Thursday, March 29, 2007
Now that she declared her support for Turkey’s bid to join the European Union, Ségolène Royal fully qualifies to enter the Élysée Palace as the next president of the French. Untill now she appeared a confused Socialist, almost as bad as this poor Dutch Jan Marijnissen who (with his anti-Turkish position and attitude toward historic responsibility) does not understand what Socialism is about.
The first word in the title derives from "Ashk olsun" and originally meant "May it become love". This is a declaration of someone's best vision of the fate of any sustenance. Back in Macedonia we understand it as a praise. Like when you say "bravo" and applaud someone's achievement. Something like "congratulations". Madame Segolene Royal fully deserves a huge "ashk olsun" for her decision to support Turkey.
Now there is a glimmer of chance that there may be somebody to tell Angela Merkel to shut up her big mouth, to refrain from throwing her Teutonic weight around and behave. There is nobody better qualified to that against the quickly inflating ego of the bundeskanzlerin. A firm French Madame seated in the Élysée Palace. I have no doubt that Segolene will find a well-staged showdown on this subject more than welcome opportunity to demonstrate the specific political weight of France and in the process open up wider horizons on world politics in general, dialogue among the civilizations, religions, economic blocs and so forth. She will have pleased the US with such a no-cost gesture and earned herself a significant number of muslim votes.
But this is not related to electioneering. Segolene Royal final position on Turkey is right as a principle. If Cyprus is in - Turkey must be a member now, even without any negotiations. This is a beautiful opportunity for whatever dialogue related to the future of the EU Segolene may wish to open and pursue in the remaining four weeks or so before the first round of the presidential elections.
Well done gall, keep up!
I am thrilled, elated with the way Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan slammed the European Union for giving mixed messages concerning Turkey's membership. He criticized (needlessly) Germany for not inviting Turkey to the celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. Angela Merkel and Deutschland auto-portraid themselves in such a poor light and in the process pushed all the other leaders in the mud of vulgar arrogance. Angela, well, that is her poor upbringing, so very base. Distasteful.
Of course that Erdogan was irritated, who would expect such a vulgarity from a woman with so high ambition. Do you know that this Schwaben-frau Angela Merkel chose a beer mug as her official good-buy present for the outgoing French President Jacques Chirac? A beer mug for the President of France. I do not know what she wanted to achieve? That half the French choke dinning while watching the TV-news? If she is so rude - how much worse are those under her? One stupid Munich beer-halle mug. As if he were a bachelor. And then, do you know that the mug has a relief of the little Corsican, Emperor Napoleon. For the President of the Fifth Republic. She is really nuts, this Angela. Napoleon, beaten so often. All Europe against him. Exiled, the prisoner of Elba and St. Helena. Is it possible that Angela was refering to the forthcoming court proceeds against Jacques Chirac and the eventual outcome of the conflict with Madame Justice? Is that an indication for a new chapter in German-French relations? I do not want to even contemplate whether Napoleon on a beer mug fo Chirac may have any other reasonable reference although I know them all.
Is Segolene Royal going to pay back Angela Merkel with some French subtlety or will she decide on a broad swing?
I am glad that today, in Istanbul, had opened a symposium on “Inter-religious and Intercultural Dialogue in Youth Work”. The event is jointly organized by the Council of Europe and the Directorate General of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Turkey. You may find this a superfluous info, but the Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation together with the European Youth Forum are also supporting the event. There are some 240 participants who discuss topics like “Religion and Human Rights,” “Racism and discrimination,” “Islamophobia,” and “The consequences of terrorism on inter-religious and intercultural dialogue” among many others. Council of Europe runs this “All different-All equal” campaign in more than 40 European countries and this is one outlet..
Furthermore - the EU - Turkey accession talks reopen today in Brussels. And that is also a small, almost marginal, but a needed signal, inspiration for some more endurance.
Segolene, you could not have decided better. Ashkolsun for the perfect timing too.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
You will not be interested in the biography of Branko Trickovski, (here,left) a journalist with a Macedonian daily owned by the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung. It costs me an itch to tell it, digested, but never you mind.I will not say a word. The guy writes columns and the latest illustrates the paranoia spreading through the capital of the EU candidate-country like a bush fire. It also depicts the early morning atmosphere in the leading political newspaper at odds with the ruling parliamentary majority of the country. This is how he opens up on a very serious issue, blaming the present government of employing secret service Stalinist methods in chasing officials and other people suspected of taking bribes.
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She appeared somehow swollen in the tits while she was leaving the spinach pie (bourek) on the small table next to my desk and the change of twenty denars (€0,30) over the newspaper I was reading about the detention of Dejan Dokik. I told myself: Trickovski, the money is only small change, but in the bra of the cleaning woman, further to her tits, there must be something else.
With a Christopher Dean olympic repertoire triple axel I placed myself behind the petite woman and had begun to press her first towards the oily paper with the pie and then towards the bank notes of ten denars.
-Take pictures, take pictures, take your picture, you damned provocateur. You want me sent to jail for a quarter of pie and twenty denars of bribe from my own money, you female spook, fuck you damn spy...the pie-shop notes smell on oil, not paint.
But, the woman did not remain more than five seconds in that position. In a bolero-style swing she delicately turned towards me as if Jane Torvill in Sarajevo, pushed herself softly from my chest and walking towards the door, threw at me, over her shoulder, the following words:
-I take pics of you, idiot, but my cameras are not in my bra, and I do not take pics because of the bribe but for mobing. Can't stand your every morning routine of pie without yogurt. I'll send you to court, you crazy madman, I'll send you to Strasbourg if needed.
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This is how Trickovski, an old colleague and a friend (till this piece hits the fan) opens up on the allegedly wide-spread police method in Macedonia to plant agent-provocateurs who entice people in accepting bribes while the uniformed arresting unit waits in front of the door to jump in and handcuff (cameras rolling) the corrupt recipient of the bribe. Trickovski develops the story effectively as always (he is the best author of the newspaper) and has not a shred of doubt that tempting poor people to accept bribes is immoral. He implies that all the two million Macedonians would accept a bribe because of latent, dismal poverty. The most controversial proposal by the man is his claim that "A society in which there is nothing else but crime and the fight against crime - cannot exist".
But, after 30 plus years in journalism Trickovski knows that there are many other things in Macedonia than the present effort to eradicate corruption. He choses to disregard everything else but the crime and the fight against it. That is rather distorted picture of Macedonia.
So, he insists that the police allegedly used inadmissible evidence to fight corruption. But then, for the sake of what he believed was a successful introduction to a burning theme - Trickovski described himself as a villain. He described how he jumped and pressed the poor female employee of the newspaper, the cleaning hand, after sending her on a private errand as if she were his serf. He admits swearing at her, scaring her wits. The woman was molested. Rud Lubers was expressly thrown out of the UNHCR for much less. Or was all this hyperbole, a matter of speech, a journalist fancy? So, the top columnists can scare the employees out their minds, "fuck you female spook", but the police cannot, may not send an agent-provocateur.
(Here left, the daily Utrinski Vesnik, then edited by Trickovski, published over the front page that my insignificance (Grozdan Popov) was the newspaper's correspondent from The Hague. It was not so. The paper refused to pay for my articles shamelessly claiming that it "promoted me". The director of the newspaper, Srdjan Kerim refused to respond. He does not think much of intellectual property. That is a scandalous behaviour for somebody who may preside the UN General Assembly where so much was done to protect intellectual property. There are people who see this affair as a scheme to rob someone for individual or group advantage.)
I am ready to buy even such a nonsense. Now. In advance. But on one condition: that the police tries persuading the prosecutor to indict the individual arrested for accepting a bribe. I would await the judge or the court to throw the case out. So what. And I would do it again if I were the the prosecutor. Again and again. I would insist that the clever lawmakers amend the laws on corruption so that it becomes easier to prove. I would arrange that the cooperating bribers be pardoned after a short time in the clink: so many of those witnesses who had stricken deals with Carla del Ponte were brought against Slobodan Milosevic. Nobody uttered a word. If such an arrangement is possible with the UN Tribunal, why not with a court in Skopje?
Take China, the most numerous (1,3 billion people) country and the fastest growing economy on the planet. A super-power. Its highest legislative body, the National Congress had just wound up its session for 2007 the other day. On occasion of the event the prime-minister of China Wen Jibao met the press. The media was reminded that China's road to democracy is specific. The media was reminded that: quote, Democratic government is the Chinese communist party governing on behalf of the people...while upholding and perfecting the people's democratic dictatorship".
That is democracy the Chinese way.
The Chinese prime minister admitted that corruption has spread and got its roots deeper in the social tissue. To eradicate the corruption China will engage in establishing stricter control over the officials. Hundreds of top party leaders were arrested in the fight against corruption, but it did not bother Chine destroy and launch satellites and amass 1,100 billion dollars of foreign reserves, prepare a for glittering summer olympic games and set in motion 350 km/hour trains. So, where does one look for examples?
And one more thing.
Branko Trickovski was a part of a plot that was, in my view, designed to rob a colleague of intellectual property. His present bosses, Srdjan Kerim(here, above) the director and Erol Rizaov, the present editor, have in one way or another, taken part in the affair. Srdjan Kerim was singled out by a Belgrade weekly "Student" as a plagiarizer. Many people confuse plagiat with theft of intellectual property.
Srdjan Kerim is a candidate to become the next president of the General Assembly of the United Nations. That is what is badly wrong with the Macedonian government. It pushes a crook like Srdjan Kerim to succeed the lady, Sheikha Haya Rashed Al-Khalifa who is specialist in fighting intellectual property thefts!
That is what Macedonia needs to pay attention to.