The European Union (EU) has deferred the decision to set a date for accession talks with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) until 2010. A statement made by EU foreign ministers in Brussels said they would revisit the issue during the Spanish EU presidency, sometime between January 1 until June 30, 2010. This should not come as a surprise, as clear statements have been made by Greece and reiterated by the EU leading up to the December 7 EU foreign minister summit in Brussels, which ask for a compromise to be made by both sides on the Macedonian name dispute. The EU ministers stressed the need for a resolution of the name issue and of maintaining good neighbourly relations, which Skopje has yet to achieve. FYROM´s hardline approach over the last few years has dampened its chances of entering NATO and now the EU. The nationalistic overtones stressed by the current government in Skopje, and by its Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, are transparent: “”Greece has already done a big political damage and history will prove this. But we will not be broken by injustice,” PM Gruevski stated (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-12/09/content_12619280.htm). FYROM President Gjorge Ivanov echoed PM Gruevski´s attitude: “Macedonia was and will be in Europe, with dignity and freely” (http://www.focus-fen.net/index.php?id=n202866).
Statements such as these do not achieve friendly neighbourly relations, on the contrary, they assist in marginalising and polarizing the population living in the FYROM. This view was recently taken by Angel Dimitrov, the former Bulgarian ambassador to Skopje (1994 – 2001) and former Consul General of Bulgaria in Skopje (1992 – 1994) in an interview with FOCUS News Agency: “I would say as recent months and years showed that the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is incapable of taking measures with regard to resolving disputes with neighbouring countries, especially with those that are part of the EU”. He continues with: “the hate language is just a single element of the hate culture fostered in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia ever since 1944 (since the setting up of the Macedonian republic as a federal component of the Yugoslavian Communist Federation). The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was possibly the single part of the Federation that was allowed to exhibit a sort of nationalism that was employed to handle the internal opponents to the new regime and its ideological postulates. The doctrine of Macedonism was supplementary to the doctrine of the Communist ideology and was imposed with the same means” (http://www.focus-fen.net/index.php?id=f2154).
The current government in FYROM must now address the needs of its citizens, as expressed by the leader of the Democratic Party of Albanians (DPA), Menduh Thaci. According to Thaci, if discrimination against young Albanians continues in the FYROM, there is a distinct possibility of renewed conflict between Albanians and Slav-Macedonians (http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=110663). In addition to this, unemployment in FYROM is three times higher than the average for the European Union, FYROM Alfa television informed. With 38% unemployment, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia tops the list on this index in the region, media informed. (http://www.focus-fen.net/index.php?id=n202805). It is therefore, in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia´s best interest to reach a compromise with Greece, and to show that it is indeed capable of following EU principals and policies.
Australian Macedonian Advisory Council (AMAC)
Source: American Chronicle
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