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ĄŠÕČĀ: ĮŚĖĆĄŠČß  Č  ĢĄŹÅÄĪĶČß : ĻŠÅÄČĒĀČŹĄŅÅĖŃŅĀĄ ĶĄ ĻŠĪĢÅĶČŅÅ  - Ńīōč˙, 2001
MIRJANA MALESKA
THE MACEDONIAN (OLD-NEW) ISSUE
In the meantime, there have been several clashes within the party. Under great pressure from the public, people who have openly expressed “anti-Macedonian” feelings were removed or replaced from the high positions in the party. The greatest shock to Georgievski’s party, however, came when a faction led by the respected and wealthy businessman Boris Stojmenov, split and formed its own party, the True VMRO-Vistinska. The addition “true” obviously refers to returning to “Macedonianism”. According to several statements given by Stojmenov, VMRO- DPMNU began neglecting the true interests of VMRO for the existence of a separate Macedonian nation and state. 
What deserves special attention in respect to the future development Macedonian-Bulgarian relations is the development of “anti-Macedonianism” among some members of the VMRO-DPMNU leadership, such as the former Minister of Culture and present Ambassador Dimitar Dimitrov, formerly Director of the National Library “Kliment Ohridski”, Mladen Srbinovski and others.
In order to describe the ideology of “anti-Macedonianism” we should first explain the sense of “Macedonianism”; this is no easy task, for until ten years ago almost none, apart from historians perhaps, thought in terms of Macedonaianism or anti-Macedonianism.Macedonianism”, is not simply a “Serbophile ideology”, as P. Semerdiev (a quote from the book by K. Kertikov and D. Arsenova) says. His definition is very close to our understanding of “Macedonianism”, describing is as a complex process of building and consolidation of a nation, which has discovered a way or a “formula” for survival, that is for protection against the threat of assimilation on the part of certain nationalist and chauvinist feelings in the neighboring countries. 
On a political level “Macedonianism” is simplified and manifested as an ideology of those individuals or political parties that work in favor of a status quo situation in the Balkans. According to them, the establishment of a Macedonian nation, Macedonian language and culture is a “fait accompli”. Macedonian national identity (ethnic origin, language, and culture) must not be questioned in order not to jeopardize Macedonian territorial integrity, which could have negative political consequences for the stability of the Balkans. It would be best to find all historical, anthropological, cultural and other evidence in favor of the thesis that the Macedonian nation (history and culture) are completely separate from the Bulgarian one (perhaps many truly believe it is). This position is only a step away from “Bulgarophobia”. The strongest advocate of such “political Macedonianism” today is SDAM, whose ideology and political platform include two key elements: unitary organization in the country and preserving the status quo in foreign affairs, implying the preservation of the present borders.
The ideology of “anty-Macedonianism” is hard to define, because people are still afraid to speak or write openly about it or to organize in political groups supporting it. We would say that “anti-Macedo-nianism” on the political level is the movement for restoring the Bulgarian consciousness to Macedonians. Today that is being done from the position of authority. 
Certain manifestations of this phenomenon are obvious: apart from the parties VMRO-Tatkovisnka (Motherland) and the Party for Human Rights (led by Ilija Ilievski), mentioned in the book by Kertikov and Arsenova, “Bulgaria and Macedonia – together in Europe”, an inaugural conference of the association “Radko” took place in Skopje in the end of 2000. “Radko” openly declares that its efforts will be directed towards reviving the national Bulgarian consciousness among Macedonians.(3)
From a political point of view, however, Dimitrov’s “anti-Macedo-nianism” carries the heaviest weight (Srbinovski’s opinion is similar), being that of a member of the VMRO-DPMNU leadership. In his book “The Name and the Mind”, and especially in the interview for the newspaper “Makedonija” (issue 11, published on 15 March 2000), Dimitrov expresses the thesis, which is not necessarily disputable, that the great powers have sanctioned the division of Macedonia for reasons of self-interest, exposing the Bulgarians, once a majority on this territory, to forceful assimilation by the Serbs. The assimilation would have been a “success” had it not been for organizations such as VMRO of Todor Aleksandrov, Ivan Mihajlov, Metodi Satorov Sarlo, Metodi Andonov - Cento, and the “Ilinden” freedom fighters. 
Insofar as it expresses the “primitive” interpretation of “Macedo-nianism”, attributing it exclusively to Comintern policy, Dimitrov’s viewpoint for placing the Macedonian nation back to its focal point is disputable. This “focal point” means, in fact, restoring Bulgarian national feelings in the Macedonians (the result of which would be a change of borders).
We mention Dimitrov’s views here in order to get insight into VMRO-DPMNU’s strategy, if there is any coherent strategy to speak of. Is it at all realistic to form a long-term strategy of changing the national identity of Macedonians and for reunion with Bulgaria? 
Incredible as it seems, there are some indicators that this direction, although incoherent, is being advocated by some. This strategy is based on several premises: 
- That the European integration is a favorable moment for democratic correction of the “historical mistakes” of the great powers towards Macedonia and an occasion for reviving the Bulgarian national sentiment in Macedonians. The advocates of this idea, judging by their behavior, are convinced that they have full control over the situation; their confidence is naļve, irresponsible, and far from the truth. They are under public pressure. For example, the results of last year’s local elections indicated VMRO-DPMNU were losing the support of the voters.
- While the use of force is not acceptable to the international community, nor does Macedonia have that force, there are democratic means such as organizing a referendum. (Of course if Bulgaria at all would like to unite with Macedonia and to aggravate its internal situation with additional, mainly minority problems)
This assumption raises the questions: what would the presumed results of such a referendum be? Would the Macedonians want Macedonia and Bulgaria to be united? And even if the majority answered “yes”, would Macedonians have the democratic capacity to respect and accept the results of a referendum for a choice that touches the most intimate feelings of a people? A still different question is whether Serbia or Greece would allow things to develop in this direction.(4)
The only supporter of VMRO-DPMNU in the idea of “returning Macedonians to their Bulgarian focal point” (Dimitrov), could be the Albanian minority in Macedonia, which is undergoing a process of national rebirth and emancipation. It could be motivated to reacquire independence of the Slavic peoples in Macedonia. According to the theories of ethnic conflicts, secession usually takes place when a community finds this a more useful alternative than remaining the minority in the previous state. It is hard to define what is more or less “useful”. Here we should consider the causes for the disintegration of Yugoslavia: to put it briefly, they were the nationalism, even chauvinism of Milosevic’s regime which wanted to impose Serbian domination over the other Yugoslav nations by centralizing the Yugoslav federation.
4. International context
In the time of the Cold War, the appearance of Macedonian nationalism and separatism, or that of any other Yugoslav republic, would have meant the end of the federation by an even more bloody course, which could have destabilized the region, Europe, and even led to confrontation between the two Super Powers. When, for example, in 1971 nationalists in Croatia smashed street signs written in the Cyrillic alphabet, brandishing the red-and-white checkered flag and quarreling with the Serb minority in a call for state independence, Tito arrived in Zagreb to harangue the Central Committee furiously: “Do you want 1941 over again?” He warned the Croats that chaos in Yugoslavia could lead to foreign intervention, reminding them that Brezhnev had offered ‘fraternal assistance’. 
The existence of Yugoslavia as a mediator between the West and the Soviet Union, and as the leader of the Movement of the Independent countries was at that time necessary, and the West as well as Russia (URSS) wouldn’t have supported the break-up of the federation. The two World Powers intimidated one another, which became obvious in the way Berlin was divided; the world needed no new adventure in the form of a “Yugoslav crisis”.
It was best to forget the past, and look ahead to the future. That proved easy, as Macedonia, although small and economically undeveloped, received an equal position with the other republics in postwar Yugoslavia. It is an interesting fact for those who deal in the prevention of ethnic conflict, that the Yugoslav federation functioned on the principle of equal distribution of power. In both federal houses, the one representing the republics and the other representing the citizens, the decisions were made on the basis of full consensus, which, on the other hand, made the federal government inefficient. Another interesting point to think about is that the federation disintegrated when Serbia tried to change this balance to its purposes: the republics were to be equally represented, while the House of Citizens was to be represented on the principle: one citizen – one vote. This principle is not unjust and the majority of the federations in the world function by it, but here it came at a point when the reasons for separation were greater than those for remaining in the federation.
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 3. During the meeting of the organization “Radko” in the luxurious “Alexander Palace Hotel” in Skopje, three young students threw a gas bomb inside the hall. The delegates stopped the session and some of them were so furious that they beat the journalist S.Suplinovski whom they suspected.
In the media, the young students were exalted as heroes and immediately named “novi (new) gemidjii”, referring to the historical freedom fighters, the gemidii who blew up the Ottoman Bank in Thesallonika (Solun) at the beginning of 20th century. back
 4. An indication that the situation is far from being under control is the so-called “Big ear” scandal that shocked the Macedonian public: the leader of SDAM gave the media a list of about 150 people whose telephones had been tapped. They were mainly politicians of the opposition, but there were also journalists among them, and even the President of the Republic, Boris Trajkovski.
The tapes were proven authentic, but no one has taken responsibility for this abuse of human rights. Some of the former high agents in the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Slobodan Bogoevski) and also the former minister of Internal Affairs and leader of Democratic Alliance, Pavle Trajanov blamed the Prime Minister Ljupco Georgievski, the present minister of Internal Affairs, Dosta Dimovska and even the President Boris Trajkovski, arguing that without their permission, no one would dare to perform such act. They claimed that some of the information obtained by the unlawful tapings was transmitted to the secret services in Sofia and Tirana. back
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