Todays Date
January 19, 2021

Continuous account settling

Writes: Denko Maleski


Writing about the events concerning the procurement of equipment for the Skopje Airport, the Italian daily “La Verita” has come to the conclusion that the affair was part of the “continuous account settling process between the government and the opposition”. That, reckons the newspaper with a warning name – “The Truth”, characterizes the life of this country located in the geopolitical heart of the Balkans. The constant account settling is in fact, our landmark – and not only of the government structures. I recall that during the forty years of my academic career at the Faculty of Law in Skopje, we had not engaged in anything significant regarding science or education since the main concern of our academic dwelling was how to settle the accounts between at least two groups. There had been a certain dignity among my professors, the old wolves; however, when my generation came to rule, that dignity sank in the continuous account settling process. When, as a Fulbright scholar, I became a visiting professor at a university in the US, I asked some of the people there if there were any conflicts between professors which paralyze the institution’s work.  I was told that, of course, conflicts existed, as everywhere among humans, though when such thing occurred, one of the parties involved would step back and continue their career at another university. I said to myself that it was the curse of the small country, Macedonia in this case – that there is nowhere to run here, so once two individuals from the same institution lock horns, they fight until they retire. Such conflicts have resulted in decades of blocking a number of worthy initiatives aimed at improving the education of the then future judges, lawyers and administrative officers, who have become who they are today due to our inability to resist this destructive urge: to always settle accounts.

If this type of behavior is common among individuals, can you possibly imagine the fierceness of the conflict when it comes to political groups, such as the political parties? When part of a crowd, people gain enormous force. So these days, in this historical moment for our country, the opposition leader impedes the relations both with the government and the president of the country. The opposition leader has announced that he would not cooperate with the government on the mutual plan for getting a date for initiating the EU membership negotiations in October, but that he would work on that matter separately via sister-parties. He refuses to cooperate with the president on any matter unless the president apologizes for his attitude towards Goce Delcev!? This behavior only goes to prove that “The worse for the country, the better for us at the next elections” – a game our political parties have been playing since 1991. For the foreign observers, this is yet another evidence that the Macedonian political system is unable to produce a minimum unity for a democratic and legal reform.  Indeed, is it now, before October, the right time to settle accounts?

Of course, it all comes down to our mentality. A mentality that hasn’t changed in forty years, let alone four months (by October).  Do we really need the affair with the Secretary General of the Government now? Despite everything that happened to us, despite so much talking and writing, we still haven’t managed to learn the lesson of the former Harvard Professor and long-term Senator Patrick Moynihan that the political system of a country should be designed according to the dark side of the human nature: the one that lies and steals. All those who have been given the power to control our money and our lives are potential thieves and cheats, says Moynihan.  No party that can guarantee justice alone if society lacks mechanisms to control it. The lack of consciousness for a controlled and transparent government as a system that is build by all parties with an equal amount of dedication, means continuous affairs and endless process of settling accounts.


*The text is written exclusively for the purposes of Inbox 7. For each republishing, a consent by the editors must be obtained. Inbox 7 does not always agree with the opinions and views of the authors in the debate section.