Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Opposition Daily Criticizes Macedonian Premier's Foreign Policy Tactics

I suggest that a special department be established, which would be in charge of writing letters to politicians and statesmen in neighbouring countries and worldwide, so that the world can learn about the Macedonians' suffering and the injustice done to Macedonia over the centuries. Encouraged by the great results and impact of the letters to Karamanlis (and his response) and to the European Union, Gruevski should write more similar letters to many leaders in the neighbourhood and further abroad.

A series of letters should urgently be sent to Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev and Bulgarian President Georgi Purvanov. Equally fervent letters should be sent to the Serbian leadership, to President Boris Tadic and Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic. Just in case, a firm letter should be sent to Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha and Turkish Prime Minister Tayip [Tayyip] Erdogan each. We could also teach a historic lesson to French President Sarkozy, British Prime Minister Brown, Chancellor Merckel [Merkel], and finally, of course, to George W. Bush and to Putin and Medvedev. All the issues concerning Macedonia should be raised at once - let us make the world know about the continuing global conspiracy against us.

For now, Prime Minister Gruevski's letters are only met with support in Macedonia and in the Macedonian media. Naturally, only negative comments and reactions to the letters have come from the European Union and Greece. We have had bad responses from some countries where we have not sent letters at all, such as the United States, France, and Germany. How do they dare respond negatively to us, when we haven't even written to them? Ever since the Bucharest summit, Macedonia has been losing the race with Greece for international support quickly and dramatically. Our positions after Bucharest have worsened badly. But, we are excelling on the home front.

We wrecked the Greeks by telling them that we were extremely concerned about the rights of the Macedonian minority and the property of those expelled during the civil war. This resulted in a storm of negative reactions in Greece, which was of course, met with exaltation in Macedonia. When the rights of the Macedonian minority in Greece will indeed improve and when, if at all, the property will be returned are less important details in Macedonia's policy. I suggest that Gruevski should remove Sergey Stanishev and Georgi Purvanov's masks, writing to tell them about their duplicity and Byzantine politics, because on one hand, they pretend to be our friends, while on the other, they have put major obstacles for us in Brussels.

Gruevski should openly tell Stanishev that the minority rights of the Macedonians living in Bulgaria should be recognized. We should openly tell Bulgaria that it has cunningly raised the language issue and that it continues to adopt our history. Gruevski should bravely ask the Bulgarians to pay damages for their crimes against Macedonians during World War II. This will be a great shock for Bulgaria, an even greater shock than the one we prompted in Greece.

As for the Serbian leaders, Tadic and Cvetkovic, we should fiercely raise the issues concerning the recognition of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, Prohor Pcinjski monastery, as well as other territorial issues. We should point out to Sali Berisha that he should recognize the rights of the Macedonians in Albania and curb his paternalism. Kosovo's Hashim Thaci should be told that there will be no recognition before the border has been delineated. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan should be told that our expectations from Turkey were higher, whereby Gruevski will skilfully explain to the latter that our claim over our property in Greece and our refusal to grant the same rights to the Turks and other people who used to live in Macedonia (whose property was seized under the agricultural reform and nationalization) are two different issues. We should write to German Chancellor Merckel to tell her in no uncertain terms that Germany too has failed us by taking Greece and Bulgaria's side. British Prime Minister Gordon also ought to know that we are not pleased; we will tell him off for not being interested in Macedonia in the least. As for Carla Bruni, we will tell her that her beloved husband Sarkozy is a hated figure here for having brazenly taken the Greeks' side because his grandfather was from Thessaloniki. We could write to Bush, telling him that we suspect that he has started to skive off and is no longer firmly backing Macedonia. He is more concerned about his departure than about Macedonia. As for Putin and Medvedev, Gruevski should be firm in telling them not to overwhelm us with their brotherly love and pan-Slavic messages, because we are less Slavs and more antic Macedonians. This will touch a raw nerve. We prefer to be close with the Hunza, than with the Russians, Polish, Ukranians, Czechs, Slovenes, Slovaks, Serbs, Croats, Montenegrins, and Bulgarians. The latter are barbarians - we are living ancients. After we have published all these letters at home, we will be proud and feel like a weight off our chest has been lifted.

Nobody in Macedonia is interested in the final outcome of the prime minister's correspondence. Who gives a damn that only quiet and persistent diplomacy, which envisages numerous meetings, compromises, tolerance, wisdom, knowledge, mediators, negotiations that take long before they get to be made public, and agreements, tends to yield results towards resolving major inter-state problems?

I do not know whether the alarm has been raised in the Foreign Ministry, but it is really time for it if it is true that Panama is the first country to have changed its mind regarding our constitutional name's recognition. If the greatest achievement in the battle for our name so far, namely, the fact that 120 countries have recognized us under this name, starts to wane, then this will spell the incumbent government's greatest defeat in the realm of global bilateral relations. The recognition by 120 countries has been our greatest diplomatic success, the credit for which goes to several Macedonian governments and prominent people from Macedonia and the world over. What do you think, is Panama to blame for this or we? Perhaps Gruevski will send a ferocious letter to its President Martin Torijos. He will be punished for this.

The theory that some people close to the ruling structure have been promoting lately, namely, that we should not rush Euro- Atlantic integration, is very wrong. Their logic is that we have been lagging behind for years and that there is no reason why we should hurry now and make unnecessary compromises. The fact that the race with Serbia for joining the European Union is exceptionally important both for Macedonia and for Croatia is not mentioned. If Macedonia joins the EU before Serbia, it will be able to solve one of its greatest problems, the recognition of the Macedonian Orthodox Church. With this, the problem that will emerge between Macedonia and Serbia over the former's possible recognition of Kosovo soon will also be ticked off the agenda. Serbia can only become a full- fledged EU member if it resolves all the open issues with its neighbours, including Macedonia. If Serbia and Albania join the EU before us, we will be forced to make compromises that will be to our detriment. Alternatively, we will have to bid farewell to our Euro- Atlantic integration.

Karadzic's arrest and his quick "packing up" for the Hague have heralded Serbia's candidacy status, which the latter should receive by the end of the year. By handing over Karadzic, followed by Mladic and Hadzic, to the Hague Tribunal, Serbia will secure a start date for negotiations. What are we going to do though?

We will continue writing letters.

P.S. I say to myself that it is a pity the Macedonian Interior Ministry was not the one arresting Karadzic. That would have been a thriller and spectacle that even Hollywood would envy. This way, we did not see a single video of Karadzic's arrest. But we have had the chance to see countless videos of Zaev's arrest. It is the Strumica mayor's tough luck that he was not a convicted war criminal.

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