The news of the week – the swindle phone talks with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev with two Russian allegedly pranksters – has no capacity to keep longer in the media space both in the country and abroad longer but it is possible that it will have implications upon the reputation of the Republic of North Macedonia and certainly upon the Prime Minister himself.
This is a joint constatation of several domestic analysts about the whole situation. Regardless of the first impressions that with the long press conference Prime Minister Zaev with his sincere approach has managed to take the blow of the inconvenience in which he was put, undoubtedly this was an additional blow on this ratings, which will not be left unused during the first elections to come. For the third day in the row, the opposition is demanding his resignation and early elections.
This is due to the fact that Zaev already admitted that for several months he never doubted that he was talking with a person that falsely introduced himself as the former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, not even in these moments when the second character is making fun with the origins of the ancient nations, the genetic origin of the Macedonians and the Ukrainians and the link with Alexander the Great, the alleged city of Vinica in Ukraine and the intent to rename it into East Macedonia.
The news of the swindled Zaev has had other implications as well, mostly regional, that are already visible. The Kosovar opposition is demanding for early parliamentary elections and resignation of Ramush Haradinaj’s government because of the plan for a division of Kosovo for which Zaev talked with Poroshenko. There was an immediate reaction by Haradinaj who openly opposes to such plans and repeated there will be no division of Kosovo. Apart from that, Zaev already apologized to presidents Hashim Tacci and Aleksandar Vuchic.
The potential consequences over other regional partners still cannot be seen yet clearly, but there might be consequences upon the church due to Zaev’s effort to interfere in the solving of MPC-OA’s status in the Orthodox world through Poroshenko, by a donation in cash to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
Certain consequences upon Macedonia are possible from an aspect of the inconvenient position that the German Chancellor Angela Merkel is put in. Zaev reveals a piece of information that he had 30 min. conversation with Merkel, and a detail she strongly opposes the division of Kosovo. Apart from this, he admitted that he has sent photographs of Merkel’s visit, which is an issue that might additionally complicate the situation.
after all, the news of the week has even positive consequences. Zaev himself announced that the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia will commence a “strong and all-encompassing fight against fake news and manipulations” along with his partners worldwide, and there are announcements of reassessment of the communication protocols with high representatives from abroad, that weren’t used this time which is a reason more why Zaev was swindled.
“The prank show” by the well-organized swindlers that call themselves comedians and jokers, is suspected by part of Russian and world media, to be supported by Kremlin and the Russian security services, brings another angle of observing the political scene in Macedonia.
What we were witnesses of was only a continuity, with a little modification of the technique, of the political reality in Macedonia that is present on the scene since February 2015 where the general public is a witness of political showdowns by revealing illegally wiretapped conversations. This voyeuristic-exhibitionistic show that involved involuntary the Macedonian public shows that an urgent reassessment of the whole approach to the protection of privacy, the safety of communications and their treatment by the criminal law, which is what experts call for in the Meta.mk’s latest analysis.