Todays Date
February 26, 2020

We are a Greek sphere of interest

By Denko Maleski


With the internationally sponsored simultaneous defeat of Macedonian and Greek nationalism, conditions were created to close the wound between the two countries that threatened to fester and infect the entire body of the Balkans. In the internal debate, finally, the weak liberal faction struggling for compromise gained a status equal to that of the nationalists. Unfortunately, not thanks to the increased awareness among the population or the politicians, but as a consequence of the fact that the Macedonian nationalist vision of the divided homeland, a country that we did not have, and was divided by the neighbors, broke into pieces of reality. But ignoring this reality, the nationalists are here to continue to speak to the people what they have been listening for at least a century back: the new injustices that have been inflicted upon him. There has always been audience for such stories. Therefore, let us not surprised the course of the presidential debate. Macedonian nationalists could not find a better representative than a law professor who is persistently talking about the injustice in international relations that has been done to Macedonia. She is doing it, regardless of the fact that that position is in opposition to the whole historical experience of mankind, which shows that international relations are seemingly insensitive to justice, and give preference to stability, order, and predictability. I have been thinking: if Macedonian nationalists really understood things as they were in reality, they would realize that what they are protesting about, name, language, identity, is nothing compared to what really happened with the state in real international relations. Namely, our country, stuck for decades in its nationalism, failing to join the modern world, has become a failed state and captured state, the most terrible qualifications for a European country. I will be brutally right: at one point in the rule of the autocratic and corrupt regime of the previous government of the Macedonian nationalists, the time of our country expired. Appealing to be incapable of governing itself, it has been “given” to Greece. The joke in the Greek press that Greece has adopted North Macedonia sounds better, but the truth is the one I said. Namely, the Prespa Agreement is also a strategic partnership agreement. The common meaning of the term strategic partnership is defense and security cooperation, covering many other areas of education, health and development, as well as economic relations, including trade, investment and banking. If we see the world with the eyes of political realists and not those of the lawyers, it is the offer of the great Western powers that Greece could not turn down and which speeded up the solution to the name issue, because if it had turned down, it would have endangered its own security. Namely, the weak state not being able to run democratically (20,000 tapped means long-term disability of democracy, Kumanovo events that could have been an introduction to ethnic war, poor judiciary and a culture of impunity and everything else), dismantled the state and created a vacuum of power which, in time, could have been filled with the power of Bulgaria and Albania. And here is the paradox. Given the complex relations regarding the nation that we have with Bulgaria, this solution with Greece is in favor of preserving the uniqueness of the Macedonian nation and language, and not, as the nationalists contend, against the nation and the language. Namely, only the solution to the problem with Greece opened us the gates of the West, in whose alliances we get the chance to prosper as a separate nation and country. The violent breakthrough of the Bulgarian influence in our country, in turn, could have melted our nation as a candle, and that of Albania, to disrupt the internal ethnic balance. Therefore, the former Foreign Minister Kotzias knew exactly what he was talking about when publicly, not so long ago, said that it was better to resolve the dispute and expand Greek influence in North Macedonia than the influence of other surrounding countries, including Turkey. Prime Minister Tsipras also repeated that. The strategic thinking of those who hold the framework of the international order, the great Western powers, but also all who know how to think, is that this is the safest way for affirmation of the young Macedonian state and nation, which will continue to spin the wheel of history forward, not backward. Unfortunately, strategic thinking in Macedonian politics does not exist. There is logic of law and justice that explains nothing essentially in a world in which interests and power dominate. Logic that has made North Macedonia a Greek sphere of interest, and if it is soon wins the elections again, it will push the country in an unprecedented crisis.

The political, not the legal thought, helps me through the years to think strategically and understand the world as it is, and not what we want it to be. With the help of that thought, I knew exactly how the dispute with Greece would end even thirty years ago, and I repeatedly alarmed, wrote and spoke, as I know exactly how the dispute with Bulgaria will end in the few years ahead. I loudly warned as the role of the intellectual, privileged to read and think, is to scout dangerous and unknown political terrain and tell the people and the politics what awaits them from where the thought of the majority touches. And to tell the truth, no matter how bitter it is and what the personal price is, which, today, fortunately, is measured only in the loss of privileges resulting from good relations with the government.


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