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Former Austrian ambassador to Macedonia: If they force Ivanov to give in, multiethnic Macedonia will be divided

The essence of the Tirana platform is creating a bi-national state, whose final goal is secession of the Albanian-inhabited territories, Dr. Harald W. Kotschy, former Austrian ambassador to Macedonia writes in an extensive and detailed analysis for the Visegrád Post web portal.

Mass rallies for an undivided Macedonia

The United States and its vicarious agents in Brussels, as well as NATO and the OSCE are interfering for two decades in the domestic affairs of this sovereign state – locally through their ambassadors or directly from their capital cities – and thus can rightfully be described as its “quasi-governors”. Fueled by these interferences the long-standing political crisis in the Balkan Republic of Macedonia is approaching a climax and can degenerate every minute into violent clashes. For example, when – as intended from abroad – its Parliament is convened illegally in order to make use of new majority ratios to elect a government without the participation of the President of the State, i.e., in an unconstitutional manner. The fuse glows.
On the basis of the results of the early elections being held in December 2016, these whispering advisers from abroad want to force the President of Macedonia to appoint a government coalition consisting of the ethnic Macedonian Social Democratic Party and all ethnic Albanian parties. This would be a decisive step towards the division of the multiethnic country along the linguistic borders.

For three weeks now, up to 150,000 or more people from all the social strata and from all the ethnic groups living in this country – with the exception of Albanians – have been demonstrating every day in all major cities and villages for an undivided Republic of Macedonia, regardless of their political conviction. Today (March 21, 2017) more than 50,000 people were on the streets in Skopje only, Macedonia’s capital. These demonstrations have been peaceful. Contrary to the Hooligan demonstrations of the previous year instigated by the Soros network which have left behind damages to the public buildings visible until today.

This initiative, launched by a nonpartisan committee of citizens, artists and intellectuals, is either simply ignored by the international mainstream media, or their reports do not tell the true facts.

A “Potemkin style“ census – faked information on the size of the Albanian minority

The approximately 2.2 million population of the small sea-secluded country in the center of the Balkan Peninsula includes, in addition to the 64% ethnic Macedonians (the state’s titular nation), more than half a dozen ethnic groups. The political landscape is organized according to ethnic criteria.

The largest minority are the Albanians who are almost exclusively Muslims and whose predominant settlement area is relatively clearly defined in the north-west of Macedonia along the border with Albania and Kosovo. In the course of the centuries, they have infiltrated across the mountains from the Adriatic area. Their strongest influx has been after WW2, when many ethnic Albanians from Kosovo and Southern Serbia moved to the more liberal Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

However, today, the number of the Albanian community is controversial. The official figures say 25%, but the 2002 census on which this figure is based was probably accompanied by irregularities. On the one hand, it was a “Potemkin style” census: international observers reported that villages having been known as deserted for years were suddenly filled with life, with Albanians from Kosovo coming massively across the green border, moving from village to village and playing their “residential population”. Furthermore, the results of the census have been delayed for years, which suggest additional manipulations of the figures. Since 2012, the ethnic Albanian politicians (with the support of the “quasi-governors”) have successfully resisted to a new census for the simple reason that a properly determined result might show that the Albanian minority does not reach the necessary quorum in order to enjoy the privileges which only a minority of 20% of the population is entitled to. The number of Albanian-speaking residents is probably hardly more than 15% -16%, as can be seen by extrapolating the figures contained in relevant documentations of the social insurance and passport authorities.

Albanian chauvinism as a biblical sourdough in the country

Macedonia is a classic “fault-line country” between two civilizations, in the sense of Huntington’s thesis set up in his book “Clash of Civilizations”, i.e. the Christian-Macedonian civilizations and the Islamic-Albanian civilizations. The importance of the religious factor can be measured by the fact that the few Albanians who are integrated into the majority society come virtually exclusively from the Catholic or atheist (ex-communist) environment.

Virtually all other members of the Albanian minority in Macedonia feel that they are in two ways (as non-Slavs and as Muslims) not belonging to the state and are living in parallel societies. They regard their ethnic and national identity as Albanian, consider themselves part of the Albanian nation and strive to become part of one of the two “mother countries” (Albania and Kosovo).

By this attitude, they prevent Macedonia from continuing to develop in peace. Immediately after the establishment of the state of Macedonia in 1991, Albanian extremists attempted a territorial secession of the Albanian populated areas from Macedonia. Since then, all ethnic Albanian parties have been striving for a bi-national state in which the Albanians are equated with the state’s titular nation, i.e. the ethnic Macedonians. However, this is viewed only as an intermediate goal until the final secession from the Republic of Macedonia can be reached. The extent of their loyalty to the Macedonian state can be seen in the fact that in the entire Albanian-speaking area, no Macedonian flag is hoisted on official buildings, in the streets or in public places. For 20 years, only the Albanian national flag has been shown, and this quite legally, as the Albanians argue that it is their ethnic emblem.

As one of the after-effects of the Kosovo war, in the winter of 2000/2001, those Kosovarian fighters who originally came from Macedonia have been infiltrating Macedonia with the taciturn consent of the US-NATO military contingent, in order to “shoot themselves into the government coalition”. Being part of the “National Liberation Army of the Albanians“ (UCK), they brought most the territories at the border to Kosovo under their military control. The West hindered Macedonia’s legitimate government from putting an end to this organized violence by deploying security forces and rather forced the government to sign the so-called “framework agreement of Ohrid”, pre-formulated by the “quasi-governors”. This enabled the Albanian terrorists to participate in the Macedonian government under the cloak of a political party named DUI (which was nothing more but a simple permutation of the UCK), while in return, the UCK declared itself ready for disarmament, but only surrendered their museum-quality old weaponry.

The basic principle of this “peace settlement” was the retention of a Macedonian unitary state with a strong multiethnic component. An ethnic proportional system in favor of all minorities has been introduced. However, it was only the Albanian minority that genuinely benefited from this agreement. From now on, each minority language has been approved as a second official language in those communities where the ethnic group concerned has a population share of more than 20%. The logical consequence was a flood of changes of municipal boundaries on the basis of ethnic criteria in order to artificially provide the Albanian minority with the necessary strength in the capital of Skopje and the leading cities of West Macedonia. This again heated up the interethnic disputes in Macedonia – even in everyday life – and continues to this day.

The “Platform of Tirana”

What makes people’s souls of the majority effervesce, not only those of the ethnically Macedonians, but also those of the other small minorities? It is specifically the fact that the US, but also the naive left-leaning EU, have prevented that, after the 2016 parliamentary elections, the so far government coalition between the strongest ethnic Macedonian party and the strongest ethnic Albanian party be continued. They regard Zoran Zaev, the leader of the Social Democratic Party of Macedonia (SDSM) as the savior to overcome the alleged nationalism in Macedonia. Zaev is a politician highly esteemed by the West. Notwithstanding the facts that he had already once received – in a criminal procedure – the pardon of the President of the Republic, or that, on the basis of photographs, he appeared – of course completely wrongly – to be connected with the Albanian Mafia.

But this man is driven by only one motive – his greed to get back his party to the feed trough of power after more than 10 years, for which goal he is even ready “to sell his soul to the devil”. With the active participation of the “quasi-governors“ he has worked on a coalition agreement with all the ethnic Albanian parties in order to reach a parliamentary majority. Its core is the implementation of the “Platform of Tirana”. As it has been usual since the independence of the country to involve at least one Albanian party in the government coalition, the Albanians are now the tip of the scales when it comes to a new government formation.

This “platform” is a catalog of claims that has been adopted in December 2016 in Tirana during a meeting of all Macedonian ethnic Albanian parties convened by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama. The document is aimed at upgrading the Albanian minority’s status towards full equality with ethnic Macedonian majority population as a constitutional nation. This is proven by reading between the lines. The main claim is to use the Albanian language as an official and everyday language in everyday business throughout the country, even in those areas where not a single Albanian resides. The plan is to have bilingual topographical inscriptions as well as a corresponding change of the state symbols (state name, national flag and national anthem). All positions in government and state authorities including the police, the judiciary, and the military, as well as in the state-owned enterprises and institutions must be divided equally (probably 50:50) between the state’s two nations. The borders with Albania and Kosovo must remain open. And of course, there is also a distinct desire for rapid integration into NATO and the EU.

In terms of content, the Tirana platform means the creation of a bi-national state. This is a revocation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement by the ethnic Albanian side, which in 2001 was praised by the “international community” as “an ever-lasting peace after a just struggle for minority rights”.

The Macedonian president considers this coalition agreement to be directed against the sovereignty and independence of the Republic of Macedonia and thus to be an open breach of the Constitution. Despite being massively criticized on the part of the quasi-governors, he has so far successfully refused to entrust SDSM chairman Zaev with the formation of a government. Parliament has interrupted its constitutive session after the elections without the election of a President of Parliament. In order to ease the situation, the acting Prime Minister Gruevski has agreed on behalf of the ethnic Macedonian majority party, VMRO-DPMNE, to support a minority government of the SDSM as soon as ZAEV is dissociating himself from the “Tirana Platform”. This offer was rejected.

Double standard of the EU

One has to be aware of the dual standard applied by the EU: here in the Balkans it is acclaimed and encouraged that a foreign head of government has a decisive influence on the domestic policy of a neighboring country, while at home there is great excitement when Turkish politicians are doing electoral campaigning among their own diaspora. EU-Commissioner Johannes HAHN (European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations), who has invited himself to have talks on March 21, 2017 with the authorities in Skopje, beard witness to his democratic attitude when refusing to talk to representatives of the popular movement. As a reaction, the President of the State IVANOV let HAHN know that he was unable to offer him an appointment. While 50,000 demonstrators told the EU emissary to “go home” (or in popular language, to “get lost”), as “nobody needs here neither him nor the EU.”

Again and again, it’s George Soros

The pleasant-sounding, velvety multicultural lingo of the action paper suggests that the actual authors of the platform are to be found in one of the propaganda workshops of the Soros network, if not directly in Washington. After all, just a few days before, CIA Director John Brennan had talks in Tirana about the “fight against terrorism” as well as other bilateral and international questions. Was this a pure coincidence?

As it is known, George Soros, the stock exchange speculator and billionaire with Hungarian roots, is globally operating his “Open Society Network” with his own money or as a clearing-house for other money sources (e.g., USAID), with the aim of firmly anchoring “liberal and democratic” (in fact, left-wing) ideas among governments and civil society in developing countries, and manipulating them towards globalization and a future plutocratic one-world government.

The main objective: the division of Macedonia and the creation of a Greater Albania

It is clear to the objective observers of the country that the noble words of the platform of Tirana do not describe the final goal, but are only an intermediate stop – by way of a federalization of the state as the next step – to the secession of the Albanian-inhabited territories and their merger with Kosovo and/or Albania. It is unclear, however, what would be the “Albanian area” after the introduction of bilingualism throughout Macedonia. Is it anywhere where a bilingual place-name sign can be found? This extensive area claim might be underlined by the recent assertion of a “genocide of the Albanian people in the last 100 years”: using this hypothesis, it can be argued that without said “genocide”, the Albanians would today be the majority even in purely ethnic Macedonian regions.

The majority population is fighting for their state, but the red line has been crossed

One thing is clear – a truncated Macedonia would not be capable of surviving and would be at the mercy of the neighboring countries’ appetite. Here, the ethnically related Bulgaria is in the pole position: by generously granting citizenship to an estimated over 100,000 inhabitants of Eastern Macedonia during the last two decades, Sofia has “created” Bulgarian citizens in the neighboring country which might well form the basis for future territorial claims.

This is why the non-Albanian inhabitants of the Macedonia go out into the streets. Among them also many social-democratic voters who feel betrayed – hasn’t their party chairman emphatically contested during the election campaign that he will include the implementation of the Albanian maximalist demands in his government program? They know well that, the Tirana platform once having been implemented, their national statehood, which has only been gained by fierce fighting in 1944, would be at its end and that they will again be dominated by others as they used to be for 500 years under the Turkish yoke and then in the interwar period (Kingdom of Yugoslavia). Many, whether men or women, freely admit their willingness to engage in an armed struggle for freedom, as the adoption of the “platform of Tirana” has crossed the red line.

The members of the other minorities of the country see the example of Kosovo, where the non-Albanian population has been expelled permanently since 1999 or has to be guarded by NATO for their lifetime – a significant proof how Albanians respect the human rights of other ethnic groups.

Governmental change through destabilization and election campaign with massive foreign support

The national-conservative government, which has been in office since 2006, has long been a thorn in the eyes of the “quasi-governors”, as Prime Minister Gruevski did not comply with their guidelines (e.g. non-participation in the Russian embargo, positive attitude towards the planned gas-pipeline “Turkish Stream“, non-acceptance of indispensable “European values“ such as the introduction of “non-traditional” family forms and ways of life). Nor has Macedonia’s leading role in the closure of the Balkan route for migrants in the beginning of 2016 be appreciated by the elites in Brussels, as Macedonia is undermining the EU’s efforts to achieve the desired immigration of 70 million of culturally alien and uneducated people from Asia and Africa over the next 20 years. EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos recalled this goal in the beginning of December 2015 during a meeting of the EU Committee of the Regions (CoR). It was as early as 2008 when investigative media found out that the EU was planning to establish jobcentres in some African countries in order to recruit 50 million black-African migrant workers over the next decades.

Macedonia also did not bow to the Greek extortion demanding a change of the name of the state, which in turn led to a veto of Greece regarding the country’s accession to NATO. This prevents a strengthening of the Western defensive alliance on its southern flank.

For this reason, the US and EU have been trying for a long time to shake the quite successful Macedonian government. In May 2015, in the town of Kumanovo near the Serbian-Kosovar border, several dozen Kosovarian UCK fighters probably prepared armed attacks on various institutions. However, the coup was discovered in time and the terrorists were neutralized by the security forces in an exemplary action – without civilian casualties. Many signs indicate that this UCK attack was actually staged by CIA & Co in order to show the governments of Skopje and Belgrade what could happen in the case of their “insubordinate” behavior. It is not unlikely that it was even those foreign agents who passed on the relevant information about the intended coup to the authorities.

In the same year, the leftist opposition tried – with energetic logistical support from the West – to create an Euromaidan scenario in order to overthrow of the government. This was done through mass demonstrations, where foreign ambassadresses marched in the front line. An unsuccessful attempt, though. Later, in April 2016, the Soros network attempted a “color revolution” on the streets, but the masses stayed away. Only hooligans came in droves, and were allowed to let off steam at public buildings.

The “darling” of the West are the social democrats (SDSM), respected member of the international socialist community, who were against an independent state from the outset and clung to the rest of former Yugoslavia until its final days. Having always been accustomed to calls from the outside (Belgrade) and to implement the interests of others (CP Central Committee), they are disciplined pupils from Washington and Brussels. Their election campaign in the autumn of 2016 was extremely professional and elaborate, most likely in any event far more costly than officially stated. Since the party – for the past ten years in opposition – has hardly had any relevant income, the funds for the election campaign most likely had come to a large extent from abroad. If a party – in such a long period of time – is loosing in every election, regardless of what level, and suddenly registers a growth of 153,000 votes (+ 54%), this cannot only be explained by a well-run election campaign. Rudimentary voter transition analyses indicate the origin of about 70,000 votes from regions where traditionally the (Albanian) clan boss dictates how his clan has to vote. It was therefore only a question how to “convince” the clan boss by whatever means. This problably explains why the SDSM slowed down the early elections it had requested itself – their (probably foreign) spin doctors needed more time to raise the necessary financial resources and to coordinate their waves of attack.

You can read the full text here.

Dr. Harald W. Kotschy served in the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1973 to 2011; he held diplomatic positions in North and South America as well as in Europe, such as Deputy Head of Mission of the Austrian Embassy and Austrian Chargé d’Affaires in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1988-1992), CSCE Observer in Kosovo (1993) and Austrian Ambassador to the Republic of Macedonia (1997-2002).