Saturday, March 15, 2008

FYROM pleads for 'justice' and a place in NATO

FYROM took out full page ads in the Western press on Friday to complain that its neighbour Greece is unjustly blocking the path to membership of NATO because FYROM refuses to change its name.

It said Macedonia had already made concessions to Athens, including a constitutional amendment denying any territorial aspirations to the Macedonian provinces of northern Greece.

There had been no security incidents since the former Yugoslav republic declared independence in 1991, one ad said. Skopje and Athens have had diplomatic ties since 1995. Greek companies are the major investors and the atmosphere is friendly.

"Despite this cooperation, Greece announced that it will veto the accession of the Republic of Macedonia to NATO (and) is asking for support for this stance from the other NATO members."

A second advertisement topped by a photograph of Macedonian troops under NATO command in Afghanistan ticks off 30 reasons why "Macedonia deserves NATO membership", because it has met all democratic, economic and military standards.

"Where is the principle here? Where is the justice?" asks the government. "Not to be able to be and call yourself what you have been for centuries -- is that freedom and justice?"

Greece and Macedonia signed an interim pact in 1995 to cool the name dispute, which had triggered a serious Greek economic embargo in the early years of the republic.

But the row has dragged on, with Greece denouncing Macedonia's "irredentist, nationalistic intransigence".


United Nations special envoy Matthew Nimetz, who has the task of shuttling between the feuding neighbours, said on Thursday that Skopje was showing "intense interest" in solving the dispute before NATO's April 2-4 summit in Romania.

Greek newspapers say suggested names include the Democratic Republic of Macedonia, the Constitutional Republic of Macedonia, the Independent Republic of Macedonia, the Republic of New Macedonia and the Republic of Upper Macedonia.

The comic aspect of the row was unconsciously highlighted on Friday by the Macedonian ad's reference to Greece as "the party of the first part", an echo of the Marx brothers' hilarious dialogue lampooning lawyerly disputes.

But Greece has been unswerving in its opposition to what it regards as usurpation of the name Macedonia by a Slav people who arrived on the scene a thousand years after Alexander of Macedon, the Greek hero Alexander the Great.

The republic of Macedonia has borne that name since it was created as part of federal Yugoslavia after World War Two. But the name goes back to 500 B.C. and the region known as Macedonia takes in parts of Greece, Albania, Serbia, and Bulgaria.

Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski says changing names is "too high a price to pay" for NATO membership.

If Macedonia is left out while Croatia and Albania join the alliance, he says, it will be a slap in the face to NATO powers and a blow to the fragile Western Balkans region.

"A Greek 'No' to Macedonia is a 'No' to the governments of the United States, Germany, France, Turkey, Slovenia and all other NATO members who are interested in seeing Macedonia, Croatia and Albania as members of the alliance," he said.

Some Macedonians concede, however, that his government's renaming of Skopje airport last year was an ill-timed gesutre of defiance. It is now called "Alexander the Great Airport".


Anonymous said...

I think there is confusion with FYROM and Macedonia.
Alexander THE GREAT was not a Slav. He is Greek. And his home town is PELA .
Fyrom has nothing to do with Macedonia.
Some people should read and learn history.

Anonymous said...

Shame on every one that tries to falsify the history, name and heritage of Alexander.The great Greek- macedonian general and the founder of the Hellenic nation.His dream for a unified Greece and the punishment of all enemies of Greece are still alive. Too bad he did not turn his armies north to unified europe under the Greek flag.The slavs that were allowed by the Byzantine Greeks to enter Macedonian territories hundrends of years later have no ties with our glorious history. We 've spread christianity all over the slavic world. We fought so many wars to defend the west and the rest of the christian world from failing to the Turks.During WW2 we did not surrender to mussolini and hitler forces because we want to keep the athenian, spartan, macedonian,and other Greek city-state territorry free. Slavs nad other tribes who had moved southwards during the last centuries should have the decency to not associate themselves with the ancient Hellens who lived in northern macedonian lands thousands fo years ago. Those Greek-macedonians spoke the Greek language,believed to the 12 Greek gods who were located on mount Olympus in southern macedonia, and participated in the Olympic games that only Greeks had the right to do so. Needless to mention their participation to the rituals at Delphi and other sacred areas that all Hellenic tribes From Asia Minor,Thrace,Macedonia Epirus to Athens,Thebes,sparta andCicily.Even some Illyrian tribes who had been Hellenized, with the exception of the Albani tribe who then lived in the north, were participated in our ceremonies.So, how in the world the rest of the west does not understand our worries is a mystery. If they want to call macedonians those slavs,bulgars, and albanians who still live in the northern part of ancient macedonia, all they have to do is to unify those lands with the rest of Greece. Otherwise, they can give to their small territory they still occupied, some other slavic name so we can all live in peace.

Anonymous said...

It's pretty obvious that FYROM needs some history to unite it's people. That need is what convinced their goverment to print history books containing Greek history, as their own.So you cant blame people for believing something they are told all their lives.
The fact is that FYROM P.Minister
has been cought on tape in front of a FYROM map containing greek territory
and that alone is a threat to Greece

Anonymous said...

You have recently said that Greece is not a Democratic Country and described our prime minister as a Nazi! I have to remind you that Greece had fought against Nazi while Bardaska which was a part of Bulgary not only helped them but also hailed them in Skopia!So it is obvious which country is Facist!Furthermore when democracy was born in Greece you were jumping from tree to tree eating bananas somewhere in Asia! As you can understand monkeys (you) cannot describe us as Nazi simply because because you now wear clothes! Moreover you all now that you are no Macedonians and you have no conection/relation with Alexander the Great who was Greek and whose name is Greek (Alex=avert+ andros=men)as well as Philipus another greek name! You are thefts of history because you have no history (1945-......) and it is very difficult to be recognized by others and exist without history!Not to mention your Geographic ambitions! Are you looking for a name? Why don't you call your country Democracy of Coca Cola- (Skopia)? I know why? Because if you do so your American Friends will accuse you of copyright/name stealing!

Anonymous said...

Are you all serious? Have you read any history books on Alex the Great that are not written by contemporary Greek Authors? You are living in your false cocoon and not seeing the truth. Alex the Great has in sooo many occasions fought the hellens and the "greek cities", slaughtering thousands of them. And it is embarrassingly unreal that after all that you still embracing him as yours. "Greek Wedding" movie where the father trying to prove that every word in the world is Greek is typical and comical and draws lines with your national mentality: the world is greek! Pathetic!And yet so scary.
I am Macedonian and none will EVER take this from me. One day you will understand the first principle in (ironically) democracy: i will call my self as i want! Period.
Oh, and you people, from the country that calls it's self Greece, how many of my fellow Macedonians have expelled from your country after the WWII? My grandfather remembers...and i do..and i will make sure that my children and their children will, so the time one day in the future will come for another Alex the Great to be feared off.