How come Macedonian political parties sitting on the negotiating table for something that is of no interest to the Macedonians, ignores the Americans and the Europeans, and it is not part of the legislation stemming from the Ohrid Framework Agreement until Zoran Zaev’s opening of the political Pandora’s box. The US Ambassador in Skopje gives us a clear answer on this question which everyone in politics should be aware of. He indirectly told us that in this case nether the US nor the EU has been pushing for the acceptance of something that is a priority only for Albanians. According to Baily and according to the behavior of the European officials, one can easily conclude that although Brussels and Washington insist on extending SPO’s mandate, they did not want to discuss the Albanian platform. In fact, from this it can be concluded that behind the platform, which as we already understood SDSM and DUI agreed on, lies only the spirit of the Framework Agreement which, although was completely embedded in the Macedonian Constitution, still lives in the minds of some irresponsible politicians from the Albanian bloc, but also in the reality of some Macedonian leaders.
Who loses and who wins?
According to DUI, or its spokesman Bujar Osmani, Macedonians should not oppose the latest set of Albanian political parties in Macedonia because it doesn’t deprive the Macedonian of any right. Osmani is somewhat right. Macedonians do not mind the Albanian MPs speaking their native language in Parliament, while some of them as Talat Xhaferi, even for weeks were quiet in Albanian language when DUI was against passing laws that didn’t suit them.
Macedonians, or most of them, don’t mind Albanian citizens being able to freely use their native language in municipalities where they make more that 20 percent, which was implemented at their request in 2001. Much less someone is bothered by the fact that in court Albanians are able to defend themselves in their mother tongue in order to have easier access to justice.
But Osmani and DUI, and all Albanian parties should know that many are bothered that many Albanian political activists and intellectuals insist on something that no unitary state in the world has. As the Albanians do not understand why the Macedonians are worried about something in which they “will not lose anything,” common Macedonians cannot understand what benefit would Albanians have from placing a sign board reading “Mirë se vini në Maqedoni” beside the board reading “Welcome to Macedonia” in Macedonian language at the Delcevo border crossing.
The federal arguments of the Albanian politicians and intellectuals
In order to substantiate such demands, which should lead to the use of Albanian as an official language throughout Macedonia, examples such as Switzerland, Canada and Belgium are used. Thus Albanian intellectuals and politicians are directly telling us how they see Macedonia in the future and if possible in the present as well. Not as a civil but as a federal state because both Switzerland and Belgium are federal states with constitutions that are completely different from the Macedonian constitutional and political system. Another strong argument, according to Albanian leaders, is Kosovo, where even though the Serbs made only 3 percent they have the status of a constituent nation. But everyone forgets that the founder of the former Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo is Serbia, which is not as important as it is important that the Kosovars didn’t grant these rights to the Serbs, but the international administration.
Language as a communication channel and as a collapsed bridge for communication
Another absurd idea which no one speaks of, but is present in the plans of DUI, Besa and Sela and refers to the requirement of introducing Albanian language as compulsory for all students in Macedonia. Learning another language is treasure itself, but only if one disregards the reluctance of Albanian politicians for Albanian students to begin to learn the Macedonian language in the fourth grade or never to learn Macedonian if they do not live in a mixed environment. If negotiations between Zaev and Ahmeti end successfully for SDSM and DUI, and disastrously for Macedonia, the Macedonian language as one of the few common threads between Macedonians will disappear because if there are two official official languages with equal status, it is not logical Albanians to learn Macedonian language if they do not have to or Macedonians to learn Albanian. So communication between them will go through translators and foreign facilitators or they will speak English or French among each other.
But the language for which now Ahmeti and Zaev are negotiating is not exclusively communication category. Language in a country like Macedonia, where political rights depend on statistics, there is another deep political and ethical dimension. Namely, consider the level of assimilation of Turks, Roma, Macedonian Muslims, Bosniaks and others who know Albanian as a second language or live in areas where Albanians predominate.
With the introduction of Albanian as an official language across the whole territory of Macedonia, dangerous pressure will be exerted on all smaller ethnic groups, which not only will be under pressure to use the Albanian language, but also to declare themselves as Albanians because in Macedonia, and generally in the Balkans, it is not logical to use the Albanian language and belong to a different ethnic group.
On whose behalf does Baily speak?
The position of the US ambassador expressed at the beginning of this article is interesting in terms of the forces behind it. What does Baily understand under international community? Is it a combination of the US and the European Union without Albania, which directly participated in the preparation of the platform? Is it, perhaps, only the US and Great Britain, which has already decided to leave the EU and many of its policies, particularly in the Balkans, will be coordinated with the US? Is it the position of the new US administration, which has great differences in foreign policy with the EU and Germany as the driving force of the old continent and the region? If it is the first option, Bailey should have answered why the US as not interested in the platform did not sent a message to Edi Rama not to meddle in the internal messages in Macedonia. Or, Bailey cannot publicly admit that Tirana did not want to hear the US message because there were other messages that Rama may have obtained from other friendly countries, some of them even friendlier that those not interested in the platform. If the US Ambassador was more transparent and open about the things that interest us, probably many of these questions would have been pointless. Now it is an obligation to publicly ask them with the hope that one day they will be answered.
The penalties for treason are harsh
The political reality in Macedonia can lead us in a situation where Zaev forms a government and agrees with the requirements of the platform with the explanation that “something had to be sacrificed for the fall of Gruevski’s regime.” Moreover, Zaev and all others who play with the Macedonian Constitution and stability for petty daily political dealings must once again be reminded that they will be held accountable before two judgments for the damage inflicted on the Macedonian state. One is the judgment of history, the other is the judgement of the people, where there is no forgiveness, no parole, no probation. The same applies to all Macedonian politicians, also to Gruevski and Ivanov, and Amdi Bajram, and to Ivan Stojiljkovic and Ivon Velickovski. The Macedonian people are open, sympathetic and provide help. Sometimes the Macedonian people make mistakes, especially in elections, but above all they reward those who work in their interest, but severely punish those who solve their own impotence with treason to the detriment of the hardly-obtained state.