The beginning of the internationalization process of a "Greater Albania"

Željko Šajn
Source: Print Screen/YT TV Happy

Writing for Kosovo Online: Zeljko Sain, Politika's special correspondent from Skopje

Just two years after the end of the Second World War - the Cold War began, between the biggest military allies, before whom fascism and Nazism capitulated: the USSR and the USA. The greatest enemy of the West was the socialist countries with the Warsaw Pact, where the communist ideology, on Marxist-Leninist grounds, was used by the Americans to destroy all socialist states. This military-political virus of "the disintegration of states" did not bypass SFR Yugoslavia either.

We remember, at least the older generations, the emergence of the Non-Aligned Movement, those anti-communist demonstrations from Pristina, via Zagreb, Prague, and Belgrade to the demolition of Timisoara, Bucharest, the fall of Mahmut Bakalli, Mirko Canadanovic, Savka Dabcevic Kucar, Mirko Tepavac, and Pero Pirker... Everything is emphasized by the Croatian and Prague Spring, the mass movement in 1966, when everything started at the Brijuni Plenum, where the League of Communist of Yugoslavia dealt with the secret police led by Aleksandar Rankovic, and began to strengthen reform forces in society.

However, no one thought that the disintegration of the SFRY, the USSR, the disappearance of the Warsaw Pact, the removal of Rankovic or the defeat of Maspok could happen. No one believed that Yugoslavia would be bombed or that the Western powers would declare Kosovo an independent republic. Many believed that Tito was immortal and that Yugoslavia had friends both in the West and in the East. We all relied on the Yugoslav People’s Army to protect the borders of our country and that nothing that happened could happen to us.

A similar thing is happening today on the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia. The blows of the neighboring countries are not abating. The dispute with Greece, a knife in the back by Bulgaria, and now Albania has something to say. Kurti stirs water to cook a "Greater Albania", a specialty on the former menu of Adem Demaci. Many say there is nothing to it, and it was the same with Kosovo's independence, but the Declaration of Independent Kosovo took place in Kacanik, the draft of which was made by Adem Demaci even before the Brijuni Plenum in 1964 for the annexation of Kosovo to Albania when he was awarded a fifteen-year prison sentence.

The promotion of Demaci's ideology and the aspiration towards the unification of the Albanians was publicly promoted by Kurti in Skopje's Chair municipality, where a part of the Second Proletarian Strike Brigade Street was renamed in the name of Adem Demaci, so that it is known that his ideology lives on, that, in fact, it has never been more alive. Fallen fighters against fascism go into oblivion, and those who fell behind prison bars rise in this country, which has already suffered the glorification of Hitlerites Vancho Mihaylov and Bulgarian Tsar Boris III by its Bulgarian neighbor.

The partisan ideology that grew into SFR Yugoslavia under the leadership of Tito, after the death of this world warlord, loses in relation to Demaci's idea, which Kurti, as his student, disclosed in Tetovo, where he was welcomed by the mayors of Tetovo and Chair, as well as the leader of the Alternative, with the words: "Welcome, President, to 'Great Albania'!" That's not all, the address of the mayor of Tetovo, Kasami, followed, who addressed Kurti as the President of all Albanians, those who dream of a 'Greater Albania'.

Chanting to Kurti with the flag of Albania and the map of "Greater Albania", which shows clear claims to parts of the territories of North Macedonia, Greece, Serbia, and Montenegro, is the embodiment of "democracy" and "realization of human rights", the values we strive for in the process - or, better to say, in the gap - towards the EU. Although the President of the country where this "joke" took place demanded responsibility for disobeying the Law on the Use of the Flag and the National Anthem, the police could only act on political provocations by reporting misdemeanors to the mayors of municipalities. Criminal basis? It doesn't seem to exist. But the Beaufort scale is about to explode due to the force of the wind in the back, which was received by this act, especially the opposition Albanian parties, whose aspiration is the path to the EU, but even better - with the new borders of "Greater Albania".

The direction in which democracy has developed is also visible from the position of the independent MP Skender Rexhepi, who, during the debate on changing the Republic of North Macedonia Constitution, hints at the splitting of the state because the national interests of the Albanians are more important than the state interests, and the moment when the Albanian language is declared constitutionally official throughout the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia is even expected:

"Albanians do not dispute the identity and language of the Macedonians, but other demands may appear in the near future, where Albanian municipalities could seek a path to the EU. We in the parliament should take responsibility. Historical problems between Macedonians and Bulgarians will remain and furthermore, that cannot be solved by MPs, but by historians. The best solution is to change the Constitution and for our future to be in the EU. For Bulgarians, Gotse Delchev is a Bulgarian, and for Macedonians, he remains a Macedonian. I am an optimist by nature; but, in this case, I am pessimistic that constitutional changes can be achieved."

Rexhepi also added, "After the thirty-year journey, political actors are returning Macedonia to the nineties, when the country fed on nationalism against the Albanians. It is no coincidence that these days the arrival of the Prime Minister of Kosovo and the fact that he is creating a 'Greater Albania' are topical."

If we go back to the time before the collapse of the SFR Yugoslavia, we will see that similar steps were taken at the demonstrations in 1968, 1971, 1981, 1985‒1991, until the bombing of Yugoslavia according to the Walker scenario, saving the humanitarian crisis in Kosovo. An epilogue that no one believed in, despite the fall of the Berlin Wall, the disappearance of the Warsaw Pact, and the splitting of the USSR.

In order to understand the present, we must know the past well. The end of the Cold War between the USA and the USSR took place in Malta in 1989 with the agreement between Gorbachev and Bush the Elder. Later, Yeltsin withdrew military forces from Kosovo, and during NATO's bombing of FR Yugoslavia, he did not deliver paid weapons that belonged to Yugoslavia. Today, the USA and the Russian Federation are still conducting negotiations, through crosshairs, with coalition support - the USA had the West and NATO, but Russia, too, was not alone, as Gallagher, the Vatican secretary, said. And while new world borders are being pragmatically drawn through Ukraine, similar attempts are being made through North Macedonia, only the focus is on Kosovo, whose independence was recognized by the USA, Britain, and 22 EU countries, which did not seem to notice the proclamation of a "Greater Albania". Let's not be naive, there are no coincidences in the circumstances.

All political and legislative activities in North Macedonia remind us of the breakup of SFR Yugoslavia and the decline of the communist consensus. All these events that took place on the streets of North Macedonia and in the parliament are underestimated, and the country clearly overestimates itself, especially if you take into account that it is a member of the North Atlantic Alliance and that it has signed a military-political strategic agreement with the USA.

European hypocrisy permeates every pore of the Macedonian country. Instead of cutting the reincarnation of the fascist ideology spread by its member Bulgaria, it seems to water it with its silence, but, on the other hand, it is loud in its support of its member when it demands that North Macedonia once again change the Constitution in order to get hold of the long-promised European integrations. Driven by the experience of the "judge" watching blindfolded, Kurti also struts around the Macedonian territory spreading hatred and stirring up unrest on the already fragile Balkan soil.

North Macedonia no longer knows who can turn its back on it, except the EU - which has made it clear that, if North Macedonia does not change the Constitution and fulfill Bulgaria's request, it will remain alone, in international isolation, and it can only look for the culprit within itself. The judge, jury, and executioner are one entity. Obviously.

However, if it does not deal with the constitutional changes within the stipulated period, Albania will shape its way toward the EU. However, judging by the words of an independent MP from the Albanian ranks, it is also possible that the municipalities will be separated from the state and Tetovo and Gostivar become independent, and - why not - Chair. With this move, Kurti and all his like-minded people began the process of internationalization of "Greater Albania". Few will admit this, and many will pretend not to see it, but certainly, obviously, it is not yet the moment for the USA and the EU, and also Russia to make a statement. Within the framework of political globalization, the problem that is breathing down the neck of the Western Balkans can only be solved through dialogue by the leaders of the "Open Balkan".