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Analysis: Who killed Pavlos Fyssas?

The murder of rapper Pavlos Fyssas was blamed on the far-right Golden Dawn, but was it the “extreme center” which benefited politically?

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Following the murder of the alleged anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas, multiple MPs and members of the far-right Golden Dawn have been on trial, in a process which has been ongoing for nearly five years. The Greek state is out to prove the criminal responsibility of Golden Dawn in the murder. This can be interpreted in one of two ways.
The first interpretation is that those in power who presided over economic genocide and the deaths by suicide of over 20,000 Greeks and the emigration of over 500,000 more, are attempting to gain democratic credentials by prosecuting “the fascists.”
The second interpretation is that Golden Dawn was responsible for the murder and sought to gain political power via the medium of armed street protests in the dying days of the Antonis Samaras government, a regime which was rocked with political and economic instability.

The mother of slain rapper Pavlos Fyssas, at the trial of Golden Dawn members.


What follows are three sets of documents from that period. The first is the testimony of Pavlos Fyssas’ girlfriend, who was present at the scene when Fyssas was stabbed by a man by the name of Giorgos Roupakias, paid member in good standing of Golden Dawn. The second is a transcript of a television interview given by Fyssas’ parents, and the third is an article by the far-leftist journalist Giorgos Delastik, who was fired by the Ethnos daily newspaper for writing this piece.

Golden Dawn member Giorgos Roupakias, the self-confessed killer of Pavlos Fyssas.


The context in which this murder occurred was the electoral rise and growth in popularity (as seen in public opinion polls) of Golden Dawn, at a time when the coalition government of New Democracy under Antonis Samaras and PASOK under Evangelos Venizelos was on the rocks. At around this time, it was revealed that Samaras fixer called Panagiotis (Takis) Baltakos was in negotiations with Golden Dawn for the latter to support and/or join the New Democracy-led government. Upon their refusal however, a different course of action was unleashed. This was the period when Golden Dawn MP Ilias Kasidiaris released secret videos in parliament showing Baltakos conducting such negotiations on behalf of Samaras. With the killing of Pavlos Fyssas, Samaras commenced legal proceedings against Golden Dawn and started to provisionally imprison its members and MPs.

Secret recording of Baltakos:


Who was Fyssas really? From both of interviews of those closest to him, it appears he was not a political individual. The subsequent rallies in his support which were held internationally followed the pattern of the previous murder of teenager Alexis Grigoropoulos in December 2008. This time though, instead of the “evil state” it was the evil …retro-nazis (of the third reich) whilst those of the fourth reich (Merkel’s supporters, i.e. PASOK and New Democracy) remained unscathed.
After all, Samaras remained in power by utilizing junta-era laws via the court martialing of striking workers, effectively outlawing strikes. Via the murder of Fyssas and then of two young Golden Dawn members, the state managed to promote the concept of the so-called “two extremes,” meaning those of the “extreme” right and the “extreme” left, whilst the oh-so-democratic center was simply trying to… govern.
If one is to accept that the murder of Fyssas was organised by the ruling clique that runs Golden Dawn, then by implication SYRIZA or the Communist Party (KKE) organized the murder of the two Golden Dawn members which followed. To accept one without accepting the other is absurd, but then again no political murders in Greek history have occurred on the basis of any known logic. They have served the political ends of the deep state, which has at its disposal many centers of power and influence. One only needs to be reminded of the cases of George Polk, Stefanos Sarafis, and Giorgos Lambrakis to understand that murders in Greece usually serve political ends.
What follows are three documents regarding the case: the testimony of Fyssas’ girlfriend as to what transpired on the night of his murder, a transcription of the interview of Fyssas’ parents on Greek television, and the aforementioned article by journalist Giorgos Delastik which led to his dismissal.
Like all previous political murders in Greece, who actually committed the crime and who will be penalized for it are probably unrelated. In the cold war era of the 1950s it was always communists who were found guilty. In the post cold war world era, it is the retro-fascists of the 1950s. The “extreme center” always remains unscathed…
Testimony of Pavlos Fyssas’ Girlfriend
The statement:

I am the girlfriend of Pavlos Fyssas. We were together for 2.5 years. This is a statement I have not previously provided, as no one called me despite providing my phone number to a police woman. With Pavlos we visited the house of our friend at 7.30 pm of the night of 17th of September [2013]. At around 8.15 pm we wanted to see where we could sit and follow the Olympiacos football match. For no apparent reason we stopped at “Koralli” and spoke to the person in charge and we asked for a table for three people to watch the match. We then went around the area and returned to “Koralli” at 9.30 pm. At some point whilst we were watching the match I heard our friend “D” state loudly “better I had a worm as a friend instead of a Golden Dawn supporter.” I don’t know if other people heard it besides us, but none of us continued this discussion. Pavlos was focused on the match.
At the same time, a gentleman came to our direction, dark looking with a colorful outfit, and told us to leave the area as trouble was about to start. We couldn’t comprehend for what reason there would be trouble nor could we understand why the gentleman wanted us to leave the cafeteria. I did not hear him state he was a policeman. As he continuously insisted on telling us to leave, telling us these characters were Golden Dawn and were angry, we decided to take some beers to Pavlos’ house or to go to “Vlaherna” near the church and wait for the dust to settle. Our friend “D” told the owner of the shop something like “German offspring who killed our families.” I told Pavlos to get his things together as they might hear us and a real fight might occur and Pavlos told him “shut up and lets go.”
Just after the second half of the game, our friends ‘”X,” “P,” and “D” came and found us in the cafeteria plus and another lad I don’t really know, “M” and his girlfriend “N.” We all sat together. I didn’t hear anything in particular being said by the lads anyway, as our group was big and there was noise in the club and something could have been said that not all of us heard. When the match finished and we went out so as to decide what to do, the person in charge of the shop told us to not make any noise. I don’t know why he said that, but he showed us some people who had gathered in the corner of Pavlou Mela and Kefallllinias Streets opposite “Koralli.” I then saw three people. I didn’t see them very well. All I know was that they were wearing black and they were making spasmodic movements.
We started moving away from “Koralli” café towards Tsaldari street. When we reached the corner of Tsaldaris and Kefallinias, we put our friend “X” into a taxi as he didn’t feel well. At that moment, we saw four or five motorbikes of DIAS [the rapid reaction police units]. There were two officers on each one. They saw us and turned and went towards “Koralli.” Before they went there, they stopped at a group of around 15 black hooded men who were at that spot. I didn’t see if they were talking. The police had stopped fully but had not formed a circle around them. They were all there casually together as if they were a group. Some police got off their bikes and took their helmets off. At that moment the character came over to us. He seemed angry that we hadn’t already left. Pavlos told him he wants to be able to walk freely in his part of town and under all conditions, and that we have to return to collect the car of our friends which we have left there.
From the moment we saw the police we were calm and we continued walking, passing opposite the pavement of Tsaldaris Street. Then Pavlos said to take the girl who was with us and to go to the house to find us.
The other people in the group had already gone up further Tsaldaris street towards the direction of Lambraki street. They went to a kiosk to buy beers. Suddenly, in Kefallinias street, around seven or eight people who were around 35 to 40 years old appeared, wearing black clothes, some with shaven heads and some without. I didn’t see them holding something in their hands. With loud voices they started moving in our direction, towards the boys in the group. Then I turned around to see what was happening.
I realized they were moving towards the boys and I ran to the police at Kefallinias Street. I screamed at them that our friends are in danger and pleaded with them to come. I remember characteristically a policeman who was tall and very well built with a square face stating “we cant do anything, there are too many of them.” Only one policewoman came to my direction and a young policeman who came by foot towards where our friends were in danger. I also went towards the area where Pavlos was.
I don’t know what the two policemen did next, as that is when I saw Pavlos had been stabbed… whilst I was almost hysterical and pulled the police from their jackets to come and help, a well built man came very close to my face and told me “you brought your poof to my shop.” This man had a few grey hairs, was well built and was over 40. This is a man I think I had seen in a video uploaded on YouTube in conflicts that Golden Dawn had started at a market stall in Messolongi.
Now when according to what I stated everything had ended, Pavlos had been stabbed. He was standing tall, was holding his chest and stating he had been stabbed. He showed in the direction of the perpetrator. I didn’t see the murderer, I only saw a silver car. As an ambulance came and got Pavlos, a policeman came towards me, the one I had described previously, the well built one, and asked for my ID. When I asked him why he didn’t do anything alongside all the others and just watched, he pretended he just arrived at the scene and wasn’t to be found there. I can’t imagine any reason why they wanted to kill Pavlos. I think that it was a cold and unconscionable attack that happened for no reason.


The interview of Fyssas’ parents on television

Part A:

Part B:

Part C:

At around 13:00 (Part A) both parents dispute the claim that Pavlos was “politicised” and had engaged in “intense antifascist activity.” His father said: “[m]any years ago he might have passed through the KKE or PASOK, I don’t actually know, but in recent years he didn’t even go to vote, he wasn’t involved at all…”
At 9:35 (Part B) came the following statement: “I want to see whether they will ever arrest those responsible.”
At 10:25 (Part B) Stavros Theodorakis (a former television personality who is now the leader of the Potami political party) asked if Pavlos loved the migrants. His mother replied, “[i]t hurt him to hear that they are being chased or being killed. The same when he heard migrants killed Greeks. In particular [Manolis] Kantaris, whose wife was just about to give birth and migrants killed him…”
At the start of part C, when Theodorakis asked “Who is guilty? The man who held the knife?” came the following response: “He who held the knife is an idiot. The issue is who gave him the knife? The knife is held by those who exploit people who live on the backs of others? They are dirty with bad minds…”
At 1:40 (Part C), Fyssas’ father is more concrete. When asked what he seeks from justice, he replied: “I want them to find the real guilty party. They played a game. A murder had to be committed and our child just happened to be on the streets…”
Finally, at 3:35 (Part C), Fyssas’ mother states: “My child was murdered by a professional…”


Article by Giorgos Delastik: The EU, New Democracy and PASOK threaten democracy

Did the Golden Dawn murderer, this human scum who killed in the middle of the road the leftist antifascist Pavlos Fissas in Amfiali, act on his own behalf or was he carrying out orders? If he was carrying out orders, from which political quarters did these orders originate? Or did they come from business circles? We won’t become police detectives to answer. We will monitor – with extreme caution with regards to what the police claim is the truth – the development of the police report to formulate a final conclusion of the events.
But the crime is clearly political. We will add a few political thoughts around this. Even for the most cold, vile political crimes, the first components of any analysis start from the question: “Who benefits politically from the crime?” They who benefit aren’t always the guilty ones, as in politics the consequences of a murder can be different from what those who planned it initially judged. From a political perspective (we emphasize, from a political and not a police perspective, as events can be proven which contradict political speculation) it’s very difficult for someone to proclaim that the order for a murder was given by the leading, first rank members of the party to which the perpetrator belonged, except if these leading members were being blackmailed by other elements. Golden Dawn sustained serious political damage with the murder which was carried out. From initially appearing as a party that expressed social rage and the desperation of the politically backward right wing circles, particularly those who voted against the troika policies of both New Democracy and PASOK, after the murder and the attacks against members of the KKE and KNE [Communist youth] in Perama it now appears as a party wanting to”‘murder the left”! The reduction of the electoral approval of Golden Dawn after the murder of P. Fyssas must be considered a given.
The left in all of its permutations won’t gain anything from these events and neither will the movement. A murder always provokes fear, whether one admits to it or not. We mean fear to the people, not the leaders. It’s another matter to demonstrate and an another matter to be threatened by knife-wielding thugs. The only ones who gain from this murder are the Samaras-Venizelos government. This is exactly like what happened in the case of the [the firebombing of] Marfin Bank. Whilst the whole of Greece was on strike against the government, the murder ended up getting all the Greeks to talk about the murder carried out by the beastly Golden Dawn member. Swiftly after the murder, the current “Tsolakoglous” [referring to the quisling prime minister Giorgos Tsolakoglou of the World War II period) in New Democracy and PASOK are now promoting themselves as the guarantors of preventing the civil war between the two extremes! From a political point of view, the murder was a “golden gift” for Samaras and Venizelos! They rushed to politically exploit the murder. We must further note that the manner in which the murderer acted made a big impression on us. He carried out a murder in the center of Amfiali with dozens of witnesses without even attempting with a motorcycle helmet to hide his face. He didn’t even attempt to leave. He left the knife used to commit the murder with his own fingerprints on them, at the scene. All of this happened even though he was universally known in Amfiali, as was his political orientation.
This approach belies a man who commits a murder in order to get caught, to be sentenced to life imprisonment and to be jailed for many years. He has full knowledge that the crime will be blamed on the political grouping he belongs to, Golden Dawn. We aren’t pretending to be the police inspector Clouseau, but this stance more clearly reflects a murderer who is carrying out orders, not a brute acting on his own accord. Such actions also drastically reduce the possibility that the murderer had received his orders from business circles instead of political circles. The political positions adopted by Samaras and Venizelos following the murder of the 34 year old antifascist artist are provoking ire. What did the prime minister tell us via his close collaborator Chrysanthos Lazaridis, who wouldn’t have been able to make such statements without the permission of Samaras? That the murder demonstrates that SYRIZA remains outside the “constitutional axis”!!! This is Samaras’ position! What did Venizelos tell us? He declared on Vima FM that “the problem isn’t the theory of extremes, the problem is that inside the amalgam of the so-called “anti-memorandum axis” there exist forces that are far right, Nazi, traditionally communist, and of course newly radicalized”! In other words, because both the murderer and victim were “anti-memorandum,” the problem according to Venizelos is that the those who are “anti-memorandum” are killing each other!
These views by both Samaras and Venizelos aren’t just ridiculous. The most serious issue for us is that for now there are many doubts emerging as to whether this murderer acted on his own or if he carried out orders from other centers of power unknown to us, distinct from the leadership of Golden Dawn. We shall see…

Opinions expressed are those of the author alone and may not reflect the opinions and viewpoints of Hellenic Insider, its publisher, its editors, or its staff, writers, and contributors.

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Paranoid Turkey Claims “Greece, Israel, & Egypt Are Part Of Khashoggi’s Murder Plot”

A new Turkish narrative has been launched claiming that Greece, Israel and Egypt are part of the murder plot of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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Via Zerohedge


As we noted previouslythe conflict over gas in the eastern Mediterranean is intensifying.

The dispute concerns gas blocks, with Turkey furious about the energy cooperation of these Greece, Cyprus, and Egypt in the East Mediterranean Sea. While Turkish warships have been active, it appears Turkey is taking a new approach to this hybrid war.

As KeepTalkingGreece.com reports,a new Turkish narrative, based on paranoia and conspiracy theories, has been launched claiming that Greece, Israel and Egypt are part of the murder plot of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggipresumably in an effort to garner global opinion against their energy-hording neighbors.

This unbelievable allegation has been claimed by Erdogan’s close aide Yigit Bulut, who is famous for his delirium and ravings, during an appearance on state television of Turkey.

“Greece, Israel and Egypt are part of murder plot involving slain Saudi Arabia journalist Khashoggi in Istanbul,” Yigit Bulut said in TRT Television, where he is a frequent guest.

Enlisting the ‘good old traditional perception’ that Turkey is surrounded by enemies, KeepTalkingGreece notesthat Bulut said:

“a belt extending from Europe to Israel has always harbored hostility towards Turkey they never wanted Turks in this region. Europe even made Turks to fight unnecessary wars against Russia.”

It is worth noting that Russia and Turkey have come closer recently due to Syria, a cooperation sealed with armament sales to Ankara triggering the anger of US and the NATO of which Turkey is a member.

Bulut vowed that Turkey will continue oil and gas exploration in the East Mediterranean off-shore Cyprus.

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Turkey vows to make ‘sea bandits’ drilling gas off Cyprus pay, like ‘terrorists in Syria’ did

Ankara claims jurisdiction for offshore research in the East Mediterranean, an area thought to be rich with natural resources.

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Via RT


Ankara will not allow any “sea bandits” to roam free and tap the disputed natural gas reserves off Cyprus, Turkey’s president has vowed, while commissioning a new warship to challenge competitors militarily, should the need arise.

“We will not accept attempts to seize natural resources in the Eastern Mediterranean through the exclusion of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC),” Erdogan said Sunday, according to Daily Sabah. While claiming that Turkey has no ambitions to annex any “territories,” Ankara promised to protect “the rights of our country and of our brothers.”

“Those who thought that they could take steps in the Eastern Mediterranean or the Aegean despite [this] have begun to understand the magnitude of their mistake. We will not allow bandits in the seas to roam free just like we made the terrorists in Syria pay,” Erdogan said at a ceremony transferring the TCG Burgazada corvette to the Turkish Navy.

The exploration of hydrocarbon resources off the coast of the Republic of Cyprus has become a sensitive issue for the international community, ever since the first gas deposit discoveries were made off the coast in 2011. While the Republic of Cyprus belongs to the EU community and is recognized by the UN, TRNC, the northern third of the island, has been occupied by Turkey since 1974. As a result, Ankara continues to claim jurisdiction for offshore research in the East Mediterranean, an area thought to be rich with natural resources.

The region has recently witnessed an escalation in tensions, after the Turkish Navy intercepted a Greek frigate which tried to interfere with a Turkish research vessel’s seabed exploration on October 18. The incident prompted a diplomatic row with Greece, which traditionally supports the ethnically Greek government of the Republic of Cyprus. While Greece denied interfering with the Turkish research vessel, Ankara has cautioned its neighbor and longtime opponent not to stir trouble in the region.

To ease tensions, Cyprus’ President Nicos Anastasiades has offered Turkey on Friday to cooperate on exploiting the East Mediterranean’s potential oil and gas wealth, stressing that the ethnically split island nation should be reunified. All previous international efforts to unite the island have failed. To avoid any further intercommunal tensions and hostilities the United Nations continues to maintain a buffer zone there.

“We will continue with our goal of exercising the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus, as an independent state – member of the European Union, proceeding seamlessly with our energy planning for the benefit of all the legitimate inhabitants of the country, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots,” the president noted.

US-based ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum have already been licensed by the Cypriot government to undertake seabed exploration of Block 10. Last month, Nicosia also invited France’s Total, Italy’s ENI and ExxonMobil to explore Block 7. ExxonMobil’s Stena IceMax drillship is scheduled to arrive in Cyprus on November 12. Turkey, meanwhile, started conducting its first deep-sea drilling off Antalya’s shores on its Mediterranean coast this week.

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After Embarrassing Defeat, NATO, EU and the West Try to Alter Reality in Macedonia

Amidst all the faux cheer and public displays of confidence of the pro-NATO/EU crowd, a palpable sense of unease hangs in the air.

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Authored by Aleksandar Pavic via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Although the September 30, 2018 name-change referendum in Macedonia, which was supposed to set that ex-Yugoslav federal republic on a path to (certain) NATO and (blithely promised but much less certain) EU membership, failed miserably, with only 36.91% of the voters turning out, well short of the 50% + 1 necessary for it to be valid – one would never know it from the reactions of its Western proponents and impatient beneficiaries. Indeed, a new term may be needed to adequately describe the reactions of the key pillars representing the reliquiae reliquiarum of the Western-led post-Cold War unipolar moment. Fake news simply doesn’t do them justice. Fake reality anyone?

The US State Department was firmly in denial, releasing the following statement“The United States welcomes the results of the Republic of Macedonia’s September 30 referendum, in which citizens expressed their support for NATO and European Union (EU) membership by accepting the Prespa Agreement between Macedonia and Greece. The United States strongly supports the Agreement’s full implementation, which will allow Macedonia to take its rightful place in NATO and the EU, contributing to regional stability, security, and prosperity. As Macedonia’s parliament now begins deliberation on constitutional changes, we urge leaders to rise above partisan politics and seize this historic opportunity to secure a brighter future for the country as a full participant in Western institutions.”

EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn wasn’t to be outdone in his contempt for the 63% of the Macedonian “deplorables” who stayed home in order to voice their disagreement with renouncing their perceived national identity and country name (it was to become “Northern Macedonia”) in exchange for the double joy of a) becoming NATO’s cannon-fodder in its increasingly hazardous game of chicken with Russia and b) the EU’s newest debt-serfs: “Referendum in Macedonia: I congratulate those citizens who voted in today’s consultative referendum and made use of their democratic freedoms. With the very significant “yes” vote, there is broad support to the #Prespa Agreement + to the country’s #Euroatlantic path. I now expect all political leaders to respect this decision and take it forward with utmost responsibility and unity across party lines, in the interest of the country.” He was seconded the following day, in a joint statement, by Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the EU Commission.

Understandably, as the most direct public stakeholder, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was particularly (hyper)active. As the disappointing results began to roll in, Stoltenberg went into immediate damage control, tweeting“I welcome the yes vote in Macedonia referendum. I urge all political leaders & parties to engage constructively & responsibly to seize this historic opportunity. #NATO’s door is open, but all national procedures have to be completed.” He reinforced his delusional missive the next day, releasing a similar statement co-signed by EU President Donald Tusk. And the day after, during a news conference, Stoltenberg even offered lightning-quick NATO accession to the unwilling Macedonians – January 2019, to be exact – if they would just be so kind as to urgently implement the very agreement that they had just so emphatically rejected. When NATO says it promotes democratic values – it means it!

But that wasn’t the end of the “democracy mongering” surrounding what may well prove to be NATO’s, the EU’s and the rest of the end-of-history West’s Balkan Waterloo. For example, the EU Parliament’s Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, although “regretting that the turnout was less than 50%,” nevertheless hailed the referendum’s results and “call(ed) on the opposition to respect the expressed will of the majority [sic] of voters.” The Group’s leader, Udo Bullmann, while also maintaining that, somehow, a voter turnout of under 37% still represented a “majority,” additionally used the occasion to chastise Macedonia’s President for having the nerve to call for a boycott of the referendum (he committed the crimethink of referring to it as “historical suicide” during his UN General Assembly address), as well as to decry – what else? – “reports about Russian interference in the electoral process.” It goes without saying that Bullmann offered absolutely zero proof for his assertion. On the other hand, according to numerous media reports, as September 30 approached, while no high Russian official was to be seen anywhere in the vicinity, a veritable procession of Western political bigwigs made the pilgrimage to Skopje in order to reveal to the natives their “true” best interests: Sebastian Kurz“Mad Dog” Mattis, the indefatigable StoltenbergFederica MogheriniJohannes HahnAngela Merkel. No meddling there, obviously…

Speaking of Angela Merkel, she also joined her fellow Western democrats’ show of unanimous disdain for the Macedonian voters’ majority opinion, urging the country to “push ahead” with the implementation of the majority-rejected accord, citing voters’ “overwhelming support” [sic], and arguing through the mouth of her spokesman that the required 50% + 1 turnout was actually “very high,” as voter registers purportedly included many people who had long since left the country.

Coincidentally (?), the same argument was used by Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, who opined that the “yes” votes cast in the referendum do, in fact, “represent the majority despite the low turnout because Macedonia does not have the 1.8 million voters entered into its electoral rolls but just 1.2 million since 300,000 people have left the country since the voter lists were last updated 20 years ago.” The fallacy of his reality-challenged claim is easily exposed if we just take a glance at the results of Macedonia’s last parliamentary elections (December 2016), in which voter turnout was just under 1.2 million (1,191,832 to be exact) or, officially, 66.79%. If we were to believe Kotzias and Merkel (who lodged no objections at the time), that would have meant that the turnout for the 2016 elections had been 99% – a figure that would make any totalitarian dictator blush with envy. On the other hand, since those elections did produce the “desired result,” enabling the current heavily pro-NATO/EU government led by Zoran Zaev to be formed, that automatically made them “valid” in the eyes of the high priests of democracy in Brussels, Berlin, London and Washington.

Needless to say, Zaev joined his Western patrons’ charade, hailing the referendum as a “democratic success,” and announcing that he would seek the Macedonian Parliament’s support to amend the constitution and get the agreement with Greece ratified (according to the so-called Prespa Agreement, the Macedonian Parliament must adopt the necessary constitutional amendments by the end of 2018) so that the Greek Parliament can do the same, which would seal the deal. However, Zaev and his Albanian political partners are currently well short of the necessary two-thirds majority (reportedly, they can count on 71 deputies, or 9 short of the needed 80), and will have to call early elections if they don’t soon succeed in securing it.

Yet, let it not go unsaid that Zaev was singing a rather different tune prior to the referendum, assuring that “citizens will make the decision,” and that Parliament would vote on the necessary constitutional changes only if the referendum is successful. But that was then, when confidence was still high that the usual combination of Western pressure, money and overwhelming domination of the media spectrum would get the job done. And then reality struck on September 30…

Still, amidst all the faux cheer and public displays of confidence of the pro-NATO/EU crowd, a palpable sense of unease hangs in the air. As a Deutsche Welle opinion piece put it, the “low voter turnout for Macedonia’s referendum is a bad starting point for the country’s future development.” And, according to DW in Serbian, a Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung commentary warned that “politicians who otherwise ceaselessly talk of democracy as a ‘special value’ should not call on the parliament in Skopje to accept the voting results.” In other words, Macedonia’s people (read – a large majority of the majority Slavic population) have “voted with their feet” and rejected the agreement, and no new parliamentary election, no matter the results, can change that unpleasant-but-immutable fact. That alone will delegitimize any Western-led effort to “manufacture consent” by ramming the agreement through the present or future Parliament – although, as we know, NATO doesn’t put too much stock in referenda anyway, while the EU is not averse to making citizens vote as many times as needed to obtain the “right” result.

But the West has lost more than just legitimacy in Macedonia – it has damaged its reputation, perhaps irretrievably. In the words of former presidential advisor Cvetin Chilimanov, “The West has humiliated us… Macedonians have rejected this media, psychological, political and propaganda aggression against the people, and that’s the tragedy of these days, that a large percentage of a people that had been genuinely oriented towards the West has changed its mind and stopped looking at the West as something democratic, something progressive and successful… That is the reason for the boycott. Pressure was applied against Macedonia, a country that had always been open to ties with the West, but which did not want to make this disgusting compromise and humiliate itself before the neighboring countries, before Western countries. We did not understand why that humiliation was needed so that we might become a member of Europe. What’s worst, perhaps that is now the thinking of a silent majority of the people, that they won’t forget this insult and this attack on Macedonia.”

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