Saturday, December 29, 2007
Claiming Macedonia: The Struggle for the Heritage, Territory and the Name of the Historic Hellenic Land, 1862-2004
Secretary of Edward R. Stettinius, Jr.
U.S. Secretary of State
December 26, 7944
"'The Macedonian Question" is an international problem that presents many puzzling historical and political problems. Originally, the problem dates back to the era immediately following the Greek War of Independence and The ill-fated attempt of Bulgaria to annex the former Ottoman region.
The modern fabrication of the so-called "Macedonian Question," however, is one of the greatest cases of historical revisionism and fraud that was fabricated by Josip Broz Tito, Communist leader of Yugoslavia in 1944. The Communist government of Yugoslavia, invented the pseudo-state by changing the name of "South Serbia," (or "Vardar Macedonia") to "Macedonia." To go along with the new name, came an attempt to create a new cultural-historical heritage: A new language from the South Slavic dialect of the region was officially "declared," A new, self-proclaimed "Macedonian Orthodox Church:" not recognized by any other Orthodox churches; and a fabricated history that denies the Hellenic character of the land of Alexander the Great.
Seeing the creation of the Skopje pseudo-state, the administrations of Presidents Roosevelt and Truman categorically denounced the apparent land grab and historical fraud at the expense of Greece and Hellenism.
The current political problem has come about with the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991, when the United Nations, NATO, the European Union and most nations recognized the new state as the "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia," or "FYROM." Successive governments of Greece have clearly stated that they have no territorial designs on this area, but do not want to relinquish the Hellenic character, history and heritage of Greek Macedonia. With strong historical evidence of this Hellenic character, references to Macedonia are found in both Herodotus and Thucydides. Further, Mt. Olympus was the home of gods in Greek mythology.
The struggle for Macedonia is one that has perplexed and agonized Hellenes. This is a problem of more than just geo-politics, it is the wholesale distortion of history to promote the creation of a state at the expense of Hellenic heritage. The poet, Odysseus Elytis reminds us that "Our name is our soul," and therefore, who can give up their soul? What becomes necessary, is a clear, candid, historical analysis of the "Macedonian Question," through its unique Hellenic character. This detailed argument from a Greek perspective is given by author George C. Papavisas in his "Capturing Macedonia."
Papavisas has written a thoughtful account of the Macedonian issue, unlike any other publication to date. He examines the nature of Hellenic Macedonia and traces Macedonia's Hellenic past. He focuses on the deliberate creation of a fraudulent history to promote wholesale misconceptions about Macedonia's past and present. The author gives us a clear insight to the evolution of the problem from its beginnings as a Bulgarian land grab, through a Communist historical hoax to the present dispute with the Skopje, FYROM, government. He gives us a very comprehensive study of the issue from an accurate historical, cultural and political perspective. To those wishing to understand the Hellenic viewpoint, the author's comprehensive study covers the conflict from initial stages to the present challenges.
George Papavisas states his intentions clearly in his Preface: "It is not my intent to add another historical book on Macedonia. It is to add a different book, one with uniquely interpreted approach, easily read and understood by the common English-speaking people interested in the Macedonian issue and in the long political, diplomatic and military struggle for the heritage, the territory and the name of the Hellenic land."
To his credit, the author certainly has achieved this lofty goal and his book is a must read to Hellenes and Philhellenes that want both historical accuracy and the preservation of heritage. In the words of former Congressman John Brademas, "The proper teaching of history can be crucial in promoting tolerance and peace." To this noble end, George Papavisas has given new meaning and appreciation to the "Macedonian Question" and Hellenic heritage.
Reviewed by: Dr. James F. Dimitriou. Past Supreme President
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
"Much to our surprise, the reason why Greeks did not show a close relatedness with all the other Mediterraneans analyzed was their genetic relationship with sub-Saharan ethnic groups now residing in Ethiopia, Sudan and West Africa (Burkina- Fasso). Although some Greek DRB1 alleles are not completely specific of the Greek/sub-Saharan sharing, the list of alleles is self-explanatory. The conclusion is that part of the Greek genetic pool may be sub-Saharan and that the admixture has occurred at an uncertain but ancient time."
Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of
Medicine, Stanford, California 94305, USA
Department of Genetics, Biology and Biochemistry,
University of Torino, Via Santena 19, 10126 Torino, Italy
L. Luca Cavalli-Sforza
Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of
Medicine, Stanford, California 94305, USA
Friday, December 14, 2007
- On the outbreak of the second Balkan War between Bulgaria and her former Allies, a very considerable portion of the Bulgarian population in the districts to the north of Salonika followed the retreating Bulgarian Army into Bulgaria. The districts affected were, principally, that of Kilkis and, to a lesser degree, Goumentza, Demirhisar and Seres. The total number of Bulgarians who migrated at this moment was about 15000
- Towards the end of that year the whole Greek population of the Macedonian districts ceded to Bulgaria by the Treaty of Bucharest (qazas of Jum'a-i-Bala, Razlog, Melnik, Nevrokop, Strumitsa) emigrated to Hellenic Macedonia. They numbered about 5000
- A similar movement took place from the Macedonian districts ceded to Serbia (qazas of Monastir, Gevgeli and Doiran). The Greeks from these districts, to the number of about 5000 settled for the most part at Thessaloniki, Florina, and Kilkis.
- At the same time the Greek population of the Caucasus, excited by the news of the Greek victories in Macedonia and by reports of free distribution of land, started to emigrate. Although the movement was discouraged by the Greek Government, which already had its hands full with other refugees, some 5000 * Caucasian Greeks succeeded inbeing admitted into Macedonia.
AS the result of the action of the Bulgarian Government in Western Thrace, which territory had been ceded to Bulgaria by the Treaty of Bucharest, and the settlement there of Bulgarian emigrants from Macedonia, practically the whole of the Greek population were forced to emigrate. Of these some 40,000 settled in Macedonia, others going to Old Greece.
- After the conclusion of peace between Turkey and the Balkan States, the Young Turkish Government started a vigorous propaganda among the Moslem inhabitants of the ceded districts, to induce them to emigrate to Turkey. Although Western Macedonia was hardly affected, a considerable portion of the Moslems of Central and Eastern Macedonia, estimated at 100000-115000 left for Turkey and were settled in Eastern Thrace and on the western coast of Anatolia.
- With the object of bringing pressure to bear upon the Greek Government to surrender the Egean Islands which had been occupied by Greece during the first ~ a l k a n War, the Young Turkish Government proceeded to expel, during the summer of this year, a portion of the Greek population of Eastern Thrace and the Asiatic littoral. About 100000 of these refugees (80,000 from Thrace and 20,000 from Anatolia) took refuge in Macedonia, where they were settled by the Greek Government.
- During the European War the Bulgarian Army occupied Eastern Macedonia, and all the Greek inhabitants-to the number of 36,000 were deported to Bulgaria.
Immediately after the Armistice the survivors of theabove deportation-to the number of 17000only-were brought back and reinstated in their homes.
The successive occupations of Western Thrace, Eastern Thrace, and Smyrna by the Greek Army were followed by the re-emigration of the Greeks who had been expelled from these countries in 1913-1914. The total number repatriated from Macedonia was about140,000.
In the course of 1919 the Greek Government decided to remove to Greece the Greeks of South Russia and the Caucasus, many of whom had been reduced to the condition of refugees by the Bolshevik Revolution. Of these, 55,000" were settled in Macedonia.1919. After the defeat of General Wrangel by the Bolsheviks at Odessa and in the Crimea, a portiori of the Russian White Army, including large numbers of Russian civiliall refugees, was transported to Greece. Of these about 1000 were settled at Thessaloniki.
In 1919 a Convention was signed between Greece and Bulgaria to facilitate the reciprocal emigration of the Greek and Bulgarian minorities in the two countries. Under this arrangement 27,000 Bulgarians had quitted Greek Macedonia for Bulgaria up to the end of 1924.1922-1924. After the Greek disaster in Asia Minor practically the whole of the Greek population of Western Asia Minor and the Black Sea littoral (Pontus) took refuge in Greece. Also, immediately after the signature of the Mudania Convention by which the Allied Powers agreed to surrender Eastern Thrace and Constantinople to the Kemalists, the greater part of the Greek and Armenian population of Eastern Thrace and a portion of the Greek inhabitants of Constantinople, fearing reprisals by the Turks, removed to Greece. Of these refugees, up to November 1924, about 200000 had been installed in Macedonia and 120000 in Western Thrace.1923-1924. In January 1923 was signed the Greco-Turkish Convention for the exchange of populations, which differs from the Greco-Bulgarian Convention in that it makes the emigration of the Greek and Moslem minorities in the two countries compulsory, only the Greeks of Constantinople and the Turks of Western Thrace being exempted from its provisions.This Convention came into operation in October 1923. By November 1924 the whole of the Moslem population of Macedonia, amounting to 348000persons, with the exception of a few individuals of Albanian origin whom the Greek Government had agreed to exempt from the exchange, had been transferred to Turkey.1924. In May of this year the remnant of the Greek population of Eastern Thrace and Asia Minor began to be transferred to Greece, under the provisions of the same Convention.By December 1924, at which date the exchange was practically completed, 150,000 Greeks (94,000 from Anatolia, 18,000 from Eastern Thrace, and 38,000 from Constantinople) had been transferred to Greece.Besides the above-mentioned wholesale migrations, a factor which must also not be overlooked is the settlement in Macedonia, immediately after the Balkan Wars, of considerable numbers of Greeks from Old Greece. Taking into account the Government officials, gendarmes, etc., 10000 would not be too high a figure. This does not include the army.
In 1913 the population of Greek Macedonia, according to the census taken in that province by the Hellenic Government immediately after the annexation, was 1,194,902. At the census of 1920 it had fallen to 1,120,079, a decrease of 7%.
In order to be able to explain the cause of this decrease and to ascertain how the relative strength of the various racial elements coin posing the population of Macedonia has been affected, one must take into account all the migrations which, during the intervening period between the two censuses, resulted in either an increase or a diminution in the strength of each separate racial unit.It is also necessary to know what the relative strength of these units was at the beginning of the period, that is, just before the Balkan Wars.
This information is available from various auxiliary sources.We take, as our starting-point, a statistical table of the population of Macedonia, by races, published by the Greek Government in 1904 and derived from Greek and Turkish official sources.
"Greeks . . . . . . . . . . . . ...523,472
Bulgars . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 119,005
Moslems . . . . . . . . . . . . 404,238
Various . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68,902
The figures in question were published in the Bulletino d'Orient of 1904 and also in the Trnlps of 27 December 1904, and are reproduced in Virgilj, 'La Questione Rumeliota,' pp. 233-4.The figures include, under the heading of Greeks, the Slavophone Macedonians acknowledging the authority of the Ecumenical Patriarch, and, under the heading of Bulgars, the Slavophone Macedonians acknowledging the authority of the Bulgarian Exarch, as, under the Turkish regime, ecclesiastical allegiance was the test of national sympathy. Koutzo-Vlachs, for the same reason, are classed as Greeks, unless they had officially registered as " Koumans." This classification, based on the principle of national sentiment, does not, of course, pretend to take account of the much.disputed question of the racial origin of the various elements of the population. In the Lausanne Convention for the exchange of populations (1g23), ecclesiastical allegiance was accepted as the determining test of national sympathy.
In his book " Slavphone moovements (1913-1930), War Statistics" Iakovos Michailides analyze all the known Greek and Bulgarian sources regarding the census of the Slavphones in Macedonia.
In this book the writer publish for a first time two secret statistics as about the Slavphones populations that done from the Greek authorities in Macedonia and Thrace.
1st Document(Central and West Macedonia)A.Y.E./1925/B/40,2Synoptiki Statistiki tou Pluthismou ths Genikhs Dioikiseos MakedoniasSlavphones
2nd document(Drama-Kavala)A.Y.E./1925/B/40,2Statistiki Pluthismou Ypodioikiseos ZyrnovouandStatistiki Pluthismou Ypodioikiseos Dramas, Komotene 19-11-1925
In the analysis we can see that the slavphones(Greeks and Slavs) comprised the 11% of the Total Macedonian population.The exarchists comprised the 5%.
I think and in my opinion these statistics is the most accurate regarding the composition of the Slavphone community.
The writer also comment ironically and the FYROMacedonian statistics (actually they use the Bulgarian sources) and the transformer of the Slavphones into "Macedonians"!!!
Slavamcedonian writer Todor Simovski in his book "Summary of the Inhabited Places in Aegean Macedonia" mention as about the status in Greek Macedonia..
".... From totally 2.000.000 inhabitants in Macedonia on the whole before its partition, more from the half of it, in other words, 1.163.477 inhabitants lived in Aegean Macedonia. The national structure of its population, which, as a result of the five century slavery, met with serious ethnic changes on the eve of the Balkan Wars, was the following: Macedonian Christians about 326.000, Macedonian Moslems 41.000,Turks 295.000, Greek Christians 240.000, Greek Moslems 14.000, Christian Vlachs 46.000, Moslem Vlachs 3.500, Albanian Moslems and Christians 9.000, Jews 60.000, Gypsies 30.000, and the rest from other minorities. "
as you see the FYROMacedonian claims just follow the Bulgarian statistics as Iakovos Michailides clearly state in his book. The only that they can do it in every statistic is to change the Bulgarians in "Macedonians".
1-A. Pallis,'Racial Migrations in the Balkans during the years 1912-1924'
2-Statistics of (a) the Mixed Commission for the exchange of populations between Greeceand Turkey ; and(b) Mixed Commission for Greco-Bulgarian emigra
3-Slavphone moovements (1913-1930), War Statistics, KEMO,Iakovos Michailides,2003
4-Summary of "the Inhabited Places in Aegean Macedonia,Todor Simovski
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Publisher: C. Hurst & Co (Publishers) Ltd (Jul 27 1999)
This academaic book is a rare example of a reasonably unbiased account of the occupation and subsequent civil war in Greek West Macedonia. It describes the politics of communal violence amongst an incredibly disparate number of ethnic groups. In addition to the native Greeks the area was home to Vlachs and Slavs as well as refugees displaced from Turkey in the 1920's.
Below is a review from John O.Iatrides as publish in the Journal of Military History, Vol. 64, No. 3. (Jul., 2000), pp. 894-895.
The book's primary purpose is to examine the "changes and mutations" that the ethnically divided population of (Greek West Macedonia underwent during World War II, when Greece was under German, Italian, and Bulgarian occupation, and during the ensuing bloody civil war.
Plundered Loyalties is history from the bottom up. The author's spotlight is on ordinary people that circumstances have turned into combatants. If national identities are artificially constructed, the process is very often a violent affair, its agents as well as its victims are almost entirely common folk, and what is now called "ethnic cleansing" is a major part of it. This is one of the most important books on Greece during the turbulent decade of the 1940s. Its author, a prominent historian at the University of Thessaloniki with first-hand knowledge of the region and the issues he discusses, has captured well the human dimension and the grass-roots dynamics of the events he chronicles. His monumental research, meticulous documentation, and judicious analysis, which is often based on little-known facts, will benefit greatly all those interested in modern Greece, Macedonia, and the Balkans. His humane disposition toward the individuals and factions he has studied will satisfy all but the most partisan among his readers. ]
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
AHC article on Political Action
Posted by user:
On November 3, 2004, in its first act a day after being reelected, the Bush Administration recognized the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (“FYROM”) as “Republic of Macedonia”. This act marked a sudden and unexpected departure from the long-standing US, UN, and EU policies and came despite the statement issued by the Bush/Cheney 2004 campaign stating, among other things, support for issues of importance to Greek Americans and philhellenes. It is an act which will have unforeseen consequences in the Balkans and it came at a time when Athens and Skopje had agreed to intensify their bilateral talks under the auspices of the U.N. to find a mutually acceptable solution regarding that country’s name.
The issue at hand is one of great importance to Greeks everywhere because claims over the Greek province of Macedonia and its most valuable port of Thessaloniki have been attempted many times throughout our tumultuous history. After the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991 and the formation of FYROM, that country’s constitution made claims to the northern Greek province of Macedonia and its flag was the Sun of Vergina, the symbol of Phillip of Macedon, Alexander the Great’s father. Although references in its constitution have since been dropped, the flag has been changed (although it still resembles the symbol of the ancient Macedonians), and bilateral relations have been dramatically improved, the issue of the name still remains. Furthermore, it is well documented that extremist elements in FYROM have circulated maps which include large sections of Northern Greece and made claims that they are the direct descendants of the ancient Macedonians!
And there are further reasons to be alarmed.
It has recently been revealed that a US Department of Defense strictly classified handbook on FYROM included a map that showed parts of northern Greece and western Bulgaria as “occupied Macedonian territories”. Included were the city of Thessaloniki, Halkidiki and Mount Athos (see map)!
As of this date, bilateral talks between Greece and FYROM regarding the name are set to begin in New York under the auspices of the UN. Meanwhile, intense negotiations are under way between EU and Turkey to determine the date and the circumstances under which talks for Turkey’s entry into the EU can begin. The American Hellenic Council will continue to follow developments very closely, and inform members of the US Congress and the US Administration regarding policies that promote US interests in the region. The US policy objective should be directed at supporting and promoting the strong, stable and peaceful bilateral and multilateral relations, and the development of true democracy throughout the Balkan region and Turkey. At this critical juncture when the interests of Greece and Hellenism are under stress, it is vitally important we remain vigilant and united.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Brussels (ANA-MPA/M. Spinthourakis) -
Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, who represented Greece at the NATO foreign ministers conference, warned the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) here on Friday to change its stance to enable the finding of a mutually acceptable solution to the issue of the neighbouring country's name by this coming April.Speaking during her address on NATO's future enlargement, she said that all the member-states of the Alliance desire a successful course for Croatia, Albania and FYROM, but stressed that nothing must be taken for granted.
Referring specifically to the prospect of FYROM joining NATO, the foreign minister said that the Skopje government must make "laborious" efforts to meet the terms and preconditions set by the Alliance to accept new member-states.
"The timely, mutually acceptable solution to the issue of the name constitutes a substantive and essential precondition for the accession of FYROM to NATO," Bakoyannis said and pointed out that the stance of the Skopje government to date, as has been manifested with a series of counter-productive actions and decisions of intransigence and irredentist logic deals a blow at relations of good neighbourliness and prevents the prospects of building allied relations.
The foreign minister further said that the neighbouring country's government must take political decisions "of a similar boldness with those that we have taken in Greece to enable a change in direction."
She added that "now is the time for a solution to issues whose perpetuation has a negative impact on regional cooperation and security."
Asked to comment on recent statements by Skopje Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki (who said that the speedup in negotiations between Greece and FYROM on the name issue is a positive development without, however, this meaning that the problem will also be solved soon), Bakoyannis said that she focuses primarily on the point in the statement that mentions that the speedup in negotiations is positive.
Elaborating further on the issue, the foreign minister said that negotiations for a solution to the name issue have a specific topic and it must not be considered that they have the nature of confidence-building measures between the two sides.
Summing up her views on the issue, Bakoyannis said that as the situation stands now, with regard to NATO's enlargement, Croatia is the candidate country finding itself in the best position, followed by Albania, while FYROM must make considerable efforts.
"The decisions on the invitations for accession to NATO must not be considered and they are not foregone conclusions," she said.
The foreign minister mentioned that she also briefed U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Greece's positions, who extended an invitation to her and whom she met in Brussels on Friday.
Bakoyannis said that she briefed the U.S. Secretary of State on the reasons that Greece believes that there should be a specific timetable for the finding of a mutually acceptable solution between Greece and FYROM on the issue of the latter's definite name.
The foreign minister also mentioned that, apart from the issue of FYROM's name, the other issue she discussed with the U.S. Secretary was developments in Kosovo.
Bakoyannis stressed during her address on Kosovo at NATO's conference that the international community, and the Atlantic Alliance with it, must make every effort to achieve security and stability in the wider region.
The foreign minister further underlined the importance of the continuation of the mission and presence of the NATO force in Kosovo, based on the UN Security Council's resolution 1244. She also pointed to the significance of the fact that the government of Serbia requested from NATO itself to keep KFOR in Kosovo.
Lastly, referring to the situation in Afghanistan, which was one of the main issues that preoccupied NATO's conference on Friday, Bakoyannis said that peace and stability in Afghanistan is a basic aim for the Alliance, just like support and training for the national Afghan security forces is, and which are assisting the efforts of the Afghan government.
TALKS TO RESUME
Greek leadership and visiting UN special mediator on the FYROM "name issue" Matthew Nimetz agreed on Wednesday to intensify and accelerate UN-brokered negotiations on the sole remaining difference between Athens and Skopje, following a one-hour meeting at the foreign ministry in the Greek capital between the UN envoy and Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis.
Nimetz, who arrived in Athens after his talks in Skopje, was also received by Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis at the Maximos Mansion. The former was accompanied by Bakoyannis.
Later in the day, foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos confirmed that Greek and FYROM negotiators, Amb. Adamantios Vassilakis and Nikola Dimitrov, will meet in Skopje after the Christmas holidays, following a decision to accelerate UN-brokered negotiations.
The meeting will be held in Nimetz's presence and hosted by FYROM Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki, with the prospect of a follow-up meeting hosted by the Greek FM in Athens. Such a second meeting would also be held at the negotiators' level and in the presence of the UN special mediator, Koumoutsakos said.
After the meeting with Bakoyannis, Nimetz underlined the strong international interest for a solution to the issue, something that became apparent during contacts he had with the American government and European governments, as he said.
He stressed that the matter is not simply a bilateral issue between two countries, pointing out that it is a UN matter concerning a number of countries in different ways, whereas a resolution will be a relief.
Koumoutsakos said the continuation and intensification of the talks meant that FYROM has not rejected Nimetz's package of ideas as a basis for the negotiation, while he clarified that during Wednesday's meeting between the UN envoy and Bakoyannis, which he said was held in a "very good climate", the two officials reviewed developments in the “name issue” since the Nov. 1 commencement of a new round of talks.
The Greek side stressed that the negotiations had a timeline up to the day when FYROM will possibly receive an invitation to join NATO, Koumoutsakos said, whereas Nimetz said that his mission does not have a specific timetable, but that all the developments in the region, such as those concerning the future status of Kosovo and NATO enlargement, were leading to an acceleration of the procedures for settlement of the outstanding issue with FYROM as well.
Regarding the Athens-Skopje interim agreement of 1995, Nimetz said that although he had heard "different interpretations", nevertheless, "I did not hear anyone disputing it".
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Greek-Americans cannot explain what happened to the effective lobby we used to have. Some believe we have lost political influence and others that we have lost effectiveness. One could consider both assumptions as being not viable; nevertheless, it is a fact. The well-known powerful lobby of the old times is not powerful after all.
I however, believe we have lost effectiveness, not political influence. We have political influence in the polls, but we are not effective as a group, as power brokers, simply because we are not organized. Simultaneously, Albanians, Slavs of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (The FYROM), Turks, and others have gained effectiveness and they keep demonstrating that they can play better hardball than we can. These ethnic groups have learned on how to play the game. They have received support from the U.S. government under a dual formula; they have persuaded the American public and through it U.S. politicians that their old country is strategically important to the United States and its interests; if this does not work, they play the victim card. Some of them can do both and thusly they have made it for the duration.
The change of the Greek Orthodox Church a few years ago upgrading the local Metropolitans to Archbishops is a de facto downgrade of our effectiveness, since we have lost our real power, the only unifying factor, the Church. Perhaps, the power that Archbishop Iakovos had accumulated was bad for the Patriarchate of Constantinople, objecting that one single person had become too powerful. It proved however, that the decision was misguided because under the current world political climate a unified Hellenism could be a deterrent to Turkey's unchecked appetite and constant bullish attitude and to the Slavic, or even Albanian farsighted strategic designs against Greece.
The above ethnic groups have their old homeland's governments' full albeit silent support regardless of who governs. On the contrary, Greek politicians taking advantage of the vacuum in our unified leadership have preyed on the phylarchy of unconsciously incompetent self-proclaimed "leaders" of our Diaspora in order to advance their party politics at the expense of Greece's strategic security and political stability. They simply divide the Hellenic Diaspora instead of amalgamating it. A good example is the creation of SAE. Other countries had established such organizations in the '80s and their activities differ from political to cultural. The formation of SAE started very well until partisan politics deemed more important than Hellenic national issues. It has become a tool of successive Greek governments, and because of it, it is ineffective.
The aforementioned self-proclaimed phylarchs are concurrently irresponsible. They are the ones who signed a document relieving former President Clinton from his pledge not to recognize the FYROM, but they think they are not at fault, since they abode with the Greek government's request. It is "the devil made me do it" defense. If they are not responsible for their actions, what kind of leadership do they provide? Leadership is a constant decision making process that aims to direct correct or wrong decisions. A real leader may not take credit for correct decisions, but dodge blunders. President Truman was very correct when he said "the buck stops here." Whether one likes him or dislikes him as President, and I do not, one has to admit that he demonstrated what leadership is all about.
I blame the loss of effectiveness to the lack of a solid national policy of Greece. Politicians of Greece do not even agree as to what constitutes a national Hellenic issue. As the Mayor of Athens, Dora Bakoyanni admitted to the delegation of the Pan-Macedonian Association that she could not see the matter of Macedonia as a national issue. But if the potential loss of the country's most important province and the loss of historical, cultural, and linguistic heritage do not constitute a national issue, then what does?
The Hellenic Diaspora in the USA being the oldest of all, with fourth and fifth generation Americans being caught in a time warp maintains, in my opinion, the idiosyncrasy of a 19th century Greek. Most of them being purely Americans, lacking minimal Hellenic conscience and education owe 100% allegiance to the United States and its interests; whether these interests are real or not.
The effective influence of the above-mentioned ethnic groups direct the US government as to what it is, or it is not beneficial to her in the S.E. Balkans. Thus far, we have not done anything, because we lack direction and purpose. The problem is that we have to persuade the US Department of State and the White House, while fighting the Greek government at the same time.
On the other hand, Greek politicians and even voters have not discovered the seriousness of their position. Immediately after the elections of 16 September 2007, Mr. Papoutsis, a representative of PASOK, blamed on radio the voters for his party's defeat, although everything indicated the fact that his party was unable to make its case to the voters. Then the elections for the new leader of the same party took place with results that did not make sense to me. About a month before the elections, polls showed that PASOK voters did not consider Papandreou capable to win elections against Karamanlis. Instead, they thought that Venizelos was the person that could bring PASOK to the government. Yet the internal PASOK elections brought Papandreou to leadership. Why did these people vote for a person that cannot, by their own admission, win the first political place in the Hellenic Parliament? Weird, isn't it!
Athens news Agency reported that Prime Minister Karamanlis said that
… any perception that the responsible parliamentary procedure, the procedure set out in the country's Constitution, was a process of "reduced democracy" was "erroneous and dangerous," stressing that Parliament was fully able to ratify a prospective agreement with FYROM on the name issue if such an agreement was achieved.
The Constitution, he explained, "does not rule out the choice of other procedures, such as a referendum', adding that "it does not, however, gradate democratic sensitivity and responsibility."
"If and when a final agreement arises, parliament can responsibly fulfill its own duty," the prime minister stressed.
Is the Prime Minister of Greece saying that a referendum downgrades "democratic sensitivity and responsibility?" If that is the case, why then is it included in the Constitution of Greece? Is he saying that in a referendum the voters would make an irresponsible decision, because they are incompetent to choose wisely what is good for the national issues of Greece? If the Prime Minister feels this way, perhaps he could explain to all of us in what way the same voters have been competent to place him into the office of the Prime Minister. Alternatively, is it perhaps, when these same voters go to the parliamentary election wearing their competent brain, but when they proceed to vote in a referendum in a way that the political leadership of the country dislikes, they lose their brains? Perhaps one of you smarter than I am, could explain it to me.
One of the most interesting facts is that the Greek Diaspora and the Greek governments lack communication. Greek politicians rely heavily on the Hellenic Diaspora for its lobbying in Washington. At the time that the FYROM, the Albanians, and Turks spend millions of dollars they do not have, the Greek government has placed the idea of professional lobbying in the back burner and only when difficult times appear, they want things to be happening NOW.
They do not understand that firstly lobbying is not a switch one turns on or off, at will. Secondly, it requires a lot of money, insistence, and persistence, utilizing people who have studied public relations and communications and furthermore they do it as a profession. Love for our old country and knowledge of history are not enough. Understanding how the U.S. government works, knowing how to get access, and employing people who have unlimited access, as former U.S. Congressmen, to various U.S. government offices, are the fundamental pillars of lobbying.
Our Greek –American friends have to understand that the need for real leadership is of utmost importance. We need superior persons, not ostentatious braggarts who consider a visit to the office of an U.S. official more of a photo opportunity than a duty to their Hellenic roots. We need people who surround themselves with experts in regional security, regional politics, and have an insight in the psyche of Greece's neighbors.
Greek-Americans have lost their lobbying power they once had. They are equally responsible for this loss as the successive governments and politicians of the Hellenic Parliament are. They resemble chickens with their heads cut off maundering to their death. I hope someone in the Parliament of Greece realizes that mingling in the affairs of the Hellenic Diaspora is detrimental, not beneficial to Greece. Instructions coming from Greece to our Community on how to do things do not work in the United States. We understand the American people. I cannot say the same regarding the degree of the Greeks understanding their neighbors. Greek-Americans have to take back their rightful place in the U.S. politics, and they have to do it, NOW!
source:Hellenic News of America
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) exercised a vacillating and often seditious "Macedonian" policy for Macedonia, aligning itself with Comintern's anti-Greek position, undermining its own unity and its leaders credibility. The KKE was compelled to cooperate with Bulgarian autonomists, such as Gotse or Elias Demakis.
Except Gotse Paschal Mitrofsky, Naum Pejov, and others were among the first to transform themselves from Ochrana-Nazis to SNOF communists. Some of Ochrana's methods, besides terrorization, were similar to those of SNOF:
- demand that the Slavomacedonians openly declare their ethnic identity
- proselytize the KKE leaders sympathizing with the Bulgarian dreams and
- plans cooperate, when feasible, with pro-Bulgarian ELAS leaders
John Koliopoulos (Plunderes Loyalities, 1999, page 153) mention as about his life:
Last but not least in this galaxy of Slav Macedonian leaders and communist cadres involved in the process of turning 'Bulgars' into 'Macedonians' was Elias Dimakis or Gotse (named after Gotse Deltcev, a hero of the struggle for Macedonia killed in 1903 and claimed first by the Bulgars as Bulgar and afterwards by the founders of the People's Republic of Macedonia as Macedonian). Dimakis was a native of Melas, the Korestia village named after another hero of the same struggle, Pavlos Melas, killed there in October 1904. When he was still a child his family moved to Florina, where he attended the town's Greek elementary school. His father emigrated to the United States but returned after some seven years to Florina and set up as a baker with his son as assistant.
Elias soon became known locally as a thief and served terms of imprisonment, his last being shortly before the war. He is said to have become a communist during the Metaxas dictatorship, when he was imprisoned for his political views but released shortly afterwards after publicly renouncing communism. He was tall, strongly-built and brave. He flirted with local Komitadjis before being co-opted into ELAS and joining SNOF.
After a decision of the Macedonian Bureau of the Communist Party of Greece, and the necessary order from the commander of ELAS 28 Regiment, the 'Vitsi Detachment' was divided in September 1944 into 25 battalions, of which the 2nd became the 'Slav Macedonian Battalion'. As commander of the new unit Kosmas Spanos or Amyntas of Lechovon, a seasoned ELAS commander, was appointed with Gotse as the political commissar. The division was decided on after a sudden increase in the number of men of the initial unit, the result of 'the enlistment lately of a considerable number of men', according to the relevant regimental order.
In November 1944 Gotse made Monastiri his headquarters and worked hard at reorganizing his band, recruiting widely from refugees in Greece. Before very long he had a body of about a thousand men, which he named the "First Aegean Strike Brigade". Gotse himself became the Brigade commander. As his second-in-command he chose Naum Pejov, a veteran of the SNOF and Ochrana ,a native of the village of Gavros, near Kastoria.Pejov had fled to the PRM in June 1944. Dimakis Political Commissar was Mihail Keramiziev, from the same village as Pejov, with Vangel Ajanovski-Oche from the Edessa region as Keramiciev deputy.
The influx of men which made the creation of a new unit necessary was due to the accelerated pace of recruiting 'disarmed' Komitadjis and Okhranite which increased even faster now that the Slav Macedonians of Greece had their own unit to accommodate all the 'misguided' brethren.
Many Bulgarian komitadjides, afraid they might be punished after the war, suddenly became "Macedonians" and joined the Yugoslav partisans, their motivation surely being the desire to dissociate themselves from the crimes they had committed and the treasonous acts perpetrated against their country. Many escaped to Yugoslavia and joined the armed bands of the Bulgarian fascist Vancho Mihailov of IMRO. Some joined the Yugoslav partisans, whose leadership did not care whether they were komitadjides or Ochranists. ELAS make huge mistake as George Papavisas (Claiming Macedonia,2004, page 142) remarks :
It allowed formation of the "Slavomacedonian Battalion," with Gotse as its political commissar, to absorb the komitadjides defecting from the Germans. In less than a month, the battalion doubled its strength, incorporating many German or Bulgarian collaborators. The battalion became the salvation for many desperate individuals attempting to avoid reprisals at war's end: komitadjides, Ochranists, Siavomacedonian adventurers, Bulgarian and Yugoslav agents, and autonomists guided by communists freed from Akronafplia by the Germans, struggling to bury their Bulgarian past.
The journey from Bulgaria to SNOF, to western Macedonia, and then to Yugoslavia was completed. Gotse had assumed four nationalities: Greek, Bulgarian, Slavomacedonian, and finally communist Yugoslavian; were he alive today, he would certainly have been "Macedonian" in FYROM, a direct blood connection to Alexander the Great!
This is the story of a "Bulgarian" that transformed in "Macedonian"
Sources (and recommended for reading):
Friday, November 30, 2007
"The population in Macedonia was unprecedentedly torn in bigger and smaller groups. For that various linguistic-groups the Serbian rulers had taken good care. But the guilt was not only theirs. There is still animosity between Protogerovists and Mihaiiovists. Serbian national socialistic organizations as Chetnik, the organization of the retired officers, the organization of the pensioners and the Sokol organization existed also until the beginning of .the war. All of them suppressed and dispersed the Bulgarian population with the aim to make them Serbs.
In Macedonia operated propagandists of the Great Powers who wanted to attract the population on their side promising to resolve the Macedonian question.
So the English propaganda was led by Serbian clerks and the army.
The French propaganda was led by the teacher in the French school Dr. Louise D. Voos.
The Italian propaganda for accession to Italy was also well organized with the assistance of the locals.
The Greek propaganda was well developed. The Greeks and their followers were tolerant to the Serbian (Yugoslav) authorities. Serb, Greek and Bulgarian followers of the Greeks worked together for their mutual cause - the English.
The Turkish propaganda led by Akif Alilov was faithful to the Serbian authority and together they planted the Anglophile and the Francophile policy. Even one of the most insignificant groups in Macedonia led by Dr. Simeon Berber worked for the annihilation of the Bulgarian spirit. The Jews group, that enumerated several thousand people affiliated with the ruling Serbs, carried out propaganda in favour of the democratic countries".
All show how complicated was the situation of that time in Macedonia. The political sympathies were intertwined with the national feelings. As a rule the non-Bulgarian elements were for the English-French block and the Bulgarians - for the power of axis. Besides, some of the former revolutionary activists were not far from the thought of solving the Macedonian question through accession of Macedonia or parts of it to Italy. The followers of Ivan Mihaylov fought for the independence of Bulgarian Macedonia. In this situation the Bulgarian population was divided in different groups. It was powerless and without faith. Everybody pulled the rug to himself". And time was crucial. The situation changed dynamically"
One more source is the Hugh Poulton (Who are the macedonians ?, pages 101-102) that speak for the issue...
"There is little doubt that the initial reaction anlong large sections of thepopulation of Vardar Macedonia who had suffered so much under the Serbian repression was to greet the Bulgarian as liberators. While Hitler did not allow the Bulgarians fornlally to annex the parts they now controlled, and the new border between the Italian and Bulgarian controlled portions was not defined, leading to periodic tensions between the two, Bulgaria was given a free hand in the areas which it controlled."
"At first Bulgaria pursued policies, especially in education.Which the population welcomed. More than 800 new schools were built and a university was established in Skopje.' However the honeymoon period did not last long as the Bulgarians soon fell into the old Balkan trap of centralization.
The new provinces (Pirin and Vardar)were quickly staffed with officials fiom Bulgaria proper who behaved with typical official arrogance to the local inhabitants.In March 1942 the central government in Sofia took absolute control over the new territories, ushering In the classical Balkan governtmental vices of bureaucracy and corruption which further alienated the population.
Particularly insensitive, in view of the long and close association in the Balkans between religion and nationality, was the influx of Bulgarian Orthodox bishops who displayed the same negative features as the government bureaucrats."
Sunday, November 25, 2007
As you know the several NGO and Amnesty International is extremely concerned at the frequent use of Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TPC) to prosecute human rights defenders, journalists and other members of civil society peacefully expressing their dissenting opinion. Article 301, on the denigration of Turkishness, the Republic, and the foundation and institutions of the State, was introduced with the legislative reforms of 1 June 2005 and replaced Article 159 of the old penal code.
It states that:
Public denigration of Turkishness, the Republic or the Grand National Assembly of Turkey shall be punishable by imprisonment of between six months and three years
What about FYROM ?
Many people we wonder why so silence as about in this multiethinic Republic when is known that the 45% are not officially Slavmacedonians.
In FYROM there is a similar article - as the Turkish one -in the "Criminal Codex of the Republic of Macedonia" ("Krivien Zakonik na Republika Makedonija")
"The one who with intent to mock shall publicly expose to ridicule the Macedonian people and the nationalities, shall be punished with prison from three months to three years."
Now you know why the nationalities in FYROM are not able to say free theirs opinion as about the origin or the language or the heritage. "Insulting" Macedonism can lead to prosecution and jail.
Every body knows the case of the Bishop Jovan.
Why Amnesty and NGO like Helsinki Monitors still silelnce as about this think ?
Why EU and USA has never expressed serious concern about the limits on freedom of expression in FYROM and the restrictive way Article 179 ?
How many are (or were) on trial under Article 179 that makes it a crime to insult Macedonism or state organs ? Were/are Greeks among them ?
Is it insult to say that the today Slavmacedonians cannot establish a link with antiquity as they entered in the Balkans centuries after the demise of the ancient Macedonian Kindgdom ?
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
To the Parliament of Canada,
The recognition of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as the Republic of Macedonia is a mistake for many reasons. Firstly, Macedonia is a province in the northern region of Greece, one which has been around for thousands of years. Recognizing FYROM as Macedonia only further promotes their attempts at confusing history and claiming the ancient Greek Macedonian history as their own.
"Occupying the bigger part of northern Greece, Macedonia first appears on the historical scene as a geographical-political unit in the 5th century BC, when it extended from the upper waters of the Haliakmon and Mount Olympus to the river Strymon. In the following century it reached the banks of the Nestos. The history of the Macedonians, however, may be said to commence somewhere around the beginning of the 7th century BC.
Although very little of the Macedonian tongue has survived, there is no doubt that it was a Greek dialect. This is clear from a whole series of indications and linguistic phenomena by which the koine of the region is "colored" which are not Attic but which can only have derived from a Greek dialect. For example: The vast majority of even the earliest names, whether dynastic names or not, are Greek, formed from Greek roots and according to Greek models: Hadista, Philista, Sostrata, Philotas, Perdikkas, Machatas and hundreds of others.
The inhabitants of Macedonia are descendants of the old Arian (Greek) settlers. Prehistorical data is very clear on this point. Since the dawn of history, the names of the people and the places in 'Macedonia are Greek (Karanos, Perdiccas, Amyntas, Aeropus, Alcetas, Kleitos, Emathia, Eidomene, Haliacmon, Echedorus, Dion, etc).
Alexander of Macedon I :
"Had I not greatly at heart the common welfare of Greece, I should not have come to tell you; but I am myself a Greek by descent, and I would not willingly see Greece exchange freedom for slavery. I am Alexander of Macedon."
Alexander of Macedon I states himself that he is Greek, but from the northern region of Macedonia.
The language of the Skopjians was and is a Bulgarian dialect. Beginning in the 1860 and 70s, the Bulgarian idiom was dubbed 'makedonski' by the first Macedonists, without success initially they attempted to promote the term among the wider Slavonic population of Macedonia. In 1903 whilst in Sofia, Krste Misirikov, (who indeed possessed of a strong Bulgarian conscience) was the first person to transform the idiom into a literary language by laying down the principles of the 'Makedonski' language in his book: ''Za Makedonckite Raboti'' (On Macedonian Matters). Come the Balkan wars, the Slavic idiom of the population of Vardar was still regarded by most Slavologists and foreign observers as a Bulgarian dialect, despite Serbian claims of it being an off-shoot of the Serbian language. In 1913 Yugoslavia undertook a policy of de-bulgarianization and Serbinization of the Slavic idiom of Vardarska. In 1945 a similar policy was adopted in terms of de-bulgarianising the dialect by the YCP (Yugoslav Communist Party) who codified the "Macedonian" alphabet and language. The codification of the idiom was based in part on the principles laid down by Misirkov.
Despite the Slavs of F.Y.R.O.M being under the rule of Belgrade for 75 years (monarchist rule from 1913 until communist rule from 1945), the so-called "Macedonian" language of F.Y.R.O.M is still mutually intelligible with standard Bulgarian and from a linguistic point is undeniably a Bulgarian dialect.
The 'Macedonian' language, as a self-contained Slav tongue, was completely unknown until the time of the Second World War. The language used by the Slav-speaking inhabitants of southern Yugoslavia and south-western Bulgaria was known to be an idiomatic form of Bulgarian.
After the foundation of the 'Socialist Republic of Macedonia ', attempts were made, for obvious political reasons, to break the linguistic bonds which joined the inhabitants of Yugoslav Macedonia with Bulgaria. For that reason, an army of philologists and scholars of literature was pressed into service to construct a separate written language.
Taking the Perlepes dialect as their starting-point and borrowing widely from Serbian, Bulgarian, Russian and other Slav languages, the 'Macedonian literary language' was created and recognized by the Yugoslav Constitution as one of the country's three official languages.
Countries are products of historical events, which is why they are born and die. Nations do not. Nations are entities that take a very arduous time to evolve.
The same thing is true for their appellation. Nations cannot be given birth and receive names whenever politicians wish by legislation, as it is the case of the FYROM. The present-day Hellenic nation is the result of social, civic and linguistic amalgamation of more than 230 tribes speaking more than 200 dialects that claimed descent from Helen, son of Deukalion. The Hellenic nation is blessed to espouse in its lengthy life great personalities such as politicians, educators, soldiers, philosophers and authors. They have all contributed in their own way to the molding of their nation. They are the result of natural maturity and a consequence of historical, social, civic, linguistic and political developments that have taken place in the last 4,000 years."
The word Macedonia is deeply embroiled in ancient Greek history and the attempts of the FYROM to create a liaison between the ancient Greek Macedonians, the ancient Greek Macedonian history and the Slavic “Macedonians” of the FYROM will only have negative effects for the future.
We look forward to your revoking the recognition of the FYROM as the Republic of Macedonia.
sign the petition
Thursday, November 01, 2007
The dispute goes deeper than the use of the name.
It is an attempt by FYROM to discredit the ancient Macedonians’ ethnicity, break the connection between present-day Greek Macedonians and the Macedonians of antiquity, and establish a connection between FYROM’s Slavs with ancient Macedonia.The historically,linguistically and archaeologically incorrect challenge is that Macedonia was never part of Greece and the Macedonians were barbarians who spoke a language in comprehensible to theother Greeks.
Cause of this ultra-nationalist behaviour is a ideology that flourish and in FYROM borders and grow dynamically in diaspora Slavmacedonians.
This ideology call as Macedonism.
Macedonism is a political term used to refer to a set of ideas regarded as characteristic of ethnic Slavonic Macedonian nationalism. The term is mostly used in a poltical and cultural sense by opponents of such views, mainly by Bulgarian and recently sometimes from Greek authors (Sfetas, Aggelopoulou) where it has strong negative connotations. It is occasionally also used in international scholarship ( John D. Bell) and in a positive sense by Slavonic Macedonian authors themselves like Alexandar Donski.
The roots of the concept were first developed in the late 19th century, in the context of Greek, Bulgarian and Serbian initiatives to take control over the region of Macedonia, which was then ruled by the Ottoman Empire. It was used to refer to the idea that Macedonians constituted a distinct ethnicity, separate from Bulgarians. The first to coin the term Macedonists in this sense was the Bulgarian author Petko Rachev Slaveykov, who used it to criticise such a view in an article The Macedonian Question published on 18th January 1871 in the newspaper Makedoniya in Constantinople. Also an early recorded use of the exact term Macedonism is in a report by the Serbian politician Stojan Novakoviζ from 1887. He proposed to employ the Macedonist idea as an ally of Serbian as opposed to Bulgarian influence in Macedonia
Among the beliefs and opinions that are often perceived as typical of Slavmacedonian nationalism and are criticised as parts of “Macedonism” by those who use that term are the following:
- The idea that there is a fundamental, ancient ethnic distinction between Slavmacedonians and Bulgarians, going much further back than the political divisions between the two nations during the 20th century
- The belief that this distinction is related to the inheritance of ethnic elements of the ancient non-Slavic tribe of the Bulgars, supposed to form an essential part of modern Bulgarian but not Macedonian heritage
- The idea that there is ethnic continuity between the Slavmacedonians and the Ancient Macedonians, the inhabitants of the kingdom of Macedon under Alexander the Great
- Irridentist political views about the neighbouring regions of Greek Macedonia (”Aegean Macedonia”) and parts of southwest Bulgaria (”Pirin Macedonia”) and about Slavmacedonian minorities living in these areas, connected to the political idea of a United Macedonia.
Other, related areas of Slavmacedonian-Bulgarian national polemics relate to:
The presence of the Bulgars in Medieval Macedonia and their connection with today Slavmacedonians
- The ethnic character of various medieval historical figures and entities, including the saints Cyril and Methodius, the medieval Tsar Samuil and his kingdom, and the medieval Archbishopric of Ohrid
- The historical role of the Bulgarian Exarchate and the ethnic character of Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization
- The historical role of various Macedonian (Greeks, Bulgarian) insurgent movements during the Ottoman rule ( Ilinden Uprising) and during the Bulgarian occupation of Geographical Macedonia in World War II (National Liberation War of Macedonia).
- The opinion that a separate “Macedonian” nationhood was an artificial product of Yugoslav propaganda during the 20th century and the belief of some Bulgarians that Macedonians should naturally form part of the Bulgarian nation.
On the other hand, areas of Slavmacedonian-Greek national polemics relate to:
The origin of the ancient Macedonians and ancient Macedonian language and their relation to the today Slavonic -and close to the Bulgarian - "Macedonian" and Greek nations and languages.
- The Greeks have Sub-saharan origin ( The Arnaiz-Villena controversy)
- Greeks discover Macedonia as a name in 1988(FYROM Minister Milososki in Mega Channel,1 Nov 2007)
With these perspectives in mind, the insistence of FYROM Slavs to be called “Macedonians,” a name dictatorially established and supported by communism’s brutal force and in the present from the US administration, clashes now with the age-old freedom of Hellenic Macedonians to be called “Macedonians.”
If FYROM considers itself Macedonia, a false and audaciously daring step that brings the origin of its Slavic inhabitants close to Philip and Alexander the GreaT then the insistence of these people tobe called “Macedonians” clashes head on with the age-old freedom of others to be called “Macedonians.”
FYROM has the right to survive and prosper, but it does not have the right to acquire, by international recognition, an advantage enjoyed by no otherstate in the world:
…to use a name which of itself propagandizes territorial aspirations at Greece’s expense !!!
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Assurances by the authorities in Skopje concerning the use of the name “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” in international organizations are thus unreliable and untrustworthy. FYROM officials ignore their commitments. The responsibility for the consequences of this uncompromising position belongs exclusively and completely to the government in Skopje.
Many Americans may think this is a minor issue. But the history of the region, not to mention of Europe as a whole, demonstrates that whenever irredentist claims are left unaddressed, the seeds of future conflicts are sown. Europe today is governed by the rule of law; the completion of the European project in the Balkans—and the extension of a zone of peace and prosperity—rest upon the willingness of governments to live up to their international commitments. Obligations are like a tapestry; even pulling on what might appear to outsiders to be a small and insignificant thread can end up unraveling the entire work. We have too much invested in the stability of the region to allow this to happen.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Why you hide Canadians?
The name is one of the most emotive foreign policy issues in Greece. Macedonia is also the name of Greece's northern province, birthplace of Alexander the Great.
As Macedonian Greek I would like to express my humble but proud opinion regarding the issue.
FYROM’s political world is in all likelihood ready to accept a double name formula. This is a formula in which, drawing on the proposals of the ICG, Greece would use a “non-problematical” name and international recognition within the framework of the UN based on the name “Republic of Macedonia.” Twelve years after the signing of the Interim Accord, the government in Skopje seems to believe that it is approaching achievement of a goal very close to the one it had originally set when the name dispute began in 1991. Now, the FYROM side is exploiting the inopportune and ‘unfair’ US recognition of its constitutional name to continue its foot-dragging, and has restricted itself to offering the formula of the ‘double name’—one for Greece and one for the rest of the world—in the knowledge that no Greek politician will accept a solution that puts his country in a position of international ‘apartheid.’
FYROM is monopolistically claiming titles, both geographical and historical. Long ago, in the evil days of Hitler, the British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, described Czechoslovakia as 'a far-away country' of whose people 'we know nothing'. The same tragic error might easily be made today concering Macedonia.
How well known is it in the West that there are two Macedonias, separated by a common frontier?
How many know that the northern mini-Macedonia, known officially at the present as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, has a seat at the United Nations, whereas the southern mega-Macedonia does not, because it is not a 'nation- state' but only a province of Greece?
How many have noticed that the acronym FYROM is already relapsing into 'Macedonia' tout court, so that its representative in New York will soon sit behind a tablet simply inscribed 'Macedonia', thus implying that his state alone can rightly claim a Macedonian identity?
This upstart mini-Macedonia is a product of the terrible conflict which is described from many writers like the Professor John Koliopoulos (Plundreed Loualities) or known British officers Chris Woodhouse and Hammond. It did not appear as Macedonia on any map before the Second World War. It is a landlocked area with no natural boundaries. Its population, apart from the usual Balkan minorities, is mainly Slavonic and Albanian.
As 'Macedonia' it was a creation of Tito, to provide a launching-pad from which to invade and take over the real Macedonia in northern Greece. The real Macedonia, on the other hand, has a history of at least three millennia: it was the homeland of Alexander the Great; the first country in Europe to which St Paul was invited to 'come over and help us'; the mainstay of-the Allied defense against Mussolini in 1940, when (as we chose to put it) Britain 'stood alone'; and the birthplace of modern Greece's outstanding Politician, Constantinos Kararnanlis.
From the very beginning of FYROM'S independence, Greece declared it had no claims on FYROM'S territory. Greece's only serious grievance was, and still is, the use by FYROM of the name "Macedonia" and its derivatives.
Europeans and the Americans have not been very helpful on this matter. They never seriously considered the fact that the People's Republic of Macedonia was the only Stalin and Tito achievement that the West declared preservable, though there is no blame for declaring the small enclave viable. The blame is for disregarding facts, brushing aside the available historical data to punish Greece, as if Greece were the instigator of this vexing Balkan event. If history had meant anything to the Europeans and Americans, they should have discouraged Skopje at the outset from using the name "Macedonia." FYROM does not have the right to acquire, by international recognition, an advantage enjoyed by no other state in the world: to use a name which of itself propagandizes territorial aspiratioils."
Cappelli (1997), discussing the Bosnian question, appropriately pointed out that "international recognition by no means necessarily endows a state with legitimacy, especially when the recognition has been granted in such an impetuous manner in the midst of a crisis and if legitimacy is held to have any connection with a common history and a sense of common destiny as characteristics of the state's population, without which no state can survive." Every word of this statement on Bosnia applies to FYROM.
Greek people and specially the Macedonians as the undersigned, asks fYROM to adhere to its UN agreement and stop its schools and others from irredentist teachings, such as that northern Greece should be part of their country. As well, the Greek people l urges fYROM to adhere to UN and EU policy and reach agreement with Greece on a name for their new country – one that does not encourage fYROM irredentism
“Biliteral” recognitions models show that behind the reality is the hypocrisy, a behaviour common among the old West world.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
What is the rightful name of the FYRepublic of Macedonia?
- From the very beginning of FYROM'S independence, Greece declared it had no claims on FYROM'S territory. Greece's only serious grievance was, and still is, the use by FYROM of the name "Macedonia" and its derivatives.
- Greece has already compromises by accepted the name “Macedonia” in the Interim Accord of 1995(former Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia)
- Skopje must also understand Greece's sensitivity on this issue, because for more than fifty years the name problem has always been used as a pretext to create an independent and united Macedonia, which, if it had been achieved, would have meant the shrinking of Greece's territory and the loss of the precious Macedonian inheritance.
- Slavmacedonians leaders must accept the reality that FYROM'S multiethnic conglomerate population, not really "Macedonian" nut also Albanian, Bulgarians, Serbs and Greeks.
Slavmacedonians must realize that does not have the right to acquire, by international recognition, an advantage enjoyed by no other state in the world: to use a name which of itself propagandizes territorial aspiratioils
Yes and this seems everywhere. From the books and the writings.Great example is the Brief Historical Summary that Skopje post in the EAPC-Security forum that speak for interritism. Some critical points are
- Skopje talk for civil war forget it to mention that this civil war was between Greeks and the involment of the Tito Regime via the Slavmacedonains of the Vardar region and the SouthWest Macedonia.
- The usage the term Aegean Macedonia. Is a nationalist Macedonian Slav term used to refer to the region of Macedonia in Greece, in the context of a United Macedonia. The origins of the term seem to be rooted in the 1940s but its modern usage is widely considered ambiguous and irredentist.
The Society of the Macedonian Studies(Etairia Makedonikon Spoudon) publish in July 2007 a book as that has as title ...Macedonism, The Skopjan Imperialism 1944-2006, efesos publisher. In this book you can see many proves that show the Slavmacedonian interritism against Greek History and HERITAGE.
In this first map (8th Grade,2005, page 54) you can see in the Yellow line the ethnotical borders as they imagine the FYROMacedonian nationalists and this include of course the Greek Macedonia(Green part)
In the second map (7th Grade, 2005, page 120) you can see the geographical-ethnotiical borders as they imagine the FYROMacedonian nationalists
Does the FYRepublic of Macedonia promote ‘hostile activity’ against Greece ?
The sudden “epidemic” manifesting itself through the erection of monuments, the renaming of streets, airports, etc., with names of Ancient Greek historical origin is a “hostile activity”
The usage of the Greeks Symbol Vergina Star from the Slavamcedonians officials is a is a “hostile activity”.
Great example is the Slavmacedonian nationalist PM Gruevski and the usage of the Greek symbol
- The brief historical summaries that are post in the FYROMacedonian web sites (Empassies, conferences, summits e.t.c.) are full of unaccuracies, lies and interetism.Great example is the below quote from the FYROMacedonian Embassy London
In that time we didnt have any protest of any "erthnic Macedonian" and not any Unite Macedonia! With this quote FYROM dipute OPEN the present borders by queried the Bucharest Treaty.
What is the Interim Agreement between the FYRepublic of Macedonia and Greece?
Article 7 of the Interim Accord between Greece and FYROM (1995) states the following:“
If either Party believes one or more symbols constituting part of its historic or cultural patrimony is being used by the other Party, it shall bring such alleged use to the attention of the other Party, and the other Party shall take appropriate corrective action or indicate why it does not consider it necessary to do so
For unknown reasons Greek governments show a strange political patience and indigence in the escalate FYROMacedonian hostile activity(symbols, names interritism, ultranationalism e.t.c.) since is known that Interim Accord is ended in 2002.
FYROM want monopolistically to claiming titles, both geographical and historical. If in the future this trend spreads into the economic sector and FYROM seeks exclusive use of derivatives of the Macedonian name in copyright, commercial titles and product names, the name problem could create severe problems—and not just in international relations.
Consequently, Greek people demand:
- The essential, and actual, recognition of Greece’s sovereignty over the entire Greek territory with ACTS and with TALKS. This simply means that Greek Macedonia—from the prefectures of Kastoria and Florina in the west to Drama in the east—cannot be referred to in public documents, maps and school textbooks of neighboring countries as ‘Aegean Macedonia under Greek rule.’ After all, its name is internationally known as ‘Greek Macedonia.’
- Respect for the Greeks’ Macedonian cultural identity and heritage. The erection of a statue to Alexander the Great in Skopje and the rename of Skopje airport in with the name of the Great Greek Historical Leader, as ridiculous as it may seem, would invariably sustain cultural antagonisms.
The kernel of the problem is that FYROM´s policy has long been based on old agendas, eventually the oldest issue on the national priorities of the states in the region, namely irredentism and great idea aspirations. These were once again exposed recently in slogans over "liberation of Thessaloniki", provocations that aim at formulat-ing a zero sum policy framework in both sides.
130 Members of Congress have so far co-sponsored Resolutions H.356 and S.300, expressing the sense of the Senate / House of Representatives that the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) should stop the utilization of materials that violate provisions of the United Nations-brokered Interim Agreement between the FYROM and Greece regarding ‘‘hostile activities or propaganda’’ and should work with the United Nations and Greece to achieve longstanding United States and United Nations policy goals of finding a mutually-acceptable official name for the FYROM.
Through the cosponsoring of this resolution, and the election of Barack Obama in US Presidency, it is our hope that the United States will be sending the FYROM the clear message that their attempt to rewrite history and steal the cultural heritage of an honorable people is not acceptable behavior.
The Bush administration by recognizing this state as “Macedonia, “ while the name issue was being negotiated under UN has encouraged FYROM to adopt the most obstinate intransigent stance regarding the negotiations. They refuse to discuss any other name than Republic of “Macedonia”, even though according to the Interim Accord in 1995, they agreed that a new name must be found for their country. The Bush administration by recognizing this state as “Macedonia,” has become instrumental into the most horrific revision of history throughout the ages.
The attitudes of Greece and FYROM are radically different and this is something that the international community should take into account. Most people in both states do not want to back down on the name issue. But while Greece’s political leaders have pushed for a reasonable and fair compromise, FYROM’s elected premier has veered in a blatantly nationalist direction. As long as Gruevski plays at being a crusader for nationalist fantasies, he will sink in the political morass. And as he sinks, he will act spasmodically and rather ridiculously. If he keeps this up, no one will take him seriously internationally. The Greek side should show patience. Only if he gets serious can he negotiate a solution, one that will reflect the reality of the region and not harm the interests of either side. Until then, the price that the Slav-Macedonians will pay will be much greater than they think it is today.
Greece has made a rather generous offer by accepting the use of the name Macedonia by FYROM with a geographical prefix that will distinguish it from Greek Macedonia. Practically it has offered Slav Macedonians the raw material to go on with their hostile and aggressive irredentist activities despite the mass objection of the Greek public opinion. This has not been fully appreciated by nationalists in Skopje and mediators.
Greece has called upon FYROM's leadership to act responsibly and show political courage and meet Greece half way. It will be a responsible move on the part of an aspiring candidate, a move that will win them a European future, a future of stability, peace and economic prosperity, based on the principles upon which NATO and the European Union are founded.