by | 7 July, 2023

Well done to the government that wants us to associate it with bar owners who do as they please.

1 For the first time, the largest high schools in Skopje, which traditionally experienced enrolment frenzy until last year, were not filled in the first enrolment period.

How can we motivate children to stay in Macedonia? With Dimitar Kovachevski’s speeches that once we change our Constitution everything will be better. With Bojan Marichic posting on Facebook from Brussels that he was on a screening meeting and that once we include Bulgarians in the Preamble we’d be good to go. With the peacemaker Bujar Osmani, the chairman of the OSCE, who’s more likely to succeed in pacifying Serbia and Kosovo than Slupchane and EVN. With the leader of the opposition, Hristijan Mickoski, who said that the accusations about the theft of an unprecedented scale that his party made with “Skopje 2014” were an attempt to defocus the public from the denial of the Macedonian identity.

Certainly not. Children want to have a better life now. They’re tired of listening to the sad stories of their parents and their grandparents about how someone stole half of their yard, that they got caught in never-ending cycle of going to courts, but still they didn’t get justice. Children want to know when their bus will arrive when they’re going to school or university, they want to have textbooks on time, they want professors with integrity, not party lackeys. And when they graduate, they don’t want their parents to be humiliated by the parties blackmailing them – we’ll hire your child in the civil service sector, but you whole family has to vote for us.

Children want life now. Not – after we include Bulgarians in the Constitution. Especially because they know that even after the change of the Constitution, and after the real start of the EU accession talks, their lives will still depend on local thugs with stolen luxury cars who are pretending to be the crème de la crème of our society. You might get run over on a pedestrian crossing and you’ll still be found guilty in court.

2 I, too, want seemingly ordinary things. I don’t want anyone to harass me with illegal constructions. I want clean streets and the grass along the roadside to be mowed. I want to drive along Partizanska Boulevard without getting in a traffic jam because of the dudes who’ve parked illegally on the third lane. I don’t want to be afraid of losing my life in Debarca when I’m on my way to “Ohrid Summer Festival”, but not like the partisans in the Second World War, but in this time of peace, of NATO and of Europe, on those bloody 50 kilometres that have been under construction for 10 years with a billion of our money, and are not likely to ever be finished. They neither build a new road, nor do they fix the old one. I don’t want to be eaten alive by dogs at the square of our capital. I want to go to the Manaki Film Festival in Bitola in style, to get on the train, to have a good time there, to have a drink or two and to get back home safe and rested, without having to go full throttle overtaking lorries at Pletvar, on the road Tito built for us. When I go skiing on Popova Shapka I want them to give me a parking receipt. In the “land of the sun and the best tomatoes in the world” I want to eat healthy vegetables, not ones watered with the acid pools in the mines of DUI-VMRO-SDSM. If I’m a diabetic, I want my therapy to be available on time, and not for the Minister of Health to be the reason for my blood sugar spikes by saying “it’s the tender’s fault”. Oh, tender, shame on you! I don’t want my peace and quiet to be disturbed by bar owners who break all the laws, ranging from usurping the public space, all the way to blasting loud music after working hours and harassing entire neighbourhoods, but they’re still untouchable because the ones who need to punish them are customers they can count on.

After all, SDSM began its rule by changing the smoking ban law to allow bar owners to usurp the pavements with illegal constructions cleverly masked under the guise of outdoor seating areas, and it now ends up with arresting hospitality business owners suspected of illicit trade of stolen cars. Well done to the government that wants us to associate it with bar owners who do as they please.

But, no. Let’s change our Constitution and we’ll get access to the European funds. We’ll get access to them so that they’d misuse that source too. They’ll rig the tenders, they’ll scratch each other’s backs. We’ve had access to them for quite some time, but they didn’t know how to use them because of how incompetent they are. And the ones who are competent give the tenders to people close to them.

And when you say all of that aloud, they even get mad at you. You’re the one to blame because you’re asking for a normal life, and not the ones who are not making that possible.

I no longer feel like listening to Kovachevski, or Osmani, or Marichic when they speak about how nice things will be once we change the Constitution. Mickoski, on the other hand, had seven years to find the courage to apologise for the evil his party committed, but he didn’t, so whatever he says is totally irrelevant to me. And with the current Constitution, no one’s stopping politicians from providing us with better living conditions. Neither the central government of SDSM and DUI, nor the local authorities of VMRO-DPMNE. On the contrary. That’s exactly what we expect from them. That’s why we elect them. And we pay them for it. Who’s stopping them from making our lives better now?

3 For instance, who’s stopping the residents of the village of Slupchane from starting to pay electricity from today? The entire Government is begging Slupchane to pay for electricity. EVN teams entered the village to repair a defect caused by electricity theft, with guarantees from the Minister of Economy, Kreshnik Bekteshi, and the Mayor of Lipkovo, Erkan Arifi. Why do you need a minister and a mayor from DUI as a guarantee that EVN teams won’t get beaten? Have politicians from DUI perhaps guaranteed those citizens – don’t worry, don’t pay for electricity, we guarantee that no harm will come to you.

Wait a minute. This is just the first stage of the peace negotiations between EVN and Slupchane – just to have the defect repaired. In the second stage, when EVN will need to change their electricity meters, we might have to call peacekeepers from the UN. And once the time comes to make the citizens pay for electricity, we’ll probably have to organise a peace conference, with mediators in Oslo, so it won’t take place in Skopje or Vienna. Since apparently they are being discriminated against and forced to pay for electricity just because they’re Albanians.

When they fly the Albanian flag in Macedonia, do they know that people in Albania have to pay for electricity? In which NATO country does not paying for electricity become a human rights issue? In which NATO country is not paying for electricity treated as an ethnic problem? In which NATO country does a minister guarantee an Austrian company that it can enter a village to repair a defect, which was caused by the same citizens that gave the minister a guarantee they wouldn’t beat the teams that are supposed to repair the defect?

4 Employees in the public administration take unpaid holidays three months long and go to Croatia to do seasonal work, while their job position here is held for them until they return. The Minister of Information Society and Administration, Azir Aliu, says that “this phenomenon is also bad in the long term, because the people who go there, make contacts, get offers for other jobs and we may lose the employees in the public sector”.

I sympathise with the Minister’s concern that we might lose the employees in the public sector. To put things into perspective – they have a reliable income, they have a guaranteed paid annual leave, they have long weekends with all those state and religious holidays, no one is allowed to forbid them to take three months of unpaid holiday, no one can take their job position from them, and now there are concerns that they might make contacts in Croatia and we’d be left without public administration. We’re not that worried that we’re left without our doctors, engineers, repair workers and police officers, whose education is paid by us from cradle to graduation, as much as we’re worried that someone we can’t find here for a simple stamp will excel there as a beach boy or as a hotel maid. We can’t get something done here because they’re working aboard at our expense. Who’ll work instead of them, if they’re gone for four months? Or are there so many of them that their absence is not felt. The same way it wasn’t felt during the covid crisis when they worked from home.

Just as one of our readers commented on this topic: The current public administration is taking a great toll on the citizens.

Still, there’s been great progress since 2017, when Minister Damjan Manchevski begged the employees of the public administration who were sitting home and getting paid, to come to work.

That being said, why do we worry about that? Let the parties worry because they’ll be left without public administration. Those are their most reliable voters.

5 The EU proposed to the Government to send an assessment mission for the work of the Judicial Council. And the Judicial Council most shamelessly welcomed the decision of the EU with a statement.

What will the European mission assess in the Judicial Council? The only thing it can assess there is the lack of shame of the members of the Judicial Council.


Translated by Nikola Gjelincheski