European Western Balkans

View from Albania: Quo Vadis Macedonia?

meta_maliTIRANA – Regardless of the extent to how the general public in Albania is burdened with its own burning political problems at the moment, undoubtedly, its attention in the last two weeks has predominantly been turning towards its eastern border, towards Macedonia where the political crisis is escalating and on the table are issues that one way or the other, is the interest for all Albanians, Meta reports.

As expected, statesmen, politicians, analysts and journalists extensively commented on developments since the Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov refused to give the mandate for a new government, and in the country protests began against the Albanian language. Ordinary Albanians are commenting more about the current political crisis in their country which began taking a shape resembling the Macedonian, with the opposition’s boycott, but do not forget to “look” over the eastern border, reports Alida Karakushi, Meta’s correspondent from Tirana.

Many are surprised and it seems absurd to them that someone is protesting against their language. Their opinion is well reflected in the comment by renowned Albanian journalist Mentor Kikia, who said “to force half of the population to protest against the use of the language of the second half is something that is more likely to happen in some lost country in Africa where societies are still organized by tribes, and not through institutions.”

Columnist Mentor Nazarko said that “Slavic-Macedonian oligarchy is most probably in a panic because of the loss of the power than the Albanian language.”

Paskal Milo, a historian and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania, agrees with Nazarko, saying that if the circles around VMRO-DPMNE don’t work on the situation but out of fear of losing power they continue to bolster people to protests combined with ethnic hatred, has a big possibility for Macedonia to enter into a new even more serious situation that can lead to unforeseen consequences for its future.

“If these circles led by VMRO-DPMNE aren’t brought to their senses but continue to instigate people’s hatred towards Albanians, under the weight of the fear of losing power, then there is a chance that Macedonia might experience an even more serious situation that could lead to a conflict with unpredictable consequences for the future,” said Milo, the former Albanian Foreign Minister in an interview for “Gazzetta Shqiptare”

He said that the situation reminds him of 2001, when officially Tirana was accused of causing tensions.

Regarding the attack on the Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama by Macedonian officials, this week at “Top Show Magazine” there was a debate during which Artan Grubi of DUI explained that the Albanian platform was made in Skopje, but because of its rejection by Besa, Tirana intervened to gather us all, and by doing so he rejected the accusations that the Albanian platform is a Platform from Tirana.”

Arbana Xharra, a journalist from Pristina commented that such a move from Besa was not surprising, as this movement is directly sponsored by Erdogan.

“In 27 years, Albania has given Macedonia a lot more than what it received in return,” says political scholar Afrim Krasniqi. He adds that Tirana gave its vote for Macedonia was rejected by other countries. Moreover, Tirana opened its border when an embargo was imposed on Macedonia, and also it remained silent in many cases where the Albanians in Macedonia were discriminated.

Krasniqi concludes that the essence of the intervention from Tirana is the implementation of the Ohrid agreement, while official Skopje reacts with arrogance as it blames the neighboring country via protests against another ethnicity, thus attempting to create a regime with an ethnic discrimination as the main criteria.

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