Thursday, August 28, 2008
The EU's decision in Bucharest presented Skopje with a dilemma - either to persist with the ideological construct of «Macedonia» or to join Euro-Atlantic organizations.
The prime minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Nicola Gruevski won the elections by promising to get the country into NATO and furthering the European Union accession process without conceding anything on the issue of the country's name. Those concessions depend on him, but the keys to the door of NATO and the EU are in Greece's hands.
For the time being, the Slav-Macedonian prime minister is trying to extricate himself from a tight corner by resorting to incendiary statements on the one hand and letter-writing maneuvers on the other. These moves might make an impression but do nothing to improve his position. Athens clearly has the political advantage. Gruevski is using intransigence to buy time in the belief that if Greece continues to threaten to use its right of veto, it will come under heavy pressure from Washington and the Europeans, and that his Greek counterpart Costas Karamanlis will sooner or later beat a hasty retreat or agree to a settlement that suits Skopje.
So it is politically crucial for Athens to make it clear that it will not stand for Skopje monopolizing the Macedonian identity and that Skopje's policy is undermining the substance of the negotiations and is therefore excluding itself from Euro-Atlantic institutions.
Greece has no time to waste, but it has no reason to hurry. If it avoids any blunders and remains steadfast, time will work in its favor. The Slav-Macedonians' persistence in monopolizing the Macedonian identity is a luxury they cannot afford strategically. They are likely to continue with their nationalist fantasies, but come December, when the doors to NATO and the EU remain closed to them, they will have to come down to earth.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Some of these political refugees who were born in Greece and in 1949 fled to Tito’s Communist ‘Socialist Republic of Macedonia’ and who years before (during Greece’s occupation by the Axis in 1941-1944) had openly expressed pro-Bulgarian sentiments and affiliations and enthusiastically collaborated with the Bulgarian allies of the Nazis, and the infamous Bulgarian Ohrana Police Battalions –operating in Both Macedonia and Thrace. Those very people (especially in Western Macedonia) in the aftermath of the Axis (including Bulgarian) defeat in 1944 and in order to avoid the dire consequences of their treason and collaboration decided, literally overnight, to make a drastic and highly opportunistic change of their political affiliations and national consciousness.
Virtually overnight, these collaborators of the Bulgarian fascist occupation transformed, as if by magic, to left-wing Slav-Macedonians fully committed to the propaganda and designated aims of Tito. Thus from 1946-1949 they fought for the secession of Macedonia and Thrace from Greece. But this time they wore the cloak of Communist Internationalism and followed the rhetoric of the ‘class struggle’ ideals. Having tasted defeated twice and within a relatively short time, and fearing that justice for their actions was rapidly approaching they decided to flee from Greece and went over to Skopje. Since then they become the basis and the cornerstone of the pseudo-Macedonian propaganda. Many of them afterwards immigrated to the USA, Canada and Australia carrying with them every bit of hatred and fanaticism towards anything Greek, bringing with them the very same sentiments that had guided their actions in the past.
FYROM house "proudly" yesterday confirm the fact that he supported all these enthusiast collaborators of the Bulgarian and Nazi occupiers.
Greece must act in this action at once . War reparations is one of the answer.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Mr Daniel Kosrki
The dispute over the name of Macedonia began in 1946 when the People's Republic of Macedonia was established as part of Yugoslavia and escalated when the republic announced independence in 1991
Greece has demonstrated its desire to reach a solution that will lead to the full normalisation of bilateral relations, facilitate the course of its neighbour towards the Euro-Atlantic institutions, and consolidate stability and cooperation in Balkan region.
Yet, FYROM continues to provoke Greece, usurping history which has been Hellenic for thousands of years, while FYROM refuses to negotiate in good faith over the name issue. Unfortunately, actions over the years such as distortion of geographic maps, naming its airport "Alexander the Great," revisionist textbooks in schools, and inflammatory comments by top government officials, encourages new generations in FYROM to cultivate hostile sentiments against Greece. Further, this continuing systematic government policy will hinder FYROM's accession to both the EU and NATO. This is the real threat to stability in the Balkans, to the detriment of U.S. interests.
I wish to remind you Mr Daniel Kosrki and writer of this un-Hellenic article that currently there are over 100 members of the Congress who have signed onto H.Res. 356, calling on FYROM to cease it "hostile activities or propaganda" against Greece.
I am a Macedonian, however I am in no way identified with or related to the newly formed independent state referred to as “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” ; I am instead insulted by the fact that I cannot be known as a Macedonian without being identified by others as related to FYROM. My identity has been usurped.
The exercise of the state's right to choose its name, as with any right in general, must not, however, impede the rights of other states or be accomplished for a purpose other than that for which the right was established for and be to the detriment of another state is fundamental right of the International Law.
Please next time consider the above facts before announced the Greek state as Raspberry winner.
I am sure that if ECFR has staff like Daniel Korski, the EU will competating the Bush one in the most worst Foreign Policy in the Real Field and not in this of Hollywood and Mr Kosrki mind.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
FYROM's citizens headed to Greece for the holidays complained that they are being singled out and harassed by FYROM border authorities, national media reported on Thursday.
All buses with FYROM's citizens tourists entering or exiting Greece are being stopped on the border and people’s baggage gets thoroughly checked, the Dnevnik newspaper reported. While FYROM's citizens face delays of about three hours, Serbian and other foreign tourists entering Greece through FYROM are being let across the border without any hassle.
Greek border authorities, according to information published in the national newspaper Express, are letting through all visitors, including FYROM's citizens , without any problems.
The FYROM border authorities move is part of the long-running dispute between Greece and FYROM over the latter country’s constitutional name, which has been a thorn in Greece’s side since the People's Republic of Macedonia was established as part of the newly proclaimed Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia in 1946.
The dispute resurfaced again when the country became independent in the early 1990s and has gotten even more heated in the past several months. A failure to find a name that is acceptable to both FYROM and Greece led to Greece’s veto over the FYROM NATO candidacy earlier this year. Negotiations between the two countries recommenced in July in New York and are still on-going.
Although FYROM authorities are in the spotlight for their actions now, Greece has also had its fair share of strong reactions against FYROM and FYROM's citizens . For example, as BalkanTravellers.com reported in May, the country put an embargo banning trains coming from FYROM territory on average every other day for 80 work days.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Publisher: Oxford University Press (May, 2008)
Author: Dimitrios Livanios
The Macedonian Question—the struggle for control over a territory with historically ill-defined borders and conflicting national identities—is one of the most intractable problems in modern Balkan history. In this lucid and persuasive study, Dimitris Livanios explores the British dimension to the Macedonian Question from the outbreak of the Second World War to the aftermath of the Tito-Stalin split.
Investigating British policy towards the Bulgar-Yugoslav controversy over Macedonia, the author assesses the impact of British actions and strategy during this period, with a particular focus on wartime planning concerning the future of Yugoslavia and Bulgaria and attempts to prevent Tito from creating a federation of the South Slavs both during and after the war. Making extensive use of British archives, Livanios brings to light important documentary evidence to offer a fresh perspective on the emergence of the federal Macedonian unit within Tito's Yugoslavia, and on the efforts to create a functioning Macedonian national ideology.
While the British were busy planning the future of the Balkans, others had already shaped it. By the last quarter of 1944, the communists were the indisputable rulers in Yugoslavia, and were working hard to become so in Bulgaria too. Tito had turned the old 'Southern Serbia' (and 'Vardarska Banovina') into the 'People's Republic of Macedonia', without taking the trouble to consult his Bulgarian comrades, let alone the Greeks, and was perceived as entertaining designs for the incorporation of all parts of Macedonia into his new (and increasingly impatient) federal unit. Although the clarification of his actual intentions is hindered by the distracting noises of Macedonian guerrillas and politicians, it was Tito's Macedonian designs and his plans for a Balkan federation that activated the British factor.
The British had always been supporters of the status quo, but in late 1944 they had an additional reason not to want any change of borders. Many in the Foreign Office perceived with apprehension the erection of a monolithic Slavdom, plotting to detach Greek Macedonia from Athens, and to establish a united Macedonia, which would inevitably pose a grave danger to their lines of communications in the eastern Mediterranean basin.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Stamboliiski's policy provoked the wrath of a revived IMRO, which intensified its raids into Yugoslav territory in a desperate effort to keep the Macedonian Question open. IMRO was led at that time by Todor Alexandrov, greatly admired by the Bulgar-Macedonians, who affectionately called him Stario (Old Man); he favoured autonomy for the area, but, had this solution been rendered impossible, Macedonia could have been placed under the protection of a Great Power, perhaps Britain. Alexandrov himself was given the chance to bring that solution—and himself—to the attention of international opinion by giving an interview to the London Times on 1 January 1924.
The Nis Convention between Bulgaria and Yugoslavia, signed in May 1923, was the last straw for IMRO. The convention provided strict frontier control to prevent bands from entering Yugoslav territory. A month later Stamboliiski was overthrown by a coup in which IMRO played an active part. IMRO's men, gifted practitioners of the art of sensational killing, assassinated him, after staging a macabre theatre: they cut off his ears and nose, ridiculed him, forced him to dig his own grave, and did not neglect to cut off the 'hand that signed the Nis Convention'.
After Stamboliiski's execution, political agitations, anarchy, and IMRO's terrorism increased in Bulgaria, with IMRO stepping up its terrorist raids into Greek and Yugoslav Macedonia in 1923. Southwest Bulgaria was practically in IMRO's hands. But it was eventually worn out by internal friction among autonomists, annexationists, and new IMRO communists, a condition that eventually degenerated into an internal civil war. More than four hundred people died from 1924 to 1934. The 1934 one-year dictatorship established by progressive intellectuals dealt such a heavy blow to IMRO that it never really recovered.
In the wake of severe pressures by emerging Balkan strategic alliances and the Soviet Union's blatant interference with the Macedonian Question, IMRO approached the Soviet Union, the Balkan communist parties, and rival forces within the Bulgarian committees (Federalists, etc.). After hard negotiations, IMRO's Central Committee declared that its aim was the formation of an independent Macedonia within a union of Balkan democratic states, a sharp departure from its pre-World War I autonomy-for-Macedonia platform, and this goal could only be realized with the cooperation of all the Balkan people and the "progressive" forces. Further negotiations between IMRO's Alexandrov and CPB's Kolarov sealed the agreement and "wiped out" the differences between the CPB and the nationalist IMRO on Macedonia's future. From 1924 to 1927, the ultranationalist IMRO had practically become another Soviet Union satellite without a country.
Within the framework of the decisions of Comintern's Fifth Congress was also the decision to win over IMRO in the struggle for Macedonian autonomy. BCF did not have to work hard for this. Considerable cooperation already existed between Comintern's and BCF's communist leaders with the nationalist IMRO. Notwithstanding their ideological differences, the common goal for autonomy or independence of Macedonia tied the three organizations together, impelling them to cooperate. The extreme ethnic Macedonian views of IMRO's leaders did not contradict Comintern's long-term Balkan policies. Moreover, both Comintern and BCF needed IMRO's strong arm and its penchant for terrorism in the field .
Peasant unrest and internal collapse caused by the 'national catastrophe' of 1918 brought into office Alexandur Stamboliiski, leader of the Bulgarian Agrarian National Union (BANU).90 The Agrarian premier diverged sharply from his predecessors in both foreign and domestic policies, boldly stated in the Bulgarian Subranie (Assembly) that he was neither Bulgarian nor Serbian but South Slav, and tried to reach a modus vivendi with the Yugoslavs.91 Stamboliiski's policy provoked the wrath of a revived IMRO, which intensified its raids into Yugoslav territory in a desperate effort to keep the Macedonian Question open.92 IMRO was led at that time by Todor Alexandrov, greatly admired by the Bulgar-Macedonians, who affectionately called him Stario (Old Man); he favoured autonomy for the area, but, had this solution been rendered impossible, Macedonia
From 1924 onwards IMRO established a state-within-a-state in the south-western part of Bulgaria, around the districts of Kiustendil and Petrich. Its control over the district was complete and indisputable. IMRO had its own police, controlled the local representatives to the Subranie, and issued stamps featuring the founding fathers and chiefs of the organization, notably the legendary IMRO leader Gotse Delchev. Even the personal life of the peasants was closely watched. A single man could only walk out twice in the company of an unmarried girl. If he continued doing so, a letter from IMRO, asking for marriage or separation, would certainly prompt him to revise his tactics.
Apart from being the guardian of peasant values, however, the organization also catered for less moral pursuits: it secured a solid financial basis by imposing taxes upon the population, and engaged in drug trafficking.However after the assassination of Alexandrov in 1924, internal strife broke out between the pro-left 'Federalists' who wanted the movement to be linked with the Comintern, and the right wing of the organization.
At that time Ivan Mihailov was the champion of the latter. A man of conflicting qualities, and impatient with the Federalists, Mihailov launched a spectacular campaign of assassinations. Mencha Karnicheva, a Vlach woman from Krusevo, made her mark in this game of terror by assassinating in cold blood her former lover Todor Panitsa, a leading Federalist, at the Vienna opera. She later married Mihailov. This algebra of death continued until 1928, and counted many prominent Macedonians of every description. That year, however, after finishing with the left, Mihailov turned against the other senior IMRO figure: the ageing General Alexandur Protogerov. The respected general was assassinated in July 1928, leaving Mihailov the sole leader of the organization. From that month, and until the organization's suppression in 1934, Protogerovists and Mihailovists killed each other in the streets of Petrich and Sofia, in a fratricidal struggle that marked the decline of the organization.
Nationalism stream that later became Fascism and Federalism that later became Communism. This is one part of the story of the IMRO/VMRO.
1- Claiming Macedonia, George Papavizas, MCG, page 98
2- The Macedonian Question, Dimitris Livanios, Oxford, 2008, pages 27-27
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
In his letter to UN mediator Matthew Nimetz a few days before the new round of talks commences in New York, the FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) PM Nicola Gruevski wishes to moot the question of the recognition of the schismatic "Macedonian Orthodox Church" and the FYROM name issue. In the same letter, he escalates his provocations, demanding from Mr Nimetz to examine the re-naming of the "Macedonia" airport of Thessaloniki.!!!!
In his letter to Mr Nimetz, Mr Gruevski requests from the mediator to try to resolve the country’s constitutional name. He also refers to the problem with his country’s Orthodox Church and mainly with the Serb and Greek Orthodox Church and the "close relations" between the two churches. Regarding the FYROM Orthodox Church he stresses that it seceded from the Serb Orthodox Church in 1967 and declared itself autocephalous under the name "Macedonian Orthodox Church".
However, no official Orthodox Church across the world has recognized it. He adds that he would not have written such a letter if there had not been a divorce between Church and the state in Greece. He also demands to moot the question of Thessaloniki’s "Macedonia" airport, as tourists are confused when they discover that Thessaloniki is using the word Macedonia for it airport. Finally, in a letter to the UN Secretary General he accuses Greece of having violated the Interim Agreement with its veto during the NATO Summit Meeting in Bucharest and of raising financial and commercial obstacles in the last months.
More as about the schismatic "Macedonian Orthodox Church" in the article of George Papavizas with the name Formation of the Autocephalous Church of "Macedonia"
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
newspaper VIMA, Sunday 3 Aug 2008
mainly tranlsation from FOCUS Information Agency
It is astonishing (and deserving attention) that such a small country – FYROM, has such huge ambitions (requirements) and loose connection to reality.
Over the last weeks (pushed form outside) FYROM got deep into play with the language – with the false ‘Macedonian’ language in Skopje, and with the (invented) ‘minority’, which is alleged to speak ‘Macedonian’ like in Skopje, and we have to call things their ‘scholarly’ names, which we already did in 1992 with the collective work published under the title ‘The Language of Macedonia: Ancient Macedonian language and fake language of Skopje’ (It should be noticed that Greece has never agreed, even when asked, on publishing the book in English and popularize the Greek position on the issue).To make it clear to the readers, and as the topic itself requires it, I explain that there are three languages, which are either completely different (the Greek language in Macedonia, the Serbian-Bulgarian in Skopje and the dialect of Bulgarian origin, popular as Slavic -Macedonian), or partially different (Serbian-Bulgarian in Skopje deriving form the Bulgarian dialect, which is spoken – restrictedly – in the border regions of Greece by Greeks who, together with the Greek language, knew also the so-called Slavmacedonian).
Greek language in Macedonia
This is to a great extend Macedonian – i.e. Greek language, spoken by Greeks in Macedonian since the ancient times – then being developed – to nowadays. This is the language of Philip II, Alexander the Great and other Greeks from Macedon, and more precisely an ancient Greek dialect with more Doric character, used mainly in spoken language as in the written text and in official language was predominant the Attic dialect, a dialect in which are saved thousands of inscriptions from Macedonia .
Serbian-Bulgarian in Skopje
This is the recent – in the frames of the 20th century – language of the FYROM State (created, as it is known, during the era of Tito in 1944). This is the Bulgarian language (the first people in the region are Bulgarians and Bulgarians have always claimed on this lands, which their consider their won – in fact people living in the region used to call themselves Bugari!)
This language is artificially ‘Serbianized’ (!), i.e. some lexis and grammatical elements of the surrounding regions, where the Serbian language was spoken, were added to it so that to lower the Bulgarian language element and adopt the Serbian language form, which is the requirement of Tito’s United Serbia, the Yugoslavian Republic.
Thus, the Slavic language in FYROM is a Serbian-Bulgarian language, a Bulgarian language that has been artificially Serbianized, adopted as official language because of obvious reasons which the Bulgarians call ‘Kolisevski’. The Skopje citizens themselves gave this language, the Serbian-Bulgarian, the name ‘Macedonian’ (!), to avoid future claims on behalf of Bulgaria and to also hide the Bulgarian origin of the language. In addition, to usurp a right over a name (Macedonian), which bears prestige and historical notion (by fake identification with the greatness and world known name Macedonia of Alexander the Great) and finally – because their impudence has no limit… (remember the Alexander the Great Airport in Skopje (!) and Skopjie’s soldiers with ancient Greek clothes and long spear (!), which welcome the leader of the Burusho tribe from Pakistan as heir of Alexander the Great (!) in Skopje – to claim certain pretensions, when there is a chance for change in the frontiers on the Balkans.Thanks to the tolerance and silliness of the official Greek state (let’s bear in mind that in the 70ties and 80ties of the last century, speaking about the frauds of the falsifications of the Skopje people was considered ‘nationalistic’, while during the Tito era such issues were a taboo) the name ‘Maceodnia’ for Skopje and the ‘Macedonian language’ for the Serbian-Bulgarian language in Skpopje became widely spread and almost manage to establish image on international level.
It is a dialect in few Greek-Bulgarian border regions, where few Greeks who apart form the Greek language knew a dialect of Bulgarian origin, as it always happens in the regions near the borderline between the countries. We should notice that due to the bilingual character of the people speaking this dialect and due to the different Bulgarian dialect, as well as because this spoken dialect has not been Serbianized like the Bulgarian language in Skopje, the Slavic-Macedonian is not identical to the Serbian-Bulgarian in Skopje.FYROM, of course, thanks to (inspired y the USA) Gruevski’s machinations recently started to making provocations, stating that the Slavmacedonian language is one and the same fake ‘Macedonian’ in Skopje and thus there is Skopje majority in Greece and Greece has to recognize it. This is some paranoiac conception, which is offered like a theatre play entitled ‘From Kolisevski to Gruevski’!
Three language forgeries
This brief introduction of one highly important issue bearing different consequences (national, political, historical, cultural, and etc.), I believe, clears out the language forgeries made mainly due to political representatives of a small group, which in fact has nothing to divide with Greece. The first language forgery is the name of Skopje, which we accepted to be balled Macedonia, the region previously called Vardar (Vardarska Banovina). The second language forgery concerns the Bulgarian or Serbian-Bulgaria language in Skopje declared to be Macedonian.And the third – highly impudent one, the attempt to form a Slavic-Macedonian minority in Greece, grounded on the alleged similarity of the language of a small group of Greeks with the fake Macedonian in Skopje and the non-authentic Macedonian country.The whole thing seems ridiculous but it would have been ridiculous if we have proved to the international community how silly all these things are. Now, the issue adopted some provocative notion and evoked a serious of abuses.
- Professor Giorgos Babiniotis is lecturer in linguistics, chairman of the Hellenic Foundation for Culture, former rector of the University of Athens, author of a dictionary of the Greek language
- The author use the term "Skopje’ as definition of the FYROM State
Among Slavmacedonian ultranationalists who believe that Greece “has held Macedonian territory illegally for…95 years” and who dream of the re-unification of historical ethnic Macedonia,(among them and the FYROM PM) there is considerable excitement at the prospect of their view that Slavmacedonians “are the oldest people living in the Balkans” being genetically corroborated. Most of today’s Slavmacedonian are in fact citizens of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), carved out of the remains of Yugoslavia in 1991, with many others living in northern Greece.
Slavmacedonians speak a Slavic language, very close to the Bulgarian; part of a family of language, brought to the Balkans by Slavic tribes in the sixth and seventh centuries, and first began to develop a unique national identity at the turn of the twentieth century. Nonetheless, some of these citizens believe that they are in fact the .......
Monday, August 04, 2008
....is the term that is heard in FYROM by certain journalists, intellectuals but also politicians, in order to describe the antidemocratic deviation that experiences their country from FYROM PM Nikolas Gruevski and the company of "unknown" in the political scene, that has taken the power in the country the two last years.
The antidemocratic practices of FYROM Prime Minister, particularly afterwards the absolute majority that ensured in the FYROM Parliament, with prosecutions and arrests of political opponents, the effort to be debited the “traitor stigma” those who have different opinion and express it in public, the nationalistic hysteria but also the piracy that becomes round of the call national issues, they cause concern, who day with the day grows.
Are not absent somebodies that are afraid that Gruevski can be changed even in dictator and relative signs were heard finally in the demonstration of SDSM [Social Democratic Alliance of Macedonia] for the arrest of vice-president of Zoran Zaev.
However something like that cannot become in a country that is candidate for integration in the European Union, as it wrote these days in the big circulation newspaper " Utrinski Vesnik" , Gjorgji Spasov professor of political sciences, former ambassador of FYROM in the Great Britain, which was minister of Justice in two services, in the decade the 90 “Today Gruevski is under continuous follow-up from those in the Brussels, which himself faces them as enemies of the country", as marked.
Gjorgji Spasov hobby is to gather political jokes, but unfortunately only as such as cannot be considered today the FYROM Prime Minister.
On the contrary, Spasov attributes the characterization of serial killer policy in FYROM "If certain politically powerful, as the Gruevski, wishes to disappears you and works for this, using all the available means, in a country where the bodies of system and state of justice are not particularly powerful and capable to offer protection, then it can him achieve ", it marks and it invokes the nightmarish threat that it has it addresses states in the political opponents of SDSM saying that their "party should touch the bottom so that it becomes a constructive patriotic Opposition ".
Gruevski after cultivated the expectations for integration of country in the NATO, affixing at the same time the intolerance opposite in Greece, hurried to exploits with the extreme way the climate that was created in the Slavmacedonian people afterwards the negative development in Bucharest.
As remarked Spasov following Greece's veto in Bucharest, Gruevski was ….easy reinforce the nation's indignation with Europe, Greece, and even the United States. It was easy to say to your own people, "we are the good ones, but the others do not understand what is good." It was easy to raise nationalist euphoria in the form of a defensive nationalism, presenting and treating as traitors all those who do not share your opinion. It was easy to create a patriotic front similar to the Socialist people's front, which used to defend us from the enemies of Communism. As some journalists would say, this is patriotic hysteria and piracy.
With a series of "patriotic" laws, that forecast big fines of thousands of Euros and sentences of imprisonment, Gruesvski attempts to sets up a past third world regime that does not have no relation with the countries of current EU
Thus the professionals were compelled to acquire all the said "patriotic" cash registers so that they cut the proofs for the sales that concern exclusively the local products of FYROM.! All the plates-sign n the shops or in the public should be exclusive in the said "Cyrillic Macedonian writing", while outlaws those that write the language with Latin letters.And those who trait the national currency “denar” and will use in the transactions the Euro or other currencies, they will be faced roughly as… traitors, after forecasted sentences of imprisonment up to five years.
In the top FYROM President Branko Crvenkovski is offended and is blackmailed with control of all his assets and his banking deposits in all the neighbouring countries and is faced as a political opponent that should must undermined.The approximately hundred laws that passed from the Parliament, without discussion, the most at the time of the abstention of Opposition, grow the concerns that adopt and the factors of EU and OCSE.
also read and this commentary
Saturday, August 02, 2008
Translated into English by Ariadni_Nefeli, Aug 2nd 2008
With new tactic and Magdalene role appears itself the US administration, afterwards the entanglement and the refusal of Senate to allow the nomination of new US ambassador in the FYROM. US administration finally accepted in written that FYROM creates confusion with their insistence of exploiting the name ''Macedonia'', while they even accept, indirectly, that the neighbouring country is accountable for the appearance in the limelight of danger of irredentism.
The change of attitude and tactic in Congress from the State Department is owed in the refusal of senator Robert Menendez to allow the nomination of new US ambassador in FYROM, Fillip Reeker, with the argument that the Bush administration is responsible for the irredentist disposals that the Prime Minister of FYROM , Nikolas Gruevski expressed recently. The nomination froze on July 9th with demand of Mr Menendez and senator Olympia Snow.
According to information of “Ethnos”, Mr Menendez made known a day before yesterday in the leadership of State Department that he would only terminate the “freeze of” nomination, if he was satisfied by the explanations that he asked and concerned the justified concerns of Athens and the elation of irredentism.
The letter from (Rice) to Senator Menendez
The day before yesterday, in the morning - with approval of Mrs Kontoliza Rice- he received a letter (taken from orfni.blogspot.com) from the State Department Undersecretary, Mathew Reynolds, who reported that he dispatches more clarifications on behalf of the government Bush, for the politic of Skopje.
Specifically he writes, accepting in the substance that the name “Republic of Macedonia”, cannot be considered as final for Skopje: “We seek solution that solves confusion between the country of Macedonia and the wider historical geographic region of Macedonia. Certain people in Greece have expressed their concern that this confusion could lead to irredentism”.Mr Reynolds accepts also another demand of the US senator, which he asked for the new ambassador in Skopje to inform the leadership of the country for the content of the US Senate Resolution 300, which he requires for the un-Hellenic propaganda to be ceased immediately.
''Our ambassador - writes Mr Reynolds in Mr Menendez- provided that the nomination will be approved, “will help these leaders (It means those of FYROM) to comprehend the dangers of irredentism and the importance evasion of synecdoche’s of irredentism in any form, as well as the need of growth of good relations with all her neighbours”.
Another skopjan(FYROM) contention, and one on which they lay particular stress, is that “the Macedonian nation was divided into three parts, etc.”. This is clearly an attempt to press the clumsy Skopjian (scientific) argument that there is a distinct “Macedonian” people (or a distinct “Macedonian” ethnicity) which has been divided amongst Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia, that these countries have thus not freed Macedonia but swallowed it, etc.
With your indulgence, I must say that I find it difficult to answer such clumsy fabrications. For this ingenuous contention simply abolishes the Macedonian Greeks, who from 1871 until 1908 pursued the Macedonian Struggle and who, by official Ottoman statistics, in 1905 numbered 678.910 souls in the vilayets of Thessaloniki and Monastir alone, as compared to 385.729 Bulgarians (nor do these statistics mention “Macedonians”). It also ignores the declaration of Lord Salisbury, the British Minister of Foreign Affairs, who on June 19, 1878 told the Congress of Berlin that “Macedonia and Thrace are just as Greek as Crete” (cf. Documents diplomatiques franηais, Affaires d’Orient. Congrθs de Berlin 1878. Paris MDCCCLXXVIII. Prot. No 3, Sιance du 19 Juin 1878, p. 85). It further ignores the March 11, 1912 treaty between Greece and Bulgaria, on the basis of which in the 1908 elections for the Ottoman parliament the Greeks had ten seats in Macedonia and the Bulgarians three.
Nor does this treaty mention “Macedonians” (cf. Charles Velay, L’irrιdentisme hellιnique, Paris 1914, pp. 101-102). It ignores, too, the pamphlet which was circulated in Philippoupolis in 1885 to mark the thousandth anniversary of the death of Saint Methodios, which is mentioned by the French professor Victor Bιrard [La Turquie et I’Hellιnisme contemporain, Paris 21896 pp. 191- 193)] and which is an official declaration of the claims of the Bulgarian Exarchate: this pamphlet stated that “the Bulgaria of San Stefano could never have been abrogated if Macedonia as a whole had been imbued with the same national consciousness that pervades the Bulgarians of Bulgaria”. There are no “Macedonians” in this declaration either. It also ignores the fact, reported by Professor Bιrard (op.cit., p. 229), that between 1877 and 1887 the tremendous efforts put forth by the Greeks of Macedonia had tripled the number of schools (from 102 to 333) and more than tripled the number of pupils (from 4.639 to 18.451), so that by 1907, according to Michel Paillarθs (L’Imbroglio macιdonien, Paris 1907, pp. 420-421) 59.640 pupils were enrolled in 998 schools. It ignores, too, what Professor Bιrard has to say about his journey through Macedonia in 1892 (op.cit., p. 125): he relates that in the district of Achrida he met a Bulgarian-speaker, who told him: “Our forefathers were Greeks, and none of them spoke Bulgarian”. This district of Achrida, let it be noted, had been a bastion of Hellenism since the 12th century, according to Constantin Jire'ek, Minister of Education in the Bulgarian Principality (Die Geschichte der Bulgaren, Prag 1876, p. 211). And finally, let me return to Victor Bιrard for one final point: Professor Bιrard, who was anything but pro- Greek, writes that the Bulgarians themselves say that in 1867 Macedonia was entirely Greek (op.cit., p. 189).
All these Greeks [of my lengthy dissertation “The liberation of Thessaloniki as a symbol of national integration” (introduction by Styl. Kapsomenos), Thessaloniki, Aristotle University, 1968, which has also been printed in English (I.B.S., No 140, Thessaloniki 1973); cf. also my communication to the Sarajevo Conference, in Balkan Studies 17.2.1976, as well as my communication to the Athens Academy (1989) entitled “Refutation of the article on ‘Macedonia’ in the new Australian Encyclopaedia ‘Australian People’ in the Acts of the Athens Academy, vol. 64 (1989) 82 ff)], all these greeks then the authenically indigenous Greeks, were not liberated during the Balkan Wars (1912-1913) but constituted a segment of the “Macedonian” people, in the Skopjian sense of the term, which has been oppressed, which has been deprived of the right of freedom of association, which is the object of persecution, banishment, execution, humiliation, etc.
For the sake of discussion, let us accept that the old Bulgarians, those who in current Skopjian theory “considered” themselves Bulgarians and who, in fact, lived in Macedonia, as a minority community, however, as is apparent from the Ottoman statistics for 1905, have erroneously been taken as constituting a segment of the “Macedonian” nation. As we have said, however, these people were Bulgarians: they never (at that time) called themselves “Macedonians”; they fought as comitadjis in the ranks of the Bulgarian Committee; and later, in 1924, taking advantage of the Kafantaris-Molov agreement on the “voluntary exchange of populations”, they left for Bulgaria. None of them moved to what was then the district of Skopje –which, moreover, was at that time certainly not called “Macedonia”: it was merely “Vardarska Banovina” (Directorate of the Axios), an administrative district of the then Kingdom of Serbia. Serbia consequently delivered a protest to the Greek government for having exchanged these people for Greeks living in Bulgaria when, according to Serbia, they were in fact Serbs, (not, of course, “Macedonians”). All the “Bulgarophones”, as they were called at that time, who remained in Greece were old Patriarchists (adherents of the Ecumenical Patriarchate) from the time of the Bulgarian Schism, veterans of the Macedonian Struggle: “Grecomaniacs” (passionately Greek), in the words of the Bulgarians and their descendants.
The following discussion on the nationality of these Bulgarian speakers, which Michel Paillares reports (op.cit., pp. 50-51) having had with Hilmi pasha, the Inspector General of the Macedonian vilayets of Monastir and Thessaloniki, is significant:
Paillares: But these Bulgarophones insist that they are really Greeks?
Hilmi: They say they are Greeks when no coercion, no constraint, is brought to bear on them.
Paillares: And what is your opinion, Your Excellency?
Hilmi: My opinion, and the opinion of my government, is that they are Greeks. We classify our subjects according to which schools and which Church they attend. Being unable to win people by peaceful propaganda, the Comitadjis do not hesitate to make use of the most atrocious methods. They turn to the knife, the revolver, the axe.
It is equally significant that much earlier, in 1871, the Russian Goloubinskii (see the relevant note in my dissertation on “The liberation of Thessaloniki”, op.cit., pp. 25-26) had written:
These purported Greeks nourished a more implacable hatred and a more intense scorn for all things Bulgarian or Slavic than did real Greeks. Just recently my attention was drawn to a passage in the magazine Tachydromos, an extract from a book by Giovanni Amadori-Virgili, a former Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, entitled “La questione Rumeliota (Macedonia, Vecchia Serbia, Albania, Epiro) e la politica italiana”, published in 1908 as number 1 in a series by the Biblioteca Italiana on foreign policy. The passage in question reads:
Through their partiotic sentiments and their devotion to Greek traditions and Greek culture, the Slav-speaking Greeks of Macedonia express their vigorous determination to be Greeks.
Legally, after the population exchange, the subject was closed, for those who remained were those who did not want to leave Greece, who did not choose to be Bulgarians. Nowhere is there any mention of the term “Macedonians”. If today certain of their descendants have discovered that they are “Macedonians”, that does not alter the situation, because it was to them, or at least to some of them, that the Skopje radio station addressed its March 5, 1990 broadcast, saying that “the most dangerous ones are those same hellenized Macedonians, the traitors, the anti-Macedonians” (here I would merely recall the slogan launched in 1895 by the Bulgarian Committee: “Death to the Grecophiles”).
After all this, then, how many “authentic” indigenous “Macedonians” did Greece have, according to the Skopjians?
And after all that, how is it possible to maintain that there was a single “Macedonian” people, which was dismembered and divided among Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria?
Let us take a closer look at what is currently being advaced on the subject of oppressed “Macedonians”. The Skopjians(FYROM) tend to contradict themselves, now proclaiming the existence of 300.000 oppressed “Macedonians” in Greek Macedonia (this was the figure given by Simovski: cf. Peter Hill in the draft for the new Australian encyclopaedia and my communication to the Athens Academy, op.cit., p. 97), now 230.000 (Skopjian radio, 25 September 1991). In a recent statement to “Nova Makedonija” (29 July 1992), Kiro Hatzivasilief declared: “As to how many of this ethnic group (“Macedonians”) there are living in Greece, unfortunately no one has precise statistic data”. And let us not overlook Mr Sidiropoulos (an ethnic “Macedonian” activist in Greek Macedonia), who affirmed on an Australian national television broadcast that the number of “Macedonians” in Greece amounted to no fewer than 1.000.000 (!).
Given that Greek Macedonia today has 2.200.000 inhabitants, even if we accepted the figures advanced by Skopje as valid, the population of Greek Macedonia would still be overwhelmingly Greek. It has been shown, however, that the “Macedonian” population described as having been dismembered in 1912-1913 was not in fact “Macedonian”, but in its vast majority Greek then, and wholly Greek following the exchanges that took place, which have already been discussed. The numbers propounded by the Skopjians have no relation to reality; they have no basis in scientific or census data or in anything else; they are just meaningless numbers. In spite of this, however, the Skopjians continue to talk of a “Macedonian” people (dismembered, as we have already metioned), both of the segment living in Greek Macedonia, which they call “Aegean Macedonia” (Egeiska Makedonija), and of that in Bulgaria, which they refer to as Pirinska Makedonija. It should be noted that, with respect to Bulgarian Macedonia, too, the Skopjians advance different numbers, now speaking of 178.862 oppressed “Macedonians”, now of 230.000 (cf. Skopjian radio broadcasts on September 29, 1990 and September 25, 1991 respectively), but never mentioning the total population; and so here too their argument of a “Macedonian” nation divided into three cannot be taken seriously.
I am not, of course, referring to Skopjian Macedonia (the former Vardarska Makedonija) which, according to the official Skopjian census of April 1991 (the results of which were announced on Skopjian radio on December 2, 1991 and published in the German review Die Welt on February 28, 1992), out of a total population of 2.033.964, has 427.313 Albanians, 97.416 Turks, 55.575 Gypsies, 44.153 Serbs, etc., none of whom claim to be “Macedonian”. (I also note that Mr Sali Berisha, President of the Republic of Albania, declared in a recent statement that the number of Albanians in the Republic of Skopje totalled 800.000). The census makes no mention of Greeks living in the Skopjian Republic; but in response to Greek Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ms Virginia Tsouderou’s statement that there are a number of Vlach-speaking Greeks in their country, the Skopjian government replied (indirectly, via Skopje radio, in a broadcast on November 25, 1991) that the “Association of Vlachs” of (Skopjian) “Macedonia” had declared in an official statement that the “Vlachs” of “Macedonia” (Skopjian “Macedonia”), and by extension the “Vlachs” of (Greek) Macedonia, were “Vlachs”, not Greeks, and act as such. In his study of the activities of the (Greek) Bishopric of Pelagonia (Monastir) (Dejnosta na Pelagoniskata Mitropolija 1878-1912, Skopje 1968, pp. 35-43), Krste Bitoski, a contemporary Skopjian writer, says inter alia that:
These Vlachs, most of whom were fanatical Grecophiles, gradually came to constitute the Bishopric of Pelagonia’s principal allies in its struggle for the advancement of Greece’s Great Idea. By the middle of the 19th century the churches and the schools in the city of Monastir were all in Greek hands.
What has become of these “Grecophile-Vlachs”?
While it is true that many of them settled in Thessaloniki, Florina, Athens, etc., where they maintain flourishing associations and where they occupy eminent positions in the Greek State and in Greek society in general, many of their relatives, often close relatives, have remained in their formerly flourishing “Greek Orthodox communities”: Krushevo, Megarovo, Tirnovo, Gopesi, Milovista, Nizopolis etc.
And in answer to the question which arises with regard to the relatives living here of the “Macedonian political refugees”, who (the refugees) were denied both repatriation and the right to visit Greece freely, the question “Why, since (the political refugees) are not considered Greeks, should their relatives in Greece be so considered?”, I would return another question: “How can those designated in “Macedonia” as “Vlachs” and not “Greeks" not be real Greeks, when their relatives here (who fled to Greece) are not only Greeks but very prominent ones?
And how can these “Vlachs” of “Macedonia” not be Greeks when, as is well known, they are the descendants of those “Hellenophile- Vlachs” described by Krste Bitoski?
And how can the Vlachs living in Greece not be Greeks, of whom Victor Bιrard, the former Professor of the Sorbonne whom I quoted earlier, wrote most truly in another work (La Macιdoine, Paris 1897, pp. 329-240):
The Vlachs have been .... signal benefactors of the Greek nation. Almost all Athens’ monuments - the Academy, the Observatory, the Polytechnic School, etc. - are the work of Vlachs. Almost all the great donors, whose gifts and legacies have helped the Greek state and Greek communities, were of Vlach descent. Baron Sinas was a Vlach from Moschopolis; Doumpas was a Vlach from Nikolitsa; Tossitsas, Stournaras and Averof were all Vlachs from Metsovo. Without the Vlachs and their wealth Greece would have lost the cities of Western Macedonia well - Krushevo, Milovista, Monastir itself – for Greek claims here were pressed solely by the Vlachs.
Again, in La Turquie et L’Hellιnisme Contemporain (Paris 1896, p. 249), Professor Bιrard writes:
The Vlachs’ sole ambition was to become day by day ever more Greek and to propagate the Greek faith. They became the greatest benefactors of the Greek people. They left the finest bequests, they raised the handsomest buildings for the people of Athens, they founded in Athens the finest charitable and educational institutions in the whole Greek world.And since there are some who affirm that the Vlach-speaking Greeks tend to be pro-Romanian or are of Romanian descent –another argument offered by the Skopjians to refute their Greek roots– let us see what Professor Bιrard has to say (ref. as above) about the Vlach-speakers who settled in Romania itself:
With respect to the Greek communities in Romania, in particular, and their great wealth, they are constituted solely by Greek Vlachs who, with one foot in Greece and the other among the Vlachs pour an endless stream of Romanian money into Athens, seemingly pumping wealth out of Romania’s abundance in order to relieve Greece’s poverty... It is Vlach money that pays for the Greek schools in Macedonia.
I shall continue with testimony from an Italian source: Giovanni Amadori-Virgili, quoted earlier (op.cit., no. 13) writes without hesitation:
From earliest times the Koutsovlachs have felt themselves to be Greek. Their sense of Greekness developed freely and spontaneously, the result of the habits of centuries. Just as in the past, from the Byzantine era to the Turkich period, the Vlachs of Pindus, Achrida and Thessaly had adopted all the characteristics of Greek culture, so now too they have embraced the Greek national consciousness, the final product of Greek civilization.
Even Kordatos (op.cit., vol. I, Athens 1957, p. 38) accepts that the Vlachs of Thessaly considered themselves Greeks. But what need have we of other testimony, when the Romanian Inspector himself, Lazarescu Lecanda, writes in a memoire, at the request of the Romanian government (November 26, 1901):
We have enough schools, teachers, professors and priests for the expansion of our national education: what we are lacking is a Romanian people....
For a more detailed development of this topic, see my study entitled “More about the Vlach-speakers”, in a volume dedicated to K. N. Triantaphyllos, Patras 1990, pp. 73 ff). Meanwhile, with your permission, I will close with one final observation: as the newspaper Makedonia reported on April 15, 1992, the international media have given great publicity to the discovery by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mrs Virginia Tsouderou that according to a secret census, later suppressed as unacceptable, 18,6% of the population of the Skopjian Republic declared themselves to be Greeks. In view of the official census cited earlier, this means that a total of 380.000 people in that state either are or proclaim themselves to be Greeks.
That is enough both about History and about the present situation!
Meletimata, Society for Macedonian Studies, 2006
The Ilinden Uprising of July 20, 1903 (O.S.), often cited as the culminant “Macedonian” insurrection, was anything but an insurrection of “native” “Macedonians”, nor did it achieve its goal of proclaming an independent Republic of Macedonia. This insurrection, in fact, was the work of I.M.R.O., a Bulgarian organization which, in its struggle for supremacy in Macedonia, eventually proclaimed as its goal (and raison d’κtre) the ostensible autonomy of that area as a first step towards its annexation by Bulgaria. In keeping with its treacherous aims, the epicentre of this uprising, described –and not only by Greek writers– as a “fraudulent insurrection”, was at Krushevo, that northern bastion of Hellenism (and the birthplace of my parents), which as a result was destroyed by both regular and irregular units of the Turkish army. This insurrection “just happened” to break out in other Greek centres as well, including Nymphaion, Klisura and Stromnitsa, and by August of that year had collapsed.
The so-called “Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization” (V.M.R.O. in its Bulgarian acronym and I.M.R.O. in other European languages, though more generally known by its popular designation of “Macedonian Committee”), which, as Skopjian circles never fail to point out, was founded in Thessaloniki towards the end of 1893 by the “native Macedonians” (as they called themselves) “for the purpose of freeing themselves from the Turkish yoke” and with the slogan “Macedonia for the Macedonians”, was, unfortunately for today’s “native Macedonians”, not founded by their (“native Macedonian”) ancestors but by Bulgarians (which these same ancestors evidently were, as will be shown later). This was the first Macedonia-oriented Bulgarian organization; and its goal was clearly stated: to proclaim the independence of Macedonia, according to the precedent set by Eastern Rumelia (which was declared an autonomous State by the Congress of Berlin in 1878) so as to pave the way for its subsequent annexation by Bulgaria, exactly as was the case with the autonomous State of Eastern Rumelia, which in 1885 was seized by the then Principality of Bulgaria and incorporated into its territory. This shows that in Bulgarian circles the so-called Centralists had prevailed over the Verhovists, for the rejected Verhovist opinion was that the stated goal should be the direct annexation of Macedonia by Bulgaria. In 1895 the Verhovists founded their own “Committee” in Sofia: since the goal of this organization was the immediate annexation of Macedonia, the direct result was the outbreak of civil war between the former and the latter groups. It is not surprising that the Verhovists should have reappeared in Sofia today, nor that they should have extended their activity into the Skopjian Republic, with a purpose very similar to that pursued formerly. In my opinion, the bulletin broadcast by Skopjian radio on February 3, 1993 leaves no room for doubt on this head. Here is the text of that item:
The initiatives committee of the “Great Bulgarian” organization “V.M.R.O. - Union of Macedonian societies” intends to found a Bulgarian cultural and educational society in Skopje, reports “Tanjug” from Sofia. The principal purpose of this society will be –and we quote– “the unimpeded dissemination of literature and comprehensive information on Bulgaria and on the unity of the Macedonians, who have no hesitation in calling themselves Bulgarians”.
This society will publish bulletins, and it also intends to open a reading room in the capital of the “Republic of Macedonia”. According to the Sofia daily Trud, the proponents of this scheme (whom it hails as “a small band of fearless Bulgarians”) declared that “They cannot prevent us from founding this society”. I.M.R.O’s goal, as set out above, as well as the capacity of those who inspired and founded it, was admitted many years later by the organization’s first president Hristo Tatarchev in the following statement:
It was not possible for us to adopt the slogan of direct Bulgarian annexation of Macedonia, because we saw that that would encounter serious difficulties, owing to the reactions of the Great Powers and to the designs on Macedonia entertained by its small neighbouring states as well as by Turkey. We reasoned that an autonomous Macedonia would be easier to absorb into Bulgaria. [Anonymous study entitled “The Macedonian Issue”, published by the Bulgarian Academy of Science’s Institute of History (November 1968) and translated by the Slavic Department of the Institute for Balkan Studies (I.B.S.), Thessaloniki May 1969, pp. 38].
This organization (I.M.R.O.) was late in coming to birth (it was not founded until late in 1893, although the Bulgarian Schism had taken place in 1872), because the watchword of Bulgarian policy at that time was “first an independent Church and then an independent Nation”.
In pursuit of this goal, as has already been noted, they proclaimed the slogan “Macedonia for the Macedonians”, for the significance of which I refer you to the Archives of the French Foreign Ministry [Minister des Affaires Ιtrangθres. Documents diplomatiques. Affaires de Macιdoine. 1902. Paris MDCCCCII No 23 (Sofia 13 aoϋt 1902)], where we find:
The (Bulgarian) Committee has recently published a declaration, which has been distributed to all diplomatic bureaus and which contains an expose on the situation in Macedonia and the programme of reforms proposed by the Committee. This programme is expressed as “Macedonia for the Macedonians”. It is absolutely certain that what the Committee wants is for Macedonia to be given to the Bulgarian.
Irrespective of these irrefutable official documents, conclusive proof can be adduced from the fact that when Bulgaria, which had launched this slogan via the aforementioned Committee, occupied Macedonian territory in 1916 and in 1941 (in the course of the First and Second World Wars respectively), it immediately proceeded to annex it to Bulgaria, forgetting its lofty propositions on Macedonian autonomy. In other words, it acted exactly as it had in 1885 in the case of Eastern Rumelia, just as I.M.R.O’s first president, Hristo Tatarchev, had intended. Consequently, the description of the Uprising as an insurrection of “native Macedonians”, as it should be superfluous for me to note, is not found in any official (diplomatic or other) source, for the simple reason that at that time no one recognized the existence of “Macedonians” as a distinct ethnicity. All this, and especially in the sense prevalent in Skopje today, is nothing more than a favourite but frivolous attempt at a history lesson on the part of the Skopjian Republic, which has discovered half a century late that it can dispute the famous Ilinden Uprising with the Bulgarians on the completely unproven grounds that it was a “Macedonian” insurrection.
The purpose of these claims is obvious. They are intended to provide –retrospectively– an historical foundation for the Republic of “Macedonia” first created by “Marshal” Tito in 1944. In view of this the Skopjian protest that “they claim that the term Macedonian Nation was invented by Tito, whereas we know that the term Macedonians was used by our ancestors, despite all the misleading propaganda they were bombarded with” is completely unfounded and thus –if not purposely misleading– meaningless. Because the “ancestors” on which the Skopjians base their conclusions never called themselves Macedonians, either before Ilinden (i.e. before 1903) or afterwards, because the Macedonian Struggle took place between Greeks (Makedonomachoi, or Macedonian warriors) and Bulgarians (Comitadji, i.e. members of the Committee mentioned earlier), and because nowhere (neither in international treaties nor in war correspondence or other writings nor in any other documents) is the term “Macedonian” found with the meaning assigned to it by the Skopjians today.
The purpose of the misleading propaganda referred to was exactly the opposite: it was not intended to persuade them (the ancestors) that they should not consider themselves “Macedonians” but on the contrary to convince them that they were!
I would refer any who are desirous of learning more about this to my dissertation “The contribution of the Greeks of Pelagonia to the history of modern Greece” (Prologue by Stilpon Kyriakidis, Thessaloniki, I.B.S., 1959, p. 18 ff), where they will find a detailed description of the scenes that took place in the wholly Greek city of Krushevo during this rising, and full proof, in my view, of the Bulgarian origin and prosecution of this insurrection (this was in fact also confirmed by the meeting of the “Vlachs of Macedonia” which was held in May of 1992 in that same city of Krushevo, which is now in the State of Skopje).
It is clear, then, that the Skopjians, as is apparent from the arguments used, are applying themselves to the falsification of both Greek and Bulgarian history: Bulgarian, with regard to the origin and nature of the Ilinden Uprising, and Greek, with regard to the ethnic identity of the Macedonians, not only of those who took part in the Greek Revolution of 1821, but also of the Macedonians of the years 1871-1908 who, although for the most part Slavspeakers, like the famous chieftains Kotas, Gonos, Mitrousis, Kyrou, Dalipis, etc., were the cornerstones of the fighting wing of Macedonian Hellenism during the Macedonian Struggle.
This being the case, it can hardly be seriously contended that the Ilinden Uprising of 1903 led to the foundation of a “Macedonian State”, unless that phrase describes the ten day occupation of Krushevo by the Bulgarian comitadjis, the unfurling over that city of Bulgarian flags, the plundering of its Greek citizens, the proscription of the Greek tongue and the constant playing of the hymn “Macedonia Old Bulgaria” [For a brief account, see “The sack of Krushevo” (with an expose by the British Consul in Thessaloniki, Mr A. Billiotis, published in the Blue Book of the British Ministry of Foreign Affairs) in Hellenismos, 1907, p. 81 ff; and for more detail see my dissertation on “The contribution of the Greeks of Pelagonia to the history of modern Greece”, which was published in an expanded version, in German, by the Institute for Balkan Studies, Thessaloniki 1963]. In view of all this, there is no foundation whatsoever for views like those of Yannis Kordatos (the Marxist historian) on I.M.R.O. and its slogan “Macedonia for the Macedonians” as presented in History of Modern Greece, vol. V, Athens 1958, p. 42 ff.
To be continued..........in the part 2
Friday, August 01, 2008
Kathimerini Newspaper 31 July 2008
The recent nationalist fervor of Nikola Gruevski, the prime minister of FYROM, warrants international intervention. At a time when Serbia is finally finding its European footing, the Balkans could do without an outbreak of separatism. If the USA wishes to realize its hope for stability in the region, it must stop Gruevski before it’s too late. The EU and NATO, the two clubs Skopje aspires to join, should act likewise.
Gruevski is no less provocative at home. The leader of the opposition was recently sent to jail while the country’s moderate president, Branko Crvenkovski, has slammed the premier’s populism.