SKOPJE, MACEDONIA — The ambitious retooling of this small nation’s identity — a Balkan brand of hyper-patriotism accompanied by the trumpeting of Macedonia’s ancient roots — is raising concerns internationally about growing authoritarianism, the silencing of dissent and accusations of abuse of power by the governing party here.
The European Commission released its annual report this week on the country’s progress toward E.U. membership, and found that the country was backtracking on protecting media freedoms and that it was making insufficient progress on protecting the rule of law. […]
The International Crisis Group, a nongovernmental conflict-resolution organization, said in its report on Macedonia this August: “Rising ethnic Macedonian nationalism, state capture by the prime minister and his party, decline in media and judicial independence, increased segregation in schools and slow decentralization risk undermining the multi-ethnic civil state Macedonia can become.”