Monday, March 31, 2008

FYROM Provokes once again

Skopje Provokes

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. and


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.


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