Europe’s initial silence was misinterpreted in this partisan public as a support to the hospitality of the ideological twin of Viktor Orban from Macedonia. The asylum of a former prime minister sentenced to two years in prison, which is falsely presented to the Hungarian public as a victim of persecution, while omitting the part that several trials for serious crimes against him are underway, will not pass without shock in Hungary, no matter how threatened democracy and European values and rules are there.
There are still serious questions to be raised about whether the expressly granted asylum to Gruevski is merely the fruit of ideological and personal friendship and protection for the exiled prime minister’s threatened life, or something bigger, much larger, which can overtake the autocrat Viktor Orban.
Several serious scams of corruption involving politicians in Macedonia are linked to individuals and companies from Hungary. They have been forgotten, but under them there is still a spark, because the cases have not been closed and were not completely solved. What looked like as a routine operation to Orban, to rescue a victim from persecution would turn out to be a trap, because the evidence and court decisions about who was the one in Macedonia that was persecuting and competing with political opponents, who ordered court verdicts, who locked journalists up, who took large commissions for the construction of highways, who destroyed other property by blasting it with dynamite in front of TV cameras will finally appear. In whose office the people wet their pants out of fear and stress, who appropriated cheap land in prestigious districts, who built corrupt buildings and monuments, who organized an incursion in the Parliament on April 27th to prevent the election of a president and government by the majority in a credible election, which was the leader of the criminal association for falsification of elections etc. In whose rule the greatest violation of human rights and freedoms has been exercised by keeping over 20,000 citizens under surveillance for years, whose communications were monitored and misused… When all this gets to Viktor Orban’s office desk, but also before the loud and deeper arguments of the Hungarian and European media will burst, the likelihood that Nikola Gruevski will remain in Budapest as VIP asylum seeker and guest of Prime Minister Orban are minimal.
The banal and eternal topic for Europe – nothing new from the Balkans – for the tangled Macedonian and Balkan affairs, have already become the subject of much wider observation and investigation that lies behind the rescue of Gruevski by Prime Minister Viktor Orban, which has long since been a pebble in the shoe of the EU. The European Parliament and the European Commission are opening the topic of Gruevski’s asylum, and already official Brussels is beginning to pose the real very unpleasant issues. Even the German MPs in the Bundestag ask if Hungary turns into an extended arm of the autocrat Nikola Gruevski. And another shocking message was heard in the Bundestag: And Macedonia to clarify whether Gruevski’s escape followed with the permission of the (Macedonian) authorities there. Pebbles that cause avalanches began to roll down from the Balkans and the Alps to the Hungarian plain.
In Gruevski’s native country, after the initial shock of his escape and the confusion that arose, things began to take different turns. Consequences become more visible and clearer. The responsibility for the incompetence and the sloppiness that the main defendant of the 10-year-old tyranny in Macedonia escaped, which is undoubted, but cannot replace Nikola Gruevski’s guilt, although such attempts are present in the public. One is the incompetent government and the sleepless competent institutions of the system, and quite another is the crime of law-abusers and the abuse of power and posts.
All those responsible for Gruevski’s escape should be immediately held accountable, as this devalues not only the successful and unpretentious beginning of the rule of law, but also the whole democratic revolution of overthrowing the regime and the main carrier of that autocratic system. The resignations and dismissals in this case are inevitable, including criminal liability, of course, if there is such knowledge and evidence.
Anyone that has helped Gruevski escape from Macedonia should be seated on the defendant’s bench. For this, the criminal law envisages prison sentences of one to five years, and in some cases even more. Gruevski himself, without anyone’s help, could not have escaped from Macedonia and entered legally, or illegally, in Albania. Those who knew, and did not report that a convict is planning to escape, those who directly participated in the preparations for his escape will face justice one day. When something is known by many people it cannot remain a secret.
All this does not diminish the guilt for the crimes of Nikola Gruevski, on the contrary, it increases it. The crimes for which he is charged will continue with less lawyer maneuvers and delays, and judgments and explanations must be the result of a fair trial and convictions with irrefutable evidence regardless of whether the main culprit escaped or is present in the courtroom. The replacement of the theses for responsibility and incompetence of the authorities, which enabled the escapes of defendants and people convicted of crimes during Gruevski’s regime, are harmful, because they go hand in hand with those who put the mistakes of power over the regime’s ten-year tyranny. Something that is incomparable.
It would be a completely different situation if the message that came from the German Bundestag proves to be true – Macedonia to clarify whether the escape followed the authorization of the government. The detention of Saso Mijalkov may be the first move in denying the suspicion from Germany, present in Macedonia as well, but certainly not enough to clear the fog around Gruevski’s escape. If there is truth in this suspicion and in the request for clarification of the participation of the government in Gruevski’s escape, not even the dogs would eat our misery then.
If it turns out that the government was involved in the escape, resignations from either Prime Minister Zaev or the entire government would not be enough. They should immediately take their blankets and go straight to Sutka. They should be tried and sentence themselves to 10 years in prison. That would be the biggest betrayal of the overthrow of the Nikola Gruevski regime. Zaev, the government team and the competent institutions at the moment do not have anything more important to do for the future of Macedonia than clearing and clarifying the suspicion that Gruevski’s escape happened with their blessing. Just words are not sufficient for this. We need other specific evidence.
Views expressed in this article are personal views of the author and do not represent the editorial policy of Nezavisen Vesnik