Thursday, 14 December 2017 | News today: 14

Gruevski’s mega interview: Macedonia’s interest comes first (part 4)

In the new sequel of VMRO-DPMNE leader Nikola Gruevski’s mega interview with Telegraf.mk, you will read  why he decided not to re-assume the position of Government president, whether he plans a refreshment of his team, what are his priorities in the future and other current topics. (You can read the first part of the interview here, the second part here and the third part here)

T: Why did not you return to the position of Government president?

“For me, Macedonia’s interests come first. I agreed to a decision that is not common in the majority of European countries, to withdraw from my position 100 days before the election. I kept my word, but unfortunately, the other parties, especially SDSM, did not meet their obligations and ran away from the elections.

I have decided not to return to the position for the time being, because I don’t want to be seen as taking steps that are meeting some personal goals of mine. I want to show that it is possible to adopt a different style of action, and yet remain successful and at service.

If I assumed the position again now, many would’ve thought that maybe I was leading the country in some kind of a risk to be a prime minister. That’s not my priority. My priority is to mutual success, both of my party, and the state. If this contributes to reducing tensions in the society, all the better”.

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A politician is only worth according to the number of problems he is able to resolve

On the other hand, maybe this will help me a little to dedicate myself more to party activities and to better prepare for the next elections. In any case, as the party’s president, which has asked for and has received the support of the citizens for the elections, I’m aware of my responsibility in terms of the Government’s work, and I will certainly follow and aid in this segment.

I understand that at elections, the people gives its trust to the party and its leader, and not to the Government. And demands accountability and responsibility from the party and the head which it trusts. And there’s no running away from that.

For this reason, I will continue to work on the ground, meeting with citizens, even more than before. A politician is only worth according to the number of problems he is able to resolve. The people are not interested in violent scenarios and demagoguery, they want to hear about realistic projects and steps that will resolve their everyday problems.

I’ve never put myself first. If that were the case, I would most probably do something else and would lead a far more peaceful and prettier life. For me, the country and the citizens of Macedonia come first. At the next elections, regardless if they are held in the regular time frame in 2018 or earlier, if all the parties agree over the date when everyone will participate with certainty, they will decide who should win. I and the party that I lead, we are ready to face the people. To state what we have done and what we can do in future, and they will be the judge of that.

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T: How long do you plan to function like this. Will there be a reconstruction, a refreshment?

“The priority is to overcome the crisis and solve the problems, and the country to move forward. The position from where I will fight for that is less important.

Refreshing the Government on the part of VMRO-DPMNE makes sense if elections are not held soon. If those who will come have enough time to show themselves and to present themselves before the polls arrive. If elections come soon, than the refreshment will come after them. We’ll see. We have a situation when SDSM insist that they want snap elections, but in fact still want to avoid them, knowing they will lose.

For that purpose, to prolong the elections, SDSM will keep making all sorts of excuses to avoid elections, citing the voting registry and so forth. And everybody is well aware of that, even the international factor, although they will never say that in public. So, SDSM wants to avoid the elections, but they do want to be part of the government, as if they had won the elections. When we refuse, they threaten with causing problems, that will ultimately affect the country and the people. For this, they will keep losing elections. Let them go on. As a party we can only gain from their actions”.

T: But that is not good for the country. So, do you consider introducing a sort of an opposition inclusiveness process, which would need to show a higher democratic capacity as a party, and would contribute to calming the tensions?

“We’re open for inclusive discussions and we want the opposition to be involved in all important processes. However, the last attempt has shown that when we allowed them in in the Government, they abused the move.

Instead of working together with us, towards our mutual goals for the country, instead of their representatives showing an even greater interest for solving the problems of the citizens by implementing projects that are beneficial for the people and the state, instead of seeing it as a chance to stand out by hard work and results, their representatives in the Government have abused the positions to the maximum in order to block the processes, reforms, the preparations for elections and everything that can be blocked, suspended.

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100 days before the elections we will enable all the privileges under Przino Agreement

A very destructive behavior, and its detrimental for both their party and the people and the country. That’s why, we have decided to restore the VMRO-DPMNE-DUI coalition, and of course, before the next elections whenever they are held, we’ll act in line with the law and the Skopje 2015 June/July Agreement and 100 days before the electons we will enable all the privileges in line with that agreement and the law.

The aim  of that agreement and law was to make them feel more comfortable in the elections process, in the sense of allowing them to have an insight into the electoral processes from up close. But see what a charade they made out of that. Just so they can obstruct the elections preparations, so they would be late with their work and to postpone the polls. They did it mainly through the Interior Ministry, whose minister put maximum efforts to halt SEC’s work.

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T: What will be the priorities of the Government until the next elections when SDSM finally accept elections to happen?

“If we manage to win enough time before the next elections, the reforms will be the priority.

While SDSM didn’t announce that the voters’ list was completely cleared and while they deal with and look for an excuse in it, because the list has been cleared a long time ago, we, as I said, should commit to adopting the reforms, which are also a priority in the EU’s reports, and of course, fulfilling the promises made to the citizens.

I have been informed that the state institutions in the past days are working intensively on the preparation of various acts, changes or new laws, with a view to meeting the urgent priority reforms in several areas, starting from security system, the judiciary, the fight against corruption, the media and others.

Active dialogue with the opposition on reform priorities

The idea is soon, in the next few weeks, to complete those draft laws or decisions and then to share them with the representatives of the European Commission and with the opposition parties with which they want us to have a dialogue with, exchange arguments and their complete involvement, but also to consult about some of them with other international expert bodies.

But apart from this, they are also working on activities that will boost the implementation of the already passed decisions and laws, which have been assessed as good, but their implementations was not assessed as sufficient.

VMRO-DPMNE’s priority remains the goal to make the country a NATO and an EU member, to overcome all the obstacles. We’ll put much efforts on that.

Our party has a strong reputation with the majority of the country’s citizens and a team that keeps its word and fulfills its promises. And we’ve deserved that reputation. With hard work, results, fulfilling the promises, solving the problems for which we haven’t made a promises in the first place, by respecting the people, with the fight against crime and corruption as no one before us, and strengthening the state and democracy in every regard. And that, as to the voters, has made us largely different and more acceptable than SDSM. We have to preserve and boost that.

We also need to improve the reputation of the country which has been damaged not only with these ‘bombs’ but also with the major propaganda effort against us, which was initiated by our opponents. Perhaps we have paid insufficient attention to this in the past, and it is one of our failures.

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Probably together, and with some of our real mistakes and failures, most of which we weren’t even aware of, the major work of our opponents and adversaries, has resulted with having a much better perception here at home than abroad, at least at certain important addresses.

But with hard work and dedication, we’ll show them our real values, both at home to those that haven’t recognized them yet, and abroad to those who have a wrong and negative perception about us. Besides to those that see us as a obstacle no matter what we do. Our mere existence disturbs them. There’re always people like that, right.

Т: Are you satisfied with the current foreign minister, in terms of the country’s presentation abroad? 

“I would say, more than satisfied. Highly professional, and with all his capacities and strengths, Poposki has been working very hard for Macedonia in the past 5 years, on all fields abroad. He is a young man who loves his country and his people, he is very dynamic, with quick and clear thought, with a high-value criteria and integrity, quality education and great experience.

Still, the Government and all political parties need to contribute more to the improvement of Macedonia’s image abroad.

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T: Are the speculations that you have offered the abolished individuals to save themselves by not being involved in politics true; furthermore, that you have agreed with federalization of the country and that you have even agreed with Greece’s  proposals for the name issue? 

“None of this is true and it’s the product of SDSM’s propaganda. We have a rational approach to everything, led by our goals, ideology, the honest relations with the citizens and the promises we have made. The country is everything to us. The people is the country.

T: In the end, shortly, were there any negotiations involving the name, for instance during this past year?

“No. There have been no talks. It is good to hold those talks and find a solution, but there have been no talks in this period”.