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Analysts Warn about Fragility of Peace in Macedonia

Protests erupted in Skopje in July 2014, after the sentencing of six ethnic Albanian men for what authorities labeled "terrorist killings". Photo by Sinisa Jakov Marusic. Courtesy of BIRN © 2014, used with permission.

Protests erupted in Skopje in July 2014, after the sentencing of six ethnic Albanian men for what authorities labeled “terrorist killings”. Photo by Sinisa Jakov Marusic. Courtesy of BIRN © 2014, used with permission.

Austrian political scientist and blogger Florian Bieber recently provided an overview of the troubling inter-ethnic situation in Macedonia in article titled “Macedonia on the Brink”. Bieber's in-depth piece provides a window into the aftermath of the recent series of initially violent ethnic clashes in Macedonia and peaceful protests.

The protests were sparked by ethnic tension due to the sentencing of six Albanian Macedonian men for what authorities called the “terrorist killing” of five people in 2012. In his article, Bieber emphasizes:

Authoritarian tendencies, ethno-nationalist state-building and segregation of the two largest communities make for a combustible mix. Even if the protests have died down, Macedonia is probably the only country of the former Yugoslavia where ethnic violence remains a real risk.

Decision-makers in the region continue to use sporadic incidents as incitement for what is often clearly hate speech, as well as for propaganda against several civil society organizations that have publicly warned about the use of xenophobic fear as a smokescreen for other issues in the country, such as government corruption.

Local political analyst Mersel Bilalli provided a gloomy projection for Macedonia's troubles shortly after the 2014 anniversary of signing the Ohrid Framework Agreement, an agreement signed between the Macedonian government and representatives of the country's Albanian minority in 2001 to end the armed conflict between the militant National Liberation Army and the Macedonian security forces, also setting the groundwork for improving the rights of ethnic Albanians in the country. As Bilalli pointed out:

The Ohrid Framework Agreement successfully extinguished the fire of 2001, but even after 13 years it failed to create any micron of what is called – tolerance, coexistence, civic equality, equal opportunities, democratic governance, rule of law and general development. On the contrary, we have demotion. So now instead of lasting reconciliation we have naked hatred. Instead of tolerance we have fights on buses and streets. Instead of cohesion we have demolition of houses and bars. Instead of the rule of law we have the rule of parties. Instead of general development, we have the top position in the list of world poverty. Instead of independent judiciary, we have party ruled verdicts and rigged trials. Everything is in free fall. Only organized crime is upwards. We have made a society without laws, without morals, without a curtain and shame.

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  • Kris

    This is not new, you can just look at the United States and the Riots in the United Kingdom and the social problems they have. The strong economic growth “one of Europe’s Highest” and large investments from international companies will help with social cohesion-an and give people a future not decades of poverty for all Macedonia’s citizens.

    • Andy D

      Read ‘Of Turks & of Greeks’ by Nikos Raptis. This Greek will tell you how most of you Greeks have Turkish family names

      • Delchev the Bulgarian

        Your pathetic lying shows just how desperate you former Yugoslavians are. There was no such thing as Turkish Christians. The Ottomans were assimilating Muslims into Turks. Religous conversion was a death penalty under the Ottomans. You have things exactly backwards. If anything some modern Turks are of partial Greek heritage.

        If you cared about last names how about noticing all your names in FYROM are SLAVIC. At last check ancient Macedonians, founders of the hellenistic period, were Greeks. There isn’t a single Macedonian in the former Kingdom of ancient Paeonia. For Macedonians you have to visit Macedonia… Greece.

  • ae3effdf@sdfsfaf.com

    Might also want to mention crackpot VMRO supporters sudden identity change into descendents of ancient Macedonians and irredentism against neighboring states. .

    • Kris

      Macedonia is the only country that has to prove its identity and connection to the descendants to the area they live in. This includes Greece where half a million people that live around the world are from and the new modern population is made made up of Greeks or Christians from Turkey you can see it in the facial features. This whole thing I childish.

      • Andy D

        Here here. Most Greeks do look Turkish

        • Delchev the Bulgarian

          You mean former Yugoslavians look SLAVIC.

          Open a history to check if ancient Macedonians, founders of the Hellenistic period, were Slavic. Good luck.

        • fuckmarxists

          Yes, just like Tina Fey, Zach Galafanakis, Jennifer Aniston . . you delusional Albanian-Slavic hybrid scum.

          Like Delchev said, It was the DEATH PENALTY for a Turk to convert to christianity and assimilate into Greek society.

          Assimilation was one way, from Greeks converting to Muslims and joining the Ottoman Empire.

          During the Wars of 1800′s, MIllions of Greek Muslims s and Slavic Muslims were murdered or exiled to Turkey

          You can see here in this DNA chart – http://i.imgur.com/0eNAGU3.png

          Modern Turks are 30% Greek DNA, 30% Slavic DNA, 30% Turkic DNA and rest a mix of Kurd/Armenian/Persian

          Modern Greek DNA is 75% Mediterannean GREEK DNA, 25% Mix of Slavic/Italian/French/Spaniard

          Now enjoy being an irrelevant shithole you gypsy albanian wanabee

      • Delchev the Bulgarian

        Liar. Ottoman Turks were Muslims not Christians. You have things exactly backwards. Assimilation was one way. Greeks into Turks. A Muslim Turk converting into Christianity would have been executed under Ottoman law.

        You might also want to mention the majority of current inhabitants of
        ancient Paeonia are direct descendents of ethnic Bulgarians.

        “Prior to the creation of a Macedonian republic in 1944,most Macedonian immigrants viewed themselves as ethnically Bulgarian and often referred to themselves as Macedonian-Bulgarians or simply Bulgarians.While immigration records failed to list Macedonians as separate category,approximately three-quarters of those listed as Bulgarians were‍ from the regions of Kostur and Bitola in Macedonia.” – James R. Grossman, University of Chicago

      • fuckmarxists

        You can see here in this DNA chart
        http://i.imgur.com/0eNAGU3.png

        Modern Turks are 30% Greek DNA, 30% Slavic DNA, 30% Turkic DNA and rest a mix of Kurd/Armenian/Persian

        Modern Greek DNA is 75% Mediterannean GREEK DNA, 25% Mix of Slavic/Italian/French/Spaniard

  • John

    Probably the stupidest thing I’ve ever read.
    Straight from the cooking school of Soros and the CIA.

  • I live in Macedonia

    You have to be retarded to write this bullshit. It’s like me writing about the protests in Ferguson! But I guess this is democracy. Fuck you!

  • Andy D

    Where there are Muslims in numbers, you will definitely have problems. Muslims are the vermon of humanity

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