I look through my office window several times a day. The same scenery in the background: the Italian Embassy, in front of it an old building “masked” with a façade in several shades of yellow, moving cars down in the street in various colors that, beside the exhaust gases, emit noise as well. At times I don’t notice the noise, other times it affects my concentration. People on the sidewalks, some in short sleeves, others were expecting a colder day and had to unbutton their coats, and so beneath the beams of sunlight, they were slowly moving down the streets of Skopje in this Macedonian “gypsy summer”.
I wonder if their expressionless faces and slow tempo are the result of calmness, content, and a desire to soak up the sun, sensing that winter will be a long one, or it is the result of indifference and the feeling that there is no reason to hurry because they have nowhere to be?!
It occurs to me that their indifference may have been due to the fact that during this Macedonian gypsy summer of 2019 we did not receive a date for the opening accession negotiations with the European Union.
But we neither have a date last year nor the year before… But this year, judging by the reactions of the media outlets, social media and conversations with acquaintances these days, the disappointment is pretty great, as the stakes have been very high, thus making the expectations of the “reward” even higher. So, most are angry about the date and feel betrayed, so they behave like a child who was promised an ice cream during this gypsy summer, and didn’t get it under the excuse that: “Yes, it is sunny, but the sun has teeth”.
Some even feel humiliated. It may be because of the date…If we did get the date, it would have created an illusion that we would finally stop going round in circles, though in essence it would not mean we were going somewhere, nor would it guarantee that things would improve.
There is no date, but that is why there are new elections before us. We had them last year, we had them this year, and we will have them next year, as well.
Again we “stumbled” into the period of analysis, analysts, politicians, political scientists, coalitions, traitors, patriots and mouths full of “for the people”, “the people are with us, we are for the people”, “on behalf of the people” and programs, reforms, measures that will take a long time, thanks to the fact that the solution for a Przhino government before elections has become a systemic solution. Yes, with the solution that doesn’t exist in any other state, which provides 100 days before the parliamentary elections to form a new government in which the opposition also participates (and that will guarantee fair elections), we have provided the most regular, by law paralyzing the state for one year every four years.
The campaigns have already informally started, and given that there will be an additional period of calculation and verification of the results after the April 12 elections, then a government formation period and then summer vacations, objectively we will have a functioning government and administration this time next year.
Such “rotten” and “unproductive” years are carried by business and citizens on their own shoulders, and since they are many, they are already duplicated, doubled under the pressure of burden. Neither the business nor the citizens – the people to whom everyone is referring, support going nowhere and do not believe that elections can change anything except the figures of office. That is why the turnout in these elections will be low, and once again we will show that our own state is a burden to us.
Difficult and complex situation, when in fact there are the solutions and they are quite simple. If there is a will to implement them…
Macedonia will become the 30th member of NATO. Citizens, as well as political elites, need to know who our allies are in a geopolitical context, and although it has been almost three decades since this was decided, let’s look ahead and stop winking and glancing here and there, because this is how one get strabismus and becomes cross-eyed…
We belong to Europe. Why do we wish for EU membership so much?! Due to the higher standard of living in the member states of the European Union, due to the law, standards and principles that govern there, and possibly because of the romantic passion that by becoming a member of the Union peoples divided into different states, will live without borders between them after joining.
What can we do for a European Macedonia without membership?! Everything except the last.
No one is preventing us from cultivating European values today, but we are desperately seeking a whip to make us work for our own good.
We do not need a whip if we are aware and less poisoned by greed, corruption, populism and quasi-nationalism of political elites, because the road to a prosperous economy and a better quality of life for all leads through deep reforms, improved functioning of institutions and increased public investment in development-oriented projects, and personal interest or interest of a small group does not mix with state interest. We don’t need to hear this from the whip coming from Europe. We already know it…
Macedonia is not isolated from global change, whose overall flow as a small country and economy cannot have a significant impact, but can, on the basis of its own developmental non-party strategy, move to the desired, better position, secure its place under the sun.
We do not have a date for negotiations with the EU, but it is not the end of the world. We will continue to fight for it, and in the meantime let’s roll up our sleeves and work. Everyone in their workplace, the most and the best. We have to make the changes ourselves, primarily by changing our mental matrix and habits.
The Macedonian state will continue to exist and will survive. It is up to us whether it would be prosperous or a “dark region”. Many, who for the sake of their own personal interests don’t wish the best for the country prefer the latter, but citizens do not prefer it at all.
Therefore, Macedonian citizens should be wise and not allow themselves to be dragged into the whirlpool of national pessimism, and political parties must merge and place the state above party interest. So, for starters, they should pass a law that would allow MPs to be candidates who would personally win a larger number of votes, rather than MPs becoming those who would put the leader in a better position on the ballot. Open lists that value the person, not just the party, will mean enriching the political cause, and that is healthy for democracy.
“Indian Summer”, or “Gypsy summer” in Macedonia and Bulgaria, and “Babino summer” in Croatia, Slovenia, Poland, Russia and other Slavic nations are synonyms referring to that time in October, often used to describe a warm, calm spell of weather that occurs in autumn. For some nations, such weather is associated with certain dates that have a folklore significance. So, this year I linked the Macedonian Gypsy summer with the date for opening accession negotiations with the European Union, which we did not get.
Our gypsy summer is called “Miholjsko Summer” in Serbia because of the religious holiday St. Miholji, while in France it is called the “Summer of Saint-Denis”, after a holiday dedicated to the patron of France and Paris.
Gypsy (Indian) summer is a sign that winter will be long and cold, and it is believed that summer in October turns into a cold winter by early November.
Views expressed in this article are personal views of the author and do not represent the editorial policy of Nezavisen Vesnik