A nation known for corruption

Diana Mladenovska

According to the announcements of the State Department and the EU, this time the fight against corruption will not depend much on the political will of the local parties. Too many great interests are intertwined over Macedonia for things to be left only to the will of the local powerful.

Macedonia's small progress of only two places in the last measurement of Transparency International's corruption perception index was not a surprise at all, because we have already become recognizable for our low resistance to organized crime and corruption at the highest level.

With a ranking of 85th among 180 ranked countries in the world, Macedonia continues to be one of the worse countries in the region according to the perception of corruption. In the table of Transparency International, which is published once a year, of the countries in our environment in front of us are Slovenia, which is in 41st place, Greece is 51st, Montenegro 65th, Bulgaria 72nd and Kosovo, which is one place better placed than us. In a worse position are Serbia and Albania, who share the 101st place, and Bosnia and Herzegovina is in the 110th place.

It was surprising the ease with which those most called in the country in charge of fighting corruption explained the country's traditionally poor ranking on the list. From the Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevski, through the Minister of Justice Nikola Tupanchevski, to the President of the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption, everyone reacted as if they were not at all affected by what some people call a phenomenon completely wrongly, but which in fact, has long been a permanent, deeply rooted condition in the country.

And not only the government, but also the opposition suppressed the reaction. Accusing the Government of political immaturity in terms of (not) dealing with corruption, VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickoski "maturely" neglected the fact that many of his former and current party members have great "merits" for such situations. Or, as he himself described, there is no way we can break away from the company of Suriname, Tunisia and India.

A certain amount of seriousness was shown by the leader of the Democratic Union, Pavle Trajanov. This year's publication of another devastating report on Macedonia was met with the presentation of its old-new initiative for the establishment of an independent, departmentalized, agency to fight against organized crime and high corruption. But those who follow the situation at least a little more carefully, know that there is little chance that one of the two main political entities in the country will bend down to pick up the gauntlet that Trajanov threw at them. If such a thing happens, as it usually ends, it is enough to recall the unfortunate experience with the so-called Special Public Prosecutor's Office.

In the future, increasingly reliable partner of the Government, the Alliance for the Albanians, they defined it quite clearly as a lack of political will. Parallel to the increasingly loud speculations about the new division of government departments, they have already bravely declared themselves as uncompromising fighters against corruption, naively ignoring the fact that one of its main generators is precisely the partisanship of the institutions, in which they want to get their staff at any cost.

By reducing the problem to the level of daily political debates, the parties once again dragged the public into the vicious circle of politics, crime and corruption, skilfully bypassing the still untouchable space of corporate interests, in which a good number of them are more or less involved. Similarly, numerous holders of positions in the judiciary who, for the time being, are extremely wrongly associated only with political influences.

Judging by the announcements from the US State Department, but also from some institutions of the European Union, this time, it will not depend much on the political will of the local parties. Too many great interests are intertwined over Macedonia and over its surroundings, called the Balkan Region, for things to be left only to the will of the local powerful.

Without pretensions to idealize the mechanisms by which Western countries deal with organized crime and high corruption, after three decades of alternating stagnation and retreat on this battlefield, it seems that there is no other hope than to fight this battle with the help of the allies. .

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