IRON MOCCASINS AND THIEVES OF FUTURE
By Bardhyl ZAIMI
Why to make things simpler when we can complicate them? Why deal with the objective reality when we can create surreal situations? Politics often creates optimistic “metaphors” to divert people’s attention from the dark reality to ideological projections that match the language of good-night stories or sequels of science fiction films. In addition, politics can sometimes be art that avoids problems, creating drowsy sentences and narratives.
Sometimes surrealism can overcome literature, as happens, say, in Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel The Master and Margarita, where cats speak and appear as human beings. The fantasy of literature is unlimited, because literature does not recognize the real fact, but the literary fact, which is processed in the creative laboratory, and then worn with a kind of solemn and magical glow, just as the Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa describes this process in his book “Letters to a Young Novelist”.
Such narratives in the world of literature belong to creativity, and when politics builds such narratives, we are always in the nebula of promises that relate to the lives and expectations of the citizens. Prime Minister Zaev recently reiterated his promise that in Macedonia the average salary would be 500 Euros. But this time, he “strengthened” this promise with a strange and almost “unencrypted” metaphor. He pledged “he would wear iron moccasins” to fulfill this promise he gave as a campaign election promise in the recent parliamentary elections, when the final blow to the regime of former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski was given, who is already in “political asylum” “in Hungary with his friend Orban, thought to have similarities with the governance of Gruevski in Macedonia.
It seems that almost two years in power without concrete results in the economy and the poor social state of the citizens forced Prime Minister Zaev to use hermetic “symbolism” to convince the citizens that he had not forgotten the promises, especially the increase of the average salary of 500 Euros. At a tribune with citizens in Veles, Prime Minister Zaev said that “if necessary, he would wear iron moccasins”, only to fulfill the promise of increasing the average salary.
In the midst of an alert for early parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Zaev seems to have chosen an astounding and elusive “figure” for the public to convey the message that he will now return to pre-election economic promises. He also confirmed that the country has the capacity to enable people to have dignified incomes and young people not to leave Macedonia. The opposition accused him of repeating the same lies and that people did not believe him.
Political clashes over the successes and stagnations in the economy have turned into a daily chorus, just as the “invitations” of early elections for the measurement of forces. Meanwhile, while Prime Minister Zaev is thinking whether to wear “iron moccasins”, after a difficult process in resolving the name issue, citizens are increasingly getting into a hopeless social situation. In some recent surveys, an alarming level of poverty has been declared, and an alarming number of citizens have said they want to leave the country.
Undoubtedly, in both parallel processes in solving the name issue and the promises of economic development, various challenges arose. It seems that under the tough shadow of a complex process to resolve the name issue, the economy is suffering, but in the meantime, there have been affairs related to senior Prime Minister Zaev’s government officials, as was the case with Deputy Prime Minister Kocho Angjushev.
Another scandal these days shocked the public. Minister of Labor and Social Policy Mila Carovska announced the scandal of non-transfer of contributions for 12,000 people in the Second Pillar of Pension Insurance, worth a total of 19 million Euros. Many media addressed this scandal to VMRO-DPMNE and DUI.
In the meantime DUI reacted, announcing a lawsuit for slender for all media. Also, the Director of the Pension Fund noted that the Minister misinterpreted the case.
This issue remains open and requires indisputable research as warned by some NGOs. The research should be done with a lot of responsibility, regardless of who can stand behind this abuse, as it has already been delivered to the public.
It seems that Prime Minister Zaev will have to face with the corruption in his party as soon as possible, as well as scandals with huge sums coming from the previous government. All this means the rule of law, but also a much greater commitment to clear up such scandals that seem like classical theft for citizens waiting for quiet retirement days. But, most probably, in Macedonia, not only the present does steal, but also the future defined as retirement.
Prime Minister Zaev probably needs to put on “iron moccasins” as soon as possible, not only to increase the average salary, but also to stop the corruption that has metastasized in all institutions. Even according to the latest ranking of Transparency International, Macedonia, although there is progress, is again among the countries with the highest corruption.
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