Wednesday, May 22, 2024

IT IS TIME THAT STATESMEN ARE DISTINGUISHED FROM POLITICIANS

Author: Xhelal NEZIRI

The top CDU official and the most serious candidate to take over the leading of the party from Angela Merkel, Friedrich Merz, five days ago announced that he has been tested positive for the coronavirus virus, called COVID-19. In the first days, he had experienced fatigue and temperature rise, but on the fifth day he reported that his condition was normalizing as the temperature was getting lower. “The fifth day. The symptoms got weaker, but my concerns about economic development are getting stronger. We need to think deeply about how to preserve jobs and how to save companies from bankruptcy,” wrote Merz on Twitter.

It is a statement that raises Merz above the level of the politician, that is, of the statesman. He does not think of the next election of the party where he will replace Chancellor Merkel, nor of the next elections in Germany. There is no doubt that German medicine and science will give an answer to this disease. Merz’s concern is the loss of jobs for thousands of Germans and the closure of hundreds of German factories as a consequence of the disease.

Therefore, not only Germany but also the whole world have their eyes towards institutes and laboratories even at a time when scientists are shrinking their shoulders and finding no answer to this situation. The seriousness of the situation seems to have made even the most arrogant and stubborn politicians to lower their heads and listen to expert’s advice. Many affected states have declared total closure, while many of them are in a state of emergency. The invisible enemy has made everyone turn their eyes towards experts, scientists and research institutes.

It has started a non-declared competition as to who will come first to the vaccine or drug against the disease. In this race, the states are divided into two groups – with advanced education and science, or underdeveloped education and science. In such a situation, the states of the second group have relied on those of the first group. They see that they can do nothing in the war with this microscopic enemy. The only thing they can do is keep the situation under control by self-isolating people so that fragile medicine can treat the sick.

The political elite of the second group states are convinced of the mistake they have made in cutting funding for health modernization, bypassing science, ignoring research institutes, and underestimating science. Those politicians who have had their minds on the percentages they will receive from tenders for health construction and modernization – now see that the money they have earned cannot make them immune from the disease. With the millions they have earned, they can nowhere find a safe place to shelter with their families. In this war with this enemy, you cannot find a safe place to go as a refuge.

And the people of these states are now convinced that investing in education and science is more visionary than investing in the construction or modernization of churches, mosques or other cult objects. No one today asks how many churches and mosques we have but how many beds, doctors, nurses and breathing machines. It is also a time of self-reflection for our approach to nature. Are viruses’ nature’s anti-bodies against the infections that we cause her?

And in all of this seemingly apocalyptic situation for the world, when is awaited to think and reflect seriously, politicians in North Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo seem to be still thinking about the upcoming elections. Albania’s PS-PD clash continues for missing masks and (mis) management of the situation, politicians in Skopje continue to campaign even at the time of the virus by holding press conferences every hour, while Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti goes further – dismissed Interior Minister Agim Veliu, without consulting his LDK coalition partner, on which his cabinet depends. And the latter, without thinking at all, has launched the motion to overthrow Kurti’s government.

And now we turn to Merz and his concern in comparison with the concern of Balkan politicians. Even at this time of pandemic, when the fate of millions is questioned, the Balkan man remains a low-key politician, thinking only of the forthcoming elections, never to be raised on the level of statesman (or stateswoman) thinking of the future generations.

If self-isolation lasts more than two months, then thousands of workers in the services and tourism industry will be left without a job, many businesses will be shut down due to lack of customers and the entire economy will be in collapse. If we add to this the dependence of the Balkan countries’ economy on exports to Germany, then the coming period becomes even grimmer. This is because Germany is also preparing for an economic crisis that will adversely affect the purchase of goods from the Balkans. If the political authorities in Skopje, Tirana and Pristina think about the future of the citizens, then they shouldn’t put their personal ego and seats over the need for comprehensive mobilization of human capacities to defeat the virus. Once defeated, perhaps the situation will impose inclusiveness on governance, an expanded format cabinet or national reconciliation, in order to successfully manage the crisis caused by the corona virus. / CPD

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