by | 28 May, 2021

Everything feels meaningless when a child dies because of cruel bureaucratic negligence.

1 The senior-year student Toni Sali passed away at 19. He fought with the state for 10 years to get his unique master citizen number. The Office for Management of Registers wouldn’t issue him a birth certificate. It wouldn’t recognize his biological father and conditioned him with registering a foreign citizen as his parent, although he wasn’t his father. And after that they asked him to have that paternity annulled – because such were our laws. And since Toni didn’t have a unique master citizen number, he couldn’t have a GP. Nor could he have social assistance. Nor a bank account. His family was poor, so he couldn’t afford private health care. And just like that – Toni died. We don’t know how. He’s gone. But, it’s like he’s never even existed. All that’s left are the fives in the report cards, because someone in this country figured out that based on the Convention on the rights of the child Toni could enroll in school even if he didn’t have a unique master citizen number.

Everything is done according to the law in this country, where unique master citizen numbers are created for nonexistent citizens, where several ID cards with different addresses are issued to the same people for vote rigging, where valid forged passports are issued to criminals from all over the world, but there you go – when it comes to Toni from Shutka, who was a poor straight A student who won awards, nobody in the country could find a solution.

How will they live with Tony’s death, all those clerks who had been harassing the kid and his parents with full stops and commas for 15 years, bogging them down in red tape, sending them from one counter to another, from one institution to another and kept convincing them that – such were the laws, and the laws had to be obeyed.

In the end, it will turn out that Toni’s case was a systemic mistake of the institutions. In a couple of days we’ll forget about it. Institutions don’t have a soul. But the people working in those institutions have a first name and a surname. Do those people have a soul? Or do they have only a party membership card?

2 When “SAKAMDAKAZAM.MK” started writing about the case of a child who didn’t have a unique master citizen number, Toni was 17. Until then, his parents had been trying to exercise their rights through state institutions for 15 years. The Ombudsman has been dealing with the case for the last four years. Toni couldn’t be helped even by the lawyer, who was representing him for free, or by the Ministry of Justice. The case is stuck in the Office of Management of Registers.

And what can be done now? The Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg could find the state guilty, so that would give posthumous satisfaction to the parents.

Everything feels meaningless when a child dies because of cruel bureaucratic negligence. Because of someone there who doesn’t use their brain at work and gets paid with our money. Not only do they not use their brain, they’re not even interested in the matter.

3 If we look at the “European perspective” of the country from Toni’s and his family’s perspective, we’ll see how utterly meaningless our “moderate optimism” is, hoping that Bulgaria will lift their veto for the EU just because President Rumen Radev didn’t insult President Stevo Pendarovski while flying to Rome in the Bulgarian plane.

And it’s pointless to discuss the way the state decided to thank Serbia for giving us Covid-19 vaccines when we desperately needed them to protect at least the health care workers at the front lines of the fight against Covid-19. All those who are picking holes in this measure, forget that we used the Serbian vaccines to vaccinate the police and the army. The MPs as well, no matter how unimportant their opinion is.

The state which is incapable of implementing an electronic pay-toll in the west of Macedonia, will thank Serbs by letting them travel to Greece without paying, instead of stimulating them to go to Ohrid and Prespa.

4 All it took was for the pictures of the knitted penis models to be posted on the Facebook profiles of the groups leading the protest against the digital textbooks, to reveal that those people don’t have a problem only with the digitalization. They’re against sex education being taught in schools and demand that the topics of gender equality and inclusion be abolished, since as a result of that sort of education girls would have to wear the penis models. Where did they get that idea? Who knows. But they find it scary enough to be afraid.

On top of that, they demand that religious education be brought back in the school curriculum. The only thing missing is for them to demand that girls and boys study in separate schools. Then, we’ll be able to go back to the 19th century peacefully. Just in time to get a running start in the negotiations with Bulgaria.

Translated by Nikola Gjelincheski