If politics is “the art of perceiving the opportunities for achieving clearly defined goals,” as German statesman Bismarck said, then Hristijan Mickoski is probably the worst artist in Macedonia at this time.
In his recent speech in the MNT, he again reiterated that “the key goal of his party is to build the Macedonian political system on the basis of European values and Macedonia to become a member of NATO and the EU”. What is different with Mickoski in defining this goal, which other political parties in Macedonia aspire to achieve, is the conviction that this can be achieved only if the already signed Agreement with Greece is declared as dead and if efforts are made to join in NATO and in the EU to be secured by signing a new agreement with which, in his opinion, we won’t have to change the Constitution, the name for internal use and would not jeopardize the national identity of the Macedonians.
It is seemingly appealing and even fair, and no one in Macedonia would have anything against it – only if possible.
And here we are facing the poor “art” and the capability of Mickoski as the leader of a big party who has responsibility for what is happening in his country, even when he is in opposition.
It is clear to everyone that in politics, as well as in life, painful compromises are made in order to move forward. It is clear to everyone that in politics often political power and not the law dictate the rules of the game. And it is clear to all that Macedonia in relations with Greece has been stuck for more than 27 years in an identity dispute, which was not easy to overcome, and we are the ones who would lose as a country, not Greece, if it is not solved.
With the arrival of Tsipras in power in Greece and Zaev in Macedonia, one window finally opened for the way out of the labyrinth in which we were stuck. With the support of the United States and the EU, a fair agreement was reached between the two countries, which gives both of them the most important thing for them. Macedonia remains the only country in the world with the name Macedonia. Macedonian language gets the opportunity for even greater international affirmation. Macedonian identity remains guaranteed.
With the new name Greece gets a guarantee that this country does not intend to spread to the entire region of Macedonia, of which 51% is on Greece’s territory. It receives a guarantee that the old name of the country will not be used for internal use and that the dispute remains unresolved. And it gets a guarantee that the adjective “Macedonian” when we use it will not refer to the ancient heritage, but above all to the Slavic roots of language, history and people in the state that is to be called Republic of North Macedonia.
And that is the guarantee that Macedonia will immediately open the way for membership in NATO and the EU, that is, to achieve its strategic goals in development.
The vast majority of citizens, with a heavy heart, supported this in the referendum. The United States and the EU countries have told us that we have their support for signing this agreement. Members of all ethnic communities in Macedonia who account for over one third of the population, except one member of the Serbian ethnic community, support the unanimous agreement. And many clever people from the VMRO-DPMNE line think that “the illusion is to think that with Greece we could as a country achieve a better deal than this.”
Mickoski does not answer the question: why wasn’t there a better agreement reached in the past 11 years while his party was in power if it was possible? To this question, Mickoski replied- ask those who were in power then, because I am a new leader, and now VMRO-DPMNE is headed by “a new generation of politicians”.
Asked if a better deal is possible, he said: “If this agreement fails, it will be difficult to achieve a better one, because Macedonia’s negotiating position is weakened with this current government.”
On the other hand, he says that the goal it has set, “accession into NATO and the EU without losing identity, changing the Constitution and endangering identity” could only be achieved if he won the elections and that in that process no one from outside could help us, because it depended only on our ability to sort out the situation inside the country. And it makes him suspicious of his public commitments to the country’s membership in NATO and the EU.
Convinced that even the agreement to pass to the Parliament of Macedonia and be ratified by Greece, he has the power to restore things in the original state if he gets power, he says in his speech to the MNT: “I firmly believe that this destruction is in vain, because we together will make Macedonia a country of which we dreamed and which we have always wanted.”
The question remains: what kind of Macedonia is the one they want and Mickoski speaks of?
In the future elections, says Mickoski, whenever they may be, the citizens will decide whether they are “for SDSM’s Macedonia – humiliated at home and abroad, or for Macedonia, led by a new generation (politicians) from VMRO-DPMNE that is preparing for the change that the people desire.”
This rhetoric will hardly bring points to Mickoski for two reasons. First, no matter how much he thinks that Macedonia, with this serious attempt by SDSM to step out of the blockade of the country in the process of integrations towards NATO and the EU, is “humiliated” at home and abroad, it was not the way people at home or abroad saw it. Most of the voters consider it a necessary step that had to be done, and in the entire international community is considered a bold political move by the leaders of Greece from Macedonia and a historic act in the reconciliation of two countries and peoples in the Balkans. Secondly, for the time being, Mickoski will hardly convince anyone that he, Aleksandar Nikoloski, Vlatko Gjorcev, Antonio Milososki or Toni Mihajlovski are some “new generation” of politicians who “are preparing for the changes that the people want.” It will be even harder to prove it after the two key events in his party.
Firstly, for the time being, he doesn’t seem to manage to transfer all blame for the inability of the party onto the backs of the excluded MPs and other “traitors” from the party, among which are the reformists, such as the mayor of Kavadarci, Mitko Jancev. And secondly, after Saso Mijalkov’s letter many will ask themselves – what’s new in the “new generation of politicians”? The inclination to crime and personal wealth. Fake patriotism that is demonstrated by public opposition to the Agreement with Greece and secret support. Or the authority in the party, which manifests itself through the propensity of the leader through calculations with the unscrupulous persons to flesh his authoritarian power in the party, and to show those calculations as releasing the party from bad people and bad practices in the past.
Mickoski’s problem is that he himself is contradictory.
He excluded the “traitors” from the party that made him sad and distressed, and then immediately said that all those who entered the Parliament on April 27 to commit violence were “patriots who were completely innocent”.
He first said that he was falsely accused of demanding amnesty for the defendants in the April 27 case, and immediately afterwards proposed a law on amnesty that all would be pardoned for the April 27 case.
First he said “we are done with our rebirth and reform of the party “, and a little later in the same speech he said that he will continue to reform the party.
First he said that he will never forgive his “traitors” in the ranks of his party, and then immediately that “Macedonia needs leaders at all levels that will reject the hatred and division that poison our society.” We can, as he said, forgive those we do not agree with.
And the only thing that is consistent is that he is paranoid and sees “intruders” who want to destroy our state everywhere around him.
And that kind of flip-flop politicians do not stay long on the political scene, no matter how much they kneel before “their” people.
Views expressed in this article are personal views of the author and do not represent the editorial policy of Nezavisen Vesnik