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„THE MACEDONIAN JOB“ by David Cameron (09/2003)

Der neu gewählte britische Prime Minister, David Cameron, hatte seine kleine Rubrik in der britischen Tageszeitung The Guardian. Im Spetember 2003 verfasste er nach seiner Rückkehr aus Mazedonien eine kleine Zusammenfassung seiner Erlebnisse:
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 10 September 2003 11.38 BST

Macedonia is key to Balkan stability and should be invited into Nato as soon as possible, writes recent visitor David Cameron

„Let me get this straight. Last week someone called Cakala detonated two bombs outside your government’s offices. The police won’t catch him because the international community has told them not to inflame ethnic tensions. He’s so confident that the police are impotent that he’s published his mobile phone number in the local newspaper. And that’s him you’ve just called on the phone?“

„Yes. Welcome to Macedonia.“

Not your standard dinner party conversation, I admit. But it’s a fairly accurate report of one that I had last week in a stunning villa perched on the hills above Skopje, Macedonia’s capital city. More to the point, it’s true.

Of course technically my neighbour should have said: „Welcome to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (Fyrom)“, because that’s the correct name for the small but beautiful country sandwiched between Greece, Albania, Serbia and Bulgaria. „FYR Macedonia“ voted for independence in 1991 during the break-up of Yugoslavia and has been trying to make its way ever since.

It hasn’t been easy. The reason for the long name is that the Greeks complained vigorously that Macedonia already existed as a region of Greece and so could not be a separate country as well. This seems churlish in the extreme. The Greeks have their own country, their own name and have been showered with financial assistance since joining the EU. These people – the Macedonians – have recently escaped communism and have virtually nothing. And as if Greek pettiness wasn’t enough the Albanians tend to dream of incorporating a large slice of FYR Macedonia into a Greater Albania while the Bulgars tend to think of the country as part of a Greater Bulgaria.

Yet as far as I could see, the country – and I am determined to call it Macedonia – has a perfect right to exist. The population is overwhelmingly Macedonian, with a distinctive language, culture and history. It is poorer than some of the other old Yugoslav republics, but considerably richer than Albania. The people are civilised, friendly and highly educated. Even my tour guide had an MBA.

It is always difficult to know how to answer the question: „What will you do to help us?“ But on this occasion, I had the answer. From now on I will call our esteemed EU partner „the former Ottoman possession of Greece (Fopog).“

All right, I admit it. Part of the attraction of the visit was the chance to watch the vital England-Macedonia football international. (And before anyone cries „sleaze“, I paid for my air tickets and have disclosed all details in the register of members interests.)

MORE: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2003/sep/10/davidcameron.politicalcolumnists