(Eleftherotypia, May 26, 2001)
The ink on the USA, European Union and the Balkan States messages of congratulations on the creation of a government of national unity in Skopje had hardly dried, the echo of Colin Powell saying that he would not accept any alterations of borders in the Balkans had hardly died down, the Albanians themselves had hardly had time to realize that their armed brethren in Skopje had been labelled terrorists at last weeks meeting of Balkan Foreign Ministers in Tirana, when another surprise manifested itself.
The joint agreement of co-operation and action between the Albanian political parties participating in the coalition government in Skopje and the armed Albanian guerrillas has brought about drastic changes in the Skopje scene.
The Albanian side has performed conjuring tricks to exploit a series of features which are the weak links in European and US policy on Albania. Features like:
In effect, the Albanian guerrillas in Skopje and the Albanian political parties are copying almost exactly what the UCK did in Kosovo, where it evolved from a guerrilla force into a political force, indeed one which holds the balance of power. The armed guerrillas in Skopje have made a political agreement with the Albanian parties of the coalition government and are thus getting back into the game of politics in the country. This manoeuvring has not gone beyond the pale of European and US control, as OSCE does not seem to exclude such games when trying out various solutions. It should be remembered that as well as this meeting arranged by the American diplomat, a few weeks ago in a non-paper of the Greek special advisor to OSCE there was a clear indication of the trend to bring the armed guerrillas into political discussions.
If Western circles are voicing concern, it is because they do not want to give legality to a model of political vindication in the region, over which they would not have complete control, but which would occupy them continually.