Vajgl, who is one of three mediators in negotiations with Macedonian leaders VMRO-DPMNE Nikola Gruevski and opposition leader Zoran Zaev on overcoming the months-long political crisis, says that problems in Macedonia are multilayer.
“We have a post-transition situation in which the main principal is how to grab as much of the state property of the former Yugoslavia as possible, and the level of corruption is high. Inside the ethnic groups there are interests that are largely influenced from outside,” said Vajgl in an interview with Zagreb’s “Vecernji List”.
Asked whether he speaks about Albania, Vajgl said:”I think of the Albanians in whom it is difficult to determine who represents authentic Albanian political and social structure, and who can be directed into the framework of the idea of which no one wants to speak about, but it is there. The idea of a ‘Greater Albania'”.
He recalled that the Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama threatens Macedonia with veto on NATO membership.
The situation, says Vajgl, is complicated and that is why the incident in Kumanovo can be explained only by an independent investigation.
He noted, however, that there are a lot of indications for an assumption that clashes in Kumanovo have links to radical Islamism.
“Some of those people who participated in clashes in Kumanovo in – obviously – very professional terrorist action, fought in Syria and Iraq. They know with what idea they came to Kumanovo. And it is jihad and spreading radical Islam to the European continent. There may be other motives – a Greater Albania or connection to domestic political scene, although it is difficult to believe that anyone is willing to take responsibility for the deaths of eight police officers,” he said.
It seems, he says, that because of Kumanovo European institutions realized that the situation is extremely dangerous, that it can be manipulated from outside and that it can turn into a regional conflict.
“I have never excluded it and I believe that the guarantee for the stability of the region is only a membership in the EU and probably NATO although I have reservations about NATO as a global policeman,” he said.
To the remark that he is not referring to Macedonia as a former Yugoslav Republic, Vajgl says that it is “absurd denomination”.
“By that logic I could say that I come from former Yugoslav republic Slovenia or the former Austro-Hungarian province of Kranjska. It is completely absurd and irrational that Greece, who is asking us for support and understanding, shows so little solidarity for neighbors and lack of understanding for the fact that non-recognition of Macedonia creates a focal point of the crisis on their borders,” said Vajgl.
According to him, the name dispute is a bilateral dispute, as well as the demarcation of Croatia and Slovenia, which Slovenia used to block Croatia.
“I’ve never been in favor of having former Yugoslav republic blackamiling each other. My attitude was, both as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and President of the Board for Foreign Affairs, to have states resolve their conflicts before entering the EU, because these issues in some cases become weapons of nationalists. I already see on the horizon the following disputes: Croatia and Serbia, Croatia and BiH, BiH and Montenegro,” said Vajgl.