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Greece Criticizes Macedonia Over Alexander The Great Statue

Workers Assemble Statue Of Alexander The Great In Skopjei
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June 14, 2011
Greece has criticized Macedonia's erection of a bronze statue of Alexander the Great as a provocation that could further strain relations with the country with which it is locked in a name dispute.
SKOPJE -- Greece has criticized Macedonia's erection of a bronze statue of Alexander the Great as a provocation that could further strain relations with the country with which it is locked in a name dispute, RFE/RL's Balkan Service reports.

On June 14, workers in the Macedonian capital, Skopje, began assembling a giant monument called "A Warrior On A Horse." The statue's face resembles that of the legendary conqueror Alexander the Great from ancient Greek history.

Greece has blocked it northern neighbor's accession into NATO and the EU because it regards the use of the name Macedonia -- which is also the name of its northernmost province -- as a claim on Greek history and antique heritage, as well as possible territorial aspirations by Macedonia on Greek territory.

Officially called the Republic of Macedonia, Greece insisted that the country be officially called "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" when it joined the United Nations in 1993.

Greek pressure also led to Macedonia changing its flag in 1995 because of Athens' objections to the use of the "Vergina Sun," a symbol linked to the ancient Kingdom of Macedon.

"This is usurpation of the Greek history," the Greek government said in a statement. "This is a provocation and it undermines our bilateral relations and it undermines the negotiation process under the United Nations."

Macedonians are a Slavic people that moved to the Balkans in the early Middle Ages, but Macedonian officials and historians have recently claimed they are descendants of the empire of Alexander the Great and his father, Philip II.

Skopje's airport has in recent years been christened Alexander the Great and its major sports arena is named after Philip II.

The erection of the monument in Skopje's main square will take several days. It was cast in the Fernando Marinelli foundry in Florence, Italy, and shipped in parts.

The statue will be 12 meters tall and will stand on a 10-meter base. The price of the project is estimated at 5.3 million euros ($7.7 million).
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Comment Sorting
Comments page of 3
by: HS from: Seattle, WA
June 16, 2011 20:43
Has Greece looked at its flag recently? It's obviously derived from the U.S. flag. Perhaps we should tell Greece that we will embargo it until they change their flag.
In Response

by: the real slim shady from: australia
June 18, 2011 23:56
greece has had a look at its flag. it does not steal another countries identity. if you look it up in a historical book it is listed under the name greece "G".
with all due respect that FYROM needs to look at its flag. it looks more like a Japanese flag which is sponsored by McDonalds.
When greeks walk into any organisation we are proud of our flag and use it for all purposes. Have you seen the people of FYROM?You can find the name of the flag under "F" in any book of flags. However, the people are so confused they insist on parading a greek symbol "the virginian sun" which all historians have proved is a greek symbol. In addition the virginian sun is only allowed to be used by greek companies because it is a greek trademark.
please FYROM nobody feels sorry for your terrible lack of history and dignity. the article clearly states FYROM is slavic, whilst alexander is Hellenic-greek. I think flags should be the last of your concern when FYROM is clearly lacking a sense of identity. ALEXANDER shouted Yasooooooo. Not kakosi. for those who dont know kakosi is hello in croation and serbian- oh yeah and also in the slavic dialiect of FYROM. Have a look at your own flag and be proud of it. it is not the ancient flag of verginia....
In Response

by: Real Macedonian from: Austalia
June 20, 2011 04:11
actually the modern greek flag is a rip off the flag of the East India Trade company, which was used way before the modern "greeks" (or should i say albanians) did.
the original flag was coloured red and white and the the "greeks" changed it to blue.
Just like they did with the old Macedonian flag - they changed the red background to blue for thier greek occupied Macedonia

by: Andrea from: Connecticut
June 16, 2011 21:03
Doesn't Greece have more pressing things to worry about?
In Response

by: Medical Treatment from: Dover
June 17, 2011 11:06
@ Andrea from Connecticut

Does the claim " Greece have more pressing things to worry about" automatically abolish Greece and Greeks from her history?

Well accredited historians from universities around the globe (including prominent ones in the UK like Cambridge and Oxford) disagree with your narrative that ancient Macedonians weren't self-identifying Greeks. (or at least they were by the Hellenistic age when spread Greek culture, greek language, and competed as self-identifying Greeks in the ancient Olympics)

And as far as I know, even historians that disagree ancient Macedonians were Greeks, all make it clear FYROM nationalists are not descendants of ancient Macedonians. (other than the ones in FYROM)

Furthermore, when Slavic peoples showed up to the region... all the locals were speaking Latin or Greek. If they are "Macedonian" as they claim... why don't they want to speak Greek like they did?

In Response

by: Jim Zaf from: USA
June 19, 2011 05:00
Can you please tell us from did the the slavic people showed up in your area please. Were did they originate, to date there is no wrriten Historical evidence were the slavs came from, the notion that they came from Ukrain or from some mountains its all speculation.
And how do you know you are not a slav do you have one eye or something. You think slavs came as far as Florina or thesalonika and they made a full stop there. You do not think they went down south in greece,, why there are so many slavs in Itally to day how did they get there. Why dont you refer the Polish ,Russians or Serbs as slavs why only the Macedonians
And you think your origin is from the ancient Greeks why dont you go back two hundred years and tell me who your ancestors were. I bet you will find out that your ancestors were Turks or Albanians or maybe gipsies.
And please tell me which is Greeces true border the one of 1831 when they gain their idependance or the one of 1895 when they took over central Greeceor the one of 1913 when they occupied Greek Macedonia.
In Response

by: Real Macedonian from: Australia
June 20, 2011 04:14
What history. the modern state of "greece" origins are from Albania and the ancient Hellenes let alone from the Macedonians.

worry about your financial issues instead of the history of another country
In Response

by: J from: US
June 19, 2011 16:10
To Jim:
>And how do you know you are not a slav do you have one eye or something.
that's hilarious! Appreciate your sense of humor!
But seriously, wasn't Macedonia its own kingdom? Philip was king of Macedonia not Greece. This is a bit of a problem. To be sure, Macedonian culture was much closes to the powerful Greek one than to anything Slavic that came later.
In Response

by: Sam from: Canada
June 22, 2011 04:21
You are correct. In the 19th century the Greeks did not claim the ancient Macedonians as "theirs," on the contrary. The works of the Greeks in the 18th and 19th centuries reveal that the Greeks did not regard the ancient Macedonians as Greeks, but foreigners who had conquered Greece (see Politis 1993:36; Dimaras 1958; Karagatsis, 1952). Politis had cited fourteen examples from the Greek literature from 1794 to 1841 in which the ancient Macedonians are excluded from the ancient Greek world (1993: 40-42).

MACEDONIA IS NOT GREECE! And Alexander the Great is Macedonian!

by: Makedonija from: Australia
June 17, 2011 00:37
Macedonia forever :)
In Response

by: the real slim shady from: australia
June 19, 2011 01:02
long live norther greece. macedonia forever :) do you come from northern greece too? which part of macedonia?
whoops... sorry or do you mean FYROM- vardaska.

Please clarify.... you see because 52% of macedon is in greece.... the homeland of alexander the great :)
In Response

by: Sanja from: Skopje
June 23, 2011 10:52
Dear slim shady,
Before you say something about someone history you can read a little, to know what you are saying. You know many countries in the world have changed their area, if you like to read, you can read the Bucharest agreement where you can find the details about the area of norther greece belonged to Macedonia.
Google it!

by: Bitola from: Bitola, Macedonia
June 17, 2011 00:38
This article is historically inaccurate. Macedonians didn't move to the Balkans in the middle ages, but have been there long before there was a 'greek' people. This modern athenian nation illegally annexed what is now known as northern greece back in 1912-1913. No Macedonian land was ever part of greece before 1912. That is why the athenians today have a large portion of Macedonian lands and absurdly claim Macedonia as their own. Why doesn't the writer of this offensive article let the Macedonians tell their own history, instead of making everyone who reads this article dumber by claiming inaccuracies about Macedonian history. The modern greeks should worry about their economy instead of trying to rewrite the Macedonian nation's history. This article is highly offensive and derogatory to every Macedonian around the world.
In Response

by: Macedonian from: Rep. of Macedonia
June 17, 2011 07:59
Further to Mr. Bitola's argument, I am please to assure the rest of the non-Macedonian world (including Greece), that Macedonian was in fact amalgamated as part of the Greek Kingdom for the first time in modern-day Greek history as a result of the 1912-13 Balkan wars.

Here is a map to prove it.

Notice Greece first appearing unattached to Macedonia.

Here is the map which depicts a timeline (map) of Greek History:

"Bitola", congratulations on bringing the truh to the forefront.
We may be a small land-locked nation without the same financial backing as our Greek southern neighbours, but we will never give up our right to our name, our right to our own language, would you give up yours? Why should you?
In Response

by: VARDARSKA from: Bitola, FYROM
June 18, 2011 05:45
Bitola... Just check the Bitola (Monastir) Cemetery for proof that Macedonians are Greek!

Also, my girlfriend has a Bosian Uncle. His head is HUGE like yours! ...Your cant be a Greek Macedonian.

Greetings to all Albanians and Bulgarians.

by: Peter from: Canada
June 17, 2011 00:45
Greece should be ashamed for refusing to recognize the indigenouse Macedonian minority within its borders.Alexander the Great was not Greek,he was Macedonian.Greece is the one who fabricates history from ancient times up-to and including today in the 21st century.Historicly,Greece seased to exist since the battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC between Philip the king of Macedonia and the Hellens.The Greek kingdom re-apeared in 1834.Furtheremore,Greeces claim of 99.9% purity is a myth Greece likes to portray to the world.The fact is, Greeces population has no ancient blood in their vaines.The majority of Greeces population consists 60%of Albanian blood,next are the Vlahs,Roma,Turks and to the north Macedonians.The Republic of Macedonia has every right to errect ancient statutes,it is Greece who stole the Macedonian history.The Greek myth that the Macedonians are slavs is missleading.The Macedonians speak slavic language(Greece by missleading the world and calls the Macedonian people as slavo-macedonian).They are purely falsifying the historical facts.The world must remember 1913 the Bucharest Agreement how Macedonia was divided by the Big Powers without the macedonian peoples aproval.1990 for the first time,the Republic of Macedonia was established,the people are re-writting their own history,hopfully occupied Greek ,Bulgarian and Albanian parts will one day be able to declair their freedom from foreighn occupation.Macedonians demmand what is theirs,not someonelses history,after all,we are in the 21st century,are we not?.
In Response

June 17, 2011 09:01
In Response

by: Sam from: Canada
June 22, 2011 04:28
Likyourass from greece: just accept the truth. Slowly but surely it is coming out. Bulgarians and Greeks both falsified historical records and created fake artifacts to help in the case to lay claim to land which was truly Macedonian!
In Response

by: Athas from: Athens
June 17, 2011 11:42
My friend you are dreaming.369 historian from all over the world from America Europe Asia Australia laughing with you and your stupidity,You are Boulgarians and thats it.
In Response

by: Sam from: Canada
June 22, 2011 04:31
Don t worry Greeks DNA testing has been done. But you won't believe it right. Independent testing done in Spain proves macedonians are ancestors of ancient macedonians. Greeks however, claim to be the pure helene race. the kicker is it is the greeks that have no DNA linking to the ancient macedonians. What will you say now greeks? Exactly nothing.
In Response

by: Kelly from: Canada
June 22, 2011 17:43
As George Orwell once pointed out, "Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past." If you believe George Orwell as I do or the saying that "history is written by the victors".
Greece has highjacked Classical and Hellenistic history to aid in
it's quest for annexing Macedonian territory and denying Macedonians their heritage

by: Warrior on a Horse from: USA
June 17, 2011 02:17
I would like to see the author of this article because most likely it is a Greek, why did you not show who wrote it?

Macedonians have always stating they are a mix of the ancient Macedonians who lived in Macedonia and the Slavic people who moved into it. Historical records (not current bias ones) show clearly that Macedonians and Greeks were different during ancient times, and Alexander viewed Macedonians and Greeks different so why is the author writing "from ancient Greek history"?

Greece's ONLY argument is that Macedonia, by calling itself Macedonia, shows territorial aspirations against Greece, yet this author states "as well as possible territorial aspirations"? What a joke and you are clearly twisting the truth of the situation, it is the REASON why 131 COUNTRIES recognize Macedonia and ignore Greece, they know Greece'c arguments are fruitless.

It was only until Macedonia's independence was imminent that Greece changed the names of its airports to "Macedonia" airport, put up statues of Alexander the Great and Phillip II of Macedon, started using the Vergina Sun and changed the name of its province to "Macedonia and Thrace." Before the Megali Idea, the Greek historians AGREED with the ancient historians in stating the Macedonians ENSLAVED the Greeks and ENDED Greek democracy! Yet this person tries to state it was the Macedonians who recently stated they are descendants of Alexander? Why don't you look at the Macedonians' articles from the 1800s and the IMRO statements in which they CLAIMED TO BE DESCENDANTS of the Ancient Macedonians? To state it is recent is a complete LIE

Macedonia was divided in 1913 by Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria and the Greek portion under went a MASSIVE Hellenization in order to MAKE it Greek. The Greekness of Macedonia is artificial and created by importing hundreds of thousands of Greeks into Macedonia, declaring only Greek language and religion was allowed in Macedonia, and "removing" the current Macedonians living there and the evidence that they ONCE lived there.
In Response

June 17, 2011 10:05

by: Warrior on a Horse from: USA
June 17, 2011 04:07
To the misinformed Greek author (who stays anonymous):
1) Macedonians have and will always state we are a mix of the ancient Macedonians that lived in Macedonia and those Slavs that invaded the Balkans, we have stated we are descendants for a LONG time now
2) Before the Megali Idea, Greek historians agreed with ancient historians in that Macedonians conquered Greeks and ended democracy in Greece
3) Only until Macedonia's independence became imminent did Greece change all the names of their airports and universities to "Macedonia", change their province to "Macedonia and Thrace", start using the Vergina Flag, and started erecting statues of Alexander the Great and Phillip II (so, around the time of 1990s). They even changed their TV channel name to "Macedonia"!
4) Macedonia was divided in 1913 by Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece. The portion that went to Greece underwent MASSIVE Hellenization... Hundreds of thousands of refugees were brought into Macedonia, only Greek language and religion was allowed in Macedonia, and the "removal" of Macedonians and the evidence of their existence continues to occur! In short: Macedonia was FORCIBLY Hellenized! Even Saloniki was JEWISH!
5) Macedonians are not and will never be embarrassed of who they are, if the Greeks are unsure of who they are that is their problem, they cannot continue harassing everyone else over it: Albanians and Epirus, Macedonians and Macedonia, and Turkey and Cyprus!
6) Greeks you are in massive debt, quite complaining about Macedonia, it is Greece that you need to fix
In Response

by: jcii from: oz
June 17, 2011 09:02
Misonformed skop, Explain why:-
Greek paper The Macedonian existed in late 1800's
Your 'official' slavic Macedonian language and alphabet was created by Tito
You cannot understand ancient Macedonian script (oh that's right it was Greek dialect)
Your grandparents called themselves bulgarian or serbian


Macedonia was not partitione as you blockheads claim, it was liberated by the Greeks
If 'Aegean' Macedonia is truely the land of your people why is the sea so foreign to you. Why are they not seaman or fisherman like the Greeks

In Response

by: Anonymous
June 17, 2011 09:24
Warrior on a Horse from: USA QUOTE...1) Macedonians have and will always state we are a mix of the ancient Macedonians that lived in Macedonia and those Slavs that invaded the Balkans, we have stated we are descendants for a LONG time now IF YOU WERE A MIXTURE WITH ANCIENT MAKEDONS WHY YOUR LANGUAGE TODAY AND YOUR CULTURE-TRADITION DOES NOT HAVE EVEN ONE ANCIENT MAKEDON ELEMENT ? BUT IT IS A PURE BULGARIAN SLAVIC ONE ?
In Response

by: the real slim shady from: australia
June 19, 2011 00:26
you are mix are you? a mix of ancient and modern? what a joke... you people are delusional. so you can understand a little better I will give you an example. My parents cam to Australia. we were foreigners to this country. I was however born is Australia. I recognise Australia's history and respect its historical truth. I understand the natives of the country as Aboriginal. I am proud of the aboriginal history of australia, but regardless of the fact that i am born in the geographical region of australia, i cannot be called aboriginal. when i fill out voting forms they asks me. are you of aboriginal descent?i am not allowed to tick yes if i am not a descendant of aboriginals. I am not a descendant simply because I am born in the same region.

It is the same with you people.... you are slavs who live in a region of ancient macedon. whilst it is fantastic that you love greek history and clearly a mimicking an ancient greek city and culture, you are not descendants of macedon. you are not able to tick that you are macedonian. get it ? you live in an ancient greek city. respect it and stop lying to yourselves.

your region was not forcibly hellinised. we simply tried to help you people and awaken you from your delusional thoughts. if you don't like hellenic civilisation get out of the region of macedonia. your people will continue to dig up ancient greek artifacts which will only upset you further. go back to your slavic brothers further north. i repect croatians, serbs slovens as they are proud of their nation. you people on the other hand are clearly ashamed of who you really are.

i love the ancient warrior on horse back. at least when the albanians take over your country they will know that are living in a greek region... will your statue have greek writing on it as does the monument in Irag? historians who study ancient macedonia learn ancient macedonian. unless of your course you are educated in FYROM where they believe macedon did not read and write in greek, live by greek laws, speard hellenic culture ie. food, dance, art, theatre, history, pottery... the list goes on.

Please FYROM keep the greek monuments coming. At the least the Bulgarians feel relieved. For once its not a Bulgarian historical figure or cultural element your are falsely claiming. keep it up!!!!

by: Tony from: Deli
June 17, 2011 05:29
FYROM was never part of Alexander and Phillips Kingdom, Macedonian teritory was extended centuries after Alexanders death by the Romans. The people of FYROM have no right to use a Greek name and identity to describe themselves and they definately have no link to Alexander the Great and thats a fact.

by: lile from: Melbourne
June 17, 2011 05:29
its a beautiful piazza and the statute will be well placed. surely Greece has bigger worries right now than a statute. put it in perspective please!

by: Dim from: Greece
June 17, 2011 07:00
According to United Nations (UN), EU and NATO the proper name of the state which capital is Skopje is "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" (fYRoM).
This is a norm that is accepted by both sides, (that is Greece and fYRoM) for all international purposes until a solution is found. For bilateral relations, fYRoM can be called Macedonia no objection to that. But since your forum is addressed to all users of the Net you should respect the sensitivities of both sides. So I strongly recommend to use the term "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" aka fYRoM or FYRMacedonia when you referring to the nation which capital is Skopje. Please respect both sides and respect the internationally agreed frames for this issue.
In Response

by: Rep. of macedonia from: Macedonia (1 and only)
June 17, 2011 15:45
Please respect the human right to self-belief. We believe we are Macedonian. You will never change that.

What about the Macedonian language being spoken in Greece? As well as other languages and nationalities? Why does Greece still not accept other nationalities or languages including the Albanian and others? Even religion? It was only because of a treaty you accepted islam. Pathetic. And you wanna talk about respect. Respect your own then you will get respect. Earn it.
In Response

by: C from: C
June 18, 2011 15:27
Greece respects the existence of a people that seceded Yugoslavia and have the self-determination right to declare their independence and has recognized the country under the United Nations FYROM.

What noone can accept is the misappropriation (i.e. stealing) of some other peoples' name.

Greece doesn't accept is the infringment of the name Macedonia.
FYROM propagates of a "macedonian" minority in Greece. In the last 30 years, Rainbow party - which represents the so-called (slavo)macedonian minority - never received more than 9.000 votes, which is less than 0,09%.
Greece covers 51% of the geographical area of Macedonia, while FYROM counts for 39% of the territory. FYROM already exhibited bad faith in solving the name dispute in a mutually agreed manner because although it signed the interim accord, it has sought a path of forcing the name based on one-by-one bilateral recognitions. It's high time to return to the negotiating table to find a mutual agreement, based on merits for both sides, historical truth and respect for good neighbourly relations. FYROM has the most to win by this agreement.
In Response

by: the real slim shady from: australia
June 19, 2011 00:57
RESPECT. it is alarming how you people try and twist things to brown nose other nations. the idea of your enemy is my friend is clearly a policy of FYROM. Unfortunately this brown nosing will not get you into The EU you so badly need.

Greece does respect islam. if you look at our relationship with arab countries and communities around the world we have very good relationships with the politicians and the people. we respect their history and culture.

within greece we have many migrants which we help and respect. there are many communities such as the Assyrian "iraq" which have lived in greece and respect us for our warm hearts.

in terms of the rainbow party of FYROM who are in greece. we will not put up with a separatist party. if you don't want to live by greek laws than leave. do you expect a country and the people of a country to let you want to destroy a region and its greek monuments? it would be like the american letting the italian community of new york take over and call it italian. it simply wouldnt happen. for two reasons. the italians who live there have their own culture and are not interested in stealing the american culture and secondly because the americans would not allow it -as with the greeks in northern greece. however, the slavic inhabitants of norther greece want to cause a split and war in greece. clearly your people have no respect.... which is why you lose your rights to things.... For example you complain about not being able call yourselves macedonian in greece. this is because the name macedonian is a greek region in greece. therefore you cannot say im macedonian when you are not of greek origin.

in terms of islam i think recent developments in your country such as the 2001 civil war your nation FYROM had with its Albanian "minority" ie1/3 of the population demonstrates your lack if affirming diversity with your society. our problem with albanians is not religious or cultural it is legal. many albanians in greece are illegal this is why they are deported. on the other hand many legal immigrants of greece are welcomed and work and live in peace with many greeks.

please avoid trying to stir up anger and hate amongst other nations. if you had any idea about the word respect your would go back to your slavic roots and avoid stealing greek culture. The fact that you have no respect for your neighbors is why nobody wants you in the unions of the world where respect is crucial.

greece doesn't want to change the name of macedonia, we don't want to get over anyone calling themselves macedonia. we just want the world to know what macedonia is. and unfortunately for you it is not slavic it is hellenic.

the macedonia you come from has been formed from people of yugoslavia, which is why you agreed to change your flag and your name, which is why your president came out on national television and said we are slavs and have nothing to do with alexander the great.... and unfortunately for your country he was the last politician who had any sense, which is why he was assassinated in a helicopter crash. shame on your people. you are disgrace to peace, to history and to Europe. see you at the next Olympics, or world cup or eurovision where you enter the Arena under F. not M. You do not have the dignity of other countries such as croatia you enter under "C" or serbia "S". no dignity, no resect and no idea that your being laughed at. No wonder why you hate greeks.
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