The Macedonian Tendency: August 2014

Monday, August 11, 2014

Brussels Shows No Remorse for racist EU Soldiers

By David Edenden
Greek (EU) soldiers chanting that they will drink the blood of Macedonians, Albanians and Turks.

Now when Macedonians soccer fans chant racist slogans against black players … it becomes an international incident. But EU solder racist chants don't even get a message.

It seems that the EU media can separate the “good EU” in Brussels from the “bad EU” in the local capitals. (Cyprus, Greece, Hungary etc)

The Macedonian government protested to Athens, but they really should have protested to Brussels.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Keep the South Stream Pipeline

By David Edenden
Good article on the South Stream. The US/EU are trying to force Macedonia to sacrifice its national interests on the altar of their anti-Russian geopolitical machinations.

Macedonia, US, Russia and the South Stream pipeline

By Sasho Manevski, August 8, 2014
Translated and edited by Risto Stefov

 Round table talks, organized by the South Eastern European Coalition and the Richard Lugar Institute for diplomacy, were held on July18, 2014 in Washington covering “Energy concerns and opportunities in South Eastern Europe after the G7”.

The South Eastern European Coalition is made up of a coalition of various ethnic organizations operating in this part of the region with aims “to contribute to a better American foreign policy which reflects on the common interests and goals of ethnic groups in the United States, that share common American values.”

The kind of approach taken by these non-governmental lobby groups follows the anti-Russian action taken by the American government. ...

Macedonia has a poorly developed infrastructure with a gas pipeline running from Deve Bair to Skopje with a capacity of 800 thousand cubic metres of gas expandable to 1.2 billion cubic metres and utilization of about 20%. Currently, only Strumitsa is gasified, with work being done to gasify Skopje and a small gas infrastructure in Kumanovo.

The United States had 22 years to show leadership in the region and in Macedonia and to invest in its energy and gas infrastructure. But in place of being encouraged and led by the United States to develop our energy needs, we are told to stay away from South Stream and seek other sources from which to buy our energy.

The Macedonian government, on the other hand, has signed an agreement with the South Stream project. The Macedonian side, in a separate deal, has also signed a contract to return Russian debt to Macedonia as a remnant of the Yugoslav debt. With this agreement, the Russian company will build part of the gas infrastructure in Macedonia, from Deve Bair to Negotino. It will also convert the Negotino electric generation station to gas which will then deliver cheap electricity to the Macedonian people, now imported at high cost. Also, the path that the gas pipeline will take will allow more cities and industrial facilities in Eastern Macedonia to connect to it, thereby further realizing economic benefits that are necessary for this poor region.

In other words, Macedonia has made a deal with Russia not only to supply it with gas but to also develop its necessary gas infrastructure.

And as such, South Stream, which does not pass through the Ukraine, in itself is an alternative to our current pipeline, which so far has been repeatedly blocked from delivering Russian gas to Europe. Given the current situation in the Ukraine it is expected that next winter the Ukraine will politicize delivery of Russian gas to Europe, which would then disrupt gas supplies to Europe, and perhaps to Macedonia.

Our economy that uses gas will be damaged under this scenario and we will be forced to start using more expensive fuels in order to continue production and conduct other activities. There would be no danger of this happening if we connect to South Stream, as an alternative, because South Stream does not pass through the Ukraine.

In other words, South Stream will bring only benefits to Macedonia. At the same time, let us not forget that Macedonia currently pays a high price for gas because it is a small user, and because there are no alternative supply options. To have the Russian gas as an alternative, the price of gas will not be much cheaper because the amounts supplied will be small, but it will definitely be cheaper than the current price. Under current conditions, using Russian gas will be a cheapest fuel option, costing about the same as firewood, which is much cheaper than gasoline, electricity, oil...

It should be more than obvious to everyone that Macedonia signed a contract with Russia in order to improve its gas infrastructure, reduce energy costs and thus improve Macedonia’s economic position, which will supply the Macedonian people and Macedonian industries with a steady source of cheap energy and which will benefit all who are in need of energy.

In other words, South Stream and the contract to build a gas infrastructure are of strategic interest to Macedonia.

The Government of Macedonia, despite American efforts, has not deviated from this contract with Russia. Ivanov recently publicly endorsed South Stream.

Macedonia needs alternatives and should be approached to join the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, but under no circumstances should it be expected to give up South Stream. Nor is it necessary to place Macedonia in scenarios similar to those of the Ukraine - either you are with us or with them.

A Macedonian Tells The Scots What To Do

By David Edenden

As a Canadian and Macedonian I urge the Scottish people to vote for continued union with the UK. My wife is of Irish and Scottish heritage so I have more than passing interest in Scotland.

In the Balkans, I opposed the collapse of Yugoslavia, even though it brought independence to Macedonia. I would have preferred the EU to force Yugoslavia, through sanctions,  to stay together in the same way they are forcing Bosnia to stay together. I would have also insisted that Bulgaria, in order to join the EU, would first have to join Yugoslavia, making it a complete "union of south slavs republics" (USSR? ...maybe not). 

Notwithstanding the various Balkan wars, language and culture could have bound these diverse peoples together in a workable federation ... with a large Olympic team.

The disruption in trade and economic relations with the sudden appearance of seven new borders is the main cause of economic stagnation in the Balkans, not war or corruption as has often been reported. It has been over 20 years since independence, and only now does Macedonia have the same GDP as it did 20 years ago.  Macedonia had autonomy ... control over its own republic, working language, film, TV, and universities. Independence was not worth it just to have the right to its own currency and an Olympic bobsled team.

I urge the political class in the UK and Scotland to look to Canadian federalism as a  model for the UK. In Canada we have one province, Saskatchewan, that has a "labour/socialist" government, off and on since 1945 with a socialist political culture right beside Alberta which has a "Texas" style free enterprise political culture. If Scotland had the powers of a Canadian province when the North Sea Oil was discovered, it would have controlled the development as well as the revenues. At the same time, it would, like  Alberta, have paid into a common fund for distribution to the poorer provinces.

We also have Quebec with French as a working language and the French civil code as law. So if you want to make Gaelic the working language ... knock yourself out. Macedonian was the working language of Macedonia even when it was part of Yugoslavia.

My suggestion, using Canada as a model, devolve uniform powers to regional assemblies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as create one (or more if so inclined) for England for a true symmetrical  relationship. ("Geordie Liberation Front" and "Cornish Revolutionary Army" ... now it your chance!)

I thought ... and still do ... that Macedonians can be Macedonian and Yugoslav at the same time. Therefore The Scots can also be British. 

People of Scotland do have an emotional and cultural affinity for Britain that will remain no matter what the outcome. Unionists, however, must provide a logical coherent alternative to the romance of independence.

Putin's Food Ban ... An opportunity for Macedonia

By David Edenden
Below are  my comments to an article about Putin's food ban.
Putin's ban on EU/US food imports is a great opportunity for Macedonian agriculture, wine and even clothing.
However, the US and EU will put tremendous pressure on Macedonia to comply with EU policy even though Macedonia will be allowed to join the EU ..."when the polar ice caps melt". 
The sanctions on Russia were designed to have a minimal impact on the EU member states. I am sure that no one in the EU gave a second thought to Macedonia's interest.
Gruevski ... stand firm ... stand tall.

"The Kremlin certain in its cynicism, as usual, underestimates the principles of Western leaders and their willingness to make sacrifices for the sake of the idea of ​​European solidarity"

1. He is right. The "principles of Western solidarity" has led the EU to support cultural genocide in the name of solidarity with Greek racist policy against its own ethnic Macedonian minority and the Republic of Macedonia with regard to the "Macedonian Name Farce".
2. The US wants to turn Russia, with regard to foreign policy, into Germany and Japan ,,, countries that mind their own business and give the US a free hand in foreign policy. (By the way, I think this was the best policy for Russia). Just look at the furious reaction of the US chattering classes against France when it impudently dared to criticize Bush's invasion of Iraq ... remember "freedom fries".
3. President Obama's boycott of the Sochi Olympics because of Putin's anti-gay laws ... then shortly after paying a respectful visit to Saudi Arabia, where they hang gays, was not well received in Russia.

4. Putin is playing the long game. His policy is not primarily geared to break the EU sanctions since having an existential threat serves him well. It is import substitution, not only for food, manufactured goods and financial services but also for cultural ideas.
Unanswered questions:
1. What were the sanctions imposed on Russia after the Soviets invasions of Hungary and Czechoslovakia?
2. Why has Putin managed to maintain the support of the Russian chattering classes? Could it be the relentless US/EU/Nato anti-Russian actions with regard to Russian oil and  gas pipelines?
3. Pierre Eliot Trudeau saw "federalism" a THE solution to the modern state as a replacement for the "nation state". Did the US/EU/Nato enthusiasm for "national freedom" for Yugoslav republic put a knife in the heart of the federalist option? (Note: Ukraine vigorously rejected a "federalized Ukraine)