Today the President of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, addressed the public after the conclusions made by the European Council.
Attached to this press release we give you Prime Minister’s Zaev address:
Two days ago in Brussels a great injustice was done. The European Union did not deliver as it had promised. We did everything that was asked from us. We delivered results in reforms, we resolved disputes with neighbors. And they did not fulfill their promise and did not deliver.
The fact that the European Union did not adopt a decision to open negotiations with us is their HISTORIC MISTAKE and this was confirmed by all European leaders. We did everything we should and could have.
Today, I want to publicly thank the great majority of European leaders who fought for a positive decision. We appreciate their support and we know that we can rely on them in future.
However, it is a fact that we are victims of a historic mistake of the EU and this causes a great deal of bitterness among all of us. I am disappointed and mad and I know that the people feel the same. Therefore, I feel the citizens’ anger and burden as yet another scar.
Personally, I see this failed promise as an extraordinary bad and unjust act of the Union, and at the same time, I see it as a very grave matter. That is how I interpret it.
However, this is a decision made by the EU due to their unresolved internal issues and we cannot change it.
Yet, we are very much responsible for our own decisions that we make for our citizens and for the Macedonian future.
The gravity of the current moment asks for a serious decision, from me, from all of us.
Starting from my own beliefs that any politician must be accountable, honest and virtuous, I take upon myself the disappointment of my people and I come out ACCOUNTABLE before the citizens!
I stand here before you to clearly and decisively say:
The European dream of the Macedonian people, of the Albanians, Serbs, Vlachs, and Turks, Roma and Bosniaks and all the other who live in our country will not be ruined.
Therefore, dear citizens, I RESPONSIBLY stand before your decision. Now we need your voice. There is no time to lose.
That is why I propose:
Organizing fast early elections. Elections as soon as possible.
Elections where the citizens will make a decision and will reaffirm the road on which our country should continue. This is what I will propose on tomorrow’s leaders’ meeting with President Pendarovski. Organizing elections as soon as possible, so that the citizens can say which road to take.
The citizens have a mandate to decide:
Whether we will take the true road of democratic and European values, the path of development and prosperity, the path that goes FORWARD?
Whether to take the dark path of isolation, nationalism, divisions and conflict, the path that takes us BACK?
The citizens will decide:
Are we going to build partnership with the neighbors and the other countries from the free democratic world or are we going to continue with confrontations and problems with our neighbors and our friends?
Only the citizens, and no one else, can have the right to decide:
Will they choose higher salaries, construction of roads and kindergartens, enormous social aid, support for domestic companies, measures against pollution and return of the money directly to the citizens?
Are we going back to the captured state, to the time of monuments, polystyrene facades, Subrata Roy like criminal investments, ethnic tensions, shutting down media outlets, beating students and enriching a few on the back of the poor?
I am ready. My party is ready. My team is ready.
We do not fail in our spirits, we will not give up because of this disappointment. We will not surrender. We will fight, courageously and defiantly.
I have no right to stop fighting. I fight hand in hand with you because you are also fighting.
I am ready for a new, comprehensive, clear mandate given by the citizens:
TO BRING EUROPE HERE.
TO REINFORCE REFORMS.
TO CONTINUE DEVELOPING THE ECONOMY.
TO BUILD EUROPEAN STATE, no matter whether the Union is ready to open chapters or not.
Distinguished citizens, my people,
I want to underline that everything we have done in the past two and a half years, we have done it with love, for the good of the motherland and all our citizens. It seemed impossible, but we did our work, we brought bold decisions to resolve the greatest problems. We did this for our fellow citizens and for the children of our country.
That is why I will not allow anyone to annul the reforms we have done, to take away the freedom we have brought together to the country or to play with the European changes in our society. I will not allow anyone to take away the NATO membership, to violate the security and stability we have gained by becoming a NATO member.
I stand upright and I hold myself accountable before you for the benefit of the motherland and the citizens.
I want to tell you that I am proud, and I call upon you – be proud of the successes we have achieved together. We are fulfilling a great dream – we are becoming a NATO member.
We will accomplish yet another one – we will make our country EUROPEAN. The Macedonian dream is EUROPE and we will build these values in our country – we can bring EUROPE to North Macedonia, and when the Union is ready, it can open the chapters.
I call upon you to continue together. All together. To work double, to do double. To be twice as better. The changes and the reforms were not brought and will not be brought by a Government or by a dozen of people. The reforms need all of us. All 2 million. So that there is no pollution, so that we can stop polluting. So that there is no corruption, to oppose bribery and corruption. To stop the youth from moving, to open jobs, to secure higher salaries. In order for us to be, we must become.
To all those who worked hard and wanted to see us without negotiations and who secretly or publicly are happy with the failure of their own country, I want to say one thing: do not forget that the people will remember this, especially on elections. And elections will happen very soon.