A popular revolution against a corrupt, authoritarian government; a new battleground between Russia and the West; an attempted coup by barely-reconstructed communists against a democratically elected government; the latest failure by a flailing, out-of-touch European Union.
These are just some of the narratives swirling around Macedonia, where an apparent government wire-tapping scandal has set off a months-long political crisis. In recent weeks, the situation has even acquired an ethnic tinge, deeply unwelcome in a country that fought a brief war against ethnic Albanian insurgents in 2001.
This week brought some respite, with an EU-brokered deal to hold early elections by April 2016 at the latest. The details still have to be worked out, leaving the future of conservative Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski unknown. He may cling on, claiming a democratic mandate, but popular pressure for him to go has been mounting.