Edward Joseph analyses for “Foreign Affairs” the deteriorating situation in Macedonia, Bosnia and Kosovo and criticises the West for neglecting the Balkans in its foreign policy priorities. He turns to the recent outbreak of violence in Kumanovo as well as the role that Gruevski’s government has played in the dramatic deterioration of democratic standards, pointing out that since Gruevski took office in 2006, elections have become increasingly dubious and Gruevski has managed to consolidate power by debilitating the judiciary, marginalising the opposition, and eviscerating independent media.
Joseph highlights that the wiretapping scandal that erupted several months ago has revealed the “breathtaking extent of government abuse, alleging government’s direct orchestration of financial and electoral fraud, mass electronic surveillance, framing of political opponents for crimes, and even murder.”
He asserts that the shoot out in Kumanovo has brought together ethnic Macedonians and Albanians in a fight against perceived dictatorship, for the first time in its independent history. He calls on the international community to again play a decisive role in bringing things to a peaceful resolution, underscoring that the Western general “failure to deal with core problems head-on has only made them harder to resolve in the end.”