Political meteorologists alert: as of tomorrow there will be a dramatic drop of temperature, a polar winter is coming to ruin the wildlife in Macedonia. It will freeze absolutely everything. Dinosaurs and all endemic species that are authentic in this area since the beginning of the time will freeze and turn into fossils that, even after a million years, after the Ice Age is over, will show that they did not froze from the change of weather, but that they got in the refrigerator for deep freezing of history on their own, tricked by local tribal leaders who gave the wrong weather forecast, believing that the addition North to the country’s name meant the end of the world, eternal Ice Age. With the revival of the methusalems, it will be finally clear that North Macedonia did not mean a change of climate with polar temperatures on the territory between Tabanovce and Gevgelija. It was not global freezing, but warming.
As of today we are officially the Republic of North Macedonia. The seasons will continue to change according to the calendar, as the day and night will change, and we will all remain what we always were.
The Sun will rise in the East and set in the West. South will stay where it is, with North on the opposite side. We will talk in the same language as before, we will go to bed and we will wake up with the same problems and worries as before. And again this time, as with any major change, which is announced with the change of the country’s name, our hopes and expectations will be great.
The first name of our homeland, which meant statehood, was the Federal Republic of Macedonia. There are thousands of historical documents and witnesses that are very much alive of what constituted the rights of a Macedonian state that entered into an alliance with Yugoslavia. The first parliament, called the Anti-Fascist Assembly, ASNOM, is the greatest historical act, the greatest and the only victory in the history of the Macedonian people. After a four-year struggle in which all the constitutive peoples of the first state took part and were killed, freedom was paid with 25,000 casualties and devastation. After Ilinden in 1944, the construction of a modern state within Yugoslavia began. This enthusiasm, energy, and self-sacrifice provoked tectonic revolutionary changes and progress that, by the seventies and eighties of the last century, was equal to a world miracle, and in which Macedonia was centuries ahead.
This is the time when the first signals of independence of the Yugoslav republican states emerge. These processes begin with careful political and constitutional changes that increase the autonomy and independence of the republics, which become federal states closer to confederation than to a unitary state regime and governance.
The second and third additions to the name Macedonia, firstly, the People’s Republic of Macedonia, and then the Socialist Republic of Macedonia, are neither incidental, nor imposed without content. These are historical processes and major political, economic and constitutional changes in Yugoslav society. Changing the ideological additions to the name of Yugoslavia changed the additions to the names of the republics and provinces. All the then-Yugoslav “states” had their own territory and borders, their own parliaments, their own governments, prime ministers and presidents, their national institutions, their own constitutions, their own language and script, their own culture and everything else that one country should have. After the historical model of the socio-political and economic order of Yugoslavia has been wasted and democratic processes have been stopped, the acquired democratic rights have been abolished, with the hegemony of one over the other, with the infliction of nationalism and populism, the existing borders were destroyed by bloody wars for greater states. Nationalism and chauvinism were stronger than the motives of becoming a democratic European country that would use the then-rich European funds to get in line with Western Europe.
Since the breakup of Yugoslavia, Macedonia was the only country that left peacefully without war, with an agreement signed between the Yugoslav Army and the country’s President Kiro Gligorov. The independence of the country without a single shot fired the name Republic of Macedonia without ideological and geographical additions. A new era of independent country began with a strong determination to join the European family and membership in the EU and NATO. Without these alliances, Macedonia failed to provide faster development and desired growth of the citizens’ standard and higher quality of life in the past 28 years. Macedonian political, business and intellectual elites did not accelerate the historical processes and failed to realize the most important historical priorities that guarantee a better life and better chances for their citizens in an equal competition with the citizens of the EU member states.
Macedonia managed to accomplish such opportunity and historic chance for the first time less than two years ago, by overthrowing the regime of the captured state and accepting the Prespa Agreement with Greece. The new European era of Macedonia begins today with the name Republic of North Macedonia. Yes, the addition North is imposed and accepted as a precondition for delineating the area of Macedonia belonging to four states. All previous names of the country Macedonia were in some way imposed and accepted as part of a wider strategy. Both the name Federal and the People’s name and the name Socialist Republic of Macedonia were constitutional categories, as well as all Yugoslav republics and provinces. The first name without additions is the Republic of Macedonia accepted with the independence of the country and the first Constitution of the independent Republic of Macedonia. What is most accurate in the history of the name of the state is that in all of the changes so far, Federal, People’s, Socialist, North, including the provisional name in the United Nations, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the only constant that is unchangeable are the words Republic of Macedonia. It was Federal, it was People’s, it was Socialist, it was North, but it always remains the Republic of Macedonia. Macedonians remain Macedonians despite all changes, the language remains Macedonian. That’s why we will continue to go to bed and wake up, we will die and we will be born as we are and how we feel. The sun will still rise and set above this piece of land, however we call it. If the acceptance of European values signifies a better life, then let the new ideology of the citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia, Macedonians, Albanians, Serbs, Turks, Vlachs, Roma, Bosniaks and Egyptians mark the affiliation of Europe. The addition North marks the exact side of the world where Europe is. It’s a good reminder where we are supposed to go.
Views expressed in this article are personal views of the author and do not represent the editorial policy of Nezavisen Vesnik