters can also elect a buffoon for president just because they can, i.e. freedom of choice by secret ballot allows millions of people to vote for the most unlikely option, whatever the reason they have when they are behind the voting booth and they can push the button and vote a straight party line, or can write in Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. So did Macron, with the consensus voting system in the EU Council, like any other member state, had the opportunity to block a decision even with all the other 27 countries decided “in favor” of that decision. In addition, his powers within the French political system give him an almost unlimited opportunity to independently decide “this or that way”. In all of the talks with colleagues from the non-governmental sector, who have been more closely involved and more concerned with this issue than I, have been told that a positive decision to start accession negotiations with Macedonia is quite certain, but they all ended up with the phrase “except if Macron says ‘no’”, even in the French Foreign Ministry itself, precisely because of his opportunity to make a decision. Macron, unfortunately, took advantage of that opportunity, whatever the reason – starting from revenge for not electing Goulard as EU commissioner, to the attention of his ratings in France, up to thinking he is the new Napoleon!
It was always France, not Greece. The second interesting theory I have heard is also about the consensus vote in the EU, i.e. the ability of one country to block a decision that, at least seemingly, all other countries were in favor of. We know this well, with a decade of blockades from Greece over the name dispute. That is why this government has also come up with a solution to the dispute, finding it to be the only obstacle. This time it was not Greece, but France. But some say – it’s always been France, not Greece. France only hid behind Greece all these years. They are also reminiscent of Jacques Chirac’s stance in 2005 when he barely made it through the night for Macedonia to gain EU candidate status. Conspirators say Karamanlis in Bucharest in 2008 was supported by France for his “no” to our NATO accession. And that’s the problem with the consensus. One is against and not passing a decision, but it does not necessarily mean that one is really against – but that one is saying it publicly and so voting, and the others who are also against it need not make it public. Even so, it was Greece that said “no” all those times, and after the name argument was gone, France stepped up. Some say both the Netherlands and Denmark were against it, but there it was – it was enough for France to say “no” (and they may say the same when the reasons for the French “no” are exhausted). And that it is not exactly “just one against”, as we think and as it is mainly represented in our public, has been demonstrated by the subsequent vote in the European Parliament on the subject of EU enlargement. It is true that there was support for the start of negotiations in Macedonia (and Albania) with a large majority of 412 votes in favor to 136 against, but that is almost the exact 3:1 ratio that is far from the 27:1 show in the EU Council, i.e. that they were all in favor and only Macron was the only one against.
Albania… or Albanians. Or generally – Muslims. Namely, although the EU advocates non-discrimination and propagates it as one of its core values, in reality there is a great deal of resistance (including among voters in most countries) to foreigners, refugees, migrants, especially to members of Islamic religion.
Conspirators note that only Turkey and the six Western Balkan countries with a majority or a significant minority – the Muslim population – remain in the EU’s waiting room. With the rise of the far right across Europe, they believe it will be impossible for countries with such a population to be admitted to the EU. Macron even explicitly pointed to the Albanians as the nation with the second highest number of asylum requests in France, and some countries (for instance, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) are openly talking about the take-over of organized crime by the Albanian mafia. On this topic, I don’t know if that is the case (Albanians and especially DUI are being promoted as the biggest EU / NATO supporters here), but about ten days ago an MCIC official car had been stolen (a white Skoda Kodiaq) and the last trace (from CCTV cameras at intersections) leads from John Kennedy Street to the small, narrow streets of the Chair municipality. Of course, I can’t claim that Albanians stole it until it is found and proven who did it and why, but I don’t know what else to think (and all I talked to – starting from the police, to the car dealerships, to insurance companies – they all say the same), so I hope the residents of that area and DUI as the party that runs that municipality will contribute to resolving the case and finding / returning the vehicle.
The long arm (of VMRO). Finally, the most conspiratorial of all the theories goes so far as to the important year of 1903 and the Thessaloniki assassinations. Namely, I knew one of the targets of the so-called ”Gemidzhii” was the French ship “Guadalquivir”, but it was only now that I learned (if that was true) that one of the other targets that had been destroyed by dynamite – the Ottoman Bank, was owned by France. Further, the assassination of the King of Yugoslavia, Aleksandar Karadjordjevic, by Vlado Chernozemski in 1934 took place in Marseille, France. So, according to this theory, the “long arm of VMRO” had mainly French targets, which they have been remembering for all these years, so it was time to show that France’s arm was longer than that of VMRO (the perpetrators expanded this to the current VMRO-DPMNE, as well), for their alleged efforts not to get a date for accession negotiations, with repeated indications throughout the EU that the situation in our country is not good).
As with all other conspiracy theories, even with all these theories we still don’t know (and for most we may not know) whether they are true or justified, but there it is – for concluding the story about not getting a date for opening accession negotiations, I thought I needed to share them with the general public.
Views expressed in this article are personal views of the author and do not represent the editorial policy of Nezavisen Vesnik