Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Macedonia Celebrates Independence Day

Macedonia celebrates today 17 years since its independence from Yugoslavia, national media reported on Monday.

On September 8, 1991, 95 per cent of Macedonia’s citizens answered affirmatively to the referendum question, which endorsed independence from Yugoslavia, albeit legalising participation in a future union of the federation’s former states.

The main celebration of the anniversary will be held in one of the capital Skopje’s main squares, Makedonia. Festivities start at 8pm with a musical programme, the government announced, followed by a speech by the Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and concluded by fireworks at midnight.

The government, according to media reports, has said it will organise free transportation to Macedonians from other towns who want to attend the festivities in the capital.

Meanwhile, as the Sitel television station reported, about 5,000 Macedonians decided to spend their national holiday in Greece.

It seems that despite the long-running political dispute between the two countries over Macedonia’s constitutional name, which reached new heights recently, regular Macedonian citizens don’t see anything wrong with spending their holidays in Greece.

A total of 10,000 Macedonian citizens have crossed the border between the two countries in September, seemingly undeterred by earlier reports of Macedonian border authorities’ singling out as and hassling “unpatriotic” Macedonian holidaymakers who chose to travel to Greece.

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