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Albania-Macedonia, a comparison that makes us look like a smaller country

2024-02-01 13:37:00, Opinione Grigels Muçollari
Albania-Macedonia, a comparison that makes us look like a smaller country
Talat Xhaferi

I read many written reactions these days about the news that North Macedonia has an Albanian prime minister for the first time. To tell the truth, I am stunned by the spirit of contempt that some Albanians, political people as well, do to this event, which I personally consider as the event of the year, even though January is not yet closed.

No matter how sparing we are with the ethnic euphoria, which sometimes grips us all as Balkans, we cannot overlook the fact that since 1991, when Macedonia was recognized as a sovereign state, the people did not expect that an Albanian could lead a country where albanophobia has been a part of everyday life, and in not a few cases it is encouraged every time elections are held in the country.

Did you forget the publication of the Macedonian encyclopedia a few years ago, when Albanians were treated as "maloks" in Macedonia? Or when the stadiums screamed from the choirs "gas chamber for Albanians"? That we need a little historical reminder about the treatment of Albanians by official Macedonia. Albanians were called "Turks", then "20% minority" and "separatists".

 Since 2001, with the Ohrid Agreement, Albanians are partners in every government. Talat Xhaferi himself, from a "paramilitary separatist" as he was called by the government of the time, was appointed minister of defense in the state whose army he had fought. Changing the gates, from enemy to ally to ruling coalition was a big step for small minds.

Macedonian politics realized that it could not succeed with hostility. They realized that without the separation of powers, their country had no chance of European integration. Changing the name of the country, changing the constitution and transitioning to a bilingual state seemed like something distant, utopian, but the political will gave another direction to the neighboring country.

Did it occur to anyone that the Speaker of the Parliament of North Macedonia would open the parliamentary session in the Albanian language? Now, why do you think the "symbolism" of the first Albanian prime minister is so insignificant?

Now that we have it, shall we say what we want? Were we better when Albanians spoke Macedonian in the Macedonian assembly? Were we better off when Albanian was not heard anywhere else but in the homes of Albanians? So let's not rush to kill the good for the ideal. There is definitely room for better. There is still a way to go. Isn't it better for an Albanian prime minister to open this road?

Macedonia is very close to us. Sticky. So close that we can even learn something from them. How not to build an arbitrary majority. How to respect the parliamentary minority and not overlook their rights. Xhafer's descendants stopped finding internal enemies. And we, who are democratic Albanians, why should we be treated as internal enemies and be stopped from speaking in the assembly's rostrum?

We clearly have two different political realities. We have a prime minister who hates any form of opposition to him. He closes the opposition media, arrests the leader of the opposition and expels its deputies. And where does this take us? Certainly not close to European integration and far from the political standard set by surrender when you have all the powers yourself, as in the case of Rama.

Since 2016, the Prime Minister's office in Macedonia has resolved political deadlocks.

Such is the Xhaferi government. In Macedonia there are resignations, dialogue and political reconfiguration. In Albania there is only one party in power. In Albania there is no separation of powers, but only one power, which will have the right to name the opposition and its leader.

Macedonia and Albania are two small countries that maybe if you put them together they cannot make one big country. As such they will be compared to each other. And from this comparison, we do not come out well.

21:22 Opinione Ilir Levonja

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