As the end of the year approaches, the questions always arise – what was the year that passed like, whether we were happier, more dignified, richer, did it pass lightly or not. If we add to this also the costs that always appear at the end of the year for the various celebrations that here traditionally last an entire month – from St. Nikola to Epiphany, then it is known that everyone looks at their own pocket, as well as into the projections of their life in the coming year. I do not intend this to be a column with which I will give an estimate of the year that passed, I will keep it for the next column that will be around the New Year to these same foreigners, if I would like to give my long review of the year that passes. Now I just want to say – the people are poorer than before, unfortunately in 2019 they will be even poorer, and at the same time with ruined dignity.
When Zoran Zaev and Nikola Dimitrov entered the adventure to change the name of Macedonia, they promised that it would bring EU and NATO integration, bring a better life, greater prosperity and more money for the people. Simplified, the message was the following – we will lose dignity, but we will get material gain. This is an approach I reject with indignation, but they believe in it, which speaks of their moral vertical which, unfortunately, they do not have. At the same time, they succeeded in persuading even a smaller part of the people, who faced with poverty, hard life and a battle for a better future, believe in this. In the end, the conclusion is that as a people we lost dignity, and the better life never came.
I am writing this from Brussels and, unfortunately, I have to say that as never before, I am pessimistic about the possibility that in June 2019 Macedonia will start membership negotiations with the EU. These negotiations, according to the government, were to be the crown of the whole process. From here I can say that Macedonia’s probability of starting EU membership negotiations in 2019 is reduced to theory. With a very simple explanation – Zaev’s government does not deliver anything in the part of the reforms that should mean a better life for the citizens. Everyone I’ve been talking to in Brussels say the same – you can become a member of the EU only and if you are moving towards our standards. At the moment, the government does not deliver in terms of reforms. Yes – we signed the Prespa agreement, but that’s not enough. So let’s be clear what Brussels says – the change of the name is not enough not only for EU membership, but also for starting negotiations with the EU at all. In order for that to happen, Macedonia must radically change, above all in the area of the rule of law, in the work of the public administration, the fight against corruption, as well as strong economic advancement through new investments and new jobs.
Zaev and Dimitrov should know that until the constitutional amendments are passed, they will be allowed to go unnoticed about everything. But then real criticism follows. What are Zaev and his associates thinking – that in Brussels they do not know that there are no reforms in the judiciary and the prosecution, and that their abuse for political purposes is on the historically highest level. Or they think they do not read the Transparency International report in Brussels, which says that Macedonia is in the record-breaking lowest perception of corruption, placed 107th. Do they think Brussels doesn’t know or maybe will forgive them for the constant stealing from the state budget, for fixing public offers and ruthlessly sucking on the public treasury; do they think they will forgive them simply because they have decided to change the name of Macedonia. Or do they think that Brussels does not see that the administration is even more sluggish, less effective and even more party-influenced.
Do they think that Brussels does not know that the economy is going down, there are no investments – neither foreign nor domestic, taxes are rising, and that creativity how to take more form the people is proving endless, so even the poorest of the poor are scraped. How else can you explain the idea of Zaev’s government not to allow pensioners and employed people to sell goods at the open markets? So how are people supposed to earn something extra? Are they supposed to live on 200 euro pensions or 200 euro salaries? Have Zaev and Tevdovski come among the people to see how they live or know about Denmark only, but not for Macedonia. But, from Denmark, they obviously know better than the finance minister himself, what is happening and what is not happening in Macedonia.
In the end, is the government so innocent to believe that foreign companies that have already invested in Macedonia do not complain to the capitals from where they come, or to Brussels, about the changed attitude towards them, the attempts to extort them and treat them as state enemies, and not as companies that bring added value. Or Zaev thinks that companies that decide not to invest in Macedonia don’t inform why they have made such a decision. And did Zaev think that perhaps one of the reasons is just corruption, as well as increased taxes and the attitude towards investors.
When all of this is piled up, Brussels only sees the state realistically, and that is that this government has neither the capacity nor the will to carry out reforms. For the time being they disclose this discretely only to bilateral meetings, but very soon the day will come when they will say it publicly.
VMRO-DPMNE, and myself personally, want Macedonia to progress and get a date for starting negotiations with the EU in June 2019, we want Macedonia to join EU as soon as possible. That’s why all our potentials, personal and professional, are at disposal, but unfortunately the government does not know how to cooperate, it only knows how to divide. It will remain after the next elections and the victory of VMRO-DPMNE with a strong and committed work to overcome what Macedonia will lose now due to Zaev’s inability. Inability must be replaced by competence, expertise and dedication.
Finally, I would like to advise Zaev, Angjushev and Tevdovski to go to Blagoevgrad and Kyustendil in Bulgaria and to Kacanik, Prizren and Pristina in Kosovo and ask how many Macedonian firms, primarily from the IT industry, transferred the headquarters there, as well as how many Macedonian citizens have opened non-resident accounts there. If they can not remember why they do it, here I am to help them – because of the increased taxes, from which the effect will be nothing but increased gray economy, poverty and abandonment of the state by the most capable and most ambitious people.