Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Macedonia Explains 'Offensive' Greek Flag

Macedonia’s Government has distanced itself from billboards depicting the Greek flag with a swastika which has caused outcry in Greece.

“We would like to distance ourselves from any visual symbols or rhetorical messages that have an offensive connotation,” the Government’s press service said in a statement on Monday, noting that the billboards are part of a private exhibition.

The billboards promoting the art exhibition, display Greek flags with a swastika replacing the white cross.

The Government has already told the Greek Ambassador to Skopje that the country is committed to building good neighbourly and European relations with Athens.

The billboards have caused an outcry in Greece, where television stations relayed images of the posters to audiences.

“It directly offends the national symbol of our country and our fight against fascism and Nazism,” Greek Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Jorgos Koumoutsakos told media on Sunday.

He added that Athens will send a stern protest to the Macedonian Foreign Ministry and call for the removal of the billboards.

“This incident shows that those who invest in chauvinism and fanaticism are making a big mistake, and confirms the correctness of the Greek stance, concretely, that in order to create relations of solidarity, practices of good neighbourly relations between the countries and people need to be respected,” he said.

Some Macedonian media also condemned the billboards.

“Someone is obviously trying to spark national hatred,” commented Monday’s edition of Vecer.

Skopje and Athens are engaged in a long running dispute over the name ‘Macedonia.’

Athens objects to Skopje’s use of its constitutional name “Republic of Macedonia” as Greece argues that it could lead Skopje to make territorial claims over its own northern province which is also called Macedonia.

Greece has threatened to veto Macedonia’s bid to receive an invitation to join NATO at the alliance's Bucharest Summit which gets underway on April 2.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Learn first some history and then borrow the Greeks History...it a pathetic way of trying to gain history from a great country like GREECE.....with the VETO and the new Embargo that is coming you are going to be in deep crisis.Do not forget that Greece control 65% of you economy, even the biggest supermarkets in Scopia are Greek, or the phone line you are using belongs to COSMOTE.Wake up......Do not believe to your political inability to create a country. One day america would leave you exposed and then Greece Would control the whole area