One of the main media strategists of the government, the editor of Open Society funded portal “Plusinfo” and the newspaper “Free Press” Branko Geroski in his latest column related to the name dispute asks whether “Gligorov, Crvenkovski and the rest were fools, and are we the smart ones who would sign on any dotted line?”
Geroski asks: if the solution erga omnes for all uses (external and internal) is indeed a salvation for Macedonia, and if that proposal exists for over 25 years, then why would someone such as Kiro Gligorov, Branko Crvenkovski, Denko Maleski, Vanja Toshevski, later on Ljubomir Frchkoski and a dozen other top Macedonian politicians and diplomats did not want to grab this very formula and solve the problem few decades earlier?
Geroski writes that the Macedonian side in 1993 refused an erga omnes proposal for overall use, something that the government of Zoran Zaev today has accepted.
-It is interesting that in the part of the document posted by Deskovski, specifically in point 12b, it clearly and loudly states that the Macedonian side rejects such a proposal, that is, it prefers a name only for international use. That’s what I have been persisting for days – yes, we see that for the Greek side the erga omnes formula means a new name for our country and for international and official use at home, at all levels; yes, this may be the understanding of international mediators in the dispute; but the fact is that there was always a clear and precise position on the Macedonian side that we are negotiating a compromise name for international use only, not internal – writes Geroski.
It is precisely because of this that he says that he does not understand “neither the motives nor the benevolence, and even less the alleged” arguments “that some of our domestic intellectuals defend the idea of a complete renaming of our country (erga omnes for all uses) and for creating a new, fresh, “fertile” identity, very different from this present, which is supposedly dying together with us. ”
-I can say that this is just a cute, but still very comical posture, which can not be used for negotiating, and even less for a serious political position that tomorrow will have to be publicly defended. I send Zaev and our negotiators to Sofia with a desire for success in the negotiations (if there is any negotiations taking place). Let us keep in mind the following dilemma: if the solution erga omnes for all uses (external and internal) is indeed a salvation for Macedonia, and if that proposal exists for 25 years, then why was someone like Kiro Gligorov, Branko Crvenkovski, Denko Maleski, Vanja Tosevski, later Ljubomir Frchkoski and a dozen other top Macedonian politicians and diplomats, did not say ‘yes’ to this? Is it possible that all of these diplomats were simply stupid, unqualified, uninformed and burdened with their understanding of the “worthless” Macedonian identity, who were not visa-drivers to solve the problem of this country, to introduce it in Europe and NATO, and thus to create political capital, who will then calmly fertilize it by remaining in power for years, perhaps for decades? “writes Geroski.
He ends his column with the question: Is it really plausable that we are so much smarter than they were?
Gligorov categorically rejected what Zaev has accepted
According to a document published by university professor Toni Deskoski on his FB profile in point 12b, it is clear that the Macedonian side rejected erga omnes, that is, it prefers a name for international use only.
The first Macedonian president, Kiro Gligorov, categorically rejected what for Zaev, SDS and Dimitrov is now acceptable, an erga omes name for overall use, which will mean a change of the constitutional name inside the country. In Skopje media in the past, an incident was reported, according to which Gligorov received such a proposal (erga omnes) on a piece of paper from Athens, but he squashed the paper and threw it away, without even giving much thought about it.
Gligorov was also very upset after a Greek general offered him $1m wired to any bank account, if he were to agree to change Macedonia’s name.
In his memoir (Macedonia is all we got), Gligorov wrote that he was infuriated with the Macedonian attaches who presented the idea for Gligorov to get bribed to change the name.
Well, people, how do you imagine – the head of a state to receive a million dollars, give up the name Macedonia, just how do you, at all, imagined this? It’s an absurd thing, if I do such a terrible thing, clearly I am in the wrong position and should not be a head of state. – wrote Gligorov in his memoir.