Former Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, who lives as political emigre in Hungary after being deposed in a “colored revolution” issued a lengthy call for a “new paradigm” in the fight for the Macedonian name and statehood. Its corner stone is to continue the battle from within NATO and the European Union, and in that sense Gruevski welcomed the signing of the NATO accession protocol today.

Our long standing paradigm to achieve a reasonable compromise with Greece has failed. The imposition of a puppet Government in the Republic of Macedonia destroyed our concept to seek a just, fair agreement and a reasonable compromise. Macedonia gave up nearly everything in the name talks. Greece won almost everything it wanted. In the newfound situation, a new paradigm is needed regarding the name and the identity. This paradigm will be the basis for action after the puppet Government is gone, Gruevski begins his remarks.

Gruevski goes on to explain how the ratification of the Prespa agreement in Greece is further proof that Greece achieved all the goals it could ever wish for from the Zaev Government, adding that even the Greek conservative opposition, although nominally opposed to the deal, understands that it is a major win for Greek national interests.

We lose the name, identity, culture, we allow them to intervene in our education. We have a state with undefined national attributes, which we don’t identify with and which are imposed on us, accepted only by the puppet Government against the will of the people. On top of this, the main opposition party in Greece, which is expected to soon nominate its Prime Minister, is still openly threatening to block our EU accession and announces it will impose new conditions on our identity, Gruevski writes.

In this regard, according to him, Macedonia needs to realize that the defeat is only one battle in the 140 years long struggle for Macedonian independence, and that the future of the battle will be waged within NATO, which Macedonia is supposed to join in short notice, and the EU. Gruevski calls on the Macedonian leaders not to do anything that would jeopardize the EU accession process, asking that the fight for the name is resumed only after Macedonia is in the EU.

He defends his 2005 decision to call for a referendum on the name change, which, Gruevski adds, is now the main basis on which the fight to reverse the name change will be fougth.

Our key goal in this period was achieved. The puppet Government did not win the support of the citizens at the referendum. This will be the foundation on which we will build the new name paradigm. In 2005 I proposed the referendum precisely as defense from what eventually happened – defense from bribed, blackmailed, puppet politicians who would compromise on the name issue. I would have preferred a clear vote against the name change, and I was proposing this outcome – with serious preparations, beginning in the spring of 2018, and with numerous observers, we could have achieved a grand victory for the “no” camp in the referendum. But, the speed with which the proposal to boycott the referendum spread among the public, it would have been risky to push for a vote against the proposal since it would have divided the national voting block and would only make it easier for the Government to complete its operation, Gruevski adds.

The homegrown boycott campaign was immensely successful, and only about 36 percent of the voters eventually went to the polls, and even the late evening push to stuff the ballot boxes in many ethnic Albanian districts failed to bring the turnout to the required 50 percent.

It was always clear that it will be easier to bribe or blackmail 20 or 200 politicians than to bribe our people or half of them. I admit I feel pride in promoting this strategic project to hold a referendum on any proposed solution to the name issue. Even with the unfortunately phrased question, asking the citizens if they support EU and NATO membership as well, the Government was unable to win over enough of the voters, Gruevski writes from Budapest, insisting that the vote in the Parliament was only delivered due to the repressive measures, with “hundreds if not thousands” of targeted criminal charges, threats, the constant workplace pressure, attempts to stop buses with protesters from reaching the capital…

Gruevski repeats his position that he supports Macedonian membership in EU and NATO, “but not like this, not with a humiliating and harmful treaty and a complete surrender of all our hard fought gains”. He expects that, if no early elections are held in 2019, Macedonia would be a NATO member state by 2020, and between 20 and 30 percent of the EU accession talks would also be completed y then.

I fully understand the wish of many of us to alter the Prespa treaty before we join EU and NATO. I know how sincere they are, but I also realize that these desires will be difficult to accomplish. We need to be very careful in the next six to eight years, lest we lose both our name and the EU membership. Since the puppet Government brought us to this difficult situation, we need to prepare the groundwork first and to secure allies in order to correct the enormous damage that was caused. It won’t be an easy operation, Gruevski said, announcing that the real battle for the name is yet to come, from within the Brussels institutions.

Нова парадигма. За името.(Го честитам денешното потпишување на протоколот за НАТО. Размислувања за нова национална…

Gepostet von Nikola Gruevski am Mittwoch, 6. Februar 2019