1 You can’t blame people for asking more money from the state. You can’t blame them for blaming the state for everything they don’t like. That’s because for thirty years all the previous governments have been making a privileged class just for themselves. A state job. Hired with the help of whichever party was in power then. And that privileged class thinks they have the right to be maintained with privileges by the state. To ask for more money by the state. Without even asking if the state does indeed have money. And without asking where the state would get that money. They simply need to be given money. Like spoiled children throwing a tantrum in a grocery store.
As if the state is something abstract, something up there that you can take stuff from, something you can exploit, something you can trick… As if the state are not all of us taxpayers who fill the budget to enable the state to work well. However, the government and the opposition don’t care how the ones filling the budget feel. The thing they care about are the ones spending the money from the budget. That particular group of voters is under their control. That’s why it’s the only one they service.
A Covid crisis, an energy crisis, a war in Ukraine, a food crisis… the whole economy is collapsing. Entire factories might be shut down. It’s bound to happen for small companies. People will be left without salaries. Still, the administration will go on strike. Since they find it humiliating to get salaries which are slightly higher than the minimum salaries of the employees in private companies who actually provide those salaries. They’ll even be paid the annual leave allowance. To make state jobs even more attractive. And to make the life of people with private businesses even more complicated.
Give us money now, and tomorrow we’ll boo the state. The money from the loan to service the administration will have to be paid off soon. Who’ll pay off our debt, when the hardworking have already left the country, and ambitious kids go to study at universities abroad. How will we pay off the debt when we no longer make even peppers as we used to? The Government will give the privileged class some of the borrowed money, but then we’ll have to kill ourselves like Greeks did in 2008 after losing their houses and businesses because they spent what they hadn’t earned. Banks will come here as well to take what they had given. The difference is that Greece is in the EU, so there was someone to save it. There’s no one to save us.
2 When it comes to this topic, it’s not nice that the situation with teachers and children was the last straw. At the beginning of the strike there was solidarity and understanding. But then they felt 10 percent raise wasn’t enough. Then they accepted 12 percent. Then they changed their mind and continued to strike. They joined Easter with 1 May and Ramadan Bayram. When all of that is combined with the anxiety about the end of the school year, high school enrolment, state exams, university enrolment and the “spontaneous” protests over continuing the strike, the sympathies disappeared.
The 2020 Human Capital Index by the World Bank shows that a child born in Macedonia today will reach only 56 percent of their potential when they grow up.
Of course, the stories about the salaries of teachers in Finland sound really nice. But we should talk about Finland once we reach the results of Finnish students taking PISA tests. Not when we’re ranked among the last in Europe.
After all, teachers are educated, well-read, understanding people. I don’t think they haven’t heard that there’s a war in Europe, that electricity bills are going up all over the world, that there’s a crisis over gas and oil supplies. I don’t think they don’t understand the basic logic that in order to provide money for them, it has to be taken from others. But isn’t the circle small, and are we not all in it? The fact they now have the power to use children’s fates for blackmail, won’t save us from going bankrupt together in future.
3 The employees of the Registry Office are also on strike. They’re demanding higher salaries for the Office where not only do you have to wait for weeks and months to be issued a birth certificate, but the State Audit Office determined that, annually, more than 20,000 documents are issued with mistakes.
Their union said that no one recognized their work. How are we to recognize it? They deserve higher salaries only if their work is recognized according to the number of mistakes they make, not according to their performance. If they get paid per mistake, the state will go bankrupt.
They say, it’s all right, those who work make mistakes. But, why should they make mistakes with my money? Let them make mistakes with their money.
Imagine if grocery store cashiers working for a minimum salary kept making mistakes. Who’d pay for their mistakes? Customers? Or will they themselves pay for them and get fired. Imagine if seamstresses earning a minimum salary made so many mistakes that they produced 20,000 faulty items? Who’d pay for their mistakes?
So here’s where things stand. Employees in the private sector, who aren’t allowed to make a mistake, should now provide the pay rise of the employees in the public sector, who are allowed to make mistakes 20,000 times a year. And instead of getting discarded, they dare go on strike for higher salaries and blackmail the whole country that they’d issue only “marriage certificates every now and then”.
Which private company could deal with the production of 20,000 faulty products?
4 VMRO-DPMNE issues a statement in the morning saying they support the strikes of the teachers and the public administration and criticizes the Government for not giving them higher salaries. Later that day, in another announcement, they criticize the Government for their intention to borrow 900 million Euros to ensure the country’s liquidity.
VMRO-DPMNE, as a party that has been in power for quite some time, should know that there are only two ways to raise salaries when there’s no money. The first is to take a loan. The second is to return the money that their party leadership deposited in Belize and other attractive offshore destinations.
Translated by Nikola Gjelincheski