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Debating the Nature of Macedonia's Failing Political System

Screen shot of two pages of e-version of Macedonian primary school textbook for Civic Education.

Depiction of “government” from the state-published textbook “Civic Education for 8th Grade” for primary school in Macedonia. Screen shot of two pages of e-version. Click to enlarge.

A brightly colored strongman lords over a group of dull grey people. The illustration is meant to depict the role of government and appears in an official primary school textbook in the democratic Republic of Macedonia.

But political analysts, bloggers and social media users are beginning to question that “democratic” label into question, debating whether the country has backslid on democracy in recent years.

The illustration is from an elementary school textbook, “Civic Education for 8th Grade” by Gordana Trajkova Kostovska, Ksenofon Ugrinovski, and Krste Vasileski. It was published in 2010 by the Ministry of Education and Science of Republic of Macedonia and is available online in Macedonian and Albanian

Macedonian media, with the exception of a few independent news portals, such as PlusinfoPortAlbRadio MOF, and Taratur, failed to cover the scandal. In early 2014, social media users warned about the book's contents.

Social media users and foreign officials alike pointed out that it isn't just about schoolbooks. Erwan Fouéré, a former European Union special representative and head of the EU Delegation in Macedonia, wrote that “democracy has lost its meaning in Macedonia” in a much debated opinion piece published right after the 2014 elections in Macedonia:

The Oxford Dictionary defines a democracy as “a state having government by all the people, direct or representative; a form of society ignoring hereditary class distinctions and tolerating minority views”.

Judging by its record in recent years, the VMRO-DPMNE governing party definition is radically different; it goes like this: a state where government controls all the levers of power, including the judiciary and the electoral process, does not tolerate any minority or dissenting views, and uses fear and intimidation to exercise its authority over society.

VMRO-DPMNE, the ruling conservative party, won both the parliamentary and presidential vote in those elections, ensuring a third term for themselves. They first came to power in 2006 with a promise to improve the economy and finish the well-advanced process of integration into EU and NATO.

Eight years later, Macedonia remains a poor country, with the highest level of income inequality in Europe. Few foreign investors have accepted the offer of cheap, exploitable labor and tax breaks. The impact of massive emigration remains “unknown” as the government refuses to conduct a long overdue census.

A veto from Greece led to a failure to join NATO in 2008, while pro-EU reforms have shown “little progress”, as the ruling parties focused on cronyism, nationalist propaganda, and populism, with policies comparable to Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán, who called for the end of the “liberal state” in his country in July 2014, and Turkish President Erdoğan, who has often been accused of running an authoritarian regime in his previous 11-year stint as the country's prime minister.

Captured state institutions, in particular within the judiciary system, and state resources within the realms of media advertising, government jobs, farmer subsidies, pensioners’ benefits and the likes, serve as tools for distributing political ideologies ahead of elections and in general.

Starting with freedom of expression, Macedonia's rank has plummeted on all relevant human rights indexes.

Prior to the elections, the author of Sandokan blog explained why the ruling party would win the election, again:

Since 2006, The Party has been using what they refer to as “smart politics”. It has created many groups of citizens that are dependent on the state. The party is gaining the votes of the people in three ways:

The most popular way of gaining votes is by means of nationalism. Since 2006, the members of The Party have been declaring themselves “patriots” and people who are “always ready to protect Macedonia and all things Macedonian”. They have made countless claims that Macedonia will not change its name, even if it’s just to irritate all Greeks, Bulgarians, and every other “enemy” of the country. You may find me strange, but I believe that The Party wins a tiny percentage of votes by expressing nationalistic views.

Another way of winning votes is by employing people in state companies. According to the EU, the administration should not consist of over 90.000 employees. And yet, Macedonia has approximately 200.000 employees in this sector. Simply put, The Party has employed too many people in the administration, as well as the state companies, winning many votes in the process. Additionally, The Party doesn’t have to threaten any of these employees with expulsion in case they don’t vote for it; Each and every single one of them knows that if another party wins the election, they will lose their job. Hence, the employees in the administration will vote for The Party. It’s like they feel indebted to The Party, and they feel that if they pay their debts, they will keep their friends… and their job.

The same can be said about public enterprises. It’s an open secret that they are dealing with the issue of over-employment and it’s the main reason for their debts. The Party is aware of the issue, but it doesn’t consider it a problem. A clear example of this is the employment of over 1600 people in “Makedonski Shumi”, (not) by random choice. After the whole charade was over, The Party decided to grant “Makedonski Shumi” debt relief of 40 million Euros.

The third way, and probably the most efficient of the three, is by making people feel as if they owe everything they have to The Party. The Party has successfully achieved this effect by increasing welfare, providing subsidies and increasing the benefits and pensions for senior citizens. As a result, farmers think that the subsidies are actually paid with money from The Party and they get the impression that The Party is acting in a humane manner. The same opinion is shared among seniors and those eligible for welfare. What these people fail to realize is that the money comes directly from the pockets of every citizen of the Republic of Macedonia.

How did The Party get so much money, in order to create the aforementioned groups of citizens?

The answer can be summed up in one word: Loans.

During its 8-year rule, The Party has succeeded in making Macedonia owe millions and millions of Euros. Just this morning, I read that Macedonia had a gross external debt of 2.2 billion dollars back in 2006. Last year, that same debt was 5.1 billion dollars (source: emagazin.mk).

Another aspect of this rule is using nationalism to distract the populace, making the security prospects precarious, which is noted by various analysts. As human rights activist; writer and producer Xhabir Deralla repeatedly pointed out, “Macedonia is Paying For Its Rulers’ Cynical Games:”

Ethnic tension is an endemic problem in Macedonia as it is. Whether it takes the form of fights on buses, in schools, in sports arenas, or on the streets, matters little. What matters is that tensions are high, constant, and can erupt on any occasion.

For years, these deep divisions along ethnic, religious and political lines have been used as means of creating a heightened climate of ethnic animosity in the run-up to elections.

Such was the case in the local elections held last year. The same atmosphere was created and maintained during the presidential election this May.

In fact, ethnic-based policy disagreements between the two ruling parties, VMRO-DPMNE and the Democratic Union for Integration, DUI, were the reason for the calling the parallel early general elections alongside the presidential polls.

VMRO rode into the polls on a wave of nationalism, demanding that people give them an absolute majority in parliament, so that they would not be held hostage by their ethnic Albanian partners.

Over all these years, the DUI has played along with this game. This smaller, Albanian version of Gruevski’s party, feeds off the same tensions, which boost a climate of nationalism among Albanians. At the same time, the party obediently follows all the key decisions of its government partner.

  • Johnkoolhak

    The country is doing way better from its former government(SDSM) that was nothing more then puppets left over from Yugoslavia(which still hold power positions currently). Any Macedonian that doesn’t like way things governed is most likely a communist, which make up a good part of the country still and can’t stand anything the new government is doing.
    As far as any one can see the country has been building business and the country infrastructure. Schools are being fix through out the country. The capitol has a museum and theater among many more buildings that make a nation, I don’t understand what the communist were doing with peoples money for 20 years that they couldn’t even build museum. To me that’s a complete joke of governing at any standard. The list goes on, as for the minority you have to be a complete fool to not know what the Albanian minority is trying to do. VMRO is doing the best it can with the minority even with tremendous outside pressure. Last time i chekc Roma have more rights in Macedonia any other western country in the world. Stop blowing smoke……..
    Don’t forget what the communist did in 20 years to their own people, Macedonians lost there “FLAG” and “CONSTITUTION” bc the Greeks made SDSM sell themselves like cowards. Once again VMRO has made a stance for its peoples identity and cultural against neighboring threats unlike the former government. That alone has shown more then anything.
    God Bless Macedonia and the Macedonians in the republic and divided territories.

    • Reality Check

      It is VMRO fanatics that are cowards. Afraid to face their own ethnic Bulgarian and Serbian heritage in lew of ancient Macedonian fantasies.

      • peter7260

        You are just a trash,a simple kopile.

  • Annoyed Analyst

    What rubbish is this? I wonder who sponsors this drivel. It’s mere hogwash and propaganda. This government, although far from perfect, has lifted the country out of the abyss and into the highest economic growth, development and employment in years. Yes the political climate is poor, but look at the historic currents that run in this region. An Albanian party that forced it’s way into parliament via violent actions, a proxy army being protected by Nato and Wahhabi nutjobs waving black flags as the latest instalment. But at least they don’t beat the crap out of their own countrymen like they do in the US. Oh sorry, they shoot them dead first and then arrest them later. This is pure propaganda serving a hidden agenda with an entirely biased undercurrent.

  • Theyarelaughingatus

    These sort of articles are unfortunately few in number. The author highlights the reality in Macedonia very well – the country is being run by an authoritarian regime – period. The opposition failed due mostly to its incompetant leadership and inability to develop anything in the way of an effective strategy for the country. While Gruevski’s party did well in the first few years while in power this has led to VMRO becoming corrupted by absolute power. Gruevski has become a meglamaniac and has unfortunately began believing his own BS! Macedonia is a on the road of a failing nation and there is no one to blame but the Macedonians themselves – it has often been said you get the government you deserve. The Greek Prime Minister Samaras said many years ago that Macedonia will need no enemies as it will destroy itself – a sad statement, but very true. I give Macedonia a maximum of 10 years before it implodes due to financial collapse and ethnic conflict.

    • Andy D

      The Greek PM Samaras sacked his sons teacher because she failed him in an exam……for CHEATING!!!

      This kid will be Geeece’s future PM. As you can see, Greece will move forward.

    • peter7260

      This author,Filip Stojanovski is sponsored by the Soros group who are anti-Macedonians in support of our southern neighbor.This author is a supporter of the opposition,who are trying to destroy Macedonia with any means to get to power.
      Theyarelaughingatus,how is Greece doing for the last 5-6 years,and for the next 10 years?
      Have you ever thought about it?Your PM Samaras raided the Banks and stole 130 million dollars to pay the Macedonian opposition to accomplish your wish.Well,it did not succeed,did he?Why did he hide all that money in black garbage bags?
      And you with a sick mind criticize the most honest PM of Macedonia,who is working none-stop for the people of Macedonia,unlike your PM.Greeks have been described by one of the fathers of USA John Adams in 1783 as”corrupted in their morals to such a degree,as to be faithless,perfidious race,destitute of courage”.Oh, how true the truth fits even today!

      • Theyarelaughingatus

        Hey Peter – hate to bust your bubble but I’m Macedonian living in Skopje. Does it not concern you that the original budget for Skopje 2014 announced by Gruevski was 85 million euro and by the Government’s own admission, after the new mayor of Centar said he would have the entire cost audited the Government said the cost up to April of 2013 was over 208 million! Could you tell me of any democratic country where a Government could go 160% over budget and not at least be required to provide some explanation to its citizens? Attracting investment – yes, Macedonia needs jobs – but do you think that slave wages are OK – Drexel Maier in Kavardaci is paying 8000 denars per month to workers! Could you tell me how many of these people will be able to buy an apartment or other things besides food? How many of these people will be able to afford to get married and have children? This has nothing to do with supporting the opposition or Greeks – in my opinion the opposition is absolutely dysfunctional and doing nothing. The problem is people like you are beating your chests about Majka Mi Makedonija, while Gruevski and his cronies are stealing the future of the country with silly projects. Enough statues and buildings. How about sorting out the Government administration by automating it? With everyone having a biometric ID card, why should anyone have to fill out another piece of paper when dealing with a Government institution? 200,000 Government employees, some of which sit at home and get paid!!!! Peter – please share whatever it is you are smoking because you live in another World if you honestly think that Gruevski is doing anything for Macedonia that isn’t also putting something into the pockets of his friends and relatives. All I ask of people like you is this – when the collapse comes, please don’t try and blame anyone but yourself – you and everyone like you in the country are part of the problem – the blind truly are leading the blind. Macedonians have had the chance over the past 23 years to develop the Macedonian Nation – and unfortunately, it has been 23 years of bad governments and a people who are unwilling to raise their voices and make a difference. Macedonia as a nation will fail, because the Macedonians don’t have what it takes to be a nation! If you don’t believe me – where are all the proud Macedonians living in Australia, Canada, the US, Europe? Why aren’t they investing in “their Country?” Do you know why, because they know the Macedonian mentality – the nasty, back stabbing, only concerned with looking after themselves approach to life and business. I’ve met Macedonians who have come here from abroad, wanting to get involved and try to make a difference – every single one of them has left shaking their heads at the stupidity they have seen. As a foreign correspondent once wrote = “The Macedonians with their eyes clearly focused on the past” – when you are looking backwards you don’t have a future because you won’t see the cliff you are going to walk over. Wake up!

        • peter7260

          Theyarelaughingatus,don’t forget,people like Crvenkovski,Zaev and Frckovski who were selling Macedonia for their own pockets.Remember the one million dollars and Rolex watch offered to Gligorov by Frckovski to sell our name? They were robbing the nation, never gave Macedonia the chance to progress.These people still continued with the utopia system of communism.
          SDSM leadership still works for Greece.How can a country survive when they steal 8 million euros and pay no tax(Zaev,Sekerinska,Crvenkovski)and others as in A1 TV?
          Since 1944 there was no major investment in Macedonia,only one exception”Tito Zavod”but our communists sold every industry that was government controled sold for next to nothing,you should know that that created 280 thousand jobless people.My friend,it is very difficult to bring the standard of living overnight from over 40% unemployment to what it is today.Take a look around you,Macedonia only country in recession times,is much better position than rest of the world,and it is getting better.
          I must remind you,in USA there are more than 47 million people in poverty,and thats the richest nation on earth.Look at our southern neighbor.I have a cousin living there,I have tears to try and explain it to you.
          Serbia is lowering the pensions,Macedonia continues to increase them.I know,pensions in Macedonia were lower,but what industry can support the pensioners when the previous government shut down everything?
          As for the statues,yes,they cost money,but, Macedonia has to proof to the world that we are Macedonians,not Greeks not Serbians nor Bulgarians.Our history has been high jacked by our neighbors by fabrications.
          My friend,my neighbors yard is greener than mine,but looking into my yard from my neighbors,my grass is just as good as his.

          • Filip Stojanovski

            “Since 1944 there was no major investment in Macedonia,only one
            exception”Tito Zavod”but our communists sold every industry that was
            government controled sold for next to nothing…” is simply not true, and is negated by the second part of your own sentence. In 1944 Macedonia was agricultural colony of neighboring states, with over 80% illiteracy, and almost all the industry (as well as infrastructure, educational institutions etc.) was created from scratch during the time Communist Party was in power, prior to 1990.

            The oligarchs who got the most from the privatization of state enterprises are now part of the ruling regime also, and continue to exploit the workers. I can understand how someone who does not actually live in the country or might not have lived there before 23 years ago might succumb to nationalist propaganda, but please use elementary logic if you lack basic information.

            I am not “excusing” the Communists for many flaws and abuses of their system. In fact, many of them are now in power, they just turned coats and become “anticommunists” or “right wingers” – they are people who function well in any regime where hypocrisy and fear rule.

        • Andy D

          Macedonia in my opinion has improved over the years. I remember in the late 80’s & early 90’s where inflation was so bad that a bus fare would change daily.

          I do have a home in Macedonia & invested money in a Macedonian bank. My dealings with the bank is very professional, compared to the “days”. Although, I don’t like how things work faster if you hand them a bribe, but that happens across the Balkans including “Westernized” Greece.

          My relatives in Kavardarci are now employed thanks to the new factory. Yes the income is low but it feeds them. this is why there is a problem in countries like Greece. They have Western wages but no investments. Is it better to be unemployed?

          If the factory isn’t opened in Macedonia, then be sure it will be China. This is why China is taking over across the globe.

      • Filip Stojanovski

        Hi peter7260, can you point at any fact or claim within the actual article that is not true?

        What you are trying to achieve is called ad hominem attack.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

        And how on Earth did you find out about my secret plan “to destroy Macedonia with any means to get to power” by writing this article? How my project for world domination in order to make comics the dominant media is doomed! %-)

        • peter7260

          Filip,you are serving the SDSM,and here is why;Not once you have written one iota about the Crvenkovski’s years in power and what has he accomplished.’
          Zaev robbed the Global of 8 million euro’s, paid no taxes, he did not even appeared in front of a judge to answer for that crime,again,who was in power,and did you write anything?How about Sekerinska collecting rent from her own living condo (money laundering?)
          Now you are criticizing Gruevski at every turn who is working to bring more jobs to the country after the loss of 280 thousand jobs by Crvenkovski
          overnight.You talk about Erwan Fouere who criticized Macedonia from the first day he set foot in Macedonia.Why don’t you write an article on Zaevs absence from Parliament.Does that not helps Greece to continue claiming”Macedonia is not democratic etc.?Does Greece or the EU respect democracy, Human Rights and the rule of International law?
          The Minesotans say”show me”to believe you.

          • Filip Stojanovski

            peter7260, I am serving the public interest by providing information and evidence about the claims I make. It is sad that you expend your energy on slandering me, while you can use it to improve the situation in Macedonia based on the real situation, not on your political or other biases.

            You did not provide any argument to back your claim that I spread lies. That would work against your credibility in Minnesota, too.

            On the other hand, your request that I include your favorite topics in my writings in order to have the right to write about current events is ridiculous. Or is it a rule in Minnesota if you write about what Mr. Obama does now, first to explain all the failings of his predecessor, Mr. George W. Bush?

          • peter7260

            Filip Stojanovski,you are biased,that is what I am trying to tell you.You are supporter of the SDSM and anti-VMRO.When Kiro Gligorov was president of Macedonia,I supported him.I have watched the speech of 1991 declaring independence of Macedonia,I have goose bumps,my body seams to be lifting on the air.Title of a party does nothing for me,it is the deeds of the leadership of a party does,that is the most important for a nation.
            Compare Macedonias political parties and those of our southern neighbor.
            Our opposition parties are centered in the destruction of Macedonia,they are paid by Greece, our neighbors are united against us,why is that?.
            Filip,I am not asking you that,I am asking you to be even handed,and not act on behalf of Zaev,act on behalf of Macedonia’s interests,and not be biased.In Greece you see a Turk FM and an Albanian president,do they act like our political parties in Macedonia?

          • peter7260

            Filip,you are serving those who are selling Macedonia to Greece,and that is SADSM leadership.

          • Filip Stojanovski

            Peter7260, thank you for knowing things about me that I haven’t known myself.

            It is a rare opportunity to encounter someone who can read minds at long distance, with powers to rival the Emperor from “Return of the Jedi,”
            who bragged that he knows what the others know and feel.

            Concerning
            “traitorous” collaboration with Greece, could you enlighten us about
            several things that the general public lacks information:

            1. The
            stipulations in the secret deal between the government of Macedonia and
            the Greek company OKTA, including the monopoly power it got (by whom?)
            upon privatisation of the only rafinery in the country, including the
            guarantee to sell specific amount of oil to the state regardless if the
            state needs it or not?

            2. The role of the Greek billionaire
            Kontominas (recently arrested for corruption at home) in the
            taxpayer-paid construction boom named Skopje 2014?

            http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/16/world/europe/in-greece-elites-are-starting-to-feel-the-pain.html?_r=0

            http://fokus.mk/dolga-li-e-rakata-na-kontominas/

            3. The details of the Aktor case, including the money laundering scheme involving Greek citizens?

            Money that paid from my pocket and the pockets of my children and grandchildren, as it’s from a foreign debt.

          • peter7260

            Filip Stojanovski,I base my comments on your own comments.I read your comments when first you said “to live Macedonia”,and ever since I have been following you on the internet.
            I see you are criticizing the present government,but you have said not one negative word on the years that SDSM was in power.SDSM gave up the Macedonian flag,changed the constitution to please Greece,accepted a name that has nothing in common with us Macedonians.”Sekerinska has promised,in 6 years we will join the EU and NATO”what that means to me as a Macedonian is changing my ethnicity,language and all.Filip,have ever opposed this notion of Sekerinska,have you written anything about Frckovski’s offer to Gligorov a Rolex watch and a million dollar gift from Samaras to change the name? Have you ever written about the oil deliveries to Serbia via Macedonia that Crvenkovski was the profiteer while there was an embargo against Serbia?Have you ever written on A1 TV for not paying taxes by using other identities for money laundering,have you ever exposed Sekerinska collecting rent in the tune of more than 5,000 euros from the very condo she owes and resides in,is that called money laundering?
            If you criticize the present government and by your own clam you are neutral,why not a piece of news on them,the opposition who are paid from the citizens for work not performed.That my dear co-patriot is called robbing the Macedonian budged in daylight.
            Why Audi did not invest in Macedonia few years ago?The Greeks call it “To fakilo”we call it Mito demantirano od Crvenkovski.
            I might not know everything about the Republic of Macedonia,but I understand your comments very well.Filip,I grew up in a socialist country,as a student I can never complain.My comment on support of any social system in Macedonia as long as they guard against external harm,and fight for the Macedonian rights.Our existence to me is more important than the system.

          • Theyarelaughingatus

            I am so fed up with Macedonians living comfortably abroad who want to stick their faces into something they have no clue about. Peter you are so out of touch with reality that it is painful to listen to your drivel. If you really care that much about what is going on, then why don’t you move back to Macedonia and see what the reality is. People like you live in the past – and that is exactly the problem – too many people like you are living in a fantasy world of the past. Who gives a s%$t what happened 10 years ago, 50 years ago, 200 years ago. Aleksandar the Great and Goce Delchev aren’t giving anyone jobs – today, and tomorrow is what matters because that is the reality that we, who are in Macedonia, have to live in! You live in a country that functions, it got there because people left history behind and dealt with the reality of the day. I don’t care about Crvenkovski, Sugar pants Shekerinska, or any other idiot politician, every single one of them has screwed this nation. Today is today and if we don’t start sorting out the mess that the present idiots are creating, we will not have a future. Stop spouting your BS and crawl back into your hole, or get on a plane and then you can have an opinion. You sir, and the rest of the Diaspora living in a fantasy world are causing more harm than good! That’s the “REAL” situation.

          • peter7260

            No,I am not out of touch my friend.Yes I am in the diaspora ever since I was 12 years old,and today 78 years old.Do you think we in the diaspora had or have it so good?We bust our ass to achieve what we have.By the way,not everyone has made it,there are people who live on the streets begging for a dime.I have been in Macedonia several times,I get sick people telling me how good it was in Yugoslavija before.You could not even afford a bicycle then, I grew up in the socialist system, look around you,most people drive better cars than where I am.Oh yes,always my neighbors grass is greener than my,ain’t that the truth?
            For me,the disturbing fact is your comment”who gives a shit what happened 10,50,200 years ago”.This is one reason why we are still partitioned into four parts,because of thinkers like you.
            President Kennedy said at his inaugural speech”Its not what the country can do for you,it is what you can do for the country”.

          • Theyarelaughingatus

            Peter, you seem to think that I want Yugoslavia back? Not on your life! Communism failed due to it be unsustainable – just like what Gruevski is doing today to Macedonia – borrowing money for everything with no idea of how it is going to be paid back. It is easy to do what he is doing – borrowing billions and spending like a drunken sailor! “Oh yes, my neighbours grass is greener than my, ain’t that the truth?” Your comment sums up the Macedonian mentality perfectly – a culture where people are more concerned about everyone else, and how they compare to everyone else instead of establishing a level of personal goals and success and then work to achieve it. It is this very mentality that keeps people from doing what is right. Why we are partitioned in four parts – the reason why the Great Idea of Macedonia was not achieved was at the time the majority of Macedonians were uneducated peasants – small groups were formed under the leadership of this or that leader and they spent more time fighting amongst themselves than seeing something greater – some groups would join a certain action, but not another because of who lived in some village. But we don’t want to actually recognise the real history and accept it, so Aleksandar the Great is much cooler. (Interesting how the Government changes the constitution to ban gay marriage on one hand, but builds statues and renames roads to the most well known bi-sexual in history!) Let’s accept the fact – we are a people of mixed races and cultures – we lived in an area called Macedonia – we speak a slavic language that comes from a mixture of Bulgarian, Serbian, Turksh, Albanian and probably a few more that I don’t know about. We are so interbred that we cannot identify one specific ancestory. I choose to call myself a Macedonian because that is the piece of dirt where I came from. I speak Macedonia. That’s it – now lets get on with the future. Today, we have a piece of dirt to call our own – and the leadership is ensuring that we won’t have this piece of dirt in the future by sinking the country into debt, and not dealing with the ever increasing ethnic issue. Do you think it is correct that since this party came into power that the education system has been completely split – Albanians and Macedonians do not go to school together! Do you think this is helping to build a nation? Somewhere someone has to provide leadership by making some tough decisions, instead of just trying to be popular. I am asking nothing more from my country than to provide a functioning state where the playing field is leveled so everyone can have an opportunity – instead of the Oligarchs being the only ones getting richer. You are now 78, so there is nothing stopping you from moving to Macedonia to bring your wisdom, lessons learned and a pension cheque to offer your sage advice to the people and Government of Macedonia. You see Peter, your statement of having to bust your ass to achieve something is what is missing here – most people want to do nothing and get paid – and the present Government is helping to maintain that mentality by their program of “join the party, we will hire you in a job that isn’t needed in the Government, you can sit on your butt and get paid just enough to survive, please don’t use your brain to actually think about anything but all you have to do is vote for us and we will continue to run the country into the dirt.” The people here have not twisted Kennedy’s words – Gruevski has – “Ask not what I can do for the country, but what the Country can give to me and my cronies.” And the party is following his words to the letter! Magicians use smoke and mirrors to create illusions for the audience. The present Government are master magicians.

          • peter7260

            Thoughts as yours my friend will never improve your life no matter where you are.Read Kris’s comment bellow,maybe you will learn something.
            A leader who wins by more than 200 thousand votes with a population of just over 2 million,he must have the trust of the voting population.
            Macedonia is the least in debt in Europe,best government that works day and night to improve the lives of the people.Financial institutions say that,not you or me.
            The school separation happened during the SDSM era,don’t blame Gruevski.

          • Theyarelaughingatus

            Peter, you are really missing the boat here – you like so many others do not see what is really going on – the manipulation of the numbers – the Government has announced that officially the debt is now at 40% of GDP – this does not include the Municipal Debt – which is not made available to the IMF to do the assessment – unofficially the debt could be as high as 80% – it’s just like the Skopje 2014 project – 160% overbudget – officially announced only after the new mayor of centar threatened an audit. The last IMF report was completed and included that the Government does not see the requirement for any additional financial instruments in the foreseeable future. The day after the IMF released their report the Government announced the issuance of a 500 million euro bond. hmmm, I guess they just woke up and decided after informing the IMF for the report that it would be a good idea? This is the lack of transparency. You just are so stuck in believing the propoganda of these clowns. Why do they get elected – other than the total destruction of any opposition media and the fact that SDSM is a disaster as a party – there is nobody else to vote for! So if the country is so good, why are you not moving here to live out your years in your dear Macedonian homeland? You’ve certainly made it sound so much better than the US where you are living now. I’m confused that you won’t put your money where your extremely uninformed mouth is – oh I guess you need to remove it from somewhere buried up your ass!

          • peter7260

            Theyarelaughingatus,do you know what it means to grow-up on your own for a 12 year old on his own,and that in a different world,learn new language etc?My birth place is Aegean Macedonia under occupation.
            We did not have the same opportunity as you had in the Republic of Macedonia.It burns my behind to lessen to people like you constantly complaining about our free and independent nation.It takes people to build a country,it takes time.
            You are asking me as per your last paragraph,and here is my answer:God gave me children and grandchildren,do you think I will allow my children in the same situation as I was put 66 years ago?.Now I will ask you;why don’t you move to another country to better yourself since Macedonia is not good enough for you.Once again,neighbors grass is greener,right?.
            My friend,you have to bust your ass anywhere to make it,nothing comes free.

          • Theyarelaughingatus

            Yes, you get tired of listening to people who would like to live in a free and indpendant nation – unlike Macedonia that is being controlled by a dictatorship which you support. You were lucky that you managed to make it to a country that provided a level playing field – yes you worked hard but you were able to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Unlike Macedonia, work hard, build something and then have the criminals in power cause you problems or put you out of business. So instead of staying in Macedonia to continue to struggle to make it the fantastic nation it has the potential to be, you tell me I should just join the massive exodus of people who see no future here and completely give up on ever having a country of our own. I don’t quite understand your thought process. As the author highlights above, there is a very good reason why the Government will not conduct a census – it will show the extent of a massive departure of people from the country in the past few years. When studies reveal that 45% of high school students and 85% of University students do not see a future for themselves here – doesn’t that concern you? Every single person that I speak with that understands what is really going on is doing one of two things – either personally trying to leave or, two, finding a way to get their children out of here so they can be educated abroad so they have a better opportunity to leave. In my opinion the Diaspora has failed big time in providing any leadership to this developing nation – firstly, because the majority of the Diaspora come from Aegean or Pirin Macedonia, they like the idea of an independant state, but it’s not really “their” Macedonia so it is just on the back burner of their interest. The reality is for most Macedonians living abroad its a cultural connection, language, dance, food. Unfortunately, that’s it – at a time when this developing nation needs people to help to build understanding of what democracy is and put Macedonia on the map by bringing a strong work ethic and “showing” by example what needs to be done, and how a Government needs to be managed by the “people” (see textbook image above for what is being taught). The Diaspora has sat on the sidelines, buying into the propoganda. Spouting off on forums about what they percieve is happening here. Saying that it takes time to build a nation, blah, blah. The fact is that as a nation, Macedonia does not have the time, and it needs people to assist in sorting out things faster – this requires practical experience and knowledge – which you cannot buy. Traveling around the former Yugoslavia I am amazed at the number of Diaspora who have come back to places like Croatia and Serbia to invest, or to retire. Why don’t the Macedonian Diaspora show an interest by putting their money where their mouth is and investing or moving to Macedonia? Because deep down inside they really aren’t that interested – but they will be the first ones ranting and raving and spouting their dribble on forums around the World that someone else is to blame when the country implodes. All I am saying is when the time comes – and it is getting closer and closer, do not blame anyone but the present Government – they have had more than enough time to clean up and put things right from the previous idiots. And finally – in your response about moving here – you won’t allow your children or grandchildren to be in the same situation you were – but wait a second, according to you Macedonia is the most economically successful nation on the planet, Gruevski is doing an amazing job, there are opportunities at every corner for all of us lazy Macedonians to take, but we don’t understand! Again, put your money where your mouth is or stop spouting your BS trying defend the clowns!

          • Theyarelaughingatus

            Yes, you get tired of listening to people who would like to live in a free and indpendant nation – unlike Macedonia that is being controlled by a dictatorship which you support. You were lucky that you managed to make it to a country that provided a level playing field – yes you worked hard but you were able to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Unlike Macedonia, work hard, build something and then have the criminals in power cause you problems or put you out of business. So instead of staying in Macedonia to continue to struggle to make it the fantastic nation it has the potential to be, you tell me I should just join the massive exodus of people who see no future here and completely give up on ever having a country of our own. I don’t quite understand your thought process. As the author highlights above, there is a very good reason why the Government will not conduct a census – it will show the extent of a massive departure of people from the country in the past few years. When studies reveal that 45% of high school students and 85% of University students do not see a future for themselves here – doesn’t that concern you? Every single person that I speak with that understands what is really going on is doing one of two things – either personally trying to leave or, two, finding a way to get their children out of here so they can be educated abroad so they have a better opportunity to leave. In my opinion the Diaspora has failed big time in providing any leadership to this developing nation – firstly, because the majority of the Diaspora come from Aegean or Pirin Macedonia, they like the idea of an independant state, but it’s not really “their” Macedonia so it is just on the back burner of their interest. The reality is for most Macedonians living abroad its a cultural connection, language, dance, food. Unfortunately, that’s it – at a time when this developing nation needs people to help to build understanding of what democracy is and put Macedonia on the map by bringing a strong work ethic and “showing” by example what needs to be done, and how a Government needs to be managed by the “people” (see textbook image above for what is being taught). The Diaspora has sat on the sidelines, buying into the propoganda. Spouting off on forums about what they percieve is happening here. Saying that it takes time to build a nation, blah, blah. The fact is that as a nation, Macedonia does not have the time, and it needs people to assist in sorting out things faster – this requires practical experience and knowledge – which you cannot buy. Traveling around the former Yugoslavia I am amazed at the number of Diaspora who have come back to places like Croatia and Serbia to invest, or to retire. Why don’t the Macedonian Diaspora show an interest by putting their money where their mouth is and investing or moving to Macedonia? Because deep down inside they really aren’t that interested – but they will be the first ones ranting and raving and spouting their dribble on forums around the World that someone else is to blame when the country implodes. All I am saying is when the time comes – and it is getting closer and closer, do not blame anyone but the present Government – they have had more than enough time to clean up and put things right from the previous idiots. And finally – in your response about moving here – you won’t allow your children or grandchildren to be in the same situation you were – but wait a second, according to you Macedonia is the most economically successful nation on the planet, Gruevski is doing an amazing job, there are opportunities at every corner for all of us lazy Macedonians to take, but we don’t understand! Again, put your money where your mouth is or stop spouting your BS trying defend the clowns!

          • peter7260

            How dare you separating Macedonians from Egej,Pirin,Small Prespa and our independent Republika Makedonija as different people with no commonality! We are one and the same ethnos.
            You talked about Macedonians were not educated before,well,it seams to me I am corresponding with one right now,you!

          • Theyarelaughingatus

            Ok, so let’s get down to the reality of all of this back and forth. Peter, you have not made one argument against all of the facts that I have presented of what the present government is actually doing. You have focused your comments against me. So, I would assume that you cannot argue against the facts. Since the Greeks have invested more than the Macedonian Diaspora I think it is safe to say that I am correct about the fact that there is no commonality amongst the Diasporoa, despite your fantasies to the contrary. So I guess I should ask this question – do your children and grandchildren consider themselves Macedonian Americans, or American Macedonians? Is the great dream of a Macedonian nation going to die with you, or do they actually care enough to get involved? Have they every visited the present day Macedonia? Do they speak Macedonian? Are they supporting the present Government? Have you, and they, become citizens of Macedonia, or despite your overwhelming pride of being Macedonian, just not gotten around to getting citizenship. (please don’t give me the BS that the US does not allow dual citizenship as that is just a lie as Americans can and many do have dual citizenship – more Irish citizens live in the US than in Ireland as an example. Unfortunately, I already know the answer to most of these questions – your children and grandchildren might have learned the language, enjoy celebrating some of the traditions that you may have kept alive, but they are too busy with their own lives and getting on with work, etc, in the US that the Macedonian Nation doesn’t really rate very high on their interests, so like a good portion of the Macedonians of your generation, the dream will die with you. As harsh as that may seem, it is the reality. So all of your ranting an raving means absolutely nothing as just like the present day government of Macedonia – it’s not sustainable. Meanwhile, we the Macedonians have to wake up everyday and deal with trying to build a nation of the future, not some grand idea from the past.

          • peter7260

            Theyarelaughingatus,first I would like to wake you -up from your dreams.In 1988 I was in (Yugoslavija),in the Republic of Macedonia for the celebration of the 40th aniversary of children refugees from the Aegean Macedonia.We the children refugees have awaken you to think for independence of Macedonia.
            I am so pleased that one of the colaborated with Gligorov for the independence of Macedonia, Recently this gentleman acknowledged this fact on Sitel TV just last week.I ask you,did you joined us in that celebration?
            The other question my friend,if I have dual citizenship,I did from 1988,has expired passport and (Licna karta.)
            The next question is,if my children visited Macedonia and if they speak Macedonian,yes they have and they do speak our language.
            In USA,Canada and Australia we are considered as US-Macedonians,Canadian Macedonians and Australian Macedonians.
            On our census,we are registered as Macedonians up to and including great,grand- children .
            On September 8th 1991 we all voted for the independence of Macedonia.
            You critisize the Diaspora,well let me tell you,the Diaspora works with our governments to recognize Macedonias constitutional name’,and if my memory serves me right,a Macedonian Member of Parliament put in a request for that recognition,and Canada with PM Stephen Harper did just that.Greeks demonstrated in Parliament Hill to no avail.Kolovski is born in USA,but he busts his ass on behalf of the Diaspora to achieve a positive outcome for our Macedonia.Not only that,but we in Diaspora are not fighting just for Macedonia,we do want equal rights for our people in occupied Greece,Bulgaria and Albania.
            It is not my fault for your luck of knowledge what we in the Diaspora are doing and achieving on behalf of our Macedonia.
            Once again” it is not the country can do for you,it is what you ca do for the country” it was true then and it is true today!
            The Macedonian government is giving you the opportunity to start your own business,take advantage of it,and good luck,because here we don’t get that kind of opportunity my friend.

          • Theyarelaughingatus

            Since there is absolutely nothing in the local media about what the Diaspora is doing you can forgive me for thinking they do nothing on the country’s behalf – perhaps a better media campaign might raise our opinions of what is actually going on?. On paper the Government has made it easy to start a business, but actually being able to run it is a different story. The supporting government administration still functions like it did under Yugoslavia – unwarranted inspections, excessive beuracracy and an attitude of the staff that everyone is guilty of something. Last year someone I know who had a coffee bar had a visit from the inspectors – they could find nothing wrong in his financials so they fined him 150 euro because the water from his plant pots was dripping onto the pavement below. He asked them why, they told him that was their job to find something wrong and get money for the Government because it doesn’t have any. If the Government spent more time and effort supporting Macedonian businesses instead of providing huge subsidies and infrastructure (Mostly unused by the way) to foriegn businesses the country would be much better off. Is foriegn investment important – of course, but could anyone actually tell me what the return on investment is, when basically they are given the land, don’t pay taxes and recieve huge relief on not having to pay social benefits for their staff? When you factor in the cost of the infrastructure that has been put into place the payback period is 50 – 60 years! Most of these companies will be long gone by then as they have not setup “businesses” here but only production using “cheap unskilled labour”. They will leave nothing behind but dust when they move onto the “next” place with cheap labour when the time comes. If the Diaspora really wants to have an impact, besides dealing with the name issue, at every opportunity it should be demanding more transparency on the financial dealings of this Government. Peter what I really have an issue with is not the fact that they are spending money on projects, but how much they spend on projects – example they installed a silly merry-go-round near Plostad – the bill was 120,000 Euro. Doing research and getting pricing from China (the exact model that is in place) it was possible to purchase the same thing, delivered to Macedonia for 28,000 euro. Now I’m sorry but the installation isn’t that expensive here. When buildings that were supposed to cost 5 – 7 million end up costing 35 million there is a problem, 1) of incompetance in costing, and 2) blatant corruption. The quality of what is being constructed versus how much is being paid needs to be questioned as well. So you can watch an activity unfold here – the Government has announced they will construct a 57 m high ferris wheel that will basically sit in the middle of the Vardar river near plostad. They have budgeted 12 million euro for this. The London eye, on which this Ferris wheel is modeled is 120m, and cost 70million British pounds to construct. Let’s watch over the next year or two how much this will actually cost – my bet will be 35-40 million euro! Personally I would actually like to see them spend some money on the education system – replacing outdated facilities, and people. Let’s look at another little idea the Government had – a computer for every child – good idea! They bought desktop computers for every student in the country – many schools in the smaller villages were unable to install them because they didn’t have the electrical connections needed – so the computers stayed packaged in the boxes in the corner. They didn’t buy new desks so the students don’t have space to do any other work. The teachers are outdated so there are different standards on level of quality in instruction. The computers can only be used for so many hours of the day, so basically are in the way during the rest of the day. Is it a good idea to have computers – absolutely. A perfect opportunity to copy how things work in the rest of the modern world in teaching students how to use technology – what they should have done was setup one room as a computer training room, hired one qualified computer teacher per school and then used that one facility to train all the students to the same standard by having separate classes for IT training. Better use of a equipment and staff. Also it would have been much more cost effective as you don’t need 50,000 computers! In addition, it would have been less expensive for software upgrades, licensing, etc. Peter, this is the problem here and this is why we need more Diaspora looking into things other than the name. We are quietly going broke due to incompetance, corruption and just plain inexperience. This is my issue and this is why we need the Diaspora asking questions about this as well. There is no functioning opposition in the country – and if there was they would be doing exactly the same thing! Why isn’t anyone demanding a reduction in the Government administration? Because if they get into power they want to do the same thing! It would be different if it was actually making things work better, but it’s not – it is taking longer and more steps. Why when people have been given biometric ID cards should they have to refill in the same documents over and over again – simple the Government hasn’t invested in a system that connects different administrative areas. Do they have computers – yes and you can see them turned off collecting dust or someone sitting in the corner playing games on them. Most government employees don’t even have government email address – they use yahoo and gmail! This is just fundamentally f%&ked up! Peter, if you and the rest of the Diaspora really want to do something for Macedonia then start taking a deeper look and ask the questions that you would ask the Government in the US or Canada. I see in the news that in Canada and the US Government officials get taken to court for misusing taxpayers money – and for small amounts. We have no auditor that works for the people in the Government. This is going to destroy us as a nation! If this isn’t dealt with soon, you will never have to worry about the name issue, because the country will fail financially and then be split due to the ethnic issue – just look at the West of Macedonia. With every “investment” the Prime Minister and his Government get exactly what they want the minute they announce it – a photo opportunity – then it just disappears and sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t. Start taking a closer look and actually tracking some of these activities – and then make up your own mind what is really going on here – I am sure you will start seeing a different picture than what you think is going on now.

          • peter7260

            Theyarelaughingatus,,do you know who are the lobbyists?Western governments are governed by them just so when elections come,they will pour all kinds of money for their re-election.In return,the lobbyists get what they want,not the people.I suggest to you,whenever you have a chance,go to any western country and do a bit of research on how these systems work.I am sure,your outlook on the Macedonian system will change.
            Remember,Macedonia is in its infancy of democracy,but is doing a lot better than our neighbors,and for that you should be proud as I am.
            On the issue of the investors,I don’t agree with your assessment on the government of Macedonia.Remember, investors are creating jobs, investors are paying or (deducting from their pay checks)for their retirement years.Remember one very important issue,Macedonia pays pensions that were earned in Yugoslavija with 90% loss of the Macedonian industry since independence.Macedonia cannot be compared with other countries ability in the standard of living Gruevskis team will bring better days to the Macedonian people,takes time.
            For long time now I have been asking to put Crvenkovski,Frckovski,Zaev ,Sekerinska and others for taking money from a foreign country to destroy Macedonia on trial and to do what Alexander the Great did to Philotas in ancient times.The problem is,the Macedonian law must be changed before that can become a reality.
            My friend,I have been in Macedonia many times,talked with people of different political (Pripadnost)different political views,I know.Imam moj rodnini i moj prijateli vo Makedonija,imam i vo Egej.Grcija nee cela kako sto et kaj Halkidiki.Vidov golema beda tamo prijatele.Treba da izlezes nadvor od drzavata za da mozis da napravish razlika.

          • Theyarelaughingatus

            Well Peter – here’s a little something for you – I was actually born in the West and moved to Macedonia about 20 years ago – I know exactly how Western Governments work, along with lobbyists, et al. This government in comparison is a crooked as they come and again I will reiterate – smoke and mirrors! Foriegn investors – deducting pensions etc. That’s exactly what I was talking about – in most cases they are not – as the Government has given them this as an incentive – the Government is picking up the tab for pensions, medical and unemployment benefits – but since this is a big secret no one can find out exactly how much or if the money is actually being put where it should be for those pensions, etc. The majority of Macedonians, unfortunately, just don’t have a clue of how a government is supposed to work. Many people here think the Government has some sort of magic money tree! This like all the other things I mention is not sustainable. Interesting how the International Community has been trying to get this Government to change the laws, but it seems they just can’t make it happen, hmmmm… doesn’t that smell a little bit. They can arrange to have 26 statues installed in one night when they found out that an opposition member won the election for Mayor of Centar of Skopje, but for some reason, you know, it takes time to make things happen, blah, blah. They can change the constitution to not allow Gays to get married, but not change the courts. The only people Gruevski will bring better days to in the long run will be himself, his family and his cronies – time will reveal all. Again, you keep wanting to compare Macedonia to everything and everywhere else – I want it compared to what it has the chance to be, I don’t give a damn what the nieghbouring countries are doing and what standard they are at – I care about today and the future of Macedonia – this country has been independant for 23 years, It is certainly not where it should be, and worse is where it is going. Clearly Peter you are interacting with people who have no clue what Democracy looks like, their personal responsibility in it, and they are probably dreaming of the good old days when the Government ran everything – well their wish is coming true on one hand – everything will be owned by several select people. A funny joke in one of the newspapers a few months ago – news of the future. An interview with Orce Kamcev in 2020 – Mr, Kamcev there are 3 little shops that you don’t own in the country, why haven’t you bought them? Kamcev – well you know this is a free market and there has to be competition. Peter I’m not going to change your mind, all I ask is to start taking a harder look at where the money is going and actually how and how much is being spent. I have given you many examples that you can have a closer look at. The reality is there is no other option but the present clowns as there is no opposition. The Macedonian people have a responsibility to look after the future, because this Government is selling it at every turn. People get the government they deserve!

          • peter7260

            Theyarelaughingatus,I got the drift my friend,I don’t think you will ever be happy no matter what Gruevskis government will do.Are you still looking for a new kind system to arrive in Macedonia?Because if you do,you are living in a dreamland.Nations are build not overnight,it takes many years.For you,you need to get off the mythical thinking and see what you can do for yourself,not Gruevski.
            Gruevski has increased pensions,helps the less fortunate(students), the children with no parents,pensioners and students ride the traines at lower rate and buses.Ride the buses two days for free for the pensioners, trying to employ the younger generation like the 29 year old and others.Did ever the SDSM done such thing?Borrowed 500 million from China for the infrastructure and much more for the road building.Macedonia was a third world country in infrastructure,that takes money.Oh yes,as per your assumption Gruevski is robbing the government.Are you in the right mind,are you talking about Zaev,Sekerinska,Frckovski, Crvenkovski and 15-20 more who have been exposed in the newspapers in Macedonia who received money from Samaras for selling our country to Greece?If you do,I don’t even want to have anything to do with you and your ideals. Your thinking will get you nowhere,as long as you will carry the chip on your shoulders.
            I was 19 years old when came to this country,without the English laguage,I worked hard,and for the last 35 years of my working years I was in management.Do you know how I accomplished that?,hard work my friend,hard work.You should accept the words of John Kennedy my friend that he spoke at his inauguration speech.

          • Theyarelaughingatus

            Doing so much for students – you must have missed this earlier this year: http://www.independent.co.uk/student/study-abroad/hells-of-residence-inside-macedonias-horrifying-student-accommodation–where-the-walls-are-green-and-the-food-is-black-9186945.html

            Students have tried to address this issue with the Government and University for years – the only reason the Government is now doing something about it, is because it went viral on social media around the World. And what is really funny is now the Government has blocked access to social media from the dorms and campus.

            You sir, are the one living in a fantasy world, you have bought into the propoganda, hook, line and sinker. I’m not here to support any politician, I am here to support the Country! Helping pensioners – They Bought the pensioners vote for an additional 500 denars a month is how this worked. They should be paid much more than this and could if the Government Administration wasn’t so large, producing nothing, and sucking down money. I have absolutely no chip to carry on my shoulder – you seem to be the one that keeps wanting to go backward and deal with Crvenkovski, and others – I want to deal with today and tomorrow. I am just being a voice trying to get through to the uneducated that what they are seeing is destined to fail.

            And since you are obsessed with what Kennedy said – gee, I’m the one that is actually here, living in a country that I don’t need to be in because the reality is I could get on a plane tomorrow and return to a country that is a great democracy, where it would be much easier to live, but by choice I stay here, because I am actually trying to do something for this country because I would like to see Macedonia become a nation. So don’t beat on your chest sitting comfortably and remaining on the outside looking in and try to tell me about doing something for my country! I’m the one that is here! Despite all your rhetoric, you have not tried to counter argue one single Fact that I have put forward about overstaffing in Government, overspending on every single thing this government has touched – you talk about people stealing in the past – how about people stealing righ now. Let me explain how this works – The Government runs a tender – their buddies, friends and relatives win – 30% additional works are added during the project – from this a large “donation” is made to the ruling party. You talk about lobbying? This is programmed corruption. Unfortunately, the country is filled with people who think just like you, and have bought into the BS. The sad part is that the young, better educated, people who are traveling abroad more frequently are understanding what is going on and leaving the country. You want to find out how many people have left, why doesn’t the Diaspora push the Government to do the census that should have happened a couple years ago – they certainly don’t want the results to be shown. Despite my frustration in talking to you, it’s been interesting to see that the Government propoganda has worked very well – at least we got our monies worth on something – even though we don’t know how much the Government is spending on media, as it’s a secret!

          • peter7260

            Theyarelaughingatus,you are lucky to live in your own birth country,unfortunately I can’t say the same for my self.
            What I do sense here is,you and Filip Stojanovski are on the same side the Soros benefactors,as were Crvenkovskis cronies criticize the present government and support a party that does not even willing to work for the voters that elected them,they are the ones who are robbing Macedonia. They are getting paid for not even showing up for work in the parliament to debate issues important for the Republic of Macedonia.These are the people you are supporting with Stojanovski,the author of this piece.
            I have answered you all your concerns,but you are dancing around my questions.
            Mr.I supported the Federated Socialist Republika Makedonija,continued with the SDSM when it became independent,and I will support the VMRO-DPMNE with all my hart,regardless of their political pripadnost.Carska da beshe,komunisticka,fashisticka, as long as they fight for the rights of all Macedonians.There is a place for political parties to argue for domestic reasons and accountability,but not to hurt the chances of joining the EU and other international organizations as the SDSM does today giving Greece the ammunition against Macedonia.
            You and Filip Stojanovski have no respect from me!!

          • Theyarelaughingatus

            I know it might be difficult for you to believe that someone can actually have an independant opinion – I have said over and over again, I do not support any of the present politicians in the country, that includes the dysfunctional SDSM. And I am certainly not a supporter or being supported by Soros. You clearly, despite having lived in a democratic nation are just another of the Sheeple – being herded about by this government. It is a wonderful dream to continue the fight for all Macedonians, but the reality is that it would be a far more effective battle if we got our little piece of dirt that we presently have control over sorted out and functioning – it would solidify our position. Unfortunately, as I have highlighted over and over again – this is not happening. Anyway, not much sense in continuing this argument as you have clearly stated you will even support Fascism – just like we have today in Macedonia! You are right Democracy takes time – it looks like neither you nor I will live to see it in Macedonia.

          • peter7260

            By supporting Filip Stojanovski you are supporting SDSM who’s leadership is selling Macedonia to the highest bidder Greece.Samaras does not want to talk with Gruevski,but he loves Zaev.
            As for your independent opinion,you don’t have one.Your opinion is based on how to make Macedonia disappear,as you have stated, Samaras comment on Macedonia’s dissapearance, will never materialize for him not in a million years. Macedonia is ours,Macedonians will decide our future,NOT Samaras and Zaev..
            Let me tell you my friend,Macedonia is and will be independent no matter who is the President or Prime Minister,and for now we have the best since independence of 1991 in G.Ivanov and Nikola Gruevski.

          • Theyarelaughingatus

            Here’s another article highlighting what a great job your hero is doing: http://www.bilten.org/?p=2454

            Peter, you are missing the point that every Government we have had since independence has been working more for themselves and the survival of their parties, rather than the country. The two exceptions were Kiro Gligorov, and Boris Trajkovski. My point is how to keep Macedonian from disappearing because with every silly project, every euro mis-handled we are weakening the nation. The Government is doing nothing to deal with the radicalization of the muslim population nor trying to build a nation for all peoples. There is a total divide between the ethnicities here – it’s not sustainable.

          • peter7260

            My friend,nations do disappear by actions such as yours.You seem to be against every minority group.You don’t think they should have same rights.
            Do you think all muslims are radicals,do you think there are no radicals in every society on this earth?
            Thinking this way,you are telling me that I have no equal rights as the Yunanistanis in my own home,our brothers in occupied Bulgaria and Albania. For that right PM Gruevski spoke out in support of our Human Rights,SDSM never opened their mouth once.Remember,I will support those who guard our Macedonian rights regardless of their political believes.
            I never supported the government where I live till it recognized our constitutional name,and ever since I vote for this party.You see my friend the difference between you and me?You want to call me a turn coat?its fine,proudly accept it for good reason,but I will never support a leadership such as the SDSM.
            Macedonia for the Macedonians said Gladstone of England!

          • Theyarelaughingatus

            Did you just smoke some dope? I’m against minority groups? Reference one of my previous points when I highlighted the fact that there is no Nation building going on here but only Nationalistic rhetoric – gee I think that means the Government is separating the nation by not helping to integrate the minorities more and getting all the people of the country working together – that requires leadership but that’s something lacking. I do not think all muslims are radicals – I have some very good muslim friends – what I along with my muslim friends and the rest of the country are seeing is the radicalization of young easily influenced young males – offically 7 of which have died fighting in Syria this far. If you watched the news from yesterday the Police in Kosovo have arrested over 200 people suspected of being involved in radical islam. Gruevski doesn’t want to even address this issue and work with his coalition partner to address this. Actions speak louder than words and the only thing that any Government thus far has managed to do regarding your rights or the rights of any Macedonian living in Albania, Pirin or Greece is to produce a sound bite for people like you to hear – it hasn’t achieved a single thing in actions. You keep banging on about being pushed to support SDSM – I don’t give a rats ass who you support – what my point to you is that you open your eyes a little bit to see beyond your one and only requirement of any government to tell you that they are thinking about Macedonians abroad. It’s wonderful that just hearing that gives you a wonderful warm feeling. Unfortunately, it’s just words, as no one has actually tried to achieve anything more to move it forward. Except for VMRO bussing in people from Albania and registering them all at the same address and giving them id cards so they could vote in the last election for the Centar Mayor. Nothing has happened to help advance the rights of the Macedonians living in occupied territories. The only way this is going to move forward is the development of a clear strategy, with money and resources behind it to move it forward. So far that part of this project hasn’t happened. It’s nice you can be bought with a few words – for me I believe in concrete actions and people walking the talk. In my world actions speak louder than words. Just in case you didn’t know Gladstone died in 1894! It would be nice if we could be finding a few more people that are still alive helping our cause – living people get more accomplished.

          • peter7260

            No,I did not say that,read my comment on the Macedonians plight in Greece,Bulgaria and Albania.All you are interested is just Republic of Macedonia.There are more Macedonians who suffer from freedom unlike the one you constantly complain.I merely compared the SDSM and VMRO who are more interested on Macedonians Human Rights outside of Macedonia and it is not SDSM.
            When the Macedonian (I believe his name is Kerim?) who presided over the Presidency of the UN and introduced Crvenkovski in the General Assembly as,”my president of the Republic of Macedonia” I stood-up from my chair and raised my arm in triumph by saying,YES!
            As long as you are against Macedonian governments as per your comments that you don’t give a damn about SDSM or VMRO I will never agree with you and your comments.Your animosity towards Macedonian politicians regardless of their political believes,you have no idea what you really want. Have a nice day!

          • Theyarelaughingatus

            I am against anyone who’s actions do not match their words! I want a government that will provide leadership with integrity, openness and honestly – every political party that has been in power since 1991 has had non of these qualities. So far they have padded their pockets, speak words that make people like you happy while their actions are doing the opposite. I want to see a strong independent democratic nation where all ethnicities, can live in peace and prosperity. Actions speak louder than words and unfortunately it is people like you who are happy with only words with no substance – it is one of the reason the Macedonians have never been represented throughout history – too many words and false promises. It is easy to lead sheep with a bucket of grain as they keep their heads down and never look up to see they are about to fall over a cliff.

          • peter7260

            OK,let see here,you do not approve any government since independence,are you looking for some kind of dictatorship to govern the country?.
            Government cannot make you live in peace between ethnicities,the people have to change their mentality and strive for better future,unfortunately there are external politics that do not allow that to happen.
            It looks to me,you are not happy with our grandfathers actions.Do you know any history?I will tell you a true story;in 1903 my maternal grandfather sold his farm to buy a gun to come back home to fight the Ottomans.He was no hero,but we have many heroes like Delchev,Karev,Sandanski and many more.Gruevskis call for the rights of Macedonians outside of the Republic of Macedonia is also a hero to me and many more Macedonians.
            Look,lets end this conversation,we are getting no where.

          • Theyarelaughingatus

            Peter, I have great respect for your suffering and the evil that was done against all Macedonians of your generation. The harsh reality is that we must move forward, a respect of history is one thing, living in the past is another. The reality is those that rose up against the Turks, despite their dedication and effort, lost. That is a fact of history. In the big picture, it achieved nothing for the Macedonian nation, no matter what spin you would like to put on it – that is the unfortunate reality – second place, is second place. Again, Delchev, Karev, Sandandski had a great idea, but it wasn’t achieved. Today, after many years under one regime or another we have a small piece of land to call our own. The present government is a dictatorship, we do not have to look for one – the damage they are doing to the country is irrepairable – they control all media, and there is no functioning opposition. Their populist polictics continues to win votes of the uneducated and those living very close to the poverty line. Borrowing millions of euro to win votes by giving those living on a pension 500 denars is not leadership – it’s populus politics. It requires no effort, intelligence or leadership. Despite all of the rhetoric Macedonians spend far too much time looking everywhere else to place blame – it is the culture. If we first solve our own issues – and there are many, we will be in a much more powerful position to deal with our opposers. It is sad that despite all you have been through a few useless words from someone robbing the future of our nation is your hero. This in itself speaks volumes of the real catastophe we as a nation are in. Your complete ignorance and lack of interest to look deeper than words is somewhat amazing for someone who has lived through a terrible past is surprising. You are correct in saying we should end this conversation, sadly, just like our nation, it is going nowhere. – PS. I just returned from an afterwork party where 2 young, Macedonians, were celebrating the fact that they are about to move to Germany, they see no future here. Sad that you see more of a future for this nation than the people who live here.

          • peter7260

            It is a very funny situation today,I worked with an Scottsman for many years,he always told me that ÿou have no country,how can you be a Macedonian”,well,the Scotts just voted a NO separation from UK.
            Macedonia already 23 years of independence.Do you know how it feels to be no body,no country to identify yourself?Who’s laughing now Mr.Scottie?
            Do you see my point?I used to be called”Greek”before,I argued my point,but can you really convince anybody who does not know any history?
            Don’t you see my point being happy with what we have thanks God?
            This is the reason we can’t even come to term what ever we say between you and me and Filip Stojanovski’s reporting,Crvenkovski ,Zaev and his cohorts!

          • Theyarelaughingatus

            Yes, you get tired of listening to people who would like to live in a free and indpendant nation – unlike Macedonia that is being controlled by a dictatorship which you support. You were lucky that you managed to make it to a country that provided a level playing field – yes you worked hard but you were able to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Unlike Macedonia, work hard, build something and then have the criminals in power cause you problems or put you out of business. So instead of staying in Macedonia to continue to struggle to make it the fantastic nation it has the potential to be, you tell me I should just join the massive exodus of people who see no future here and completely give up on ever having a country of our own. I don’t quite understand your thought process. As the author highlights above, there is a very good reason why the Government will not conduct a census – it will show the extent of a massive departure of people from the country in the past few years. When studies reveal that 45% of high school students and 85% of University students do not see a future for themselves here – doesn’t that concern you? Every single person that I speak with that understands what is really going on is doing one of two things – either personally trying to leave or, two, finding a way to get their children out of here so they can be educated abroad so they have a better opportunity to leave. In my opinion the Diaspora has failed big time in providing any leadership to this developing nation – firstly, because the majority of the Diaspora come from Aegean or Pirin Macedonia, they like the idea of an independant state, but it’s not really “their” Macedonia so it is just on the back burner of their interest. The reality is for most Macedonians living abroad its a cultural connection, language, dance, food. Unfortunately, that’s it – at a time when this developing nation needs people to help to build understanding of what democracy is and put Macedonia on the map by bringing a strong work ethic and “showing” by example what needs to be done, and how a Government needs to be managed by the “people” (see textbook image above for what is being taught). The Diaspora has sat on the sidelines, buying into the propoganda. Spouting off on forums about what they percieve is happening here. Saying that it takes time to build a nation, blah, blah. The fact is that as a nation, Macedonia does not have the time, and it needs people to assist in sorting out things faster – this requires practical experience and knowledge – which you cannot buy. Traveling around the former Yugoslavia I am amazed at the number of Diaspora who have come back to places like Croatia and Serbia to invest, or to retire. Why don’t the Macedonian Diaspora show an interest by putting their money where their mouth is and investing or moving to Macedonia? Because deep down inside they really aren’t that interested – but they will be the first ones ranting and raving and spouting their dribble on forums around the World that someone else is to blame when the country implodes. All I am saying is when the time comes – and it is getting closer and closer, do not blame anyone but the present Government – they have had more than enough time to clean up and put things right from the previous idiots. And finally – in your response about moving here – you won’t allow your children or grandchildren to be in the same situation you were – but wait a second, according to you Macedonia is the most economically successful nation on the planet, Gruevski is doing an amazing job, there are opportunities at every corner for all of us lazy Macedonians to take, but we don’t understand! Again, put your money where your mouth is or stop spouting your BS trying defend the clowns!

          • Theyarelaughingatus

            Yes, you get tired of listening to people who would like to live in a free and indpendant nation – unlike Macedonia that is being controlled by a dictatorship which you support. You were lucky that you managed to make it to a country that provided a level playing field – yes you worked hard but you were able to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Unlike Macedonia, work hard, build something and then have the criminals in power cause you problems or put you out of business. So instead of staying in Macedonia to continue to struggle to make it the fantastic nation it has the potential to be, you tell me I should just join the massive exodus of people who see no future here and completely give up on ever having a country of our own. I don’t quite understand your thought process. As the author highlights above, there is a very good reason why the Government will not conduct a census – it will show the extent of a massive departure of people from the country in the past few years. When studies reveal that 45% of high school students and 85% of University students do not see a future for themselves here – doesn’t that concern you? Every single person that I speak with that understands what is really going on is doing one of two things – either personally trying to leave or, two, finding a way to get their children out of here so they can be educated abroad so they have a better opportunity to leave. In my opinion the Diaspora has failed big time in providing any leadership to this developing nation – firstly, because the majority of the Diaspora come from Aegean or Pirin Macedonia, they like the idea of an independant state, but it’s not really “their” Macedonia so it is just on the back burner of their interest. The reality is for most Macedonians living abroad its a cultural connection, language, dance, food. Unfortunately, that’s it – at a time when this developing nation needs people to help to build understanding of what democracy is and put Macedonia on the map by bringing a strong work ethic and “showing” by example what needs to be done, and how a Government needs to be managed by the “people” (see textbook image above for what is being taught). The Diaspora has sat on the sidelines, buying into the propoganda. Spouting off on forums about what they percieve is happening here. Saying that it takes time to build a nation, blah, blah. The fact is that as a nation, Macedonia does not have the time, and it needs people to assist in sorting out things faster – this requires practical experience and knowledge – which you cannot buy. Traveling around the former Yugoslavia I am amazed at the number of Diaspora who have come back to places like Croatia and Serbia to invest, or to retire. Why don’t the Macedonian Diaspora show an interest by putting their money where their mouth is and investing or moving to Macedonia? Because deep down inside they really aren’t that interested – but they will be the first ones ranting and raving and spouting their dribble on forums around the World that someone else is to blame when the country implodes. All I am saying is when the time comes – and it is getting closer and closer, do not blame anyone but the present Government – they have had more than enough time to clean up and put things right from the previous idiots. And finally – in your response about moving here – you won’t allow your children or grandchildren to be in the same situation you were – but wait a second, according to you Macedonia is the most economically successful nation on the planet, Gruevski is doing an amazing job, there are opportunities at every corner for all of us lazy Macedonians to take, but we don’t understand! Again, put your money where your mouth is or stop spouting your BS trying defend the clowns!

          • Andy D

            Two Macedonians came on vacation in my part of the world. They were meant to stay 12 weeks. They left after 7 weeks. “Why aren’t the “kafani” opened at night & “you people work to much”. The two young men realised that our part of the world wasn’t what they hoped it would be.

            I went to Macedonia last summer, all the kids had cell phones. My 15 year old was one of the few that didn’t have one.

        • peter7260

          Filip,read my comment as written.I did not imply you,I am implying the SDSM or better still Zaev,but the fact that you are helping the opposition by not criticizing them it does make you an accomplish in a way,don’t you think?

    • peter7260

      What Samaras said is pure rubbish.He can’t stand the progress Macedonia is doing with VMRO-DPMNE.I have news for Samaras,Macedonia is here to stay,and it is a thorn in your eyes.
      Theyarelaughingatus,you sound like Crvenkovski,Zaev and Sekerinska.People like them and you are the ones who screw-up our unity.
      A taxi driver in Skopje last year said”Georgievski build more roads than Gruevski”,My friend,resident of Gazi Baba told him “,you should be ashamed of yourself for eating Macedonian bread.
      Yes,we still have people who hate any progress Macedonia is making,shame on you!

      • Theyarelaughingatus

        What unity? The lack of unity is why Macedonia has historically never been able to achieve it’s goals of independance until the break up of Yugoslavia. You and I both know that 3 Macedonians have a hard time agreeing on anything except rakija or pivo! It’s our culture. I am not against investment at all, you seem to think “any” investment is good investment – I look at it this way the “right” investment is a good investment. Statues, boats on the Vardar, a giant ferris wheel, another fountain in the Centar, a las vegas style monument to Mother Teresa with coloured water spray fog, overbudget spending on everything is my problem – there is zero accountability. Why all the construction? Because a trained monkey knows that the easiest way to steal a lot of money is in construction! Is it ok for you that every Government contract has a 30%, yes 30% allowance for “additional works”? Could you please tell me any company or democratic Government in the World that would allow this? I have given examples over and over again, and you have not addressed one of them! You continue that I am crying and have a bad attitude because I don’t love Herr Gruevski. I don’t a shit about Crvenkovski, Zaev and Sekerinska – they proved as useless – they only thing is they didn’t borrow Hundreds of millions of euros, so there “theft” from the nation won’t have the some longer-term impact. Actually, the taxi driver was correct – until the road from Demir Kapija to Smokvica opens – Georgievski did build more roads than Gruevksi – now regarding how much money was borrowed by Gruevski for road building and how many roads were built – well that’s an other topic. A compliment to you Peter – even though you have been living abroad for so long you have been able to keep your pig-headed, uneducated Macedonian view of things – that’s a cultural trait to be proud of!

        • Filip Stojanovski

          A Greek company Aktor is building the Demir Kapija – Smokvica highway. They were caught money laundering in 2013, but then nothing was heard about the scandal, and no questions asked. Minimum of EUR 3.5 million were taken out in a very suspicious manner (by members of few Greek families who were bussed to take it as cash from a bank in a southern Macedonian town). Investigation started and remains forgotten.

          http://novatv.mk/index.php?navig=8&cat=2&vest=13485

          http://fokus.mk/od-aktor-izvadeni-1-2-milioni-evra-i-otkako-upravata-doznala-za-ogromnite-transaktsii/

          The state of Macedonia actually got a non-refundable grant to build that stretch of the highway (about EUR 70 Million from joint EU and Greek regional development funds) but lost it due to government actions. So few years later, that same government takes a foreign loan to build it, but at the price of over EUR 220 Million, and hires a Greek company. Go figure, huh?

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  • One of the main reasons that the name problem with Greece is unsolved, is the lack of freedom of speech in your country. You like that lack because it offers you a shining (but fake) identity name.

    • Andy D

      Ha! Look at your fake economy, propped up by EU bailouts.

      What happened to the “Lagarde” list? Remember this long list of Greek politicians names on it that have embezzled hundreds of millions of euros?

      Oh, that’s right, it’s destroyed by none other, Antonio Samaras, your PM. The Greek average person has no say while the politicians get away with it hiding their millions. Your country is run by the same families over & over.

      Where is your democracy Pisstor?

      Macedonia has moved forward with Gruevski in tow. At least this PM can’t be bought by a Greek, as the previous ones did. This is why Greece despises him.

      • Andy the liar

        Despite the mistake Greek governments made of our economy, it is infinitely better than VMROs 3rd world economy. The only thing Gruevski has produced is giant statues to ancient Greek historical figures. I”m sure ancient Macedonian artifacts, all written in Greek, will change with enough historical propaganda.

        • Andy D

          Well if Macedonia received €400 million in welfare & continuous bailouts, we would be better off than you (Greece). Less politicians meaning less stealing & more for infrastructure.

          Now seagull, go beg for another bailout.

  • Kris

    This article is classic propaganda the government is popular because is working to attract investment and jobs, new hospital road and other infrastructure. The other guys done nothing for 20 years???? and now they cant get re-elected and just put these lies out. Every week there is a new company moving to Macedonia shame on you Filip for putting down what people died for.

    • Filip Stojanovski

      Hi Kris, please point out which are “the lies” contained within the article?

      BTW Macedonia has been independent for 23 years. Most of that time –almost 14 years– it has been ruled by VMRO-DPMNE. First about 2 years as part of “expert government” which included the uncle of the current PM, then 4 years (1998-2002) with current PM as minister of economy and finance, and the last stint of 8 years (2006-2014). “The other guys” were in power for the same about 2, then +6 and +4 years, less then 12 total.

      Do you happen to have the figures about the foreign investments within the country, and of the subsidies the “foreign” companies get from the Macedonian taxpayers to open their facilities? As well as the salary levels of their employees? There are credible allegations that at least some of the foreign investments are money stolen from Macedonian citizens, laundered through tax havens like Lugano, Belize, New Virgin Islands.

      • Kris

        “Debating the Nature of Macedonia’s Failing Political System”
        This is the first like, the country has been under a socialist government, under sanctions and at war and has made it though trying to form a government that will be good for all people? How is this a failing political system?? This is a lie or a blind one sided ideological analysis??? Your Choice?

        Macedonian Media not been free??? This is fun there are about 100 papers and Macedonians love politics and fall for no lies?? Your saying if people print things or a view you don’t like its a free press when you name your 5 websites that only
        your version of the truth can be found at…again this is just an ideological
        view that works for you.

        Erwan Fouéré, comment I love it… It means the country is on the right path because if youknow anything about politics and how the world works it means they the EU are finding it harder to manipulate the country.

        Macedonia Ranks number 84 on the Human Development Index that is labelled
        has high on the INDEX any one can write or frame a article on their own bias as
        you have you can pick and chose what only works for you.

        I can keep going, and posting more and more fact a facts the people like the government because they are working hard building hospitals, roads
        and creating jobs yes with subsidies the whole EU gets more subsidies for their industries.

        The fact you question this shows more that you don’t know how hard things are around the world and how there is fierce competition for jobs and investment.

        The long term benefits are massive looking at all the high tech investments medical been made if it can be managed and capitalised.

        You cant think Macedonia is Germany and can miss the steps that are required for development????
        y
        Who are you to tell some one they cant have a JOB…

        Just yesterday another 300 jobs making ballet shoes….you tell those people they cant have a job because you don’t want to do anything to create one for them.

        I’m sorry you are wrong made lies is a hard word for your article but its not a fair article and is biased towards your ideology.

        The National BANK of Maceodonia will have the figures you are looking for I cant find them at the moment so have a look at this link.

        http://www.tradingeconomics.com/macedonia/foreign-direct-investment.

        I’m Macedonian. I know the positives and negatives of Macedonia…..not just now but for the last 20 and even before that. Thisgovernment is doing a fantastic job should thank them.

        • Filip Stojanovski

          Hi Kris, please tell me how many people actually live in Macedonia? We don’t know, because the government refuses to conduct a census. Macedonia is the only place in the world, except for Somalia, without census data.

          By law, the Government had to do it before 2012 – up to ten years after the last census, which was in 2002. The institutions, controlled by Party interest, have not acted to enforce the law.

          Estimated number of people who recently emigrated abroad is about 450.000, which is one quarter of the nominal population. Would you call policies affecting a country where quarter of the population escaped, and much of the rest dreams of escaping abroad as “success” or “failure”. Or at least failing?

          Please, do not bother looking for the actual cost/benefit numbers on the foreign investments. They are declared state secret. As are the numbers on government spending on media. As is the number of people employed in the public administration, getting salaries from the debt-powered state budget. Wonder why.

          Would you, as taxpayer in the country where you reside, be content if the government spent your scarce public money in the same secretive manner? While hospitals and schools turn to ruins, and diseases eradicated “during Communism” like Hepatitis A make a huge comeback, with epidemics?

          • Filip Stojanovski

            Here’s a piece of known data about Macedonia. 22,945 kids were born in 2008, while this September only about 19.000 of them enrolled in the first grade of primary school. And their families are not keeping those kids at home – they have all escaped abroad. This is only a sample of people who had kids in 2008. 18% of that generation alone has left the country. Whole cities, especially in Eastern Macedonia, are turning into half-empty ghost towns.

            http://www.makdenes.org/content/article/26571933.html

            People usually have kids in their prime, not when they are retired. Why didn’t they remain in the country to enjoy the wonderful benefits you imagine? It is a sad fact that nationalistic propaganda can blind even the most intelligent of people.

          • Kris

            This has always been the case, my father left Macedonia when he was 21 in 1971 he just retired same as my uncle. One spent 40 years in Australia the 40 years in Italy. There are ghost towns around the world as the worlds population is moving towards cities.

          • Filip Stojanovski

            Historically people immigrated from Macedonia because it was not a good place to live, esp. due to corruption of its rulers. You claim (living abroad) that we who suffer more of the same should be happy with what we’ve got, but than say it’s natural for Macedonians to leave their land. Don’t you find that contradictory?

            There are ghost towns in the Old West of the USA, too. So what?

            Seems like you attempt to sidetrack the conversation, as you fail to respond about the lack of Census.

          • Kris

            All your posts are negative. I can argue against all points…some I agree with but overall I support the government investments and you should because if these things are not done to attract the investment and exports and use this as a strategy. The day will come that a Macedonian that was working in one of these businesses and then has had training or an Idea then founds his or her new company….

          • Filip Stojanovski

            You read _all_ my posts and determined that all of them are “negative”? Come on, if you did, and you are interested in constructive argument, you would not make such blatant off-hand alegations.

            What does “negative” mean, in fact? That you don’t like them?

            The real issue is are they _true_. And if you could find one false piece of information in any of them, you would have put it forward.

          • Kris

            Your article is biased and negative and you addressed nothing I pointed out “again”. Your just introduced new arguments about villages been empty and that’s the governments fault….when its world wide trend…. this is poor education if its not poor education is bias and therefore a lie this is just one. Please don not insult me with your so called ” constructive argument” your one sided biased and negative view. thank you.

        • Theyarelaughingatus

          I am amazed at how Macedonians living fat and happy in a truly democratic country (anywhere that isn’t present day Macedonia) can have such an opinion about the present Government. You are only seeing the propoganda that is being shovelled to you by the ruling party – this is a scary thing indeed – particularly if you are voting in our elections! The reality is that Macedonia has been poorly ruled since it achieved its independance in 1991 – it doesn’t matter which party was in charge. Kris is is acceptable to you that the government is borrowing hundreds of millions of euros and inefficiently using them? Is it acceptable to you that the Skopje 2014 project is officially 160% overbudget? Is it acceptable to you that the present government has increased the government administration by over 100,000 people and it now stands at over 200,000 people (10% of the population)when it should have less than 90,000. There are people in the Government administration who sit at home and get paid! And you can justify this as a Government doing a good job? You can justify the absolute lack of transparency in everything the Government does? Construction procurements that allow up to 30% additional cost overruns without retendering of investigation? You are lucky sitting outside of the country because you can beat your chest and spout off you are such a proud Macedonian! Yippeee! All I ask is this – when the country fails economically and due to the failure of the ruling party to deal with the ever increasing ethnic tensions – please don’t try to blame anyone but the present Government. Macedonia does not have years to sort itself out as a nation – it has wasted 23 years already. The only enemy Macedonia has comes from within. This government is a catastrophe for the country – period! Unfortunately, there is no other party to take its place. Macedonians had an opportunity to have a country to call their own – the sun is setting on that great idea and it will fail! This article and any other articles like this should not be attacked because they are telling the truth – you as a proud Macedonian, better start understanding what is really going on in “your” country!

          • Filip Stojanovski

            “Construction procurements that allow up to 30% additional cost overruns without retendering of investigation?”

            – Indeed. And guess what – the law does not limit the number of such “additions.” That’s how you get a “new old theater” at first announced to cost EUR 4 Million “grow” to a cost of over EUR 40 Million… by 2013 (there had been more expenses in the meantime).

            http://www.makdenes.org/content/article/24940097.html

          • Filip Stojanovski

            The diaspora has great power to help Macedonia become democratic and prosperous. But it would require some very hard look in the mirror, and the reality of the situation down, “on the ground.”

        • peter7260

          Right on,thank you for telling it as it is!!!

      • peter7260

        Filip,I am surprised on your comment above.Get your comment straight.
        This is what I mean, misrepresentation of the truth by the Soros band like yourself.
        New York is offering 10 years tax free to any business to open up a manufacturing plant in their state,and remember,the tax in NY is 35%.What the Macedonian government is doing,it is perfectly right!

        • Filip Stojanovski

          Have you talked to any regular Macedonian people who work in any of those “foreign” investments? About salaries, working conditions, health hazards, rights to bathroom, obligatory overtime, opportunity for abuse (even sexual abuse) by employers?

          By the way, are you acquainted with the “very successful” foreign investment named Swedmilk?

          Does New York offer to pay half of the salaries and all the benefits from taxpayer’s pocket?

          And in the end, what was the net effect of this policy? How much of taxpayer’s money was spent, and how much money did Macedonia in fact earn? I as citizen and taxpayer have no information about this – my Government is keeping it secret.

          Do you happen to have that information? I presume you base your opinion on facts, not fiction.

  • Anyway, Bravo Filip! I know pretty well how much currage you have to write tis article !!

    • Kris

      You troll all the Macedonian forums putting Macedonian s down and trying to pass of Macedonia as Greek some how when we are the native people of Macedonia its dose not matter when the slavs cam to Macedonia we are the descendants of the land of Macedonia not you…

      • The truth is that Macedonians have named after Greek names ALL the cities they built or renamed.
        As if they knew that, 2500 years later, a bunch of “Macedonian”(that is SlavoSkopian) idiots would argue about their doubtless Greekness.

        • Kris

          Can handle the fact that only we are the only true link to the Macedonians and their land. we are the native people of Macedonia its dose not matter when the slavs came to Macedonia we are the descendants of the land of Macedonia not you…be they Helens or Slavs its not you….and then you insult people a big sign of truth hitting a nerve of character of a weak bully.

          • Aeschines

            • Macedonians had the same language, as all other Greeks
            • Macedonians had the same religion, as all other Greeks
            • Macedonians used the same architecture, as all other Greeks
            • Macedonians served the same arts, as all other Greeks
            • Macedonians used the same names, as all other Greeks
            • Macedonians had the same traditions, as all other Greeks
            • Macedonians had the same myths, as all other Greeks
            • Macedonians had the same heroes, as all other Greeks
            • Macedonians had the same rituals, as all other Greeks
            • Macedonians had the same customs, as all other Greeks
            • Macedonians were Greeks.

            http://www.greece.org/themis/macedonia/article5en.htm

          • Filip Stojanovski

            While you focus on ancient history, the corrupt elites of both neighboring countries which cover the territory of Ancient Kingdom of Macedon have robbed its peoples blind. And are getting away with it by throwing a bone of hate and antiquisation so we would waste time on these debates which are totally irrelevant to the quality of life of both modern Greeks and modern Macedonians. Go on, go on, usurp the space for discussion some more.

            Some Greek friends tell me that situation described in the article reminds them on their recent history. Would be more constructive if there are similarities in the problems to also talk of how some of these problems were solved… But, that might be too much to ask.

          • You cannot even imagine the lies that your gov and thinktakns say to you:
            http://www.fordham.edu/Halsall/ancient/alexfake.asp
            http://www.network54.com/Forum/415923/message/1271191932

          • Kris

            The people that live in Aegean Macedonia today are from the Turkish population exchanges…..my family is from Macedonia and are the most closely related people to the Macedonians that lived there before them. A Greek from the Turkish population exchanges or from Athens cant be more Macedonian then me…

          • Aeschines

            Are you saying that there were no Greeks before the population exchange!? Are you high? I have heard you counting our numbers very low before, but this was a new one! Then again you are truly blinded by your belief that your Slavic ancestors who came as invaders and foreigners and to a large degree pushed the us indigenous Macedonians south into the cities and closer to the coast before we struck back. We indigenous Macedonians have always been present in our native region of Macedonia and we have always counted ourselves as Greeks.

            http://i996.photobucket.com/albums/af88/christospapadimas/PopulationStats.jpg

          • Andy D

            Pisstor. You’re as Turkish as they come, you know it & I know it. Keep your photobucket uploads to yourself you no life loser

          • Aeschines

            Yes yes, and you are the undiluted descendants of Alexander the Great… Whatever bed-time story that makes you able to sleep at night and saves you from your identity night-terrors works I guess.

          • Andy D

            This is Pisstor posting under another ID

          • Macedonian

            A. Despite the myths that wackjob Gruevski promotes, ancient Paeonia is not “macedonia”. For ancient Kingdom of Macedonia one has to visit Greece.

            B. Most citizens of FYROM are direct descendents of ethnic Bulgarians. You blame Greeks for oppressing your identity but the reality is you yourselves oppress your ethnic roots by hiding your own Bulgarian heritage.

            C. Ancient Macedonians were self-identifying Greeks. An irony you’ve missed, is the*only* connection you have with them is whatever link you have with Greeks.

          • Kris

            The argument is flawed you cant tell people who they are. If they are from the Historical Area of Macedonia how many times their ancestors and the people that lived in the area dose not mater or all your whole argument dose not mater because these are the closest descendants of the Macedonians…..

          • Is the term Macedonian geographic?

          • Andy D

            It’s Pisstor again. No life babe

          • Do you say that your language is not Macedonian ?

      • Andy D

        True.. Pisstor trolls under thousand ID’s, whether it’s Topix, YT or anything Macedonian. This guy is more of a tosses than Filip. At least Filip is angry at his situation. Pisstor is just a nosy Greek. Straight from his ghost town village & into his goat barn.

      • Macedonians did spread Greek Language and Civilization to the World.
        http://www.starkrealities.com/fortune.html (pass 5 at least !!)

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