In Brief

Macedonia Mulls Name Change

SKOPJE, REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA - 13 MAY 2017: Skopje City Center and Alexander the Great Monument, Macedonia

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is considering renaming the country, its airport and national motorway in order to resolve one of the world’s most vexing disputes. Among the new names being considered are Upper Macedonia, New Macedonia, Northern Macedonia and Macedonia (Skopje). The country’s Skopje Alexander the Great airport would become Skopje International Airport, and the main road to Greece would be known as the Friendship highway.

“This is an important development. We hope that it marks the start of a new chapter in the relations between our two countries and peoples,” commented Nikos Kotzias, the Greek foreign minister, in response to a statement by Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.

The dispute goes back to Macedonia’s proclamation of independence in 1991. The Hellenic Republic has argued ever since that the Macedonian project is irredentist, and the huge government and civic buildings errected at great expense in the capital Skopje, as well as hundreds of statues of historical Macedonian figures, may suggest there is some truth in the Greek claims. Officially, the Macedonian project has two main aims: to draw in more tourists, and to reclaim aspects of the country’s history from its Greek neighbours, appealing to the patriotism of many ethnic Macedonians.

The region of Macedonia, formerly part of the Ottoman Empire, spreads across Greece, Bulgaria and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. It is the fact that the name of the region has been used as the name of one country which has been most contested by the Greeks.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is as keen as Mr Zaev to reach a settlement. The dispute has been blamed for holding up Macedonia’s country’s aspirations to join NATO and the EU and for endangering western-style, liberal politics across the region.

In January 2018, Prime Minister Zaev said that Skopje and Athens have a real chance of settling a decades-old dispute over the name Macedonia by July.

“I believe it’s possible to find a solution by the end of the first semester of 2018. Our strategic orientation is conclusively [toward] the EU and NATO,” he said on Greece’s Alpha TV, on Orthodox Christmas Day – a day celebrated in both countries.

However, on February 4, well over 100,000 protesters from across Greece converged on central Athens’ to protest against any potential Greek compromise.

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  • There will be zero tolerance with FYROM. If Zaev wanted to mend relations with Greece he would have announced the demolition of the grotesque Italian made Hellenic reproduction statues that litter the FYROM landscape, the renaming of the airport in Skopje, the renaming of the highway, the renaming of the football stadium, the removal of the repulsive Baroque Hellenic style facades, the correcting of school carriculum, the removal of the Hellenic symbol on the national flag, the removal of all greater Macedonia maps from government institutions and a heartfelt apology to the nation of Greece for his nation being vile for the last two and a half decades. Cultural theft cannot be forgiven easily. Actions speak louder than words. Greeks do not want to hear politicians trying new age diplomacy that they learnt in their political science classes. Dimitrov, Šekerinska, Zaevand all the Slavic Fyromians currently running FYROM are just as dogmatic about an exclusivity of the name as the Gruevski ultra nationalists. There is no scope for negotiation with these antiques. Greece is the victim here. Our history has been hijacked by Fyromian Slavs. Leave our history alone. It’s not a good fit for you. You cannot pronounce nor read the Ancient inscriptions for they are in Greek. If FYROM wants exclusivity to the name Macedonia they will have to change their official language to Greek for this corresponds with the Ancient Macedonian language. We Greeks embrace everyone as a Hellene as long as they speak Greek. You cannot have Bulgarian speaking Slavs of FYROM claiming they are Antiques. It’s ridiculous.
    Sekerinska can sit around bagging the VMRO for their crimes but she is just as bad. She claims she is a Slav and a non Antique and in the same breath attacks Greece for not recognizing FYROM. I thought that her hair incident would have knocked some sense into her. Dimitrov has also had a go at it. The fool was part of the negotiation team under Gruevski. He failed miserably because he too will never give up the name. These Slavs are like a dog with a bone but in their case the bone is plastic and has zero marrow.
    They know what they have to do and it will never happen. The constitutional name will not change because the antiquated population of FYROM will never vote for it. They have had way too many history lessons from Milenko Nedelkovski. The vile sneaky tactics of attempting to be admitted to NATO and the EU under their provisional FYROM name won’t work either. They are fruitless attempts at diplomacy that not only waste time but also soak up tax payers efforts. Think twice FYROM before attempting negotiations with the Greeks on their history. The Albanian, Roma and Turkish birth rate is twice that of the Slavs. While you lot are busy fixating about exclusivity of your name and your antique culture the non Slavic population of FYROM will become a majority group within their ancient wonderland. The last census was in 2001, these so called minority groups were are 35% collectively. I would hate to think what they are at now. 16 years of fertile breeding has to be worrying for the new government. Back off our history you deluded farm animals.

    • Many of the people in FYROM have mixed heritage. Many have Ancient Greek genetics, but have lived as part of the Slavic culture which came into the balkans over 1500 years ago. The Russian, Albanian, Serbian flags all represent a part of Hellenic history, as the Byzantine empire had the two headed eagles, and these nations were friendly towards the Byzantine empire for the latter part, and no one is accusing any of them of stealing Hellenic history. The Germans and Austrians use an eagle, which was Roman, but the Germanic people hijacked Rome. The Slavic people didn’t hijack Athens, but learned and shared from and with them. Serbia and Greece has the longest standing peace deal in human history, at over 750 years of peace between the people. Serbs are Slavic. Your arguments are all emotionally driven, and as such, only a fool like me, who is mixed Slavic and Greek origin, with a Serbian identity will read this, who supports Greece, and will be offended by this language.
      DNA testing would teach you a lot.
      It would show the diversity.
      Which is the reason certain people from FYROM with Slavic names, have always been drawn to Hellenic history, because it’s within them. The speak a Slavic language, that was isolated from Bulgarian or Serbian and created its own identity. Yet, the people needed history and past. We learned Greek history in Australia, and I studied it for 4 years, and never did I gather that Macedonia wasn’t Greek. There are different issues here though. Future of Europe. Albanians are of Ancient Greek origin, but many work for interests outside of Europe, for lands that are alien to European way of life, way of governance, way of culture. Turks or Roma. I am glad you are eager to have two complete enemies on both sides of your border, than have animosity with someone who is confused about their identity and history, which at all is not fault of the people themselves.
      I was born in Kosovo, but have Ancient Greek DNA, yes I did the test! Which means, Greeks migrated north many many centuries ago and interacted with Slavic populations, for alliances, defence, and future. But these little geographical migrations are not mentioned. My point being, if Greeks are natural to far reaches of the balkans, then they are surely ever present in FYROM also.
      My point is. Choose your words wisely, so you don’t lose friends for the Greeks. Don’t let the modern Greeks, bring down the great Ancient Greek history. Don’t lose friends, whose alphabets are based on Greek scripts. Don’t lose friends, who have helped Greece fight for freedom. Don’t call my 59% DNA as a dog. Because, 59% of my DNA sent a man to space. And till this moment, for me, Greeks were like brothers. They had the same fight, I respected it, so I fight with them. But to belittle someone, and not to actually think of the consequences in the future by your comments, is obviously a sign, you don’t think too far, and don’t see, that it’s only some Greeks who are making this an issue it doesn’t have to be. Let a few FYROMians teach history. Who cares, Macedonia is Greece. The whole world knows, for goodness sakes, God knows, but new Macedonia, deserves a name, identity, so let’s help them get there. After all, FYROM has never been to war with Greece. As an included region of another or as a seperate entity. So why start now. I hope you find peace in your heart regarding Slavic people. Otherwise, good luck for the future.