Peter Rebernik on Tue, 6 Apr 1999 18:59:39 +0200

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Re: Syndicate: Re: URGENT call for AID to Blace! (fwd)

Dear Zoran,

you are completely right and correct. Makedonija is doing more on human help
than every other country, more than it can afford, economically and
The Austrian (my country!) government first said that it will not take even
one refugee. I was very ashamed and thought to fight for it. Now, they are
sending some money, now they are taking in 10.000 refugees, they told the
press. During the Hungarian uprising in 1956, when the Austrians were much
poorer - and much more in danger to be conquered by the Sowjet Union, we
took more than 100.000 refugees and tried to help them.

We all agree that the Makedonian government has a hard time. They are newly
elected, new to the power and thrown into the worst situation, a country
could face: down with economy, war in the neighbourhood and flooding
refugees. Makedonija would need the wisest, the best and the most
experienced government in that situation.
But, I must say, they are trying hard and doing their best. I would advise
us to stand behind them and advise them in behalf of the people of
Makedonija, of all ethnic groups.

NATO did what it could, I think. NATO did not have, as I believe, any direct
interest in getting involved. They tried to stop the brutal regime. But, to
do that they insisted that only brutal force could stop it.
It is like the father who hits his older son because the older son is
hitting the younger son; the father with the words: "You should not hit a
weaker one".

Makedonija is such a lovely country and I do believe that government and
people there are upset, but I do believe that they are wise enough to get
along. I would like to assist in "business as usual".

Peter, the optimistic Rebernik

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-----UrsprÑ?ngliche Nachricht-----
Von: Zoran Petrovski <>
An: Adele Eisenstein <>
Cc: <>
Datum: Dienstag, 6. April 1999 01:06
Betreff: Re: Syndicate: Re: URGENT call for AID to Blace! (fwd)

>Adele Eisenstein wrote:
>> dear all,
>> i got a response to my urgent plea which is shocking - and asks to be
>> anonymous...
>> Adele
>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>> Date: Sun, 04 Apr 1999 17:41:20 +0200
>> Blace is 23 kilometres from Skopje. If people are dying in fields, it is
>> partly the responsibility of the Macedonian government. They are
>> prevented from walking to Skopje.
>About the responsibilities, let's not be single minded. Why there's no a
>single word to whom belongs the other part of it and how big it is? I
>don't want at all to exclude the possibility that it goes partly to the
>Macedonian Government, but the assumption that it won't allow
>50.000-70.000 people to walk to Skopje is not a case for making an
>argument. Can you name one Government in the world allowing just like
>that so many people from one country to come in the capitol of another
>country in a single day? So, speaking about responsibilities its in the
>first place irresponsible to make statements like this. Its a very
>suspicious denunciation when you name only one responsible and  skip the
>others. It becomes even more strange when it comes from an anonymous
>person. Why the fear?
>I admit that I feel a little silly to stand here for the Macedonian
>Government, but finding this issue of responsibility important first and
>foremost for the tragedy of all those tormented people, and for their
>immediate future, I'd like to give you my personal view about this
>complex problem.
>1. There's no need to say that first of all, the responsibility for the
>refuges goes to Slobodan Miloshevich. We are witnessing such a practice
>of ethnic cleansing for many years now.
>2. Long before this war, it was quite clear that for this regime one of
>the best possible scenarios for resolving the problem of Kosovo could be
>its separation and the strategy of ethnic cleansing. One of the first
>expected moves taken under the umbrella of the air strikes, was exactly
>the refuge counter strike.
>3. It is a little strange when now NATO countries and the media appear
>to be surprised by the flow of refuges. Those poor people could be used
>through the media for a faster approach to certain solutions needed by
>NATO, but the responsibility for the further suffering of each of them
>should be taken in return. It's obvious that this burden can't be simply
>put on the neighboring countries, and that is on Macedonia and Albania.
>Speaking about Macedonia, it could be easily destabilized, and a new
>circle of the hell could be opened.
>4. Macedonia does not take part in this war. It houses approximately
>15.000 NATO troops with a mission to be deployed in Kosovo if the peace
>agreement in Paris was reached. Now this troops, according to the
>Macedonian media, CNN and some other media, are trying to help the
>Macedonian Government in finding shelters and delivering food and other
>needs to the refuges. However, since their mission is different, all
>this goes so far, as it seems, in a somewhat confusing manner. I guess
>it happens also with the Macedonian authorities, but when you are
>dealing all of a sudden with so many humiliated human beings I can only
>imagine what are the troubles. So, I suppose that there should have been
>a previous plan of what to do in order to prevent such a disaster. And
>Macedonia didn't plan this conflict.
>4. Before the Strike, Macedonian Government said that it could accept
>only 20.000 refuges. At the moment they number approximately 120.000,
>and some estimated 70.000 are waiting on the Yugoslav part of the
>border. For this sudden burst of people, Macedonian Government wasn't
>prepared, and one might ask whether it should or could have been
>prepared. Macedonia itself is one of the poorest European countries,
>dealing daily with its own enormous problems of existence. As was
>recently seen in front of the US Embassy in Skopje, rage and violence
>can be easily produced in those circumstances of high tensions, which
>are most strongly felt right here in the neighboring countries. So, when
>speaking about the domino principle in spreading the war outside the
>Yugoslav borders, it's not necessarily that Miloshevich must attack. In
>a strongly multiethnic country, with collapsed economy (which is
>collapsing even deeper because of the war, and with 1 1/3 of the working
>population being unemployed), rage and intolerance could become a very
>dangerous potential.
>5. Is there anyone who can say how many refuges are still to come? Is
>there anyone who can predict how long this crisis will last? (As far as
>I know, in Macedonia there are still refuges from Bosnia).
>6. Just until yesterday, general position of the most of the EU
>countries was that the refuges should remain in the neighborhood.
>However, Bulgaria as one of the neighbors claimed that it won't accept
>more than 3.000 and only for seven days. Greece is ready to accept
>approximately 4.000. Of course, everybody is promising different forms
>of aid. Taking over part of the responsibility, but only from a distance
>is such an elegant way of being morally correct.
>7. Yesterday and today Germany (10.000), Norway (6.000), US (40.000),
>Turkey (30.000) and maybe few other countries finally (and I guess after
>the reconsideration of the responsibility issue) announced acceptance of
>refuges. But again, not too many of them.
>Zoran Petrovski
>Skopje, Macedonia
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