Not only us, woe to the Americans too – with us!

Jeanne P. Bozinovska / Free Press

When all the remarks from the State Department are read, the question remains – who else should tell us or how to show us that things are turned upside down and that there are no results from what is supposedly being done.

Too many cases of violence, disrespect for human rights, high corruption, overcrowded prisons, pressures on journalists, division of the media along political lines, insufficient transparency of the Government, ineffective courts, violence against members of the LGBT community and what is not yet noted in the report of the US State Department for Macedonia for the past year 2022. For a country that claims to be taking big steps towards European integration and claims to become part of the European Union by 2030.

According to the State Department, the government remains the largest employer in the country, and its dominant role in the economy creates opportunities for corruption. When talking about the Government, it is still stated that despite the fact that it has taken steps to prosecute and punish officials related to corruption, there are still credible reports of government corruption.

When all the remarks are read, the question arises who else should tell us or how to draw us that things are turned upside down and that there are no results from what is supposedly being done. How else to interpret the claim that the Government did not always respect judicial independence and impartiality.

Judges deliberately delay trials or appellate review to allow statutes of limitations, especially in high-profile cases involving wealthy and influential businessmen or politicians; there are judges who are believed to be cooperating with defense attorneys for bribery or influence peddling, the report said. This remark is neither new nor unknown to any citizen in the country.

Not so long ago, the new American ambassador to the country, Angela Ageler, openly announced that in a country that is moving towards the EU, serious addressing of the problem of corruption is needed, confused by the process for electing a new head of the Prosecutor's Office for Prosecution of Organized Crime and Corruption, for who, by the way, has not been heard from since. Neither for him nor for his work. Ageler, apart from saying that corruption has led to a real disaster for the country in which more and more young people do not want to stay, clearly reminded that millions and millions of dollars paid by US taxpayers are invested in Macedonia's judiciary.

And what happened since then? It seems few things have changed. And the Prime Minister evaluated the State Department's report as "very important and useful for us" and a document that should be used to improve all conditions in society. The thing is that even without such a "document", things in society should have already been improved.

It is not necessary for the State Department to remind us of the trust in the judiciary, and for the Prime Minister to say that it will return with the implementation of several projects, including the vetting process, which should apply to all appointed and elected officials and what should be did (again) with the support of the USA and with the EU. And, while the uncertainty lasts when the theoretically endlessly announced new projects will finally bear fruit, the cases of "senior criminals" practically, safely and reliably become outdated.

Just as the State Department did not have to remind us of the conditions in the prisons, starting with the poor conditions, then through the lack of food, the inadequate sanitary conditions, the overcrowding, and all the way to the insufficient staff in the prison system. And, what is said, the word is still unsaid, the attempted film escape from the prison in Idrizovo confirmed all the remarks of the Americans.

And while justifications and explanations are being sought for, to put it mildly, the shortcomings, the opposition accuses of not having any responsibility for the conditions in the country that are not from yesterday, and the government is proud of the fact that Macedonia's progress was appreciated in the EU. And the projection for entry into the same European Union in 2030, they say, will depend on the delivery of the reforms.

Only if it is not late like Macedonian Post's shipments.

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