Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pr. Nikos Zaikos as regards the FYROM name issue*

In the international relations, every state is free to choose the name that wants. But when exercising its right to choose its name and indeed when exercising any other right, it must do so in a manner that will not obstruct other states’ exercise of their own right or do, that does not differ in its aim from the aim for which this right was accorded, and that does not cause injury to another state. Prohibition of the abuse of rights is a general principle of law found time and again in international legal practice; and it comes higher up in the hierarchy than the rules governing the exercise, by the subjects of international law, of their individualized rights. [Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Amsterdam, Elsevier, I,1992, pages 4, 7-8).

As regards the specific issue (the onomatology of states in international law) that examined in this chapter , international practice chows clearly and unequivocally that a state’s right to choose its name or its symbols may be ...

Friday, October 30, 2009

We need History Lectures based on FACTS not political motives! (The case of the so-called 7th Conference on Macedonia Studies at Utah.)

First of all I want to apologize from my bad English grammar. As native Macedonian [1] my mother language is Greek and not Slavic as the postmodernists [2] professors that participated in this Conference claim arbitrarily.[3]
In November 5-8 2009 at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City took place the so-called "7th Macedonian-North American Conference on Macedonian Studies".[4] Although a number of presenters strictly deal with subjects of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, there are politically motivated lectures that attack and disparage the people of Greece, the Greek Cultural identity and as they twist historical facts through their disturbing presentation. These motivated lectures are influence under the umbrella of the Slavmacedonism [5], a post-modern ultra nationalist ideology.
In American universities today not everyone knows what extreme Slavmacedonists are doing in their ....

Thursday, October 29, 2009

former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYROM) Nikola Gruevski has made irredentist claims against Greece and Bulgaria

27 Oct 2009
The Prime Minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYROM), Nikola Gruevski has made irredentist claims against Greece and Bulgaria during a speech to the the Skopjan community in Sydney.

According to a report from fYROM's news agency MINA. Mr Gruevski urged the Skopjan community in Australia to be united.

"Macedonians in Australia enjoy a unique opportunity to live together with their Aegean, Pirin compatriots, which is not the case in their native country, Gruevski said, calling them to not divide on these grounds as there are no Vardar, Aegean, Pirin Macedonians, but only Macedonians," Mr Gruevski is quoted as saying in the MINA report.

Mr Gruevski also asked from the Diaspora to remain united on the issue of the name dispute with Greece.

He noted that the negotiations with Greece are due to resume to find a compromise solution that he promised will not harm "Macedonian national interests, language, nation, culture, integrity, identity, pride and dignity, and will become valid only if embraced by citizens at a referendum."

The response from the Greek deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Dimitris Droutsas to Mr Gruevski's reference to "Aegean Macedonians" was clear cut.

"We will not enter into any form of dialogue with Mr Gruevski or Skopje about nonexistent issues, " Mr Droutsas said. "Greece sees its relations with Skopje with an open mind and always constructively. Skopje's leadership has to realise that it is up to them to choose between the usual aggressive, nationalistic and irreedentist rhetoric or to invest into a constructive, honest and essential dialogue to resolve the name dispute issue."

He reiterated Greece's position that the only solution is a definitive composite name with geographical qualification of the term Macedonia, for all purposes (erga omnes) and for all uses.

Stern warning to Skopje from Parvanov over 'minority' claim

SOFIA (ANA-MPA - B. Borisov) Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov on Thursday warned the government in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to retract statements regarding the existence of an ethnic 'Macedonian' minority in Bulgaria's Pirin region or jeopardise the country's prospects of joining the EU.

An announcement released by the Bulgarian presidency's press office on Thursday quotes Parvanov's stern reaction to a statement made by FYROM Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski - who referred to "Macedonians of Vardar, the Aegean and Pirin" - and his warning that Sofia's support for FYROM's EU accession was not "unconditional".

"I am bewildered by the position that has been expressed by the Prime Minister of neighbouring [FYROM]. I see it as unacceptable, as an expression of territorial claims. It is all the more unacceptable as [FYROM] aspires to become a member of the EU,” Parvanov said on Thursday, during an official visit to Australia.

Bulgaria's president stressed that Sofia's support for its neighbour's EU entry was largely dependent on that country's behaviour and he urged Skopje to immediately withdraw similar claims.

Parvanov also underlined that Skopje must fulfill the criteria for EU membership, which included that of cultivating good relations with its members.

Bulgaria's Deputy Foreign Minister Marin Raykov, who accompanied Parvanov on the trip to Australia, noted that FYROM would receive a date for the start of accession negotiations with the EU as soon as as it resolved the problems with its neighbours.

Skopje's government claims the existence of ethnic 'Macedonian' minorities in northern Greece and southwest Bulgaria; claims disputed by the governments in both those countries. It is also in a dispute with Greece over the use of the name 'Macedonia', which Athens construes as an attempt to make territorial claims against a northern Greek province with the same name.

According to the Greek argument, the name Macedonia actually describes a much broader geographic area, which spans parts of Greece, Bulgaria and also FYROM itself.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

PanMacedonian Letter to the President of the University of Utah

October 26, 2009

President Michael K. Young
University of Utah
201 Presidents Circle
Salt Lake City, Utah 84112

Dear President Young,

On behalf of our multi-thousand membership of our organization and indeed of all U.S. citizens of Hellenic descent, we want to protest in the strongest possible terms the presentation of distorted facts pertaining to the history of Greece. Some of the presenters of the "7th Macedonian-North American Conference on Macedonian Studies" which will take place at the grounds of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 5-8, 2009 are promoting anti-Hellenic hate speech and disparagement:

Although a number of presenters strictly deal with issues of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), there are politically motivated lectures that attack and disparage the people of Greece as they twist historical facts through their disturbing presentation. We acknowledge the concept of academic freedom, but we are greatly concerned that your University is being used to promote a political agenda based on historical untruths and falsehoods. Anti-Hellenism is equal to anti-Semitism and the United Nations has enacted severe measures for such racism. Nationalists from the FYROM and its Diaspora (both at an official and unofficial level) have expressed hatred directed at Greeks and the Hellenic nation based on their impression of racial superiority and obsession with genetic purity. Official television advertisements in the FYROM have even informed the masses through God’s voice that they are “Macedonoids, progenitors of the white race” whereas others are “Mongoloids”, “Negroids”, and “Mullatoes” (see, especially from 4 minutes, 28 seconds on: Official government and academic sources in the FYROM refuse to recognize Greece’s sovereignty over her lands referring to Greece’s northern region as “Aegean Macedonia”, or “the Macedonian region under Greek jurisdiction”. This is evident in Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski’s recent speech to his country’s Diaspora in Australia ( and throughout the newly written “Macedonian Encyclopedia” promoted by the “Macedonian Academy of Arts and Sciences (MANU)” in Skopje.

We have heard some of the presenters of the"7th Macedonian-North American Conference on Macedonian Studies" in other forums, regarding the following topics and we would kindly ask the organizing committee of this symposium to provide us with a copy of their presentations:

Alexander the Great and mythic homelands
Tasos Kostopoulos on Macedonia and the Slavs in Greece: When a forbidden language speaks truth to power;
Between nationalism and solidarity: Assessing the KKE’s post-war positioning of the Macedonian national liberation struggle;
Macedonian refugee children from the Greek Civil War;
From Trnaa to Toronto: The life story of a dete begalec;
A Macedonian child in a Greek technical school during the Greek Civil War;
Cleansing the national, polluting the natural: The politics of development and cultural homogeneity in the Florina region;

It is true that we don’t know the content of the presentations. However referring to the title Alexander the Great and mythic homelands, we would like to call your attention to a letter to President Barack Obama, endorsed by 350 (and still growing) archaeologists and academics from worldwide universities and institutions of higher learning. This attests to the falsification and revision of history propagated by the FYROM and its supporters (please visit the web site: The letter to President Obama by the archeologists, the historians, and researchers was written to curtail the attempts of historical revision/distortion, and to protect the integrity of historic truth in their academic specialties. The decision of the 350 scholars who cosigned the letter to President Obama was made so that “the scholarly community has a duty to preserve historic truth.”

The title of the presentation: Tasos Kostopoulos on Macedonia and the Slavs in Greece: When a forbidden language speaks truth to power alludes to the attempt of Skopje’s leadership to inflict a “Macedonian” minority in Greece who speak the “Macedonian” language. This so-called “forbidden language” however, is an idiom (which did not have a written form) and was detected around the 18th century forming a part of various slavophone idioms in northern Greece. Its creation was purely utilitarian and practical, and it was used as an unofficial lingua franca so to speak because the area during the Ottoman Era was a colorful tribal mosaic of linguistic and religious groups: Turkish conquerors, Greeks, Bulgarians, Serbs, Albanians, Turkmen nomads (Yuruks), Gypsies, Bosnians, Armenians, and Jews among others. They needed a way to understand each other regarding the needs of their daily coexistence. The idiom therefore appeared gradually and has served well the purpose for which it was created, or rather, for which it emerged.

Moreover, it should be noted that the idioms spoken in Ottoman Macedonia were in no way reflective of the ethnic affiliation of its inhabitants since the majority of the people espoused Hellenism. In addition, the present “Macedonian” language of the FYROM is a manufactured language with a Bulgarian base, inflicted on the inhabitants of what was roughly Vardarska Banovina by Marshal Josip Broz Tito and a group of linguists throughout the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s so that he can expedite his plans of annexing Greek Macedonia. The language spoken by the citizens of the FYROM and the idioms spoken in northern Greece are not the same. The leadership of Greece’s neighboring country is attempting to connect this idiom with the language spoken in Skopje, to further press Greece about an ethnic “Macedonian” minority in Greece.

During this conference, time will be spent discussing the supposed expulsion of "Macedonian" children from Greece during the Greek Civil War. Not only is this a legitimization of Stalinist demagoguery, it is also a slap in the face to reality. As has been attested by numerous United Nations resolutions (UN Resolutions: 382 (V Section C), 1950; 618 (VII), 1952; 517 (VI), 1952), these children were Greek. Some were the children of those who collaborated with fascist Bulgarian and Italian forces and later with communist guerillas, many were unrelated children abducted by these fleeing communist guerillas, and most were never repatriated leaving them to the mercy of Communist propaganda in Iron Curtain countries. President Harry S. Truman and the United States of America were staunch supporters of these UN resolutions calling for the repatriation of these children having realized the re-education dangers they faced away from Greece as is clear in his April 19, 1950 address to the Speaker of the House of Representatives:

Looking at this in the view of the then US Secretary of State's Stettinius's 1944 Circular Airgram to US Diplomatic and Consular Offices (868.014/26 Dec. 1944) as "aggressive intentions against Greece", these children and their offspring have been brought up to believe that they were once not Greek and that they were expelled. Although one must sympathize with their plight because they are truly victims of a dead ideology, perpetuating and sponsoring their ideas is a disservice to them and to history.

Furthermore, a screening of the fictional film "The Secret Book" during this conference is oxymoronic for a meeting that is supposed to be scientific. It is akin to showing "The Da Vinci Code" during a meeting of Catholic bishops. The movie implies a unification of "the whole Macedonian fatherland" erroneously believed by Macedonist nationalists to have been split up in 1912. What is the motivation of showing this fictional film in a scientific conference, other than alluding that neighboring territories should be annexed? Would the University of Utah also open its halls to disgruntled supporters of a confederalist America? It's time to look at things with facts in mind.

We are sure that you were not aware of the motivated sinister intentions of some of the participants of the conference in their quest to present their views on historical events of the area using hate speech in order to promote their “pseudo-Macedonism;” but please be aware that the fine institution of the University of Utah is being used as an accomplice to promote hate speech towards, and disparagement of the Hellenic nation.


Nina Gatzoulis Supreme President
Maria Hatzinakou Supreme Secretary

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dr Christos D. Katsetos answers to Pr Joseph as regards the upcoming conference at the University of Utah

Dear Professor Joseph,

The appalling and tragicomic tone of the announcement issued by a certain "Hellenic League of America," an obscure group, calling for censoring of the upcoming "7th Macedonian-North American Conference on Macedonian Studies" to be held at University of Utah on November 5-8, 2009, is denounced in no uncertain terms.

Please refer to my previous post in this list:

At the same time, I submit that it would be somewhat disingenuous to portray the upcoming conference at the University of Utah as being solely an academic symposium devoid of political underpinnings. Indeed, the list of topics announced blend serious scholarship (i.e., on linguistics of Southern Slavic languages) with controversial topics bearing clear political overtones.

Let us please agree to disagree that the terms "Macedonians" and "Macedonian" cannot be monopolized and as such, they are not synonymous to Slavic Macedonians (Makedonci/Makedontsi) and Slavic Macedonian (Makedonski) respectively. Macedonia is neither a single country nor the cradle of a single nation, but a geographic region parts of which belong nowadays to four sovereign states, each with its distinctive cultural heritage, national identity, and collective memory.

In fairness, the positions on nomenclature embraced and actively promoted by certain scholars since the early 1990s, cannot be considered as unbiased or impartial. They are in keeping with the official narrative of the Former Yugoslav of Macedonia, which is based on an highly controversial ethnocentric doctrine effectively claiming the entire geographic Macedonian region of modern times as part of that nation’s “tatkovina” (fatherland).

Regarding Professor Danforth's analogy as to whether "similar anti Greek material from a Turkish or a Macedonian list" would have been "allowed to appear on the MGSA list?", I wish to reiterate that the expatriate Makedonski organization "United Macedonian Diaspora" (UMD), which is one of the sponsors of the upcoming conference at the University of Utah, has engaged in extreme and virulent nationalist manifestations against Greece and the Greek heritage in Macedonia. This is an indisputable fact, which doubtless adds a political dimension to the conference.

Last but not least, I would like to draw attention to a fundamental difference between the MGSA conferences and the upcoming conference at the University of Utah. The former are not sponsored by donors which foster nationalist agendas. Unfortunately, this is hardly the case with the Slavic Macedonian conference at the University of Utah, which is sponsored -in part- by bona fide lobbying groups of the likes of the "United Macedonian Diaspora" (UMD).

And to set the record straight, once again, the "United Macedonian Diaspora" (UMD) is the recipient of funding from the Turkish Coalition of America (TCA) so is the University of Utah

Respectfully submitted,

Christos D. Katsetos


I want to add something as regards the usage of the "Macedonian" term. A Macedonian according to several sources [], [], [Oxford English Dictionary] is a native or inhabitant of the (Ancient or Modern) Macedonian region. Any usage diffrent from this that give from the dictionaries has political and ambiguous motives.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Treatment of Slav Macedonian history : to de-Bulgarize the Slav Macedonians *

The treatment of Slav Macedonian history has the same primary goal as the creation of the Slav Macedonian language-to de-Bulgarize the Slav Macedonians and create a separate national consciousness. Since Marx claimed to have discovered the immutable laws of history. Communists have considered the "correct interpretation of history as the foundation of all social science and a Key element of nationality. In the Balkans, history is a primary ingredient in the development of national consciousness which possesses a current relevance that extends beyond mere academic interest. Hence, the Yugoslav Communists were most anxious to mold Macedonian history to fit their conception of Slav Macedonian consciousness.

In setting the tone for the new interpretation of history, Communist experts found past Slav Macedonian history to suffer from two defects. First, "bourgeois historians, although they may have certain merits for the elaboration of the material facts of history, suffer from the weakness of their idealistic theoretic basis."[16] Hence, new historical works must be based on a correct Marxist-Leninist interpretation of history. Second, and perhaps more important, Slav Macedonian history had to sever the umbilical cord to Bulgaria. It was advanced as a principle of Slav Macedonian historiography that key aspects of Slav Macedonian culture had origins separate from Bulgaria, that Slav Macedonian history was distinctively different from Bulgarian history.

Lazar Kolisevski gave the initial clues as to the correct interpretation of Slav Macedonian history in his report to the First Congress of the CPM in 1948. The resolution adopted by the First Congress stressed the importance of ideological conformity and emphasized the use of history to re-educate the Slav Macedonian masses:

Great interest should be created [in history] and there should be a systematic approach, with a materialistic elucidation of the historical past of our people in general, and special elaboration of the socialist movement in our country. The history of the people's liberation struggle should be particularly elaborated. A struggle should be carried out for systematic studies of our past among the broad masses as well as among party members. This is a necessary condition for the ideological uplift of party cadres and for the education of the masses in the spirit of socialism. [17]

Slav Macedonian historians, however, apparently had some difficulty in adjusting to the new guidelines for Slav Macedonian history-particularly in distinguishing Slav Macedonian from Bulgarian history. In an article in Komunist in January 1950, Vidoe Smilevski gave a summary of the correct interpretation of Slav Macedonian history. [18] Another article by Kiro Miljovski appeared about the same time but went farther, specifically criticizing Slav Macedonian historians and setting out in more detail the party guidelines for interpreting history. Miljovski was particularly critical of the failure to eliminate Bulgarian influences:

Some of our people fail to understand correctly Kuzman Sapkarov's cultural activity in the struggle for the Macedonian language, and they are suspicious about the national character of our entire early national movement simply because Sapkarov or others in the movement were not clearly, explicitly and to the very end nationally inclined, because some of them felt "now a Macedonian, now a Bulgarian." In the same way, some people fall into uncertainty about the Macedonian character of the national liberation movement in Deltev's time simply because Goce Deltev wrote in Bulgarian, because he did not say definitely that Macedonia is one nation and that Bulgaria is another. [19]

To avoid future uncertainty, Miljovski listed a number of expressions (most of them frequently used in Bulgarian historical writing) which were to be banned from Slav Macedonian history.

Although Macedonian historical works began to appear, historians found that research on Slav Macedonia was "complex and difficult" because existing literature "is still permeated with Great Bulgarian spirit, with omissions, distortioqs and falsifications of many historical facts." [20] The Scientific Institute for National History of the Slav Macedonian Nation was established "to eliminate the influence" of the Slav Macedonian Scientific Institute in Sofia which during the interwar period "published most of the documentary and propaganda materials about Macedonia." [21] The Institute, which had indeed published a great deal of material on Slav Macedonia (including its periodical Makedonski pregled), was the principal scholarly advocate during the interwar period of the thesis that the Macedonian Slavs are' Bulgarians.

The question of Bulgarian influence on Slav Macedonian history was the thorniest problem of the new historiography. Obviously it was impossible for the Yugoslav Communists to deny completely the role of Bulgaria in the Macedonian revolutionary movement. One of the early attempts to cope with Bulgarian influence utilized the device of "contradictions." According to this explanation Slav Macedonia's national revival developed as " Macedonian its inner content and Bulgarian in its outer forms," although late in the process some Macedonian national forms were used along with the Bulgarian forms. The "contradiction" between content and forms extended throughout the entire historical process of the Slav Macedonian revival; it was because of this conflict that Macedonian forms took shape, and it was through the development of these forms that Slav Macedonia "categorically proved its individual national character."[22]

Reconciling progressive Marxist historiography with Slav Macedonian national history has proved to be especially difficult. The Slav Macedonian revolutionaries were generally not socialists and the Balkan socialists did not recognize the Macedonian nationality. To walk such a tightrope required great historical agility and the party was frequently called upon to restore balance for historians who went too far in one direction. A Nova Makedonija article for example, counselled historians to avoid errors of the epoch of bourgeois idealization, as there is"no reason for interpreting past events with a romantic pathos." The article explained that in approaching the past, all positive traditions should be included as the inheritance of the proletariat, but conservative tendencies should be rejected. The approach toward historical personalities was criticized as being idealized. For example, although Delcev was a forerunner of Marx in Macedonia, it would be mistaken to call him and others like him real Marxists. [23] In dealing with the Balkan socialist movement, writers had to exercise caution:

Our socialists did not have a clear idea of the national belonging of the Macedonian people, nor of the need to establish it as a separate unit, and they adopted the stand that the population in Macedonia was composed of members of the Bulgarian, Serbian, and Greek nations and of the minorities.[24]

Although the socialists were wrong on the Macedonian question, they were socialists - hence, progressive and instrumental in the eventual triumph of socialism in Vardar Macedonia. The socialist movement was an approved topic for history, but its treatment required delicate handling.

In order to conform to the standards of Yugoslav Marxist historiography and at the same time degrade Bulgarian influence and affirm the Slav Macedonian nationality, Slav Macedonian historical writing has stressed certain themes. In order to create a continuous record of Macedonia as a nation, there is constant re-analysis and rediscovery of probable and improbable historical fragments. The medieval empire of Samuelo with its capital at Ohrid has been designated as a "Macedonian" empire (despite the fact that the empire was destroyed by Basil II who earned the title "Bulgar-slayer", for his campaigns against Samuelo). The "Slavic" missionaries Cyril and Methodius are treated with greatest respect and emphasis is placed on their IMacedonian birthplace (Salonika) and on their use of a "Macedonian" dialect ,as the first Slavic literary language. Macedonian revolutionary heroes are carefully treated. In addition to appropriating the historical legacies of the , key founders of the original IMRO-Goce Delcev, Damian Gruev and Pere Tosev-Macedonian historians play up lesser figures who might have given the slightest indication of "socialist" inclination or who were not openly Bulgarophiles. Thus there is glorification of men like Jane Sandansky, Dimo Hadji-Dimov, Petar Peparsev and Nikola Karev, who, because they defected from the IMRO or lost out in internecine organizational fights, have long been forgotten by chroniclers of the IMRO. The more recent IMRO leaders - Aleksandrov, Protogerov and Mihailov - are excluded from the ranks of the progressive for having been tools of Sofia. Besides, they are symbols which are too dangerous and too recent to attempt to manipulate. Pre-World War II Macedonian history orients events of the past towards the final successful climax of the liberation struggle during the war. However, it is emphasized that victory was possible only because of the fraternal assistance of the other Yugoslav nationalities under guidance of the Communist party.

Despite the difficulties of dealing with the national history, in the beginning Slav Macedonian writers enjoyed a relatively larger degree of permissive action with regard to the employment of nationalist symbols than historians of the other Yugoslav republics. In Slav Macedonian history, the main concentration is on genuine national heroes like Delcev and on their nationalistic character, regardless of their attitudes toward the Serbs and socialism. The accepted heroes of other Yugoslav national groups are portrayed almost exclusively from the point of view of their progressive, anti-religious or anti-Hapsburg attitudes. In the case of Croatia and Slovenia, the heroes selected by the Communists are those who favored union with Serbia. However, Belgrade permitted Vardar Macedonia to treat the role of the Serbs rather negatively, usually as Serbian imperiahsm. But, to balance these concessions, Slav Macedonian historians are required to give special emphasis to the role of the CPY in their liberation from Bulgariuans and Serbs. The struggle in the twenties and thirties for the correct party line on the nationality question is often stressed. The Party's efforts to liberate the Slav Macedonians from the Bulgarian occupiers are combined in historical treatises with attacks against old Great Serbism.[25]

Although the party had some difficulty in establishing a historiography to suit its political needs, numerous works on Slav Macedonian history were published by the Scientific Institute for the National History of the Macedonian People (since shorte'ned to the Institute for National History). The early institute publications include a large number of document collections and writings of early Macedonian revolutionaries. Though some monographs were published they were usually limited in scope. [26] In addition to publications of scholarly interest frequent historical articles and programs are carried in the newspapers and mass media of the Macedonian republic. In the campaign of inspiring a Macedonian consciousness among the population, the Communist approved interpretation of history was used as one of the primary tools.

The first serious challenge to the new Slav Macedonian historiography came in 1958. Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, which had re-established close ties after 1955, had a second era of unfriendly relations beginning in Fall 1957 and Spring 1958. As part of the anti-Yugoslav program of the bloc, Bulgaria launched a vigorous campaign to deny the Slav Macedonian language, culture, and nationality and to reassert Slav Bulgarian claims to Macedonia. The Slav Macedonian Communist leadership countered by emphasizing more forcefully the elements of Slav Macedonian culture. Evidencing concern with Macedonian history, Lazar Kolisevski delivered a long speech on Slav Macedonian history at Titov Veles in November 1958. He explained at the beginning that his purpose in dealing with the Slav Macedonian past was "to contribute to the forming of trends towards a correct, scientific understanding of historical events and their underlying social processes," because "we are still faced with many major tasks in the field of clarification of our national history."

The thrust of Kolisevski's treatment of history was two-fold-first, to reduce even further the significance of Bulgaria in Slav Macedonian history, and second, to stress positive treatment of Serb- Slav Macedonian relations. Although earlier Slav Macedonian historians had explain ned Bu1garian influence-by means of a contradiction with Macedonian inner forms and Bulgarian external forms, Kolisevski degraded Bulgarian influence even further. He argued

the (Slav)Macedonian nation did not emerge as a result of political manipulations in the twentieth century, but it emerged from the general struggle, resistance and awareness of the people, which began early in the 19th century.

Kolisevski went on to explain that from the very beginning of the 19th century Macedonian national consciousness grew independently and distinctively from Bulgarian consciousness. But with the development of Slav Macedonian consciousness, the Bulgarians developed imperialist ambitions towards Macedonia. The last part of his speech was particularly critical of the most recent Bulgarian denial of the Slav Macedonian nationality.

The role of the Serbs in Macedonian history, however, he treated much more favorably than Slav Macedonian historians had been doing up to that time. Though admitting that the Serbian bourgeoisie intended to establish its hegemony over Macedonia, Kolisevski quoted extensively from Serbian diplomatic correspondence to show that some Serbs acknowledged a Slav Macedonian nationality and opposed the negation of Slav Macedonian consciousness by Bulgaria. The Serbian bourgeoisie came to deny the Slav Macedonian nationality, Kolisevski claimed, when they entered into a tacit agreement with the Bulgarian and Greek bourgeoisie that only Serbs, Greeks and Bulgarians lived in Macedonia "with their respective number to depend on the manner in which Macedonia was carved up." He asserted that nations can only be created by powerful forces at work among the people and never by the actions of politicians.

Although Kolisevski's speech. placed new emphasis on the anti-Bulgarian aspects and softened the anti-Serbian aspects of Slav Macedonian history it did not represent a real departure for Slav Macedonian historiography. The same ideological line adopted after the Communist consolidation in Slav Macedonia is still the historical guideline. In recent years the quality and volume of Slav Macedonian historical writing has increased, but the themes and their treatment, although more sophisticated are much the same as before. The national - liberation struggle, the socialist movement in Yugoslavia and the Balkans, and the Slav Macedonian revolutionary tradition dominate historical works. There is still some reticence to treat Slav Macedonian relations with Yugoslavia and Serbia between the wars, but there is greater emphasis on Serb- Slav Macedonian relations during earlier periods.[28]

The goals of the national history are unchanged-to reduce the Bulgarian role in Slav Macedonian history and to stress Slav Macedonian national development at the same time emphasizing the importance of close ties with other Yugoslav peoples. However, Slav Macedonian national history has not developed in a vacuum and external problems have affected its course. Since 1956 Bulgaria has not recognized the Slav Macedonian nationality and her historians have been permitted to reassert Bulgarian historical claims to the Macedonian territory and population. Even in periods when Bulgarian-Yugoslav relations have been very good, academic historical controversies have continued, frequently developing political repercussions. The Slav Macedonian historians have thus been forced to defend their dubious historical claims, with the result that their history has become even more polemical and political. The rising nationalism of the Yugoslav peoples has also had its effect in Vardar Macedonia. Although increased nationalism first reappeared as the result of economic problems in the late 1950's, it has since spread throughout Yugoslavia's cultural life. The problem reached the point that Tito denounced "nationalistic manifestations" in the field of history at the Eighth Party Congress.[29] The problem was as much present in Vardar Macedonia as the other republics. Crvenkovski, at the Fourth Congress of the LCM, just before the Eighth all-party congress, criticized "the still present phenomenon of national romanticism [i.e., over-glorification] in uncovering our national past." Although acknowledging the difficulties of dealing with Macedonian history, Crvenkovski called on historians to adopt the approach which would "contribute to the national consciousness of our people freeing itself of nationalist deviations [pro-Bulgarian and anti-Serb sentiments], to building respect for everything that is positive and common in the struggle of our neighbors [i.e., Serbs and other Yugoslav peoples] and which is a component part of our own national history." [30]

*This text is from the book of “Yugoslav Communism and the Macedonian Question” by Stephen E. Palmer, Jr. Robert R. King, 1971. In order to segregate the Greek Macedonian cultural identity from the Slav one, I add for understating purposes the words “Slav and Vardar” in the front of the Greek adjective “Macedonia (n)” at the text. Also in the book you can find the original notes and bibliography that used in the specific article.

**For fair use only

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Slav Macedonian language: Contributor of the Slav Macedonian nationalism *

The Slav Macedonian language is considered by most Slav Macedonians to be one of the most positive contributions to their separate status. The question of what language Slav Macedonians actually spoke prior to 1945 has caused disagreements among even the most disinterested linguists. The Slav Macedonian dialects made a gradual transition from Serbian north of Skopje to Bulgarian in Eastern Macedonia. Even those who claim that a separate Slav Macedonian language existed before 1945 admit that all these dialects have a very close affinity to Bulgarian. [1] The elements of distinction between the central Slav Macedonian group of dialects (i.e., the language spoken roughly within the region Prilep-Bitolj-Kicevo-Titov Veles) and western Bulgarian were noticeable but not significant. [2] Bulgarian linguistic influence was strengthened by intense secular and religious propaganda in the past and by the fact that Bulgarian was the language used by the old Slav Macedonian nationalists.

It was natural that the Yugoslav government regarded a distinct Slav Macedonian language as a bulwark against Bulgarian irredentism. At the same time, it was a very real concession to the Macedonians vis-a-vis the Serbs. The First Assembly of the ASNOM in August 1944 passed a resolution declaring Slav Macedonian the republic's official language. A commission was created to determine which features of the spoken dialects were to be incorporated in the written language, and in May 1945 an alphabet was adopted by law.[3]

As the basis for the new literary language the Central Vardar Macedonian dialect was chosen. The explanation was that this region was the most populous area and that it was important in Slav Macedonian history. In addition Krste Misirkov, an advocate of the creation of a separate Slav Macedonian language in the early twentieth century, and other Macedonian nationalists used the central dialects. [4] However, this dialect is also the Slav Macedonian dialect most unlike both Serbian and Bulgarian. This was probably a far more important consideration in the government's decision. It has been claimed that, in fact, the north-western Slav Macedonian dialects (those most similar to Serbo-Croatian and most unlike Bulgarian) had been originally chosen as the basis for the new language but had to be abandoned because of popular opposition.[5]

From the very beginning, Slav Macedonian linguists concentrated on showing the Slav Macedonian language to be different from other languages. The first grammar, published in 1946, established nine distinctive traits of the new language and stressed its differences from other Slavic languages.[6] At first the language had many words, especially political, literary, philosophical, and technical terms, which were borrowed from Bulgarian, Serbian and Russian. However, from the beginning an effort was made to purge these foreign elements, particularly those from Bulgarian. The commission which codified the language was guided by the principle:

The vocabulary of the literary language should be enriched with terms taken from all Slav Macedonian dialects. New words should be created with living inflections of the folk speech. Borrowed words from other languages should be retained only where necessary, [7]
As a result, Bulgarian, Russian (after 1948) and other foreign words were replaced by words existing in one of the local Slav Macedonian dialects or by terms created by combining native elements.

In addition to making the modern Slav Macedonian, literary language different from Bulgarian" Yugoslav' linguists also have gone to great effort in attempting to show that the old Slav Macedonian dialects were essentially a separate language. The Slav Macedonian (anti-Bulgarian) interpretation of their linguistic development is not considerd by party leaders to be an ivory tower matter; the campaign is carried on through the mass media. Numerous articles on the alleged historical differences, some dating back to the middle ages, are carried by newspapers. In an early pamphlet (1950) on this subject, the party expressed concern over the popular failure to acknowledge the separate existence of a distinct Slav Macedonian language in the past:

We are meeting with blind acceptance of Great Bulgarian theories with regard to the struggle of our people for its national language. Study of the struggle for a national language is important, because language is one of the four basic elements without which there cannot be talk of a nation. The broad reading public, and even some teachers of national history, know little about the one hundred year struggle of our people for its own national language, or they underestimate it or misunderstand it, and thus they unconsciously become bearers of an anti-historical, unscientific stand with regard to our language. Some lecturers and publicists of our history are bringing to the masses the conception that the Slav Macedonians started in their schools and in their other cultural institutions with the use of the Bulgarian language as their literary language and that this language was used during the whole 19th and 20th centuries until the thirties, when progressive Slav Macedonian publicists took as their literary language one of the Slav Macedonian dialects. Thus it is made to seem that the Slav Macedonian literary language appeared as a shot out of the dark, because with such a conception the struggle for a national language, which started in the middle of the 19th century, is ignored.[8]

This pamphlet then cites several of the historical examples of the use of a Macedonian language, including that "little masterpiece of political agitation," a manifesto made in the name of the ill-fated Krusevo Republic of 1903. The Slav Macedonian Communists do not deny that the language of Goce Delcev and most other national heroes was Bulgarian, or that Bulgarian was the written Slav Macedonian language generally until the Second World War. But Slav Macedonian linguists explain that the Macedonian and Bulgarian peoples were facing essentially the same conditions in their struggle for national liberation against Turkey therefore; they coordinated their efforts. Since the Bulgarian bourgeoisie was more advanced than the Slav Macedonian bourgeoisie, the Bulgarian literary language was further developed; hence, it was used by the Macedonians. The bulk of Slav Macedonian linguistic history is aimed at magnifying the few historical instances of the written use of Slav Macedonian dialects.[9]

Much was done from the beginning to secure wide usage of the new language. The first grammar was published in 1946, an orthography in 1951. An 80,000 word dictionary was published in three volumes between 1961 and 1966. Two journals were started to encourage the use of the Slav Macedonian language-Makedonski jazik (1950) and Literaturen zbov (1954). The new literary language was employed from the very beginning by the mass media of the republic. However, in the early years there were many difficulties in securing wide usage of the still-changing Slav Macedonian language. Writings of the old Slav Macedonian revolutionaries and often even speeches and articles by party leaders had to be translated or adjusted before being used. The lack of adequate language standards and of experience in using the norms that had evolved resulted in linguistic hodgepodges in composition and speech. The vast majority of the population spoke the Slav Macedonian dialects of their regions and the new Slav Macedonian literary language only gradually penetrated the natural speech habits of a population just beginning to pull itself out of the depths of illiteracy and isolation.

A decade after the war, special institutes had to be held for Slav Macedonian language instructors. Commenting on the use of the new Slav Macedonian in literature in 1952, Lunt wrote:

Many Slav Macedonians have not yet learned to use their native Macedonian on all stylistic levels.... It is only the small group of intellectuals daily concerned with the written word who now write easily, without frequent Serbisms of Bulgarisms.... The writers were burdened by their education in Serbian or Bulgarian; they had learned in the long hard years of school Slav Macedonian was only for intimate friends and the most familiar ideas and feelings, but in broader spheres Serbian (or Bulgarian) must be used. This means that even today many Slav Macedonians unconsciously slip into Serbian when discussing political, philosophical or artistic matters. [10]
The standardization of the new literary language has been a continuing process. But with its constant use in schools, the press, radio, books and theater, Slav Macedonians have gradually come to understand and use the new language. The major non- Slav Macedonian cultural pull, because of party pressure, has been to Serbo-Croatian rather than Bulgarian. Serbo-Croatian is the second language in Slav Macedonian schools. As the output of original Slav Macedonian literary works and even translations of standard Communist works into Macedonian was modest in the beginning, Serbo-Croatian was widely read. In time the supply of Slav Macedonian textbooks, manuals and propaganda pamphlets has improved. Bulgarian books were discouraged before 1948 and prohibited for a time after the Cominform break.[11] Although at times when Bulgarian-Yugoslav relations have been good, Bulgarian works have been available throughout Yugoslavia, their accessibility in Macedonia has always been more limited.

It is not surprising that the output of Slav Macedonian literature has been limited both in quantity and quality. This is natural in view of the relative newness of the Macedonian language, the availability of Serbo-Croatian literature, and the fact that secondary linguistic problems are only now being solved. The early postwar literary efforts were limited primarily to poetry and a few short stories. As the language has become more firmly established and as writers have become accustomed to using it, literary works have increased both in volume and quality. Of those literary figures who have appeared, none can be said to be towering.[12]

It is doubtful if the impact of Slav Macedonian literature as such on the development of nationalism will prove as powerful as the use of the new language in the mass media and increasingly in everyday speech. In addition to the difficulty of developing a separate literature for a group of one million people in the shadow of the well-established Serbian and Croatian literatures, the literary themes called for are not always such as will encourage a "nationalist" literature. Immediately after the war the main themes were the partisan struggle with emphasis on the brotherly struggle of all Yugoslav peoples as a precondition for Slav Macedonian liberation. Although since 1948 there has been a shift away from the sterile black-and-white Soviet style of "socialist realism," Nova Makedonija and the Macedonian party leadership have continued to exhort writers to deal with "progressive" subjects. A campaign in the early 1950's opposed literary concentration on folklore and encouraged treatment of universal Marxist motives. Works based on Macedonian national characteristics are frowned upon, but still produced.

Reports on Slav Macedonian acceptance of the language have varied greatly. Some emigres claimed that the efforts to de-Bulgarize the language led to the inclusion of so many foreign elements that almost all Slav Macedonians instinctively reject it. One Serbian specialist in Yugoslav Macedonia in the early 1950's reported that the new Macedonian was used mostly by government employees loyal to Belgrade. However, one British expert on Macedonia held the language to be "immensely popular,"[13] and another expressed uncritical enthusiasm about the "happy" acceptance of it and the other new Slav Macedonian cultural forms.[14] A more realistic assessment comes from a Skopje schoolteacher who emigrated from Yugoslavia:

Among the wide masses of the urban population and the intelligentsia, the Slav Macedonian language is accepted as the most important, and often the only good, aspect of the present day Yugoslavia. The children are learning it in the schools and their parents are very satisfied that this is the case. There are places in the country-side where people were reluctant to send their children to school in the days of old Yugoslavia, but now they do so willingly, for they want their children to learn the Slav Macedonian language....The new literature and poetry in the national language has aroused great interest, for through it is created and formed the new national spirit and language. This new literature, as well as the printing of prewar literature and poetry by Slav Macedonians in the national language, has resulted in much reading.

Having been taught in schools and used extensively throughout the SRM for over twenty-five years, the Slav Macedonian language is accepted by most Slav Macedonians.

The concern of the Slav Macedonian and Yugoslav Communist leaders whenever the existence of the Slav Macedonian language is questioned reflects their feeling that the language is one of the principal elements of a separate Slav Macedonian national consciousness. In 1958 several Bulgarian statements declared that the Slavic inhabitants of Macedonia spoke Bulgarian, not the "semi-Serbian literary language which is fabricated in Skopje." Lazar Kolisevski, defensively answering the Bulgarian claims, denied the "alleged 'Serbianization'" of the Slav Macedonian language but justified the frequent use of Serbian expressions:

The Slav Macedonian language cannot be isolated from the mutual influence of the languages spoken by the Yugoslav peoples. Our common socio-economic development and socialist practice have created and are creating a number of new general expressions and terms accepted by all Yugoslav peoples.... The development of the languages of nations which have appeared late on the stage of history provides numerous examples showing that they are subjected to the influence of more developed languages and richer national cultures of related and neighboring peoples. [15]

Denial of the existence of the Slav Macedonian language is considered so serious a challenge to the Slav Macedonian nationality that Belgrade has not hesitated to condemn the Bulgarians regardless of the state of relations with Sofia. Vigorous and vehement denunciations of Bulgarian academicians have been published by leading Yugoslav newspapers even during periods of good relations with Bulgaria. The Yugoslav leaders thus acknowledge that the wide, if imperfect, usage of the Slav Macedonian language is one of the most vital contributions to Slav Macedonian nationalism.

*This text is from the book of “Yugoslav Communism and the Macedonian Question” by Stephen E. Palmer, Jr. Robert R. King, 1971. In order to segregate the Greek Macedonian cultural identity from the Slav one, I add for understating purposes the words “Slav and Vardar” in the front of the Greek adjective “Macedonia (n)” at the text. Also in the book you can find the original notes and bibliography that used in the specific article.

**For fair use only

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Trouble with Knowledge

By Michael Celik

Like an earthquake, the new Macedonian encyclopedia published in Skopje has shaken and undermined imperialist political architecture on the Balkan Peninsula. The imperialist conquest and gains in the Balkans were founded on “new thinking” or better still, no thinking at all. The new thinking was supposed to lead to new prosperity and the peoples and nationalities in the region were led to believe that embracing European and American imperialism must be accompanied by wholesale denial of people’s historical experiences. In other words, the smaller peoples in the Balkans were asked to adopt “new identity”, “foreign mentality” and to institute a regime of self denial in exchange for promised prosperity. Insecure in their post socialist neighbourhood, peoples like the Macedonians sought safety under the skirt of imperialism. However, there are two inherent problems with that strategy. First, all their ancient enemies are already under the same skirt and nobody was ever allowed to shout: “Imperialism stinks, I want out”.

The formula is simple; everyone abandons his own self interest for the sake of U.S. imperialism, which then defines everyone else’s interests. And since imperialist needs and strategies shift with time, some nations become less or more valuable than others. This has happened to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Macedonia was very important for the breakup of Yugoslavia and now it is practically worthless. It is a captive nation with a gun to its head. At the end of the process, Macedonia is an economic basket case, internally divided and unable to do much about it. The promised prosperity, for which Macedonians did all the silly things, is nowhere on the horizon and Macedonians dream of prosperity and stability they once had in Yugoslavia.

Skopje, the capital of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has become the largest C.I.A. operational base for American espionage and manipulation in the Balkans. The Americans feel there more secure than anywhere else in the region. And now, when the Macedonians are expected to parrot imperialist falsehoods, there comes the new Macedonian Encyclopedia leaking forbidden knowledge. Just when the imperialists thought that they have supplanted truth with their self serving rhetoric, the encyclopedia speaks what the Macedonian Government does not dare to say. This is not an insignificant thing, as the encyclopedia was issued under the auspices of the Macedonian Academy of Science and Arts (MANU).

What did the Macedonian Encyclopedia say that is so heretical? For one thing, the encyclopedia declares that the Macedonians are Slavs, which undermines the imperialist scheme of inventing new nations on the territory of former Yugoslavia. The encyclopedia further reveals that the Albanian inhabitants of Macedonia are not indigenous to that land and that they forcibly settled there in the sixteenth century, displacing the Macedonians. There is another more contemporary aspect in which once top secret information is revealed. The 2001 Albanian terrorist separatist plotters against Macedonia were trained by British SAS and American Special Forces in Albania and in the occupied Serbian province of Kosovo. On the one hand, the Americans have trained and supported the Albanian terrorist organization ONA for mischief and mayhem in Macedonia and on the other, they have designated the same organization as “terrorist”.

This duplicitous American game is only possible because all the client states of the region have one and the same supreme master who promises the same land to two inimical peoples. While it is absurd that Americans should promise Macedonia to the Macedonians, it is even more despicable to promise parts of Macedonia to the Albanians and set them on the path of murder and terrorism as they did in Kosovo. However, this is imperialism’s modus operandi. Those who provide greater and more valuable services to the master reap greater rewards, (maybe and sometimes), for imperialism is selfish and immoral. In this case, the Albanians are more useful than the numerically insignificant and land locked Macedonians.

The outcry against the Macedonian Encyclopedia and its authors and editors is nothing other than the cacophony of American, British and Albanian voices with veiled threats and demands that the Macedonians realize and correct their own mistakes. The embassies of all three countries have been active in threatening the Macedonians, demanding firing of people responsible for this publication, especially Blaža Ristovski. They claim the encyclopedia is “scandalous” and needs to be withdrawn from circulation.

To understand how much pressure Macedonia is under, one only needs to look at Serbia where the EU already censors that country’s school textbooks, removing what it does not like and forcing the Serbs to publish what they do not like. Even the new Constitution of Serbia was co-authored by the former NATO Secretary General, Javier Solana, who had presided over that notorious organization during its savage bombing of Yugoslavia.

In its relatively short period of independent existence, Macedonia has managed to intimidate its neighbours, Greece and Bulgaria and ally itself with its own historical enemy, Turkey. Turkey at the same time backs Albanian expansionism against all the Balkan states, including Macedonia. The imperialist powers have their own misgivings about the Macedonians who sympathize with and admire the Serbs and had staged massive protests against NATO during its bombing of Yugoslavia. Some British soldiers were even beaten up in Macedonia during that time. When it comes to the question of Kosovo, the Macedonian people are unequivocally on the side of Serbia’s right to her own province. As victims of Albanian terrorism themselves, the Macedonians feel that American interpretation of things there is cooked up for the consumption of more distant and naïve peoples. But Macedonian – Serb relations have also had their strains when Serb Orthodox Bishop Jovan was jailed 18 months for his religious conviction and for distributing Serbian Orthodox church calendars and pamphlets in his parish. Both Serbs and Macedonians share the same Orthodox religion but have separate religious hierarchies.

Today, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has a government which aims to bring the country into NATO strictures and the European Union, as panacea for the plague of poverty (22%) and unemployment (37.2%). Ethnic instability and corruption do not readily attract foreign investment to Macedonia where Macedonians boast 64% of the population. While the subservient Macedonian Government dares not say what its academics reveal, the story would be even more shocking if the ordinary Macedonians’ lament were put to paper.

Source: Pravda.Ru

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Future of Macedonia name dispute

By Aristotle Tziampiris (1)

Will the recent election landslide victory and comfortable parliamentary majority achieved by the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) facilitate the resolution of the ongoing Macedonia name dispute? George Papandreou’s election was publicly welcomed by politicians in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), who indicated willingness to negotiate, and there is also a palpable feeling of renewed (if cautious) optimism by international decision-makers. At the same time, the almost two-decade-long diplomatic dispute is widely considered to have the potential to further destabilize the region of the Western Balkans.

An apparent convergence is under way among most actors involved in the negotiations toward an agreement that is also viewed by the international community as the “best” possible – but not necessarily historically just – outcome. It would most likely consist of a final and comprehensive accord between Greece and FYROM involving a compromise international compound name with a geographical connotation (e.g. “Northern Macedonia”).

If an agreement along these lines is achieved, FYROM would automatically join NATO under the new name, its accession path toward the EU would accelerate and the concerns of the country’s Albanian population (about a quarter of the population) assuaged in a manner conducive to regional stability. (Revealingly, 65 percent of FYROM’s ethnic Albanians support a compromise on the name issue to facilitate NATO and EU membership, though 95 percent of Slav-Macedonians are opposed.)

Any such agreement would also have to address a series of legitimate Greek concerns, including the recent manifestations of Slav-Macedonian nationalism that have included the renaming of airports and highways, commission of giant statues, as well as other actions often indicating a fixation with Alexander the Great. It should furthermore be stressed that directly dealing with the controversial and “thorny” issues of FYROM’s identity and language has the potential of derailing negotiations.

Solving the name dispute outright would undoubtedly represent a major diplomatic accomplishment. However, an equally likely scenario involves the issue’s nonresolution despite continuous diplomatic meetings and negotiations. As a top Slav-Macedonian politician, striking a note of realistic pessimism, recently told this author, “Almost every conceivable settlement has already been proposed at some time or another but rejected by one of the two sides.”

If this scenario prevails, FYROM’s ruling party will probably continue the campaign to link Slav-Macedonian identity and history to antiquity. Furthermore, NATO and EU accession prospects will remain stalled. The country’s ethnic Albanians would be particularly disappointed by such an outcome and it is not alarmist to imagine that the Ohrid framework agreements (which ended the republic’s 2001 ethnic strife) could be challenged. As US State Department officials warn, this could produce perilous regional implications. (FYROM borders on Kosovo and, during periods of crisis, the influx of refugees, armed ethnic Albanian guerrilla fighting and illicit activities have linked the two places.)

If a comprehensive agreement remains elusive and in order to avoid the dispute’s complete nonresolution, certain experts have began examining a third “interim” scenario. This is based on the realization that the only substantial agreement that has been reached between FYROM and Greece was the 1995 New York Interim Accord that normalized bilateral relations but (significantly) did not resolve the name dispute. (However, Athens did recognize the young republic and Skopje changed the country’s flag, which had featured the ancient Macedonian “Star of Vergina” symbol.)

According to this interim scenario, FYROM would enter NATO under its provisional UN name, after having addressed all the recent actions deemed provocative by Greece (renaming airports and highways once again, dropping the case against Greece in the International Court of Justice at The Hague etc) thus proving in practice good-neighborly relations. The signing of a Treaty of Friendship could further codify the types of actions that would be unacceptable in the future.

Nevertheless, since there can be no firm guarantee that Skopje would not revert to nationalist or other provocations (whereas NATO membership, once achieved, is effectively irreversible), Athens could publicly link any new nationalistic turn to a democratic referendum on the neighboring republic’s EU accession, with rather predictable results. (It should be noted that for FYROM, EU membership is ultimately even more significant than NATO membership.) Negotiations on the resolution of the name dispute would, of course, continue to be conducted, possibly within an improved bilateral climate.

If this scenario is realized, regional stability might be enhanced. However, the resolution of the name dispute will be pushed even further into the future, while Athens will have lost an important source of diplomatic leverage.

At this point, it is not clear which outcome will prevail. What is certain is that considerable statesmanship and diplomatic skills will have to be exhibited in order to resolve an urgent and important diplomatic problem that influences the domestic politics in both Greece and FYROM and has very real consequences for the Western Balkans.

(1) Dr Aristotle Tziampiris is assistant professor of international relations at the University of Piraeus. The views expressed in this article are his own.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Macedonian language and the name dispute between Greece and FYROM

bu Tymphaios
October 11, 2009

In 1945, a committee set up by Yugoslav communist leader Josip Broz Tito invented for the first time an alphabet for the new "Macedonian" language. The official documents introducing the new alphabet and language were written in Bulgarian.

Introduction of the "Macedonian" language in communist Yugoslavia in 1945. The document is written in the Bulgarian alphabet. It reads: "The Macedonian Orthography proposed by the Orthography and Language Commission at the Ministry of People's Education is accepted as an official orthography. The same will be printed in books as an edition of the Ministry of People's Education".

Introduction of the "Macedonian" alphabet in communist Yugoslavia in 1945. The main document is written in the Bulgarian alphabet.

Is this language Macedonian? In the absence of knowledge of Slavic, one unfamiliar with the Macedonist argument may rightly want to know how much this FYROMacedonian language resembles the language of the ancient Macedonians and how much it resembles Slavic. One simple way to test this without knowledge of Slavic is to take a FYROMacedonian document and use Google Translator to see how much of it can be understood if it is translated using the Bulgarian or Serbian Google translator, treating it in other words as either Bulgarian or Serbian text.

I have randomly chosen an article I found on the internet called something like "When I was in the Coast I met Stalin".

The original text is appended at the end of this article. The Google translations using FYROMacedonian Translator, Bulgarian Translator and Serbian Translator are also shown at the end. Many parts remain untranslated by the Bulgarian and Serbian Google Translators but those that become translated agree well with the FYROMacedonian Translator. The Serbian Translator and Bulgarian Translator underperformed but between the two of them one can get a very good idea of what the article says. In fact some words that fail to become translated by the Bulgarian translator are translated by the Serbian one, so the problem must be partly the choice of Slavonic characters used and the choice between a Bulgarian or Serbian word.

The Greek translation by Google failed completely. Google returned the FYROMacedonian text only. One may therefore ask, what is the link of the FYROMacedonians to the ancients? All we have attested from Macedonia in ancient times was in Greek. Until our own time historic Macedonia is being inhabited by Greeks. Why should the FYROMacedonian language be called Macedonian? Tito is dead.

There are nations that at times have fostered extreme ideologies of superiority of race. There are individuals who may believe in flying saucers, proverbial red herrings and pink elephants. There is now and then someone who thinks he is Jesus. However, until this instance there have been no nations that attempted to reinvent themselves as an ancient and completely unrelated people. This is perhaps a first in human history. It is so strange, it had left for 18 years classical scholars speechless. In fact it is so strange, diplomats have almost no means to say "that´s crazy" in a diplomatic way. It is so incomprehensible that one ponders if a logical or diplomatic response to this claim may be appreciated at all.

The way this goes, it will not be long before calling something Macedonian becomes a proverbial allusion to reaching way beyond one´s depth. Macedonism is already becoming a byword for the reinvention of "facts". Speaking of a "Macedonian theory" may soon become an alternative to using the expression "living in a parallel universe".

Though most people are stunned and some may assume they have been simply ignorant of Macedonian history, a few are rightly upset and they are not just the Greeks. One´s history and language can be tossed about to some extent but cannot be just ridiculed and misappropriated to further someone else´s lack of self esteem, outdated communist dogma and nefarious territorial ambitions. There was for example the following frustrated comment posted in an internet forum from a Syrian national:

Habib, UK: "Syrians say, get a life south Slavians. Yugoslavs never ever ruled over Syria, a thousand curses on those who tell lies … you have no history with Syria ok. Macedonians are Greek Hellenic (Yunan) people, they left us good history for Syria."

Unfortunately for the poor Syrian, little does he know that the Falsedonian community supporting the cult-like macedonist ideology in FYROM and abroad has become desensitized to the disbelief of others. The so-called Antique Macedonians still march on regardless, no matter how strong are the words of dismay they hear. Presumably for decades they had been told to turn a deaf ear to evil capitalists from the west, to the "false prophets" of western imperialism, who harboured fascist beliefs and false ideologies. One must ask, how can an educational system based on propagandist ideology be destroyed without a rebellion against it? FYROM became an independent country by historical accident.

Before closing, let us remember who the Macedonians were.

The words of Alexander have been cut into stone in his dedication to Athena at a temple in Priene. The dedication is mentioned by Arrian. It was discovered by archaeologists and is kept today at the British Museum. It says, in Alexander´s Macedonian language:


"King Alexander dedicated this temple to Athena Polias".

The language is Greek.

Macedon is a word found in Hesiod and in Homer (6-8th C BC).

"And she conceived and bare to Zeus who delights in the thunderbolt two sons, Magnes and Macedon, rejoicing in horses, who dwell round about Pieria and Olympus".
Hesiod (8th C BC), fragment; Constantinos Porphyrogenitos, 2 de Them. 2 p. 48B

Macedon was a Greek hero, the mythical progenitor of a Greek tribe who only left written records in Greek. At the time of Homer and Hesiod, the Slavs probably lived in the steppes of Russia. The Slavs did not appear in the Balkans until about the 6th C AD, 1300 years after Hesiod wrote about Macedon.

It is obvious that the citizens of FYROM have many words in their Slavic language. Their country was once called South Serbia and their dialect Western Bulgarian. If neither of these are suitable today, it should really not be so difficult to find a way to describe their ethnic identity in words that are not Greek. Slavonic is historically, ethnically and geographically suitable. Why this insistence in reinventing history?



Original so called "Macedonian" text:
Имав 16 години кога ме претставија на Јосиф Сталин, изјави еден од водечките светски модни креатори Пако Рабан во Москва, каде на руската публика прв пат и ја претстави изложбата на своите цртежи,

Сеќавајќи се на таа средба, 70-годишниот Рабан, кој тогаш со мајка му престојувал во Москва, посочи дека Сталин му оставил силен впечаток и оти имал некаква магнетска привлечност.

Мојата мајка беше еден од основачите на Комунистичката партија на Шпанија. Таа беше многу прагматична жена, голем реалист и силна личност", истакна Рабан за весникот „Известија".

Рабан е роден во Баскија, Шпанија, но пораснал со Франција.

Креаторот, чии модели од пластика, метал и хартија се изложени во музеи на современа уметност, смета дека модата денеска е во криза поради отсуство на идеи, но оти „има надеж за тоа што доаѓа од истокот".

1. FYROMacedonian Google Translator result:
Paco Rabbany: When I was in the Coast I met Stalin

I had 16 years ago when I was introduced to Joseph Stalin, said one of the leading fashion designers Paco Rabbany in Moscow where the Russian public for the first time and presented an exhibition of his drawings.

Recalling that meeting, 70-year-old Rabbany, who then resided with his mother in Moscow, Stalin said that he left a strong impression and that he had a magnetic attraction.

"My mother was one of the founders of the Communist Party of Spain. It was a very pragmatic woman, a realist and a strong personality, "said Rabbany newspaper Izvestija.

Rabbany was born in the Basque Country, Spain, but grew up in France.

Creator, whose models of plastic, metal and paper are exposed in museums of modern art, believes that fashion today is in crisis due to lack of ideas, but that "there is hope for what comes from the east".

2. Bulgarian Google Translator result.
Paco Rabanne: When Bev st Koskva introduced him to Stalin

Imav 16 years when I претставија of Јосиф Stalin изјави Eden sh vodechkite secular fashion kreatori Paco Rabanne st Moscow, the Russian audience Kade FTE ја pretstavi stalemate and the exhibition of their tsrtezhi,

Сеќавајќи to taa sredba, 70-godishniot Rabanne, кој gown pm мајка his престојувал st Moscow, Stalin said his deck remains strong and BTI had vpechatok nekakva magnetska privlechnost.

"Eden was Мојата мајка sh osnovachite of Komunistichkata партија of Шпанија. Таа беше многу прагматична жена, голем реалист и силна личност", истакна Рабан за весникот „Известија". Taa was многу pragmatic woman, realistic and strong personality, istakna Rabanne for vesnikot "Известија.

Raban was born st Баскија, Шпанија but grown Франција pm.

Kreatorot, whose models sh plastic, metal and exposed to хартија st museums sovremena umetnost, trash fashion deck is deneska st crisis due otsustvo ideas, "but BTI has hope for SG & A sh што доаѓа istokot".
3. Serbian Google Translator result.
Paco Raban: Where I was in Koskva go met Stalin

I had 16 years to when I presented the Joseph Stalin, said one of the world vodečkite fashion designers Paco Raban in Moscow, where the audience ruskata first time I presented izložbata on their drawings,

Seḱavajḱi at that meeting, 70-godišniot Raban, which then, with his mother stayed in Moscow, Stalin posoči that he ostavil strong vpečatok went and had a some kind of magnetic privlečnost.

"My mother was one of the founder of Komunističkata parties in Spain. It was very pragmatic woman, great realists and strong personality, "Raban pointed to newspaper" Izvestia ".

Raban was born in the Basque Country, Spain, no porasnal with France.

Kreatorot, CII models of plastic, metal and paper are exposed in museums of modern art, considers that fashion today is in crisis due to the absence of ideas, no go "for it has nadež which doaǵa of istokot".

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Greek comments as regards the FYROM issues at ECRI’s report(pages 61-62)

With respect to the references to ‘’Macedonian’’ community and language (paras. 111-120), we would like to stress that a small number of people in Greek Macedonia, mainly in the prefecture of Florina, apart from Greek, speak a Slavic dialect, which is confined to family or colloquial use. This dialect has similarities with the language spoken by the Slav-Macedonians in the neighbouring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Cross-border contacts, such as tourism and trade, keep this dialect alive,as is the case with the Greek language spoken in the southern part of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. All people in Greece speaking this dialect are bilingual (Slavic/Greek).

Subjective claims or perceptions of some of the above-mentioned individuals, which are not based on objective facts and criteria, that they are ethnically “Macedonians” do not establish by themselves a corresponding obligation of Greece to officially recognize this group as a «minority» and to guarantee to its members specific minority rights, additional to those guaranteed by human rights treaties. Moreover, the use on their behalf of the term “Macedonian” in order to define a distinct ethnicity creates confusion with the 2,5 million Greeks who identify themselves as Macedonians in the regional/cultural sense.

In any case, in Greece, even if a group is not recognised as a minority enjoying specific minority rights, individuals are free to declare that they belong to a distinct ethnic or cultural group, without any negative consequences resulting from such a statement. In addition, these persons enjoy fully all their civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights, which are recognized by the provisions of national and international law. Both the judiciary and the administration are obliged to implement these provisions. Persons who consider that their rights are
being violated can bring their case before the Greek courts and also have the possibility to appeal to the competent international bodies, as provided for by the relevant treaties binding Greece.

A couple of examples prove the above mentioned affirmations:

- There is a political party in Greece, which claims to represent the “Macedonian minority”. This party operates freely and participates without any impediments in the elections. One of the leading figures of the party is a civil servant, working for the Greek State, regardless of his political activities and views.

- There are regular cultural events and festivities organised by the Slav-speaking persons in the region of Florina, where everyone is free to participate, including nationals of the neighbouring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

In conclusion, all persons residing in Greece, regardless of their nationality, ethic origin, language, religious or political affiliation enjoy full protection of their human rights and liberties. Everyone is free to declare his/her origin, speak his/her language, exercise his/her religion and observe his/her particular customs and traditions.

Finally, with regard to the implementation of measures of reconciliation, the Greek State, in order to definitely heal the wounds of the Civil War, proceeded to the reinstatement of the citizenship and the return of confiscated property of persons of Greek origin who had fled the country after this traumatic historical experience. However, all individuals, irrespective of their ethic origin, have the possibility to bring before Greek courts any claims regarding property or other issues, under the general provisions of law.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

The "Albanian myth" from William Maxwell.

With a great surprise I have read a amazing historical quote that concern many periods from the European history that came from William Maxwell and contained in an article with the head name “Journey to Albania” ( This quote says:
The Albanians are universally acknowledged as the descendants of the Illyrians who gave the world Alexander the Great, Emperor Constantine, several other Roman and Byzantine Emperors, one of the popes of the Roman Catholic Church, several Grand Vizirs of the Ottoman Empire, Muhammad Ali Pasha, father of modern Egypt, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of modern Turkey, as well as Mother Teresa destined for sainthood because of her services to the poor of India. Albania was also the only country in Europe that protected all the Jews, i.e. the only European country where the Jewish population was increased during WWII.
I will try to analyze step by step the accuracies of the above quote. Not all of them because I am not expert of all these that William Maxwell wrote such as the Ottoman history.
Albanians are universally acknowledged as the descendants of the Illyrians…..
This myth systemically cultivated from known Albanian centres that promote the historical revisionism and extreme nationalism in the Balkans. Albanians are not universally acknowledged as the descendants of the Illyrians. This confirms from several studies and works such as “Illyrians” by John Wilkes, several works from the expert of the Albanian history Mrs Miranda Vickers, Albanian identities: myth and history by Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers and Bernd Jürgen Fischer, global wide collectively works such as the ancient, modern and medieval history of the Cambridge and Oxford Universities e.t.c.
…Albanians are universally acknowledged…who gave the world Alexander the Great…
This is one from the most historical revisionist argument; similar with this that Alexander was a Slavonic origin as circulate from the Slavmacedonians in the neighbour FYROM State. Thousands historical works and tens of writers(Hammond, Worthington, Borza, Stoneman, Ulrich Wilcken e.t.c.) have agree that Great Alexander was born in July 356 (Arr. 7.28.1, Plut. Alex. 3.5), was the son of Macedonian Philip’s fourth wife Olympias, a princess from Epirus, situated to Macedon’s west. None of them mention that Alexander was Illyrian and the most inaccurate…Albanian as William Maxwell quoted. Macedonians according the same sources were a mix of Greek and older ancient tribes or were just Greek or unknown origin (Borza). Epirotans according the same sources were Greeks and the most known tribe was the Mollosian. None of them mention that was Illyrian or Albanian.
…Albanians are universally acknowledged…who gave…Emperor Constantine, several other Roman and Byzantine Emperors (were Albanians)…
Emperor Constantine and several other Roman and Byzantine Emperors were not Albanians as William Maxwell claim. Byzantine Dynasties were Greek, Armenian, Roman, Anatolian origin. This confirmed from tens of writers and experts of the Byzantine history like George Ostrogorski, Paul Stephenson, Cyril Mango, Joan Hussey, John Norwich as also from global wide collectively works like European medieval history of the Cambridge, Oxford and Michigan Universities e.t.c..
…Albanians are universally acknowledged…who gave…pope in the Roman Catholic Church…
Catholic Encyclopaedia (, the most known source it doesn’t mention that one from the Pope was…Albanian. Where William Maxwell find this thing is …unknown.

… Albania was also the only country in Europe that protected all the Jews, i.e. the only European country where the Jewish population was increased during WWII…
At the 30s and 40s and according the Albanian sources only 200 Jews lived! Jewish population actually grew during the Axis occupation; it is estimated that there were 1800 jews in Albania at the end of war but the small Jewish community (200 souls) of Vlore was expelled from the country at the Nazis concentration’s camp. The recorded numbers of 1800 were Jews from the neighbored occupy Greece that has returned with the end of the war.

Albania at the WWII also as is known was allied of the fascist Italy and thousands Albanians were enlisted in the known SS regiments (SS Division Skanderbeg and Handschar Division.

There is an Illyrian myth, with which Albanian culture has been flirting for at least 150 years, and as a myth it can't be questioned for it has all the answers. There is also a very tentative Illyrian science, based mainly on archaeology, and on some data transmitted by Ancient Greek and Roman Historians. Those who are ready to accept that Illyrians and Albanians were one people, should have a look at the Messapic inscriptions, in Puglia. These inscriptions, being totally alien to Albanian, show that the Illyrian question is extremely complicated, and that it isn't likely to be resolved, unless fundamental epigraphic discoveries are made.

From me and in the real world there are no examples of ancient Illyrian literature surviving (aside from the Messapian writings if they can be considered Illyrian), it is difficult to clarify its place within the Indo-European language family. Albanians first appear in the historical record in Byzantine sources of the late 11th century. At this point, they are already fully Christianized. Very little evidence of pre-Christian Albanian culture survives, and Albanian mythology and folklore as it presents itself is notoriously syncretized from various sources, showing in particular Greek influence. Albanians are and have been referred to by other terms as well. Some of them are:

--Arbër, Arbën, Arbëreshë; the old native term denoting ancient and medieval Albanians and sharing the same root with the latter. At the time the country was called Arbër (Gheg: Arbën) and Arbëria (Gheg: Arbënia). This term is still used for the Albanians that migrated to Italy during the Middle Ages.

--Arnauts; old term used mainly from Turks and by extension by European authors during the Ottoman Empire. A derivate of Arbër, Albanian.

-- Skipetars; the historical rendering of the ethnonym Shqiptar (or Shqyptar by French, Austrian and German authors) in use from the 18th century (but probably earlier) to the present, the literal translation of which is subject of the eagle. The term Šiptari is a derivation used by Yugoslavs which the Albanians consider derogatory.

There is not any historical record as regards the connection of the Illyrians (that were last mentioned in 7th century AD, during the Slavic migration to the Balkans) and Albanians. Also there is not any linguistic connection of the unkonwn Illyrian language with the Albanian language that initial recorded in 208-page parchment mansuscript written by Theodor of Shkodra, dating 600 years after.

William Maxwell must be more cautious when write these things as regards the history. Historical revisionism and historical ignorance has a close border line that either goes to the legitimate scholastic correction of existing knowledge about an historical event, or goes to the illegitimate distortion of the historical record such that certain events appear in a more or less favourable ligh.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Slavmacedonians are not related with the ancient Macedonians that were Greek, German scholar says

Mannheim, Germany -
The head of a German museum which is set to show an exhibition about Alexander the Great weighed into a dispute between Skopje and Athens on Friday, saying the ancient leader had been predominantly Greek.

The modern state of Macedonia, where the main language is a Slavic one, claims the heritage of ancient Macedonia.

'Alexander was predominantly Greek and definitely not an ancestor of contemporary Slavic Macedonians,' said Alfried Wieczorek, head of the Reiss-Engelhorn Museums in the southern German city of Mannheim.

The exhibition devoted to the ancient general and ruler, who lived from 356 to 323 BC, opens on Saturday and runs till February 21.

For two decades, Athens has been objecting to its northern neighbour calling itself Macedonia. Skopje has named its airport after Alexander and insists on having Alexander's 'star of Vergina' symbol on its coat of arms.

In an interview with the German Press Agency dpa, Wieczorek said, 'The latest research shows very clearly yet again that the Macedonians in the days of Alexander were closely related to the contemporary Greeks.'

He added, 'In antiquity, Greeks and Macedonians could interact because they spoke the same language.'

Athens has been insisting that the name Macedonia can only been applied to a province in its own north.

The country of Macedonia became independent in 1991 when Yugoslavia split up. The name issue has held up efforts to bring the new country into NATO and into formal assocation with the European Union.

The museum director referred to findings that its population of 2 million, one quarter of them Albanian speakers and three quarters Slavic speakers, are descended from people who immigrated in the 6th century of the modern era, long after Alexander's death.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

"Macedonian Airlines" soon into the air again.!!!

During a similar ceremony upon arrival at Thessaloniki's Macedonia Airport, Vgenopoulos announced that MIG possesses an internationally registered trademark for the title "Macedonian Airlines".
"We have received the codes, and no one else can fly with this name," he stressed.Vgenopoulos explained that an Olympic Air subsidiary company, named Macedonian Airlines, will be set up, headquartered in Thessaloniki, for the purpose of soon serving the business and tourism needs of the region.
Next week, he added, he will have a meeting with officials and agencies of Northern Greece to discuss procedural issues, while the new subsidiary will be up and flying in a few months' time.According to sources, the first flights to be carried out by Macedonian Airlines will be to Germany and Amsterdam.
The flight was greeted on arrival at Macedonia Airport by Macedonia-Thrace minister Stavros Kalafatis, Thessaloniki prefect Panayotis Psomiadis and other officials.

The Impact of the Macedonian Question on Civil Conflict in Greece (1943-1949) by Evangelos Kofos

The Impact of the Macedonian Question on Civil Conflict in Greece (1943-1949) by Evagelos Kofos