The Implementation of the Ohrid Agreement: Ethnic Macedonian Resentments

Ulf Brunnbauer
2002 Journal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe  
This article explores the difficult process that attended implementation of the Ohrid Agreement. It explores the various resentments the terms of the agreement provoked amongst ethnic Macedonians, in particular those dealing with 'symbolic' issues, and examines reasons for their rejection. These, the author argues, are related to the peculiarities of Macedonian national identity as well as to the political dynamics in the country. On the one hand, it is argued, many politicians feared for their
more » ... patriotic credentials if they supported the agreement. On the other hand, large parts of Macedonian society saw the very existence of the Macedonian nation under threat. They regarded the state as the only protector of their contested national identity and therefore opposed the agreement's goal to rewrite the constitution on purely civic terms with wide-ranging rights for the minorities. For many Macedonians, this meant a severe loss of security. Despite this, the author concludes that compromises could be found which would allow for some optimism for the future.
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