Colleague Zoran Dogramadziev, may he rest in peace, an internationally proven professional, a longtime Tanjug correspondent from several countries and a reporter for the Japanese news agency, more than ten years ago in his column for Utrinski newspaper, entitled “Toad”, wrote that on the road to Europe, each new member of the Union will swallow one toad. Uncomfortable, but that’s the price that must be paid. The smaller the frog, the easier to swallow, the sooner the better it was his message. The Macedonian toad in the past decade has become quite large from which all have been running away. It is now served, an already scabby toad, ready to be swallowed. According to the first “cooperative” views of the collective national gutter, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev seems to be the first to put up a great crackle, followed by the government and his coalition partners.
The first statements by President Gjorge Ivanov and opposition leader Hristijan Mickoski given after the state summit that they were informed of during the talks between the prime ministers Zaev and Tsipras and the proposals of UN mediator Matthew Nimetz can be assessed as correct in this phase as a cooperative, but at the same time, a hint that the prime minister and the government will have to take full responsibility for the final decisions and that they do not have much to hope for a national consensus. This means that the consequences of accepting a solution to change the constitutional name of the state and everything else regarding the name will be at the expense of Zaev and the government. This can be interpreted by the restrained statements of President Ivanov and the leader of VMRO-DPMNE Mickoski they say only after the informative meeting.
President Ivanov, as a “realist with experience,” refused to say anything more, in order not to be understood as a pressure. And it is good that he did so, because if he said something as he thought and said lately, at the very beginning he would cause a great deal of mess, presenting Macedonia as unprepared to solve the problem.
President Gjorge Ivanov is likely to stay away for a while from this ‘hot mess’. And then he will hit hard on the same side as he will overtake the scale. Hristijan Mickoski, the new leader of VMRO-DPMNE, in addition to the fences for the only “informative meeting” and the understandable restraint, did not hurt the negotiation process in the cooperative went further than President Ivanov, VMRO-DPMNE is a strong supporter and remains the only option for the Republic of Macedonia to be part of the NATO Alliance and the EU. How firmly will Miskoski and VMRO-DPMNE be on that western line for joining NATO and the EU will be seen very soon, when the hard work begins.
However, for Mickoski there is a certain, small open door, one little gate just in case if one really prevails in public the determination to accept the proposal of the UN, that is, Matthew Nimetz, not to leave that success to Zaev alone. That reserve in Micksoki will gain importance depending on how the changes will be received from the wider public, and VMRO-DPMNE will adjust to the situation. Mickoski for now has chosen a ‘swimming course’. It is still a better solution than to immediately defeat the coalition with a prominent historic chance to become a NATO member and in the foreseeable future of the EU.
If we talk sincerely with open cards on the table, it should be said that even if a solution is reached, it will not be fair, the citizens of Macedonia will accept the injustice only because of one thing, and that is all these three decades want to be part of Europe not only geographically, but also political and most economically. Expectations and hopes of membership in NATO and the EU are big, but real. It took around 27 years for a large part of the public to be convinced that in such an environment and in the new global world of interests, Macedonia was barely able to survive by paying too high a price, by impoverishing the citizens, and by slowing down the democratic processes and the rule of law, with a high rise in crime and corruption by installing at-risk governance without control. Instead of prosperity and quality living, it has become a success to keep the country from decaying and placing new bloody borders in the Balkans. The alliance with NATO and EU membership, together with the UN press, no matter how seeming at this moment aptly, is actually the strongest defense of the national identity of the Macedonian people, the stability and the future development of the Republic of Macedonia. Conversely, the omission of this chance by referring to the defense of identity and constitutional name is the shortest path to the disappearance of Macedonia and its division.
In the coming days and months we have to work openly and honestly, both at home and in Brussels, on what we get if we integrate with Western Europe and NATO by accepting changes and losing if we once again indefinitely postpone the chance. What will be done for this purpose must be presented with facts and examples, without cosmetics and beautification of things through which all countries have joined the new EU and NATO member states. In Macedonia, it’s finally time to overstep the opinion that this is not the reason why our current generation of responsible politicians is not because of our neighbors, it is not because of Greece, Bulgaria, Albania, Kosovo or Serbia, it is not the EU or America that is pleased, but for us and our generations . All of them, especially our neighbors, should know that what they are denying today to Macedonia will one day erase the fact that Macedonia does not pose any danger to any neighbor. She does not possess such force. If it were true, alternative solutions would be offered that would be opposed to what is the choice of the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia. Today, a different determinant as an objective other than NATO and the EU does not accept any politically relevant party in Macedonia.
As for Greece, great vigilance and commitment to the negotiation process is still needed, and final decisions will be taken along with NATO and EU membership. Any partial acceptance of concessions before the final vote in the Greek parliament that Macedonia is an equal member of the EU and NATO with the new name Nova, Upper, North ….. Macedonia can be fatal and catastrophic. The Greeks do not stand by their words, if they do not have to.