Light at the end of the “tunnel”
By Bardhyl Zaimi
Political processes in Macedonia are happening with many uncertainties and contradictions. All the crises passed through difficult solutions and political clashes which in most cases led to “depressions” for the citizens. Political and institutional normality has always been an unfamiliar word to the political subjects, who put their party interest in the foreground, without taking into account the difficult and, in most cases, hopeless situation of the citizens.
Cyclically, political crises created extensive institutional and social “shocks”. This is because governments have always installed party logic, thus absorbing the normal functioning of institutions, but also by installing full control of power in synchronization with dominant ideological power.
This last decade marked perhaps the most extreme appropriation of state power in the name of ideology, of a group of people who abuse and use public goods without any accountability. An arrogant and corrupt government, whose “nudity” was seen in the famous “bombs: that were “fired” by the then opposition SDSM.
The game with the idea of a “false nationalism”, as it has been emphasized several times in the public space, left Macedonia away from involvement in the European integration processes. And it was already known that Macedonia must change its name in order to start the process of membership in NATO and the EU, which in fact was the main condition of the neighbouring Greece.
In the whole process of resolving the name issue, political antagonisms emerged that were more representing two orientations for the future of Macedonia. A pro-Western orientation, which sought a solution as an opportunity for moving forward and another political orientation, mainly promoted by the Macedonian opposition, which was against the change of the name, a position that argued the loss of national identity.
The result of the referendum on the name change is already known, and it was interpreted by various party aspects. The parties that were pro referendum considered it as being successful and the opposition represented by VMRO-DPMNE called it unsuccessful, although it boycotted it.
However, the “dramatic” vote in the Parliament paved the way with 80 votes in favour to begin the constitutional amendments envisioned by the Prespa Agreement. Certainly, not without political “shocks” that are already manifested within the Macedonian opposition party VMRO-DPMNE, which has already excluded from the party the MPs who voted for the opening of the Constitution, that is, its change, which implies a change of the name.
It seems that Macedonia is already emerging from that long and gloomy tunnel of transition and isolationist policies. Representatives of the international community welcomed this vote and stressed that NATO and EU doors remain open for Macedonia.
Certainly, the tunnel through which Macedonia passes remains a distorted parable, just like the tunnel of the Argentinean writer Ernesto Sabato. There are many unknown elements in this attempt to get out of this tunnel and there are many contradictions that are already being commented on in the public. A number of MPs from the opposition who voted “for” the agreement with Greece are in court proceedings, accused of corruption. Prime Minister Zaev’s government initially announced the fight against corruption. The “amnesty agreement” for the MPs who voted and others who intervened in securing the 80 votes to open the constitution can already be seen on the horizon.
In the whole process of constitutional changes, opposition parties in the Albanian political bloc announced amendments for the officialisation of the Albanian language and the promotion of the status of Albanians in the Constitution. Representatives of the Albanian ruling party, DUI, called this announcement a “folklorism”. It seems that the political scene in the Albanian political bloc will be determined in future by these positions.
However, one thing remains certain – Macedonia has already made a step forward towards the Euro-Atlantic values. Sabato’s tunnel as a metaphor will always be present on the road filled with challenges – however, the light at the end of the tunnel has appeared.
*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Inbox7