From the time that we voted for an independent state at the Referendum in 1991, I cannot recall a time when someone or something had not been threatening to challenge or shatter it. Usually someone from the inside, in politics, assisted by the media and academy. A mouth full of patriotism, and working in the service of those around them and a bit farther away, and certainly mostly for themselves.
WITH POLITICIANS FROM THE 19th CENTURY
The Macedonian state was born at the end of the 20th century, but a good part of the politicians of that time lived in the end of the 19th century. This refers also to those who are among those credited for its independence, such as Ljubco Georgievski. From a few years ago, he has shyly started walking outside the 19 century. The greater part of the party that he founded, has remained in the 19th century. And they are not alone in that, and among their “like-minded” are also parties of other ethnic communities (parts of peoples).
Kiro Gligorov and several other politicians and public opinion makers, at the early stages of the Macedonian independence, fortunately, were in the appropriate century. Maybe they were not progressive enough, nor nurtured the same values the most progressive part of our society advocated for, but were sufficiently wise and bold leaders, to lead the Macedonian state towards the future, to provide the independence and what we have today.
LESSONS FROM THE DISINTEGRATION OF THE FEDERATION
While the bloody wars raged through the Balkans in the 1990s, while maps were being planned, cities bombarded, concentration camps built, we lived in peace. With all the troubles, blockades and difficult incidents, both internal and external, nevertheless, we remained in one piece, while the Federation was disintegrating through destruction and bloodshed.
We managed with the help of the democratic and progressive part of the international community, walking on edge, even from the military conflict in 2001, to draw far better lessons than the countries did in the former federation in which we were for 45 years. And to turn it into a positive social and political heritage, although with bitter and painful memories of the lost lives in those unfortunate events.
THERE ARE MOMENTS
After 30 years of independence of the Macedonian state, there are moments when I think that we do not deserve to live in our, independent state. I am shocked from the irresponsibility of some citizens, particularly from those who deal with politics or in any way take part in it, even if as party bots.
And they I say: Simply, they do not deserve this country. They do not deserve all of this effort made by progressive intellectuals, artists, activists and politicians.
What do I want to say? Do you want an example, one of the thousands? A great man like Blaze Koneski, does not deserve to be called “the dwarf of Nebregovo”. One excludes the other. Either Koneski did not deserve such a statement from a high-level official, or the “author” of that statement does not deserve this country. Because, Koneski is embedded in the foundations of this country.
Let’s be clear, “deserving” here does not at all mean what that word would mean to the radicals in the country. Especially because I do not mean that, because everyone deserves to live freely and in a dignified manner, in their own country, no matter how radical and irresponsible one is. It means more that they have not deserved the public attention, and even less to be at high-ranking positions in society and the state and to grow old taking advantage of public money.
Some of the policy and public opinion creators most often have been and still are attached to states, secret services and other structures that do not mean well for North Macedonia, who would like to see it unstable, poor and isolated. They would like to see our country under someone’s boot, divided and enclosed with barbed wire, in which they will be the fatty serfs enjoying the power and money of the people.
That is why they are working hard to change the public perception for those countries who have been supporting our independence from day one and are guaranteeing our stability, security and sovereignty at the borders. That is why they want to change the perception of what democratic and progressive processes are. That is why they do not stop undermining trust, sow hatred and call for violence. They are, mildly put, irresponsible characters. But we will fight for them as well to live in the independent Macedonian state freely and in a dignified manner.
EQUAL PART OF THE WORLD FAMILY
After thirty years of independence and statehood, our country today is an equal part of the world family of independent states, with a recognized name, identity, language and culture, a respected member state of great worldwide associations and organizations.
Our state, after so many ordeals, a difficult and problematic transition and authoritarian rule, is now recognised in the world for its peaceableness, constructiveness and progressiveness. The Prespa Agreement will remain noted in world history as an example of overcoming disputes. And the numbering of our great successes as a state does not stop here. Political leaders in a country deserve much credit, but the support of the people is decisive. If it is lacking, it all might be a noble, but unsuccessful attempt. In the Macedonian case, it is a matter of success and reality in which we live.
THE DIRECTION IS KNOWN
The direction is known – progressive, multicultural, democratic and peace loving community of Macedonian citizens. A state in which it works every day on promoting human rights and freedoms, without fear from the state apparatus (it was not always that way). Everything else will take us back to where we do not want to see ourselves and the future generations.
Therefore, let’s leave the thoughts of the destructive structures aside at least on this great holiday, look behind us and remember the mistakes and be proud of the achievements. Let’s look to the future and try to be proud of what we have achieved in the past at the next such jubilee.
And let’s not forget to thank the great and sincere friends in Europe and in the world, who were and still are with us, both in the difficult and beautiful days for our country.
Happy Macedonian Independence Day!
Translation: N. Cvetkovska