IBNA Special Report
Skopje, September 2, 2014/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Naser Pajaziti
Political crisis and the blockade of European integration processes of the country has sparked debates and reactions of academic circles in FYROM. The Academy of Sciences and Arts is still considered as the stronghold or the brain of the drafting of state strategic policies. Prime minister Nikola Gruevski is considered a close man to many Macedonian academics and since his arrival in power, attention has returned toward this institution along with the increase of funding for different projects.
The Academy too has political stands on strategic issues, such as the name dispute with Greece, but also other domestic issues such as the demographic ratio between Albanian and Macedonians, cultivation and encouragement of Macedonian projects and other projects.
But, in the recent days, renowned academics have also drafted an incentive for a joint state strategy between the Academy and state institutions, in order to define the future of the country and the economic and social development. Academics believe that in order to move forward with the process of the accession in the NATO and EU, the name dispute must be solved first.
Vlado Kambovski, the head of the Academy of Science and Art, says that the state has failed in two key campaigns, in the transition campaign and that regarding the solution of the name dispute in a multi ethnic society.
“The transition formula applied in Southeastern European countries and Macedonia, has not addressed two key aspects. They are the state institutions and the state as institution. These two domains have not been addressed by the Academy of Sciences and there’s no clear scientific vision”, declared Kambovski for Macedonian media.
During the transition period and after it, Kambovski says that FYROM is facing with the problem of the departure of young intellectuals abroad.
“With this, the state is losing the most human potential, which is the future of the country, by weakening the existing intellectual elite. Thus, Macedonia now has a deficit of young intellectuals, which would compete with the intellectual elite which emerged during the transition. The last strategy drafted by the Academy is the one of 1998. It’s surprising that up until now, this institution has not drafted a new strategy for the development of scientific and research activities”, says Kambovski.
Meanwhile, Albanian academic, Abdylmenaf Bexheti told IBNA that the political aspect is not the only cause of the fact that FYROM is not successful in its accession in the NATO and EU. According to him, the economic aspect also plays a key role.
According to him, public debt is worrying. “Based on official data, public debt at the moment is 46% of GDP, but we still don’t have an accurate figure of the debt. Macedonia is constantly taking fresh debts”, says academic Abdylmenaf Bexheti.
According to him, the strategy must also involve issues that relate to cross ethnic relations, advancement of the position and pending problems of Albanians and other aspects that relate to non majority communities.
Academic Taki Fiti says that the state must implement radical reforms in economy and according to him, this sector is under the umbrella of the government, violating the laws of market. According to him, foreign debt is now 5.7 billion Euros and this is 20% higher than the world average. “Gross debt doesn’t only belong to the state, but the private sector too. Based on world criteria, a balanced debt is a debt ranging from 30% to 50% of GDP and based on these, Macedonia’s debt is now close to 70%”, said the prominent academic for economic affairs, Taki Fiti.
But, this incentive launched by academics has not been commented by the government. Spokesman Muhamet Hoxha says that there’s no concrete proposal or strategy and such thing has not been submitted as a concrete project to the government. According to him, this can only be an issue of debate in the media of the country. /ibna/