By Pavle Mikow

The day after the EU Summit, I was reading the Twitter installment of Ambassador Gerard Araud, current French ambassador to the US and former ambassador of France to the United Nations here in New York, during which time I worked and closely collaborated with Ambassador Araud on a variety of issues that dominated the agenda of the UN Security Council at the time. I couldn’t but agree fully with Ambassador Araud’s defense of France’s consistent position on the question of enlargement of the European Union. I couldn’t but also wonder how it was that Macedonia’s political leaders could be so short-sighted as to not see it themselves, too.

President Macron of France has been attacked and vilified by many following his firm “Non” to Albania and the Republic of Macedonia starting accession negotiations with the European Union towards eventual full membership in the EU.

President Macron, however, should be given a major break! Why? Because, the idea that Macedonia has delivered on its commitments and so it should be rewarded in return is largely false. The fact of the matter is, unfortunately, that this government’s and Prime Minister Zoran Zaev’s Macedonia is a country in an unenviable and discreditable state characterized by the converging twin phenomena of “Boki 13-Katica Janeva-Plus” and the total collapse of the EU-inspired, one-sided and wholly contrived Specijalno Javno Obvinitelstvo (or SJO, Special Public Prosecutor) entity; a phenomenon which has unequivocally manifested corruption and criminality stirred by and stemming from the very top of the government.

Why would the “self-appointed masters of the Macedonian universe,” namely Zoran Zaev, Nikola Dimitrov, Bujar Osmani and Radmila Sekerinska, think with a comically high-degree of confidence (or so they claimed when addressing the publics) that with the utterly scandalous “Boki13-Katica Janeva-Plus” and the disintegration of SJO having happened at the proverbial “five to midnight” Macron & Co. would give them a date to start their accession talks towards membership in the EU? It’s the height of naivety, absurdity and self-blinding ignorance!

Second, and more important, the supposed “achievements” of the current government in Macedonia, which it seems virtually everyone in Europe, except Macron, says should be recognized and duly rewarded were in fact “accomplished” through illegitimate and illegal means. Four vignettes will suffice:

– from the utterly strange, forced and entirely unconventional installment of the current “President” of the Parliament of Macedonia,

– to the undeniably failed and illegal referendum,

– to the capitulation, and even dehumanization, of the Prespa Agreement,

– to the more recent utterly presumptuous and cheeky disregard for Council of Europe’s venerable Venice Commission and its devastating verdict about the twisting and denigration of law on the question of use of the Albanian language in Macedonia.

These, and many more such deeds we have witnessed during the reign of the current government led by Zoran Zaev over the past three years, are not “achievements” to be rewarded, dear European friends. These are deeds that our beloved Europe, the cradle and beacon of democracy, should unambiguously condemn and seek to rectify. These deeds have amounted to the complete humiliation, disrespect and dehumanization of Macedonia and its populace. These are deeds that, in the very least, call for Zoran Zaev’s immediate resignation, as well as the resignation of the trio around him, i.e. Dimitrov, Osmani, Sekerinska. These are deeds that call for the banishment of the current government, and their imminent submission to a thorough and unimpeded investigation for their national, political, diplomatic and economic betrayals of and treacheries against the Macedonian people, their dignity, wellbeing and future prospects of their country.

To be very frank and open, I in fact, while not a member of SDSM (or any party in Macedonia) did support change of government three of so years ago. And while not convinced entirely about what Zoran Zaev and his team could in fact do, I chose to give them the benefit of the doubt. However, when I saw what Zaev and team did with a failed referendum (pushing it through “bez pardon” as we say) and defying the will of the people/voters, that was “it” for me. Since then I have opposed practically everything Zaev and Government have been doing. I have considered them incompetent and arrogant and an embarrassment.

In this light, President Macron should be given a break! No, he should be thanked profusely for helping the people of Macedonia, irrespective of their national background, to finally see the “elephant in the room,” and hopefully begin to address the obvious.

Zoran Zaev calling for early elections is neither enough, nor impressive. Especially because it is apparent by now that he has called for early elections not because he, his SDSM party, and those immediately around him feel even a bit of contrition, but rather because they calculate that they might successfully play the “victim” card in the upcoming election, and hopefully win. But, I do hope the citizens of Macedonia will see through this, and rectify the criminality, corruption and incompetence that Zaev, Osmani, Dimitrov, Sekerinska, etc., have perpetrated, by voting for change of government, and the banishment of the “quartet” and their minions.