Monday, March 31, 2008
NET correspondent Nikos Fragopoulos has reported that the advertising posters in Skopje carry the Greek flag with a fylfot in the corner and a photograph in the centre, depicting alleged Slav-Macedonia political refugees, who had left Greece after the civil war.
George Koumoutakos commented that the poster insults Greece’s national symbol, adding that it is big mistake for some to invest in nationalism and bigotry.
He reiterates once more that Greece believes that good relations among allies is based on solidarity and respect of good neighbourly relations. The Greek Ambassador to FYROM Alexandra Papadopoulou will proceed with a demarche to the FYROM foreign ministry to withdraw the above poster.
source:ert.gr and greece-salonika.blogspot.com
Athens furious over Skopje insult
Greece angrily condemns insult to nat'l symbol on Skopje billboards
Greece reacted angrily on Sunday to an unprecedented provocation in the neighbouring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), as several outdoor billboards in the capital of Skopje depicted an adulterated Greek flag, with the blue Cross morphed into a Swastika.
"This unacceptable poster, which was circulated via a private initiative and raised on Skopje's streets, directly insults our country's national symbol and our struggle against fascism and Nazism," a foreign ministry spokesman tersely said on Sunday afternoon in response to a press question.
"This incident demonstrates the huge mistake made by those that invest in chauvinism and bigotry. It also confirms, yet again, the correctness of Greece's position, namely, that a necessary condition for the establishment of relations of solidarity and relations amongst allies is, in practice, respect of good-neighbourly relations between countries and peoples," spokesman George Koumoutsakos emphasised, speaking days before a NATO summit will consider admission for landlocked FYROM.
The spokesman also announced that Greece's diplomatic representative in the neighbouring one-time Yugoslav state has been instructed to table Athens' severe protest over the provocation to FYROM's foreign ministry as well as to demand the immediate removal of the offensive billboard.
The Swastika imagery on the Greek flag -- in place of the Cross -- was the first item covered by most television news programmes in Greece on Sunday evening, touching on a particularly sensitive nerve, given that the east Mediterranean country sustained monumental damages and loss of life during World War II during successive Italian and German invasions, followed by a triple occupation (1941-1944) by Nazi German, Italian fascist and Bulgarian troops.
According to an ANA-MPA dispatch from Skopje, the controversial billboard ads ostensibly promote a photographic exhibition in the city's cultural centre from April 3 to May 3.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Mr. Kovach begins his elaborations, stating: “Macedonia historically and culturally did transcend the country's current borders. In 1912-13, through two brutal regional wars, Macedonia was forcefully partitioned among Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia. The Macedonians were subject to qualified genocide and many were driven from their land. It is this reality that Greece tirelessly tries to cover up.” Mr. Kovach fails to bring up that during the Ottoman era which lasted for five hundred years and ended in 1912 in that area, there was no use of the term Macedonia (meaning the boundaries of the geographic or ancient Macedonia). Ancient Macedonia was divided in two vilaets, the vilaet of Thessaloniki and the vilaet of Monastiri (Bitola). Skopje was the capital of the Kossovo vilaet and was never included in the so-called geographic Macedonia.
The author of this article is referring to the Slavic element that existed in Macedonia as part of a “Macedonian” nation whose people were wronged and “were subject to qualified genocide and many were driven from their land.” He however fails to explain why there was no “Macedonian ARMY” to fight for the rights of the supposed “ethnic Macedonians” during the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913. In addition during the negotiating talks of the Bucharest Treaty, which determined today’s borders with Greece’s neighbors, there were no representatives of any “Macedonian Nation”. The 1914 Carnegie Report (Report of the International Commission to Report on the Causes and Conduct of the Balkan Wars) not only did not record the existence of a “Macedonian” army, but neither did it record the existence of any “ethnic Macedonian” civilians.
The Slavs did not arrive in the region until the sixth century AD. Until 1944, the area that is now legally referred to as the FYROM was called "Vardarska Banovina" until the Hellenic name of Macedonia was usurped by Marshall Broz Tito. According to Interim Accord (Sept. 13, 1995) and under the aegis of UN (UN Resolutions #817 of April 7 and #845 of June 18) of the year 1993, the temporary name until both countries, Greece and the aforementioned state, reach a permanent solution about this issue, is “the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, or simply The FYROM. The Interim Accord was signed by BOTH Greece and The FYROM, and its purpose was to find a name for the aforementioned country.
“…Greece labeled any use of Alexander the Great’s name by Macedonia as hostile propaganda…it was the Macedonian forces of Alexander the Great, led by his father King Philip II of Macedon, that beat the entire Greek army at Chaeronia in338 B.C. and conquered the modern Greeks’ ancestors,” writes Mr. Kovach. The author however, plunged into oblivion that the FYROM propaganda machination has provided for him, does not understand that his government’s actions over the years, such as distortions of geographic maps, revision of textbooks in their schoolbooks, renaming of their airport “Alexander the Great,” create hostility and animosity among their youth which is lacking knowledge to mainstream history. These actions and not Greece’s are the true threats to stability and have become the obstacle to their accession into EU and NATO.
The FYROM is a small country in the southern Balkans with very serious external and internal problems. It is the only country in Europe that succeeded in having open serious conflicts, with no prospect of resolution, with each of its four neighbors. Incredibly however, they have an entirely different type of conflict with each one of these neighbors.
In the north with Serbia who is a member State with The Partnership for Peace and an aspiring new NATO member, they have an open conflict with their schismatic illegal church, the so-called “Macedonian Orthodox Church” and this fact has angered their Serbian northern neighbor.
On the eastern side Bulgaria, a NATO member, does not recognize the so-called “Macedonians” as a distinct nation, nor a “Macedonian” language and accuses the FYROM of stealing its history. Amazingly enough The FYROM currently seems to have claims either linguistically or ethnologically to approximately 20% of the territory of this NATO ally of ours, Bulgaria.
On the west side the citizens of Albania clearly do not consider, and rightfully so, that 25% of the
population of The FYROM should be called “Macedonians.” They consider them their Albanian brethren.
In the south they succeeded in angering Greece, and especially us, the true Macedonians, by using our identity and stealing our glorious history. After all Alexander the Great the Macedonian, spoke Greek, used the Hellenic alphabet, carried Homer’s works with him and spread the Hellenic language and civilization throughout the then known world. He did not speak the Bulgarian dialect that The FYROM people speak; he did not use the Cyrillic alphabet, which had not even appeared till about one thousand years after his death. Alexander the Great is our Abraham Lincoln, as he united the North and the South of the Hellenic World under Hellas.
Mr. Kovach seems to forget something very important. The Greek businesses that exist in his country right now have created over 30.000 jobs in FYROM’s depleted economy. Greece actually is helping its neighboring country to prosper economically and is guiding the FYROM on its way to EU and NATO, under one condition: the Slavs cannot be ethnically, linguistically or culturally Macedonians simply because they did not exist in this area until the 6th century AD, when they descended from Siberia and settled there. The Hellenic name Macedonia, which had always identified the northern area of Greece, preceded the introduction of the majority Slavic population of The FYROM in the Balkans by well over 2000 years. It is therefore of utmost importance that their nationality and language does not include the term “Macedonian.”
The author continuing the myth which he learned in the schooling he received, writes: “Greece is administratively divided into thirteen regions, three of which include the word Macedonia: "Region of Western Macedonia", "Region of Central Macedonia" and "Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace", but take notice that none of the regions are named simply "Macedonia." The liberation of present day Greece from the Ottomans did not happen simultaneously in all former Greek territories, but it happened in different stages. In 1912-13, parts of Macedonia and Epirus were liberated. Since then Macedonia has been called as such. In fact, the first administrator in Thessaloniki in 1913 was called “Governor of Macedonia”. The term Northern Greece was ONLY for the Greek Ministry in Thessaloniki, because it included the region of Thrace as well. The Minister of this part of the Greek mainland is therefore called, the Minister of Macedonia and Thrace.
We agree that every country has the right to exist and find a proper name for itself, as long as no other ethnic group had previously rights to the same name. No German would allow a non-German ethnicity to call itself Bavarian. Therefore it is impossible for Greece to allow any non-Greek people identified as Macedonian, because the name implies Greek identity. The same would be true for Peloponnesus/Peloponnesians, Thessaly/Thessalians, etc., all being parts of the Hellenic world and identity for thousands of years. The name Macedonia/Macedonian has been copyrighted by Greece for thousands of years. Greece used the self-determination right first and she named one of her provinces Macedonia, first.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Ladies and Gentlemen MPs,
Today, intensive efforts are being made to resolve an issue that has been pending for 17 years regarding FYROM’s name. We have taken timely, courageous, sincere, and constructive decisions. We clearly spoke of a mutually acceptable solution on the basis of a truly compound name, with a clear qualification and valid for everyone. We took a huge step towards meeting the other side. There has been nothing from Skopje but messages of a persisting intransigence that is alien to the European mindset.
Precious time was thus lost. Not because of Greece. These past few months, we have responsibly made it clear that without a mutually acceptable solution the road to NATO cannot be opened for our neighbouring country. It cannot be invited to join. Allied relations cannot be built on pending issues with a negative impact on neighbourly relations. Relations of solidarity cannot be built. Stability and cooperation cannot be founded.
- The conclusion from the latest meeting between the Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the Greece-FYROM talks and the representatives of the two countries is that we are some distance from reaching a mutually acceptable solution. The conclusion is that efforts within the framework of the United Nations must continue. We have addressed – and are still addressing – the issue in a responsible and determined manner, which no one can call into question.
- We stated clearly and responsibly that we are pursuing a solution that cannot serve as a means of support for unacceptable and historically groundless policies; that cannot be used as a vehicle for nationalist and irredentist mindsets; that cannot serve mindsets of instability, mindsets dating back to the Balkans’ worst days, mindsets that do not comply with the European future.
- We clearly and unequivocally said that we need a solution on the basis of a substantially compound name. We explained that such a solution cannot be restricted to a description of the neighbouring country’s system of government. That is of no concern to us. Nor can we have a solution that is just on paper. There cannot be a false solution. We need a solution that is clear, practical, thorough and feasible in all aspects. A solution that is valid for everyone. A solution for every use. At the same time, we have made it clear that simple statements of agreement do not suffice. A solution is needed that will not permit any violations or retractions. A solution ratified by the UN Security Council. A solution with the “final seal” of the United Nations. The state of affairs and any domestic developments in the neighbouring country cannot serve as an alibi or an excuse. Manoeuvres and political expediencies are not acceptable. A false solution is no solution at all.
Our positions are clear and firm. Our positions are responsible and constructive. Greeks want to have their neighbours as partners and allies. But allied and partner relations cannot be built on serious pending issues. The objectives of stability and progress are not served in this way. This is clear, self-evident, unequivocal.
Friday, March 28, 2008
“Republic of Macedonia (Skopje),” which is the name proposed by UN envoy Matthew Nimetz, is not a mutually acceptable solution and Greece has turned it down. The government in Athens has repeatedly made clear that it wants to become the neighboring country’s strongest political and economic partner. Nevertheless, international mediators should not ignore the fact that Greece is a NATO and EU member and that it has the power to veto FYROM’s accession to both organizations. In fact the very survival of FYROM depends on Athens.
Unless FYROM manages to join the transatlantic alliances, it’s set for a very grim Balkan future. Many commentators have warned that the unity of the state will be at risk. Hence it’s hard to explain why FYROM Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, a man with very few friends in Washington and Brussels, is making demands on the big powers while issuing warnings to Athens.
From this page we have previously backed several settlement proposals, including the names “Upper Macedonia” and, albeit less enthusiastically, “New Macedonia,” on the grounds that they at least contain some element of differentiation and that they would be used by the international community.
As a name, “Upper Macedonia” contains a clear geographic description that separates FYROM, the part, from the whole, i.e. the entire Macedonia region. It also reflects the fact that FYROM covers some 40 percent of historic Macedonia compared to 50 percent that lies in Greece and Bulgaria’s 10 percent. The name “New Macedonia,” preferably in Slavic (Nova Makedonija), also helps to distinguish the new state from the historic region of Macedonia while being the most user-friendly.
The UN proposal for a “Democracy of Macedonia (Skopje)” does not meet the above requirements.
A UN Security Council recommendation to third countries will not suffice. They might be useful if the proposed name were very different from the constitutional one, which is not the case here.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Chris Stefou (aka Risto Stefov) was one from the Slavmacedonians that use lies in order to expose his propaganda. He uses in the net name Risto Stefov but sell books with the name Chris Stefou. This article is an answer in his series book that supposed show Greek lies, produces nationalism and interism and of course has many historical un-accuracies and propaganda guide lines and can you read it here
Chris Stefou(aka Risto Stefov) once more use his Historical revisionism (also but less often in English "negationism"), .This term describes the process that attempts to rewrite history by minimizing, denying or simply ignoring essential facts. Perpetrators of such attempts to distort the historical record often use the term because it allows them to cloak their illegitimate activities with a phrase which has a legitimate. It is sometimes hard for a non-historian to distinguish between a book published by a historian doing peer-reviwed acedemic work, and a bestselling "amateur writer of history".
In the specific article Chris Stefou(aka Risto Stefov) used the most known forms , parts from the most common tactics of the Historical Revisionism-Negationism.
- The selective use of facts
- The denial or derision of known facts
- Argument from ignorance (hence the historian community's emphasis on the importance of historical memory and historical studies)
- The assumption of unproven facts
- The fabrication of facts
- The obfuscation of facts
Who is Chris Stefou(aka Risto Stefov)?
He is fun of the so call Macedonism. But what is Macedonism ?
Is the political prevalent in the FYROM advocates revising history in order to project an ethnic group that formed in the 20th century â€“ethnic Macedonians- in the context of the 19th century and even in the Middle Ages. For example, Bulgarian Tsar Samuil is denied the Bulgarian nature of his kingdom, despite overwhelming evidence supporting it, and is defined as a "Slavic" or "Macedonian" king. Further attempts are made to deny the Hellenic nature of the ancient kingdom of Macedon and to seek connections between present day ethnic Macedonians and the Ancient Macedonians.
But Chris Stefou(aka Risto Stefov) speak for ethnic Macedonians ?
Who are they ?
Loring Danforth quoted that "the history of the construction of a macedonian national identity does not begin with alexander the great in the fourth century b.c. or with saints cyril and methodius in the ninth century a.d., as Macedonian nationalist historians often claim. nor does it begin with tito and the establishment of the people's republic of macedonia in 1944 as greek nationalist historians would have us believe. It begins in the nineteenth century with the first expressions of macedonian ethnic nationalism on the part of a small number of intellectuals in places like thessaloniki, belgrade, sophia, and st.petersburg. this period marks the beginning of the process of "imagining" a macedonian national community, the beginning of the construction of a macedonian national identity and culture."
In the last article Chris Stefou(aka Risto Stefov) put some questions as about the Balkan wars and the Treaty of Bucharest. As Historical propagandists and clever user forget as usual to mention some historical facts.
Mark Mazower in "the Balkan"describes in equal distances the situation. He quoted(page 103)that the "Macedonia was a region with no clear borders and not even a formal existence as an administrative Ottoman entity. A bewildering mix of different peoples, hemmed in by newly created states - Greece to the south, Serbia and Bulgaria to the north - it became the focus for their expansionist ambitions at the century's close. Its ethnography, however, posed a challenge for the most ardent Balkan nationalist and had changed out of all recognition since the days of Alexander the Great. The peasantry of the region were predominantly Orthodox, and mostly Slavs; Greek-speakers fringed coastal areas and inhabited the towns.
Of course Chris Stefou(aka Risto Stefov) as clever politically Historical Revisionist-Negationist abandoned the initial paragraph (the title of his thread) and in the rest of the paragraphs we have a delirium of cutting quotes from ancient and modern writers that describe the diffrneces between the ancient Greeks and Macedonians!!!
This tactic use the
- The selective use of facts
- The denial or derision of known facts
- Association fallacy
- Hasty generalization
- The use of attractive or neutral euphemisms to disguise unpleasant facts concerning their own positions
- The use of unpleasant euphemisms to describe opposing facts
- The two wrongs make a right fallacy
- Constant attack against those disputing their views (Ad hominem) (close to slander and libel)
Before 1944 Carter-Norris characterized the slavophones of geographical Macedonia as a "shapeless mass of Slavs with no particular ethnicity."One thing, however, is certain: ethnologically, Tito's new "Macedonian" republic was always a fluid country inhabited by six or seven ideologically contentious groups with ties to Albania, Bulgaria, or Serbia .The 1940 official Yugoslav census recognized only two large ethnic groups in Vardar Province, Slavs(some other said Serbs) at 66% and Muslims at 31 percent. In 1945, 3 years after the formation of the People's Republic of Macedonia, the Slavs disappeared from the census which showed 66 % t "Macedonians."
And I am ask you Chris Stefou(aka Risto Stefov).
Was this remarkable transformation process an en lnasse genetic mutation or a census falsification?"
How could a group of people (Bulgarians and Slavs) change ethnicity, becoming "Macedonians" in five years?
Disregarding the shrill campaign about the Macedonianism of the People'sRepublic of Macedonia, who was responsible for the transformation of the Slavs and Bulgarians into "Macedonians" and the appropriation of the Macedonian name belonging to a neighbour?
How did the egregious political decision to create a new Macedonian ethnicity emerge? There are many documents available now leading to an indisputable conclusion.Kofos quoted Tito's ideologically Marxist authoritarian regime was responsible. The Marxist revolutionary theory on ethnic minorities, cleverly adjusted by Lenin and Stalin to compromise communist internationalism with their own nationalist aspirations, was also responsible.
In the question as about the historical rights in the Treaty of Bucharest Chris Stefou(aka Risto Stefov) as Historical Revisionist-Negationist forget to remmeber some historical facts. The British historian Dakin quoted that the trichotomy of Macedonia did not please the British foreign minister, Sir Edward Grey. He proposed revision of the treaty, strongly opposed by Greece, Serbia, and Romania. France and Germany also rejected Grey's proposal. In the end, Russia went along with France and Germany, with Austria-Hungary remaining uncommitted. Finally, England formally recognized the treaty in the spring of 1914. Most analysts of Balkan foreign and military policy of the early twentieth century would agree that the signing of the Treaty of Bucharest was an event of great historical and political significance. Temporarily at least, it settled the differences among the four Balkan allies and pushed the Macedonian Question to obscurity. George papavizas quoted that â€œit was a great event for Greece because it brought back a large part of Macedonia to Greece, all the way from the Pindus mountain range in the west to the River Nestos in the east. The end of the war and the withdrawal of the Bulgarian troops from sections of eastern Macedonia raised new hopes for cooperation and peace among the tired and devastated Greek Macedonian people, but the dreams were rapidly dashed. Peace was not to come soon in the land.
The Treaty of Bucharest would soon be challenged and undermined by Bulgaria with its great appetite for more Macedonian land and later by the columnists regimes of Yugoslavia and Bulgaria. With support from Austria-Hungary, the Bulgarians would still hold firmly the relay of the struggle for Macedonia, not as Macedonians, but as pure nationalist Bulgarians. Perhaps a final solution of the Macedonian problem could have been achieved if the Treaty of Bucharest had forced an exchange of populations among the three sections of Macedonia as was done later by the Treaty of Lausanne between Greece and Turkey.
George Papavizas make a clever historical quote....After the Balkan Wars and World War I, many leaders, diplomats, groups, parties, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) became involvedwith the problem, exacerbating it rather than solving it. Finally I quote a Cappeli (Bosnia issue) statement that point out "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 surviveâ
Every word of the above statement on Bosnia applies to FYROM .
Of course I have and my finally question to Chris Stefou(aka Risto Stefov).
Why avoid any serious debate as about the Macedonian Question if you have as you claim the historical facts with your side ?
- Mark Mazower,The Balkans.
- Loring Danforth, The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational Word.
- Douglas Dakin, The Macedonian Struggle,1966
- George Papavizas, Claiming Macedonia, 2004
Monday, March 17, 2008
Upper, New or Republic of Macedonia-Skopje for international use, and the constitutional name for internal use -
is the proposal put forward at today's round of negotiations between Macedonia and Greece, which was held under mediation of Matthew Nimetz.
According to the reports sent Monday afternoon from Vienna, where the meeting took place, Nimetz's latest verbal proposal suggests for the new name to be sought among these three options, while the nationality and the language to be called Macedonian.
This implies calling the national belonging of the country's citizens as Macedonian, same as the language they speak - Macedonian, the media reported.
According to the same sources, Nimetz's proposal was presented as "take it or leave it" and is the last one before the NATO Summit in Bucharest slated for this April.
The mediator announced a new meeting for the next week, once his verbal proposal is reviewed by each state, calling "the domestic authorities for cautiousness."
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Saturday, March 15, 2008
The proposal of UN mediator Matthew Nimetz includes five different names for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Four of them are descriptive of the polity (Democratic Republic of Macedonia, Constitutional Republic of Macedonia, Independent Republic of Macedonia and New Republic of Macedonia). Nimetz is thus trying to sweeten the pill. But the fifth alternative, the Republic of Upper Macedonia, is a geographical designation that reflects reality on the ground. If the Slav-Macedonians wish to be a separate nation they have every right to be so. But they cannot portray FYROM as their fragmented homeland. Macedonia is a multiethnic region, not the land of a nonexistent Macedonian nation. The part cannot lay claim to the whole.
Greece accepts the name Upper Macedonia. But there is another crucial issue:
Initially, Athens wanted a composite name for all uses. Then the Foreign Ministry abandoned this position, without getting anything in return. It asked that the composite name apply only for international use. But Greece also wants the composite name to be used in Skopje’s bilateral relations. And even a Security Council resolution could not ensure this.
Instead of pursuing impossible guarantees and the use of the composite name on passports, Athens should demand a new constitutional name such as the “Republic of Upper 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 aspirations.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Krste Misirkov is a prime example of the often fluxuating ethnic conscience of some of the early Macedonists at the turn of the century. Many intellectuals were having to decide whether they favoured annexation by Bulgaria, or an autonomous Macedonia. While Misirkov is curiously heralded by Skopjians as one of the "founders of the Macedonian nation", he is also wrote that the Slavs of Macedonia "are more Bulgarian than those in Bulgaria!". The purpose of this thread is to expose the Bulgarian views of Misirikov after the know "Macedonian Matters"
He was the first person to transform "Macedonian" as a literary language. While in Sofia in 1903, he published the book ''Za Makedonckite Raboti'' ('On Macedonian Matters') in which he laid down the principles of the slavomakedonci language. According to this book, the language should be based on the central dialects of Vardar. He also used those dialects to write the book itself. Misirkov died in 1926. Decades after his death with the communist takeover of Yugoslavia, Misirkov's principles were used by the Yugoslav committees for the codification of the slavomakedonci language.
It appears that at one point in his life, under Russian sponsership, he favoured his own brand of Macedonism and this is when he published his book on the 'Macedonian language. Later he adopted a vehemently Bulgarian nationalist stance and abandoned his Macedonism, apparently beleiving it would never materialise as an ideology; though it ironically it did, long after his death after WW2. In his book, ''The national identity of the Macedonians'', which he wrote in 1924, two years before he died, he uncompromisingly defends the Bulgarian character of the population of Macedonia saying "We [Macedonian Slavs] are more Bulgarian than those in Bulgaria!". He completley retracts everything he wrote in his book ''Za Makedonckite Raboti'' about the Macedonian language, with the explanation that "I wrote it as a politician". The book is considerably pro-Bulgarian, describing himself as a Bulgarian, nationalistically so.Krste Misirkov
the below are some abstracts of tKrste Misirkov from the article "National Identity of the Macedonians. 1924:
- We speak Bulgarian language and we believed with Bulgarians is our strong power.
- The Bulgarians in Macedonia. The future of Macedonia is spiritual union of the Bulgarians in Macedonia.
- The Macedonian Slavs are called Bulgarians.
- The biggest part of the population are called Bulgarians.
- All spoke that Macedonians are Bulgarians. Until 1978 all including Russian Government spoke the Macedonians are Bulgarians. But after the Berlin Congress the Serbs came with pretension to have Macedonia. They try to change the European opinion that in Macedonia there are Serbian too.
- If Ilinden uprising win we will be thankful to Bulgarians, but Serbians try to compete with Bulgarians and spend a lot of money and propaganda. If Macedonia is autonomic there will be no space for propaganda and the Serbs have to leave Bulgarian in peace.
- The Ilinden Uprising Committee is Bulgarian.
- Bulgarian Language and Bulgarian name. The Committee is ready to give guarantee to Europe that Macedonia will not unify with Bulgaria, but they can't take the Bulgarian name and language from Macedonia!
- Unification between Turks and Bulgarians in Macedonia. Serbia and Greece do not want to give us autonomous and independent Macedonia, because they see this as a fist step to unification. In Macedonia have only pure Bulgarian population, which can't be unified with the Turks.
- Serbia is against autonomous Macedonia. Serbia is afraid because Macedonia with the Bulgarian population will have tendency to united with Bulgaria and for this reason Serbia will not allow this.
- They divided us and now they do not allow us to unify. We are living now 25 years divided from Bulgaria and they do not allow us to unify? We call ourselves Bulgarians or Macedonians and see us as separate and radically different from the Serbs with Bulgarian national consciousness.
- Our Grandfathers call themselves Bulgarians. They never thing that we will be having such a problem to call ourselves so.
- Bulgarian Literally Language. We the Macedonians voluntarily choose one and the same language with Bulgarians long before the liberation of Bulgaria from Turkey. The prohibition from the Serbs to use our literally language, which is the only one connection between us and Bulgarians is significant violation of our human rights. .. and further.. when they forbid us to call ourselves Bulgarians, to learn Bulgarian history and to be ashamed from everything which connect us with Bulgarians. It is enough to learn our Macedonian culture and history to understand that we are very different from Serbian nationality.
- There no difference between Bulgarian and Macedonian Slav. The Greeks in 1804 long before Bulgarian exarchate do not make any difference between Bulgarian and West Macedonian dialect. 15. Bulgarian national name of Macedonians. In the IX century in the first Bulgarian kingdom we do not have anything against this Bulgarian national name for us and for the rest of Bulgarians in Bulgaria.
- We Macedonian Bulgarians (Macedonians) like Bulgarian state as our own.
- The Serbs are much inferior than we are. We demand freedom for all of us and not to be material for assimilation experiments of the Serbs, which stand much inferior from us in spiritual narrow-mindedness and chauvinism.
- The Serbs come to the idea of the Macedonian nationality. The Serbs develop the concept for special Macedonian Nation, which they put in the south Macedonia. They declare north Macedonia as a pure Serbian land. Middle Macedonia as a transition between Serbian and Macedonian language.
- The population of Skopje is pure Bulgarian. Bulgaria make a big error when recognize the territory for "neutral". It is pure Bulgarian and the population in Skopje and surrounding area is pure Bulgarian.
- Why the Serbs want Macedonia? What Serbian you can find in this pure Bulgarian land, which is since 6 century till today Bulgarian, despite of all vicissitude of the historical destiny.
- Serbian-Greek attempt on the Bulgarians in Macedonia. Because of the treaty between Serbia and Greece Bulgaria was robed and 2 Millions Bulgarians where conquered from Serbia and Greece. Yes! To many damage did the Serbs on Bulgaria, Macedonia and Dobrudja and with this they do not stop! They filled that their vicious work will be discovered and to be prosecuted by the Slavic consciousness because of the freedom of 1/3 of Bulgarians - the Bulgarians in Macedonia.
- The lies about Bulgarian and Bulgaria. Restoration of the human rights of the Bulgarians in Macedonia and Dobrudja, despite of the lies spread for Bulgaria and Bulgarians! Who is against Great Bulgaria, he is against the Slavs!
- Krali Marko songs in Macedonia are from Bulgarian origin. The songs of Krali Marko in Macedonia are from Bulgarian origin and speak for the Bulgarian influence over the Serbs and not the opposite.
- The Serbs will coarse many wars, if the "Dushan empire" will not disappear. In the last quarter of the XIX century the Serbs start to dream to restore this abandon from Serbs it selves empire. With intrigues and and allies they conquer big part of Bulgarian Macedonia. But this Serbian advantages of 1912 coarse the war in 1913 and they coarse the war in 1915-1918 and will coarse many more wars, unless "Dushan empire" get liquidate in the same way as in XIV century on the principal of the self-determination of the nations.
- Serbs falsify the history. In Bulgaria Macedonians have all personal rights, freedom of expression and self-determination in Bulgaria. The Serbs try to destroy the soul of the Macedonians and for that reason the falsify the hole history. In this Serbian logic and Serbian fillings there are something abnormal, which is prove of the failure of the Serbian state. They are afraid from the Macedonians in Macedonia and also this living outside.
- The Macedonian population is against Serbs. You have to know that because your Serbian politics against Macedonians you have against you all past present and future Balkan governments and the Macedonian population.
- The Bulgarians are our fellow citizens. The European recognize that only independent sate will put an end of the competition conquer and hegemony on the Balkan. An will end once forever violence of the new conquer. And everlasting peace on the Balkan and in Europe will rise. Greece and Serbia will loose territorially and les Bulgaria and will win all Macedonians.
- The Serbs forbid us to celebrate all Bulgarian holidays. We are forced to celebrate St. Sava and forbid to celebrate St. Cyril and St. Methodius and Ilinden Uprising.
- Our souls are in Bulgaria. Serbia conquer the land and the body of Macedonians, the souls are in Bulgaria and with Bulgaria
Is known that Misirikov after the the Macedonian matters published a series of articles that expossed the Bulgarian line of the Macedonist moovement against primarily in the Serbian and secondly against Greece. The bellow is a translation from works of K. Misirkov, "Balazki po juzno-slavjanskata fiologija ...", Bilgarska Sbirka. XVII, 1, Sofija, 1910
In other words, he returns to the views concerning linguistic and national boundaries between Serbo-croats, and Bulgarians which he expressed during his period of study at the University of St Petersburg (1897-1902). It is obvious that he identifies the geographical boundaries in which a Slavic idiom or dialect has been spread and is spoken with the national boundaries of the people which he regards as its bearer. In other words, he adopts the then widely prevalent view and from the Slavic academic world, according to which the uniqueness and autonomy of a people's language is a necessary condition for the recognition of its national uniqueness and autonomy.
Having as his foundation the middle-age southern Slavic sources, the ancient Slavic texts of the Serbs and the Bulgarians and the southern-Slavic cycle of epic demotic narratives and songs about Volkasin and Marko, the Slavic leaders of Macedonia, he puts forward a series of claims which tend towards one general conclusion: The Slavs of Macedonia belonged to the same Slavic racial group as the Slavs of Bulgaria during their settlement in the area, and that they maintained their linguistic and national identity with the Bulgarians from the middle-ages to the contemporary times. Misirkov repeatedly voices the view that the Slavs of Macedonia had a Bulgarian national consciousness as subjects of Samuel's state, of Byzantium, as well as the state of the Serb dynasty of Nemanje.
We briefly list the basic tenets of the Misirkov article (The below quote translated from Tsontos and came from the book with title Misirkov and the Makedonist moovement ,pages 402-405) :
- The Morava valley is included among the Bulgarian countries, because the Slavs who settled in the area did not belong to the Serbo-croatian racial entity but to the same racial entity as the Slavs of Bulgaria. Their settlement in the Morava valley took place earlier than the arrival of the Serbo-croats in the Balkans. The â€œMoravicâ€ idiom belongs to the Bulgarian language, however, because it is the â€œmost western-Bulgarianâ€ idiom along the boundaries of the Bulgarian and Serbian linguistic area, has also taken on Serbian characteristics.
- The linguistic and national boundaries between â€œSlavic Bulgariansâ€ and Serbo-croats are defined by the geographical line which begins at the right bank of the Savos river, descends to the south along the length of the waterline of the Kolubar and Morava rivers and continues along the length of the Morava and Ibar rivers , to Skadros in the Adriatic.
- The Slavs who settled in the Morava area but also in Albania, Macedonia, Greece and Thrace belong to the Slavic racial entity as the Slavs of Bulgaria. The majority of them descended almost simultaneously from the Moravia valley and not from Eastern Bulgaria. The settlement of the Slavic element in the Moravia valley, in today's Western Bulgaria, Macedonia, Thrace as well as in areas which were later Albanized and Hellenized (Albania, Greece), took place earlier than the descent of the Sebo-croats in the Balkans. Therefore, the Moravia valley, Macedonia and Thrace are included among â€œBulgarian countries: because their population is Bulgarian as far as descent and culture are concerned.
- During the Nemanje dynasty, the Serbian state extended its borders and occupied the Bulgarian countries (valley of Moravia, today's West. Bulgaria, Old Serbia and Macedonia). The Bulgarian population of these areas allied with the Nemanje and accepted Serbian political authority because it wished to be delivered from the yoke of Byzantium. In this way an extensive Serbian state was formed, in which the Serbian element almost disappeared before the great mass of Bulgarian population of integrated new countries.
- The dynasty which governed the state was Serbian, but the great majority of the population were Bulgarian, having accepted the name Serbs as a political rather than national term.
- The induction of Macedonia into the territory of the Serbian state of the Nemanje did not result in the Serbinization of the area's Bulgarian Slavic population. To the contrary, the Bulgarian culture of the occupied influenced the culture of the Serbian occupiers.
The integration of the northern â€œBulgarian countriesâ€ (valley of Moravia, today's Old Serbia) into the Serbian state of Nemanje resulted in the ethnic Bulgarian character of the population of theses areas coming under Serbian influence. While the integration of the southern â€œBulgarian countriesâ€ (Macedonia, today's southwestern Bulgaria) did not bring about any change in the Bulgarian national consciousness of the population.
With the integration of the Bulgarian countries and the increase of the Bulgarian population in the state of Nemanje, the Serbian element gradually lost the politically dominant position it held and became a secondary factor of state life.
- The Bulgarian national consciousness of the Slavic population of Macedonia during the 13th and 14th centuries played a significant role in the formation and disintegration of the state of Dustan. Dusan, the Serb leader, granted political privileges and senior titles to the Bulgarian aristocracy of Macedonia and displaced the center of political power from â€œthe Serbian north to the Bulgarian south of the state. Reinforcement of the position of the Bulgarian aristocracy, during the leadership of Dusan and his heirs, indicates that the â€œSerbian kingdom of Nominee took on a Bulgarian character and changed into a western Bulgarian state. Dustanâ's favor towards the Bulgarian aristocracy attracted the ire and reaction of the Serbian north of the state. For this reason, Dusan was treated negatively by the Serbian chronicles and the Serbian popular tradition.
- The Slavic leaders of Macedonia, Volkasin and Markos, are hailed in the Serbian chronicles as Bulgarian leaders, due to the Bulgarian national consciousness of the population of their state territory. For the Serbs the name Macedonia had the same meaning as the name Bulgaria.
- The Bulgarian national character of Macedonia is also proven by the study of the southern Slavic cycle of epic demotic songs and stories about Volkasin and, especially, Krali Markos.
Why the Serbs want Macedonia? What Serbian you can find in this pure Bulgarian land, which is since 6 century till today Bulgarian, despite of all vicissitude of the historical destiny.Restoration of the human rights of the Bulgarians in Macedonia and Dobrudja, despite of the lies spread for Bulgaria and Bulgarians! Who is against Great Bulgaria, he is against the Slavs!
And of course the latter discover. In his recently discovered 381 page diary, written in 1913 while he resided in Odessa (Ucraine) Misirkov identified as Macedonian Bulgarian
In the meantime, a new round of talks on the FYROM name dispute under UN envoy Matthew Nimetz has been scheduled for the coming week.
Citing diplomatic sources, the FYROM Press read that the USA will be represented in the talks by its Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Victoria Nuland.
On his part, FYROM Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki said that Nimetz’ role, which was assigned to him by a UN resolution and the 1995 Interim Treaty, will not be altered.
US Embassy Announcement
Following Democratic Party of Albanians (DPA) leader Menduh Thaci’s decision to withdraw from the coalition government the US embassy in FYROM has issued an announcement urging the country’s political party leaders to focus their efforts on FYROM’s entry to NATO, adding that the only pending problem for the above country is the name dispute with Greece. The announcement ends by stressing that political stability is a prerequisite for those who wish to join NATO.
source:ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8 - 12 Mar 2008 21:51:14
Friday, March 07, 2008
Legislation to stop state-sponsored propaganda by FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), which is potentially dangerous for Greece, was introduced in the U.S. Senate today by Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME), along with Presidential candidate and Chairman of the European Affairs Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Barack Obama (D-IL).
More than 72 Members of Congress and climbing are sponsoring similar legislation (HR 356) in the House of Representatives.The Resolution (S.Res. 300) points to a television report showing students in a FYROM state-run school being taught that parts of Greece, including Greek Macedonia, are rightfully parts of FYROM. The legislation also points to various recently-published textbooks which contain maps of ‘Greater Macedonia’ extending many miles into Greece and Bulgaria. The Resolution points out that FYROM propaganda, contrary to the U. N. Interim Accord, instills hostility and a rationale of irredentism in portions of the population of FYROM toward Greece and the history of Greece.
The legislation urges FYROM to adhere to the U.N. brokered Interim Agreement, which directs the parties to “promptly take effective measures to prohibit hostile activities or propaganda by state-controlled agencies and to discourage acts by private entities likely to incite violence, hatred or hostility” and review the content of textbooks, maps, and teaching aids to ensure that such tools are stating accurate information. The bill also urges FYROM to work with Greece within the U.N. framework process to achieve longstanding United States and United Nations policy goals by reaching a mutually acceptable official name for FYROM.
Below you can read the legislation ...
S. RES. 300
Mr. MENENDEZ (for himself, Ms. SNOWE, and Mr. OBAMA) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations
Expressing the sense of the Senate 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 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 FYROM.
Whereas, on April 8, 1993, the United Nations General Assembly admitted as a member the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), under the name the `Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia';
Whereas, on September 13, 1995, Greece and FYROM signed a United Nations-brokered Interim Accord that, among other things, commits them to not `support claims to any part of the territory of the other party or claims for a change of their existing frontiers';
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Slavic populations (Bulgarians and Slavmcedonias) in Macedonia were in 19th century, a people with confuse sense of distinct national identity, leading a passive existence for centuries in the area between the Danube and the Haemus mountain range. The Russians discovered this Slavic people during their drive to Adrianople in 1828—29 and found them similar in language, appearance, religion and character. The most important thing about them, however, was that they did not have an especially strong sense of national identity. Moreover, they did not hold liberal ideas, as did the Serbs, They were very near the much longed for Dardanelles Straits, and away from Austrian influence, to which the Serbs could easily fall because of their proximity. Thus, the Russians preferred the Bulgarians to the Serbs as a check against Greek ambitions and decided to make them a dependent satellite state.
In the three sanjaks of Vidin, Nikopolis and Silistria there lived a Bulgarian people, with its distinctive churches, folk songs and folk art. The Bulgarian hajduks even though they did not possess such a high level of national consciousness as their Serb and Greek counterparts, preserved a tradition of hostility towards the Turkish administration. In these three areas, the Bulgarian expression of Panslavism was maintained, despite the domination of the Greek element in the European part of the Ottoman Empire.
Limited Bulgarian revolts took place in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; however, there was no indication of a national revolt among the Bulgarian populations in the early nineteenth century. When a revolt eventually did take place, it was the work of Russian Slavophiles, it followed those in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and was planned and funded by the Russians. Somewhat earlier, in 1772, Paisius (Paisi), the Athonite Bulgarian monk had composed, in a crude Slavic idiom, a Slavonic-Bulgarian History of the People, Tsars and Saints of Bulgaria. This compendium aimed to awaken Bulgarians patriotism. It was published in 1844, having circulated for a long time in manuscript form, but with limited impact either on the Bulgarian people or on Russian foreign policy.
In 1829 the ardent Slavophone Venelin from Lemberg (1802—1839) published in Russian a history titled Ancient and Modern Bulgarians. The book coincided with the Russian drive to Adrianople and gained the attention of the Russian Academy, which invited the author in 1830 to travel through Bulgaria and the European territories of Turkey. Since that time Russian gold began to flow abundantly in Bulgaria, in order to accelerate the awakening of Bulgarian nationalism, and to restrain the growth of dangerous Hellenism. Following his tour in the areas inhabited by Bulgarians, Venelin published his findings, and the material he had collected, not hesitating to distort it in order to suit his wily purposes. In particular he claimed that Bulgarian Slavs existed in Rumelia, Macedonia, Albania, Thessaly and Asia Minor. He further claimed that the Bulgarians brought the Cyrillic alphabet to the Russians and proselytized them to Christianity. In a study on the origin of the Bulgarians, Veselin's disciple Rakovski (1818-1868) claimed that the Olympian Zeus, Demosthenes, Alexander the Great and the Souliot Markos Botsares, hero of the Greek War of Independence, were all Bulgarians. He also claimed that the ancient Orphic festivals were Bulgarian and that the Apostle Paul spread the Gospel in the Balkans in the Bulgarian language.
Ilija Garashanin (1812-1874) was a distinguished Serbian statesman and the main architect of Serbian state policy between 1843-1868. In 1844 he published a blueprint, known as "Nachertanije" (Outline), describing future Serbian territorial ambitions. A plan modelled directly on Dushan's medieval empire - that is including both Macedonia and Old Serbia. But, at the same time Garashanin also encouraged a diplomatic policy of strong support for Bulgarian revolutionary activity against the Turks. In fact it was 1848 Garashanin who arranged for the Bosnian Croat, Stefan Verkovich (1821-1893), on the pretext of completing Karadjich's linguistic research, to tour Macedonia and covertly collect ethnographic data ultimately be used as support for long- term Serbian hegemony.
After him, Stefan Verkovich (1827-1893), another Bosnian-Croatian nationalist and propagandist, wrote a work in Russian titled On Macedonian Ethnography, and became one of the protagonists of Russian propaganda. He discovered "Slavo-Macedonian folk songs" on Alexander the Great. Animosity against the Greeks was obvious and unrestrained. Whatever was Greek had, at all costs, to be presented as Bulgarian. Hristovich went so far as to claim that Aristotle spoke Bulgarian, but wrote in Greek in order to civilize the barbarians to the south. Other Bulgarians included Emperor Constantine the Great, Saints Cyril and Methodius, and Georgios Karaiskakes, another hero of the Greek War of Independence.
However in 1860, when the Serbian Academic Society published Verkovich's first volume of "Folk Songs of the Macedonian Bulgarian" awarding him the Serbian "Uceno Druzestvo" (Scholar's Society), in his preface Verkovich said:
I call these songs Bulgarian and not Slavic, because if someone today should ask the Macedonian Slav "what are you?" he would be immediately be told: "I am Bulgarian" and would call his language 'Bulgarian'.
All these crude fabrications seem laughable today, but during that period their dissemination made a mark upon the simple, illiterate Slavo-phone villagers of Macedonia. Until then, the term "Bulgar" was deemed an insult, however, there appeared those who assured these simple people that they ought to feel proud about this designation and history, since all the great men in history were like them. It followed that those, easily swayed by these lies, would fall prey to Slavic propaganda.
The Russian efforts had a remarkable impact on the Bulgarians before influencing the Slavophone peasants of Macedonia. The first Bulgarian primer appeared in 1824; in 1828, the New Testament was published in Bulgarian; and, in 1836 Rijlski published a Bulgarian grammar. By 1849, 31 Bulgarian schools operated in present-day Bulgarian territory, 4 in Macedonia and 18 in Thrace. At that time, many Bulgarian graduates of Greek schools, who had heretofore appeared Greek, started to become conscious of their ethnicity and to serve the Bulgarian cause efficiently, with the special help of Russian gold. Russian efforts began to bear fruit. More important, they were not limited to the spread of a written Bulgarian language, but were extended to important church matters.
The Eastern Greek Orthodox Church, led by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, was the main guardian of the Balkan peoples survival. Had it not been for the existence of Church, Islam would have prevailed in the Balkans and would have eliminated every national identity, except the Turkish one. The Ottoman Empire divided its subjects in the Balkans between Muslims and Christians. The only authority the Ottoman Empire recognized over its Christian subjects, besides its own, was that of the Orthodox Church, a privilege granted by Sultan Mehmet II the Conqueror right after the fall of Constantinople (1453). Thus, the Patriarchate enjoyed the boundless respect of the Balkan peoples and its authority was uncontested. It continued to retain its Greek character, and preserved Hellenic culture, despite the fact that the Greek patriarchs did not discriminate among the faithful on the basis of ethnicity. The Russians were aware of this and considered the Constantinopolitan Patriarchate a great obstacle to their designs. The attacks against the Patriarchate began as soon as the first signs of a resurrection of Bulgarian ethnic identity became apparent.
Since 1840, the Russians advised the Bulgarians to ask the Greek Patriarch to allow the use of the Bulgarian language in churches existing in Bulgarian areas. Their request was rejected and, in 1853, they appealed to the Russian ambassador to Constantinople, Count Mentzikoff, who eagerly undertook to support their claim. Following the Crimean War, the sultanic rescript (Hatt-i-Hiimayiin) of February 1856 promised equality for all Ottoman subjects, regardless of religion. The Bulgarians, supported at that time by the English and the French, requested the consecration of Bulgarian bishops and the use of Bulgarian language in their churches. These requests were not accepted, nor were they after another effort with the Patriarch, in December 1858
It was not only the Russians who noted the power of the Church, as a means of imposing the Ottoman administration on the Christian population. The Church of Rome created the Uniate church after 1555. It was an invention that aimed cunningly to draw into its fold the Orthodox Christians. To entice the Orthodox and convert them into Uniates, that is to persuade them to beak away from the Patriarchate of Constantinople and to recognize the bishop of Rome (pope) as supreme head of the Christian Church. The Roman Catholics thus permitted the converts to retain certain forms of Orthodox worship, showing a measure of respect for their ancestral religious customs.During the time the Russians attempted to create a Bulgarian nation, the French ambassador to Constantinople Lavalette realized the potential usefulness of the Uniate church as a counter to their schemes. Without delay he made use of it in order to undermine Russian influence on the Bulgars.
- Douglas Dakin, The Greek Struggle in Macedonia, 1897-1913, Thessalonica: Institute of Balkan Studies, 1966
- Spyridon Sfetas, Formation of the Slavmacedonian Identity, Vanias, 2003, Greek edition
- Hellenic Army History Directorate, The Struggle for the Macedonia and the events in Thrace(1904-1908), 1988, Greek edition
- Djoko Slijepcevic, The Macedonian Question-The Struggle for Southern Serbia, 1958
- Anna Aggelopoulou, The moovement of the Macedonists, 2006, Greek edition
Saturday, March 01, 2008
Although the Internal and Vrchovist Organisations gave the Turks relatively little trouble in 1904, in Albania and in the neighbouring regions there was a return to the lawlessness of the previous year. The outlaw Bairam was still active. Murders of Christian gendarmes continued. The new sheep tax aroused great opposition, and in February 1904 a serious disturbance broke out at Jakova. Bairam collected some 5,000 men to defy General Shakir Pasha who had been sent with 19 battalions (including artillery) to reinforce Shemsi Pasha, the local commandant. Fierce fighting took place in the hills at Unico, Bonik and Reka. Other Albanians assembled in the villages between Jakova and Ipek and there was every danger that the Mirdite clans would unite with the rebels of Jakova. But, as in previous year, Shakir acted firmly and by the end of March he had put down the rebellion.
Nevertheless, while the Vali, Shakir Pasha, was absent from Uskub (he did not return until the end of June) a general lawlessness prevailed in his province. Murders took place almost daily, the majority of the victims being Exarchists and Vlachs. The army at Uskub, which had received no pay for many months, was in a state of unrest. Early in July the officers mutinied and took possession of the telegraph office at Prizrend. Similar action was taken by the troops at Ipek, who demanded, in addition to their arrears of pay, the release of Albanian prisoners in Ipek goal, dismissal of Christian rural police and gendarmes, exemption from the tax on animals and also a reduction of tithes. Protests against reforms were taken up at Prizrend and there was every danger that the unrest would extend to Jakova where disaffection had continued to smoulder since the spring. Indeed, the situation was on the whole worse than it had been the previous year; and, as previously, the Vali gave way, concluded a 'bessa' or truce with the Albanian chiefs who paid neither sheep tax nor the full amount of tithes. Early in October, Hilmi Pasha, while at Uskub (although he subsequently claimed to have subdued the rebellious tribal leaders) in effect endorsed the concessions of the Vali. In point of fact he had insufficient troops to deal adequately with the situation. Concessions were imperative, for, while he and the Vali were making some show of force against the Albanian rebels, the Exarchist bands had been free to molest the villages that lie in a semi-circle among the foothills of the Kara Dagh Mountains. In December, however, Lieutenant-General Naser Pasha arrived with reinforcements and he was able to restore order in the area lying in the triangle Kumanovo-Kratovo-Ishtip.
Adding to the confusion that reigned in Northern Macedonia was the appearance in the winter of 1903-4 of Serbian bands or rather of a new kind of Serbian band. Previously Serbians (though often passing under the name of 'Bulgars') had formed units to fight alongside of the Exarchist bands in the name of Macedonian autonomy, but there were many Slavs who felt that they belonged to Serbia and who had no wish to pass under Bulgarian rule by way of Macedonian autonomy. There were also Serbians in the Kingdom who, like the Greeks of the Hellenic Kingdom, saw the need to organise the Serbian interest in Macedonia so as to prevent the villages from passing under Exarchist control. This movement, like the Greek movement, was ostensibly independent of the Government. Agents, bandsmen and arms were sent to Macedonia. But the new Serbian bands, because of the presence of strong Turkish forces and of Albanian marauders, found it difficult to get a footing. A small Serbian band which crossed the frontier near Yeni-Varosh early in January 1904 was driven back by Turkish pickets; and a somewhat larger unit which crossed a few days later near Rashta was encountered by Turkish forces and obliged to retreat. Later there were several skirmishes between Serbian bandsmen and Turks around the villages of Hertnitsa, Dupnista and Propelitsa. Early in March the Turks succeeded in forcing a large Serbian band across the frontier, the survivors being arrested by the Serbian authorities. In May the Turks annihilated almost completely a band of 28 near Kumanovo.
This activity of the Serbian bands so alarmed the Serbian Government, that the Prime Minister, General Grujio, himself went to the Vrania frontier region to make enquiries. (He came to the conclusion that the bandsmen had been induced to cross the frontier by agents who had persuaded them that the Serbian-Bulgarian rapprochement meant that the two countries had determined to take common revolutionary action in Macedonia). But the Serbian government, even had it wanted to, did not succeed in preventing the flow of bandsmen into Macedonia. Later in the summer several bands crossed the frontier and one of them, led by Mitso Kristic, came into conflict with an Exarchist band under the chief, Sugaroff, first at Topolnitsa and later (1 October) at Slatina.
Not only were Serbian bands being sent across the frontier, but bands, acting in the Serbian interest and against the Exarchists, were being formed in the villages of Northern Macedonia. One of these bands was that of Yovan Svetanoff, who, like other local leaders, co-operated closely with the bands which came from Serbia. The result was that by the end of the year the Serbian effort had become a distinct challenge to that of the Exarchists. In November a large Serbian unit, said to have been 150 strong, appeared in the Kara Dagh region to the north east of Uskub. It eventually took up a position at Pobazhda and drove away an Exarchist band from Lubantsi to find safety in the Kumanovo district. This band (it was an agglomeration of small bands) began to dominate the region and, like other Serbian bands, intimidated the villages and killed from time to time Exarchist agents.