If someone asks you to tell them about the events that have happened in just one day in Macedonia, chronologically from start to finish, there are several options. One of them is to interrupt yourself while talking and realize that you have said too absurd things, and you are not even halfway through the story. The second option is to keep on talking, but still not manage to remember everything that had happened on that day. The third option has nothing to do with you. It depends entirely on the one who is listening to you. So they could believe you that what you are saying really happened in a country during one single day and get really worried about your you and your life there (and try to offer you help). The other option is to think that you are crazy and that you need to be clinically treated.
In 1947 on a bus in North Carolina, a Czech girl sat down next to a black woman in back on the bus after she explained to the Czech girl that she cannot sit next to her in the second row. The whole bus turned around during the journey until the situation escalated. Many of the passengers demanded from the driver to establish order on his bus. He approached the Czech girl and asked her whether “she is black?” To which she innocently and ridiculously answered that she obviously was not black. At that moment, two strong men from the bus were getting out of their seats and started approaching her. She shouted out at that moment – “I’m not black, but I’m from Czechoslovakia!” And that information saves her from lynch.
We too can shout out “I’m not crazy, but I’m from Macedonia!” At the moment of the conversation in which we describe the events in our homeland occurring in just one day, in case the situation escalates.
Berlin and Stockholm this month said “NO” to the giants Google and Apple. That does not mean that they will stop using the services and products of these two tech companies, but that they will not give them the space that these companies have chosen in their cities. Google announced its own campus in Berlin in 2016, having previously built their own campuses in London, Madrid and Tel Aviv.
Although the building of a campus in Berlin was supported by many local politicians who want to attract startups and technological business in the city, the residents of the Kreuzberg area had the final say. Their clever campaign was fruitful and the company withdrew its plans to build in this area. Their main arguments were the rise in rents and the emigration of local people. Highly-paid employees on the campus will buy apartments, forcing the local population to move sooner or later. Additionally, they suggested that the “campus” is one of the city’s most famous symbols that believes start-ups affect the strengthening of the local economy. While in practice these companies are essentially ephemeral or generate very little for the local economy. The Apple’s store, which was planned at the Kungsträdgården park in Stockholm, did not get the support of the citizens. It is the new local government on the day of taking power in the Swedish capital that it will block the project. They point out that they are not against Apple building and working in Stockholm, but on the contrary, that the company would have their support if they choose the right place.
In their speech, they say that for many in the city it seems unlikely that the company would ever think that Kungsträdgården – the royal garden – can be a suitable place for a store, no matter how remarkable its design is. It is the oldest park, a place where public events are held, starting from parades, to election debates, political protests and winter ice skating.
Although the media may have given us a passage or a minute in order to inform us about the democratic enjoyment of the rights of residents of Berlin and Stockholm, this information is most often received from our young immigrants. They delightedly share about the campaign process, the response of their new fellow citizens, and the wonderful feeling when joining the right things and the right to vote lead to results.
You can read this example in many ways:
Authorities in European cities and countries listen to the voice of their people / nations.
There are still examples where real values come before profit.
Young Macedonians witness democracy outside their home, plus they breathe clean air.
And of course the last one is not difficult to predict: how our authorities would act if these companies come and ask for the City Park in Skopje, while we rebel against it.
In January this year, when the pollution was in full swing, the issue over the burning of medical waste in Drisla was raised. The furnace obtained in 2000 as a donation was assessed as toxic and did not meet the standards of the donor country. But it was persistently used without filters in Macedonia for 17 years. After everything that happened in January, filters were still not installed in March. Only on April 25, a single incinerator burner (incinerator) was installed. Procurement of a new furnace was announced the same day by the Mayor of Skopje. It was planned to arrive by June, according to a statement given on the day of the official launch of one filler. Now it’s November, pollution is yet again in full swing, and the latest news about the furnace and Drisla are from April 25th.
Well, who would write about Drisla when the pollution tax in the budget is one million and five hundred thousand euros? It is best for journalists to be trained on topics like modern cars and contemporary furniture, as these items together make up 6.5m euros or 3.5m euros for new vehicles in ministries and three million euros for furniture in their offices.
The book The Globalization and Perspectives for the Development of the Post-Socialist Countries by Grzegorz W. Kolodko begins with the author’s dedication “To my two daughters and all their peers, with wishes to never have to become revolutionaries.”
For those students who raised their voices in 2014, November is the month when they get the chills. Some of these chills are felt abroad. Some of them are still here. Today’s students must again pray for warm water in the student homes, for heating and for decent food. Because the director conducted a survey, but he may have been late to read the results of the survey. Anything could happen.
Those who protested on November 17, four years ago, I am sure that they understand Kolodko’s dedication today. And those who don’t get it are employed in state-owned institutions, therefore it is in their job description not to understand anything.
Views expressed in this article are personal views of the author and do not represent the editorial policy of Nezavisen Vesnik