Negotiations in Brussels do not issue positive signals, divided opinions in Skopje

Negotiations in Brussels do not issue positive signals, divided opinions in Skopje

IBNA Special Report

Skopje, March 31, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Naser Pajaziti

The first talks between the two largest Macedonian political forces to take the country out of the political crisis, have been concluded without any result. VMRO-DPMNE in power and SDSM (Macedonian Social Democratic Union) in opposition, have expressed contradictory stances in the negotiations that were held late last evening in Brussels, with the intermediacy of the three MEPs, Eduard Kukan, Richard Howitt and Ivo Vajgl.

The office of the three MEPs issued a short statement saying that both sides have agreed on continuing dialogue.

“The first meeting between representatives of the main Macedonian party in power and opposition party with members of the European Parliament was held in Brussels. All participants have agreed for negotiations to continue”, reads the short statement. Sides have agreed to hold another round of talks after Easter.

Macedonian opposition led by deputy chairwoman of SDSM, Radmila Sekerinska, said that this party doesn’t withdraw from its requests: the resignation of the current government and the creation of an interim government, which will hold free and fair elections, the resignation of the general attorney of the country and the resignation of the board of Macedonian Radio Television. SDSM says that if these demands are not met, then talks on other topics will not continue.

But VMRO-DPMNE has responded from its head office, stressing that this party said in Brussels that it doesn’t accept the creation of a government which has not gained legitimacy through elections.

VMRO-DPMNE has not accepted the request for the resignation of the general attorney of the country, while it has expressed its readiness to talk about changes in the board of the public Radio Television. The two parties have had opposite stances on the wiretapping scandal and the so called “Putsch” case, which relates to the charges pressed against opposition leader, Zoran Zaev for collaboration with foreign secret services.

In spite of positive signals for the solution of the crisis, political analysts and civil society praises the start of negotiations.

Political analyst, Naser Zyberi says that the first meeting in Brussels is a step forward toward the solution of the political crisis. “It’s a positive development and with this, sides admitted the fact that the country is in a crisis and that there must be negotiations to come out of this impasse. It’s a positive start and we were expecting not to have initial positive results. It will be a difficult process with many challenges that will continue in the future”, declared for IBNA the political analyst, Naser Zyberi.

Former presidential candidate from the opposition, Stevo Pendarovski has his doubts about the positive outcome of the negotiations. Pendarovski says that these negotiations are much more difficult than those in 2001, which prevented the armed conflict between Macedonian security forces and the National Liberation Army.

The public opinion has praised the start of talks between the two political parties, expressing its optimism for a rapid end of the crisis.

Biljana S, professor in Skopje, told IBNA that she’s optimistic that the political crisis may be solved. “I think that it’s a good thing that dialogue has started. I hope that with the assistance of our EU partners, the situation will be overcome and that talks will be held for the priorities of the citizens in terms of their social and economic problems”, says Biljana S.

But, Ardian Mehmeti, an ethnic Albanian says that the political crisis in FYROM doesn’t only come as a result of the political battle and problems between the two Macedonian political blocks, but also as a result of the discrimination being made to Albanians. According to him, Albanian parties should have been invited in the roundtable of talks in Brussels.

“The wiretapping scandal pointed out the orchestrated processes, the discrimination being made to Albanians in institutions by officials of PM Nikola Gruevski’s party. Albanians have many problems, starting from failure to fully implement the Ohrid Agreement. This agreement is not being implemented even 14 years later and we still have problems with a wider use of the Albanian language, representation of Albanians in all institutions and other problems”, says Ardian Mehmeti for IBNA. /ibna/