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Macedonia Unhappy With Greece Over Progress With Name Dispute

Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola PoposkiMacedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki
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Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki
Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki
PRAGUE -- Macedonia is concerned at the lack of progress in UN-mediated talks with Greece about the country's formal name, RFE/RL's Balkan Service reports.

Greece and Macedonia have been at loggerheads over the use of the name "Macedonia" for nearly two decades.

Macedonia was admitted to the UN under the name Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) because Greece lays claim to the toponym "Macedonia" as part of its classical heritage.

Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki told RFE/RL in an interview in Prague on November 7 that Greece's motivation for negotiating on the name issue "is not at the desired level."

He said the two countries were negotiating under UN auspices only about the name, but that Greek statements implied that Athens questions also the ethnic identity of the Macedonian population. 

Poposki ruled out international arbitration in the dispute.

"Macedonia cannot accept international arbitration for solving the name dispute with Greece, because this is a key issue that influences the parameters of any democratic society," he explained.

Poposki said none of the proposed alternative names for the country had been deemed acceptable to be put to a nationwide referendum.

"No solution is acceptable if Macedonia cannot close the two key chapters -- NATO and European Union membership," Poposki said.

The protracted disagreement is the primary impediment to Macedonia becoming a member of NATO and hinders its progress in gaining membership to the European Union.
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by: Sash from: Sydney
November 08, 2011 01:21
Greece should look in its own back yard before it steps and tell other country what it can and can't do. This whole problems stems when Germany,England Russia the great power at the time split and give 50% to Greece and then turned its back on what is now a huge mess. Greece was made up in 1826 and not so purer as its states remember the Ottamans Turks which Greece is made up Christians oopps should I have said that? Also the treaty that was signed 100 yrs ago is up and why should Macedonia want to be in this EU as look what is happening Spain, Italy, Portugal and Athens are broke. Great economic foresight not !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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by: Hank from: Australia
November 08, 2011 08:05
@Sash.... FYROM are Bulgarians/Slavs that arrived into Europe 1000 years after Alexander the Great, so what right does FYROM have of stealing another countrys' history and culture??. You should think before commenting. Greece is correct in protecting its rights... P.S Greece have tried claiming independence way before 1821 and without the Great Powers help, so your facts are wrong again, you must be reading to much FYROM propaganda...
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by: Peter from: Canada
November 08, 2011 14:16
Hank,where did you learn history?Greece did not exist since 338 bc up untill 1834 the Chaeronea battle between the Hellens and Macedonians.Furtheremore,there was no country called"Greece"untill 1856-58 when the name was addapted by the country.There were two languages used then;Albanian and Greek in "katherevusa"that was changed to "dimotiki"that had to be learned in schools from birth to the oldest.Remember,the Greek history was written by Otto,the Austrian prince and assisted by his High school friend.Otto wanted to glorify himself by addapting the Hellenic existance.Hellens were a mixture of different people,Ethiopean,Egyptian and Albanians.Hank,don't hold high hopes of Greek purity my friend.Learn your history without fabrications.Oh,one more thing,Greece never dominated Macedonia,it was Macedonia who had the yoke over Hellas.

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by: Anonymous
November 09, 2011 03:46
Peter, according to Roman, Byzantine, Crusader/Franks, Napoleon and Ottoman records there never existed "ethnic macedonians".
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by: hj from: amsterdam
November 12, 2011 14:07
@ anonymous: there are no ethnic Greeks either. They are a mix of everything that has sailed the Mediterranean, and even Slavs and Albanians.
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by: hj est stultus
November 12, 2011 20:41
@hj According to the Ottoman population records there were Greeks, Turks, Bulgarians, Jews and Vlachs in the Macedonia region. So yes there are Greeks otherwise the Turks would have just called them Albanians if what you say is remotely true. Furthermore, Greece is not the one that has a restless Albanian minority of over one quarter of the population like Skopje....as they want to separate just like in Kosova
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by: hj from: Amsterdam
November 19, 2011 23:16
@ Stultus: Greece does not have a Macedonian minority any more because the Greeks ethnically cleansed them from Aegae-Macedonia and/or chased them away into the diaspora.
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by: Jane from: Thessaloniki
November 08, 2011 11:31
If I were you, I wouldn't jump for joy over Greece's economic crisis.. Imagine what will happen to the FYROM if Greece defaults, since it's the number one investor in your country.

As for the name issue, Greece has already done her part, by allowing you to keep the name "Macedonia", although she should never have permitted such a lie. But you are something else.. You want the pie and eat it too.. That will never happen. Get used to it.
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by: MK from: Brisbane
November 08, 2011 21:04
At least Spain, Italy, Portugal and Athens did not waste public funds on ancient greek and medieval bulgarian statues when the money should have been spent on hospitals, research centres, shelters, education, health etc.
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by: Peter from: Canada
November 10, 2011 16:54
Reply to MK from Brisbane;Republic of Macedonia does not cook its financial institutions.Macedonia has not spent 130 million dollars for propaganda againts its neighbor,Greece did it in a black garbage bag,unacounted by their budged.Carefull my friend,as usual you don't know when you put your foot in your mouth.In Macedonia,all money spent on statuts were budgeted.How come Greece is in over 400 billion(BILLION) dollars in red that has shaken the whole world financialy?Have you ever considered that?Here is a quote by professor Gandeto"quote from Polybius"speakers of same language"with which the Greek fellow wanted to use as proof that ancient Macedonians spoke the same language as the ancient Greeks and thus,they must be classed as Greeks.
Now, these same Greeks are burning the candle from the other end and want to argue the point but this time,since it suits their purpose,in the opposite direction:namely that linguistic criteria are not only insufficient to denote ethnic naunces in the Balkans but they can be misleading.
A lesson learned:You cannot burn the candle from both ends and expect not to get burned".
Furthere to Professors Gandeto comment;"Again,refering to the original statement above,I could not have said it better myself:you fellows are true students of the art of manipulations.As a matter of fact,you have not only mastered the art of manupilating the text but have brought it to another level;the level of highest distinction.Like so many other things that you Greeks have invented,this,the art of fabrication,is deservedly yours.You have won the argument hands down.Fabricators of Macedonian history;Finaly,we have agreed."

On my previouse comment,I pointed out that Greece is 40%or more Albanian ethnics,please,don't poke your eye again.
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by: Anonymous
November 10, 2011 21:22
MACEDONIA IS A GEOGRAPHICAL REGION NOT A COUNTRY! Both Greece and Bulgarian have learned to share this (Greek Macedonia has no problems with Pirin Macedonia) and if Skopje does not learn to share the Macedonian identity and culture instead of monopolysing it then it will remain outside of international organisations

by: Mac from: canada
November 08, 2011 12:39
Greece was able to invest in Macedonia because of all the loans that it received from the E.U, so let's not go there. As for Macedonia being a Greek territory ,there was never a Greece before 1823 and the ancient Macedonian people never consideed themselves Greek until Alexander 1 made up his story that his family was connected to Argos to gain entry to the Olympic games.
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by: Anonymous
November 09, 2011 03:33
How strange that the ancient Macedonians spread the Greek culture, language and history during the Hellenistic period instead of the Slav and Bulgarian culture that characterises Skopje today

by: Merolanna from: London
November 08, 2011 14:14
Doesn't Greece have other issues to worry about?! There is more than one Britain/Bretagne, there is more than one Guinea, there is more than one Georgia... Greece had its moment of national birth and independence, other need theirs too... So just let Macedonia get on with it and get on with becoming part of Europe like everyone else.
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by: Anonymous
November 09, 2011 03:35
Only problem is that Skopje insists in school text books and in countless websites and articles that Thessaloniki belongs to them and the Greek Province of Macedonia

by: George from: Kuwait
November 08, 2011 18:51
Actually, Jan and Hank - The Bulgarian Slav thing is obscure propaganda that have been brainwashed into the minds of people that do not know the real truth. Imagine trying to explain to a whole population that has been fed this untruth for hundreds of years that Alexander the Great and his Father were Macedonian, not Greek. Born in Pella, MACEDONIA Look at the old maps; there was a MACEDONIA but not yet a Greece. There was a Thesselonia, Athenia, etc... but not a country of Greece yet so how can one justify a statement that Macedonia is not a Macedonia. If you want to know the truth about why Greece even has a town that they call Macedonia look at the Bucharest Treaty of 1913 and then you will come to know how Greece, along with other countries illegally obtained Macedonia land. Note the land that Greece stole is none other than Pella (how ironic)... I am not taking anything from Greece contribution to society as we know it today but they shouldn't try to take that from someone else either. America is a melting pot of immigrants from all over the world so maybe America should not call itself America now (Ludicrous Argument) Please people learn your history before making arguments on lack of total knowledge (Ignorance on an issue)
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by: Anonymous
November 09, 2011 03:52
Ancient Macedonia was part of the Geographical Region of Greece just like the Italian city states of the medieval period (Venice, Florence, Papal States, Milan) belonged to the Italian region. Macedonia was a city state just like Athens, Corinth, Sparta etc. Nice attempt at Classical history on your part lol

by: sash from: Sydney
November 08, 2011 21:15
Yes Greece is correct to protect its rights as deos Macedonia and lets be honest Greece has 3 times been in this situation. Propganda well Greece has been doing it for years.\!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Greek propaganda in Macedonia began in June 1903 when Greek military officers, Pavlos Melas and Georgios Tzontas, began to hire illegal armed bands and dispatch them in Macedonia to create havoc and spread "Greater" Greek propaganda. Immediately after the August 1903 Ilinden Uprising, the secretary of the Greek consulate in Bitola, Ion Dragoumis, established a secret Greek committee to work towards the assimilation of the Macedonian people and the annexation of Macedonia to Greece. Around about the same time the Greek bishop of Kostur, Germanos Karavangelis, created an illegal armed band. In the beginning of March 1904 two Greek armed bands were created in Thessaly. Six new illegal armed Greek bands in total were created and dispatched to operate in Macedonia

by: Sash from: Sydney
November 08, 2011 21:17
Then in the fall of 1904 the Hellenic - Macedonian committee was formed in Athens whose job was to finance the Macedonian campaign and spread Greek propaganda in Macedonia. Most of the manpower for these illegal armed bands was hired from newly annexed Crete and manned by Greek officers.
Of all the illegal armed bands that operated in Macedonia, the Greek bands most closely cooperated with the Ottoman army and in many instances carried out missions for the Ottomans.
The goals and objectives of the Greek armed bands operating in Macedonia were regulated by a Rulebook entitled "General Instructions for the Macedonian Bands", especially created for this purpose by the Hellenic-Macedonian Committee. The Rulebook contained three main points: 1. destroy the MRO insurgency and replace it with a Greek one; 2. eliminate all those who worked against the Greek cause; 3. convince the entire Macedonian population to join the Greek Patriarchate.
Macedonian intellectuals and leaders responded to the "Greater" Greek propaganda with appeals to the Greek population not to support the illegal armed bands in Macedonia and to oppose Hellenism, their mutual usurper.
Supported by the Sultan himself, the illegal armed Greek bands escalated their persecution of the Macedonian insurgency and of prominent intellectuals. In the eyes of the Macedonian population the entire MRO was labeled "Bulgarophile", a false claim which is spread to this day.
According to Richard Oppenheimer, an Austrian civilian agent sent to Macedonia on April 18, 1908 who dispatched information to Aloys Aehrenthal of the Austrian-Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Greek bands in Macedonia killed 531 and wounded 175 people in the period from March 14, 1906 to March 14, 1908. According to the same information, MRO insurgents fought 12 battles with the Greek bands in the period from October 26, 1904 to June 27, 1905 in Voden Region alone. From January to October 1905, MRO insurgents fought 22 battles with the illegal Greek armed bands that had infiltrated Macedonia and 3 battles with locally hired Greek bands. Most battles took place in the Kostur, Kajlari, Drama, Lerin, Bitola and other Regions of southern Macedonia.
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by: Anonymous
November 09, 2011 03:37
The most ridiculous thing Ive heard. Oh wait, the spending of public funds on greek and bulgarian statues wins
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by: Anonymous
November 09, 2011 03:45
I think you forgot something.....your claim of the Province of Macedonia and Thessaloniki as belonging to "United Macedonia". Good luck with that

by: Sash from: Sydney
November 08, 2011 21:22
One more thing have a look at the Greek flag if you look closely this is made up like the UK,America OZ & NZ flag made if the Union Jack the cross of the English and what now you claim Prince Phillip as Greek please cames from German blood!!!!!!!!!! Greece has lied and they have being found out and the internet is a wonderfull thing. Macedonia is Uprising once again !!!!!!!!!!!
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by: Jane from: Thessaloniki
November 09, 2011 00:28
Please stop embarassing yourself. It is better to be clueless than pretend you know something you know absolutely nothing about. Your hate is obvious, but being hateful and clueless at the same time makes you an uneducated, ignorant, hateful moron.
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by: Anonymous
November 09, 2011 03:42
Your flag resembles the Japanese Imperialist flag of WWII and just like the Japanese you seem to enjoy comakazi by blaming all your problems on your neighbours while ignoring your growing Albanian problem
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by: Peter from: Canada
November 09, 2011 14:32
Your comment is very disturbing for the Greeks.Let me tell you one or more things on this qestion;Since you know no history on the mix of Greek people,I must say,you know nothing.Greece consists 40% of Albanians,even in 338 bc Athens was populated by Albanians.Since 1834 Greece had 27 out of 57 Albanian Prime Ministers.Present President og Greece is of Albanian ethnicity,thats Papulias whoes family changed their name from Sulaiman to Papulias.They changed their religion from muslim to orthodox 125 years ago.He was born a mile south of present Albanian/Greek border.We know,this part of Albania was expropriated by Greece in 1913,the same time when Macedonian territory was expropriated illigaly by Greece,as well as Crete.Surely,you know that much,don't you?.I don't understand you so called Greeks,why are you puting down yourselves on the question of Albanian mix in Greece and Macedonia.As I said,Greece with 40%or more and Macedonia with 17% of Albanian mix.No Balkan country is pure as per your claim of 99% purity.Go ahead,continue with bassles fabrications.Look where it got you today with constant fabrications on history and today on the financial arena.It is shamfull,for a nation not to be able to come to terms with its own history and identification.
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by: Anonymous
November 09, 2011 21:10
We also know you damaged your economy by building disney statues of ancient greek heros and bulgarians

by: Jane from: Thessaloniki
November 08, 2011 23:56
Well, the same slav herd repeating the titoic history they've been brainwashed with. Let me tell you something guys, the whole world learns about Greek history in school and guess what!! Alexander the Great and his Macedons are GREEKS in each and every history school book, exept in your country. I guess nobody among you is that smart to add two and two, right? Live with your statues of stolen history, nobody gives a damn. I just wish they were made of bread, because you will desperately need it if Greece defaults. And I hope we do. We will start fresh, impoverished but with no monkey on our back. We are ready. Too bad for us, our leaders have sold their souls to globalisation.

by: jim from: melbourne
November 09, 2011 04:17
Which Gods did Alexander the Great worship? What was the language on the coins of Alexander the Great? don't waste your time looking it up it is Greek, Why would want to compete in another nations exclusive event? the olympics The Greek gods were said to be on Mt olympus and were is that mountain situated? Your slavic language was put together by two Greek monks 1000 years after Aexander! If we were never a country when were you a nation! southern serbs that speak a Bulgarian dialect.
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by: Alex from: Canada
November 10, 2011 18:50
Since when do Gods have a Nationality? You saw Alexander The Great Worshipped "Greek Gods"? No such thing. Back then they were simply known as Gods since the concept of "Greek" didn't exist. The Romans had similar "Gods". Oh, and seeing as Greeks are 99% Orthodox Greek, would it b safe to assume that Greeks are Jewish, as they worsip Jesus?
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by: Anonymous
November 11, 2011 08:29
umm the Egyptian worshiped Gods entirely different to other cultures, the persians worshiped very different gods and so did the gauls, celts, vikings etc. The Macedonians worshiped GREEK gods and spoke GREEK. Other non greek tribes in the Macedonian region such as the Illyrians worshiped very different gods than the Macedonian Greeks, similarly the Etruscans had very different gods....nice try though

by: Alex from: USA
November 09, 2011 12:05
To all Former Yugoslav's of Vardar.. History has been written and cant be retrofitted to suit TITO's grand Yugoslavia scheme and need to have a port in the Aegean. Think of it Makedones history is written one only need visit Pella. Of course if youre from FYROm you will need a dictionary. Makedonia, Alexandros, Thessaloniki, Phillipos, only have meaning in Hellenic. what a shocking revelation.
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by: Jeremija from: Haemus / Old Mountain
November 13, 2011 21:04
While most Greeks today are descended from Greek-speaking Romioi (Roman) there are sizeable groups of ethnic Greeks who trace their descent to Aromanian-speaking Vlachs and Albanian-speaking Arvanites as well as Slavophones and Turkish-speaking Karamanlides.

Modern Macedonians have a larger Slavic heritage than the modern Greeks. NONE of them are old Greeks (Helenas) cause they are extinct, pretty much like all ancient people of old Europe (Balkans).
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