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American checkmate in Macedonia

Macedonia has a hard time living. Already in 1991, at the independence of the country, a former Yugoslav entity, Greece was opposed to Skopje international recognition, because of the very name of Macedonia. Athens rightly claimed that it already possessed a northern region, called Macedonia, inheritor of the Hellenic history of the kingdom of Alexander the Great. No doubt Athens also feared the emergence of a future state, bringing together the Macedonians of Greece, Serbia, Albania and Bulgaria.

Cohabitation between the Slavs, who make up three-quarters of the Macedonian population today, and the Albanian Muslim minority has been appeased since the very violent fighting between government forces and the Albanian rebellion (the UCK-M) in 2001. The Ohrid peace accords signed on 8 August 2001, which give some political and cultural recognition to the Albanians, have brought peace.

Former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski of the VMRO-DPMNE has relied on the Slavic sentiment to support him during his tenure from 2006 to 2016. His government was guilty of corruption, electoral fraud. The opposition, represented by the social democratic leader Zoran Zaev, allied with the Albanian parties, supported by the media in the service of Washington and Brussels, took the streets to obtain early elections and gain power.

The Albanian parties, allied to Zoran Zaev, demanded the federalisation of Macedonia. Zoran Zaev was ready to go. But the Macedonian President, Gjorge Ivanov, refused, arguing that such a federation was opposed to the spirit of the Macedonian Constitution.
Europe, which was the main investor in the country and a generous supplier of European aid, was parading but had no results.
After Parliament was invaded, on April 27, Washingon handled directly the problem. US Assistant Under-Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Hoyt Brian Yee, traveled to Skopje to have the job done. Despite protests from President Ivanov, who was indignant at this foreign interference, Washington imposed a President of Albanian origin on parliament and nine out of 17 Albanian ministers in the pro-NATO government of Zoran Zaev.

Let us remember that Albania is a member of NATO. Analyst Maxim Samorukov wrote that Macedonian politicians are cynical and pragmatic. Their main goal is to cling to power. For them, the nationalist argument is only a way. Before the crisis, the Macedonian nationalist Gruevski and the Albanian leader Ali Ahmeti had formed a coalition government for eight consecutive years. Gruevski's nationalistic bidding was, therefore, only a dangerous game.
European servants having shown themselves absolutely inefficient, the American master had to intervene to get the job done.


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