Saturday, July 30, 2011

Anti-Turkish Movements in Macedonia before the 1821 Greek Revolution

by Ioannis Hasiotis
Modern and Contemporary Macedonia
Volume 1, pages 436-457

Most of what has been written about anti-Turkish movements in Macedonia during the long period between the consolidation of Ottoman rule in the first half of the 15th century and the outbreak of the 1821 Revolution is largely characterized by oversimplification. The enthusiasm with which idealist and even Marxist historians have projected revolutionary activities in the area has not been based on sufficient evidence. What is more, anachronisms have not always been avoided. Confusion further increases as a result of the geographical identification of present-day Macedonia -both Greek and 'Greater Macedonia', which stretches over parts of three neighbouring countries- with an area which, albeit known under the same name, had an entirely different geographical content during the period of Ottoman domination.
These phenomena should not be ascribed solely to political or ideological expediency influencing the writings of Greeks and foreigners on modern Macedonia....

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

FYROM lobby irked by Bill introduced by U.S House Committee on Foreign Affairs

July 26, 2011
The FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) lobby in the US been irked by the content of a Bill which was introduced to the U.S House of Representatives by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
The Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2012 (H.R. 2583) has proposed a limitation on U.S foreign aid to the FYROM. Further irritating the FYROM lobby, the Bill referred to the FYROM under that name, rather than under the name 'Republic of Macedonia´, as official documents have done since the Bush Administration unilaterally recognised the FYROM as the ´Republic of Macedonia´ name in 2004. The relevant sections of the Bill are as follows:

Monday, July 11, 2011

FYROM Statues: From ethno-cultural nationalism to National Chauvinism

With the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, the ruling ideology of Marxism-Leninism was replaced by different ideological forces. One of them was nationalism. In FYROM, gradually and with the "withdrawal" of the Socialists in the various state power positions, the far right through the VMRO began to take their places. So we have from the late 90's a gradual transformation of rampant ethno-cultural nationalism, into an explosion of national chauvinism (see Andrew Heynwood, political ideologies, 2007).

The extreme nationalist hysteria that exists on these days between the Slavmacedonians, because of the erection of two statues (one is giant) at the center of Skopje is a typical example. The far-right Prime Minister Gruevski, continuing the "antiquisation policy" of the Slavic population, made the next step and the Slavmacedonism enfold the "national chauvinism".

National chauvinism breeds from a feeling of intense, even hysterical nationalist enthusiasm. The individual as a separate, rational being is swept away on a tide of patriotic emotion, expressed in the desire for aggression, expansion and war. The right-wing French nationalist Charles Maurras (1868-1952) called such intense patriotism “integral nationalism”: individuals and independent groups lose their identity within an all-powerful 'nation', which has an existence and meaning beyond the life of any single individual. (Heynwood:165) Such militant nationalism is often accompanied by...

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Greek austerity measures could violate human rights, UN expert says

30 June 2011

– The United Nations independent expert on foreign debt and human rights warned today that the austerity measures and structural reforms proposed to solve Greece’s debt crisis may result in violations of the basic human rights of the country’s people, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reported.

The implementation of the second package of austerity measures and structural reforms, which includes a wholesale privatization of state-owned enterprises and assets, is likely to have a serious impact on basic social services and therefore the enjoyment of human rights by the Greek people, particularly the most vulnerable sectors of the population such as the poor, elderly, unemployed and persons with disabilities,” said Cephas Lumina, who reports to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The rights to food, water, adequate housing and work under fair and equitable conditions should not be compromised by the implementation of austerity measures,” he said, urging the Government to “strike a careful balance between austerity and the realization of human rights, taking into account the primacy of States’ human rights obligations.”

Mr. Lumina also called...

Friday, July 01, 2011

Democracy’s Cradle, Rocking the World

Published: June 29, 2011

YESTERDAY, the whole world was watching Greece as its Parliament voted to pass a divisive package of austerity measures that could have critical ramifications for the global financial system. It may come as a surprise that this tiny tip of the Balkan Peninsula could command such attention. We usually think of Greece as the home of Plato and Pericles, its real importance lying deep in antiquity. But this is hardly the first time that to understand Europe’s future, you need to turn away from the big powers at the center of the continent and look closely at what is happening in Athens. For the past 200 years, Greece has been at the forefront of Europe’s evolution.

In the 1820s, as it waged a war of independence against the Ottoman Empire, Greece became an early symbol of escape from the prison house of empire. For philhellenes, its resurrection represented the...