by | 15 September, 2023

The shame lies with them, not us.

1 In our country, those who break the laws are the ones in charge. The government  would do just about anything to make their lives easier. Laws are being changed to accommodate former bandits, current bandits and bandits in the making. And the government sells that as progress towards the EU. Whereas the law-abiding citizens are not even a topic of conversation at all. They are naggers who don’t understand politics.

The way the government diverts public attention hasn’t changed after the amendment of the Criminal Code, which reduced the sentences for corrupt officials. Until now, they underestimated our intelligence, but they’re now defending the indefensible with such arrogance that they probably think we’re really stupid. Since they got away with all of their nebulous activities, they expected the same outcome for this last manoeuvre. The Minister of Justice was abroad, the minister’s deputy signed it, it’s unknown who wrote the amendments to the law, suddenly the text was introduced in the Assembly, it was decorated with the European flag, SDSM seemed to be defending something, VMRO-DPMNE pretending to disagree and voila – Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevski boasting they’ve changed legal provisions dating back to the days of communism, the 19th century. Perhaps dating even back to the days before Ilinden.

They want to change communist laws? Yet, they can’t get out of the communist mindset that anyone who disagrees with them must be discredited. Their reflex is to label anyone who dares criticise them as – anti-European, VMRO scum, neutral VMRO scum, Albanophobe, Russian bot, and now also as a communist. And who says that? Children of communists, raised on the communist bread of the party that’s the successor of the communist party.

2 Over the past few days, SDSM has been going on and on about “confiscate this, confiscate that”. What they’re stating is that, yes, the sentences are being reduced, but that’s why they’ll confiscate property. Apparently, the idea is that officials would be deterred from stealing because their money would be taken. And all this time, they had been stealing because they knew that if they were caught, they’d go to prison, but they’d keep the money. Excuse me? Why would confiscation exclude longer prison sentences and a longer statute of limitations?

If our judiciary were good there’d been confiscations already. This only makes life easier for corrupt officials and corrupt judges. Until now, they had to pull strings, to give bribes, to come up with tricks to prolong legal proceedings. Now, they’ll simply need to pay, no need to come up with tricks, because the statute of limitations for their crimes will expire faster.

3 After all, the government led by SDSM began its mandate by implementing milder policies for lawbreakers. The first order of business was finding ways to legalise violations of the no-smoking law. Then they smoothly legalised the usurpation of public space, turning illegal outside seating areas on the pavements into permanent fixtures. With just one law, they legalised two law violations. Then they continued with the sale of state-owned land which were a real bargain, as Gruevski used to say when he bought plots of land on Vodno, followed by their “we must continue building”, by their “It can’t be a No! It has to be a Yes”, by raising the taxes of the payers, by rewarding non-payers, by giving some businesses state money and by forgiving debts of others and so on…

To every criticism they responded with: You’ll bring VMRO back. As if we’re dying for VMRO to be back, along with Nikola Gruevski and the entire criminal group SDSM saved from prison. As if we haven’t suffered enough because of them.

I’m still being dragged through courts as a witness in the wiretapping trials of which I was a victim, while the ones who discovered the wiretapping don’t come to the hearings. Yet somehow, I’ll be the one to bring VMRO back.

The criticisms were directed towards them precisely so they’d improve, as a warning, so VMRO wouldn’t come back. But no. They were unwavering, they had their way. Since the easiest thing to do for them was to say: Do you want to bring VMRO back? And we kept saying: No! It turns out that for seven years their focus was solely on the potential resurgence of VMRO. All this time there were just looking for someone to blame for that. And in the end, they took matters in their own hands and are bringing VMRO back on their own.

They carry the burden of shame, not us.

4 Zaev’s words “Let this evil not happen again!” are still ringing in my ears. And to crown their rule they amended the Criminal Code and legalised impunity. It reminds me of a certain president of the Anto-Corruption Commission who was hiding Gruevski’s property in 2016 and said: “I kindly ask you to close that issue, now and forever, amen!”

So, it’s not just that the communist articles of the law being annulled. Rather, it’s God’s will to let officials steal, for no one to be allowed to ask them how they spend our money and for them not to go to prison if they’re caught stealing. Amen.

5 At first I was a little disappointed, but I kept telling myself, there’s time, things will get better. When the scandal with the Special Prosecutor’s Office happened and those court cases failed, I was furious. Now I’m bitter and disgusted.

Yet, one must find optimism somewhere. You can’t live in apathy. Here, let us find comfort in the realisation that we’re onto them. VMRO was evil and couldn’t muster the strength to apologise for the evil it inflicted on our country. DUI is DUI – a gang that’s positioned itself as an evil we can’t do without, because without them things will be even worse. And after SDSM’s last lie that it’s a European value not to punish crimes involving state funds, I think that even the biggest apologists of the government are already struggling to find a way not to admit all parties are basically cut from the same cloth.

And it’s about time we stopped whining about the Colourful Revolution. Stop saying it was all in vain. It’s not true. The Colourful Revolution accomplished its mission. It brought about a change. The regime toppled. The truly colourful ones don’t regret the nights they stood vigilant at the camps of the high school students who protested, or the months when they marched on the streets, often at personal risk, because it wasn’t exactly harmless.

However, the truly colourful ones remained critical of the new government, often to their detriment. And the truly colourful ones are perhaps sorry that the government didn’t heed their calls for better and more honest governance, but that doesn’t meant they’ll forgive it.

This is our country, not the politicians’. And we must reclaim it. The other option is to move abroad or to sit idly here. Well, I neither want to move abroad, nor to sit idly.

So let that disgust from the bitter realisation that they’re all cut from the same cloth serve as motivation for a new battle.

Translated by Nikola Gjelincheski