For UK’s Guardian (as trying to find a neutral source), the EU and Nato have pleaded for calm in FYROM (Macedonia) after nationalist protesters stormed the parliament in Skopje last Thursday, attacking politicians (as the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) party leader Zoran Zaev) and journalists. The unrest erupted over the election of Albanian deputy Talat Xhaferi, a former UCK Commander, as speaker of the parliament.
It’s one of the most alarming developments in that Balkan nation since it lurched into political gridlock more than two years ago.Angry nationalists, some wearing black masks to hide their faces, are suspected of leading the charge inside of the building, where they threw chairs, camera equipment, and punches. Later, they continued the violence outside as they battled riot police, who have since cordoned off the area around parliament.
Following the outbreak of violence in the “Macedonian” FYROM’s parliament the country has found itself split in two, journalist Milenko Nedelkovski told Sputnik Serbia. For her part, MGIMO professor Elena Ponomareva believes that the crisis is part of a broader strategy aimed at uniting the Albanians of the Balkans into a larger national entity. “Macedonia” is stuck in a big mess with no obvious means to get out, BBC Balkans reporter Guy De Launey says.
FYROM’s Gruevski government was responsible for the illegal surveillance of some 20,000 people including journalists, politicians, and religious leaders. This spurred massive antigovernment protests and a European Union mediation effort. It eventually forced the resignation of Gruevski’s government.The situation deteriorated on March 1 when President Gjorge Ivanov refused to grant Zaev the mandate to form a government, although the opposition leader secured a majority in parliament with ethnic Albanian parties.
The ruling center-right VMRO-DPMNE party led by former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski won 51 seats in the election, the largest proportion of any party in Macedonia’s 120-seat parliament, while Zaev’s SDSM got 49 votes.
To tackle the problem Zaev has teamed up with the Albanian political party — the Democratic Union for Integration (DUI) — to form a coalition government.
© REUTERS/ OGNEN TEOFILOVSKI
The Social Democrats say the leaders of the old government know they face corruption charges, and so are desperate to cling to power. Russia claimed the Social Democrats were willing to spill blood in the streets of FYROM as part of a project to create a Greater Albania.
Albanians make up about a quarter of the population of FYROM and are seeking greater official use of Albanian as well as a fairer distribution of national resources to the regions.
RIA Novosti contributor Dmitri Dobrov elaborated that the Greater Albania doctrine says that the territories in southern Montenegro, southern Serbian territories including Kosovo and the Presevo Valley and northwestern parts of Macedonia should be incorporated in the existing Republic of Albania.
The idea of a Greater Albania was launched in the late 1800s, and was favored by Nazi Germany and Italy’s Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini during World War II. It was revived during the brief Macedonian civil war in 2001, and is pursued by Albanian nationalists. Many people consider the Albanian nationalist movement to be a danger to the entire region, because it might ignite further wars.
“The total number of Albanians in the Balkans amount to more than eight million people, including three million in Albania itself, one million and a half in Kosovo and Serbia and over half a million in FYROM (Macedonia),” the journalist noted, warning that the Macedonian crisis may escalate into a pan-Balkan conflict.
Speaking to RT, Elena Ponomareva, professor at the Moscow-based MGIMO University of the Russian Foreign Ministry, noted that the Albanian opposition in “Macedonia” enjoys support from both Tirana and Brussels.
The Russian academic believes that the strategy of uniting the Albanian people in a single state is being currently implemented in the Balkans. The new entity will consist of Albania, Kosovo and the Albanian-inhabited regions of Fyrom’s.
- Serbia’s Point of View
What is happening in FYROM is not just a local problem, but one for the whole region, says Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic. The Belgrade-based newspaper Vecernje Novosti is reporting this, adding that the threats against Serbia that have been arriving from Tirana, Pristina and Presevo in a synchronized manner and they have been prepared in Ankara.
— Alifakovac (@alifakovac) 27 avril 2017
Albanians have set out to create their third state in the Balkans, said analysts for TV Pink. (Serbia) Analyst Dragomir Andjelkovic said that this is an attempt of Albanian forces to break up FYROM (Macedonia).
Security expert Srdjan Perisic believes that Albanians have set out to create a third Albanian state, and have the support of the West and NATO, otherwise they would not have dared to take such a step.
“The West perceives them as its major factor. We are witnessing conflict and violence in Macedonia because some people only care about money and functions”, says Perisic.As he said, Albania wants an intervention of the West, but only if it is in their favor. They tend to attract the West to react with conflict policy.“For this conflict are responsible the EU and Brussels”, said Perisic.
Analyst Toni Naumovski believes that “Macedonia” after this will not be the same, because two Prime Ministers have been elected, one legal and one illegal minister, and that, as he said, a coup is destroying the state itself.
“This in all respects crashes the Republic of Macedonia and I am shocked because I hoped that the members of some parties will have at least a shred of sense”, said Naumovski, adding that these incidents will continue, if the state of emergency is not declared.He, as he pointed out, expects the emergency state to be declared, which would stabilize the situation.
Security expert Dzevac Galijasevic said last night that what is happening in FYROM is not Macedonian but Balkan crisis.
“Once again we have destabilization of the Balkans. For this crisis are to blame Brussels administration and governments of the Western countries and NATO. Creators of this crisis are at these addresses”, said Galijasevic for TV Pink.
He said that what remains for Serbia, as well as the next target after Macedonia, and he believes that is Montenegro, is to provide support and cooperate with Macedonian government and perform together in the defense of the integrity of each state individually.
Galijasevic, however, says that this is not real and that none of these states will not participate in organized support to their neighbor, or that they will not be united as Albanians.“Montenegro is next and therefore the agreement on the delimitation and demarcation of the line between Kosovo and Montenegro is not signed yet”, he said.
Galijasevic said that destabilization of the Balkans is taking place in two directions: through Albanian nationalism and form of Islamic radicalism and terrorism, which the West supports in order to prevent Russia from exercising any influence in the Balkans.
- The crucial role of Balkans in Europe
It’s no accident that the Balkans is referred to as the powder keg of Europe. Several events in the region, including the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire, in Sarajevo helped trigger World War I.
More recently, the violent breakup of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s left lingering animosities between the many ethnic groups that inhabit the region.
Many analysts say the Dayton accords that brought peace to the Balkans were short-term solutions, at best, and that without secure, longer-term legislation and the strengthening of democratic institutions, volatility will remain on Europe’s southern flank.
Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia is a landlocked country in the heart of the Balkans. It borders Bulgaria, Greece, Albania, Kosovo, and Serbia. A former province in Yugoslavia that gained its independence in 1991, FYROM has been targeting European Union membership since it became a candidate in 2005, though it has yet to open accession talks. It also has aspirations of joining the NATO security alliance.
- Greece and FYROM
Ever since FYROM gained independence in 1991, its name has been the subject of a bitter dispute with southern neighbor, Greece. Greece argues that the name Republic of Macedonia inherently suggests territorial ambitions beyond their neighbor’s existing borders.
— Anastasia Mertzou (@Mertz87) 30 avril 2017
— Anastasia Mertzou (@Mertz87) 30 avril 2017
— Macedonian League (@MacedoniaLeague) 2 mars 2017
Kathimerini Greece: Athens hopes that Germany’s recognition of Talat Xhaferi as Parliament speaker will also help defuse tensions.With regard to Albania and the claims of Cham community vis-a-vis Greece, Athens’s concerns are somewhat alleviated by the moderate stance of new Albanian President Ilir Meta who has helped establish channels of communication with the Greek government after the more hostile stance of Prime Minister Edi Rama.
- Turkey’s ambitions in the region
The Turkish Intel Agency MIT has been ordered by president Erdogan to start preparing Albanians in the Balkans to wage war against Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro, reports Serbian daily Informer.
— Troç (@troc_al) 19 avril 2017
For over six months, preparations have been underway for Turkey to establish control over the Balkans, using albanians as their proxies. Attack is planned on North Kosovo, but also southern Serbia, NW Macedonia (Skopje and Kumanovo) and southern Montnegro (Ulcinj). MIT operatives are coordinating all their activities from Pristina.
Turkey has also sent anti-tank missiles to Kosovo for these purposes, while the project is financially backed by famous Swiss albanian drug lord Bexhet Pacoli who is worth over 3 billion euros.
Both Edi Rama and Kosovo’s Hashim Thaci issued statements within two days apart that this is the best time for Albanians to unite their territories, it’s now or never. Their statements, not surprisingly did not receive any attention or condemnation both in Brussels and NATO. A NATO member is threatening three non NATO countries with agression.
- Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Facts
The term Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was proposed in January 1993 by France, Spain and the United Kingdom, the three European Commission members of the United Nations Security Council, to enable the Republic to join the United Nations.
It has a population of 2.1 million, mainly comprising Macedonian Slavs. But it is estimated that one-quarter of the country is ethnic Albanian, most of whom live in the northern and northwestern regions that border Kosovo and Albania. Other ethnic groups, none of which accounts for more than 4 percent of the population, include Serbs, Bosniaks, Turks, Roma, Montenegrins, Croats, and Vlachs.
Tensions between Slavic groups and ethnic Albanians, who comprise about 8 million people in the Balkans, including some 1.5 million in Kosovo, is widely considered the biggest flash point in the region.
*Article based mainly in Sources:
- Reuters and Macedonia Online and B92 (Belgrade)
- EU and Nato plead for calm in Macedonia after protest at parliament
- ‘What Happens in Macedonia Planned in Advance’ – Moscow on Parliament Violence
- Analysts: Albanians ready for war, set out to create their third state
- ‘Greater Albania’: Why Macedonian Political Crisis is Part of Broader Strategy