Renegotiation of the Prespa Agreement?
Writes: Denko Maleski
The latest reactions of Greek and Macedonian politicians regarding the change of power in Greece, referring to the Prespa Agreement, say something about both policies. Namely, how much they have been “Europeanized”, at least in the expression. On the transfer of the duties of the current Minister Georgios Katrougalos, the new Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said that the sphere of foreign policy should rest on a national consensus and that he would co-operate with the opposition, regardless of their previous behavior towards his New Democracy. He also said that the new government would respect the Agreement signed in the name of the state, but that it would try to correct some shortcomings of the Agreement. A note that this would be difficult, but that the mechanisms of membership negotiations for North Macedonia in the EU opened opportunities. He also mentioned that mass citizen gatherings do not help solve the complex relations in the sphere of international politics, giving up one of the favorite Balkan methods – incitement of nationalist passions of the masses for political gain.
Unfortunately, from the foregoing, the head of the Macedonian opposition only understood that the new Greek government would try to correct some of the errors in the Prespa Agreement and he accepted the idea from which he should flee as a devil from frankincense. “Everything that is aimed at improving, increasing the quality and restoring the lost positions that this blackmailed prime minister has signed under pressure, we are here to renegotiate and return them. I am ready to talk with everyone, I have no dilemma. I am at the bumper of the defense of the Macedonian national interests and interests of the Macedonian state and I do not retreat from that point”, says the president of VMRO-DPMNE. So, there is no consensus building with SDSM in defense of the state interest, no declaration for obeying the Agreement signed on behalf of the state, there is no forgiveness to the fact that the opposition was excluded from the decisions in the international sphere and a call for building a common foreign policy, and there is no statement that the street is not a way to solve complex and delicate issues in the field of foreign policy. The same old story since independence. We cannot learn the lesson that the secret of the success of small countries in the international society of countries is in the internal unity. That state interest is not an abstract notion that springs from the depths of history and is possessed by a modern party, but it represents the sum of the interests of the political representatives of the people in parliament today. Hence no party has any special role in creating that interest. They are all equal. Otherwise, to our great national shame, the old rhetoric for the traitors will continue.
Of course, nothing in this life is eternal, neither are international agreements. For them, General Charles De Gaulle, the former president of France, wrote: “Agreements are like roses and young girls. They last as long as they last”. So the Prespa Agreement, from which, theoretically speaking, the Macedonian opposition may withdraw when it comes to power. So why will it not happen? Because North Macedonia is not America, Russia or China. The small countries in world politics are struggling to survive, have no space for maneuvers and move along a thin blade of a razor. The formal and legal equality of states, however, does not in any way mean that they are in fact equal. The chronic disease of Macedonian politics is the ignorance of this dangerous sphere, this deep sea of world politics in which whales and sardines swim. Ignorance is one of the reasons why we had been spinning in circles for thirty years before we solved the problem with Greece. This ignorance of international politics is the product of the inadequate university education of our politicians. The young associate of Nikola Gruevski, my post-graduate student, was convinced that his party would be in power for at least 20 years and he explained why. What about the international factor, I asked. There was no answer. Nor the possible future prime minister who needs an emergency course in international politics has the answer, because he risks repeating the mistakes of his predecessor. I am saying this as a worried person who sees the opposition as his own, aware that one day it will make decisions that will affect our lives.
If he understands the anarchic structure of the international order of states, if he understands the role of power and interests, Hristijan Mickovski will understand why the Prespa Agreement is the best we could get under given conditions. And that his party’s nationalist policy has raised the price of a compromise to unseen heights. Then, he will not think of any renegotiation from which he and the party and the state can only lose. Definitely, 100%. If he does not understand this, he will continue to believe that he can carelessly sit on the bumper (of national and state interests), moving the state in anticipation of a “Scania” rushing in the opposite direction.
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