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Homepage > Regions / Countries > Europe > Balkans > Macedonia > The Macedonian Revolution to Come

The Macedonian Revolution to Come

Jon Greenwald, Politico  |   10 Jun 2015

SKOPJE, Macedonia — From a distance, it looks deceptively like summer camping season in this country’s capital. Men play cards and drink beer by their colorful tents across the street from Parliament. A larger, younger crowd encamped in front of the government building listens to lively music.

In reality, this is the last thing Europe needs: a new Balkan crisis with proven potential for deadly conflict.

The campers by Parliament are stalwarts of VMRO, the main governing party since 2006, summoned to support controversial Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski. Those before the government center are from the opposition, especially its largest faction, the Social Democratic Party. They are demanding Gruevski’s resignation.

It is not yet a Macedonian Maidan. Johannes Hahn, the EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, left Skopje on June 2 with the outline of a deal to defuse the immediate confrontation, a four-party agreement to bring elections forward three years, to next April. But already the pact may be fraying.

The composition of the government that will run the country until then was to be decided Wednesday during negotiations in Brussels, but talks broke up late Wednesday evening after 12 hours. No agreement was reached, and there is no provision as yet for a follow-on session.

EU Commissioner Hahn tweeted Wednesday night that he was “very disappointed about lack of leadership and responsibility” and added that “citizens deserve better: democracy, the rule of law and a European future. We won’t give up!”

To continue reading this article, please go to the Politico website.

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