It is very difficult to offer serious commentary about an agreement that was kept hidden until yesterday, when your respected newspaper published the original version. The whole process has been lacking in transparency, it was even kept from the political actors that have a say in international relations (such as the President of the Republic). Despite political statements to the contrary it is now obvious that we do not have a national consensus or even a political consensus. The Republic of Macedonia’s elites failed to build a clear state policy and strategy with regard to the name issue (as the Hellenic Republic did from the onset), which was exemplified by Zaev when he stated that he has no ‘red lines’. In his ignorance, during an interview for a Greek TV channel, he spoke of ‘shining lines’ to show the way out, referring to ‘Ariatide’ (meaning Ariadne), but ended up with a Pandora’s box. I have hardly ever agreed with President Ivanov, but this time he got it right: the proposed agreement is in clear breach of the Constitution, it does not deliver a dignified (or win-win) solution, and represents a recipe for internal turmoil. Instead of stabilitocracy or moving ahead, Zaev’s government, which failed to deliver anything significant in regard to democratization so far, now, may lead the country into a new wave of instability, polarization and even confrontation. That the road to hell is paved with good intentions is affirmed again. Mogherini and Hahn are overoptimistic in claiming that “this achievement belongs to the leaders of the two countries and their teams, but first and foremost it belongs to all the citizens of both countries, and of Europe as a whole”. This is a misrepresentation of the citizens of both countries, who are not stake-holders of the process. The deal was instigated (if not entirely drafted) by foreign experts. The internationals around Nimitz have collaborated with an attempted constitution-breaking exercise, and this is wrong. The rule of law is very precious everywhere. This process goes against all stated policy of the international community which is to strengthen the rule of law in the western Balkans. In Greece, the opposition parties are strong and freedom of the media is better maintained. In opposite, the citizenry here is exposed to unprecedented pressures to accept an agreement unless it wants to be labelled anti-Western, primitive and nationalistic. Tusk’s statement that ‘the impossible is becoming possible’ sounds cynical, because the government has given up the two most important pillars of the national position: no constitutional review (it was previously amended with the same goal – in vain), and a rejection of the erga omnes principle. Not only has Zaev agreed to a constitutional change, which, by definition, involves interference in the state’s sovereign internal affairs, but he agreed that the new name should be applied internally as well as externally. No wonder that a majority citizens (including the opposition) perceive this an act of capitulation. The main body of the text makes a mockery of all the international legal norms that guarantee individual and collective rights. Zaev’s government has sacrificed everything that is not for sale (be that for the sake of NATO or EU membership), and ironically accepted a very ‘irredentist’ name (where is South Macedonia?). In this wave of artificial euphoria, very few think of the price of the deal (led by geopolitical concerns, not the concerns of the citizens), in terms of the societal and economic costs of this ‘achievement’. Sadly, the establishments of the two states have miserably failed to institute confidence building measures and develop flourishing cultural, sporting, academic and other ties between the citizens of two societies.
Коментарот на професорката Ванковска е објавен во печатената верзија на весникот „Катимерини“ на 24.06.2018, а достапен електронски во грчка верзија овде
Фото: Zoran Zaev/Facebook