Friday, November 28, 2008

The Greek administrative usage of Macedonia as a name

The Balkan Wars of 1912-13 freed Macedonia from Ottoman suzerainty. Its greater part –over 50% of the former Ottoman Macedonian geographical region-- was incorporated into Greece, while the rest was split between Serbia and Bulgaria by a 40-10% ratio respectively.

A year later, in 1914, for the first time since classical era, the term «Macedonia» was employed by the Greek state to define once again an administrative region, which from a geographical point of view was essentially identical to the ancient Macedonian kingdom. The name «General Government of Macedonia» (in Greekenglish Geniki Dhioikisi Makedhonias") was retained almost throughout the Interwar period, and continued in use even during the German occupation from 1941 to 1944.

In the below picture you can see a Greek historical archive that defines via State Law once again the Macedonia term as administrative unit. [1]

The Article 1 mention:

«The new countries except for Epirus and the Aegean Islands are divided administratively into General Governments and Prefectures; Macedonia, Epirus and the Aegean islands can be subdivided- apart from prefectures- into sub-governments. The General Governments of Epirus and the Aegean Islands as well as the Government of Samos are abolished. Thessaloniki and Chania are defined as the seats of the General Governors of Macedonia and Crete respectively.»

I would like to add that in Byzantine era was also established the administrative theme of Macedonia but had nothing in common with either classical Macedonia or that of modern times: this point must be made clear, particularly because the question of Macedonia is of special importance to our problem. The Byzantine theme of Macedonia consisted of western Thrace, with its center at Adrianople. The name "Macedonia" was attached to this territory precisely because actual Macedonia was lost to Byzantium, and was occupied by Slavs and formed a conglomeration of Sclaviniae.[2]

After World War II, it was named «General Government of Northern Greece», subdivided into the General Governments of Eastern, Western and Central Macedonia. These divisions were retained up to 1950, when they were subsumed into the Ministry of Northern Greece which added Thrace to its jurisdiction. In the early 1970s, the «General Government of Macedonia» made a further brief reappearance, only to revert after a few years to the name «Ministry of Northern Greece» (Ypourgeio Voreiou Elladhos). Since 1988, however, the Ministry of Northern Greece assumed its current name as the «Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace». Earlier, in 1986, the regions of «Eastern» «Western» and «Central Macedonia» were also created.

The existence of a Macedonian administrative entity within the framework of the Greek state, together with the long Greek Macedonian heritage, were contributory factors which consolidated the widespread use of the Macedonian name as a feature of the regional and cultural identity of the Greeks in Macedonia. Such use was not limited to Greek administrative bodies and public sector companies and organizations in Macedonia; it also spread to businesses, as well as cultural and other associations and every relevant event in the private sector originating in Macedonia. [3]

At this point it is worth stressing that in contrast to Greek Macedonia, in the other two parts of Macedonian territory that came under the sovereignty of the neighboring states, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia, the Macedonian term was never used to identify an administrative region in the respective countries. Indeed, the name chosen for the Yugoslav region between 1929 and 1939 was «Vardarska Banovina». It was only after the end of World War II, i.e. some 30 years after Greece had extensively used the Macedonian name to identify its own province in the north, that the newly-established communist Yugoslav Federation chose, for its own political reasons, to set up a federative unit, the «People´s Republic of Macedonia» (subsequently, "Socialist").


FYROM(the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia)a new formatted State use opposes the usage of the name «Macedonia» by in its post 1991 constitutional name, without a geographical qualifier. The choice of the name Macedonia by FYROM directly raises the issue of usurpation of the Greek cultural heritage. The name constitutes the basis for staking an exclusive rights claim over the entire geographical area of Macedonia. More specifically, to call only the Slavmacedonians as «Macedonians» monopolizes the name for the Slavmacedonians and creates semiological confusion, whilst violating the human rights and the right to self-determination of Greek Macedonians. [4]
The use of the name by FYROM alone may also create problems in the trade area, and subsequently become a potential springboard for distorting reality, and a basis for activities far removed from the standards set by the European Union and more specifically the clause on good neighborly relations. [5] The best example of this is to be seen in the content of school textbooks in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

FYROM's terminology--"Aegean Macedonia"--for Greek Macedonia and the so call repression of "the Macedonians in Greece" without qualification, which not only generates confusion but also gives the impression that members of this small minority constitute the only or true Macedonians in the region. As Loring Danforth point out the usage of the «Aegean Macedonia» is regarded as a non-recognition of current European borders, including the legitimacy of Greek sovereignty over the area. [6]


Macedonia» has reference to a geographic area encompassing all or portions of several States in the region of Southeast Europe that «Macedonia» has importance to a long association with the heritage, culture and history of the Greek Republic and Greek people since antiquity, that «Macedonia» is a name commonly used to refer to a region of northern Greece, and that the people of such region are, within the Greek Republic, customarily referred to as «Macedonians».

That´s why after the liberation of the Macedonian region, the Greek administration re-establish for first time in the Modern Balkan history the «Macedonian term» again respected her cultural heritage.


[1]- Government Gazette of the Greek Kingdom, 31 December 1914, No 404: Law 524
[2]- George Ostrogorsky,The Byzantine Background of the Moravian Mission, Dumbarton Oaks Papers, Vol. 19. (1965), pp. 1-18
[3]- Μακεδονία (Macedonia): A Greek Term in Modern Usage, Museum of the Macedonian Struggle Foundation
[4]-«Hellenic Republic, Ministry of Foreign Affairs», Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) — The Name Issue.
[5]-As noted by D. Perry, "the idea of a Macedonian nationality spread during the 20th century, but did not find official expression or acceptance anywhere until the creation of the second Yugoslavia", See D. Perry, p. 278 and his reference to Loris M. Danforth, The Macedonian Conflict, Princeton University Press, 1995, pp. 56-69.
[6]- The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World", Loring M. Danforth, p. 37

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

THE REPATRIATION DILEMMA (Slavmacedonian Separatists)

This below pages is a chapter from a book (Macedonia in non-Greek archives),that publish from the Society for Macedonian Studies that has as subject to provide Yugoslav and Bulgarian state archives that reveal how and for what purposes the governments of Greece’s two neighbours handled the Macedonian Question from 1950 to 1967, the crucial period that followed on from the Greek Civil War, where Greek Macedonia was the main theatre of operations.

After the Greek Civil War, some twenty to twenty-five thousand fugitives and refugees form Greece settled in Yugoslav Macedonia (People Republic of Macedonia). Most of them were Slav Macedonians. These ‘Aegeans’, as they were arbitrarily group-labelled by the local leaders in Skopje, were not a tightly-knit community, despite allegations to the contrary; many of them had simply got trapped in Yugoslavia, and were the Yugoslav Macedonian’s captives – hostages to an irredentist ambition.

As the documents quoted below make quite clear, the commonalty of ‘Aegean’ refugees from Greece was, in the early 1950s at any rate, a very mixed bunch, not at all compact either in ethnic structure or in ideology.

'Aegean Macedonia' is a Slav Macedonian irredentist term used to refer to the region of Macedonia in Greece, in the context of a 'United Macedonia'. The origins of the term seem to be rooted in the 1940s but its modern usage is widely considered ambiguous and irredentist. The term has occasionally appeared on maps circulated in the former Yugolsav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), which envisioned Greek Macedonia (referred to as "Aegean Macedonia") as part of a "Greater Macedonia", and is regarded as a challenge of of the legitimacy of Greek sovereignity over the area.

Click the images to view them in higher resolution.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Slav-Macedonian Political Separatists

Map published in the Yugoslav newspaper Borba for 26 Aug 1946, showing the Yugoslav Macedonia and the ethnic boundaries as they dreamed from the Slavmacedonian Separatists

FYROM´s (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) irredentist policy towards Greece from 1944 to the present, is a policy that is in flagrant breach of the Interim Agreement signed by the two parties in 1995, calls on FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) to put an end to any expressions of irredentism. The FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) pseudo-irredentist propaganda, by which it essentially disputes Greece´s sovereignty over the northern part of the country, is promoted with a barrage of advertisements in American media, and with the publication of Parliament resolutions and State law suits by so called "Aegean Macedonians" against the Greek state. [1]

"Aegean Macedonia" is a Slav Macedonian irredentist term used to refer to the region of Macedonia in Greece, in the context of a greater 'United Macedonia'. The origins of the term seem to be rooted in the 1940s, but its modern usage is widely considered ambiguous and irredentist. The term has occasionally appeared on several maps circulated in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), which envisioned Greek Macedonia (referred to as "Aegean Macedonia") as part of a "Greater Macedonia", and is regarded as a challenge of the legitimacy of Greek sovereignty over the area [2].
King Boris of Bulgaria arrives in Skopje April,1942 to the adulation of the Fyromians/Vardaskans shouting "our King our King"


In Greece, at the World War II and after the Germans invaded in 1941, they established occupation zones for their forces and those of their Italian and Bulgarian allies. In Macedonia (only the Greek province used that name at the time), the German High Command under Field Marshal Sieg-mund List approved of the presence of Slavophone (bilingual) "liaison officers" to be attached to the occupying forces. These were mostly Bulgarian officers linked to the nationalist group VMRO (Slavic for "Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization"), whose agenda was to mobilize and coordinate the activities of Slavophone inhabitants in Macedonia and Vardar Banovina, for the benefit of the Axis occupiers. The leader of VMRO was Ivan Mihailoff (known as Vancho), a major figure in the history of Southeast European extremist nationalist movements, though little studied even by experts [3].

People from FYROM in Skopje posing with their allies German soldiers with the irredentist map of Greater Macedonia behind them

Most of the Slavophone inhabitants in all parts of divided Macedonia (and in Vardar Banovina, present FYROM) perhaps a million and a half in all – had a Bulgarian national consciousness at the beginning of the Occupation; and most Bulgarians, whether they supported the Communists, VMRO, or the collaborating government, assumed that all Macedonia would fall to Bulgaria after the war as Chris Woodhouse mentions [4]. Communist leader at the time, Josip Broz Tito was determined for this not to happen. The first Congress of AVNOJ (Slavic for "Anti-Fascist Council") in November 1942, had parented equal rights to all the 'peoples of Yugoslavia', and specified the (Slav) Macedonian population among them. By implication, the guarantee could be extended to Pirin (Bulgarian) Macedonia and "Aegean (Greek) Macedonia". Thus this scenario was a creation of Tito, in order to provide a launching-pad from which to invade and occupy ´proper´ Macedonia found in northern Greece (refer to attached map).

Detachments of Slavophone volunteers were first formed in 1943, and accompanied by Italian units searching for arms from the stores of the retreating Greek forces, which the country people were often hiding. These volunteers joined the Italian-sponsored "Axis-Macedonian-Bulgarian Committee," which later became better known as the "Komitato" or "Komitet", first founded in Kastoria by Anton Kaltchev, a Bulgarian officer of Slav-Macedonian antecedents, connected to Mihailoff´s VMRO who enjoyed the respect of the Germans. Soon after, a military arm of this organization was formed and came to be known as the "Macedonian-Bulgarian Command," or less formally as the "Ohrana".


When the Germans withdrew from Greece, and Bulgaria declared war on Germany, the Ohrana and the Slavophone collaborationist effort collapsed. Anton Kaltchev fled Greece, but was apprehended by Yugoslav communist partisans and was delivered to ELAS (Greek People's Liberation Army). After the end of the war he was put on trial as criminal of war and was sentenced to death by the Greek military court [5].

Graffiti written in Slavic supporting Markos Vafiadis, a renegade general for KKE (DSE) during the Greek civil war.

Many of the Greek Slavophones who had filled the ranks of the VMRO volunteer (i.e., Axis collaborator) units, enlisted in the ranks of SNOF (Slavo-Macedonian Popular Liberation Front), which was created by the Greek Communist Party. After Bulgaria aligned itself with the Soviets, the process further accelerated. Thus, Slavophone collaborators found their way to DSE (Demokratikos Stratos Elladas), the military force of the Greek Communist Party, and during the civil war in Greece (1946-49) renamed the SNOF organization to NOF.


Following the resolution of the Security Council of April 18, 1947. a commission was set up in order to investigated the Greek Frontier Incidents. The general conclusion of the UN Security Commission on the Macedonian issue was as follows:

The U.N. Logo of 1947

The Yugoslav and Bulgarian Governments themselves revived and promoted a separatist movement among the Slav minorities in Macedonia. In making this finding, the Commission pointed out that some 20,000 Greek citizens had fled to Yugoslavia and some 5,000 to Bulgaria — most of them Slavs — and that the treatment of this group by Greek officials had "provided fertile breeding ground for separatist movements." In Yugoslavia, Macedonian separatism was the special goal of an organization called the NOF (National Labor Front) which had its headquarters in Skopje and Monastir» [6].


Recently, (July 2008) the issue of a "Macedonian minority" in Greece and the returning of the properties to "Aegeans", (even directly from the leader of the ultranationalist VMRO and Prime Minister of FYROM Nikolas Gruevski, and the confirmation from the FYROM Parliament), has been orchestrated purely for the promotion and the support of the requests for property compensations.

After the Greek Civil War (1949), some 20,000 to 25,000 Slav-Macedonian separatists (with their families) from Greece settled in Yugoslav Macedonia. These "Aegeans", as they were arbitrarily group-labelled by the local Communist leaders in Skopje, were not a tightly-knit community despite allegations to the contrary; many of them had simply become trapped in Yugoslavia, and were the Yugoslav Macedonian's captives – hostages to an irredentist ambition. The question of the properties of fugitives and refugees from Greece was one that was already on the minds of the Yugoslav authorities, from the early 1950s. Initially, it was widely thought that the negotiations with Greece should include a demand for indemnities. Nevertheless, this line of thought was soon abandoned; the Yugoslav Foreign Ministry´s legal department had given its opinion that anything of the sort would be legally null and void; and for good reasons too. There are a large number of Yugoslavian documents that support the above historical fact [7].

FYROM and activist centers have accused Greece because it passed the Law 3370/1955 that concerns the Greek nationality and the Ministerial decree No. 106841/29 Dec. 1982, that concerns the free repatriation and return to Greek citizenship of political refugees of the Greek Civil War of 1946-1949. They both accept as a criterion of implementation the ethnic identity (genos) of the citizens, and apparently contradict the Greek Constitution. For this reason alone, they are considered by the aforementioned reports as indispensable evidence for the unfair treatment of ethnic minorities in Greece. A better understanding of these laws requires a deep knowledge of the Macedonian Question and its special and complex relation to the Greek Civil War; when Greek Macedonia became the target of Yugoslav territorial expansionism using Slav-Macedonian activists in Greece as a vehicle for these aspirations. Unfortunately observers are reluctant to understand and explain; but more apt to judge and condemn [8].


Slavmacedonian Political Separatists who were born in Greece and in 1949 fled to Tito´s Communist "Socialist Republic of Macedonia", who years before (during Greece´s occupation by the Axis in 1941-1944) had openly expressed pro-Bulgarian sentiments and affiliations and enthusiastically collaborated with the Bulgarian allies of the Nazis - those very people - decided, literally overnight, to make a drastic and highly opportunistic change of their political affiliations and national consciousness.

These Slavmacedonian Political Separatists and as mentioned collaborators of the Bulgarian and Italian fascist occupation transformed, as if by magic, to left-wing Slav Macedonians fully committed to the propaganda and designated aims of Tito. From 1946-1949 they fought for the secession of Macedonia and Thrace from Greece. But during this time they wore the cloak of Communist Internationalism and followed the rhetoric of the ´class struggle´ ideals. Having tasted defeated twice, and within a relatively short time, (and fearing that justice for their actions was rapidly approaching) they decided to flee from Greece and into Skopje. Since then they became the basis and the cornerstone of the FYROM pseudo-macedonian propaganda. Many of them afterwards immigrated to the USA, Canada and Australia carrying with them every bit of hatred and fanaticism towards anything Greek, bringing with them the very same sentiments that had misguided their flawed actions and agendas from the past.


[1]- FYROM´s Provocations and their American Godfathers, Mihalis Ignatiou, Ethnos Newspaper, 19th July 2008
[2]-"The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World", Loring M. Danforth, p. 37
[3]- The Reality and the Weight of History: Why the Greek People Cannot Easily Accept FYROM's Claims, Aristide D. Caratzas,
[4]-"The Struggle for Greece 1941-1949", Chris Woodhouse, page 67
[5]-Trial of the Bulgarian and Italian Criminal of wars at Macedonia , Royal Prosecutor Ioannis Papakyriakopoulos, 1946
[6]- A Decade of American Foreign Policy: Basic Documents, 1941-4,(U.S. Govt. Print. Off), 1950
[7]- The Hostages of Skopje-Fugitives, properties, and repatriation: Yugoslav confidential documents, Society for Macedonian Studeis, 2008
[8]-Recycling Propaganda: Remarks on Recent Reports on Greece's "Slav-Macedonian Minority" by Vlassis Vlasidis - Veniamin Karakostanoglou, Macedonian Press Agency-Institute for Balkan Studies , 1996

Friday, November 21, 2008

‘Communist Landlords’ and Political Refugees from Greek Macedonia

by Basil Gounaris

The calls for the repatriation of people deported or forced to emigrate during warfare have always found a listening ear in the West. This is a fact well known by all the organisations of Egejski Makedontsi (i.e. Aegean Macedonians), Slav-Macedonian ex-Greek citizens, residing in F.Y.R.O.M., Australia or elsewhere since the end of the Greek Civil War in 1949. As one is informed from the "Macedonian Information Liaison Service" (MILS), "Vecer" or "Nova Macedonia" the UN, the OSCE, various NGOs and the governments of Greece, both F.Y.R.O.M. and Australia are constantly and heavily bombarded by letters, petitions, leaflets, and booklets submitted by Egejski Refugee organisations requesting the unconditioned repatriation of all those "who were forcefully evicted from their land" and the return of their state confiscated property.

Amidst endless negotiations about the future name of F.Y.R.O.M. -due to Athens' steady refuse to accept a Skopje-owned monopoly of the name "Macedonia"- the "unconditional" return of persons who define themselves as "ethnic Macedonians" would be a contradiction in terms. As recent progress has shown the question is not without a solution, but still a lot of relative issues must be clarified in advance.

Slav-speaking peasants in Western Greek Macedonia were indeed the backbone of the Communist led Democratic Army in the last year of the Greek Civil War (1948-49). Either communist by belief or forcefully conscripted, in any case they were compelled to leave the country along with the retreating communist fighters of the "Democratic Army" in 1949. In their ranks were World War II collaborators of the German, Bulgarian, and Italian occupation armies, as well as Slav-Macedonian communist activist of the Civil War. The latter were inspired either by the Yugoslav dream to annexe Greek territories or by the prospect of a united Macedonian state within a Balkan Communist Federation. All had to flee to avoid persecution for high treason.

In the early stages of the Cold War this was a serious and real charge no less real than the fear from the Communist North most Greeks felt. A Slav-Macedonian activist in Greece, Mr Papadimitriou, has claimed once in "Moglena", [No.73 (June 1992) p.10] that Slav-speaking partisans declared themselves "ethnic Macedonians" only to conform with the Communist Party line and should not be blamed for this. If true, then Greek Governments should have been more hesitant to reallocate their land, more tolerant for their crimes, and more receptive to petitions by these refugees to return to Greece and be reinstated in their properties. Only veterans now residing in F.Y.R.O.M. can verify if they had actually been black mailed by the party.

How many Slav-speakers fled away? 

Greek bibliography generally accepts that 30-35,000 plus some 14,000 children, out of 28,000 moved across the border by the "Democratic Army". "Nova Macedonija" (see MILS 5.7.1996) mentioned 65,000 political refugees, a much cited specialist Dr Risto Kirjazovski, an Egejski himself, talks about 80,000 refugees (MILS 26.1.1996). Other Slav-Macedonian sources give different figures: the "Association of the Aegean Macedonians" in Bitola claims 100,000; a similar association in Poland cites 250,000; in the electronic list "Makedon" even the figure of 300,000 was once mentioned. The evaluation of these sources is easier, if we take into consideration that in 1940 the total population in all three prefectures of Florina, Kastoria, and Pella, Slav- and non-Slav-speakers together, was 275,000; 55,000 of them were interwar refugees from Asia Minor. In 1951 the total population of the same prefectures, which were heavily involved in the War, was 234,000. Apparently the discrepancy is due not only to a tendency of exaggeration by certain Slav-macedonian nationalist or refugee organisations, but also on account of including as Egejski mixed marriage families and descendants born in F.Y.R.O.M. or other countries (Australia, Canada, etc.).

Regardless of numbers it is more interesting to assess the views of some of these refugees towards a solution of the Macedonian Question. According to MILS some Egejski are distinguished members of Slav-Macedonian society in F.Y.R.O.M. and the diaspora, they have formed associations and their annual conferences are addressed and sponsored by president Gligorov and other officials of F.Y.R.O.M. (MILS 24.3.1997). Found usually in the extreme nationalist side, they have been known to oppose strongly Albanian educational rights and the request for a university in Tetovo (MILS 12.12.1994). They wave proudly the banner of United Macedonia (which includes vast parts of Greek and Bulgarian territories), they still use in Australia and elsewhere the "Sun" found in Vergina (Greece) as their national emblem. All in all they are against any reconciliation, even against the new visa formula facilitating their visit to Greece.

This hard line, punctuated by much used "historical" rhetoric against the Greek presence in "their home land" inevitably puts the question: Do the Egejski (or their descendants) really want to return to Greece and for what purpose? The answer has been coined internationally by Chuck Subetic in "The New York Times": the real issue is "Real Estate" (3.11.1994). If so, the question is how much land are we talking about? Risto Kirjazovski has cited 2,000,000 acres which belonged to 30,000 families (sic) (MILS 29.1.1996). "Nova Macedonija" wrote (5.7.1996) that 12,000 dossiers had been submitted by 1991 referring to 6,000 hectares and 5,000 buildings which had been confiscated. It is also mentioned that, between 1985 and 1990, 120 petitions had been submitted to the F.Y.R.O.M. Ministry for Justice concerning 25,000 hectares of land. Again it will suffice to say that 2,000,000 acres equal to 90 per cent of the present arable land in Greek Macedonia, not to mention that in 1940, the total arable land in the region was less than 1.5 million acres. But even if Kirjazovski or "Nova Macedonia" were right after all this would imply a family allotment of 50-70 acres, indeed a vast property by all Greek standards. Either they are grossly misinformed or the Communist Army was manned exclusively with landlords!

Land is not what the Egejski want, at least not the first generation of them. Property can't be that much important for veteran Communist partisans. Had they, the Communists, won the Civil War, they would have confiscated the land to build collective farms, very much like what happened during the same period in Tito's Yugoslavia. What is never told in international fora is that their properties for 50 years now have not been in the hands of Greek gendarmes, civil servants or people with "healthy national consciousness", as they claim, but in the hands of their very close relatives, who know well and say it in public that the land question will not be solved on their expense.

A much more honest and simple answer to their real motives would be nostalgia. But then, why pursue such exaggerated claims speaking of "hundreds of thousands of refugees", and "millions of acres", deny the visas offered according to a recent agreement between Athens and Skopje, if the real purpose is "only to visit the ancestral graves"? Do such arguments facilitate rapprochement? Certainly they do not. Nostalgia for home, village, and grave is only one side of the coin. However, the other is justification for a lost cause, a lost war, a lost youth, for separation, segregation, sometimes for a whole life spoiled beyond the iron curtain in exchange for new identity and ideology.

Unfortunately this mentality remains well entrenched among some Egejski activists and various political groups in F.Y.R.O.M. and the diaspora. Moreover it is retained as a "vision" by the official state authorities which continue to teach schoolchildren that the ethnic boundaries of their nation extend to the Aegean littoral and Mount Olympus. This national ideology cannot be altered over night. Although flexible diplomats from Athens and Skopje can get round emotive issues and eventually get the job done, some Egejski do not appear ready to come to terms with present realities. Under the circumstances, it is no wonder that the Greeks would be in no mood to accept back persons nurturing maximalistic views, by-products of a 50 year old nationalism and irredentism.

sourse: macedonian-heritage

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Terminating the (Interim) agreement

By Stavros Lygeros

The fact that the government in Skopje has repeatedly breached the UN’s so-called interim agreement does not really constitute a strong legal argument for Athens before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) – even less so given that the Greek government has not lodged any complaints.

The decision by the Karamanlis administration to set an agreement on the name as a condition for FYROM’s membership in NATO is a political one. It was a way of forcing Skopje to take negotiations seriously.

Athens didn’t have to exercise its veto at the Bucharest summit, but it may in the future. Skopje traditionally refuses the use of FYROM, its temporary name, so in Bucharest it did not officially ask to join NATO under that name. It will likely do so at the next meeting. This will force Athens to terminate the interim agreement.

The Greek government claims that it will present its arguments in court if it has to. But it has no reason to make its policy according to a legal ruling, even if it is the ICJ. If Athens was to accept a shift to the legal terrain, a negative ruling could prove quite a heavy blow. An unfavorable ruling would only be welcomed by those who deem that the name dispute is of secondary importance and who simply seek to settle the issue and move on. The interim agreement is effectively dead. But it is officially still in place because it has not been terminated.

This writer has in the past raised the issue, on the one hand because Skopje has repeatedly breached the agreement and, on the other, because Athens has gone for the veto option. If the government is still respecting the agreement, it’s due to a whim and not because it deems it is in its interest to do so. FYROM’s complaint is a blow to the negotiation process. If Greece fails to respond, it will give the impression that Nikola Gruevski can get away with such posturing. Terminating the interim agreement will not just solve a legal issue, it will also send a clear message to the world that Greece really means what it says and it will stand by it to the end.

source: e-kathimerini

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Macedonian Publications

The earliest Greek newspaper in Thessaloniki was Ermis [Hermes] (1875), owned by the Garbola family of publishers, which circulated from 1881 to 1885 as Pharos tis Makedonias [Beacon of Macedonia]. The Macedonia newspaper first circulated in 1911 - the last year of Ottoman Rule – and is still published to this day. In a time of intense national conflict, both titles chose their name so as to promote their Greek perspective. After 1912, and above all in the interwar years, the daily and periodical press flourished in the new provinces of the Greek state. This publishing explosion was a reflection of the process of social and economic incorporation ofMacedonian territory into the free Greek state, as well as of the intense political processes.

Every Macedonian town and every political grouping that could bear the financial cost wanted to have its own clamouring voice; it is of course no coincidence that an impressive number of publications defined themselves as ‘Macedonian’, precisely so as to give their geographical position, with or without the aid of Alexander and Phillip, the ancient symbols. There were also numerous regular columns and feuilletons under the ‘Macedonian’ name, which dealt with localissues. The choice made by the dailies was followed by several assorted content periodical publications, though mainly literary magazines, which attempted to define the particular nature of their artistic quests through use of the Macedonian name, while also creating a distinct local Greek Macedonian tradition. In the field of books and academic studies, it is almost impossible torecord all the Macedonian titles. Yet, here too, one can discern the geographical use – within the framework of Greek administrative boundaries - on the one hand, and the symbolic use on the other, by reference to the glorious tradition of ancient times and the fighting of recent years.

Click the images to view them in higher resolution.

source: /

Statement of Greek Foreign Ministry Spokesman regarding FYROM’s recourse to the International Court of Justice

Athens , 17 November 2008

                 Foreign Ministry spokesman Mr. George Koumoutsakos made the following statement with regard to FYROM’s instituting proceeding before to the International Court of Justice:

“Mr. Gruevski’s government, after having rejected the recent set of ideas put forward by the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for the name issue, Ambassador M. Nimetz, today continued his delaying tactics, by instituting proceedings at the International Court of Justice regarding an alleged violation on the part of Greece of article 11 of the 1995 Interim Accord.   

It initiated this action, concealing the fact that the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia itself had earlier flagrantly violated a series of fundamental articles/obligations explicitly foreseen in this Accord, but also the fundamental principle of good neighbourly relations.

In the course of the judicial process, we will have the opportunity to submit documents and memos, analyzing Greece’s positions on the undisguised and continuous violations of the Interim Accord by the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

With this action, the government of Skopje once again reaffirms that it is not interested in a swift resolution of the dispute on the issue of the country’s definitive name, as explicitly stipulated in UN Security Council Resolution 845 of 1993.

Greece will participate in this process in a self-confident and determined manner representative of the comprehensiveness, clarity and substance of its arguments.

Irrespective of the abovementioned developments, Greece remains committed to the UN negotiating process aimed at reaching a mutually acceptable solution on the name issue. It further firmly stands by its well-known positions.”

source :Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Monday, November 17, 2008

FYROM takes Greece to International Court of Justice

FYROM has filed a motion at the International Court of Justice accusing Greece of breaking a UN agreement when it blocked Skopje’s bid to join NATO in April. FYROM is now arguing that Greece broke that part of the accord when it objected to Skopje’s NATO invitation.

Skopje asks from the International Court of Justice to determine whether or not Greece through its state organs and acclaimed representatives has broken its obligation as stated in article 11 paragraph 1 of the Interim Accord that it would not block Skopje’s membership of international institutions if it applies using its provisional name.

In addition Skopje asks the court to order Greece to do all the necessary steps to fulfill its obligations form the accord.

This the part of the Interim Accord that mention the "International Court of Justice" part.....................

Article 21

1. The Parties shall settle any disputes exclusively by peaceful means in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
2. Any difference or dispute that arises between the Parties concerning the interpretation or implementation of this Interim Accord may be submitted by either of them to the International Court of Justice, except for the differences referred to in Article 5, paragraph 1.

Article 5

1. The Parties agree to continue negotiations under the auspices of the Secretary-General of the United Nations pursuant to Security Council resolution 845 (1993) with a view to reaching agreement on the difference described in that resolution and in Security Council resolution 817 (1993).

"New" provocation from FYROM

Click the image to view it in higher resolution.
Determined to use every possible way to fortify the “Macedonian identity” and to keep the territorial claims against Greece , appeared the FYROM administration which now regulates “expedition” for the requisition of the properties of the so called “Aegeans”.

As it is known, already from July, when was set up issue of “Macedonian minority” in Greece and the returning of the properties to “Aegeans” even directly from the leader of the ultranationlist VMRO and Prime Minister of FYROM Nicholas Gruevski and the confirmation from the FYROM Parliament,has been organized an entire mechanism for the promotion and the support of the requests for properties requisitions.

The Provocation planning

A specialist prosecutor undertook to collect the requests of the concerned,accompanied by all these elements which could be used as titles of ownership,while a special service of ” immigration” undertook to modulate a specific form of a document for the easiness of the concerned people.

This enterprise is flanked by a team of jurists who target to operate on the Greek courts as well as on the European court. It is characteristic that according to informal information roughly 8.000 individuals have already mobilized for the submission of applications invoking Greek titles of property or even Ottoman titles or simply testimonies.

Indicative it is that a team of 500 “Aegeans” has calculated its claims for fortunes in the region of Thessalonica at 1 billion Euros, while an other who already has deposited an application to the Committee claims from Greece compensation of 176 millions Euros for fortune that his grandfather had acquired in the region of Thessalonica.

The demanding of fortunes does not, of course, have only an economic dimension, as this could be faced in any court. However, the specific way that FYROM move that procedure is the vehicle for the factual projection of the issue of “Macedonian minority” in Greece (of which a big part lives “banished” in Skopje) and of course in the second phase, the legalisation of territorial claims, via the demand for historical re-correction and reunification of “three slices of Macedonia”.

The standardized printed form which the FYROM side now has, is titled as “Real estates and other claims” and it will contain the recording of all properties’ financial elements.

Particular interest have two questions in which applicants are called to answer, the first is about the “conditions under which the fortunes were lost” and the other to whom today the fortune belongs with recommended answer the “Greek state”. As for the nationality of the applicant in the supplemented model that is distributed, the answer is of course “Makedonsko” and the name is “Georgios Donis”.

Of course the FYROM Provocation planning focus not only in the Slavmacedonians but also in the Albanian Chams and Turkish Macedonians what ever that means.

From the document are not absent, of course, and the comical elements, and that’s because it is included provision in order to be declared if the house that is claimed had oven, if it existed a barn with threshing machine, how many domestic animals, cows, sheeps, mules, pigs, chickens etc. had been belonging to their property and even how man kilos wheat or goods of household consider that they were lost

The Aim of the FYROM provocation

FYROM’s irredentist policy towards Greece from 1944 to the present, a policy that is in flagrant breach of the Interim Agreement signed by the two parties in 1995 expressly calling on them to put an end to any mutual expressions of irredentism. The pseudo-irredentist propaganda of Skopje, by which it essentially disputes Greece’s sovereignty over the northern part of the country, will be promoted with a barrage of advertisements on the American media, and with the publication of law suits by so called “Aegean Macedonians” against the Greek state as wrote Mihalis Ignatiou in Ethnos Newspaper article.

'Aegean Macedonia' is a Slav Macedonian irredentist term used to refer to the region of Macedonia in Greece, in the context of a 'United Macedonia'. The origins of the term seem to be rooted in the 1940s but its modern usage is widely considered ambiguous and irredentist. The term has occasionally appeared on maps circulated in the former Yugolsav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), which envisioned Greek Macedonia (referred to as "Aegean Macedonia") as part of a "Greater Macedonia", and is regarded as a challenge of of the legitimacy of Greek sovereignity over the area

The historical dogma, taking shape in FYROM, backtracks the origins of this modern Slavmacedonians—the Makedonci— a full millennium to include the ancient Macedonians (5th century BC). This revisionist historical dogma, is not limited to encroaching upon the identity of a Hellenic people of the classical times.

It aims at expanding the boundaries of the historical “taktovina” (fatherland) of the “Makedonci” to include wide regions of Greece and Bulgaria. It is well known, that for decades the classrooms and school textbooks of history in FYROM have been adorned with maps portraying Macedonia’s “geographic and ethnic”, i.e. Slavic boundaries extending all the way to Mount Olympus and Chalkidiki, in Greek Macedonia as well as to the Pirin district of Bulgaria.

FYROM main headings were, are and will be...
  1. Renaming Greek Macedonia as ‘Aegean Macedonia’, and representing it as terra irredenta, as an integral part of FYROM.
  2. Claiming the existence of an oppressed ‘Macedonian minority’ within Greece.
  3. Appropriating emblems and symbols, and the Greek cultural legacy in general (with Ancient Macedonia as the focal point).
As long as FYROM plays at being a crusader for nationalist fantasies, it will sink in the political morass. And as FYROM sinks, it will act spasmodically and rather ridiculously. This problem does not only concern Greece, against which Gruevski now makes various unfounded but dangerous claims, but Bulgaria also and the entire region. Europe and the US should not only discourage FYROM officials, but are obliged to stop these , now that it is still early.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Public Opinion 1903 - The races of Macedonia

Another source from 1903 describing the races of Macedonia. 
Greek, Bulgarians, Turks, Albanians. 
It describes the Greeks as the most ancient race of Macedonia number 350,000, 500,000 Bulgarians, and 3/4’s of all Muslims are Turkish. As usual for the frustration of Skopjan Propagandists, no independent Makedonskian group listed. The finding is from Chicagogeorge

Thursday, November 13, 2008

WIPO Registrations that trademark the 16, 12 and 8 Sun/Star as Greek Emblem

Click the image to view it in higher resolution.

The 16-pointed star "Sun of Vergina" as also named discovered in recent excavations as the symbol of the royal Macedonian dynasty of ancient Greece, and which is now being claimed as their own by the FYROM Slavmacedonians, was widely used in Attica during the classical period, long before its adoption by the Macedonian royal house.

The star, identical with the one decorating the larnax discovered in the tomb of Philip II of Macedonia, father of Alexander the Great, at Vergina in Northern Greece, has been found as one of the elements of decoration on at least four temples of the classical era, including two on the Acropolis of Athens.

The 16-ray star as it was designed on the golden larnaka that contained Philippos' remains. That appearance of the 16-ray star is possibly the only appearance on ancient findings.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Risto Stefov and Slav-Macedonism

November 10, 2008

With great surprise I read the article [1] by the Slav-Macedonian Risto Stefov (Chris Stefou) which attacked my response to a previous article of his, particularly in regards to the Carnegie Commission Report [2]. The Slav-Macedonian writer calls me as "anti-Macedonian internet warrior propagandist" and then attempts to justify this accusation by once again making use of historical revisionism [3]. Disregarding some of the tangents gone off on by Mr. Stefov, I will attempt here to respond to some of the relevant claims.

I will begin my analysis with the term "Macedonian" and its meaning: A Macedonian according to several sources[4][5] is a native or inhabitant of the (Ancient or Modern) Macedonian region. I was born in Thessaloniki and my family's origin can be traced from that city, as well as Eastern Macedonia 150 years ago.

So am I Macedonian according Risto Stefov's historical revisionism process?

According to the known English dictionaries I am. How can I then be accused of being "anti-Macedonian"?

I'll try to explain to you why Mr. Stefov has denied the fact that a Macedonian in our modern era is also a Greek, a Bulgarian, an Albanian and anyone that lived in the region known as Macedonia.

Also, Mr. Stefov said that he knows "exactly what the Carnegie Commission report said and can show us a dozen more reports that say: 'No ethnic Macedonians existed anywhere in geographic Macedonia'". Yet, he avoids answering the question completely. Why didn't the Carnegie Commission report make any remark or in any way mention the so-called "Macedonian" nation, ethnicity or language? Why does this same report describe the Slavic population of Macedonia as Bulgarians, rather than "ethnic Macedonians"?

Of course I do not deny that the Slav-Macedonian national identity begins in the nineteenth century. However, why did most Slav-Macedonians describe themselves as Bulgarians from 1870 to 1943?

Why do many still today identify as Bulgarians, having resisted being transformed into "Macedonians" by the dictatorial powers of a communist state for 75 years?

A.D. Smith wrote that "ethnic communities or 'ethnies' are constituted, not by lines of physical descent, but by the sense of continuity, shared memory and collective destiny, i.e. by lines of cultural affinity embodied in myths, memories, symbols and values retained by a given cultural unit of population."Stefov attempts to establish a link between the Slavonic nation FYROM with the famous ancient Greek tribe, the Macedonians. Many writers mention that the modern FYROM Macedonians are Slavs[7][8] and have no connection whatsoever with the ancient Macedonians, who were Greeks and became world-famous in the fourth century BC under Alexander The Great whose conquests of the East began the Hellenistic Age.

Historian and Professor Eugene Borza who is credited as "Macedonian specialist" by the American Philological Association, and who has completed extensive studies regarding the ethnicity of the Ancient Macedonians, had also presented in-depth analysis that the Ancient Macedonians were not Slavs (or mixture of Slav)s or Romans as some Slav-Macedonists claim. In his article Macedonia Redux [9] Borza explains:"Modern Slavs, both Bulgarians and Macedonians, cannot establish a link with antiquity, as the Slavs entered the Balkans centuries after the demise of the ancient Macedonian kingdom".

Finally, the term "Slav-Macedonism" must be defined.

Slav-Macedonism is the political idea prevailing in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) which utilises historical revisionism to establish links between an ethnic group that formed in the 20th century - ethnic 'Macedonians' - and historical events and figures of the 19th century and Middle Ages. For example, Bulgarian Tsar Samuil, despite the overwhelming evidence, is portrayed as a "Macedonian" king. Further attempts are made to deny the Hellenic nature of the ancient kingdom of Macedon and to seek connections between present day ethnic Macedonians and the Ancient Macedonians. Unfortunately for extremist Macedonists like Stefov, history bears witness to the fact that in the early 1940s the Bulgarian inhabitants of Vardar Macedonia were transformed into "Macedonians" for political reasons by communist dictators (Tito, Stalin, and Dimitrov) and infamous communist organizations (Comintern and the Balkan Communist Federation )[10,11].

[1]- Modern Greeks like to Bend the truth to suit their Agenda, American chronicle (
[2]- Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, report of the international commission, to inquire into the causes and conduct of the Balkan wars, 1914[3]-
[6]-A.D.Smith 1991, National Identity, pages 21 and 29.
[7]- Igor Diakonoff, The Paths of History, page 229
[8]- Elisabeth Barker, "Macedonia, its place in Balkan power politics, page 10
[9]- The Eye Expanded Life and the Arts in Greco-Roman Antiquity, page 255[
10]-Palmer and King, Yugolsav Communism and the Macedonian Question, page 199.
[11]-Loring Danforth,The Macedonian Conflict, page 66.

I could never completed this article without the extence help and support of the macedoniaontheweb members.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Two Ethnological Maps of 1877

This map created from the French A.Synvet.
Synvet at this time was professor of the Ottoman Lyceum in Constantinople (present day Istanbul)

This map created from the worldknown English geographer Edward Stanford.
Both maps located in the Museum of the Macedonian Struggle at the capital of Greek Macedonia.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Anatomy of a Big Lie: Nationalistic Ideology and FYROM

During times of crisis, from times immemorial, humans have sought to activate the traditionalistic qualities in form of “mythos” that serves as a building material for the new “ethos”, the least being contemporary to action in crisis.

In order to investigate the patterns of the Pseudomacedonian ideology, it is important to study the FYROMian economical and sociological background.

As of late 2008, the evidence of diachronic collapse of the pillars of society is multiplying itself at an ever exponential rate. Economical policies of Gruevski: defiscalization and patronage of private institutions for higher learning, for some time has a stabilizing role in local economy. The latter, however is virtually untouched by any substantial foreign investment.

The core ideology of the leading political party among Slavs in FYROM – The Internal Macedonian Revolutionary (VMRO-DPMNE) is mirrored from the Western dichotomy of Conservatism, traditionalism and economic libertarianism, thus replacing the early to mid-1990’s role of ethnic socialism and rigidly folkloresque symbolism. Today VMRO-DPMNE consolidated itself a Demo-Christian party, with slight minarchistic tendencies in economy, but with stronger points of consolidation regarding the imported and applied ideology of “Macedonism” in every aspect of individual and social life, with a strongly anti-individualistic, collectivist stance.

Chief task of VMRO-DPMNE in recent months and years is creation of consistent nationalist myth, something which, in case of normal development of Post-Communist culture, would have a justification as a basis for spiritual reconstruction of the young Balkan nation. However the process today represents an eclectic formulation which conceptually integrates the imaginary space of the “Macedonian people”, which is the 19th century definition of “Geographic Macedonia”, its history and its cultures into a distinct “Slavomacedonian” high culture, based on Ancient Macedon as a cornerstone of the projected national history. This nationalist ideology is best described as “Pseudomacedonism”, something that according to Ex-Minister Denko Maleski (now a proffesor in Skoplje) was imported by marginal groups and individuals from outside.

The ideology of Pseudomacedonism is based on faulty historiographic premises, the key of which are:

  • The distinct character of the Slavomacedonians, based on superior historical base and formed as preserved cultural lineage from the earliest consolidation of ancient Macedonians. Consequently, the spirit of exceptionalism developed, whose adherents believe in inferiority of all neighboring countries based on fictionalized narratives of their genesis that contain anthropological features deemed dysfunctional.
  • Segregation from Bulgarians, meaning usurpation of the Bulgarian history and “Macedonisation” of any historical retrospective and nurture of chauvinism towards Bulgarian ethnic and lingistic characteristic, regardless of the very great similarity among both national vernaculars.
  • Labeling as “Macedonian” the entire sum of cultural heritage in opposition to the fact that historical sources do not label the local Slavic-speaking population as such.

  • The rise of Pseudomacedonian symbolism in recent years obviously represents low-complexity psychological operation whose authors seek to solidify the collectivist ethos.

Major events in the “Macedonist” propaganda are:

  • The renaming of the Skopje and Ohrid airports “Alexander the Great” and “St. Paul”, respectively.
  • Decoration of the surroundings of Government’s offices with Hellenistic and Roman statues, creating highly visible symbolic links with claimed antiquity.
  • The staged and much-ridiculed visit of a delegation of Pakistani tribal leaders, mythically linked with the soldiers of Alexander the Great, presented to the public in FYROM as “part of our people”.
  • Erection of statues of Alexander the Great in Prilep, to be followed with a monument of Phillip II in Bitola/Monastir and a giant, 50 ft. statue of Alexander the Great in Skopje
  • The painfully absurd proposition held by MANU (“Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts”) from 2006 onwards that the famous epigraphic monument , the “Rosetta Stone” produced in Ptolemaic Egypt contains a text written in language almost identical to the current standardized Bulgarian idiom of FYROM.

  • Increased recent usage of the term “Macedonia” by officials in domestic context without observing the unwritten rule for more than a decade to use the qualifier “Republic of”.
  • All of these examples of irredentist behavior by official Skoplje have a function to create a parallel universe of symbolism that sets a border between FYROM on one and Bulgaria and Serbia on another hand. The virtual creation of illustrious ancestry, rooted in antiquity provides a reference base for identity politics which seek to isolate FYROM from the currents of global academic centers.

    The deficit of practical means for cultural production in the sphere of identity politics, coupled with the fact that the only alternative to “Ancient Macedonian” identity is the history of South Slavic medieval period together with the Ottoman era which shows strong Bulgarian and also to a certain level, Serbian character is one of the factor that the “continuity theory” rises almost unchallenged. For quite a time, any offer of different, truthful perspective is likely to cause great hardships for authors in minimum and consequently, no academic opposition which would challenge the dogmatic nature of the fabricated “Macedonian” identity.

    The gigantic structure of historical revisionism in FYROM showed the weakness of historiography that is still based on obsolete and didactic Marxist theories sustained by a network of mostly senior academics. Sensationalism found its logical outlet in a society where the very identity is permanently challenged by historiographies of neighbors and other countries as well. The strong Graecophobia, latent for two centuries, was chief determinant for articulation of the Pseudomacedonian nationalism. In this sense, reliance on instant answers provided by the great number of amateur historians which produce fake narratives of local history, proved itself superior vis-a-vis the autodidactic approach that provides intellectual gratification only after long research, an enterprise which is technically beyond the means of the general population.

    It remains to be seen where the designers of the Pseudomacedonian ideology will continue to fool the people for an extended period of time with local and isolated historiographical, anthropological and linguistic theories of the recent several years, the absurdity of which needs no further explanation. While the hope lies in the new generation of more responsible members of the intellectual class, the current conditions in education is unlikely to nurture such emergence. It is possible that following eventual higher, tectonic disturbances of the status quo, the young Balkan nation’s leadership will retreat from the loudly articulated pseudoscientific positions held today.

    Vasko Gligorijević
    Skoplje, FYROM

    Saturday, November 08, 2008

    What Is The National Character Of The Macedonian Slavs, part 2

    This clearly recognized fact, incidentally, caused the great 19th century philologists, who laid the groundwork for a systematic study of this language to call it, in the early stages of its development, Old Bulgarian. The language employed by Sts.Cyril and Metodi, St.Klement and St.Naum and a host of other medieval writers and teachers is an old Bulgarian idiom.

    Please allow me to make a personal remark in this context. When I, in the spring "of 1931, began to study Slavic philology at the University of Munich, we used the famous handbooks and grammar of this language written by the celebrated German Slavist, August Leskich. These books described and analyzed the phonology, morphology, vocabulary syntax of a language which unequivocally was designated as Old Bulgarian :Handbuch or Grammatik der Altbulgarichen Sprache. It is also true that the term "Old Church Slavonic", most frequently used nowadays, was sometimes applied to this language, but one should keep in mind that this term is basically meaningless, at least up to the times of Peter the Great. In the course of his secularizing transformations and reforms, Peter favored the introduction of the Russian vernacular into common usage, relegating the then library language of the Muscovite Tsardom, still based as it were on Old Bulgarian, to purely liturgical and ecclesiastical purposes. This practice was later followed by other awakening Slavic nations, especially those of the Orthodox
    faith.profoundly. Nevertheless may it be said here, in parenthesis only, that the Old Bulgarian imprint on the native language of the Russians was so strong that even nowadays authoritative scholars in the field of Slavic linguistics and philology, such as Boris Unbegaun, speak with good reason about the partially Old Bulgarian character of the Russian standard literary language.

    Thus, the fiction of Macedonia as "Southern Serbia" could not be maintained in the long run because it really held no water. Even responsible Serbian leaders could not close their eyes to this fact. Even the Yugoslav Ambassador in Sofia, Mr.Milanovich, in a moment of deep crisis for the Yugoslav State, that is in the summer of 1940, saw fit to forward to his master in Belgrade the Prime Minister Slojadinovich, a statement from Macedonia received in Bulgaria on the situation in this region. Here we read: "Everybody has to know that today Macedonia is not lost for Bulgaria, but on the contrary, there exists a healthy Bulgarian spirit more than ever. Some call themselves Macedonians, but this is due to the terrible reaction which the name Bulgarian provokes in the Serbians. It is well known that all injustices, robbery and violence create reaction and disgust. This is exactly what the Serbians have achieved in Macedonia. When they came to Macedonia they knew that Bulgarians lived in this country. That is why they thought, by crude measures and lawlessness, to frighten the people and to win them over for the Serbian cause. But all was in vain. And now they are surprised at the anti-Serbian feelings in the hearts of the majority of people. The common wish of the people is : Let Gypsy come, only let this one, the Serbian, go away. Anathema to any Bulgarian who will forget his own brothers.".

    The war and its aftermath did away with the Pan-Serbian military-bourgeois monarchy. Overboard went what Marxists call Bourgeois nationalism and chauvinism. But let no man be deceived that the substitution of the old order by the dictatorship of a Communist party and its leader spelt the disappearance of an expansionist Greater Serbian nationalism. Had the means employed between 1912 and 1940 been crude and brutal, and therefore in the end unsuccessful, new devices had to be invented, this time more clever, more insidious, in order to attain the same goal. This time under the banner of a Yugoslav Communist Revolution! If we have failed so far wean away the Macedonians from their Bulgarianism, because we tried so hard to make them into Serbians, well, then let us now try to insinuate that they arc neither Serbians nor Bulgarians, but a separate national entity, for instance, Macedonians with their own history, language and culture; but let us also make it perfectly clear to them that only we here in Belgrade are willing and able to guarantee this artificial nationality concocted in the test tubes of Serbian Communists and their non-Communist predecessors. The whole Macedonian nation and the so called language -this I wish to affirm here before you- is not a philologicum, but a polilicum designed according to the well tried maxim of old: divide et impcra - divide and rule.

    History teaches that a ruler, a parly or a leading group which enjoys unlimited power and has the will to use this power ruthlessly for the attainment of its goal, has always found partisans, advocates and adherents prepared to do the bidding of those at the helm of the state, sometimes against their own belter knowledge. Wasn't it one of the great cynics on the throne.

    Henry the VIII of England, who said when planning something particularly outrageous and arbitrary "let me first carry out this measure, afterwards I shall always find professors at Oxford to justify it". So it is no wonder that in Skopie and elsewhere the Belgrade government should have found learned collaborators who fell for their line. I think that under the circumstances prevailing one should not judge them and their zealous efforts too harshly.

    But it is deplorable that scholars abroad with solid academic reputations and achievements, who are not exposed to the pressures of the intellectual under totalitarian regimes, should also swallow this latest Belgrade bait hook, line and sinker. Can they really accept the thesis that, contrary to
    their own testimony and conviction, people like the Miladinoff brothers, Gregory Perlicerr, Alexander Todoroff, Damjan Gruev, Gotse Delceff, Peju Javoroff, Anion Strashimirof, Dimitr Taleff are Macedonians in the sense of the word bestowed upon it with the blessings of the Belgrade party bosses?

    And what about men who figure so prominently in the Pantheon of Bulgarian letters like Ivan Vazoff and Teodor Trajanoff who lived and worked in Bulgaria proper, but whose family background is Macedonian, Bulgaro-Macedonian that is. What about such a significant figure of the
    Bulgarian Renaissance like Raiko Zhinzifoff from Veles, who declared in 1963 in his Novobulgarska sbirka - or did he, perhaps, call it Novo-Makedonska sbirka? "As Bulgarian language we regard that language which is spoken in all Macedonia, Thrace and Bulgaria proper. The differences between the dialects are negligible. Every Bulgarian who does not suffer from nearsighteness cannot designate a certain expression as "Macedonian" or "Thracian"., for there are no "Macedonians" or "Thracians" as individual nations, but only Slavo-Bulgarians - in short, one Bulgarian people and one Bulgarian language".

    One could object here that this is a voice from the long forgotten depth of the 19th century. One could also maintain that Zhinzifoff, with all his linguistic and folklore erudition, was not up to par with regard to the achievements of philological science, that is that we in the 20th century know better now. Let us then examine a few testimonies belonging to our century.

    Let us first listen to the voice of practical common sense, the voice of a man who would never lay claim to the reputation of a learned academic linguist. The opinions of this man, however, deserve to be listened to attentively and carefully because they are based on the profound national experience of a statesman and a leader of his people, Ivan Mihailoff. In his

    book, Makedonia
    : A Switzerland of the Balkans, edited and translated by Christ Anastasoff, he makes the following observations pertinent to the linguistic problem: "Like the scholars of different countries who were familiar with Macedonia, so also did the Turkish authorities and all the rest of the objective observers consider the Macedonian Slavs as Bulgarians.

    This was not only upon the basis of the logically had introduced in their schools, but on the basis of all other ethnic features by which a given nationality is judged. The local dialects of the Macedonian Slavs arc basically considered by all as Bulgarian language. Every nationality employs its own common literary language, while in every nationality meets different dialects. As far as the Bulgarian dialects in Macedonia arc concirned they do not vary very much from the rest of the Bulgarian dialects as, for instance, do dialects among the Germans, Italians and other nationalities. The dialects of the Germans in Switzerland is, perhaps, the most difficult for all the rest of the Germans. But that did not prevent the Swiss of German origin to consider as their own the common German literary language. Precisely so, before the appearance of the regimes of national oppression in Macedonia after 1912, the native Bulgarians officially used that literary language which is common for all the Bulgarians of the world and to the formation of which the cultural workers of Macedonia have contributed a great deal."

    This point of view deserves to be firmly kept in mind, especially in view of the artificial construction of a new "Macedonian" nation and language as commanded from above. For this purpose the chief perpetrators of this dubious enterprise now take great pains to smuggle into this newfangled synthetic idiom all sorts of Serbanianist and other foreign ingredients so as to alienate the Macedo-Bulgarians from their historical, cultural and linguistic matrix.

    But what has the linguistic science of the 20-th century to say about these attempts to deny the Bulgarian character of the Slavic idiom spoken in Macedonia? Here I cannot go into the details of the linguistic argument adduced by international scholars, to refute the claims. To note that Professor A.M.Selishchev, the eminent Russian philologist, in his article entitled "Macedonian Dialectology and Serbian Linguistics" already in 1935 destroyed the claims of Serbian scholars like Velich, Djordjevich, Pavlovich and others that the idiom spoken in Macedonia is closer to Serbian than to Bulgaria should be enough. This task he performed in a thorough scholary way, basing himself upon the findings and achievements of modern linguistic research in the field of Slavic philology. Whoever is interested in the course of his irrefutable reasonic can study this article in a volume recently published by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences under the title L'histoire Bulgare dans les Ouvrages des Savants Europeens.

    Professor Selishchev cannot be suspected of any sort of polilicing. He has worked in Russia under the old as well as the new regime; following nothing, to the best of his abilities, but the dictates of his scientific conscience. It is remarkable to see how to this pure scholar and cabinet savant, far as he was from the passionate turmoil of the political motives behind the scientific smokescreen spread by the named Serbian scholars. He said: "The aim of all these books is the same: namely, to furnish an historical, ethnographic and linguistic justification for Serbian domination in Macedonia - to furnish this justification by means of true scholarship. The arrogance in the style, the irony with which the Bulgarian people are treated is another common feature of the books of Belgrade professors. In the case of Professor Georgevich this irony borders upon downright rudeness. On the other hand, everything Serbian is idealized. The attempts of the authors of such books to clothe their products in a science-like garb must be unmasked. The true character of their content, harmful to all science, must be demonstrated". The results of the linguistic and ethnographic research in the field of Macedo-Bulgarian studies undertaken by Professor Selishchev not so long ago match the findings not only of the Bulgaro-Macedonian philologist Krusle Misirkoff, which he published in 1910-1911, but also of a number of 19th century Serbian scholars like Stefan Verkovich, Tuminski, A.Hadzic, Vasa Peladic and others. That authors like Selishchev, Misirkoff and Verkovic working at different times and under completely different circumstances should have arrived at the same results, with regard to the Bulgarian character of the dialects spoken in Macedonia and their geographic extensions points to two noteworthy qualities of their research Its exactitude and its factual and logical consistency, in view of which all the counter-arguments of Serbian and Pseudo-Macedonian opponents take on the suspect colouring of sophisty and political expediency.

    More proof was recently given for the Bulgarianism of the Macedonian dialects by the Bulgarian philologist Blagoi Shklifoff in a paper about the idiom spoken in the area of Kostur. From the evidence he is able to muster, it becomes perfectly clear that the Kostur dialect cannot be used to buttress the hypothetical existence of a separate and individual Slavic language called Macedonian, but that here, as elsewhere, we deal with but another variant of the Bulgarian language as spoken by the Western half of the nation.If indeed, this is the conclusion at which Mr.Shklifoff arrives, the dialects in Macedonia are by their character intrinsically different from those spoken in Moesia and Thrace, then these differences would have to show more than anywhere else in the dialect of Kostur, the area of which borders on two non-Slavic linguistic regions, located geographically distant from the other Bulgarian dialects. A strictly scholary approach to this idiom, however, cannot but establish its basically Bulgarian character. The paper by Mr.Blagoi Shklifoff was published in 1968. Sclishches's analysis and demolition of the claims raised in 1935. But the same position and results are visible in the book about Macedonia by the Czech Balkaniologic Vladimir Sis which was printed in Prague in 1914 and came out in Zurich, Switzerland in 1981 in a German translation. After Sis enumerates all the factors which effect the closest mutual correspondence between Old Bulgarian and the Modem Bulgarian language as spoken also in Macedonia, he points to certain philological peculiarities by means of which the Bulgarian language is distinguished from all other Slavic language, Serbian included. After a painstaking comparison between the Bulgarian standard literary language and various dialects spoken in Macedonia, he arrives at the following conclusion which I shall quote here verbatim "Whoever is familiar with the basic structural principles of the two neighboring languages must, even though he may not be a philologist, arrive, on the basis of the examples cited here, at the same conclusion to which also the French slavicist, Louis Leger, came, and I repeat his words: The Macedonian Slavs are Bulgarians and speak a Bulgarian dialect. be continued