Another Reason Why Macedonia Needs Macedonians

By Victor Bivell

In today's Sydney Morning Herald (27 Feb 2021), former Australian prime minister, Kevin Rudd, writes about how Australia needs to get bigger to survive.

"I do not believe we can safely guarantee the nation's future in this deeply uncertain world unless we become much bigger than we are. Precisely how much bigger will be a matter for detailed research on what we need for our future national capacity, although a figure of 50 million people should be within our reach for the second half of this century."

If Australia with 25 million people needs to get bigger to survive, what does that say about Macedonia with only 2 million people, less than two thirds of whom are ethnic Macedonians? And Australia has the advantage of being a distant island continent, while Macedonia is a tiny country surrounded by land-hungry Balkan neighbors.

The number of Macedonians in Macedonia all parts of Macedonia is something that all Macedonians should be thinking and talking about. There is a good reason why the census in Macedonia is taken so seriously by the Albanians. There is a good reason why Greece ethnically cleansed so many Macedonians from South Macedonia and has not had a question on ethnicity in its census for nearly a century. There is a good reason why Bulgaria denies that there are Macedonians in Pirin Macedonia and in Bulgaria.

Numbers count in politics. Numbers count in political and cultural survival. That is why Macedonia needs more Macedonians if it is to survive and prosper.

Macedonia has more Macedonians outside than inside Macedonia. A good government policy would encourage those Macedonians who can to return to Macedonia. A good government policy would encourage those who can't return to connect and reconnect with Macedonia though family, culture, business, language or another way that suits them.

If the government does not do this and so far it hasn't then Macedonians as individuals and as groups must do it themselves.

Macedonians should not rely on other countries and people to save us. We need to take the future of Macedonia into our own hands. This is how we can do it.

27 February 2021