DUI’s “Ohrid Pearl”, Nefi Useini, cannot seem to hide himself from public shame. On the contrary, encouraged by a rotten system in which brutal violation of law is a desirable and acceptable category, spends his days arguing in attempt to justify his actions.
Fresh out of the party shell, at least for the wider public, he publicly prides himself in his hard-won illegal buildings, and easily resolves issues using threats and fists. The man who has a slightly thicker police record filled with several thefts, violence (even in the name of protecting illegal waterways) forging travel documents, participating in bloody dog fights and videos the fights he proudly publishes on social media… , finally came to his senses and decided to use democratic tools.
As head of the DUI branch and an advisor in the municipality, he has called for a protest, allegedly for selectivity in demolishing illegally built objects, which is of course guaranteed by the Constitution, as he is apparently (probably also under the Constitution) guaranteed not to be held responsible for his unlawful actions. Undoubtedly interesting figure is the man whose company Nefi Ik in just two years, from municipal enterprises, won 8 grants worth over 225,000 euros. Nefi made a solid profit even when the problem of illegal buildings was unveiled, largely because of UNESCO pressure and the danger of being removed from the list of world heritage sites (and not of any internal institutional capacity). That’s actually why he applied for the grant. So that he could be the one to demolish them.
Although the Anti-Corruption Commission due to conflict of interests has complicated his participation in the grant, symbolizes a sort of Nefi’s protest against the arbitrariness against which he loudly screams in his megaphone with a panoramic view of Plaoshnik: “We want to tear them down, we want to tear them down”. That’s right, let’s tear them down, but for more money. That’s how it was back then – three or four months ago. Now the story has changed. The advisor, who owns a construction company that has built most of the illegal buildings, as well as the famous Luna pizzeria across the street from the Ohrid Chinar who is also an illegal building, accuses of being a victim of political assassination.
Trying to play the inferiority victim card is not so frightening, as it is frightening him trying to put the call for protest in a dangerous national and religious context, claiming that houses and mosques are being demolished instead of the buildings that threaten Ohrid’s UNESCO status.
Following the unbelievably meaningless stage called “protest refuted by protest”, when parallel demonstrations were organized during the ten-year rule of VMRO-DPMNE as a result of the partycratic regime, we now see a protest against illegal buildings. But the sad thing is that our society is no longer surprised by the paradoxes of the time we live in, in which the culture of impunity of the “protected bears” is our greatest achievement.
It is clear that all kinds of powerful men built hotels and restaurants along the Ohrid coastline outside the law, without any fear that they would ever be held accountable, and profited from it. The chaotic system was also accepted by smaller fish to improve their living standard as much as they can. In that part, the authorities are really those who should come to their senses. There can be no selection, no partisanship, no politicization. Everything that is illegal must be torn down, as in a normal law-abiding state. But Nefi’s address should probably be the last to send that message.
The Municipality of Ohrid promised that in the very beginning, buildings that do not have legal obstacles will be removed and the demolition action will include all natural or legal persons who have received the decision to remove an illegally built object and have not complied with the decisions issued to them by the building inspectors at the inspectorate of the municipality of Ohrid. It started off as such, but the public must pay attention to what happens next and whether, in that general chaos, the big owners will be spared yet again.
Even in this Ohrid example, one can clearly see (however paradoxical it may sound) that protection is not really the problem, yet the disappointing mentality, the failure to understand the meaning of individual responsibility and behavior within the legal framework, and ultimately what collective cultural heritage and attitude actually mean.