After the Greek Civil War, some twenty to twenty-five thousand fugitives and refugees form Greece settled in Yugoslav Macedonia (People Republic of Macedonia). Most of them were Slav Macedonians. These ‘Aegeans’, as they were arbitrarily group-labelled by the local leaders in Skopje, were not a tightly-knit community, despite allegations to the contrary; many of them had simply got trapped in Yugoslavia, and were the Yugoslav Macedonian’s captives – hostages to an irredentist ambition.
As the documents quoted below make quite clear, the commonalty of ‘Aegean’ refugees from Greece was, in the early 1950s at any rate, a very mixed bunch, not at all compact either in ethnic structure or in ideology.
'Aegean Macedonia' is a Slav Macedonian irredentist term used to refer to the region of Macedonia in Greece, in the context of a 'United Macedonia'. The origins of the term seem to be rooted in the 1940s but its modern usage is widely considered ambiguous and irredentist. The term has occasionally appeared on maps circulated in the former Yugolsav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), which envisioned Greek Macedonia (referred to as "Aegean Macedonia") as part of a "Greater Macedonia", and is regarded as a challenge of of the legitimacy of Greek sovereignity over the area.