Thursday, 14 December 2017 | News today: 14

We have more similarities than differences

During this interview with VMRO-DPMNE, SDSM, GROM, and Citizen's Alliance for Positive Macedonia we have tried to obtain positive opinions about their opponents, see what do they like about them, which of their moves do they consider as good when it comes to the interest and advantages of the Macedonian people...

We asked the leaders of part of the political parties how is best for everybody to unite themselves for the interest of the country’s perspective. What are the opinions of the two biggest political parties, which are on the political stage since the independence of Macedonia, as of the youngest parties, which announced changes in regard to the functioning of the opposition in this country. During this interview with VMRO-DPMNE, SDSM, GROM, and Citizen’s Alliance for Positive Macedonia we tried to obtain positive opinions about their opponents, see what do they like about them, which of their moves do they consider as good when it comes to the interest and benefits of the Macedonian people…For a moment, we tried to make them not to see their opponents through the political prism, but to see them as ordinary people without any political reference.

We made five identical questions to Nikola Gruevski, Zoran Zaev, Stevce Jakimovski and Ljupco Zikov. The leader of the ruling party spoke well of the SDSM leader’s work as a major of Strumica. Zaev, though, kept to the opinion that the government in Macedonia imposes the relations under the motto: “I see you through iron sights and I shoot you through your heart”. Positive Zikov believes that the political opponents are smart and intelligent people, good in their private relations, but mischievous in politics. The leader of the new-found GROM, tgough, thinks that these are questions whose answers should be given by the citizens.

LIDERI-2-Gruevski

Nikola Gruevski

Leader of VMRO-DPMNE and Prime Minister of Macedonia

ONLY DEEDS AND SPECIFIC STEPS CAN UNITE

At the end we all are people with families, lives, own pasts, good sides, but also with flaws, and if we see ourselves in that way, and not through the focus of some virtual trenches, then everything will be different.

 

How can all Macedonian politicians unite themselves for the interests of the citizens?

Gruevski: I have already talked various times about the unification of the politicians, about the concept and the platform of political and national unification around the things that will take us onward for sure. There are things about which we can not have divisions, but, of course, nobody expects that we would agree on everything, because the plurality of ideas and concepts still make the democracy as it is. Although, there are things that we must agree on because their value is bigger and more significant than any other individual interest. In order for us to unite first we have to identify the real values and principles. And here I talk about the unification of all political parties, ethnic groups and religious groups. I do not talk about an empty phrase used repeatedly just for the holidays, but I talk about a reconciliation which bears historical weight  and which should ensure us some progress. We as political parties need a friendly hand shake, not just a hand shake. As people to whom the citizens gave their trust, we must not allow to be pushed in discussions and to be affected by the efforts for divisions on different grounds. Everyone can accuse the other one of being guilty for the divisions and qualify them as angry, full of hatred, especially if you hear the opposition how it names me and my colleagues, what nicknames and offences they give us and with what a frustration they talk about everything that we do or do not do, how easily they attack us, but I will not incriminate them in this interview, but I will say that everyone bears their equal responsibility for their actions towards the citizens, the country, the history and the future.

Which is the best way to reduce the differences between the political parties regarding the strategic issues?

Gruevski: There is no magic formula and every thesis without a specific deed just increases the common distrust and postpones the failure. We should know that every one of us sets the future that we will have, therefore, we should all equally give our efforts for the building process. There should not be any reservation or hesitation. Hesitation creates instability, and instability creates conflicts. We have to be led by the idea that we are an independent nation confident in its decisions and able to make decisions on its own, decisions which will determine the ways to exceed all challenges. A progress is to obey the law, the norms, the Rule of Law and the opinion of the others, no matter how much you disagree with them. Honesty is what we should not have doubts about, but it should be implied by every behavior of ours. Our focus should be on the individual and the development of their abilities. Only by this way can we obtain progress and well being, and be strong and united in the outer positions of the country. And as the opposition can accuse us of being responsible for the differences, so can we do the same thing, to accuse them, but where is the end of that. I say that the end is in the specific step, and the specific step is the deed.

Which are the best political moves of your political opponents?

Gruevski: This is, perhaps the best question we should answer and it could be the the first step towards mutual respect, and that is accepting the fact that we have more than 10.000 deeds and projects on the level of local self government, while on the level of central government we have more than 2.000 specific measures, reforms, steps on all fields, education, public health, culture, agriculture, sectors in which nobody invested in the past now have new equipment, also we have projects like “Patients first”, renovated hospitals, education, scholarships and specialization in the foreign countries for doctors, and payment according the done work, new 135 million euros subventions for agriculturalists just for this year, and reduced taxes on agriculture as well, double increased foreign investments regarding the past, investments on all fields of culture, books, theaters, constructions and national treasure as well as education where we are renovating 13 schools at the moment and building or extending 13 new ones, we gave free schoolbooks, computers, set new studying programmes through the whole educational system according the world’s models…

It also a fact that the tunnel in Strumica that major Zaev built, really improved the traffic, also the new square and its new modern image and the church that he has started building are things that stay for the people, the cities and the country and should be complemented, so as SDSM’s decision and their coalition to participate in the last local elections, which was the correct political move, or the decision to talk about finding a compromise for the events from 24th December, and the support that they give during the process of euro-atlantic integration. There are positively some other moves or gestures which were right and it is good that we can talk about who did what and complement that, instead of throwing insults and hate speeches. And that brings me back on the beginning, only deeds and specific steps can unite.

Which step of your political opponents brought most benefits to the citizens?

Gruevski: I was well enough extensive answering the previous question and here I would just add that when a politician sees its function through the prism of obtaining benefits for the citizens, then the unification about significant questions where the citizens are in the middle will follow as a rational and natural step and the very approach will create the confidence in the intentions of the other and will open the door for conversation and cooperation. Here, for instance, it is a positive step the returning of the opposition in Parliament, which allows this institution to function totally democratic. The members of Parliaments are chosen by the citizens who deserve to have their own representatives in the legislature, and it is a fact with such move of the opposition, no matter if they left from Parliament for a good reason or not, or whether that was their scenario for creating a mess, they are now far behind that and that is what it significant because it opens possibilities for cooperation and conversation.

What do you think of your political opponents as individuals, without the political context?

Gruevski: It is an honor that every of the leaders got the trust to run certain parties, which means they have the capacity to get the trust and lead. Generally, I think that we have more similarities than differences and that that should be used as the ground for an advancement of the interpersonal relations, which will also have a positive influence on the social subjects. For example, I would like to use this occasion to emphasize that I had a really correct meeting with the leader of the opposition and we openly talked about many subjects and I have the impression that it is not that much important whether we can obtain an agreement or common opinion on some issues, but whether we want to. Also, keeping your word, which comes from the belief in policy and their position, is one of the most important characteristics that can unite and create trust. At the end we all are people with families, lives, own pasts, good sides, but also with flaws, and if we see ourselves in that way, and not through the focus of some virtual trenches, then everything will be different.

LIDERI-3-Zoran-Zaev

Zoran Zaev

Leader of SDSM

WILLINGNESS IS THE KEY TO CONVERSATION, TOLERANCE, COMPROMISE

In stable democracies, the political opponents act with mutual respect and reverence. After the election duels, the angry rivals along with their families go to a common dinner in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. For the people’s delight and in interest of getting to know each other more.  Sad to say, the government in Macedonia imposes the relations under the motto: “I see you through iron sights and I shoot you through your heart”.

 

How can all Macedonian politicians unite themselves for the interests of the citizens?

Zaev: It is simple. Willingness is the key to conversation, tolerance, compromise. Those are the characteristics that true leaders have. Not populism, aggression towards one’s political opponents, hatred, threats, extortion, violence. Building an atmosphere of cooperation and mutual respect, and not divisions or accusing of treason and corruption. The current government, led by Nikola Gruevski, motivates and triggers disharmony in the society, totally different from the interest of the citizens.

Which is the best way to reduce the differences between the political parties regarding the strategic issues?

Zaev: The economic development and the well-being of the country are a strategic issue. So are inter-ethic relations, euro-atlantic integration, stable democracy, human rights and freedom of speech in public, functional institutions, objective judiciary, country’s stability and providing citizens’ security and peace…It is government’s fatal mistake monopolizing the strategic issues and treating the country as private property. The lack of conversation and building a common concept with the opposition seriously endangers the country’s interests.

Which are the best political moves of your political opponents?

Zaev: A serious political offer means consistency from the idea to the realization. It is not serious to give free schoolbooks, and then postpone their usage from three to five or more years because you do not have the means to print new ones. It is nonsense to provide computers in ruined schools with filthy toilets spreading diseases, without any good electrical wiring, totally neglected. To provide modern medical equipment, whereas patients waste their time in the waiting rooms hoping to be examined. A kidney to be operated instead of an appendix or a uterus instead of an ovary…

Which step of your political opponents brought most benefits to the citizens?

Zaev: I will continue. It is horrible when hundreds of million of euros agriculture subventions result with a decline of the agricultural productivity and converting the agriculturalists in a voting machine. In addition, the government projects are under a huge suspicion of doubtful procedures and embezzlement of national money. “Skopje 2014″ is the top of splurge and criminal and money laundering.  Unfortunately, this government’s projects have pure populism and unlawfulness.

What do you think of your political opponents as individuals, without the political context?

Zaev: In stable democracies, the political opponents act with mutual respect and reverence. They regularly debate their political offers in front of the public. They protect the interest of the country, not of the parties. After the election duels, the angry rivals along with their families go to a common dinner in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. For the people’s delight and in interest of getting to know each other more.  Sad to say, the government in Macedonia imposes the relations under the motto: “I see you through iron sights and I shoot you through your heart”.

LIDERI-4-Zikov

Ljupco Zikov

Citizen’s Alliance for Positive Macedonia

GOOD IN PRIVATE RELATIONS, BUT MISCHIEVOUS IN POLITICS

There is a traditional joke about political opponents ” when Vlachs open their Facebook profiles on the computer, the computer recognizes them and does not give them the option of the button ‘share’ “!

 

How can all Macedonian politicians unite themselves for the interests of the citizens?

Zikov: That is a million dollar question! The answer lies in the very question. They can unite only if they talk and act according to the interests of the Macedonian citizens. Citizens of Macedonia today have many temptations and problems. The Macedonian society is on the edge of many destructive elements: difficult economic crisis, huge unemployment, poverty, impoverishment due to the economic crisis, a huge population is emigrating (340.000 citizens in 15 years time). Almost the entire period of the Macedonian independence of 23 years and almost the entire period of transition. And we say that the crisis and the transition are good for a new start. What start, if we are rapidly losing the basic potential for development – the people.  What are we talking about at all?

For this reason, here I see a huge space and a potential for mental unification. Unification of the potentials within the Macedonian parties. Macedonians, Albanians and all other citizens. They should surpass themselves and the zone of the daily political destructive energy and to go over the space where the Macedonian future is. The progress. Because we are lost on that way.

For example, why do they bore us with why from the VMRO-DPMNE signed with a pen the paper called the report for 24th December, that they did not accept the legal remarks for 24th December when they signed the report and put a seal on it. Why do they bore the public!? So, it is important that at the end we got a report with which we saved the candidate status for EU. We even signed the report in front of an European messenger (shame on us).

Or another example, why it is important who brought the foreign investment for flowers in Strumica. Is not the fact that a new foreign investment came and that new work places will be open for both people from VMRO and SDSM in Strumica, more important. They have been fighting like they have discovered oil, and not greenhouses for the production of roses. I personally think that it is super investment. Good job. In about ten days were lost for nothing in both examples, instead of hearing something more important for everybody in this country from both parties.

However, what are ten days in comparison to the lost years of transition in which the political parties were occupied with themselves, with their own needs between their people. This is why there are so little answered questions of vital national interest.

Which is the best way to reduce the differences between the political parties regarding the strategic issues?

Zikov:  The destructive speech in Parliament and the media to be reduced. And to talk. Open debates. Many debates for various issues. There are so many smart people in this country, who are not members of VMRO-DPMNE  or SDSM, neither of DUI or DPA. Nor they work for the government. There are many clever people who live and work here in Macedonia.

When it comes to the strategic issues, my question is – does anyone in Macedonia know which are the strategic issues for the country’s progress. For its future. Or maybe, for its survival? Because, as we see, all options are on the table. All the time. The solution lies in the sincere opening of the subjects and in the sincere and productive conversation, negotiating and good compromises.

Which are the best political moves of your political opponents?

Zikov: I can not count some spectacular moves on the Macedonian political stage. There are ideas, but little moves. I would only separate the positive energy and the spirit of construction in Macedonia in the last years. Without going into the daily-political debate whether something should be build or not, building is always a good thing. Just not to destroy. Everyone that spreads such a spirit deserves an applause. Koce Trajanovski for Skopje, Zoran Zaev for Strumica. That is a good building energy which slowly has been spreading everywhere. Those are the real values… And this is a new ground from which every future government has to start if it wants the citizens’ trust.

Which step of your political opponents brought most benefits to the citizens?

Zikov: I prefer projects which are not related to the funds coming straight from the budget! I have been taught and bred to grow and develop on the street and through the market square. And that is the only thing I consider to be a healthy development. Hence, I can not separate who knows what project which is a huge benefit for the citizens in all these 23 years of independent Macedonia. Anyway, if I have to separate such project I will say that the subventions for the agriculturalists on a midial and long period will build a strong agricultural structure and competent enterprises in this area. Let not forget that the biggest part of the Macedonian population is rural, no matter where it lives – city or village. Here I also see the biggest potential for the development of Macedonia for a short or medial time.

What do you think of your political opponents as individuals, without the political context?

Zikov: Those are all smart and intelligent people. They are first for conversation. They are beautiful, with innocent looks, good in their private relations, conscientious in conversation, mischievous in politics, rational, calculating and hazardous in their moves! There is a traditional joke about them ” when Vlachs open their Facebook profiles on the computer, the computer recognizes them and does not give them the option of the button ‘share’ “!

Those are all macho guys who in the last decade the world’s politics and the international relations do not “accept”! Simply, “Grab them and run away”!

LIDERI-5-Stevce-Jakimovski

Stevce Jakimovski

leader of GROM

WHERE HAVE YOU SEEN A POLITICAL OPPONENT TO BOAST

It is not suitable for me to analyse the emotive characteristics of the political opponents. Citizens make that analyse and reveal it at the elections.

 

How can all Macedonian politicians unite themselves for the interests of the citizens?

Jakimovski: That mostly depends on those who have the authority. They should have the necessary level of party’s tolerance and patience.

Which is the best way to reduce the differences between the political parties regarding the strategic issues?

Jakimovski: To reduce the polarization of the strategic issues. That is why the leaders’ meetings are necessary. I consider that here president Ivanov is not enough involved.

Which are the best political moves of your political opponents?

Jakimovski: It is our job to find their worst moves. I do not know where have you seen a political opponent to boast.

Which step of your political opponents brought most benefits to the citizens?

Jakimovski: This question should be answered by the citizens.

What do you think of your political opponents as individuals, without the political context?

Jakimovski: It is not suitable for me to analyse the emotive characteristics of the political opponents. Citizens make that analyse and reveal it at the elections.