At a time when the Macedonian public believed that the affair “Reket”, with videos published by the Italian newspaper “La Verità”, suggesting high-level corruption by influence on prosecutors and judges (with a controversial celebrity included), will also maybe reveal recording that will let the voice of Prime Minister Zaev to be heard, this didn’t happen. Instead Zaev complicated his own situation.
Zaev used his first opportunity after the videos were revealed, to make one of the most politically incorrect statements and, in less than a minute offended the homosexuals and journalists with the statement: “I will not allow criminals, one vain journalist and faggot to topple the government”. When he later tried to explain on Twitter what he meant by that, he entangled himself even more by saying he used the word “faggot” to describe “a character trait and not a sexual orientation”.
The use of the words “vain journalist” and “faggot” caused the reaction of the journalist association and those fighting for the rights of the LGBTI community, but also civil society organizations in general, who in the use of these words by Zaev saw not only disgust towards homosexuals and journalists, but also the spread of hate speech.
Civil society organizations strongly condemned the “scandalous, inappropriate, homophobic” statement of Zaev, but also the statement that discredits journalists who critically observe the work of the government, posing the question: “Are all previous efforts towards advancing LGBTI rights substantial or are just declarative and formal”.
Zaev later tried additionally to explain, speaking for the state journalist agency MIA, but repeated the message that he will not allow criminals, manipulators and cheaters to prevent the success of the country.
Concerning the qualifications “criminals, faggots, vain and idiots” Zaev says that he and the Government strongly believe in defending free speech, freedom of media and stand in defence of human rights for all, including the LGBTI community.
The impression is that instead of explaining repeatedly, it would have been simpler if he just said: “I am sorry, I made a mistake”.