Is there possibility for another Albanian spring?

Macedonia and the countries in the Balkans are in front of a very sensitive political period in which a lot of major issues need to be solved. According to the latest statements by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, both domestic political parties and analysts, Macedonia is close to finding a solution to the 27-year name dispute with Greece, which would solve the only obstacle to Macedonia’s membership in NATO and the EU. But before joining NATO and launching EU accession negotiations, Macedonia should solve several “domestic issues”, including urgent reforms, the implementation of the law on the use of languages and the complete clearing of court cases that, according to the Albanian party bloc, are politically framed. The opposition party Alliance of Albanians does not exclude the possibility that the Albanians through protests will express their anger over injustices and alert the international factor.

“The Alliance of Albanians, as the largest opposition party, follows the political processes with great concern, especially the Euro-Atlantic processes and reforms. We will support every law that enables a positive movement of Macedonia and laws that will be of great help to the benefit of the citizens, especially Albanians, in terms of political well-being in the country. In the event of distancing from this path, or in case citizens’ demands such as judiciary reforms, rule of law, implementation of the law on the Albanian language, dismantling of the installed cases, budget split, we will be an uncompromising opposition which through all democratic means, including the protests, will alarm the international factor about the possible injustices that could occur in Macedonia, “Bexheti said.

Protests are not excluded either by the owner of the newspaper “Lajme”, Fejzi Hajdari, who believes that the Albanians should protest in Mala Recica as the biggest injustices result from there.

De facto the possibility of new protests in the future is not excluded. But I think that apart from the political party that has been part of the government for 10 years now, nobody else is guilty of the situation of the Albanians in Macedonia. Before protesting elsewhere, Albanians should protest in front of Ali Ahmeti’s offices in Mala Recica, because it is precisely at that address that the guilty party of the injustices against the Albanians can be found. But they should be careful when they organize protests because Macedonia is in front of the NATO gates. Of course, I do not think Albanians should expect someone else to solve their problems, but I am afraid that someone from the non-Albanian circle may take the protest in another direction, and therefore I call for caution,” said Hajdari.

Neither analyst Kenan Aliu excludes the possibility of radicalization of the political situation in Macedonia. Aliu condemned the burning of the European Union flag and at the same time assessed it as a crucial year in which Albanians will no longer be held hostage to the interests of Macedonian parties.

“I do not share the opinion that the Macedonians aim to create a tense atmosphere. But this does not necessarily mean that the Macedonian opposition, headed by VMRO-DPMNE, would not synchronize in support of eventual radicalization of the political situation in the country. It is also clear that the Macedonian opposition at the moment has no real power to achieve the above goal and become a serious obstacle to the processes of the country, but I do not rule out the possibility that VMRO-DPMNE will seriously harm Macedonia’s political processes. The burning of flags is not the same as burning a tie, but it’s just like stepping on the feelings of millions of people who are part of the big European family. Not that the European Union and its bureaucracy are untouchable, but because of the fact that our goal is to become part of this family. This year is the year of major political upheavals, as Albanians will not allow the integration of the country into a hostage to the corrupt interests of the Macedonian parties, “Aliu said.