Mass Protests in Skopje as EU Envoy Tries to Break Deadlock

Photo: AP

Tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered in FYROM’s (Macedonia) capital, Skopje, Tuesday to protest a visit by a European Union envoy who is trying to break the political deadlock that has left the country without a government for three months.

Waving red-and-yellow national flags, the protesters chanted “Macedonia! Macedonia!” – as EU enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn held talks with political leaders.

Protest organizers said they were holding rallies at 42 sites around the country, and unfurled giant banners along the route taken by Hahn from the airport to the capital.

Macedonia’s two largest parties do not have enough lawmakers to form a government after a general election in December.

They would need to form a coalition with one party from the country’s ethnic Albanian minority, which is demanding that Albanian be made the country’s second official language.

The long-governing conservatives rejected the minority demand outright. Conservative President Gjorge Ivanov, however, has refused to hand the rival Social Democrats a mandate to form a government until they do the same.

Ivanov, who did not meet with Hahn, argues that the language demand is an attempt to destroy Macedonia’s character.

Supporting Ivanov’s tough line, demonstrators have gathered regularly for the past three weeks, and organizers said that a crowd of 50,000 rallied in Skopje Tuesday.

“We’ve had enough of commissioners,” Bogdan Ilievski, a protest organizer, said. “The language we all understand is Macedonian and the [minority demand] is only aimed at breaking up the country. That’s why we won’t allow it to become the policy of any government.”

Ethnic Albanians make up a quarter of Macedonia’s population. Albanian is currently recognized as an official language in minority-dominated areas but not in the country as a whole.

Macedonia has been locked in a major political crisis for the past two years, sparked by a wiretapping scandal and corruption allegations.


  1. “Ethnic Albanians make up a quarter of Macedonia’s population.”

    No, this is actually false. There was a lot of fraud and phantom (non-existent) people being counted to up the population figures for Albania. The real figures are around 16-18% and that is why the Albanians and EU are delaying another census. Since the last census, Macedonia has implemented measures and technology to prevent the cheating done in the past.

  2. The Macedonian Slavs need to get used to the fact that the Albanian population within FYROM is there to stay and will only grow. They either assume an antagonistic role and end up in a civil war or assume an inclusive role which safeguards Albanian language and identity and safeguards the Slavic Bulgarian heritage. Both groups need to coexist on the land together in a peaceful manner. The nationalistic approach of the Bulgarian Slavic population will only get them into trouble via a civil war. The Albanians have proven resilience over many centuries. They have an ancestral connection in FYROM which is over 7000 years old, a lot longer than there Bulgarian Slavic co-occupiers. It’s not about Greater Albania. The Albanians of FYROM have no intention of separating. What they want is equal recognition and a stop to a false culture which has been engineered by The Bulgarian Slavic population. They cannot identify with an imposed Hellenic culture. They want a neutral landscape. It’s a composite country made up of Bulgarian Slavs, Albanians, Vlachs, Turks, Romani, Serbs and Pomaks. The last census was in 2002. That’s 15 years ago. Back then these groups were at 35%. Right now if FYROM were to conduct a census it would cause a cultural earthquake. They need to be all inclusive. The Gruevski master plan of Skopje 2014 is a polarizer. No group other that the brainwashed Bulgarian Slavs can identify with it. Gruevski exacerbated a volatile phenomena that has been fed for decades by the Diaspora community since the umbilical cord to Bulgaria was cut by Tito. The educated Bulgaria Slavs know their roots. The not so educated Bulgarian Slavs are vulnerable to propaganda. The Nazification of Fyrom has been fueled by the VMRO-DPMNE. They and they alone have embarked on the insanity that is Antiquization. Their school curriculums have been contaminated. Imagine teaching an Albanian child that his ancestor is a Greek by the name of Alexander the Great. It bad enough trying to get the Bulgarian Slavic community to believe it but they do. Both groups cannot even pronounce the historical Greek names. They are foreign words that have been imposed by one man and one party – Gruevski and the VMRO-DPMNE. Politicians like Zaev and Georgievski offer hope. Unfortunately when they speak out they are accused of being traitors and undermining the cultural fabric. What cultural fabric? It’s a fabrication. The VMRO-DPMNE was founded as a mirror modern day version of the Bulgarian Patriot liberation organization the IMRO. Staunchly Slavic Bulgarian in ethnicity. Staunchly unionist with Bulgaria. Gruev & Dalchev who are now national heroes of Bulgaria and FYROM used to pass death sentences on any Slavs claiming that the blood of Alexander The Great ran through them. If they were still around half of the population of FYROM would be dead. They (FYROM) are culturally gluttonous. Not only do they want to embrace the Bulgarian culture that is within them but they also want to steal an older culture which they not connected to. They cannot have both. Its either one or the other. If it’s Hellenic culture then apologize to Bulgaria and give them back their history. If its Bulgarian culture then keep Gruev & Dalchev ,drop Alexander and apologize to Greece. This is not like sexuality. You cannot be Bi-Historical. You are either one or the other. It is understandable why the Albanians are so pissed off. I fear the worst. 2001 was merely a warning. If Ivanov and Gruevski continue trying to protect their Hellenistic stolen culture they will end up in a civil war. The reason the country is failing is because it is based on artificial foundations. Rotten to the core. Deluded in all aspects. They need to demolish those grotesque reproduction Italian made statues, rename their airport, change their flag, rename their highways, burn their heretic encyclopedias, change the school curriculum, drop the irredentist platform and the country will thrive. Nations can only be established on correct cultural foundations. FYROM is sitting on stilts and is about to collapse.