Weeks of unrest sparked by a wiretapping scandal in which the Macedonian government is implicated, lingering animosity following disputed elections last year, and growing tensions after a bloody police raid in the northern town of Kumanovo all boiled over on May 17, as tens of thousands of demonstrators poured into the streets of Macedonia's capital, Skopje, to call for the resignation of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski. The next day, a similar number of counter-demonstrators marched in support of Gruevski, who vows that he and his supporters "will not give up."
On May 21, an RFE/RLive panel discussed what the anti-Gruevski demonstrators want, whether they achieve their goals -- and what the implications might be for the region of the unrest in Macedonia.
RFE/RLive: Macedonia’s Maidan Moment?
Thursday, May 21, 2014
Washington--11:00 a.m./ Prague/Skopje--5:00 p.m.
Watch the Hangout here:
Gordana Knezevic is the Director of RFE/RL’s Balkan Service. Before coming to RFE/RL in January 2008, Knezevic worked as an online editor with Reuters News Agency in Canada, regularly contributing to the Toronto Star and CBC Radio. Before relocating to Canada, Knezevic lived in Bosnia, where she was the Deputy Editor of Oslobodjenje, the internationally recognized Sarajevo-based daily paper that never stopped publishing during the Bosnian War. For her work there, she was honored in 1992 with the Courage in Journalism award from the Washington-based International Women’s Media Foundation.
Daniel Serwer is a Senior Research Professor of Conflict Management and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations, at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He previously served as Vice President of the United State Institute for Peace's Centers of Innovation (2009-10), after serving as founding Vice President of USIP's Center for Post-Conflict Peace and Stability Operations (1998-2009). Prior to joining USIP, Serwer was a minister-counselor at the U.S. Department of State, serving from 1994-1996 as U.S. special envoy and coordinator for the Bosnian Federation, mediating between Croats and Muslims and negotiating the first agreement reached at the Dayton peace talks.
Xhabir Deralla is a Macedonian human rights activist and journalist in Macedonia, who has contributed to myriad international and local publications including The Guardian, The War Report, and several other London-based media. He has worked as a producer and host of programs for Macedonia’s first private, independent TV station, TV A1, and has written for a variety of other local print publications in both the Macedonian and Albanian languages. He is the leader and co-founder of CIVIL – Center for Freedom, an NGO focusing on peace and reconciliation, arms control, and human rights.
Marija Tumanovska had been a correspondent with RFE/RL’s Skopje bureau since 2005, covering national politics as well as social issues and human interest stories. Prior to joining RFE/RL, she worked as a journalist with several daily newspapers in Macedonia and as a contributor to Macedonian radio. She holds a degree in journalism from Saints Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje.
Deana Kjuka is the social media editor for RFE/RL’s Central Newsroom. She has worked for RFE/RL in Prague since 2011, reporting on the Balkans, especially Macedonia, and social media trends. She has also contributed to The Atlantic and The New Presence, an English language Czech quarterly journal. She graduated with a degree in journalism from the Czech Republic's Anglo American University in 2012, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public policy.