Interview with Peter Ristevski - former Deputy Mayor of the city of Liverpool and current CEO of Integra Conservative Party

Exclusive interview with Peter Ristevski.

How do you think Macedonia has handled the Corona virus crisis?

Absolutely terribly. Not only from a health perspective but also from an economic perspective. If you look at Australia with a population of 25 million they have had 94 deaths. Macedonia with a population of 2 million has had 84. This tells me that the Government is not capable of looking after the health of the Macedonian people. Macedonia should look to Australia and not the USA on how it has handled this crisis. Australia has one of the highest COVID-19 testing in the world with 23 tests performed per 1000 people this is more than double the rate of testing than the USA.

From the economic perspective Australia has preserved the nation’s economic fabric without throwing millions of workers into potentially permanent unemployment. In contrast Macedonia’s budget is a mess and incapable of stimulating the economy as they have already borrowed way more than they are capable of paying back. There is a lack of talent pool in the Government with Ministers that have not worked in the Western economies but more importantly have never run a business. The ministry is infiltrated with Party hacks that have no life experience except for Party politics and that’s not what will get Macedonia out of this situation.

There is talk that elections should be held next month. What is your position on this?

June is less than 24 days away. As much as we all want elections to be held sooner rather than later, the key is to get as many people out to vote. Given the way the Government has mishandled the Corona virus there is no way that the voting public can have confidence to get out and vote and observe social distancing. Look at Australia that has put back its Council elections in September to September next year because it knows that social distancing will be difficult to police given the state of the virus.

Macedonia should look to implement compulsory voting like Australia. This will eliminate incompetent people getting elected to Parliament because when everyone votes these incompetent people have nowhere to hide.

How is the Integra campaign going?

I have to say I am very proud of our candidates and the hard work they have been putting in. Not only the List Leaders but also every candidate below them have been putting in a great effort. I have to particularly give mention to Nikolce Talevski and Voislav Zafirovski in izborna idinica 5 and 4 who have been doing a remarkable job. I also see Nikolce Talevski as a future leader who has integrity and a strong work ethic.

We have produced over five TV commercials for the campaign and I’m proud to announce that Falanga has the exclusive release.

We would love to receive some feedback from your readers on what their thoughts are on them.

What is your position on the EU and Bulgaria’s position?

It’s time to walk away from the EU. The way that Bulgaria has conducted itself is a form of blackmail and with the EU endorsing Bulgaria’s position shows that the EU is a fascist organisation. The problem that Macedonia faces is that we have weak leadership in both the current Government and Opposition. There is a reason why the UK voted for BREXIT as the EU has become a redundant organisation.

Macedonia needs to tell Brussels that if you don’t accept us based on the benchmark criteria that every other country member had to adhere to then we are prepared to walk away because what Bulgaria is seeking is a form of genocide.

You have been a big critic in our politicians displaying foreign flags, can you explain your current position?

I find it highly offensive when in particular a politician from the Albanian community displays only the Albanian flag and not even the Macedonian flag. There is no other place on earth where this occurs and where it is allowed due to the weak Macedonian politicians allowing this to happen without ramification. I am also against displaying any foreign flag (including the USA flag) beside the Macedonian flag. Even though I was born in Australia and with Australia showing great support to Macedonia I don’t believe its flag should be displayed. I have to say that Australia was sending a parliamentary and business delegation to Macedonia for the Integra campaign launch before COVIT-19 to increase bilateral trade between both countries. Unfortunately this was not reciprocated by the USA.

How can Macedonia’s history and identity be preserved against weak politicians selling it out?

I have always said that the most valuable resource that Macedonia has is its diaspora. I believe we need to create a Senate as a house of review made up exclusively of the Macedonian diaspora. Say 30 Senate seats with 10 in Australasia, 10 in USA/Canada and 10 in Europe. Similar to the Senate in Australia where the Government cannot be formed from the Senate and cannot block supply. It simply acts as an insurance policy where corrupt politicians commit treason by signing an absurd agreement with Greece. If we had a Senate it would need to pass through it before coming into law. There is no way a Senator from the diaspora would vote for the name change. I like a line that has been promoted by an Australian Senator, “we keep the bastards honest”.

How have you been coping during this Corona lockdown?

I have been focusing alot on my health. It’s important during this period to eat healthy and do plenty of exercise. I remember the best advise the former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot said “if you can’t look after yourself by staying in shape, how can you look after the country?”.

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