To choose five spins that were unspinned in our article “Kontraspin” is quite a small number for everything that happened throughout 2018, in which the truth was twisted. The slogans “we do not give the name” or “you sold the name”, was the major twisting of the truth i.e. spinning in 2018, and this topic was immediately followed by the spin that justice will be served for all those involved in the “period when Gruevski ruled”.
Here is the selection of five of the spins characteristic for 2018, unspinned in the “Vistinomer”, given in chronological order from the beginning until the end of the year:
The year started with one quite interesting topic about the MPs privileges, which remained quite huge in 2018, notwithstanding all the criticism before SDSM became the ruling political party about the MPs from the previous composition who manipulated the existing bylaws and laws and spent thousands and thousands of euros for travel costs throughout the year. Under the strong pressure of the public, SDSM had to draw the line; however, it was done for the benefit of the party and the public as well.
Before making the name Macedonia and the Prespa Agreement a current topic, the court processes upon the prosecution acts of the Special Public Prosecutor’s Office were put in the focus. One of the key spins was pronounced by the main actor in the previous 10-year period, which is often called a regime, which is the ex-prime minister Nikola Gruevski, who, just imagine, saw a threat in the judiciary which was not yet reformed, about the justice he seeks from the courts, and he called the entire judiciary “regime”.
Prespa Agreement between Republic of Macedonia and Greece marked the summer, continued until late fall and is still, in some other form, one of the most spinned main topics through the process of adoption of the constitutional amendments. However, there is one point of this process which lasts for many months – the Referendum on September 30, especially the results from the Referendum which caused a huge twist of the truth, while it was obvious that “people loudly said NO”.
The escape of the effectively sentenced Nikola Gruevski in Hungary, seemed to put the topic with the constitutional amendments and the name issue out of the focus; however, it gave the public another issue to think about. Gruevski had an agreement with the government – thesis of the majority of the public at that moment, expressed on the social networks. Gruevski outwitted the government – thesis of another, smaller group of the public, also expressed on the social media. However, the main question, which will actually provide an answer to the previous two contradictory theses is whether there is an objective responsibility for the police not taking any actions in the critical moment prior and during the attempts to submit the court order for sentence? The government says – we do not have more competencies, the guilt is to be found elsewhere. Such twist of the truth was unspinned just by simply reading the laws and bylaws related to the police operation.
Every year after November, the permanent topic in the public is the air pollution, primarily in Skopje, Tetovo and Bitola; however, this year there are many other municipalities where the air was very polluted, as well. This “permanent topic” came in the focus of the two largest political parties. Almost every day VMRO-DPMNE blames SDSM that they do not take any actions about the air pollution and the health of the citizens, that they have only made the situation worse, etc. And vice versa, SDSM point their finger towards VMRO-DPMNE blaming them that they have caused the problem during their 10-year rule and that they have not taken any measures in order to solve it. The “Vistinomer” recognized spinning about this topic from all parties.
This article was created within the framework of the Project to increase the accountability of the politicians and political parties Truthmeter implemented by Metamorphosis. The article is made possible by the generous support of the National Endowment for Democracy(NED) and The Balkan Trust for Democracy (BTD), a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, an initiative that supports democracy, good governance, and Euroatlantic integration in Southeastern Europe. The content is the responsibility of its author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Metamorphosis, National Endowment for Democracy, the Balkan Trust for Democracy, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, or its partners.