Monday, August 29, 2016


Sun Trumps Politics As Macedonians Flock To Greece

Despite ongoing tensions between the two countries Macedonian tourists still travel in droves to Greece every year. (file photo)
Despite ongoing tensions between the two countries Macedonian tourists still travel in droves to Greece every year. (file photo)
Despite tensions between Skopje and Athens over a long-running country-name dispute, it seems that Macedonians have no problems with Greece when the holiday season comes around.

RFE/RL's Balkan Service reports that inhabitants of the former Yugoslav republic are the third-largest national group to visit Greece this year, with only Germans and Cypriots flocking to the popular Balkan tourist destination in greater numbers.

In some respects, given how close their country is to Greece, it is hardly surprising that, according to one travel agent, there are some 500,000 Macedonians enjoying Hellenic sunshine and beaches at the moment.

"The sea is close here," one holidaymaker told RFE/RL. "The road is short; prices are more or less acceptable; you can find accommodation for 15 [euros] per person and it's affordable. I think proximity is a factor."

Even though Macedonians are estimated to have spent 550 million euros ($729 million) in their cash-strapped neighboring country last year, they are not always being welcomed with open arms.

According to Balkan Insight, the Foreign Ministry in Skopje has expressed concern over "nationalist rhetoric" that it says is being directed toward Macedonians spending their summer vacations in Greece.

In particular, the ministry cited confrontations reportedly involving members of the ultranationalist Golden Dawn movement who have been handing out pamphlets to Macedonian tourists at border crossings while chanting chauvinistic slogans.

There have also been reports that dozens of cars with Macedonian license plates have been attacked and damaged.

Skopje has complained to Athens that such incidents are "not in the spirit of good neighborliness" and asked that efforts be made to curtail such activities, which it says are not conducive to helping both countries overcome their differences.

Macedonia and Greece have been locked in a name dispute since the former seceded from Yugoslavia in 1991. Athens has blocked Macedonia's membership of NATO because of the row, arguing that the use of the word Macedonia implies a territorial claim over its northern region of the same name.

Skopje rejects Greece's claim. Although more than 130 states recognize the country as Macedonia, it is still listed at the UN under its provisional name, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

However, despite the occasional hostility shown toward them in Greece and the continuing tensions between the two countries, it is unlikely that this will stop Macedonians from flocking to their southern neighbor's Aegean shores anytime soon.

"The first [attraction] is the familiarity," says Macedonian travel owner Angel Ivanov "Low prices are second. The third thing is that they feel really comfortable in Greece. The inconvenience [of hostile behavior] is only felt by a small number of people, not even 1 percent."

-- Coilin O'Connor  
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Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
by: Peter from: Canada
August 05, 2013 17:15
Macedonians will never learn,that is why Republic of Macedonia is at the stage they are.Black and Adriatic seas are available,so is the Aegean sea from the Turkish side.Go where you are welcome,not Greece, a country that is so deceitful and hateful towards the Macedonians.I would not spent a cent for those corrupted politicians.

by: Petros from: USA
August 05, 2013 18:24
I am Greek and I can tell you that the Golden Dawn boys are a bunch of idiots.
Back to a personal memory: 1970 at a camping in Platamon, in middle Greece, I met several young folks from Skopje. More important, I had a short-lived summer romance with a wonderful girl from there (we were both 19). My overall impression is that the "Skopianoi" are a lovely people as close in values and attitudes as possible to the Greeks. What a pity politicians managed to make such a mess of things! I sincerely hope that the relations between the two nations will improve as soon as possible, for everyone's benefit.
In Response

by: Macedonian are Greeks from: Greece
August 05, 2013 18:49
Dear alleged Greek,

I am an actual Greek. You are about as believable as "Greek" as the former Yugoslavians.

Millions of actual Greeks are deeply concerned about the former Yugoslavians trying to usurp their very identity and abusing the name "Macedonia" with hostile propaganda to insinuate Macedonia Greece is "occupied' (as well as disturbed by their apologists that now pretend not to notice or downplay their sudden transformation into "ancient Macedonians").

In Response

by: Bitolcanetz from: Bitola
August 06, 2013 09:17
If Greeks focused their energy on their economy and not on hate of Macedonians, Greece wouldn't be poor. Attacking tourists who are pumping money in your economy, *geniuses*.
In Response

by: A Macedonian from: Macedonia
August 07, 2013 09:25
Why do I find you on EVERY article that has to do with Macedonia. You are obsessed with us. Also, everytime a Greek posts a neutral comment about the issue you lay accusations that its not by a Greek.

I have a cousin that is married to a Greek and she calls him a 'Macedonian' and herself a Greek.

Maybe it's time you find yourself a Macedonian partner & the bitterness will go away. But it starts from moving that jello out of that basement you have been hiding for years being an online warrior!
In Response

by: Macedonians are Greek from: Greece
August 06, 2013 17:03

If you former ethnic Bulgarians and Serbs in FYROM focused your energy on the future... rather than pretending to be Macedonians.. you wouldn't be even poorer than Greece.

by: Costa from: Greece
August 05, 2013 23:32
I think politics have ruined both citizens. I have met people from Macedonia and I found them to be nice happy people and very respectful. I have no problem if they want to call their country Macedonia. We're all humans.
In Response

by: Nick from: United Kingdom
August 11, 2013 10:58
Macedonia is Hellenic - FYRoM is Slavic. If some Slavic speakers from FYRoM descend from Macedonians, then they should at least have the courage and the decency to respect those Greeks who still want to continue to self-determine in the tradition of their regional-tribal ancestors.

Macedonians have always been a regional historical people-group of ethnic-Greek stock.

Slavs who try to disprove this fact, this academic reference point, damage Slavdom in ways which does them more harm than good!

by: Russian from: Moscow
August 06, 2013 08:25
Greeks are idiots. No wonder their country is a mess. Only idiots would bite the hand that feeds them. So typical of Greeks.
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
August 06, 2013 11:34
Aaah,my dear muss cow ite-you mean the greeks are russians??? You are bloody right-just as the macs flock in herds like russians-so both countries should join the CIS and solve their problems!!! PUTIN RULE OK!!! Sovet malakas are top of the world!!!
In Response

by: Ryszard from: London, England
August 13, 2013 21:54
The Greeks are surrounded with nations they hate or who they have conflict with. Does that not tell you something ?

They whine on about Macedonia having claims on the province of the same name, and yet claim the southern third of Albania, 3/4 of Cyprus and the Aegean coast of Turkey as "Greater Greece", because, apparently, hypocrisy is not a known word in the Greek language.

by: Fotios Zafeiriou from: Frankfurt
August 06, 2013 09:07
I have 1 question they so called them self's "Macedonia's", and they speak "Macedonian"... then why their language is the same as the Bulgarian one ? Maybe the bulgarians speak macedonian as well and they don't know. Stop calling the Macedonians because this is a big lie. Macedonians like Alexander the great where speaking and writing in Greek. This is an insult to the the history of Greece that gave so much to the western civilization and what is the thank you ? You believe what they say and not us. Disgrace.
In Response

by: David from: United Kingdom
August 07, 2013 09:28
The Ancient Greeks created Western type civilisation, the Modern Greeks are taking it back to Middle Eastern with their backward thinking.

Greece has not progressed since Turkey set you free
In Response

by: Nick from: United Kingdom
August 11, 2013 08:50
If the United Kingdom had Turkics and Slavics for neighbours - the population would be Islamic now, speaking a Slavic language!

Greeks try their best to be Greek - under difficult and severe circumstances!

Greeks deserve better neighbours!

by: meglena from: usa
August 06, 2013 14:50
The simple reason why Macedonians are going to the Aegean sea is that was and is the Macedonian sea , taken and occupied by the Greeks in 1913. The Greeks had the first chance to swim on the Macedonian beaches in 1914. Before that their beaches were the stones around Athens and the islands. While Macedonians were on those beaches for 2000 years before that. If it was Greek why calling it Macedonia ? Gall it simple Greece. Like Northern Greece , maybe. Oh, wait, you did that already. After 1913 you called it "Northern Greece". Up to 1988 you called it Northern Greece. But now it is Macedonia. And honestly, when we, the Macedonians, go to Greek part of Macedonia, there is a nice welcoming sign which says " welcome to Macedonia". And we the Macedonians agree with that and we do feel like we are going to our beaches.
In Response

by: Macedonians are Greek from: Greece
August 06, 2013 17:00

Why don't you mention to the posters here that your region was called VARDAR Yugoslavia untill Tito's 1944 renaming? Why not mention that the majority of you so-called "Macedonians"... are actually directed descendents of ethnic Bulgarians?

The very fact you insinuate Macedonia greece is "occupied'... shows Greeks were right all along to object to the usuage of the name Macedonia by you fanatics. Sorry. Threatening our soviergn country and attempting to usurpt the identity of Greeks is not a human right.

In Response

by: meglena from: usa
August 06, 2013 20:29
@ confused

The only thing which is difficult to understand here is your way of thinking. Even if Macedonians are as you claim descendants of Bulgarians, or Vardar Macedonians, how does it change the fact that first time in history of world , the Greeks become owners of the Macedonian beaches in 1913. Never before. Never. there are 2500 written history and you first time put a foot in Macedonia 1913. How is that possible? Why changing people with Bulgaria and Turkey in 1921 f there were Greeks in Macedonia. Why genocide over Macedonian people.? People you called Slavmacedonians. See "confused" , the name of people are there to identify them. Macedonians are Macedonians, and Greeks are Greeks. Otherwise there would not be two names. There is no mountain or river Macedonia in the land of Macedonians. But the name Macedonia stayed alive for 2300 years. How? Who carried the name from generation to generation. Macedonians. Nobody else. Greeks never fought to liberate Macedonia. They fought to occupy Macedonia. They moved with army over the border. On the other hand the Macedonian uprisings were always local , because they were living in Macedonia, and try to liberate Macedonia within, in the place they lived. Isn't that enough of a argument for you ?
In Response

by: Steve from: Australia
August 06, 2013 23:58
Macedonians are Greeks, just like Athenians, Spartans, Thessalonians, Corinthians, Cretans, Epirotes etc

Slavic speaking Bulgarians never had a presence on the Aegean throughout any time in history.

Its about time to stop the Tito-fed propaganda of the FYROMians and for them to realise they are not Macedonians in any way shape or form.

Greece will never give up its history to anyone

In Response

by: Chris from: USA
August 09, 2013 22:46
I love to read what Greeks have been taught... "Tito-fed propaganda." What do you say to Macedonians that owned land in Salonica before Tito was born?? What do you say to them when they were thrown out of their properties and not allowed to return? I have Greek friends, here in the USA, whose families are from "Northern Greece" and they talk about the times the Greek government was giving away the occupied-land; encouraging Greeks to occupy the Macedonian land. Did Greeks somehow forget this part of history?

And another funny statement out of a Greeks mouth is FYROMians... do you not feel stupid using a made-up word? Oh yeah, an even better made-up word is "Skopjani." Imagine if someone told you they were American and you insisted on calling them "Washingt-ani." Absolutely ridiculous and funny at the same time!!

And what history will Greece never give up? The history that it stole from Macedonians. We see that you are not giving it up along with your old ways that led Greece to crumble.

by: Nick from: Australia
August 07, 2013 00:07
@ Meglena, u need to open & read credible books on history & not the disrespectful communist & propagandist garbage that is written or paid for by the FYR. When r u & ur people going to realise that Macedonia was, is & always will be a state/province of Greece! In 1913 the REGION! (not a nation or country) was divided between Greece, Bulgaria & Serbia. The reason for it's division (which is a no-brainer) was because of the 3 ethnicities living in the region, namely Greeks, Bulgarians & Serbs. The people living in this region were called "Macedonians" due to the region & not their ethnicity, much the same way as an American wud call themselves as a Texan, Californian etc. Also, America is a very multi-ethnic nation, so when a Chinese man living in the US call himself American, is it because of his ethnicity ???That was an easy one Meglena, but here are 2 very difficult questions for u & any other FYR's.

1) If "Macedonia" was a nation before us Greeks "took" it, can u please tell us who the president of this nation was before this time & what was it's national flag.

2) If the Mexicans living in Mexico which boarders with the American state of Texas were to exercise their right to (re)name it's country to Texas, create a new map of "Greater Texas" which includes the whole state of Texas within this map & claim to be of Texan ethnic descent whilst speaking a completely different language, what wud America's stance be on this???
In Response

by: meglena from: usa
August 07, 2013 16:28

The logic of your question brings up the question what were the names of the presidents of nations of Greeks or Bulgarians in 1800.
Little difficult to answer, isn't it.? You had a sultan than , and you were going by the name Negropont , didn't you. Or maybe it was Morea?
The answer to the second question is the actually the curse of the Macedonians, to live close to the Greeks from Negropont. If we were living close to the American border, we would be happiest people on Earth. Unfortunately we have you for neighbors. I have still to find a friend of Greece between Greece neighboring countries. You have problems with all of them. When you run out of enemies , you start demolishing EU now. You will suck their blood out , and poor Europeans do not even understand how deep in trouble they are while dealing with you.
And all because somebody invented a story for the glorious past on ancient people in Balkans . But trust me, slowly they'll understand. In meantime , we are sunbathing on our Macedonian beaches, and have a Greek waiters to serve us coffee. Life is good , isn't it?
In Response

by: Nick from: Australia
August 08, 2013 00:52
@meglena. There's that typical imbecilic FYR logic of your's rearing it's ugly head again. Two questions were asked of u & all u cud do is answer question 1 with a question & question 2 with something that doesn't even make any sense. Tell me, did u understand the questions??? as they were in plain & simple English. Your the one that mentioned 1913 in which I stayed on topic. Because it doesn't suit u, now ur changing the topic & moving the goal posts to 1800... & no, it's not difficult at all to answer u. It seems as though ur the one having problems trying to answer ur own question, Negropont or Morea, which is it??? U sound confused! The question was about America's stance if the same issue arose with their southern neighbour & not if u wud be happier with them as neighbour's.
As for the "poor European's", just as u instinctively offend the Greeks, u have no problem offending the whole of Europe by insinuating that they must be dumb or stupid for not understanding how "deep in trouble they are" & "slowly they'll understand" . Well meglena, because u are from the smartest race (the Macenoid's, as God puts it to ur people on national TV) why don't u help these "poor Europeans" instead of insulting them.
And last but not least. Yes, u may be sunbathing on Macedonian beaches but they are not ur's, they belong to the Greeks of Greece & the whole world knows how hospitable Greeks are. Not much can be said for u & ur people as the whole world also know's that if things were reversed, u wud not be any where near as hospitable to the Greeks. Yes! life is good for the people of the FYR, I only wish the Greeks wud be able to say the same if things were reversed! Oh, & if u or anyone else here doesn't no what I meant by "Macenoid" here's a YT clip below... Enjoy!
In Response

by: Chris from: USA
August 09, 2013 23:10
What a clown? You speak of Macedonia was, is and always will be Greek, well is that why you left it divided for so many years? Or is it because you were simply glad that the Western powers gave you a piece of land?

Your speak of 1913 as if you know history. Well, if you spoke to some of the grandfathers in Macedonia, they will tell you that they were fighting for an independent Macedonia, mainly from the Ottoman Turks. This is a fact that we lived with as children, when all the grandfathers would speak of the days when Macedonia was divided.

You are right, the people living in the region were called Macedonian and they exactly when a Greek, Bulgarian and Serb came to town. 'Til this day, they can tell you when grandfathers were forced to serve in a foreign military (mostly Serbian and Bulgarian); whereas in Greece, most Macedonians were just striped of their land and shipped around the world. I ask people to research the Macedonian communities in Poland and Romania, and learn how they got to these countries. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to learn what happened.

As for your stupid questions:
1. There was a struggle for an independent and free Macedonia. You should know what this feels like, since you were fighting the same Ottoman Turks. As for a national flag, where was yours before it was official adopted in 1822. Isn't this kind of late for your ancient land?? Why did you wait so long to have a national flag? Could it be because you were facing the same problem we were during these years? Oh yeah, and how could I forget to ask readers: please research the flag of the EAST INDIA COMPANY and see if there is any similarity with the Greek flag. It will make you laugh!

2. What a ridiculous comparison? You are talking about a scenario that has no roots. We, Macedonians, are talking about our land (Macedonia) being divided... didn't you state this in your paragraph, that Macedonia was divided. Do you notice only Macedonians are not happy about being divided? You say it's divided and talk like it is nothing to discuss, nothing to be angry about, etc. In summary, there is no idea of a Greater Macedonia. There is just one Macedonia and it was DIVIDED, and god willing it will be united again one day. Can you understand what I am telling you.

I am so sick and tired about hearing the words "Slavic-speaking." The language a person speaks does not identify the blood that flows through their veins. DNA testing has proven this fact over and over, and Greeks still persist on saying "Slavic-speaking."

by: Megas Alexandros from: Pella
August 07, 2013 04:14
"Macedonians flocking to Greece" sounds as bizarre as New Yorkers flocking to the United States to enjoy the sun (in the United States from where they are from).

I understand that for reporting issues you are bound to use words for brevity and conciseness and every article should not be subject to explaining history. However, in the UN there is a dispute between member states regarding the term Macedonia and Macedonian.

Although it would still be inaccurate, it would have been somewhat acceptable to state "FYR Macedonians" or "Slav Macedonians" flocking to Greece when referring to an ethnicity that is attempting to usurp the Hellenic nature of the Macedonians of Greece - the people who are linked with Macedonia since time immemorial.

Thanks for your time and understanding.

In Response

by: Nick from: Australia
August 07, 2013 09:35
@Alex. I believe another way to distinguish between the two would be to refer to them as Alexander's Macedonian's for the Greeks & Tito's Macedonian's for the Yugoslav's (FYR's).
In Response

by: Megas Alexandros from: Pella
August 07, 2013 19:48
That would be brilliant and historically very accurate. It gives it a dose of reality that takes one back to the jubilant streets of Skopje when Czar Hitler walked in to their region and they were hailed as LIBERATORS whereas real heroes, like the Greeks as Churchill pointed out, were putting up quite the resistance against three major Axis powers: the Nazis, the Italians and the Bulgarians. We were the only country to have been triple occupied as a result of our valiant efforts, unlike in Skopje where the green, white and red banners of Bulgaria and pictures of the Bulgarian King were being placed on high places for all to see.

One question that I don't understand: If Delchev and the rest were "Macedonian" why did they speak "Bulgarian and fight for the Bulgarian cause?" Does this mean that the Bulgarians, too, are descendent from the ancient Greeks too?

Also, can someone from Skopje please, for the life of God, explain the Krusevo Republic and its continued importance in your history? After all, Krusevo is STILL mentioned in your national anthem. You would think that if Pitu Guli was "Macedonian" he would have pushed for "Macedonia" as the name of that first republic as opposed to the very Slavic sounding Krusevo.

Is this the era when these people claim that a Macedonian state existed prior to 1913? Do they refer to Krusevo when they tell us that a fantasy state existed? Again, it was "Krusevo" not Macedonia and it was in an area inside today's FYROM. Therefore, again, there was no "unified" Macedonian fantasy state with its fantasy parliament and its fantasy non-existent politician unless, of course, we can simply just state that Risto Stefov from Toronto was the first president somehow somewhere and be over with it.

by: PhilipofMacedon from: MacedoniaTheRepublic
August 09, 2013 13:57
Dear Radio Liberty,
It is unfortunate that you don't show the world the swastika's and the 'Gypsies' texts written on Macedonian vehicles. For more information please see:

Thank you and regards from the most peaceful people in the world.
In Response

by: Nick from: United Kingdom
August 11, 2013 08:56
Why dont you show respect to those Greeks who want to continue to self-determine in the tradition of their regional-tribal ancestors.

Macedonians are a regional historical people-group of ethnic-Greek stock. Macedonians self-declared Greek for >3 Millenniums...this deserves respect - right!

by: Nick the Greek from: England
August 10, 2013 22:10
Our northern Slavic neighbours are welcome in Greece but FYRoM is not Macedonia according to the mainstream historical narrative. FYRoM was Paeonia in antiquity. Greeks know history. With authority...Macedonia is Hellenic - FYRoM is!

With authority...FYRoM used to be Paeonia in antiquity! Paeonia was incorporated into the Macedonian empire approximately 4 generations after the death of Alexander the Great.

Paeonia was incorporated into the latin-Roman empire, at 168 BC - as Paeonia.

Paeonia was incorporated into an administrative district the latin-Romans called Macedonia II Salutaris, after the Diocletian reforms of the 4th Century AD.

Paeonia, holds on to the name Macedonia-Secunda for 2 Centuries...until the coming of the Slavs to the Haemus [Greek] peninsula.

From since the 6th Century AD onwards - Paeonia suffers the excruciations of Avaro-Hunnic, Bulgaro-Slavic invader-settlers.

Paeonia changes name according to the two ruling authorities contesting it's jurisdiction -> The Eastern-Roman Empire and the Bulgaro-Slavs.

Paeonia -> Macedonia-Secunda -> Macedonia-Salutaris -> Theme-Bulgaria -> Bulgaria -> Imperium Romanum, Romania -> Vilayet-Monastir -> Vilayet-Kosovo -> South-Serbia -> Kingdom of Yugoslavia -> Democratic Federal Yugoslavia -> Vardar-Banovina -> Peoples Republic of Macedonia -> Socialist Peoples Republic of Macedonia -> FYRoM. FYRoM = Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia!

The changing name of Paeonia - starts off with the native Haemus name, and ends up...FYRoM.

Greeks know history - because most of it, Greeks were directly involved in! FYRoM cannot exist as Macedonia - unless history is re-written to accomodate such a travesty!

Greeks know history...because they are in most of it! History has taught us that Paeonia changes name according to the two ruling authorities contesting it'ss jurisdiction. From since the settlement of the Slavic-tribes on Greco-Roman soil...Slavdom renames Paeonia to Peoples Republic of Macedonia for the first time, in 1945. Before 1945, there was never a Macedonia in the Slavic world.
Comments page of 2

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