PM Gruevski, sit back, relax
Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Prime Minister Gruevski was elected in office, overwhelmingly, with two reasons. First to cut off negotiations with Greece, second to put an end to the corruption that has plagued the country ever since its independence.

In regards to the ‘name negotiations’ with Greece, the Macedonian Government has exhibited remarkable failures. So much so, the UN negotiator Nimetz, with each proposal solidified his view to match Athens demands.
I never considered recent recognitions by Canada and India as “success”. What success is there when the Government continues to ‘negotiate’ over changing the country's name. Even more disturbing, Skopje is adamant about continuing the negotiations, no matter what!

Recently the Government has released couple of balloons to see how the population may react. Something along the lines “No way are we giving up our national identity” or “Language and identity is our red line”. News for Dimitrov and Protogjer, if your country is the Banana republic, the language automatically becomes the “Banana Language”.
The identity and language are already registered in the UN as “Macedonian”, which makes it even more difficult to understand why the Government keeps mentioning preserving the language and identity, unless as I stated, the Government plans to change the name!?

The EU has said there will be no entrance in their ‘club’ if Macedonia doesn’t change the name! So why is the Government spending taxpayers money sending Ministers to Brussels on daily basis? I don't see Turkish Officials flying to Brussels and doing the same thing, and they are richer and more developed than dozen EU countries combined.

I understand why the Government is ‘negotiating’. Macedonia wants to be seen as constructive, respectful, mature, diplomatic. However, it comes a point in time, and this point came months ago when Macedonia should have realized their constructive approach did not work, with good chance to never work.

One thing is clear, any kind of name change, even adding a letter will fail in a referendum, unless there are plans to fix the referendum, similar to the fixed Quebec secession referendum 51-49% a decade ago. Either way, PM Gruevski, just by his continuing negotiations has lost the backing, at least my backing. Will the Government disappoint the Macedonian people, the people who put them in power, overwhelmingly, remains to be seen.

New laws
No question it was a smart move by PM Gruevski to bring Macedonian Americans in his Cabinet. At least I thought that in the beginning, since I too am a Macedonian American. No question the Government has done more in 2 months, in terms of laws, regulations and fighting corruption than the SDSM could do in 20 years.    
A bit exciting for me, with one of PM's cabinet Ministers I even share the same education, went to the same University.
I can see laws implemented in Macedonia came straight from the books at Yale and Wharton, and a bit from UK Schools. And I agree with those laws, sort of.

The only issue is, too many laws, implemented at lightning speeds. Local media, let alone people are not able to keep up anymore with workers rights, pensions, new taxes, benefits, littering… laws which have been passed in matter of weeks.
The Government should realize that when you do things too quickly, even if it’s good, it creates an adverse reaction with people. Psychology 101.

Then I heard of a new law proposed that will tax people’s money in the bank?
This is a good illustration of doing things too quickly.
Our Banking system is not yet stable for such tax. People only recently started putting their money in the bank with some sort of trust behind it. If you are going to tax it, no one will put a cent in the Banks, which means Banks will have less money to lend. Macedonian Banks had only recently started issuing credits, again, because people started to trust them and deposit money.
The Government ought to think things through before proposing a law, do a risk assessment and analysis. Macedonia isn’t Monte Carlo to have such laws. Some laws are good for some countries, and not for others. We can't have a law protecting snakes if there aren't any snakes in the country. Feel free to replace 'snakes' with 'money'.

I see the need for more taxes, to build schools, roads, sports arenas, I get it, all of us do. The answer is not to tax people, the Government must also curb unnecessary spending. Don't take the US Economic model or any other Western model for that matter as an example. Macedonia doesn't want to build economy based on taxes, lending and imaginary profits. Macedonia must produce, create things. Yes, I am thinking of tomatoes, peppers, apples, iron, copper, pharmaceuticals... This is economy. 

Lastly PM Gruevski, sit back a bit, relax, don’t try to achieve everything in 2 months. You have already accomplished way too much. Your mandate is 4 years, not 2 months.

Time for you to get back the respect of the country, stop the negotiations with Athens, everything else will fall in place.  //29.10.08  //Gorazd V.


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