VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickoski again attended the protest in front of the Parliament and said that “Northern” would not be my homeland, only Macedonia is. He told the assembled supporters that VMRO-DPMNE will fight to stop the Prespa deal and, if it fails now, to eventually get back “what is ours”.

You can’t erase our name by pushing a button or by signing a piece of paper. The name is the sinew connecting what we are and what we’ll continue to be. Their goal is to break us, to force us accept everything else that is coming, Mickoski said, warning of further concessions along the way if the amendments to rename Macedonia are approved in Parliament.

Zoran Zaev has been trying to secure the 81 votes for two days now, and another attempt is scheduled for Friday. According to Mickoski, Zaev’s Government is banking on success in the name change as an only way for them to remain in power.

Witness their work in the past two years. Their results are nowhere to be seen. We are dealing with amateurs, with people who are greedy for power. Not a day goes by without a new scandal, a murder, an armed attack, an unresolved incident. The people live in fear and poverty. We have to stop them, we will defeat them, first at the presidential elections and then we will send them permanently to the dark recess of history at the next general elections, Mickoski told the protesters gathered in the snow and bitter cold, awaiting the latest on the developments in the Parliament building across the street.

Mickoski listed the number of instances when Zaev publicly swore, on his children even, that he will not push for a change in the Constitution and will not allow any new name to be used domestically, replacing the Republic of Macedonia.

He is a person who kept our brothers and sisters in prison for over a year in politically constructed cases. He will remain remembered as a man willing to sell the name of his own country. They’re losing control, this machine left over from the criminal days of the 1990ies. Zaev swore in what is dearest to him that he will not amend the Constitution. It only shows you what kind of crooks they are, men of no honor, no dignity, Mickoski said about the constant raids and arrests of VMRO-DPMNE offcials and supporters.

The VMRO leader said that his opposition to the forced name change is not driven by animosity toward the European Union, but by love for Macedonia.

It is only natural that Europe is where Macedonia will turn to. It is a goal we need to move toward in realistic steps. But we get further and further away from Europe with every day this person is in powr. The Government is trying to create the impression that the choice is between going forward or backwards, but the choice is actually between Zaev’s career and the future of Macedonia. Given this choice, we choose Macedonia. The proposed treaty is bad and as the leader of VMRO-DPMNE I personally promise you we will do everything in our power to stop it. I can’t promise you we will succeed, but I promise you I will do everything to do so together with you and so that we can get back what is ours and what somebody is now shamelessly trying to sell, Mickoski said.