by | 2 February, 2024

Even if we were occupied, no matter which foreign government was in power, they would still issue us personal documents.

1 The judicial precautionary measure – confiscating the travel documents of suspects and those accused of a crime – has started to lose its meaning. Starting from 13 February, half of our citizens, caught in the crossfire, who are neither suspects nor accused, will be subject to the precautionary measure. Even if they don’t deposit their passport in the court, they won’t be allowed to leave the country. They’ll be under state arrest. Because they failed to update their passports with the constitutional name of the state. What’s even worse is that if they still haven’t updated their ID cards, they won’t be able to travel even to Vranje in Serbia for shopping at “Lidl”.

Precautions aside, due to the failure to replace all old passports, teenagers who’ve just turned 18 are unable to obtain ID cards. The first appointments to have their photo taken at the Ministry of Internal Affairs have been scheduled for September and October. They won’t be able to vote in the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections this spring. This irresponsibility of the authorities and the state administrations has led to this – thousands of young people, who are already of legal age, will have their fundamental civil right to vote revoked, although it’s guaranteed by the Constitution. The right to elect and be elected. If they were to file a lawsuit at the International Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg tomorrow – they’d beat the state.

It sounds harsh, but how else can you call it but a state falling apart when it can’t issue personal identification documents? High school graduates for whom the state fails to provide textbooks and report cards on time, are now facing the stress that the matura exam might be delayed because the employees at the exam centre will go on strike, which means they won’t be able to meet the deadlines for college enrolment, and are now confronted with the possibility of not being able to vote in the first elections for which they have the right. In the next elections, four years from now, maybe they’ll vote in some local elections in the UK, Switzerland, France, Germany…

Why? Because someone in that administration, which spends the taxes we pay to the state to provide for salaries, didn’t do the job they’re getting paid for and failed to update personal documents with the new constitutional name of the country on time.

That’s why we shouldn’t be surprised how many children didn’t show up at school in the second semester, because their parents moved out during the winter break.

2 On 31 January, the Macedonian National Theatre celebrated its 79th anniversary. Put in the context of a state that’s left its citizens without identity documents, here’s a simple comparison of the sense of responsibility and statehood between 1945 and 2024.

On 2 August, 1944, ASNOM declared Macedonian statehood, and the Macedonian language was officially recognised. Just five months later, during the still ongoing Second World Way, the Macedonian National Theatre was founded on the liberated territory. In May 1947, the Opera was founded. In 1949, the Ballet was founded.

So, in the most difficult years after the liberation, in a devastated country, with a majority of the population being illiterate, the state founded three crucial cultural institutions.

As a contemporary of this independent Macedonian state, a member of the United Nations, I sometimes wonder if we’ve founded anything of such importance for the Macedonian identity self-awareness since 1991. Almost eighty years ago, the state managed to establish a theatre, opera and ballet. And now, to crown its incompetence, the same country, now a member of NATO and a candidate for the EU, isn’t able to provide its citizens with personal documents.

Even if we were occupied, no matter which foreign government was in power, they would still issue us personal documents.

3 While the system is collapsing, we find ourselves talking about a technical government, technical ministers, SDSM, VMRO-DPMNE, DUI, all the way to the first Albanian prime minister, celebrations, receptions, greetings and congratulations… Wow, what a success, a technical government. As if we’ve forgotten that the very invention of the technical government was a defeat of democracy. We couldn’t peacefully remove Nikola Gruevski and VMRO-DPMNE from power, so the USA and the EU devised a way for us to have at least some conditions for fair elections in the future, in case someone attempts to hijack the state.

And what did the technical Prime Minister, Talat Xhaferi, do as soon as he was voted in the Parliament? First, he raised toasts with the party leader Ali Ahmeti, who was singing in one of the offices in the Parliament, while dudes from DUI filmed themselves drinking and smoking. After that, he went to lunch at Macedonia Square in the company Mercedes, and his entourage parked their cars in front of the café in a pedestrian area where driving and parking are prohibited. The same way a guy from Arachnovo who, around the New Year in 2020, drove a “Bentley” from Gate Macedonia through the tunnel of Christmas lights and drifted around the fountain on the Square among the people…

Is this what they aimed to achieve with all the drama of “Pse jo,” then “Pse jo” four years ago, the special lighting of the Skopje Fortress, the Albanian flags, the red ties, the badges with “said and done,” the act of flying eagles with their hands? Was all that razzmatazz for this? So that the first Albanian Prime Minister could park his company car in a prohibited place and smoke in a state office where smoking is legally prohibited? Was this the essence of the “Pse jo?” What’s so heroic about breaking laws?

I believe Albanians, like the rest of the citizens in our country, are also rather disappointed by this approach to the role of Prime Minister, especially because of the far-fetched expectations.

4 Meanwhile, DUI’s opposition went to Kosovo for pre-election consultations with Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti. They reached an agreement on how to participate in the presidential elections in Macedonia.

In the previous elections in Macedonia, the parties of the Albanians went to Tirana for consultations. Now, they’re going to Prishtina.

And they even get mad if you say that they’re behaving as if this is not their country.

5 I don’t want to say anything about VMRO-DPMNE this time. What can be sad about the largest opposition party that suggests its own ministers for a technical government and then doesn’t vote for them?


Translated by Nikola Gjelincheski