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Arben Dzaferi: Cold-blooded murder of five innocent people is not to Albanians’ interest, but to those who abuse it

May 12, 2012
Arben Dzaferi, honorary chairperson of the Democratic Party of Albanians, in an interview with Focus News Agency.

Arben Dzaferi

Focus: Mr Dzaferi, how will you comment on the recent events in the Western Balkans – the brutal murders in Macedonia, followed by silence by the police; a sudden action against Islamists; arrests in Presevo, Macedonia; the victory of nationalists led by Tomislav Nikolic?
Arben Dzaferi: It is very difficult to answer to such questions, because of the lack of reliable information. Anyone, who tries to give a convincing answer will face the possibility of speculating, which always talks about a lack of ethics. I will try to find a rational explanation to the brutal murders in Macedonia, trying to avoid speculations.
Out of all Balkan countries and nations the Albanians are the only one that has no interest in this tragic act. Moreover, the Albanians do not have a project for Satanising the other nations, which they have had some historical troubles with. Bearing in mind these positions, the Albanians clearly hint at the advantages of the accession to the Western value system, such as the EU and NATO.
In such broader interpretations, I believe that one must have in mind the fact that all Albanians, regardless of their geographical and geopolitical position, or their religion, have no reserves for their belonging to the famous European code. One must look for an answer to the Albanians’ position in their political spectrum. There is no political party, or movement, which would, in any way, act against the things written in the Albanian National Awakening.
If we analyse the consequences of such events, we can clearly say that the cold-blooded murder of five innocent citizens is not to the interest of the Albanians, but rather to those, who did not wait even for a second and abused this tragic event, which took place close to the Smilkovsko Lake, through the spectacular and humiliating arrest of ‘suspicious citizens’ from Presevo and Skopje. In addition, these arrests made on Serbian territory were directly connected to the events in Macedonia. Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dacic was given some push and surprisingly got high rating at the elections in Serbia. The same is valid for Doubting Toma [Nikolic], a refugee from the Radical Party of Sesel.
The latter part of your questions, branding Albanians as Islamists talks about the idea for “Satanisation” of the Albanian pro-Western politics. The Albanian politics has always been and will always be pro-Western. That is why the strategy for connecting Albanian politics to Islamic fundamentalism and radicalism has been triggered.
These are very complex issues, and this can be seen by the fact that Western countries directly, or through their embassies, distanced themselves from tying the Albanian politics to religious movements with anti-Western believes.
Only the Albanians have no political, national or any other interest in this act. The tragic event close to the Smilkovci Lake brought itself to some compromising connection to the Rastanska Lozja case.

Focus: Is there any danger of emerging of nationalistic formations on the Balkans – as the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn entered the Greek parliament?
Arben Dzaferi: The Balkans and the people on the Balkans have a problem with their political positions. Democracy is being developed and it contributes to the establishment of peace, but under one precondition: Without the existence of an established education system of values, you cannot make democracy like in the rest of Europe. In Europe all projects – political, religious, cultural, social, and economic are established on the strong foundations of education. People, who do not have such cultural tradition, come up with fake revolutionalism, based on prejudices.
In Western Europe, Golden Dawns are being developed only on the basis of anachronistic believes and values. Greece has had problems, for a long time, with its own versions of history, democracy, state of law, and people’s duty to the state – as paying taxes. The social and political peace was found and established on the basis of tolerating people’s disloyalty to the state. There was a class of people in Greece, which believed that they did not have to pay taxes. It turned out that some part of Greek people were convinced that the state had to service them, while other classes of the society realised the fact that they had to be loyal to the state and had to pay their taxes.
The crisis in Greece has a very strong psychological component – all classes of the society were irritated by the unscrupulous tolerance by the state to corruption and disloyalty to the state. This situation cannot be overcome with revolutionary means, which is very characteristic for the current political culture in Greece. Only by establishing and respecting the principles of a state of law can save Greece, and not a policy of Breaking Dawns or Golden Dawns…
Nationalism will always have a negative influence, if it based on groundless bases, which do not include criteria for a state of law and education values.

Focus: Is there a danger the Balkan region to be targeted by Islamic fundamentalists?
Arben Dzaferi: The fundamentalist policy, which is identified with the Islam, cannot be successful anywhere, especially in counties, which follow democratic standards and values. These trends are a pale copy of the communism in the recent history of Europe.
There is some utopian character inside such radicalisms. In contrast to Europe, which is built on the grounds of democracy and the observation of the standards of a constitutional state, the Eastern counties are offered some naïve Utopia out of the Islamic code. While the communist totalitarianism tried to establish its Utopia over the present, the religious utopias found a rather more economical solution – the realisation of the utopia was shifted to “the other world”. With this they found a nonobligatory position, which does not do anything to improve the conditions of life of people in the world. Their failure was overcome with repressions and stubbornness, which were typical for totalitarian world. I do not see a logical possibility Islamic fundamentalism to enter Europe.

Focus: Serbia wants a special status for Kosovo, while it also wants independence for Sandžak… Is there any fear of a new reshaping of the borders on the Balkans?
Arben Dzaferi: The crisis diagnostics in the former Yugoslavia countries must be sought in the policy led by the most influential ethnic community in former Yugoslavia – the Serbian one. There were nationalists even during the time of Tito, when Yugoslavia was the most successful socialist country. It started breaking down on the basis of these factors, which were most influential in the wars. The most powerful ethnic structure was the Serbian factor. Everything was under their control and influence. They wanted Yugoslavia to break apart and to establish Great Serbia. Serbia and Serbians were the main factor, which had the capacity to retain or break down Yugoslavia.
With regards to Kosovo, one must bear in mind that the attempt of Serbian authorities to alter the constitutional status of Kosovo resulted in the breaking down of Yugoslavia. Serbian politics has to be blames, and the Tribunal in The Hague is trying to do this now. If you think about it, the entire unit of this criminal act is trialed in the Tribunal in The Hague – starting from the President, through the political leaders, and not only from Serbia but from the other former Yugoslavian countries, military commanders and common criminals. It was a normal thing to say that each political party had its phalanx, which proved its loyalty to its leader. These deformations show that Serbians do not have enough capacity to establish a state of law. Their rhetoric is established on the alcoholic evaporations of the nationalistic and confused religious concepts of the Serbian Orthodox Church; the incorrect projects of the Serbian academy, and so on. The entire Serbian elite took part in the breaking down of Yugoslavia – political, military, cultural, and criminal.
This elite opened the Pandora’s Box, which still produces a nebulous approach to political and historical problems.
An unacceptable mistake is being done with regards to Kosovo. The Serbian propaganda is trying to question Kosovo’s independence with futile and improper arguments. They say that Kosovo belongs to Serbia. If you consider the facts, however, Kosovo was under Byzantine rule, the Ottoman Empire, Bulgaria, and after that Serbia. The idea for establishment of an independent Albania was first presented in Kosovo, in the city of Prizren, as the idea was all vilayets with predominantly Albanian population to be included in the state of Albania.

Focus: Albania will soon celebrate 100 years since its independence. Is the idea for Great Albania still alive?
Arben Dzaferi: Commemorating 100 years Albania is in no way connected to Great Albania. This year, on November 28 the 100th anniversary since the declaration of independence of Albania will be celebrated, or if we have to be more accurate of only one half of Albania.
In these 100 years there were many attempts, even criminal ones, for destroying the Albanian reality, culture, and originality in Kosovo and the other parts with predominantly Albanian population. The Albanian cause for these territories started after the breaking down of Yugoslavia, and not as a result of intervention by international subjects. The right for self-determining their status is legitimately opened after a country breaks down.

Focus: Can multiethnic countries survive and what is the reason for their failure to function?
Arben Dzaferi: A country survives, if there is internal cohesion or if its citizens show greater loyalty to the country and not to the ethnic group they come from. In multiethnic countries the issue of its citizens’ membership of ethnic groups is opened, either on purpose or not. According to sociologists a country’s stability and functioning are affected by three prerequisites: internal cohesion, economic condition and respect for the essentials of liberal democracy. Due to this standstill, these countries start to collapse.
The failure of multiethnic countries to function is directly related with ethic communities’ disloyalty to the country.

Focus: Is the geopolitical knot in the Balkans being tied?
Arben Dzaferi: The Gordian knot has been existing in the Balkans for a long time. We will yet see whether the issue will be solved with a sword or an agreement. If the EU project manages to solve all antagonisms, the political solution will take the upper hand over all other options.

Focus: Is the Ohrid Framework Agreement alive 11 years after it was signed?
Arben Dzaferi: The Ohrid Framework Agreement contains an embarrassing issue which is a result of the decisions coming from the Ohrid Agreement. It is not a rare phenomenon when constitutional basics are in correlation with laws. A language can become official, if it is used by 20% of the population. Unfortunately, the government interprets this principle in a rather reduced way – a language of a nation will be official only in the territories where this nation is more than 20%. Albanians had this right even before the Ohrid Framework Agreement. This interpretation opens another psychological dimension – the opinion that the Ohrid Framework Agreement is half-baked injustice imposed from outside and that’s why there are attempts to block or change the meaning of the Ohrid Agreement. The only acquisition of this agreement is the termination of the conflict and restoration of peace in the region.

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