The “Parasites” affair shows unfair treatment of the citizens in Macedonia. While every average person barely makes ends meet, a small group of government henchmen who, on the backs of all citizens, are getting enormously rich and have huge incomes, says the leader of VMRO- DPMNE Hristijan Mickoski in an interview with “Republika”.

He explains that we hear from the Government how they would reduce salaries, lump sums, and fees, and on the other hand we see how these henchmen get rich and become millionaires in one term and earn several hundreds of thousands of euros each.

It is a hypocritical attitude and double standards by the Government towards the citizens and shows its true face. By all parameters, this Government is the most unsuccessful and manipulative. There are things they do with intention and there are things they don’t know how to do, and when all that is united in one mosaic, we come to this “Parasites” affair, says Mickoski.

He also commented on the new scandal of issuing Macedonian papers to the suspicious Ukrainian politician.

When I disclosed the first affair, Minister Spasovski accused me of obstructing the investigation, and the person who committed the crime was accused and some of those people ended up in prison. Are they the real ones who should have ended up in prison? I said then and now I say no because these are not the people who can meet Vukotic or Sedat Peker on their own and give them passports, but they must receive the order according to the vertical hierarchy and unfortunately, the one who is the most guilty is still the Minister of Internal Affairs. So is this latest case, issued papers to a person who is blacklisted by the US. On the one hand, they keep talking about EU and NATO, and on the other hand, they are ready to do anything for crime and money. As a person I am shocked, I am shocked by the ease with which passports are given to people with a dubious past.

He promises a serious investigation into all this when his party comes to power.

Many things will need to be investigated and checked immediately after the formation of the new government led by VMRO-DPMNE and to be most severely sanctioned so that it does not happen again. I maintain the opinion that those passports cannot be given by the common employees and they must receive direction from higher authorities. It will be revealed one by one who are the orderers, the creators, the screenwriters, promised the leader of the opposition.

Speaking about the amendments to the law on associations and foundations, Mickoski explains that they were the initiators of these amendments and that those clubs should be closed immediately because the Macedonian club that was opened in Bulgaria was immediately closed.

Mickoski clarifies the dilemmas that appeared in the public about whether he requested the closure of the “Vanco Mihajlov” club or only “Tsar Boris”.

The closure of the Bulgarian clubs is not because someone was a collaborator or was not with a regime. It is because of political reciprocity. If the Macedonians in Bulgaria cannot have their own club where they can organize themselves culturally or have rights that are the result of the rulings at the court in Strasbourg, I don’t see any reason why these 1500 citizens of Macedonia who declare that the Bulgarian language is their mother tongue should have such a club and organize themselves in Macedonia. Whether it’s club Ivan or Vancho Mihailov or Tsar Boris the Third, it doesn’t matter to me in a political sense. Both of them should be closed, and the third one should not be allowed. When we talk about political reciprocity, then no club should be left open because our people in Bulgaria are not allowed to have their own clubs.

He revealed the true intention of SDSM.

The intention of SDSM was to vulgarize what I said in a recent TV show and make a parallel with Ivan or Vanco Mihajlov. I said this – at the 1995 Kicevo congress, a decision was made recognizing the continuity of the historical VMRO and the contemporary VMRO – DPMNE with the first congress in 1991 in Prilep.

Starting from the first congress in Resen until the eighth in 1932 in Gorna Dzumaja, starting with the first in Prilep or the ninth in continuity, ending with the seventeenth in Skopje. And yes, part of these congresses and the president of VMRO in the historical sense of the word, Ivan Mihajlov. And yes, he was in exile in Zagreb where he lived and collaborated with the then Independent State of Croatia, which was a fascist or Nazi ally. I do not agree with how he managed that party or organization at that time, how he behaved and with whom he cooperated. Just as maybe in a few decades someone will not agree with how I or some of my predecessors managed VMRO-DPMNE in a historical sense. But this is the continuity of an organization that is becoming a political party in modern times. What does SDSM want? They want to say – you had a collaborator in your structure who was close to some kind of fascist regime, and that means that you have no right to use the letters and organize the party as VMRO-DPMNE. First of all, they wanted to portray us as a radical right and to prohibit functioning as VMRO-DPMNE, and to declare it extremist and terrorist. Now they want to draw some parallel with some fascist collaborator. But they will not succeed because the people are behind VMRO-DPMNE. And the closure of the Bulgarian clubs in Macedonia, I emphasize that all clubs should be closed as a measure of reciprocity because the Macedonian club, because the Macedonian club in Bulgaria was closed and no new one should be allowed, even if it bore the name of Pero Javorov, Hristo Botev or Dimitar Blagoev, any club that may not be so compromised and controversial. The mere fact that our people there are not allowed to organize a club should mean a measure of reciprocity and none should be opened here again.

Mickoski also explains why Kovacevski accuses him of being the promoter of these clubs.

I found out that he is cooperating with a new PR agency and I guess they are telling him. But what he is saying the citizens do not feel for the simple reason that they know that these provocateurs in Ohrid and Bitola opened these clubs not that they want to organize themselves culturally but to provoke and show dominance. They happened at the time when Kovacevski is the prime minister. These days we heard one of his coalition partners saying that the Bulgarians liberated Macedonia. There was no greater benefactor for Bulgarian appetites in Macedonia than Kovacevski, not even his predecessor who said that we did not have a shared but a common history, that we were one people, that they were administrators, not occupiers, and whom Kovacevski said was his loyal henchman. Even he did not do as much for the Great Bulgarian appetites as Kovacevski. Everything that they advise him to say and attack VMRO-DPMNE and me personally, the citizens do not accept that.

Mickoski says they will ask SDSM to distance itself from its communist past as the successor to SKM-PDP.

The struggle of the Macedonian people for their own independent state in the heart of the Balkans began much earlier and in that continuity we have the VMRO organization when the Ilinden Uprising also happened, which failed but showed a defiant desire in the Balkans. That continuity then continues. If it weren’t for those Ilinden people they would have had neither ASNOM nor the first partisan units that bear the names of Goce and the rest. Some of those people, like Pavel Satev and Venko Markovski, ended tragically precisely because of the repression and aggressive measures of the communist regime against them because of the Macedonian feeling and the desire for their own Macedonian state. If SDSM, at the beginning SKM-PDP accepted all this and declared itself the successor of that communist regime, the least it should do is, instead of baseless spin and lies, apologize to the Macedonian citizens for the crimes that communist regime has committed against the Macedonians activists, patriots, and people who fought for their own Macedonian state.

Mickoski also explains the situation of the Macedonians in Bulgaria.

The situation is very complex. Everyone complains, and it was interesting to hear the speech of one of our people there who spent time in prison because of his Macedonian feeling and the Macedonianism he propagated in the Pirin part of Macedonia. He gave an emotional speech in front of the monument of Dimitar Blagoev in Blagoevgrad and where he talked about all the things that happened to him because of his determination as a Macedonian and his mission to spread Macedonianism among Macedonians. From what I heard from those people, they say that the young people did not come because they were afraid of repression. But even the elderly really had a difficult life talking about their Macedonianism and the Macedonian spirit and identity. As a future government, I will take serious steps to help those people, especially the young people, to preserve and nurture the Macedonian tradition, to transfer the Macedonian identity to their children.

Mickoski emphasizes that from the leaders’ meeting it is known the government is far from 80 MPs to change the Constitution, which means that they have undertaken an obligation that does not depend only on them and that this meeting should have taken place before Kovacevski and Pendarovski accepted what they accepted.

A logical consequence of things is to have early parliamentary elections, to go before the citizens, to tell our plans so they can decide whether they will support them.

Mickoski also spoke about the coalition partner among the Albanian parties.

VMRO-DPMNE is the largest political party and has the capacity to determine the coalition partner itself. I see a potential partner in the Albanian opposition. But that does not depend only on my desire, but also on the election result and the Badinter rule.

The leader of VMRO-DPMNE revealed to “Republika” for the first time that he is considering leading a candidate list in the next elections.

In the last elections, I came out as the leader of the campaign and as a candidate for prime minister, which perhaps from today’s perspective was a wrong move and step. In these elections, I will lead one of the candidate lists and be mandate-holder for the composition of the future government.

Mickoski is satisfied with the first year of work of the mayors.

They can always do more, but based on the opportunities they had and the conditions in which they worked, I am very satisfied. There is no affair or abuse with any of them. The people work according to the principles we agreed upon, honestly, responsibly, dedicatedly, and courageously.

He regrets that there is no report from SDSM mayors.

It is capitulation on an open stage. They have serious municipalities like Strumica, Kriva Palanka, Centar, Valandovo. If they have done something they could brag about it. There is no report because they do nothing, they enjoy privileges on the backs of the citizens.

Mickoski hopes that Skopje will not be stuck either.

Through the councilor group we will fight for as many projects as possible, for the concept of a modern Skopje because it was a winning concept which we backed as well as the independent candidate Arsovska. She accepted that concept, we accepted it, we held the elections and won. We continue with those activities through the councilor group.

Listen to the entire conversation in the video interview conducted by Igor Caveski