RIP Republic of Macedonia?
Not a very uplifting title for a year-end column, eh? Sorry about that. I’ll get to the good news in a moment. But first, here’s an arresting thought: let’s say, for the sake of argument, that Zoran Zaev gets his so-called Prespa agreement through parliament in a few weeks, and that the former VMRO-DPMNE renegades and all of the minority Albanian parties vote with SDSM and the Government of Zoran Zaev to change Macedonia’s name, identity, language, history, culture, heritage and much more. At that point, in order for the changes to take effect, President Ivanov must approve of the changes.
And as we know and as President Ivanov said last week in no uncertain terms, he will not sign anything that harms and has the potential to destroy the Republic of Macedonia. In fact, in his year-end address to the people and to parliament, he reminded the Macedonian people that, in giving the mandate to form a government to Zoran Zaev back in 2017, he demanded that Zaev give his written guarantee that he would not undertake a number of activities that would harm Macedonia. And we all know that Zaev has done the opposite which is why President Ivanov explains in his annual address why he did not sign the so-called law on language and why he will not sign the so-called Prespa agreement. It may take you 20 to 30 minutes to read it, but I strongly urge you to read his entire speech at this link. President Ivanov elegantly, eloquently, and forcefully defends the Republic of Macedonia, the Macedonian people, the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia and every aspect of what makes Macedonia a home and unique. (I have also posted highlights of his speech here, with a link to the entire address as well).
Now, at this point then, the parliament of Macedonia has passed the agreement and the president refuses to sign it. Our Greek friends, of course, will go ballistic. First, will they vote for it in their parliament if President Ivanov has not signed it, meaning it is not legally valid? Second, we know that the Greeks will put enormous on pressure on everyone in Macedonia, on the government of Zoran Zaev, on every political party in Macedonia, on every individual in Macedonia and on the international community everywhere to start referring to Macedonia in a quote “a good-faith effort” as they will likely say, as “North Macedonia,” and to start to referring to the Macedonian people as “of the Republic of North Macedonia” and the language as “South Slavic,” and as “the language of the Republic of North Macedonia,” etc. How do I know this? Because they have already started demanding this and some in the international community have already started using these terms.
Next the question then becomes: what does the Government of Zoran Zaev do? Do they acquiesce and agree to Greek demands? Do they kowtow to their Greek overlords? Do they abase themselves and start using these terms? I’m not entirely sure of the answer — but the truth is, we will know very soon.
Of course we know what President Ivanov will do. We can be assured of what VMRO-DPMNE and their members of parliament will do. And we know for damned sure what the majority of Macedonians will do — they will all continue to say “Macedonia,” “Republic of Macedonia,” “Macedonian,” “Macedonian language” and other such terms and they will continue talking about the Macedonians who live, laugh, and love in Greece, in Bulgaria, in Albania and everywhere else Macedonians live around the world. Why? Because this is the truth and the truth sets you free.
What happens then is anyone’s guess but I can reasonably assure you there will be a great deal of confusion, chaos, finger-pointing, and anger — and that’s just what will happen in Macedonia and primarily among Government officials and the political parties which make up the Government.
Greece, as I noted earlier, will go ballistic, as will our Bulgarian friends and others. The international community will dither, initially, but eventually, while putting enormous pressure on President Ivanov to sign Macedonia’s suicide note, the internationals will likely start using terms approved by the Greeks, and agreed to by Zoran Zaev and his quislings, at least in official capacities. But the vast majority of Macedonians, both inside Macedonia and outside of Macedonia, will go on using the same terms and language they have always used. In fact, the vast majority of the people of the planet will do so as well.
Not only that but President Ivanov and the vast majority of Macedonians — in the Republic, outside of the Republic in neighboring countries, and around the world — will ignore the so-called Prespa agreement and will continue using the name Macedonia in all of its meanings, for the rest of their lives. They will pass those thoughts and truths down to their children and their grandchildren so that they, in turn, can pass these things on to generations of Macedonians not yet born. And, in addition to this, a resistance will rise that will work to reverse this traitorous agreement, that will work to thwart the various requirements of the so-called agreement at every turn; this includes in the spheres of education, history, heritage, business and the economy, culture, and much, much more.
The spirit that is Macedonian cannot be extinguished by a piece of paper and a group of parliamentarians and government officials who, after all, only self-serve for a season. That Macedonian spirit will continue to burn and grow, but only if it is maintained, nurtured, and fed. I, for one, am convinced that Macedonians will undertake that task, even though it will be difficult at times, with gladness, joy, and determination because that is the Macedonian spirit and the way of the Macedonian people — not just surviving, but thriving, as Macedonians, as Macedonia.
A very Happy New Year to you and to Macedonians and their friends everywhere!