OPINION

Opinion

Only a few years ago, users of mobile telephones were pointed out as a curiosity; their social status assured. These days, it is those people who have held out against the fashion who are the curiosity. Are they Luddites? Antisocial beings? Swimming upstream? Aren’t they afraid their car will break down in the backwoods? What if they fall into a gorge and break their leg, or worse? Or have they simply chosen a cheap way of trying to be different? People who refuse to use a mobile phone can’t really be described as comprising a citizens’ movement. They come from a wide range of professions and interests, including lawyers, doctors, journalists and teachers and they systematically and unashamedly ask to borrow others’ phones, just like smokers who have given up. Others are more cunning and supposedly will not stoop to buy a mobile phone themselves, so they use their wife’s, their friend’s or their colleagues’ phone. If there are still a few romantic souls out there who are distressed that the last kiosk in their neighborhood with a regular phone has been demolished, let them retire to a monastery to find peace and the meaning of life. There is no doubt that from the political point of view, the situation is difficult. The West believes the Slav-Macedonians should not be asked to back down on the name issue while being forced to made painful concessions to the ethnic Albanians. Athens has been under pressure not only to avoid raising the issue, but to recognize FYROM by the name Macedonia, in order to strengthen unity within that country and stability in the region.