MACEDONIA MARKS ANTI-FASCIST UPRISING ANNIVERSARY
Macedonia marks Saturday the 67th anniversary of the Anti-Fascist Uprising and People's Liberation War (NOV).
An attack of the First Prilep Partisan Detachment on Bulgarian police station and phone-telegraph network in Prilep on October 11, 1941, unleashed the uprising of Macedonia against the Bulgarian, Italian and German occupiers for the country's liberation.
Kumanovo Partisan Detachment joined the uprising on the very next day. October 11 symbolizes the continuation of the aspirations for freedom of the Macedonian nation, woven in the previous uprisings and the efforts for social, national liberation invested in the Balkan and World War I.
By joining the Anti-Fascist coalition, Macedonia stood for the progressive mankind and against fascism as the darkest ideology of the modern history and strongest denial of civilization, democratic values.
From the first partisan detachments by the end of the four-year war, Macedonia's fighters had turned into a well-organized army, including military formations of division and corps ranks.
Decisions of the First Session of the Anti-Fascist Assembly of the National Liberation of Macedonia (ASNOM) in 1944 crowned the fight and made real the centuries-long ideals for establishing the Macedonian state.
After its development within the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY), and for the last 16 years as an independent country, Macedonia today is on the road to the Euro-Atlantic integration.
The anniversary's observation kicked off late Friday with a formal academy at the Skopje Army Hall.
Referring to the post war development of Macedonia, Gruevski mentioned the decisions of the First Session of the Anti-Fascist Assembly of the National Liberation of Macedonia (ASNOM) as crucial for the country's to gain its independence on September 8, 1991, which is now modern, European state, UN member and ambitious candidate for the European Union and NATO membership.
"Today, when we are building a democratic, European state we must not fail to pay respects to our predecessors, some of them present here, who have felt the spirit of the time and put themselves into service of their own people, fighting for the ideas of freedom and justice. Today's Europe we are aspiring to is based on freedom, justice, democracy and human rights, on anti-fascism as a joint front of all of those to whom the human dignity is the holiest value. The Republic of Macedonia may be proud of being part of that great movement and contributing to the birth of new Europe", Gruevski said.
Speaking about the current developments, Gruevski called for unity in dealing with the present challenges.
"We are obliged to realize the century-long aspirations of the Macedonian nation to preserve and build our country, to fight and work for it. Therefore, I call on all citizens of Macedonia to join these processes, efforts to make our country successful, prosperous, strong and dignified", Gruevski said.
The traditional "October 11" Award for life achievements in science, art, business and other spheres of public interest will be presented today at the Parliament. This year's laureates are Prof. PhD Kosta Peev - linguist; Prof. PhD - Mihajlo Minovski-historian; the Research Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology - part of MANU (Macedonian Academy of Science and Art) and writer Bozin Pavlovski.