Skopje Lajm in Albanian 17 Mar 10 pp 12, 13
Commentary by Milaim Fejziu, lecturer at the Albanian Diplomatic Academy and foreign public relations secretary of the National Democratic Union: “General Osbervations on Federalization”
Why is the federalization of FYROM a correct and sustainable solution?
Because, first, a federal FYROM would be the right test for democracy in FYROM and proof of its genuine democratization. It would also enable the country to be distinguished from a unitary, monolithic, undemocratic country and a single-party Macedonia just as it was in the period of socialist self-government. A federal FYROM should be in the best interests of both the Albanians and SlavoMacedonians, as it serves domestic and regional stability and democratic and integration processes.
Second, the federalization of FYROM would facilitate democratic developments and initiatives, as well as democratic integration in the region. In addition, this transformation of FYROM from a unitary to a federal state is in line with democratic principles and the
Third, FYROM’s federalization would justify the fundamental criteria for an equal status of Albanians and SlavoMacedonians by promoting the following criteria:
1. The criterion of the Albanians’ historical presence in these territories, also known as the criterion of autochthony, which history itself has proven.
2. The geographic criterion: The demographics of the Albanians cover a territory of 10,000 km2 out of the 25,713 km2 of FYROM’s total territory.
3. The demographic criterion, which focuses on the ethnic makeup of FYROM’s population, where Albanians constitute more than 35 percent, not 25 percent, as the State Statistics Bureau pretends.
4. The criterion of a people divided by force, a phenomenon that is already known in Europe.
Fourth, an Albanian-SlavoMacedonian federation would speed up the democratic processes and significantly improve interethnic relations and the prospects of cultural, social, political, and economic development. Furthermore, it would also instigate a swift democratic transformation of the country, thus ensuring a prompt integration into the family of the civilized world and clearing away dilemmas about FYROM’s existence and prospects in the Balkans.
As having a Albanian-SlavoMacedonian federation constitutes an important part of the Albanian national cause, FYROM’s federalization is of nationwide significance.
Fifth, in addition to the independent and democratic Kosova [Kosovo] and a consolidated Albania, an (Albanian-SlavoMacedonian) federal FYROM represents “sine qua non” [previous three words in Latin, meaning “indispensable condition”] to advance the Albanians’ position in the Balkans and create a new political equilibrium in the region.
Given that the Albanians represent natural supporters of Euro-Atlantic integration, the federalization of FYROM would be of great importance to the major Western powers, such as the United States and EU, as an Albanian-SlavoMacedonian federation would serve as the biggest barrier to Slav Orthodox, Byzantine, and pan-Russian attempts to invade these lands. To this end, both the United States and EU would certainly back an Albanian-SlavoMacedonian federation. It is quite natural for these powers to intervene in creating a Euro-Atlantic and democratic Albanian-SlavoMacedonian federation.
FYROM is effectively already federalized, but without territorially specified federal units. The ethnic Albanian political class should urgently adopt a united political stance and present the demand to set up an Albanian-SlavoMacedonian federation as the correct and sustainable decision to ensure an equal status for the Albanians and SlavoMacedonians.
In conclusion, I would like to stress that I could not remain silent over some people’s tendencies to blow Albanian politics off course. I have deliberately not spoken about our internal rifts, the need for improving the Albanians’ legal and constitutional position, and the need for national unity among Albanians and for the democratic transformation of our society, no matter how shocking the FYROM’S camp may view this prospect of FYROM’s federalization and no matter how much excitement it may stir up in the Albanian camp for revenge among the Albanian parties. Nonetheless, I would like to raise my voice against the policies intended to denigrate and ostracize genuine intellectuals over some of their ideas, such as that of FYROM’s federalization. Democratic societies normally encourage debate and dialogue. They encourage debates between intellectuals rather than prison. They encourage dialogue, not rifts.
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