The plight of Samaras and Gruevski

Erol Rizaov

Antonis Samaras, the former Prime Minister of the Republic of Greece, who has long been well known in our public with his radical views on the name of Macedonia, has pressed a lawsuit against incumbent Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras for libeling for alleged involvement in a corruption affair. This is a good idea for the former Prime Minister of Macedonia to file a lawsuit against Prime Minister Zoran Zaev for political persecution and harassment, because Gruevski goes to court every day. The plight of former prime ministers in the neighboring Balkan states, Gruevski and Samaras is great, as both of them feel defamed, ill-treated and innocent victims of political terror for the same reason. They are not giving up on the name Macedonia.

A very indicative and interesting situation when two politicians with a lot of experience, ministers and presidents of the government, diametrically opposed and de facto in the perception of the Greek and Macedonian public, have the same troubles just because of the name Macedonia – one thinks that Macedonia is only Greek and the other only Macedonian. The two former prime ministers claim they are being subjected to grave injustices and great suffering by threatening to end up in prison set up for other fictional criminal affairs and scandals. I would not be surprised to hear the famous patriotic analysts in both Greece and Macedonia who will find evidence that they are CIA victims ordered directly from the White House in Washington.

At the moment, it would be the best defense against possible doubts that these opposing politicians and great patriots and believers have some similarities and sins in some other areas. Antonis Samaras files a lawsuit before the Greek court over the involvement of his name in a scandal that is shaking Greece over a major pharmaceutical company Novartis. Samaras told the public that he had decided to seek justice in court because he was slandered the following day after the Athens rally, at a time when Greece faces major challenges and threats. “They try to lie and slander their enemies, dividing the Greek people. The only way to find out the truth is to sit on the court bench and prove their conspiracy, “Samaras says, not mentioning that the public prosecutor could give such an opportunity if the Novataris affair is launched.

Nikola Gruevski is in a worse position, he is charged with several cases, serious crimes for which he is already sitting on the bench almost every day. And, like Samaras, before and after each court hearing, he says that it is a political fight and an organized witch hunt prompted from outside and from home, after the unconstitutional takeover of power in Macedonia. Gruevski still claims he is disabled by a coup to make a government after winning the election. After Zoran Zaev’s “bombs” exploded three years ago, when the public learned about the kind of misconduct they were about, all these years we hear the same defense – that it is a conspiracy of the great forces through domestic traitors and enemies with mounted illegally acquired recordings to take power, to divide the people, to change the constitutional name and to lose the national identity of the Macedonians. Investigations, established suspicions, prosecution acts of abuse of power, fictitious corruption, electoral irregularities, ordered court judgments and detentions are all fabrications and slander just to deflect Macedonia.

The followers of both Gruevski and Samaras in their public appearances have one general similarity and one big difference. The supporters of Samaras and Gruevski think that the current prime ministers agree to betray the national interests by twisting the holy name of Macedonia and selling it and changing it because of the pressure of the international community, read America.

The big difference is that the members of the Greek right and their supporters in the opposition protest and openly urge not to allow any use of the name Macedonia by the northern neighbor. While the followers of Gruevski are quite different. They have made an abrupt turn to the West and America and now they are driving without brakes down the hill, demanding a rescue from rolling over, because they cannot be a close partner with America and Europe, want an alliance with NATO and the EU, and change nothing with the name of state and disagree with the conditions imposed by the desired strategic partner, the West. The new leaders of VMRO-DPMNE and the opposition struggle in front of the television cameras on how to solve the unsolvable task, and to give support for a reform course towards Europe and NATO, while limiting democratic rights with 35,000 amendments and boycotting Parliament selectively according to the daily schedule. On how to negotiate to join the EU without adding a name determinant to the state. For the same reason, they did not succeed, or rather they did not want to do it for 11 years, and are now preaching the riddles whose meaning is easily revealed. VMRO-DPMNE is saying ‘change the name of the state’ between the lines, we will not hinder this if you take full responsibility, and we will say that we are in the EU and NATO, but only with the constitutional name. We will say this until we are back in power, and then we will accept the reality of the betrayal of our predecessors. Very thin doctrine to cover VMRO-DPMNE with a dual role, one for the international community, one for the domestic public.

Gruevski could continue to draw attention to himself as a victim and sufferer with such statements before the court, or give him an office in court and a salary. But that is so for the public. But, when in the court, he sits on the bench and when the court proceedings begin, they do not ask about political persecution, yet more specifically about the destruction of other property in a mutual agreement between Gruevski, the competent minister and responsible figures in the inspections and the municipalities. In court all other court cases and prosecution acts apply other rules, much different from public statements in front of television cameras and at patriotic rallies. There is no point in the conspiracy of the world against Macedonia, nor the theses of high-ranking analysts and party columnists. In the similarities of the responses of Antonis Samaras and Nikola Gruevski and in the reactions and activities of their followers in Greece and Macedonia, the real motives of the great quasi-patriotism and the panic of the danger that the imposed problem between the two countries can indeed be resolved. One is the fight for power, which is legitimate, even when a national consensus is required for easier resolution of difficult problems by choosing the lesser evil, and another is when they seek salvation from justice through fake patriotism.