By Agron Biba*
Ahead of last winter’s elections, opposition leader, Zoran Zaev has bravely and determinately declared that: “I want Albanians to love their mother Macedonia like I do. They will love it if the state treats them equal to Macedonians… This means that we want unity and no divisions. If the state offers them a chance to love the country like a motherland, then there is no reason for them not to love it and not fight for it the same way I do”.
Someone responded to this: You will lose votes by saying this ahead of the elections.
But Zaev believed that Albanians would recognize his sincerity in his statements. But, he was declared traitor and he sustained a wound in his front.
For Bismarck and his contemporaries, that wound or scar would be a “Schimsse” or a scar of honor.
I hope that NATO and EU also see it this way.
The autumn elections came. Zaev repeated his message. He won once again with those that trusted him and who were in greater numbers now.
People voted for a life with dignity and a similar life for everyone in the country.
Neither the Macedonian, nor the Albanian has an ugly face.
United citizens will be happier, better and will have happier faces.
At last, nationalism in Macedonia is out of fashion!
We see the same happy and smiley faces among Albanians of Haracina, but also among Macedonians in Kercova.
Inspired by Zaev, these citizens of these two communes, did not vote as Albanians or Macedonians, but voted as the French and Germans after World War II, expressing their readiness for a joint path toward the EU.
In Haracina and Kercova, people voted in a heretic manner. Instead of being haunted by Balkan nationalism, they were full of hope.
This will attract the EU’s and NATO’s attention and will issue strong optimistic signals.
This aid and attention was also demanded a while ago by Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov and he was right to demand it.
Now we have a positive example and we’re right to be inpatient and determined.
The desire to become a NATO and EU member is common and mutual. Based on this logic, our failure of success so far in this aspect doesn’t put the blame on us 100%.
We now have a new government, we have a new political situation and a new intermediary for the solution of an old problem. This intermediary would bring new optimism and geopolitical advancement in the Balkans and beyond.
The strong civilized signals sent out by the voters of Haracina and Kercova point their finger of responsibility toward the most developed countries of the NATO and EU.
In the end, how sad that we didn’t have a Zoran Zaev in the 90’s.
*The author is a film director from Ohrid, who lives and works in his birth place
**Note: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect IBNA’s editorial policy