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Macedonia Name Dispute

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Since the old Macedonia topic has disappeared I started this topic to continue the discussion on the subject.

 

 

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In the the past weeks two large protests were held in Greece to bring attention to the Macedonia name dispute between Greece and FYROM.

The first one was on January 21, 2018 in Thessaloniki. Police claims that it was attended by 90,000 protesters although others place the numbers much higher ( up to 400,000)

Thessaloniki_2018-01-21.jpg.856ca3e94a91a0457fee9cdc4c2a84c5.jpg

The second protest was held on Sunday at Syndagma Square in Athens. Police estimates say it was attended by 140,000 while there are claims that it was attended by 1.5 milion people.

Athens_2018-02-04.thumb.jpg.09ff4ca6a6b3d142c7271e2046c4ffe2.jpg

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Thanks i remember we had a thread but it dissapeared.

Well the FYROM finally have a government that is not as fanatical as the one before and they are willing to compromise.  I understand in Greece the name is non negotiable but i really dont see a problem with a compound name especially New or Nova Makedonija .   The name separates them from ancient Macedonia and with time i feel they will stop the nonsense with Alexander the Great.  Also i feel with time they will be called New Macedonians instead of Macedonians by westerners and europeans.  Because i follow the forums of fanatical Macedo Slavs of Australia and Canada i can tell you that a compound name is a victory for us . Well we shall wait and see what happens in the months ahead.

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The name ... what's in a name ?  My take, I wouldn't even give them a compound name.  Not after the way they've behaved since 1992.  The only name I would give is "Makedonski" spelt and pronounced exactly like that.  That is their name and they can have it.

You know, I think the problem has always been the attempt to rewrite their history that is the essence of the problem.  The name dispute is just a manifestation of this.  If the ... Makedonski had no historical claims to Macedonia or Greece, they probably would've got the name "Macedonia" back in 1992.  I don't think anyone in Greece would've minded.  But once they began laying claim to Greek History they crossed a line and now it's too far gone.  I don't even know how this can be resolved.

The bizarre thing is this obsession with rewriting history.  I mean, it's actually embarrassing.  Making claims on things that existed 1000 years before you did ?  A ... Makedonski, if asked the question "Are you a descendant of the Ancient Greek Macedonians ?" should laugh and say "Of course not you idiot".  But instead, they either believe it, or push for it regardless.  It's actually quite bizarre.

And why is there this sudden push to resolve the name all of a sudden ?  Is Greece being pressured in some way ?  Or is this just a pet project of Tsipras or Syriza ?

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Appropriation of our history aside, what caused the name issue to be relevant again all of a sudden, what did I miss? Did they get a new Gov that offered to make a compromise out of the blue? Because I remember as a child there were protests but for 90% of the world now they are known as Macedonia already, I thought the debate or issue about their name was settled for many years now....boreite na me fotisete mipos?

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I wouldn't settle for a geographic qualifier that includes the name Macedonia, people will still call them Macedonians, and they will continue to use that name as leverage for propaganda, I hate to say it but I think this is a battle we have lost, nobody cares about history, ultimately history is written by the winners and the Greek governments p1ss poor handling of this situation has led to the current situation, it horrifies me how many people I know who have very limited knowledge of this issue who maintain that we are bullies and being petty over a name, the skop propaganda machine have consistently used dumbed down arguments to their advantage.

the battle has also been lost in the diaspora as well, walk around Melbourne and Toronto everyone calls them Macedonians, they have this underdog type status that makes people sympathise with them. Makes me sick to be honest,

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11 hours ago, Tzatziki said:

what caused the name issue to be relevant again all of a sudden, what did I miss? Did they get a new Gov that offered to make a compromise out of the blue?

Yes new government.  Gruevski is gone and SDSM are now in charge .  Zoran Zaev is the name of the new leader.   They want to get into EU and NATO.    A poll in FYROM said 60% are willing to compromise name just to get into those clubs.

Also, as of Feb 6th they have changed the name of the airport in Skopje from Alexander the Great to Skopje International and the main highway which was also called Alexander the Great has been changed to the Friendship highway.

I have heard talk of them also wanting to take the statue down.  So this government is how can i say 'normal'  .  Of course to the fanatic Slavs of Canada and Australia they are traitors.

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14 hours ago, Tzatziki said:

what caused the name issue to be relevant again all of a sudden, what did I miss? 

I believe it's the US pushing the issue so FYROM can be admitted to NATO. I believe there are plans to build military bases on their territory.

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I don't think Skopje will settle without "Macedonia" in the name. From the European and US perspective Skopje has taken positive steps for a resolution and Greece appears unreasonable.  The name "Macedonia" has been almost universally accepted for many years now. It doesn't mean Greece has to agree to it, or to the new Skopje concessions, but if Greece is left alone on this, the case will be lost...  or, until there will be a re-drawing of borders and different countries.

An acceptable (meaning: practical) solution could be "Slavic Macedonia" ?  This is descriptive of ethnicity + geography.  Geographically Macedonia is in multiple countries, so by attaching a ethnic description to the name may be the solution. This acknowledges that Skopje is Slavic, not Greek. 

I'm saying all this without the knowledge in current backroom negotiations and interests at play. It could be that if Skopje must enter NATO and the EU, it may compromise further. But, what I know is that Skopje is known as Macedonia in the world right now. The longer it stays so, the stronger the meme.

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What happens if we were to continue with a tough stance and Not accept that Skopje use Macedonia anyway whatsoever?

Or better yet how should we handle this negotiation process with Skopje?

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I believe for starters that we need to educate the world more about the history of Macedonia, Alexander the Great..etc

through Museums in Thessaloniki and throughout Greece, Movies, courses in Universities, books..etc. We cannot take

this lightly. We need the Diaspora to help in promoting the historical facts around the world, maybe have historians

speak on the big news channels like Fox, CNN...etc. We have to fight to gain favor with public opinion, because what I see

we are doing absolutely nothing. Many people out there in the world are clueless and need to be educated.

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The idea of educating the world is nice in theory.  I say in theory because the reality is when you talk to people about this what 99.99% hear is “blah blah ... blah blah blah ... blah blah”.  They tune out.  To explain it properly, doesn’t take long, but people tune out.  I’ve seen this many times.  I’m sure many of us have also.  It’s just the way it is.

Now it could be said we are all at fault for not being better orators and for failing to convince the unwashed masses of the reality but that would be harsh.  I think the simple truth is that outside of Greece and FYROM no one really cares.

The U.S. would like the issue resolved so they can get another member into the NATO club.  Likewise the EU would like another member.  They could not give a toss about what the actual final name is.  I’m sure there are some diplomats and parliamentarians that do have an understanding of the historical truth but I suspect they are in the minority.  If it were not so, there would be much more pressure on FYROM.

Having said that, I don’t see any reason why Greece should even be negotiating.  We have NOTHING to gain by resolving the dispute.  It’s FYROM that has much to gain.

Greece should simply argue that over the last 25 or so years FYROM has shown themselves to have acted in bad faith.  It should be fairly easy to gather evidence showing how FYROM has made false historical claims including teaching this in their education system.  As such Greece has no interest whatsoever in dealing with an untrustworthy neighbour.  Further to that, even if they say they will stop this behaviour, what is to stop them reverting back after they get what they want ?

Greece should simply set their terms and leave it that.  If by some miracle FYROM accepted that they can never ever again make false historical claims, then at that point we can sit down and work on the name.  Further to that if a Gruevski type ever got into power and tried to start up again, it should be met with immediate and harsh economic sanctions.  I don’t see any other way to solve this issue and I don’t see any reason why Greece should settle for anything less.

Edited by Bananas

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The skops have gone nuts in melbourne, burning greek flags, putting up derogatory banners like 'greeks are turks' , 'macedonia never greek' and a greek flag with a penis on it on some of our major footbridges, they graffitid the pan macedonian clubhouse, they put up posters of greek flags with the swastika on it in front of numerous Greek orthodox churches. This is all over facebook and even made one of the major newspapers here.

Unfortunately we only managed to attract 5-7k to our rally last sunday which included some skops trying to provoke. Why so few people im not sure as the weather was perfect. The skops will have theirs this Sunday. Legitimate fears of violence hitting the streets of melbourne right now.

I know a big rally is being planned outside the UN in New York on the 18th, its important all Greeks in the greater NY area come out in huge numbers and send a message. I dont think many if any skops at all live in New York so no need to fear anything..go out and make yourselves heard.

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I did read the news article about what is happening in Australia.  What a difference here in Canada .  Its pretty quiet , no protests from either side that i heard of. I know a lot of old guys hang out at coffee shops from both sides, maybe there are problems there lol .   I have said it before but in Australia they are way more fanatical its very interesting as to why this is.    Maybe you guys in Aus can tell me why?

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The last time i spoke to my relatives in Canada a few weeks back they said they were snowed into their homes lol. Perhaps the weather is playing a part? It might kick off there as well as the warmer weather approaches. I couldnt imagine anyone hitting the streets here if we had canadas winters lol

Aside from that it's pretty much mainly Melbourne rather then Australia wide, very large skop population here, very fanatical, many of them brainwashed floriniotes.

Edited by Greekoz

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On 2/14/2018 at 8:21 AM, Bananas said:

The idea of educating the world is nice in theory.  I say in theory because the reality is when you talk to people about this what 99.99% hear is “blah blah ... blah blah blah ... blah blah”.  They tune out.  To explain it properly, doesn’t take long, but people tune out.  I’ve seen this many times.  I’m sure many of us have also.  It’s just the way it is.

..

The U.S. would like the issue resolved so they can get another member into the NATO club.  Likewise the EU would like another member.  They could not give a toss about what the actual final name is.  I’m sure there are some diplomats and parliamentarians that do have an understanding of the historical truth but I suspect they are in the minority.  If it were not so, there would be much more pressure on FYROM.

Having said that, I don’t see any reason why Greece should even be negotiating.  We have NOTHING to gain by resolving the dispute.  It’s FYROM that has much to gain.

....

Except Greece has lost the world on this issue. Everyone calls Skopje Macedonia. The US, EU, and NATO all want this little country into their orgs for many reasons, including stability.  FYROM can break apart and hostilities will result.

There is an international court decision condemning Greece (I think it was in 2010) for some violations against Skopje. I think with the new Skopje leadership willing to scale back their rhetoric, symbols, and constitution, the world is singling out Greece for not cooperating. The big powers want peace in the region not a powder keg that would ignite the Balkans again.

Macedonia as a geographical area is in 3-4 countries. Macedonians of the past were Greeks/Hellenes. In my opinion, Greece should accept a name that denotes geography or something the two countries can live with. If Greece fails to negotiate it will lose imho. So, as Bananas says, the world doesn't care. The powerful countries don't care about names and that particular history. They want this dispute to go away.

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Hudson, no reason for Greece to negotiate.  Greece shouldn't even bother going to any negotiations.  If FYROM gets the name they wants, they are happy, the US, EU and NATO are happy and Greece loses.  So only Greece loses and they want Greece to negotiate ?  Doesn't make any sense to me.

The argument that Greece has already lost this issue, I don't buy it.  We've lost when we officially let them have it.  Until then nothing is settled.  The "optimum" response is for Greece to agree to disagree and politely state their terms ad infinitum (a) can't use word in your name and (b) rescind your revisionist history.  Whatever crumbs the US, EU and NATO might flick at us off their table, they can have them.

I'm not even sure why all of a sudden this has become important again.  Has the geopolitical situation changed ?

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Goes from bad to worse, this time our lot have graffitied a skop church with " F*** Skopje" written on the front. Although it appears they may have done it themselves as the writing looks very questionable

 

the skops are rallying in the city today and apparently they have attacked one of the few remaining Greek stores in the old Greek precinct and they have burnt Greek flags

this is becoming a worldwide embarrassment from both sides.

looks like they had a bigger attendance today then what we did last week.

Edited by Greekoz

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Looks like things got ugly in Australia.   

https://neoskosmos.com/en/111964/fyrom-australians-sued-by-the-australian-institute-of-macedonian-studies/

I think these diaspora nutjobs are sensing the name is going to change and they are now in overdrive to try and save face.

Its funny how they blame Pontians and other Greeks from Asia Minor when the truth is that Nomos Florina received the least amount of refugees in all of Macedonia after the exchange!

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As is common with any ethnic group, the diaspora is typically more nationalistic than those living in the actual country of origin. Mix that with historical revisionism, and you have a recipe for what the Skops did in Australia last week.

We can speak endlessly of the ineptitude of the Greek government since the 1990's regarding the issue, but the unfortunate truth is that any solution right now would mean that FYROM keeps the name Macedonia in their country's names. If this is going to be the case, the Greeks have to make sure the agreed upon name is some kind of composite than can't be dropped in everyday conversation.

Here in the states, you see that this issue is compounded by the fact that most Greeks don't really know any better and refer to our lovely neighbors as "Macedonians." Might just be where I'm from since most of the Greeks here are 2nd or 3rd generation from places like Tripoli and the nisia, so there isn't a familial connection to Makedonia.

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First and second generation immigrant groups try to keep their mother country's identity so they are conservative. Before they're accepted into the host country, their feeling of being special is based on their national & ethnic origin.

I agree that the new FYROM name should be a composite that is always used in everyday language. This name would denote geography and not ethnicity. But, this is not what most Greeks like.

It's my estimate that Greece should find a solution now, because in reality the name "Macedonia" has stuck. As someone else said here, the EU, UN, US, all think Greece is not being reasonable now after FYROM made so many concessions with name and constitution. If in the end, it's only Greece and Cyprus that don't accept a new name, then the game will be lost. Only a breakup of FYROM would change its name. The big powers do not want a new instability in the Balkans.

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More whacky stuff coming from Australia .  What i could make of it is that a political party printed out something and had it translated into many languages but for 'Macedonian' the translation came in the Greek alphabet and not  in their Cyrillic .  This caused an uproar and the politician apologized but it wasnt good enough for these people.  They seem to think that a Greek working for that party was involved in this.  Anyway here is a video of what happened

 

Edited by Polikastano

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On 19/03/2018 at 10:58 PM, Soprano76 said:

There was a rally in NY yesterday, not sure how many people made it out but I had heard about 10k.

The one in Melbourne got less. I feel a sense in our diaspora that the belief is that we have lost the battle on this issue. So turning out to these rallies is seen as pointless compared to the ones in the early 90s.

The skops in the australian and canadian diaspora are just as fanatical now as they were back then, you only need to look at the turnout in melbourne a couple weeks back and the one in toronto a few days ago. At least in Toronto they didnt burn greek flags. Considering we outnumber them heavily in both cities and yet they still get thousands more to their rallies it shows the Greek diaspora sees it as a losing battle.

Edited by Greekoz

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On 19/03/2018 at 9:36 AM, Polikastano said:

More whacky stuff coming from Australia .  What i could make of it is that a political party printed out something and had it translated into many languages but for 'Macedonian' the translation came in the Greek alphabet and not  in their Cyrillic .  This caused an uproar and the politician apologized but it wasnt good enough for these people.  They seem to think that a Greek working for that party was involved in this.  Anyway here is a video of what happened

 

Ged Kearney still won as her electorate has one of the highest greek populations in Melbourne. The skops thought they were gonna harm her chances of winning lol. She was forced into an apology. 

 

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