In an extended interview with weekly Republika, VMRO-DPMNE President Nikola Gruevski speaks in detail about the comments he made about the George Soros funded Foundation Open Society Institute. Gruevski says that this wide-reaching group of non-Governmental organizations (NGOs) will be allowed to continue working in Macedonia, but will no longer be allowed to monopolize the civil society network and abuse it for their political purposes. Gruevski spoke about a process of de-Sorosoization of the Macedonian civil society sector in the proclamation which VMRO-DPMNE issued shortly after the early general elections.
Where were you on New Year’s eve?
I was at home, with my family. I miss spending time with them. After New Year’s Eve, we spent a couple of days in Mavrovo. There was a lot of snow and the kids were very happy. We were together at last, several days in a row…
So you also rested a little?
I would say it was an active vacation. An apparent vacation, however, my thought were on plans and strategies for the future. I brought some materials with me. I read a book as well.
Which book have you read?
Great again by Donald Trump. Very interesting book. I recommend it.
What did you like the most in the book?
The enthusiasm, persistence, energy, passion, determination… Of course, the specific plans and ideas of the new president of the United States are also very interesting and challenging…
Did you get reduce the intensity of your cough? Every fall-winter we hear you cough.
Yes, and every winter I go to checkups. The definitive diagnosis is allergy. The cough is just a consequence. In the past I had sinus problems, but my allergy appears every fall and winter, and it is manifested with cough, often very strongly, and there’s no cure, there is only temporary treatment with medication. It is uncomfortable, it consumes a lot of energy. Doctors say the person that will find a cure that will permanently cure allergies will receive the Nobel Prize…
Have you found out what is triggering your allergies?
No. The standard allergy tests are negative, but in nature, in the air there are hundreds of thousands of allergens to which one can respond in one or another way.
Could it be from air pollution?
It is possible, but not necessarily directly linked to that because during these periods I have traveled to other countries and cities, but the cough did not stop. This year, at first I did not take medications to treat the allergy except sprays, but now I’m taking and the intensity of the cough has been reduced. I spend each fall- winter with antihistamines and various sprays, and then spring will come.
We agreed to do an interview related to the activities of Soros in Macedonia. He is often mentioned, especially by your party and there has never been an in-depth conversation with a politician in that regard. First let me ask you, you spent a difficult year, how do you assess it?
Difficult but interesting. Yes, we had a tough opponent, and I’m not referring to SDSM, it was just a cover, a tool… If it were not for George Soros behind it with all the millions he pours in Macedonia, the entire network of NGOs, media, politicians, inside and out, that he pays, influence on the most powerful countries in the world, and decisive influence when it comes to smaller countries like ours, it would not be that difficult, and the economy would be stronger, we would have had more new jobs. Although what we have achieved should not be neglected in such a difficult situation.
How do you know that Soros has a decisive influence on the most powerful countries when it comes to smaller countries?
There are many examples for that. Take, for instance, Soros’ emails that were released on “Wikileaks” and everything will become clear. The man is giving clear instructions on what is to be done, and they are accepted without debate or checks and balances.
Other released emails show that he can go visit top leading American officials whenever he wants to, arranges meetings day in day out and has significant influence.
His foundation, judging by its fnancial and personal potential, is the strongest politically oriented foundation in the world. He has decided to use his wealth toward ideological goals – the creation of these so-called open societies, and for financial gain, where he speculates on pre-determined political outcomes in certain countries which brings him profits in the stock exchanges. This influence extends to entire institutions, ministries, Governments infected with his ideology and points of view. It makes no sense to even talk about SDSM or Zaev here, they are small fry in this story.
Why he is directed towards Macedonia, VMRO-DPMNE?
First, it is not from now, he acts the same for 25 years, but now in the last 2-3 years his influence is strengthened.
Whenever VMRO-DPMNE is in power, his institutions are against VMRO-DPMNE. And when SDSM is in power again his institutions are against VMRO-DPMNE, as a center, right and conservative political party. There is not one thing that the VMRO-DPMNE has made in these 25 years, and that one of his institution as the Open Society Institute, an NGO funded by him, a medium, or so said it was good. And vice versa, there is no move by SDSM that is condemned by these institutions. So all the things coming from us are bad, and everything that is coming from the SDSM is good or if it is not good, then they do not speak about it. The man who for 25 years was head of the Open Society Institute in Macedonia is a member of the Central Board of SDSM. Last year he retired, but, actually, he has set a person who is his servant, which no one knows, nor knows his name, and leads the same policies of his predecessor. And they do not even hide that they are part of SDSM. They have spoken against us at political rallies organized by SDSM. So we have come to identify them as one and say SDSM/Soros.
With the political influence of Soros, they will make some governments and their ambassadors deal with you on a daily basis saying we work for your good, we want to help.
His network in Macedonia, besides having NGOs, directly financing, some would say corrupting, many journalists, media owners, professors, intellectuals, analysts, activists, protesters, yes, as Trump says, professional protesters.
They have put under their control many people across the systems’ institutions, civil servants in high positions, judges, prosecutors, doctors, environmentalists and wherever estimated that they will need to achieve their goals.
So they act also inside, with money and indoctrination, and outside, by influencing on powerful governments and politicians. In Macedonia they have a monopoly in the NGO sector because 95 percent of the NGOs are funded by Soros or governments influenced by him, and they jointly direct the money and arrange activities. If they need a so-called colorful revolution, then they do it through NGOs with money.
Why the Macedonian government has allowed things with the NGO sector to go this far?
The question is in place and here you are partly right. If our domestic private sector does not support the NGOs and leaves them in the hands of an external international player and foreign countries, then the government should be also criticized for allocating symbolic funds for NGOs and thus the NGO sector has become and army dependent on Soros, but also in service of his policies. Every government gives out a certain amount of money to support the civil sector and here we have failed. We must find the funds to support a truly independent civil society sector in Macedonia. We can’t allow it to remain fully in the hands of George Soros or foreign governments. Soros can stay and invest in Macedonia but there must be other, alternative sources of funding for quality projects, which will be evaluated by experts who are not politically dependent by the government, or by foreign governments and individuals.
You say an army of NGOs…
Yes, classic army. Soros has turned the NGOs in Macedonia Soros into a modern army. Today the battle is not with rifles and pistols as 100 years ago, but through NGOs, corrupt media and journalists and the influence of powerful foreign media and powerful foreign governments. It is a reality and, unfortunately, so act Soros. And then they do whatever they want. That is the reality and, unfortunately, that is how Soros operates. And then they do whatever they want. If they want, they will turn you into a criminal, a traitor, an incompetent, a monster, they will come up with a myriad of alleged scandals to your name… Look what they did with the VMRO-DPMNE Proclamation from December 17th. We clearly stated that we continue our normal communication with Ambassadors, but the Soros owned media did not say that. They blamed us that we have declared war to the Ambassadors and have gone into self-isolation. We said that some Ambassadors have gone too far with their meddling in internal affairs, which must stop, and their media are saying that we are against the United States and the West, against NATO and the European Union, even though in the same Proclamation we say that we remain oriented toward the West, toward NATO and EU.
Why is Soros doing that in Macedonia, what do you think?
He is not not doing that just in Macedonia, but in the Balkans, across Eastern Europe, and now, most recently, in the United States.
Secondly, from what I’ve read about him, in some countries he does it for material and financial reasons, to earn a lot of money, while in others for ideological reasons.
He has a certain ideology that many times he takes about publicly, which is based on the principles defined in open and closed societies which he compares to the ideologies of conservative governments, which is totally inaccurate.
Do you think that he is not aware of what he does and where his money are spent?
Look, he has a lot of information about Macedonia and about us, much more than you believe. But the information is distorted, inaccurate and misleading. I am convinced that at least part of the problem are his misconceptions, not just different ideology.
I still think that he is not aware who he supports in Macedonia and who he is against. His opinion of us, which was later imposed in some structures of the State Department and in other governments is based on a lot of misinformation and false interpretation of our steps and policy. For example, contrary to what he stated publicly, including in his last column before New Year, he, consciously or not, in Macedonia supports criminals, authoritarian politicians, politicians who left 200,000 people without work in the process of transition through criminal privatization, and according to size, that is like in a few years to lay off about 35 million workers in the US.