Yesterday, we looked at the priorities of the Greek EU Presidency over the next six months. Whilst the rotating Presidency of the Council is not as powerful as it used to be (part of its responsibilities were given to the position currently occupied by Mr Herman Van Rompuy), it’s still worth considering what has been left out of these priorities. For example, in contrast to the previous EU Presidency (held by Lithuania), EU enlargement and foreign policy have been given far less prominence.

The focus on promoting jobs and growth is understandable from a country that has seen over 25 percent of its economic output wiped out since the crisis began (particularly as Greece will be heading the Council during the crucial month of May 2014, when elections will be held for the European Parliament). However, what will this Presidency mean for the dispute between Greece and its “northern neighbour” (i.e. either the “former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” or the “Republic of Macedonia”, depending on your position)?


The dispute concerns the use of the name “Macedonia” by the country bordering northern Greece. The Greek government believes that allowing its neighbour to call itself the “Republic of Macedonia” would leave Greece open to territorial disputes between Skopje and a region of Greece also called Macedonia. In response, Athens has blocked Skopje’s membership of NATO and the EU until the dispute can be resolved.

Our last post on this topic became quite heated, with hundreds of comments sent in to the Macedonian Foreign Minister, Nikola Poposki. We wanted to take a more constructive approach with our follow-up, so we again asked Minister Poposki to come back and respond. We started by asking him whether, given the strength of emotion on display in our comment thread, he still believed that his country could resolve its differences with its neighbours (including Greece and Bulgaria) and eventually join the EU.

Next, we took a question from Paul, who wanted to know exactly how it benefits existing EU Member States to have new countries like FYROM / Macedonia join the EU:

What’s in it for me? What is the benefit to me, a tax-paying EU citizen (by default) by allowing [new countries] to join?

We had asked a similar question to the Albanian Foreign Minister in an earlier post, but what would be Poposki’s reaction?

Finally, we had a comment sent in from from Elkhan from Azerbaijan, who doesn’t think enlargement should be a priority for the EU right now:

I don’t think that EU should seriously consider any new member in its current economic situation. In my opinion, the EU must first try to eliminate the internal economic and regulatory problems of existing EU members, unifying or at least synchronizing its internal rules. Regarding the “Eastern Partnership”, I don’t think that any of the [potential] membership countries will able to respond to all EU standards within 10 years. At the same time, the EU must continue to work with these countries in order to assist in the acceleration of integration policies. I wish to see the EU as a strong union, but right now it looks more like a bubble.

How would Minister Poposki respond?

Could the Greek EU Presidency lead to positive developments in the dispute between Athens and Skopje? Particularly as the two countries have strong economic and business ties, despite the political tensions? Or, given that the Greek Presidency will coincide with the May 2014 European Parliament elections, should Athens focus instead on an agenda of jobs and growth? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policy-makers and experts for their reactions.

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316 comments Post a commentComment

What do YOU think?

  1. Giacinto Ciminello

    Dovrebbe # Macedonia aderire all’UE? Saranno i suoi rapporti con i paesi vicini formare un serio ostacolo alla # adesione all’UE ? Cosa ne pensi? # FYROM . SE SONO INTELIGGENTI SE NE FUIENE……..

    • Avatar of triestinos

      He uses “..”. Do you know the meaning of “..”? You used it…

  2. Nicoleta Scripcariu

    Everyone is free to join the club, as it present desire to comply with the requests, one of it is represented by the neibour relations. Anyhow, this is not the most serious problem of FYROM, there has many others.

  3. Ermis Soulis

    It was my post.The official name in FYROM.Do you feel enough provocative or its your policy to delete comments??

  4. Olivier Laurent

    The debate about Macedonia and FYROM. It reminds me the endless flame wars and the utterly rude crossposting on usenet (for the veterans out there ). I’m glad to see it hasn’t been settled yet :)

  5. Георги Георгиев

    I will say it again, since my post disappeared… FYROM is a FAKE state, with fake name, fake history, fake language and fake people. Soon or later it will be split between Bulgaria, Greece and Albania and in this way it will enter into EU. Macedonia is name of a geographical area,which nowadays is in Greece, Bulgaria, and FYROM.

    • Marcel

      So is Belgium which has no relation to the Belgae tribe of the Roman era. And other fake states include Iraq, DR Congo, Mali, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Spain (occupation of Catalunya) etc…

      So what’s your point? I have no problem with republic of Macedonia.

  6. fadia

    for me no. Before it’s better to improve the conditions in the EU member states, and than we can speak about enlargment.

  7. Haris Mitakas

    of course,once again as my comments and 3 of others were deleted………i was saying that,Europe has agreed very long ago (1993 i think)to use the word FYROM and forbidden the term “macedonia” and the symbol of “sun of vergina”…but as always europe obeys to US wil even if it means to turn down a equall member(ok this is a joke balkans were never equall and i think this was fair and in the right direction);
    for God’s name,even in fb “you”are scared?my question was,that if you wouldn’t refer to FYROM as “macedonia” “you” would got fired by CIA directly or not?

  8. Spiros Nikolaou

    You administrators need to learn history and geography for sure.. The flag is from FYROM. macedonia is a greek province.

    • adrian

      have you heard about demosten ? :) and his filipikies (statements against Filip II) :D
      i think you should think twice for that you’ve commented :)

    • Alexandros, son of Philippos

      @Adrian, and have you heard about Aeschines and his rebuttal against Demosthenes slander? Probably not, eh?

      Google for example “Damon of thessalonica” and “Polybius 9.37″ and you will see some real testaments from the ancients instead of Skopje propaganda.

    • Yvetta

      There was a rumour about Demosthenes that his mother was Scythian and that effectively his father had married a slave. He wouldn’t even dream about calling anyone else barbarian with the meaning of foreign. All of this is circumstantial and ignores the overwhelming archaeological evidence that the ancient Macedonians were of Greek identity and stock. All of this nonsense about the ancient Macedonians not being Greek is a typical 21st century conspiracy theory, if you ask me. There are many others like it. Even Elvis isn’t dead.

  9. George Danieldsg

    Βringing poverty to Greece with market vultures “bailout” will never be enough to abanton its history and accept a country created by a false greek name BY MARKET VULTURES.

  10. Giorgos

    Definetely not… When a country looks its EU neibours as enemies then this country is an enemy of the union. So what’s the point of becoming a member of EU? We don’t need any more countries at this point as EU. I think EU’s priorities should be European South where people suffer.

  11. Stavros Pagonidis

    Rafaela, your country and Spain are part of the Iberian Peninsula. Imagine if Spain decided to take the name “Iberia” for the whole country. Wouldn’t you feel insulted that they try to “copyright” your own idenity?

    • Luis Gouveia Fernandes

      I believe it would not be a problem. They already have an airline called IBERIA and nobody got mad about it.

  12. Tudor Nicolae Nimara

    So much constructive discussion here.. clearly a realist solution of compromise will arise.

    Judging by these attitudes, it is clear that the political forces on both sides have done a marvelous job of lowering the arbitrary tensions.

    /constructive sarcasm

  13. Stratos

    FYROM’s accesion to European Union has nothing to do with Greece, Bulgaria or any other neighboor at all. I believe that FYROM could have entered EU since 2010, unless FYROM’s ultra – right goverment was that provocative.

    The latest years, the goverment of Mr. Gruevski has isolated politically the state of FYROM. Mr. Gruevski does only care on creating Ancient Greek and Roman statues, facelifting the communist face of Skopje into Ancient Athens or Roma. He has spent millions of the limited money, on creating a fake civilization in his country, in his effort to persuade their antique origin. In fact, he has isolated his country, by provocating Greece, Bulgaria and Albania, regarding their cultures.

    I strongly believe that the only responsible for FYROM’s political isolation, is FYROM’s goverment on its own. Mr. Gruevski’s goverment is keeping that tiny state isolated from real European democracy, behaving like a Hotza in Albania.

    If FYROM decide to sit on a table with Greece in order to solve their name dispute, they will be invited for accesion. Greece has made a lot steps backwards in order to accept FYROM in EU, but FYROM remains isolated by renaming airports and streets with ancient Greek names.

  14. Stratos Chatzinikolaou

    FYROM’s accesion to European Union has nothing to do with Greece, Bulgaria or any other neighboor at all. I believe that FYROM could have entered EU since 2010, unless FYROM’s ultra – right goverment was that provocative.

    The late years, the goverment of Mr. Gruevski has isolated politically the state of FYROM. Mr. Gruevski does care on creating Ancient Greek and Roman statues, face-lifting the communist city of Skopje into Ancient Athens or Roma. He has spent millions of his state limited money, on creating a fake civilization in his country, in an effort to persuade their antique origin. In fact, he has isolated his country, by provocating Greece, Bulgaria and Albania, regarding their cultures.

    I strongly believe that the only responsible for FYROM’s political isolation, is FYROM’s goverment on its own. Mr. Gruevski’s goverment is keeping that tiny state isolated from real European democracy, behaving like a Hotza in Albania.

    If FYROM decide to sit on a table with Greece in order to solve their name dispute, they will be invited for accesion. Greece has made a lot steps backwards in order to accept FYROM in EU, but FYROM remains isolated by renaming airports and streets with ancient Greek names.

  15. Cris Hova

    As soon as Macedonia will have an economic stability I bet EU will consider to propose …but what will Greece have to say?!

  16. Carlos V Arc

    Kinda stupid country name for 2014, Yugoslavia was probably much better, but doesn’t exist anymore. Then for same reason Moldova’s country would be called Former Soviet Socialist Republic of Moldova, ’cause there’s also a Moldova region inside Romania land. :-S Just Don’t complicate much.

    • Alvaro

      Completly agree with you. It doesn’t make any sense to name a republic based on a country that disapeared long ago. Concerning the name of the country is true that that this country is more slavic than greek actually so i kind of understand the way greeks are reacting. Nevertheless they are still many economical challenges to be faced before even considering their chance to join the EU.

  17. George Geo Baroutis

    macedonia is a geographic and historical region of Greece…European Union must stop this ridiculous misinformation.It’s so tragic..Skopia is the right name.

  18. Jorge

    Just fix the problem with the name and be welcome.

    What about to retake Vardar name? or Skopja?

    There was a time that it was propoused Slavomakedonia… what about it?

    If it keeps without resolving, they are going to become Fyromia, Fyromland, Fyromistan…

  19. Dusan

    Not much more than an example of how to use history to bully smaller then you…. still, naming the airport after Alexander does not help…

    As Otis P. Driftwood (Graucho Marx) said in A Night at the Opera: ‘Hey, you big bully. What’s the idea of hitting that little bully?’

  20. Urban Schrott

    Yes, Macedonia should have the right to join the EU as much as any other European state. If Macedonia conquered Greece two and a half millenia ago, it doesn’t mean it is going to do it again now, as this is a different Europe of equal members. I don’t think Greeks have anything to fear nowadays. All this Greek nationalism we see in comments here belongs into the 19th century, not 2014. Στην υγειά μας! :)

    • dimitris

      Thats exactly the problem!!! Fyromians are not only trying to steal a name, they want also to steal greek history. The ancient kingdom of Macedonia was a GREEK kingdom where people spoke greek, worshiped greek gods and joined the Olympic Games. Aristotel was from Macedonia!!! So Fyromians who are SLAVS, came in the area at 6th century AC. 1000 years after Alexander the Great and they claim that they are direct descentants of him(!!!) On your post you are saying exactly what they want you to believe. That Greeks and Macedonians are two different nations. Watch only this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIRe5tnqRKM
      (its 56 seconds, a statement by Robin Lane Fox, Oxford Professor).

    • mrindagam

      You are speaking for the past,and diveding the Macedonia and Greece like two different countries.At first the ancient times where no Greece,it called Ellada.If you remember the history,at the ancient Hellenic land,where many city-states.Athens,Sparta,Thivai,Larissa.Those city-states have their own managing system,and armies and economies,like sheparated states,but they use to have common habbits,customs,religion and language(with some differences,but the SAME language)Macedonians where,hellenic north tribes,that stayed there,after the Dorians invation to the hellenic land at 1200bc.From the begining of their kingdom,they use to speak hellenic dorian language,have the same customs with the others.Macedonian never tried democracy,it was a typicaly kingdom,stayed like that until Phillip,the Alexander’s father.He was the first that dreamed a stratocratic empire,based on Spartan philosofy.He found the southerns Hellas cities,devided and tired of the wars between them,and he conquerd Athens and its allies,but never the Spartans.So it was a kind of civil war,happened many times at the ancient Hellas history.Even today,if you could recognize,all the names are Helenic,like Macedonia,Alexander,Phillip,Perdikas etc.So.In those ”innocent”,like yours,opinions,our slav neighbours based on.They tried to steal the history,the glory,and the wealth of an ancient civilazation,that was conquerd by the Romans,but kept,its hubbits,and custom,and its language for 2000years.This is that we, all today’s Greeks-Hellenes,share.The language.The people that living today in the north small state of nothern Greece,are not speaking that language.They are speaking a typicaly slavic form,writing with Kirilic alphabet.We can not allow them to steal that global heritage for them selves.Tommorow,they will start to ask to liberate their ”brothers”of occupade Macedonia,like their propaganda says.We cannot allow to the U.S or who else force the policy in area,the dividing and conquer,with out any historical evidence.Because todays Monsterdonia,is this.A fake state,with slavs,gipsys,albanians,bulgarians,greeks,serbians,with no natinal ID but with to much fake nationalism.And this is for sure rediculus,but also danger.

    • History

      is it nationalism to want to preserve your history?from some slavs that claim alexander the great was a slav??put the numbers down slavs came to that region like a thousand years after alexander died…so if you do not know dont right stupid comments please…and macedons didnt conquer greece…the greek state of macedon conquered the other greek cities unifying them…all greek state cities fought eachother that time..get your facts straight

  21. Mugur Cristian

    Well, Romania has a region called Moldova. Now there is an independent country with the same name, Moldova. But nobody in Romania ever had the idea to call this country ‘Former Soviet Republic of Moldova’ . I don’t understand why Greek people insist in this thing.

    • mrindagam

      You are right.My wife is from Moldova.But if you know the place,and its history,for sure,you will know,that the Romanians,and Moldavians speak the same Latin route language.With some differences of course,but the same.If you also know the history of ancient Hellas,u could recognize that,the ancient cities-states,use to be diffenrent in their politics,and authority,but they use to speak the SAME language.This is the Hellenic argument agaisnt the neonationalism of our neighbours.They speaking a typicaly slavic language,mixture of bulgarian,gipsy and turkish,they use to be a former Yugoslavic territory,with out a national identity,and today they claim,this global herritage of Macedonia,and Hellinism,just for them selfs.Do you know how many maps,are in use in their organizations,that shows the ”occupide Macedonia” from Greece?That they are speaking for Aegean Macedonia and Pirin’s Macedonia.a small territory that belongs to todays Bulgaria?That they speaking about Macedonian language?What is that?The Perdikas the king of Macedon 600bc was speaking that Slavic language?Writing with Kirillic letters?Even Kirril that gave 700a.c the writing system to the slavs was Greek.This is that im asking the north neighbours is:what is the meaning of the word Macedonia in their languge?Of Alexander,Phillip,Perdikas?Even in todays hellenic,that is different from the ancient,there is meaning to those words.In that slavic language there is not.Romania and Moldova,is same nation,divided by the soviet union,and stayed like that.Even today many Russian people living there.My wife also,was Russian by father,borned and lived there for many years.So its not the same.We have no common hubbits and language with the slavic neighbours.They dont have a real national ID but for sure they have a big nationalistic way of demand,and force politic.And this is not a European country behavior.So until they will grow up,and realise,which our commons(Greece is having the 40% of their economy,banks,telecomunication,we are the best customers for them)and leave their dreams about VELIKI MACEDONIA,we will force Veto to their ambitions.And lets first EU solve her inner problems(economy,emigration,centrifugal power,authoritarian rule,economic inequality,the problem NORTH-SOUTH,and after,we can speak about new entries.

    • Yvetta

      Sorry, but, I know no difference between Romania and Moldova.

    • nobody

      Murug…read some history books and u will se wy?
      The essence is not in the name but in the HISTORY that the name provides!!!
      Think of it

  22. Samo

    With all the economic crisis, corruption etc. you greeks have in your country, you still prefer to comment on such an obscure issue as the name of a country instead of going out and doing something actually useful for your country?

  23. Osmen Ajruli

    there will not be enlargement for Macedonia from Former Ottoman republik of Yunanistan

  24. Christiana Koktsidou

    FYI: the reason why the UK accessed in the EU as the United Kingdom and not as Great Bretagne was because of the name Bretagne… Obviously the French people said no to that name. Because sometimes words/names carry a lot of meanings. I’m actually proud as Greek for a non state country find identity from (ancient) Greek origins. The problem starts when through the name you claim the Macedonian history.
    FYI: “Macedonia conquered Greece two and half millennia ago” what kind of history do you read my friend? Greece was never a solid country. Only city-States. Macedonia, Athina, Sparta, Troy, etc…

    Peace Out!!

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Christiana Koktsidou
      Please provide a source regarding your assertion that GB could not join the EU because France disagreed with the name GB.


      GB = England + Scotland + Wales
      UK = England + Scotland + Wales + Northern Ireland

  25. Ioannis Koutoudis

    There are more serious issues for a EU Country of the South to put on the table. In the last years of the crisis EU proves itself as a strictly financial centered union and the bonds between the wealthy countries and the others (a geografical split between the censorious North and the cornered South) have been seriously worn out. If EU wants to continue on finances, let it be, but the Greek EU Presidency is a good chance to change the economical model of EU, this so blind chase of the numeric profits, ignoring that wealth is in producing, working, and consuming what we produce.
    People feed on food, not on the numbers of a banking account.

    Unfortunatelly my Goverment has a little potential to deal effectively with my own country’s faults and wrongs, so there is nothing much to excpect. Greek Government does what TROIKA says, and Germany wants.

    As for FYROM, it is an issue which will not be touched. With neo fascism prospering in the economical crisis Greek Goverment will not “feed the beast” by putting the name despute on table, since the majority of Greeks, we are opposed to a country with an extreme right Goverment (Grueyski’s) which usurps our history just to remain in power.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Ioannis Koutoudis
      Germany could never resort to war a la WW1 and WW2 again, that is why today Germany wages soft/economic war against the fiscally weak, democratically ‘eccentric’ and corruption-prone Southern EU nations.

      France took what was on offer from Germany hook, line and sinker, benefiting from its ‘equal’ [lol] status with Germany at the top of the EU table for decades, until now.

      The pain that awaits France [at the behest (via financial intimidation) of Germany] over the next few years is one I do not wish to see but in truth the French brought it on itself via its skewed modelling of the EU institutions – Survivre La France!

    • Eugenia Natsoulidou

      Hahahaha! By the way, it is Greece the country that has a neo-nazi party in the Greek parliament and many members of the ruling New Democracy party are fascist party ex-members!

  26. Sofia Casagrande

    I don’t mind them joining as long as they use the name FYROM. To be honest, I’d be a little bit upset if some other country in the borders of Italy called herself the republic of Venice, used as its flag an italian symbol such as the San Marco lion and the claimed that (for example) Galileo Galilei wasn’t italian and was part of their ancestry and insisted on teaching kids that he wasn’t italian, insisting then furthermore by putting up statues of him on their central squares etc. I know we should all be over and done with such things and I am not in any way trying to create tension with my statement, but it’s just a matter of being historically correct. As said above, the French didn’t let the UK take the name Great Britain because Bretagne is a French name/area. It’s the same exact thing, we must be correct.

  27. Yorgo Limantzakis

    Had the governments of the two countries made steps towards a definite settlement of the name dispute, FYROM might have already become a member-state.. But as long as Skopje and governing VMRO insist on their antiquity (antikvizacija) lust, simultaneously ignoring much more basic problems of their citizens, no prospect of accession soon is to be seen..

  28. Yiannis Piliouras

    It is unacceptable when you have partnership with European Parliament, to use the name Macedonia when you are reffering to FYROM. You have to change it as soon as possible

  29. Christos Mouzeviris

    I support FYROM’s entry in the EU, but not under Gruevski and not without a dialogue between Greece, Bulgaria and FYROM to settle down differences…

  30. Zoran Drangovski

    What do you think of the International Court of Justice my dear friends? Do you think that their decisions should be respected? Do you think that they are wrong when they say that Greece has violated the International Law when they blocked Republic of Macedonia in NATO and now they are doing the same with EU? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16032198

    • History

      call yourselves whatever you want..elves..people of middle earth..jentais..dont call yourselves macedons its a disgrace..after doing that you can join whatever you want to join simple as that..stop claiming alexander was a slav!!!!!!

    • Alexandros, son of Philippos

      And FYROM violate the interim agreement by teaching about “United Macedonia” using the Vergina sun etc etc, so what is the problem that Grecce violated the interim agreement and blocked you from NATO? You don’t follow it yourselves! ICJ gave no order to not block in the future either, just said that it was wrong according to the interim agreement just FYI..

  31. Ana Georgieva

    The Macedonian-Greek drama about Alexander the Great remind me of a William Shakespeare tragedy and comedy at one and the same time.

  32. Ana Georgieva

    If you ask greeks the whole Balkans belongs to them! But if you ask turks they will say the same! Idiots!

  33. Chris Paraskakis

    We shall drown the filthy Vardar slavs in a sea of Zeus’ fire and turn their lands over to feta and tourism production

  34. Alex Gks

    ΝΑΙ κυρίες και κύριοι….Η ΠΓΔΜ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΜΑΚΕΔΟΝΙΑ ! …ΑΝ ΚΑΙ ΜΟΝΟ ΑΝ θεσπίσουν σαν επισημη γλωσσα τα ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ…

  35. Ana Georgieva

    Hahhaa…I am not a slav, stupid. Slavs was a tribe which spread all over Europe between IV and VI AD. I speak slavic language. Fool!

  36. Alex Gks

    Yes ladies and gentlemen …. FYROM is Macedonian! … IF AND ONLY IF adopt as official language GREEK …p.s. please don’t delete again the comment!

  37. Michael Liaros

    This whole saga reminds me of a saying that goes back in history by the name of ” Divide and Conquer”. Very common approach of the superpowers over the ages…..

    A commonwealth approach might have been a more productive/constructive approach between the nations rather than the name saga.. Potentially would have remove barriers and borders and would have opened trade.

    A solution between the two countries must be easier than employing facilitators, but again who the “conquerors” would divide then?

  38. Yannis Pap

    the issue is not just the name “Macedonia”…this could be resolved by adopting a name such as “Upper Macedonia”…the issues arise from Fyrom’s attempt to carve out a national identity by usurping the cultural heritage of Ancient Macedonia,clearly a Greek tribe that rose to the top of Greek city states,united them and created an empire that spread Greek culture to a large part of the then known world.Alexander the Great was Greek-period! (what is his statue pretending to do in a central Skopje square?or in their airport?

  39. Haris Mitakas

    why everyone is stucking with nation (Urban Schrott you lost it about nationalism,Ana you are quite right but not absolutely)

    1st of all the post of this EU debate,doesn’t respects the EUnion agreements-well just to mention it…
    2nd-Skopje is used from US,as the most of Balkans.well also greece is used,but people never accepted that.unfortunatelly, skopjan people accepted and has fallen in the trap;just for creating a stable state,so US can be sure about its power in the peninsula.
    3rd-romania-correct me if i’m wrong-used their name,as they were a legal heir of fallen roman empire.they never claimed that Constantine was a romanian,that byzantines spoked the romanian language,and most of all they never claimed everything,nor history or lands no people as “a minority”.that is the right that every state can name itself,and with no imperialistic intentions.
    you see many benefits are hiding behind history and “legal claiming”….if they wanted only a name,they could use it,as their lands is a part of ancient makedonia.nevermind that US threatend a war in case any land would named as” makedonia”;things and power can lead you on the other side if necessary..
    they copyright the identity of a whole tribe,just for imperialistic purposes.

  40. Jovan Ivosevic

    Well considering they haven’t started the adoption of the acquis and are not likely to do it during Greece’s presidency, there will be no effect at all. But by no means should anyone let that stop them from using this thread as a pointless shouting match about the naming dispute. Personally, I am on the side of the Paeonians.

  41. Christos Mouzeviris

    ana georgieva.. for everything that is wrong in Bulgaria or your life, you come in here and rant against Greece or the Greeks.. The Dutch block your Schengen accession, you complain about the Greeks..there is poverty and social arrest in Bulgaria, you complain about the Greeks.. the other EU nations do not want you in Schengen, you rant about the Greeks.. I do not know why this obsession of yours, but some Bulgarians also have a chip on their shoulder about Greece and its better economy or I do not know what else.. Put it well into your mind, Greece is not the problem, the rich European elites is and your leaders.. Greece and Bulgaria should cooperate closer and together perhaps with Romania, Cyprus and the rest of the Balkan nations should form a block in the EU..But with the bigoted attitude of people like you, I do not see this becoming reality.. Get yourself a husband and take your frustrations on him woman..If you ever come in here again to pour your complexes and bile against another nation, I will speak to you as you deserve!!

    • Yvetta

      Greece and Bulgaria already are working well together. Please do not put everyone in the same basket. It’s the Bulgarians of the Macedonian variety that have these grandiose ideas about themselves. And people will get a husband, and/or a wife as and whenever they feel like it. You look after your own private life. Thanks.

  42. Jovan Ivosevic

    Christiana Koktsidou: the notion that the French blocked the British from joining the EU as “Britain” is not only wrong, it’s one of the dumbest things I have ever heard. Clearly you do not know even basic British history. The Kingdom of Great Britain came into existence in 1707 when the Kingdoms of England and Scotland joined under a single crown by the Act of Union. In 1801, the protestant dominated Kingdom of Ireland also joined under the same crown, which is why the official name became the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland”. By the time the UK joined the European Union in the 1970s, they had been known by the official title of “United Kingdom” for 170+ years, except that it was now known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, since 26 of the 32 Irish counties in the South of Ireland became a free state and subsequently an independent republic. I know a certain Greek politician spread this story in the 1990s (I forget if it was Simidis or someone else) but it is actually shamefully ignorant of history. If Northern Ireland left the UK, the county would be simply known as Great Britain (assuming the Scots stay in it this year) and would still be part of the EU. And if you want people to really think you are crazy and laugh at you, go to France and ask them if they are offended that the country across the Channel uses the name “Britain” and offends them by misappropriating French history. This officially has to rank as one of the stupidest arguments not only in the Balkans, but in this solar system.

    • TheOne

      @Jovan Ivosevic

      Do you know what Winston Churchill has said? He said that Bulgaria and Serbia are the same Shit divided from the wheel of time. Winston Churchill said that the Orient in Europe starts from Belgrade all the way to Baghdad. He also said that where they eat a belly soup (Originally Turkish) and people shower once a week starts the Balkans.

      I do not see anything fascinating about British history or something to it that it would make it sound romantic or great. There is a lot more civilizations on this earth.

      So if you ask the British about history their point of view reflects history through their eyes. It reflects how they saw things. If you ask me the population in Macedonian or FYROM is of Slavic origin and it is speaking a Bulgarian dialect with many Serbian-Croatian attributes.

  43. Christos Mouzeviris

    As for the FYROM issue..I agree with Yiannis Piliouras, that the attitude of Debating Europe is provocative..But I do not expect other nations to understand the issue that Greece has, as most of Europeans have absolute ignorance about the issue and that includes Debating Europe..Not to mention that I consider most European people to be brainwashed by the media and also being uneducated and a bit naive.. They prefer to watch Britain Got Talent, Holland Got Talent, Master Chef Italy, Master Chef France, the X Factor, Big Brother Germany and any other moronic reality shows, that actually picking up a book and educate themselves, before coming in forums like these and spread their ignorance and stupidity.. The real issue is that this statelet thinks , under an ultranationalist moron that they elected as their prime minister, that because they are located PARTLY in the region of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon, they can claim its history and heritage too, plus engage in a mud throwing slander campaign in every international forum, organization or think tank they can, against Greece and recently Bulgaria.. Now while I am a strong supporter of further EU expansion and integration, that will include FYROM naturally, I do not see why I must compromise my nation’s history and heritage so that some ignorant euro-philes can full fill their perfect map of a united Europe.. What nation ever proceeded in something like this? Not only, but we see daily the high chauvinism, racism, nationalism that exist in most European countries, especially those of the North and the old European states.. Britain, France, Holland, Finland, Austria.. The list can go on..So I find it a bit rich that our European “partners” accuse us of nationalism.. The issue is that there IS NOT and has NEVER been a separate Macedonian ethnicity, there is no Macedonian nation.. Nor language.. Modern Macedonia is a region of Europe, that is comprised from three separate ethnicities, Slavo-Macedonians, Greek Macedonians and Albanian Macedonians.. All of them have the right to call themselves Macedonians, but the right to ancient Macedonia’s history lies with Greece, as it does for all the ancient Greek tribes either they lives in South Italy, Egypt, the Middle East.. So the issue here IS NOT ABOUT THE NAME, rather heritage.. For more to open your eyes, please read here: http://eblanademocraticmove.blogspot.ie/2010/12/issue-with-fyrom.html

  44. Jovan Ivosevic

    ^ Great then you should have no difficulty producing one source for this which isn’t Greek. After all, I am sure there will be plenty of French and English language sources on the issue. The stated reasons DeGaulle initially blocked British membership was because he “accused Britain of a “deep-seated hostility” towards European construction. He said London showed a “lack of interest” in the Common Market and would require a “radical transformation” before joining the EEC. “The present Common Market is incompatible with the economy, as it now stands, of Britain,” he said. He went on to list a number of aspects of Britain’s economy, from working practices to agriculture, which he said made Britain incompatible with Europe.” This is from the BBC’s own report in 1967. Nowhere is any supposed “naming dispute” mentioned, largely because both Britain and France had economic issues to work around, not whether William of Normandy conquering Britain in the 11th century transferred Britain the rights to use the name… they actually care about things that matter. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/november/27/newsid_4187000/4187714.stm

  45. Lora Bozini

    Don’t even “touch” the name Macedonia!! We all, as Greeks, who come from the ancient GREEK land of the northern part of Greece, of the historic Macedonia, feel very offended and very upset, when

  46. Lora Bozini

    the name of Macedonia is being disputed!! Respect the ancient history of Macedonia, come and see that the greek language was written and used all over Macedonia since thousands years ago, remember that Alexander the Great spread the greek civilisation and the greek language all over the countries that he conquerred …Last but not least, find out what the name Alexander and Macedonia mean in Greek and then nobody will use again the greek name of Macedonia to name FYROM. Please, citizens of FYROM, find another name and another history for your country!! We don’t borrow and we don’t sell our history to nobody and for no reason!!

  47. Christiana Koktsidou

    The dumbest argument on the whole solar panel? Hahahahaha
    Loved it. I like when people keep manners here. :)
    It is ok my friends, as I said before I’m proud when states don’t have identity and claim other’s identity. Honestly hands down, I’m one of the few people in Greece calls FYROM as Macedonia. At the end of the day it is Macedonia region. Whether they should access the EU by that name that’s another story of political correctness.

    PS. Being rude is the dumbest argument on planet earth. Not on the whole solar system, just planet earth. Referring to all of you guys.


  48. Mário Celso Vilar

    The issue is mainly that FYROM is not (yet?) Macedonia “tout court”, as little by little it becomes to be named, for commodity reasons (only?). Should they stop their claims on Greek territory and things would probably evolve differently. After the name’s issue is solved, why not in to the EU?

    • Eugenia Natsoulidou

      Mario Celso Vilar There is no a state name issue, but a nation’s name issue! Both Greece and Bulgaria do not want to recognize a Macedonian nation exists also inside their state’s borders. As they officially cannot deny the self-determination of their own citizens, they invented the “name issue” with the Republic of Macedonia where the majority of its citizens declare they belong to a Macedonian nation!By denying a Macedonian state, they actually are denying the Macedonian nation. Please, also note that Macedonians existed all over the Macedonian territory in Yugoslavia, Greece and Bulgaria much before a Macedonian independent state was created. To solve this issue, there is a very simple way: a census, where Macedonians, both in Bulgaria and Greece, could be counted by their ethnic self-identification! Why they do not do that and why nobody is asking them to do it, instead of debating a silly “name issue” for so many years?

    • Yvetta

      Eugenia Natsoulidou, this Macedonian nation you are referring to I have not seen in the so many years I lived and travelled in the area. Having known and come into contact with Slavic-speakers in Greece but also “Macedonians” from Yugoslavia, when it was still in existence, I do not see them as any different to any other Slavic “nation” in the area. The language that they speak is nothing but a country kind of, non-standardised Bulgarian that you get to hear in Bulgarian folk songs. They also look like other Slavs in the area and their customs are the same. In addition to this, historians and linguists tells us that those people are an off-shoot of Bulgaria and the area was indeed part of the Bulgarian Empire. FYI the last census in Bulgaria did include “Macedonian” but, personally, I do not see how this is any different to any other regional Bulgarian culture, such as the Shopi for example etc. Sadly, due to the historical revisionism that Mr Gruevski is practicing, I think many people, in Greece at least, would not state their identity as Macedonian, as they would not identify with this theory about a “Macedonian nation” but consider themselves Bulgarian.

  49. Christos Mouzeviris

    Ivan it was the now Greek Prime Minister Mr Samaras who stated it publicly plus the Greek Nationalist politician the leader of LAOS Mr Karatzaferis.. The second person we can call a populist fanatic and discard his opinion. As for Mr Samaras, well a lot can be said about his person.. But that belief is widespread in Greece now, because of him.. Either this is true or rubbish the fact that the two countries had dispute remains, and the French blocked another nation for their own interests..As have the Slovenes done to the Croatians for a while.. Greece is doing exactly the same.Why not after all?If you find the position as a thing that “does not matter”, then why don’t you try to convince the SlavoMacedonians to compromise? Their arguments are based on absolute rubbish and the issue is far deeper than you will ever understand..Inform yourself about it before you form an opinion please.. Google the Macedonian dispute and read the book Salonica:City of Ghosts from the British historian Mark Mazower.. There you will read the truth on how this ethnicity was created, to serve certain interests of certain players of that time.. The Slavomacedonians still engage in a propaganda against Greece, on stolen lands, non-existing history and its falsification, and alleged genocides against them.. They know only one side of the story of course.. Why should we, compromise to all their demands? And if we give them the name open handed, then what if they demand compensation for the lands they lost during the wars, or their so called genocide? There are other nations around us who have nationalist groups that also have territorial demands from Greece, that if they ever come to power, they may be heartened by the victory of FYROM.. What then? And why the hell should we compromise our history, name one nation that has ever done that damn it? Besides, it is not just Greece but now also Bulgaria who has objections to their entry for similar reasons.. History falsification and other linguistic issues.. Is it wrong for a nation to strive to safeguard its history and heritage, or even its interests? Then why the hell Serbia does not let go of Kosovo all these years? Eh? Never mind the fact that FYROM does not fill the criteria anyway..

  50. Christos Mouzeviris

    you are very easily amused…that shows low IQ and intelligence.. read the whole comment and do not come over here and address me just to start a fight.. inadequate people often do that..

  51. Pavlos Vasileiadis

    First of all, we can’t seriously talk of an EU expansion at this point. It has been shown that each time when the EU expands, then it is faced with acute consolidation problems. Given the great economic and social crisis, the whole discussion seems to be out of place right now.

    As for the name dispute, there is no doubt that the so-called “macedonian” identity has absolutely no background in terms of history, culture, language or statehood.
    It was first conceived by a few Serbian-fed intellectuals (originating from Macedonia) in very late 19th century following the encouragement of the government of Novakovic as a means to stop the expansion of bulgarian nationalism in Macedonia. After WWI, the idea was picked up again in 1924 by the Comintern that wanted to destabilize inter-war Yugoslavia and propagated the idea of a separate macedonian nation (as it also did in the romanian case, speaking publicly of the existence of a moldovan nation). The Yugoslav communists after WWII saw in this idea an effective tool to fight the inter-war Serbian-bulgarian antagonism over Macedonia and restrain, up to a point, the Albanian nationalism, not to mention their designs of expansion to the detriment of Greece’s territorial integrity in 1947-1949. Luckily for Tito, the rift with Stalin and the close encounters of Yugoslavia to NATO and the West ensured Greece’s mild reactions to the artificial configuration of the “macedonian” statehood and identity throughout the Cold War. The crisis exploded after 1991, when the slavic macedonian nationalism “came out of the closet” creating anger in Greece and scepticism in Bulgaria, and most justifiably too.

    So, history and (serious) historians couldn’t be more clear about it. The problem is that, however shaky this so-called “macedonian” identity may be, however feeble the historical arguments for its existence may get, it still manages to remain in evolution. Certainly, the increasing pressure coming from bad economy and the flourishing Albanian national movement makes a retrogression to this historically void “macedonian” nationalism much easier. Besides, most people in Skopje feel Macedonians irrespective of what historical research concludes. They were born and raised hearing all these stories about being a separate and distinct nation in contrast to Greeks and Bulgarians. And, consequently, they get carried away and go as far as to usurp Greek and bulgarian cultural traditions and historical figures, speak publicly about the “macedonian historical motherlands” meaning western Bulgaria and Northern Greece and raise non-existent minority issues in Greece and Bulgaria, at a time when their own state is far from being described as nationally homogenous. It doesn’t matter if this 19th century way of thinking defies every law of reason and historical science, they still cling to it and defend it most vigorously. The publishing of schoolbooks and maps with reference to “historical Macedonia”, which depict Bulgarian and Greek territory as part of today’s FYROM, the erection of kitsch monuments in a hypothetically ancient macedonian style and the whole anti-Greek, anti-Slavic (and anti-Albanian) spirit of Gruevsky’s “antiquization policy” speak for themselves.

    So, how is it possible to find common grounds with Greece, since FYROM insists relating itself to something it has never had any cultural or historical ties with? I’m not saying that Greece is flawless in that matter. Its governments in the past made quite a few mistakes and the country today tries to clean up the mess. Since the frantic demonstrations in 1992 and the embargo in 1994, Greece has come a long way. It struggled with rigid nationalism and managed to overcome and initiate a series of negotiations. It has accepted to negotiate on the basis of a “mixed name solution”, even if it knows of the dangers and the disputes that may arise from that. The only thing that remains is that its northern neighbour does its part too and realize that represents a part of a wider whole and not the whole itself.
    Otherwise, this “copyright infringement” policy will do absolutely no good in the end.

  52. anastasis ven

    Guys, apart from the name issue, are we talking about a muslim orientated state entering EU? This is not going to happen any time soon. Same goes for Turkey, Albania, Kosovo, or Bosnia (btw all of them are the least progressed and prosperous countries of the geographical EU -i guess that is no random fact)

  53. Michael Tsikalakis

    It is all about politics. There will be no solution between people (citizens).We need political intervention in order to solve such problems. For many years the people lived in the south of the former Yugoslavia region thought that they were living in Macedonia, because the Yugoslavian Government named it as such. Macedonia is an ancient Greek region. History proves that. Of course there is a solution as far as the name is concerned, once the politicians from both sides decide it.

  54. Urban Schrott

    There is no “debating Europe” here. Just a bunch of angry Greeks ranting about their nationalistic frustrations and no Macedonians ranting back.

    I wonder when the city of Rome will demand the name London can no longer be used, but be called FRCL (Former Roman City of Londinium). Maybe North African Berbers can demand Spain be renamed to FACS (Former Almohad Caliphate of Spain)? Or ultimately when will Turkey demand Greece be called FOPG (Former Ottoman Pashalik of Greece). Seriously guys…get a grip on yourselves, will you.

    Macedonians don’t feel Greek or they’d be Greek, and they don’t feel Bulgarian either or they’d be Bulgarian. They lived where they live now long before Yugoslavia too, so if being part of Yugoslavia was only the last part of their history before independence, then FYROM is as justified as FOPG is for Greece.

    Oh and those of you that base all your arguments on one Alexander from way back. He also conquered Egypt and Persia and took on their gods and culture too, because he was a cultural integrator. How about if modernday Iran and Egypt start building monuments to him too?

    Oh and Jovan Ivosevic is correct. The full official name of UK is United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, shortened into United Kingdom or just Britain.

  55. Paul X

    You have to laugh at the suggestion that the name “Great Britain” was rejected by the French, there has always been (and always will) be animosity between the UK and France and it has nothing to do with names

    To put in simple terms what has already been said, Great Britain and The United Kingdom are NOT the same geographical areas and the names are NOT interchangable

    If the UK ever intended to join the EU as Great britain then it would mean they were leaving Northern Ireland out

  56. Urban Schrott

    Alex Gks:

    A couple of questions. :)

    1. Are Europeans allowed to call themselves Europeans without all having to switch to Greek, since Europa is an ancient Greek word too?

    2. Do modern Greeks speak the same language that ancient Greeks and Macedonians spoke?

    3. Do Greek Macedonians call themselves Greeks or Macedonians?

    4. Since it is a historic fact that Greeks expelled all Slavo-Macedonians from their part of what is now Greek Macedonia when they conquered it in wars against the Ottomans, is it fair to claim a neighbouring Macedonia is also yours, because you also own a land of the same name, which you made yours by ethnic cleansing?

    5. Does any of this really need to be debated in 2014 when EU, Macedonia and Greece have bigger problems than a monument to a guy from two thousand years ago?

    • Eugenia Natsoulidou

      Urban Schrott Great questions you have posted! Just a correction to question 4: Greeks did not manage to expel all Macedonians from the Aegean Macedonia (Northern Greece) and that is why they have BIG problem with a Macedonian state!
      Here some young Macedonians from Greece singing in their macedonian mother tongue! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5ibWv3C5XY&feature=share

    • Yvetta

      They were not expelled but exchanged with Greek population from…Bulgaria.

  57. Urban Schrott

    “Ana Georgieva: It has but nobody messed there”

    Really? Read up on Ireland/Northern Ireland, read up on Flemish/Walonian Belgium, read up on the division of Poland, read up on the dissolution of the Habsburg empire, read up on the unification of Italy, read up on French/German relations, read up on Swedish Baltic imperialism, read up on Castillian/Catalonian/Basque relation in Spain, then tell me nobody was messing with the rest of Europe. Everybody was ALWAYS messing with everyone. EU is the first semi-successful attempt which gives all members a voice and doesn’t just leave them to the messing of the great powers. EU is the first real attempt at creating a united continent where decisions which affect everyone are reached by consensus and not by angry nationalistic rants of various angry nationalists. The easiest thing in any nation is to say “Our neighbours are threatening us” and rallying nationalists to start blaming the neighbours for all their trouble. But it takes mature and responsible people to try and find compromises and to enforce a “live and let live” policy.

    Every european nation can show you maps where in some part of history they were greater than today. Everyone has some chip on their shoulder and many dream of some lost glory of the past. But those are all really just crutches for low self-esteem. The actual problems of today ar enot whether Nation X has the right to build a monument to General Y from a thousand or two thousand years ago, but how we will all survive and make progress in the modern economy, production system, impending ecological disasters, etc.

    If all your Macedonian/Bulgarian/Greek nationalisms wouldn’t be getting the better of you all, the whole concept of “Macedonia” could be a wonderful brand to build for all of you, every one striving for greater promotion of the same brand globally. And tourists from all over the world could come view your old and new monuments, spend money and help all your economies prosper. Instead, the way you’re acting here, you’d rather go to war over a name, chasing away all tourists and investors… real smart. :/

  58. Christos Mouzeviris

    Urban you are narrow minded my friend.. We give you all the information and you chose to close your eyes and make your own assumptions… We do not have any problem if Egyptians build statues to Alexander the Great..It is actually an honor..The difference is that the Egyptians won’t claim Alexander and the whole history of Macedonia as their own..Because? They have a brilliant history of their own.. If that was the case with FYROM the issue would be solved ages ago..But it is not.. The Greek Macedonians, feel both Greek and Macedonians.. Another issue that you do not understand because of ignorance.. The Greeks, just like the Germans and the French, may identify themselves as Greeks, but also as Macedonians, Thracians, Cretans, Epirotans just as the French do so as Brittons, or the Germans as Bayer or Schwebish people… Educate yourself because you spread your ignorance please..

  59. Stefaan Van den Abbeele

    “Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana

  60. Lora Bozini

    Please, Mr. Schrott, the “Macedonia issue” is not a matter of tourism for us. You believe that we are nationalists, the Greeks, but I inform you that we are not!! Of course, you are right, “every european nation can show you maps where in some part of history they were greater than today” BUT is there a european nation that has lost a part of its history????? I don’t think so… People of FYROM don’t want only the name of Macedonia but its history also. I am a Greek who lives in the northern part of Greece, in historical Macedonia, and I am an archaeologist, too. I wish I could show the ancient monuments, the ancient tombstones with the ancient greek names written on them etc etc and then you will come to my words. Visit the tomb of Philip, father of Alexander the Great, in Vergina, in greek Macedonia and the history will speak to you by itsself…Thank you.

  61. Urban Schrott

    @Christos, calling me narrow minded or ignorant doesn’t make your arguments any more valid, it just makes you look a bit desperate, fíle mou. You’re acting on your nationalistic agenda and are ignoring (and insulting) anything anyone has to say against it.

    The modern British didn’t build Stonehenge, ancient Britons did, yet they claim it as their heritage. Why? Because they live there. Ancient Greeks built Neapolis in Italy, but it’s Napoli/Naples today, noone speaks Greek there, it’s inhabited by Italians now and people there are still proud of their ancient heritage. Will you sue them? Turks didn’t build Istanbul, Egyptians didn’t build Alexandria, etc. Sue them all? If Slavic-Macedonians lived in the Macedonia area for centuries, called it their home, they have a right to claim its heritage as well, it does not belong to Greek-speaking Macedonians only. How can the Irish claim Ireland, if only a small minority still speak Gaelic Irish, the rest speak English? How can Belgians claim Belgium if they speak French and Flemish and noone speaks “Belgian”? Because it’s their home and they’ve lived there for centuries, that’s why. Language doesn’t matter.

    Greek nationalists here revealed their true colours by saying “If FYROM switches to Greek, they can be called Macedonia”. This shows you don’t care at all for the actual Macedonian heritage, but just for spreading your modern-Greek national influence. If Macedonians want to call themselves Macedonians, it’s their right to do so, as long as they don’t go telling Bulgarian and Greek Macedonians what they can or can not call themselves. Everyone has the right to decide for themselves. If (all) you guys were smart, you’d declare a trans-national EU region Macedonia, where Slavic-Macedonian, Greek and Bulgarian cultures would meet and mix (there are several such European regions already and the results are positive), and you’d all be proud of all your common history and heritage. What you’re doing instead is 19th century linguistic-territorial nationalism, which has never brought anything but war to the region!

    You still haven’t answered me what’s stopping Turkey from demanding Greece calls itself FOPG (Former Ottoman Pashalik Greece)? Greece was part of Ottoman Turkey centuries longer than Macedonia was part of Yugoslavia, as I’m sure you well know. What is giving modern Greeks the right to claim ancient Greek heritage, since their modern Greek language is very different from the ancient Greek and since that civilisation was taken over by Romans, then Byzantines, then Ottomans long ago, but modern Macedonians can’t claim a Macedonian heritage? This approach of yours is so terribly one-sided, biased, historically and politically incorrect pretty much noone who isn’t Greek can’t swallow it. It’s not because we’re ignorant, but because it’s just a really terrible approach. For a people that claim the heritage of the ancient Greeks, who invented the word Europe, you sure are acting terribly non-European!

    And as you see in the comments above, apart from angry Greeks (and some angry Bulgarians), there’s hardly noone else commenting, because most other European people just want to stay as far away as possible from this Balkan tribal warfare folklore…

    @Lora Bozini: People A and people B build a monument to General X. And that is a problem? General X should be bringing you together, not dividing you. AFAIK Macedonians never denied Greeks their heritage, so why deny them theirs? Yes, several European nations lay claim to same history, because they were members of same multi-ethnic empires (British Empire, Habsburg Empire, Russian Empire, Swedish Empire, Polish-Lithuanian kingdom, etc) and many are arguing “this isn’t your heritage, it’s ours” but in reality it is of both! So it’s not enough to say “I assure you we’re not nationalists” when you’re acting exactly that… This is not the European way of dealing with things.

    • History

      you cant call yourselve whatever you want..i cant wake up one day and say i am american..can i??will USA state give me a passport an id and all the needed documents just cause i woke up one day and called myself an american?your opinions are way wrong my friend

  62. Urban Schrott

    Since I am not a Macedonian, nor Greek, nor Bulgarian, so I have no personal stake in this whole argument, but merely my aversion to exclusivistic nationalist discourse, I am willing to accept that perhaps most of you ranting here don’t even see yourselves as nationalists. But then, please, read this and see if you recognise yourself in any of these claims: http://i.imgur.com/jbDbsfZ.jpg

  63. Christos Mouzeviris

    Spare me with the lecturing please.. Has any European nation given up its history and heritage? In Denmark they still build Vikinf vilages and they are trying to recreate their Viking heritage.. If Turkey wants to call us FOGJ or whatever they are very welcome to it.. The whole world calls us Greece while we identify ourselves as Helenes.. The name is NOT the issue I repeat.. We call them Slavomacedonians that means Macedonians of Slavic descent.. It is not us who try to monopolize the history of Macedonia rather themselves as they believe that they are the only descendants of the ancient Kingdom and we just carved their land.. Utter nonsense as there is proof of Greek prescence in the region since the ancient time till today.. You are speaking to one indigenous Greek Macedonian.. What does this tell you.. I would have no problem to share the name but not compromise my identity.. They must also compromise on that aspect.. Italians and Turks may be proud of their Greek heritage as long as they state the facts right and not distort history.. Italians never claimed that the Greeks of south Italy were not Greek but Italian although with todays geographic reality they were Italian.. Get the point? Of course the italians have a great heritage of their own…

  64. Urban Schrott

    “It is not us who try to monopolize the history of Macedonia rather themselves as they believe that they are the only descendants of the ancient Kingdom and we just carved their land” I have never seen any Macedonian claims that “They are the only descendants”. In fact, I doubt any Macedonian would make a serious claim that they have genetically anything to do with ancient Macedonians. I do know however that Greece objected to Macedonia being called Macedonia already on the day of their declaring independence from Yugoslavia, before they ever made any plans of building any monuments to any ancient kings. Greece therefore simply claimed to be the only owner and proprietor of the name Macedonia, which, since it does not control its entire historic territory and could thus not ehtnically cleanse all of it, is a bad claim. :)

    “If Turkey wants to call us FOGJ or whatever they are very welcome to it.. The whole world calls us Greece while we identify ourselves as Helenes.. ”
    Ok, but then by analogy, you’re welcome to call Slavic-Macedonians whatever you like and the world will call them Macedonia and they will call themselves “Makedonci”. Sounds fair to me :D

    “I would have no problem to share the name but not compromise my identity.. They must also compromise on that aspect.. ”
    Who ever is making YOU compromise YOUR identity? Should they ever say “You cannot be Macedonian, because only we are!” of course that would be a problem and I agree with you they should not do that. But did they ever say that? All we see above here is Greeks saying “NO to Macedonia!” while we see no Macedonians saying “NO to Greek Macedonia!” All I see above is “They’re stealing OUR heritage!” and no “We all share a heritage, let’s make the best of it.”

    • History

      yes theya re stealing our heritage..and the land they residue was not a part of ancient macedonia…it was paionia..youra rgument is invalid

  65. Ana Georgieva

    @Urban Schrott, the problem is some neighbours have not changed at all and I am simply pissed off! I do not agree with what macedonians do, but i do not agree with greeks either. They have gone completely mad, both of them.

  66. Ana Georgieva

    The macedonians insult us bulgarians all the time, greeks do absolutely the same. Macedonians break bulgarians monuments in Macedonia, they beat people who identify themselvs as bulgarians, two days ago the bulgarians went to a monument protected by police! And after two hours some macedonians broke the bg monument again. I am pissed off, they have crossed any normal lines of dialog and behaviour!

  67. Urban Schrott

    Ana, I see, clearly “the others” are all mad, while “we” are all fine, right?
    A very objective approach indeed. :D

    “So, what do you suggest we have to do? They are mad, crazy!”
    You should all sit down and have a nice Turkish coffee and discuss what you all have in common, instead of what divides you. Otherwise it’s just typical never-changing Balkan tribal warfare folklore. Maybe the next world war will also start in the Balkans?

    Well, either way, I am not paid by Macedonians to argue their point and continuing to argue against this “19th century nationalistic agenda” will likely just lead to some angry Greek (or angry Bulgarian) murdering me, so I’ll give it a rest now. Maybe these neighbours with their stubbornness ultimately deserve each other as they’d die of boredom if they weren’t constantly pissing each other off… 3:)

    Yiá sas! Doviduvanye!

  68. Ana Georgieva

    Well beleive me nobody beats macedonians and greeks here, or call them – slavs, tatars, mongols, gypsy, freaks, bastards etc. I am not going to tolerate anymore their insults!

  69. Lora Bozini

    Mr. Schrott, with all the respect, you make a serious mistake. FYROM denies Greece a very impeortant part of its history, the macedonian era. We don’t deny them their heritage!! They speak a slavic language, they write in slavic, so what is their connection to Alexander the Great and the greek civilasation?? We are very fond of our heritage and our civilasation, we would like to have good relations with them but some things are ΝΟΤ NEGOTIABLE!! And somethig else: there are maps in school books in FYROM which show the territory of FYROM and the greek, historical Macedonia as a whole nation and country!! If it is not imperialism, what is it then?? Modern macedonians of Greece also speak the same language with the ancient ones, the greek language, which is developing through the centuries, but it is the same language, in which Macedonia means “”the land of the tall men”", Alexander means “the man that wins the enemies” and Philip, “the man that loves horses”. Famous historians all over the world find that it is a ridicolous matter all this, because for them there is only one history of Macedonia, the greek one. Good afternoon.

  70. Angelos P.

    Am I the first Greek citizen to support Macedonia joining the EU? This is sad.

    There are some liberal political parties in Greece which have marginally not entered the parliament in the previous elections, that support Macedonian’s accession to the EU by its constitutional name.

    Greeks live in their own reality, the rest of the world is already calling the country ‘Macedonia’ for decades now. According to Wikipedia, there are 133 countries worldwide that use the name “Macedonia” in their bilateral relations, and only 16+1 countries that use “former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” (in the rest of the countries the naming policy is unknown/unclear). Of those 16 countries (most of them close EU allies to Greece), many are pressuring hard Athens to finally come to an agreement!

    Still, Greeks are proud that they’ve managed to establish the “former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” in the U.N. & other international institutions as a “temporary reference” (and not as a definite name as many people think around here), believing they are on their way to win this argument. But in reality, the only reason why they’ve established “fYROM” as a temporary reference, is because of their political & economical superiority over Macedonia (as it was proven during the embargo in the ’90s).

    International human rights organizations (such as Amnesty International & Human Rights Watch) are respecting Macedonian people’s basic human right of self-determination as “Macedonians”. There’s no need to add any “Upper, New, Slavic” or whatever before the name Macedonia. “Republic of” is clear enough. The Greek Macedonia will not cease to exist – I’ve heard some funny arguments from the Greek side.

    Yes, there are extremists in Macedonia (speaking of a “United Macedonia” that includes territories from 3-4 Balkan nations), but we also have our own extremists that dream of a “Magna Graecia” who want to “re-take” “Constantinople” and make it the capital of Greece or something! So what? You can find this sort of clowns in both sides, but it is IRRELEVANT to their right of self-determination.

    Greeks should better realize that this foreign policy is not adding to their international image, but instead it’s humiliating them.

    • Christos Mouzeviris

      well I am sorry we are disappointing you and we are not as open minded as you and the political party that you support..I guess that Ephialtes would consider himself as progressive as you lot, by not seeing the point of keep fighting.. No wonder this party is not in the Greek Parliament and will never be any time soon..

      How on earth do you expect Greece to keep any of its heritage alive if you are happy to give up everything without even a debate, dropping your pants and offering yourself..

      I live outside of Greece and the stuff I have heard of about the issue made me more aware and I will dare to say nationalist than when I left Greece.. I would not have any objections at all for the use of the term Republic of Macedonia, if I hadn’t read or watched this few publications..

      A few years ago the famous British comedian Mr Palin decided to make a documentary about the Balkans..Inevitably he found himself in FYROM, where he plainly repeated in his ignorance that Alexander the Great was from there and he started his campaign to conquer Asia, even if he was not even in Vergina or Pella.. How will any British or person of any other nationality that watched this program with limited education or capability to separate facts would have understood about the history of Macedonia, since Mr Palin was saying that the land of Macedon is where today is FYROM and only?

      In another book about coins and collection of coins, the British also writer wrote about the coin of the former 100 drachma that Greece cut to commemorate the heritage of Macedonia, as “propaganda” against “Macedonia” in order to steal its history..Seriously? They owe us and we are allowing them to take our donkey as well? Not only the reality is the other way around, but if anyone writes whatever he wants or believes personally, without us reacting then in a few decades my friend we’ll be knowing as ancient Greek history only the Peloponesian wars. That may be fine with you, but as a Greek Macedonian I have to object..Greece is not just Athens and Sparta..

      What if we never had any objections to their name or their entry..Imagine if they join the euro and start minting euro coins with the head of Alexander the Great or any other Greek symbols..? Your ignorance and “open mindedness” will cause our nation to have its history and heritage clipped by the newest nation of Europe!!

      For the record I also support their entry in the EU and NATO, but not unconditionally like you..I support further EU expansion and integration, that yes will include FYROM..so you are not the only Greek with these views, trust me.. I do not give a damn how the international community wants to call them, or how it sees Greece..

      I do not also give a damn about the Amnesty International Human rights watch, an NGO with dubious agenda, like everything else based in USA or in the West.. To satisfy the new nations of North and South America, Australia and Africa, they had to make laws such as these such as the self determination, otherwise there could never be an American, Brazilian, Australian or Argentinian nation, as they are all immigrants from somewhere else, apart the native American Indians.. In an effort to gain independence these new countries pushed for this agenda, that sadly does not and can not apply in our case where we have a new nation not just trying to identify or name itself, but to create a history about itself…Taking a large part of ours..

      I do not care if our neighbours have inferiority complexes about Greece being the first and most famous civilization of Europe and the Balkans.. Their problem.. I do not also wake up every morning patting myself on the back for being a “pure” descendant of ancient Greece, I am not Goldern Dawn..

      But let us not demolish everything and give away all in the name of some moronic sense of “progress” and “open-mindedness”.. I personally am glad that there are a few Greeks out there fighting our corner, even if Greece eventually has to compromise and accepts the name Macedonia..At least we will have made a point about our cultural heritage and make other Europeans more aware about our story too.. So the next time they see a documentary about Macedonia they will know partly some facts and the truth..


  71. Makedonier

    Macedonia for Macedonians

  72. Alex Gks

    @ Urban Schrot… ….1) It is different to any geographical region characterized by a name while ANOTHER has the same name with features as the other language…2)If you know modern Greek and ancient Greek would observe that the Slavic-speaking inhabitants of FYROM, have less in common with the ancient GREEK,spoken by ancient Macedonians, from that modern Greek…..3) what makes you think that the Greeks Macedonians not called Macedonian?….4)The Greeks did not evict anyone .. Τhey left to go in areas that the Turks expelled the Greeks as in Konstantinoupoli….5)Really they should debated…I agree the problems is not the “a monument” that show acceptance of the inhabitants of FYROM in ancient ΜΑCEDONIA..Maybe a common OFFICIAL language would solve many problems….

  73. Alex Gks

    @ Urban Schrot… ….1) It is different to any geographical region characterized by a name while ANOTHER has the same name with features as the other language…2)If you know modern Greek and ancient Greek would observe that the Slavic-speaking inhabitants of FYROM, have less in common with the ancient GREEK,spoken by ancient Macedonians, from that modern Greek…..3) what makes you think that the Greeks Macedonians not called Macedonian?….4)The Greeks did not evict anyone .. Τhey left to go in areas that the Turks expelled the Greeks as in Konstantinoupoli….5)Really they should debated…I agree the problems is not the “a monument” that show acceptance of the inhabitants of FYROM in ancient ΜΑCEDONIA..Maybe a common OFFICIAL language would solve many problems….

  74. Christos Mouzeviris

    I think you need to get a better idea of what trash comes from the slavomacedonians online.. Just because they haven’t showed up in here does not mean that they have changed.. When a nation calls for a united Macedonia and considers all other inhabitants as invaders and settlers that carved out their land and expelled their ancestors off their country what would you make of them? When the reality is far from that.. Read about the Greek civil war Mr and how Greek communists and the slavomacedonians who sided with them were expelled from Greece with the blessings of the West thay wanted to keep Greece under their influence.. So the solution was to expell all who fought against the Greek state either they were Greek or slavomacedonian.. To them that is the great “genocide” that Greece has committed while their ancestors were butchering Greek civilians during the war!! Ain’t history a bitch?

  75. Christos Mouzeviris

    I think you need to get a better idea of what trash comes from the slavomacedonians online.. Just because they haven’t showed up in here does not mean that they have changed.. When a nation calls for a united Macedonia and considers all other inhabitants as invaders and settlers that carved out their land and expelled their ancestors off their country what would you make of them? When the reality is far from that.. Read about the Greek civil war Mr and how Greek communists and the slavomacedonians who sided with them were expelled from Greece with the blessings of the West thay wanted to keep Greece under their influence.. So the solution was to expell all who fought against the Greek state either they were Greek or slavomacedonian.. To them that is the great “genocide” that Greece has committed while their ancestors were butchering Greek civilians during the war!! Ain’t history a bitch?

  76. Christos Mouzeviris

    To conclude with the issue I will bring the example of Ireland where I live currently.. They have a viking boat monument and a whole exibition called Dublinia commemorating their Viking heritage.. Yeah that is right, half of Irish land was colonized by the Vikings. But do you see the Irish claiming that theu are the real Vikings while the Scandinavians are the imposters and they conquered their lands and expelled them and blah blah blah? No!! That is why there is no dispute between the two regions.. Because Scandinavia is the main heir of the Viking heritage while Ireland and other regions may naturally and proudly claim heritage but do not dispute historic facts. If that is ever the attitude that FYROM adopts towards Greece and Macedonia then they have my vote to join asap.. We could share and cooperate, never when there is so much bullshit coming out of the other side.. Please do not try to judge the issue by comparing Macedonia to Luxembourg or Moldova.. Different regions, histories and issues.. Try to undetstand the sensitivites individually by informing yourselves!!

  77. Christos Mouzeviris

    Ana I do not know where you got this idea that the Greeks hate the Bulgarians and call them names but could you please stop? Perhaps you were talking to some members of Golden Dawn or I do not know.. The majority of Greeks do not hate Bulgaria, not anymore.. We come to your country stay on vacation spend our euros.. Likewise many Bulgarians visit Greece for holidays or come to work.. I love Bulgaria as a nation, after Cyprus , Romania and Bulgariq are the nations I feel closer too and identify the most with.. Especially since you are the one that rants against Greece and the Greeks in every topic of the Debating Europe!! The kettle calling the pot black says me..

  78. Daniele Scaramelli

    While being in principle favorable to further enlargements, on the basis on the experience with Romania and Bulgaria, I would say that FYROM is not ready yet. They still have a lot of internal problems to solve, and the Greek issue is among the minor ones. Let’s shelve the accession for another 5 years at least, better 10.

  79. Michael Tsikalakis

    Everybody has the right and the chance here to say anything he thinks is right, as long as he is not offending the others. This is DEMOCRASY. This is EUROPE. Many thanks to Debating Europe for giving us the chance to say our opinion and to exchange ideas and arguments as well as to all the participants for their comments

  80. Ana Georgieva

    @Christos Mouzeviris, to make yourself the “victims” of the Balkans is really arrogant and funny at the same time. There are bulgarians who live for centuries up to nowerdays in Greece, Macedonia, Kosovo, Romania, Serbia! Why we don’t have here greeks, macedonians, romanians etc.? Because all of you – our “friendly” neighbours put a knife in our back and used the moment after the Balkan war to attack us from everywhere! And you say – you are not angry and you are the victims! Shame on you! Even my mother was born during the time of Romanian occupation, because of which we had to take part into the Second World War, to return back our country! We have strong family memory and know our family history! We remember.

  81. Lora Bozini

    First rule of a conversation is to have arguments and the second is to be polite!! The lack of arguments make people rude. I am a historian and an archaeologist and I base my arguments on the international bibliography. Irrelevant references let me completely uninterested!!

  82. Ana Georgieva

    Now you make the same problem about Thrace! We find artefacts – here in Bulgaria, many artefact. And you say – “this is ours, it belongs to us”. This is called arrogance and greediness, and discrimination. Have a nice day i am pissed off to be humiliated from everywhere!

  83. Ana Georgieva

    And I forgot to say that we have offered macedonians to share some of our history, the one that is common and to write it as – bulgarian and macedonian. They do not agree! They want to be written only as – macedonian! Which is false and a lie!

  84. Haris Mitakas

    Ana Georgieva you have a point,as you say about Balkan Wars.1st of all glad of realising that US and West want to have Balkans alla the time on fire.
    But you missed also some points(let’s say about Eastern Rumelia and its slaughter).the point is that it was an age of nationalism and things got away in those two wars.In war by the way,all the sides are loosing.about the 2nd Balkan war,you should check the reason that it starts,and the you will understand why all the nations attacked on you.
    Also,the map you were showing were not maps of the greater majority,just population seperated in tribes but in reality with criteria for laughs(religion another trick of greater powers).most of these maps-as you realising with mixed colors in many areas,shows the reality that people after so many years under the Turks,were mixed in a way that no one can really say who is who,only him self.
    as about thrace,i really don’t understand what you are saying,so i can’t answer to you.

  85. Christos Mouzeviris

    Have I disputed that Bulgarians lived in the Balkans for centuries? I don’t remember that.. And many Greeks suffered or were killed under the knives of the Bulgarian komitatzis, the Turks or the Albanians.. So? Can’t we move on?

  86. Haris Mitakas

    Urban Schrott you are in a good way but again you miss the point-not bad as you think that many greeks lost it a long ago.Sure you miss some points for greek history,so a question like”how macedonians called themselves,makes me laugh”.as for reality,and modern greeks(yes it’s really a mess)look at seferis.still no one can bet his speech,so i uses that Ace!
    also,you miss the balkan way of thinking and you can understant some facts….as well i can’t understand some incidents in rest fo europe.about turkish demands i can’t understand what do you mean.so i can say something.if you want to keep in mind something is that ok lets forget the lovers of History(including me),the biggest issue in this “name” battle,it’s not so much about past,but the situations will be created in future

  87. Ana Georgieva

    Because Macedonia is with mixed population, and everyone identifies differently, some have family history related to Bulgaria, some related to Serbia, and some are albanians. And we will come to a normal decision if there is no discrimination. We personally do not have a battel, we try to protect those who identify themselves as – with bulgarian origin, there must not be discrimination towards them, and now there is? For macedonians is important to have their identity, like for everyone else on this world. Its a delicate issue, its not about your Alexander the Great.

  88. Ana Georgieva

    I don’t speak from the name of the politicians this is my personal attitude and understanding of the problem. If they want to join the EU they have the right to join like the rest of balkan nations. Otherwise there is discrimination again.

  89. Jovan Ivosevic

    Urban Schrott, if your point was that this incredibly tribalist debate has absolutely no connection to 21st century Europe, I think you have made it. I don’t believe anyone quite as personally involved with this issue will get it. How Greek people can be this obsessed about this name dispute in light of being in the 6th year of a great economic depression is beyond me. panem et circenses, as the Romans would say. Maybe Italians can get offended now that i am using their phrase.

  90. Ana Georgieva

    If we are more cooperative here on the Balkans the situation will be different, this is the only right way for all of us. Otherwise nothing good is coming.

  91. Christos Mouzeviris

    perhaps Ivan you can pass over some of your unbelievable open mindedness and wisdom to your fellow country men, and convince them to recognise Kosovo and be done with this issue too? Since you are so fond of progressive ideas, and judgemental of other people’s sensitivities then why don’t you tell your government and your fellow country men to proceed with full recognition of the independence of Kosovo, plus to stop the nonsense in Bosnia, another region that we see that Serbia is not fighting for their national interests one bit.. at all… the case of Kosovo and how Serbia and Europe are dealing with it, is a real farcical situation..from one side you got the Serbs with their tails under their legs to beg for EU entry and to satisfy the Europeans they urge the Serbs of Kosovo to vote in the elections, while previously they were against it, while to satisfy the nationalists they still refuse to give full recognition to Kosovo.. A fine mess, that will be a theatre that I will laugh at when the time comes for the rest of the Balkans to join, if they ever do…

  92. Gregos Theopsy

    Debating Europe, Your moderator should stick to the official name, which is FYROM, while Mr Gruevski builds his Greek temples and until he finds a better name for his country.

  93. Gregos Theopsy

    Debating Europe, Your moderator should stick to the official name, which is FYROM, while Mr Gruevski builds his Greek temples and until he finds a better name for his country.

  94. Jovan Ivosevic

    Christos, when it comes to going insanely over the top for Kosovo, you are talking to the wrong Serb. having said that, even the most nationalist Serbs will tell you that they care about the territorial status of Kosovo because the Serbs there live under extremely horrible conditions where their civil rights exist only on paper and many who live in enclaves surrounded by majority Albanian areas can’t leave without police escort or speak Serbian in an ethnically mixed area without fear of being beaten and/or killed. Similarly, the situation of Bosnia has to do with preserving the Serbian entity which was guaranteed by the Dayton Agreement which ended the war in Bosnia and serves in our minds as the guarantor for Bosnian Serbs of civil, political and other rights and protects us from domination of the Muslim majority.

    The point is if we are arguing over something, it’s over human rights issues, territorial claims etc. You are arguing whether your northern neighbors have a right to build statutes to Alexander the great and use a name which stopped being exclusively Greek 2300 years ago (since that time, “macedonia” has been a Roman province, an ottoman sanjak, and a yugoslav republic. It’s usage has somewhat been broadened since Andriscus got defeated by the Roman legions.) Think about this, in 2014 you are deciding whether to support someone’s NATO and/or EU membership based on issues that Julius Caesar would look at and go “damn man, this was before my time”. We have had many many discussions on this forum regarding this and other issues. If the Greeks pursued this issue academically with the claim that Skopje is passing off pseudo scientific claims about ancient history in the Balkans (and leave it at that) I would back them 100%. Just like the Armenians have waged a similar war throughout the United States where the Turkish government has paid universities in free books and grants if they teach their version of “history”, like the absence of a genocide in World War 1, calling the Devşirme or “blood tax” a “voluntary contribution of a male child by christian families to the Sultan’s service, etc.

    But anything beyond that is in my view beyond the pale, and frankly the valid argument that you do have is being destroyed in credibility considering how far you are taking it.

  95. Christos Mouzeviris

    The slavomacedonians also use the argument of “human rights” to get what they want.. You keep oversimplifying the issue by using arguments that do not represent the goals that they want to achieve by using logic and humour.. If only things were as simple.. If safeguarding a nation’s heritage is not a good reason for you then please stay out of this.. They have an agenda and they are working for years to achieve it.. And Greece has its own.. Leave us to it and focus on your internal issues. If only all was simple as building a statue or not.. Besides Europe is more obsessed with expansion than Greece

  96. Stan

    It quite simple why is that the conquest of Alexander the Great is known as the Hellinic civilization, That is he spreading of Greek ideals, If Alexander hated the Greeks so much why would he spread a culture different to his own…

  97. Ana Georgieva

    Kosovo does not belong to Serbia. During the centuries it was part, of different countries and some parts were part of Albania. It was given to Yugoslavia in the same way like Macedonia was given – by split of nations and territories. The muslim majority are albanians who were separated for hundreds of years from their own country – Albania, they were the first Christians in the Balkans – II century AD, but some of them took Islam during the ottoman occupation, which continued for five centuries, 500 years, they were the first who were occuped and attacked.

  98. Ana Georgieva

    @Urban Schrott – “I have never seen any Macedonian claims that “They are the only descendants”. In fact, I doubt any Macedonian would make a serious claim that they have genetically anything to do with ancient Macedonians.” Actually this is what they do and what they claim. And not only claim but also study it in school. I hope now you understand better. :)

  99. makedonka

    Greece was created in 1829 by a misguided German. It never existed as a nation before that, in fact it was the Romans that gave them their name. In
    the book”The Empty Cradle of Democracy”by Alexandra Halkias on page
    59 we read”Until the beginning of the 19th century,the average inhabitant
    of Greece called himself or herself Roman(Romios),and the (Greek) language
    Romeika”. Greeks are masters at conning people. They conned the great powers into helping them get independence from the Ottoman empire and then conned them into getting a large slice of Macedonia. In fact this morally and economically bankrupt country is still conning the great powers of today. It conned it’s way into the European Union and now it’s is conning them out of European taxpayers money with no intention of ever paying it back. In fact the Poles have an apt saying when it comes to the Greeks; a Jew can cheat 10 Poles but a Greek can cheat 10 Jews.

    • Yvetta

      Makedonka, I am afraid you have been ill-informed. The first Greek-speaking settlers started arriving into the area of modern Greece roundabout 1600BC. The precise date is not clear and have been given the name Myceneans from the name of their first known settlement. Greek-speaking tribes kept on arriving in waves throughout antiquity. We do not know what the first settlers called themselves nor anything about their religion but Homer seems to call them Danaans. At this tribal time the Greek identity kept evolving and changing in its content and nature. At first this was just a mutually-understandable language, later on religion came into it, and still later on willingness to participate in this common identity. The first person that conceived the idea of unifying all of the Greek tribes was Philip 2nd of Macedonia and his vision was carried out by his son Alexander 3rd, also known as the Great. So, the Greek nation has been around for a few millennia. Romans did not give Greece its name but started calling all of the Greek-speakers “Greek” out of the name of one of the tribes, which was the first tribe that came into contact with Latin peoples in Italy, the Graicoi. The fact that the Romans used this name to describe all of the Greek-speakers (who had actually started calling themselves Hellenes by this time) exactly shows that all of these peoples were perceived as one nation by the Romans. Soon after Alexander’s death Greece was conquered by the Romans and the process of Latinisation starts without which the Roman Empire could not survive. During this time Greek and Roman culture mixed to a great extent which is why they are studied as one under the Graeco-roman label. Greek kept being spoken by the people in Greece and this became the language of the Eastern Roman Empire. To call yourself Romios during Ottoman times exactly implied that you were of Greek heritage. The Roman Empire itself called the Western Latin-speakers Romei and the Eastern Greek-speakers Romani, so there was a clear distinction between the two. The emperor in Rome was the emperor Romeorum but in the East he was the emperor Romanorum, not the same. But whatever people called their language it was Greek so they would be consciousness of their identity. And it was this identity and the preservation of the language, the glories of antiquity and the Eastern Orthodox faith that gave rise to the Greek Revolution in 1821. So, the Greek nation did exist I’m afraid. The Greek army did not con anyone but conquered the land of ancient Macedonia while the Ottoman empire was falling apart and this was the only part of Macedonia it was interested in exactly because of the memories of the ancient history of the area and the place it had in the Greek consciousness and identity. Greece has not conned anyone to enter the EU (you sound jealous there?) and is not conning anyone out of any money but is being lent money which it repays plus interest.
      I do not think that any anti-Semitic racial stereotyping jokes should have been allowed by the moderators of the page.

  100. Spyros Tsakos

    Ok ok calm down everyone. Modern day FYROM was part of Alexander the Great’s empire back then, it was also a part of the Roman Empire and the East Roman Empire as well as the Ottoman Empire afterwards, different people leaved in the area in each era. All the Balkan nations share many traits of a common history(that applies for the whole Europe as well). My compatriots must understand that they can not leave a european country outside the EU, when it will be ready to join, just because of the name issue and FYROM must understand that it has to respect the history and inheritance of the greek people. During the eras of the Roman Empire and the East Roman Empire(as well as the ancient era) the Greek culture was one of dominant ones but that didn’t mean that other cultures didn’t coexist. On the contrary, Greek civilisation gave many to others but also took and adopt many things from others through constant interaction throughout the eras, that is how it survived all these thousands of years it was and it is an open civilisation, something that some of the people here in Greece constantly forget. It is a joy to share and be proud of our common history traits but we must respect the different cultures and inheritance of every place in Europe even inside the countries themselves, maybe in the future we understand that culture and civilisation belongs not only to the nation(or group of nations) that developed them but in the end to the world itself. Nothing good can come out from extreme nationalism, it does not honors the culture that it is supposedly promoting, i know that it doe not honors mine.

  101. Peter

    There is news coming out of Strasbourg that Nimitz is planning to submit as a final proposal to the commission for the name to be “the republic of new (nova)macedonia”

  102. Jovan Ivosevic

    Ana Georgieva, while I wasn’t paying much attention to what you were saying, if your knowledge of history of Macedonia is as bad as your knowledge of Kosovo’s history, then I would be very skeptical of any claim you make in this thread. Kosovo was not “given” to Yugoslavia. It was already part of Serbia in the modern era as early as 1912, seven years before Yugoslavia was created. Serbia took it during the First Balkan War in which even your country of Bulgaria participated. However, upon the swift collapse of Ottoman resistance in that war, Britain insisted on a generous peace to the Turks so as not to cause Constantinople to come under control of a Russophilic nation and allow the Russian black sea fleet to challenge British supremacy in the Mediterranean. For that reason, the British also pressed for the creation of an Albanian state (which prior to that time never existed in history) to prevent Serbia gaining access to the Sea and in the process letting the Russians park their ships there.

    The conditions of this deal caused friction between Serbia and Bulgaria since the initial agreement between the two was for the Serbs to take everything west of the Vardar (Axios) and Bulgaria to the East, with the Greeks taking Greek Macedonia. With the Serbs unable to claim Albania, they insisted ona bigger territorial piece to the east and the Second Balkan War ensued. Greece sided with Serbia. The fighting also gave the Ottomans an opening to take back some of their lost territory in Thrace and as a result they attacked Bulgarian positions near Adrianople (Edirne), taking it back in the process. Serbia and Greece were victorious, leaving the Bulgarians with few gains from the First Balkan War centered mostly around Blagoevgrad and the Pirin mountains. Serbia took all of what is today FYROM, which after the coming of the Communists got spun out as the “Republic of Macedonia” when Yugoslavia transformed into a federal people’s republic of 6 federal units.

    Kosovo has been part of medieval Serbia and the Ottoman empire, and the one and only time it was part of Albania was during World War 2 when Mussolini installed a puppet fascist government which claimed most of Kosovo (south of the Ibar river) following the fall of Yugoslavia to the Nazi occupation (in which of course Bulgaria participated with the Nazis and claimed most of present day FYROM). However, if the only claim to territory was the one that Hitler blessed for a period of 4 years, that is not much of a claim. Quite the contrary…

  103. Ana Georgieva

    Jovan Ivosevic, don’t write me this long letters and YOU learn the whole history of the Balkans. Learn which was the second country after Greece on the Balkans. In which century and what were the boundaries of this country. And when and for how long Serbia was a medeival state. We always had closer historic relations mostly with Greece, because they were the one who first recognised us as an independant state, with them we cooperated about orthodox, about cirilic alphabet etc. And YOU learn what I am talking about and learn what were the boundaries of Serbia during this times, and if you were at all on the historic map, learn when you became orthodox, how you became orthodox, when did you start writing in cyrilic etc! And for how many centuries you had a country and with what boundaries, you can count!

  104. Ana Georgieva

    Aside from the ubove I do understand your worries related to Kosovo. I do understand them very well.

  105. Ana Georgieva

    And there are bulgarians in Kosovo as well, also in Greece, Romania, Serbia, Macedonia. Ask yourself why? Why we do not have here serbs, albanians, macedonians, greeks, romanians? The answer is not very difficult. And I am talking about the past and about history, not about nationalistic crazy ideas. Kosovo is not our problem, or our territory in 21st century.

  106. Christos Mouzeviris

    Spyro I agree with you in all that you say, but the only statement I am pushing for is that while we can share the name, if the other side does not recognize its Greek heritage then I do not think how a deal can be met.. Today’s Macedonia or the so called Republic has nothing to do with the ancient kingdom. If they want to share the heritage they are very welcome to do so, but only if they stop the propaganda against Greece and accept that their heritage coming from Macedonia is Greek.. Why can’t our neighbors accept that they have Greek heritage? I am more than happy to admit that I have Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman heritage. If Greece does not pursuit to safeguard its own heritage the only history we will have left is that of Athens and Sparta, and you know that this is not true.. Both ancient Greece and the modern one are not just those two city states or regions.. I want the future generations to know who were the Macedonians, then , and who they are now.. I have no problem to see them building statues or claiming Macedonian heritage, as long as they admit that the ancient kingdom was Greek..Why is this so difficult? Also it is interesting to see Ivan expressing his nationalist side, posting sheets of response when challenged over Kosovo from Ana..!! ;o)

  107. Ana Georgieva

    I am talking about historic facts. Check when Kosovo become part of Bulgaria. In which century.

  108. Elias Eliopoulos

    (2nd Attempt to post this message)
    First of all i’d like to thank you for your valuable opinion on the matter. However, as a third party you probably miss a very important point on the issue, and that is completely normal in my opinion, although you seem to know a lot about the issue anyway.
    In my opinion, the issue is surely not about the name itself.
    If Greece accepts the name as the people from FYROM want, she will sign her own conviction. That is because:
    - On day 1, the FYROM government will create an issue about the ‘Macedonian’ minority in Greece. As you can understand Macedonians are not a minority in Greece but they are the inhabitants of the second largest province and they are about 3 million people. A province which is one of the most ancient and important for Greece by the way. How can a ‘Macedonian’ minority exist in Greece, when Greeks were the first Macedonians and the ones that spread the word Macedonia and the Greek culture and civilisation all the way up to India?
    - On day 2, they will make their fabricated and completely false and fraudulent revision of history as the official ‘Macedonian’ history. No Greek wants to hear that Alexander the Great was a protoslav who spoke slavic and considered Greeks as his enemies. Because you know well that this is the history they teach right now to their children. Also no man in the world would like to hear that the ‘Macedonoids’ were the first human on planet earth and the rest people are mulattos. This was aired on the state TV channel of FYROM a few years ago.
    - On day 3 they will have a step in order to clearly claim territories from Greece. They will say that they are the real ‘Macedonians’ and that the Greek province of Macedonia (as also the Bulgarian) should be united with them. You probably know that they already do this and i am not talking about a small extremist percentage. Their PM himself honours monuments with maps of the ‘United Macedonia’. This is not science fiction as many people might believe.

    So again. The issue between Greece and FYROM is not just a ‘childish’ issue as some people in here, with no knowledge on the matter, claim. It is a very serious matter for Greece but also for the whole Balkans and Europe. We need the Europe’s solidarity on this matter because truth is on our side. We just protect what is ours and we will do it till the end of time.

  109. Ana Georgieva

    @Christos Mouzeviris, what about our heritage in Greece? We have churches there even the grave of Tsar Samuil is in your country. Any commnets, you will say that Samuil was greek too. Is it writen that he was bulgarian king?

  110. Ana Georgieva

    “In the early 7th century AD, groups of Bulgars, one of the ancient peoples that participated in the ethnogenesis of the modern Bulgarians, settled in the Italian Peninsula. The main migration was headed by Altsek, a Bulgar leader who initially joined the Avar Khaganate before switching allegiance to the Germanic Lombards.”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulgarians_in_Italy

  111. Christos Mouzeviris

    Did I ever said that Samuil was Greek? Did I ever dispute that Greece does not have any heritage from other countries? It is our neighbors that usually find it hard to swallow that among the first people in the southern Balkans were the Greeks!! That is a fact.. It does not make us superior to any of you whatsoever, it is just a fact. If the Bulgarians the Turks the Slavomacedonians and the Albanians just accepted and embraced their Greek heritage, and the Greeks their Ottoman Slavic or Byzantine then the Balkans would be a much nicer place to live!!

  112. Ana Georgieva

    I am just asking what you think. What about Thracians? They were on The Balkans long before the encient greeks. The Varna Necropolis is dating from 4,600 BC to 4,200 BC. Classical Greece was a 200 year period in Greek culture lasting from the 5th through 4th centuries BC. What about the Dorians?

  113. Ana Georgieva

    Do you make difference in the senturies Before Christ, they go backword. 5th through 4th centuries BC is year 500-400 BC. And 4600 – 4200 is before that. So how can encient greeks be ralated to Thrace when there is a 4000 year period between them?

  114. Christos Mouzeviris

    The Dorians were a Greek tribe, the Macedonias and the Spartans belonged to this branch of Greek ethnic group.. Though it is also being discussed that the Macedonias spoke a mixture of Dorian and Aeolian dialects of Greek.. Thracians were another ethic group, potentially related to either the Dacians Illyrians or the Greeks themselves or all the above .. Balkan people are related to each other anyway, perhaps with exception of the Slovenes and Croatians and Albanians.. Thracians were eventually Hellenized and later large parts fell under Bulgarian and Turkish control.. So who can claim their heritage?? All of the above, as the Thracians just like the Celts left no descendants.. They were absorbed by other nations so all nations can claim their heritage..

  115. Christos Mouzeviris

    To conclude this discussion Ana, I feel no shame or less Greek to admit that I also have Ottoman or Slavic heritage.. It does not take away from my “Greekness” or my Greek heritage, it is in fact enriching it and enhancing it.. And so should you over the border feel comfortable and proud to admit that you have Greek, Roman, Thracian, Byzantine, Ottoman, Slavic heritage as a nation.. Best regards and have a nice day

  116. Christos Mouzeviris

    Ooh and don’t you ever complain about the Greeks again.. There are some close minded and some open minded people in all countries. Perhaps before you were speaking to the wrong folk .. Don’t you generalize…

  117. Ana Georgieva

    I am asking you seriously how you are related to Thrace when its obvious you are not and you are making me lectures. From the turks we have five mosques, this is what we have from them, and from Byzantine nothing at all. We have herritage from Thracians, Raman period, from slavs, proto-bulgars and from our First, Second and Third Bulg Empire.

  118. Miloslav Ivanov

    From my point of view Macedonia or FYROM was part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. Now the present government in Macedonia has to co-operate if they want to find a solution, but the change of the EU presidency can foster a compromise between Greece and Macedonia. The Macedonian government is using a tactic called “demonizing” a country which is preventing them from entering NATO and The EU. Of course Macedonians have the right to feel offended by Greece and Greece has the same right more about the historical heritage and not the actual name of the country.

    During the Cold war for Yugoslavs Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Albania their neighbor countries were enemies because Yugoslavia was pro-western socialist republic and those other countries were communist republics, but not like the Soviet Union republics. In the Eastern Block counties like Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland and East Germany were communist states. The Soviet Union was even more stricter and harsher rules to follow. Until The Socialist Republics of Yugoslavia like Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia had the right to travel around the world without restrictions, because they were pro-western by that time and they had these privileges. However they do not have them anymore since the fall of the Iron-Curtain so it was all used for propaganda to attract more countries to the West.

    However Tito also wanted to use Macedonia to gain access to the south seas of the Aegean. He knew that there was a province in Greece called Macedonia and he gave the Slavic-Macedonian-Bulgarian population there a new Identity so during the cold war Yugoslavia could annex an extra territorial gain from a neighbor countries like Greece, Bulgaria and even Albania. I will provide you with some You-Tube Links you will see what I am talking about. I will include links that are linked between the Greek-Macedonian Relations and The Yugoslav idea of Macedonia. Even an Albanian Football Fan club made a Poster with a “spicy heading:




    1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6FZho10qx8
    2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAASCE5F0Xk
    3) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZATSyL0CWtI

  119. Njoy11

    I do not think that the Greek Presidency of the EU can change much. There is a need of improvement between the relations of Bulgaria – Macedonia (FYROM) and Greece – (FYROM). I think what the Greek Presidency is to try and calm the relations down between the two countries. They can use a mediators such as the EU or the UN.

    However the Media in Macedonia has been depicting bad image of their neighbor counties which is damaging their image and this is called “satanisation” or “demonizing” like spreading hate speech which was used as a propaganda to the other countries. Here is a link from a Bulgarian Media: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpOc3VYOBDI

    On the Other hand everyone has the right of self determination, but not on the claims of other nation’s history. So Greeks have the right to be offended, but the course of Action that the Government is taking as punishment not as a positive motivation or stimulation to solve the issue faster so that FRY of Macedonia can get in the EU more quickly.

    Moreover the creation of Macedonia itself is an artificial one. Just like Moldova for Romania, Macedonia is for Bulgaria. This happened after World War II since Bulgaria and Romania were the defeated countries:

    Furthermore this has became a problem for the since Greece brought up the issues since they object the reasons why Macedonia should join the EU. There are 3 clips depicting the dispute which can provide a valuable information for this debate:




    The countries from former Yugoslavia had more traveling privileges than the countries from the former Eastern Block. They enjoyed visa-liberalization, because the Western Countries has this propaganda to attract more countries to the Western life style that it was “Better”. But in the end it turned out to be just a propaganda. So countries like Albania. Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland and East Germany as part of the Eastern Block were more restricted.

    On the Other Hand The Yugoslav Leader Tito wanted to Unite Bulgaria with Former Yugoslavia in a Balkan federation, but he had a disagreement with Stalin so Bulgaria stayed under Soviet Russian influence as a separate communist state. When this plan failed TITO the Yugoslav Leader gave the South Slavic Macedonian people a new identity different than the Bulgarian one so he can make them have territorial aspirations towards the Greek province of “Macedonia” so Yugoslavia could have an exit to the Mediterranean Sea.

  120. Njoy11

    @Debating Europe where is my post please ?

  121. Marcel

    Somebody here just gave me a great idea. How about we start referring to Greece as FOP (Former Ottoman Province)?

    Or maybe WLERGFBAWGIOOPOTBAWWKVNDPBWAM (we love enriching rich German + French bankers and will gladly impoverish our own poor on their behalf and we will keep voting nea demokratia + pasok because we are masochists).

  122. Stan

    its quite simple why is that the conquest of Alexander the Great is known as the Hellenic civilization, That is the spreading of Greek ideals, If Alexander hated the Greeks so much why would he spread a culture different to his own…Where is the Makedonski text wriiten on archealogical sites, thats right you won’t find it.

  123. Njoy11

    @Stan During the Ottoman Empire the Bulgarians were tried to be converted to Islam from the Turks like the Bosnian people, but the Turks could not. Than the Greeks tried to make the Bulgarians Greeks, but they could not, but the Yugoslavs made the Slavic-Bulgarians into Macedonians which is so sad.Austria-Hungary tried to Make The Czech, Slovaks, Slovenians and Croatians into Germans or the Ottoman Empire tried to make Albanians, Greeks, Bulgarians, Serbians, Montenegrin and Bosnian into Turks, but they were either almost successful to assimilate them or left them a huge cultural mark. This is such a tragedy to convert someone and to erase his identity. But here I guess applies the rule of the jungle who is stronger survives. Anyway in the Balkans everything is politics and even art and sports can be used as politics. Here is a link of an Albanian Football Fans posting in Bulgarian Language that Macedonians are Bulgarians. Such a shame that Albanians have to tell them the truth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_CiqGsmWFw

    • makedonka

      Greece is nothing else but lies.The whole nationalism is based on forged history,stories,and propaganda to hide great sins from the past,since the first day that country was created till today.It’s so obviously the facts and proofs are not working to open their eyes because they believe in what is presented to them to be the truth,so therefore I will not waste time and energy to make these blind men see,simply because they want to stay blind,because the charity they receive as blind men is sweeter that to work for food.That is crippled degeneric nation that is castrated from the reasoning and morale,and this is all thanks to the west,and especially the United Kingdom and the rest of the royalties hidden in the ruling elite either in monarchies or democracies throughout the “modern” world nowadays.The problem with Greece now appears to be their problem so they run to help Greece because if Greece collapses,the lies will come out on the surface so as the injustice that was done to Macedonia.All of these countries that surround Macedonia nowadays are creation of these families who rule the world,and the center of their power is Vatican and London.Greeks (the todays people who call them self as such) don’t even realize that they are only the instrument for the politics of the center of power,but as such blind men they are doing their role very successfully for now.But this will not last for long,because of the law of the universe that does not sustain injustice,and all of these countries that were created on Macedonian soil against the interests of the Macedonian people all of this that is false,will collapse.And a message to the greeks,the sooner you realize you have done wrong,the better,maybe you will have a chance to repent your sins,but if you continue to do like you are doing,Greece and those supporting you will burn.This is words of a MAKEDON. Macedonia was,and always will be.Macedonia forever.Macedonia to the Macedonians.

    • Yvetta

      So if the people of the Republic of Macedonia hate the UK, hate the Vatican, hate Greece etc, why do they and why should they become a member of the EU?

      Very sad though to see such a comment full of accusations and hatred without absolutely any piece of evidence or fact to support it. Just a tirade full of hatred. Useful to post here so that people can see the attitude which Greece and, lately Bulgaria, has been up against. This is the kind of people that the EU wants to bring in. Mercy, please!

  124. Stan

    There is only one Macedonia and its in Greece, Skopje was never ever part of Ancient Macedonia and that is fact…

  125. Johnt

    I think that calling fyrom, Macedonia in an Eu site is not very polite towards greece.we should all accept that the official name of this state until the dispute is solved is fyrom.

  126. Johnt

    I am a greek. I am not a nationalist nor a conservative but I really think that most Europeans don’t understand the name dispute.i live in a city in Macedonia that borders with fyrom and I think that the reason why we greeks block fyrom accession to eu is that they don’t simply want a name but a part of our history.They think that Alexander the Great was not greek but Macedonian and they don’t understand that ancient Macedonia was a Greek kingdom(if you ask a history university proffesor she / he will agree with me since this the history that almost all universities teach).imagine if someone tried to steal a part of your history.of course I don’t say that we are genetically related to ancient greeks but I do believe the we inherited Ancient Greek culture (language etc) since we live in their land.also if you search you will find that the government of fyrom uses propaganda to teach faulty history.i don’t want to say that we are saints since the nationalists here exaggarete and block the attempts of healthy dialogue just like the nationalists of every country do . And we should also remember that fyrom has bad relations with Bulgaria since they say that Samuel of Bulgaria was also “Macedonian “.

  127. Mihail Kolev

    I think its Normal that Bulgaria sided with Greece on the issue not to give Macedonia a starting date for negotiations with the EU. Bulgarians regards Macedonians as Bulgarians and Slavic Brothers, but all what the Macedonians or the People from FYROM do is to just generate hate. A country like Greece which is not Slavic-Speaking is more helping Bulgaria in this problem than what the Macedonians. The People in FYROM still live in the Post-Yugoslav Propaganda. They will not have a solution until they sit down like a normal people and find a compromise. Even an Albanian politician Kim Mehmeti is protecting the Bulgarians by saying to the Macedonian society that they are Bulgarians So its a shame what has happened in the Balkans, just too many sad stories. But this is an improvement for the Bulgarian-Greek relations:

    • Eugenia Natsoulidou

      M. Kolev – since when it is obligatory for the people living in Macedonia to declare they are Bulgarians? They are not all Bulgarians, nor Greeks, nor Albanians, nor Serbs! The majority are Macedonians because their homeland is the geographic region that is called Macedonia, for centuries! The other inhabitants of Macedonia declare their own ethnic/national identity freely: they say they are Greeks, Vlachs, Albanians, Serbs, Bulgarians, Roma, Turks, etc. from Macedonia. But the majority self-define as Macedonians (plain). What is your problem, exactly?

    • Yvetta

      Ms Natsoulidou, your statement itself is an excellent example of the problem because it contains a very interesting contradiction: first you say that Macedonians are such because of the geographic area they live in, thus giving the term Macedonian a geographic content; you then go on to say that other ethnic groups (so somehow from a geographic term you have suddenly turned this into an ethnic one) can declare themselves as what they like. The term Macedonia was first used in antiquity to refer to an ancient Greek kingdom. So, by setting Macedonian and Greek apart at an ethnic level your speech is denying Greeks the right to self-determination, which is another aspect of this problem. Regional tribal identities such as Macedonian, Dorian, Aetolian etc all came together to form the medieval and modern Greek one. This was a process that Greece went through in antiquity and at the cost of human life: the Persian wars and also the Peloponnesian war that brought ancient Greece to its knees. Effectively, what the Gruevski regime is doing in its attempt to forge an identity of its own is to deconstruct and redefine the Greek (and Bulgarian) national identity from outside and, at a diplomatic level, this should not be tolerated. This whole Macedonian discourse is taking the Balkans back to tribal conversations/eras. A process that was over in Greece by Alexander the Great’s death, who made a conscious attempt to unify all of tribal Greece.

    • Yvetta

      Ms Natsoulidou, another thing: Bulgaria has recognised the Republic of Macedonia and is standing by its right to self-determination. Everyone is free to go where they want. However, Bulgaria has asked that the school books in the Republic are written to reflect historical fact and this is a prerequisite that has been set for EU ascension talks to commence. The content of school books that is under dispute includes passages that refer to the national heritage of the Slav-speakers in the Republic where Bulgaria is not mentioned. The Bulgarian origin of the heritage of the Slavonic speakers in the Republic is not something that Bulgaria is claiming but is something that is based on scientific fact, including DNA-mapping, and, a lot more importantly, linguistic and archaeological research. The language and customs of the Slavic Macedonians are identical to those of Bulgaria, as far as I am aware. Saying that, even Bulgaria is of diverse genetic and cultural heritage and not exclusively Slavic. I hope this clarifies things for you.

  128. Mihail Kolev

    @Moderator why when I post something it does not come up straight away and it disappeared and later it may be shown on the forum? Why is it not posted straight away in the forum when I have finished up writing my comment? Thanks

  129. Viking

    The two countries in former Yugoslavia are copying foreign culture. These countries are Slovenia and Macedonia.
    1) Slovenians try to be Italian Slavs or (i.e. Slavs who Imitate Italian culture)
    2) Macedonians pretend to be Greek Slavs (i.e. Slavs who imitate Greek Culture)

    In the first clip from Maxxx an Albanian Politician says that if the Macedonians are Slavic than they MUST BE Bulgarian or Serbian. If they consider them selves not to be Slavs than they should join Albanians.

    However the Albanian Politician said it means nothing to Albanians that the people in FYROM are trying to call themselves Macedonians. This is not the reality.
    I rather think the Macedonians have more in common or are the same people as the Bulgarians.

  130. Nikos

    The European Union must have two priorities on enlargement procedures. Firstly, to respect its all member-states, and secondly, to promote the dialogue between all sides in any dispute. Greece and Bulgaria are full member-states of the Union, so the European constitutions must show some respect on their positions. But, the EU should also be the means of solving international issues according to the international law with commonly respectful solutions. That should also happen in the FYROM’s case.

  131. panagiotis salonikidis

    The people who forget its history is forced to relive it.
    Greece must notbring progress in the name dispute because has the “advantage”in negotiations while is in Presidency. There should be a debate between the two countries, to presend their arguments and resolve this big and useless dispute. History will prove who has the “right” to call himself Macedonian.

  132. Maledictus Schadenfreude

    Given the political climate in Greece, I find it highly unlikely that the PM would want to give concessions on the Macedonian issue right now when it is trying to win over conservative and slightly nationalist votes away from the Golden Dawn, as well as the Independent Greeks and other groups that split off New Democracy. Let’s not forget that PM Samaras brought a government down over the issue in the early 90s and has been openly hoping that Macedonia (the country) falls apart in a televised interview a few years ago…

  133. Mihail Kolev

    The language in present day Republic of Macedonia is half Serbian and Half Bulgarian. There is an interesting new report in Bulgarian about the country. I would post it here, but its in Bulgarian language. I like The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. These people have suffered a lot. The real ancient Macedonians spoke a Greek language or something similar to ancient Greek. The modern Greek has nothing similar with the new Greek language.

    • Yvetta

      Modern Greek (Demotic) is descended from Common Greek (Koine Hellenike) Common Greek is thought to have firstly emerged in the ranks of Alexander the Great’s army, as there was the need for soldiers from different parts of Greece speaking different dialects (often not mutually intelligible) to communicate with each other fast and efficiently. Common Greek was an amalgamation of different dialectal elements with the Attic dialect being the major contributor. The main dialect modern Greek is thought to be derived from is Arcado-Cypriot. The Slavic language spoken in the Republic of Macedonia is also called Macedonian Bulgarian in linguistic circles. So, modern Greek has a lot to do with ancient Greek but modern “Macedonian” has nothing to do with either.

  134. Mihail Kolev

    The creators actually of the Macedonian Language are Josef Stalin, Josip Broz Tito and Georgi Dimitrov. They deserve a Nobel Prize for Creating a Language mixed between Bulgarian and Serbian which is equaled Macedonian.

    • Stan

      Real macedonian spoke Hellenic Like Alexander the great, If Alexander the great hated the Greeks so much why would he spread a culture he hated and not his own culture of Makedonski.

    • Jorge

      Well… just for curiosity I would like to read about this lenguaje creation.

      I think the process is easiest. In XIX century armies of Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece fought togheter against Otomans…. and they occuped territories where other people lived.

      For example. When serbian army took kosovo mountains that were habited by albanians…. or when serbian army got Vardar valley that were habited by bulgarians. So bulgarian and serbian people (both slavics) coexisted in Vardar’s… that become Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia.

      That’s the reason of actual languaje of Skopje people. The cuestion is why Tito called Makedonia?
      Well… they need a name and for sure he wouldn’t use any reference to Bulgaria. Otherwise Sofia could argue about to take that piece of land from Tito’s territory.


  135. Kostas

    Very objective i see. Only someone from Fyrom gets to talk.No need for Greece to talk ,but Greece has all the ancient evidence that Macedonia was a Greek kingdom

  136. Yvetta

    No. I don’t think the Greek presidency will help this issue. And, No, I don’t think this country should join the EU. It already has poor relations with 2 of its members and the EU needs to start listening to its members’ wishes. Not expansion for expansion’s sake. Disrespecting and claiming your neighbour’s heritage is aggressive and such behaviour should not be encouraged.

  137. Yvetta

    It would also be interesting to know why people’s initial comments were deleted and why this website that claims to be of the EU used a different name to call the country to what the EU recognises, which is FYROM.

    If Greece or Bulgaria get pressed to surrender their national heritage and/or identity for the sake of a tiny aggressive statelet joining, I hope that they depart the Union.

  138. TheOne

    I cannot understand one thing.

    In the NATO summit in Bucharest in 2008 Greece said that they will not block Macedonia under the Provisional Name such as The Former Yugoslav Republic if the country sticks to it and signs and agreement that they do not have territorial claims against Greece. So FYROM signed it and Greece still objects Macedonia. This issue is becoming like a pain like an agony.

    One more thing if Macedonian becomes and EU member how can they have aspirations to have Greek land whilst in the signing agreement it says that no EU member country can have territorial claims against another EU member.

    in 2012 I remember Romania had some desires for some Part of the Black Sea Coast, but the EU said that the Romanians cannot have territorial claims against Bulgaria since they signed an agreement.

    • Jorge

      Well, Irland was member of the EU since 1973 and was claiming formaly for Northern Irland utill 1998 ‘Good Friday Agreement’.
      Other example you can find it in iberic countries. Spains claims for portuguese Salvahes Islands, and Portugal claims for the spanish village of Olivenza.
      I’m not sure if Sweeden claims for finnish islands of Aland…

    • TheOne

      Yes but Spain and Portugal will not go into war for their claims right? I did not knew that Ireland seized aspirations for Northern Ireland. So what they have given up on any hope of re-unification is that it? If that is so its a shame, because the UK is acting like the USA as a Bully. As with Regards to the Macedonian issue. I think that if Macedonia signed all those agreement and be accepted as FYROM and get in the EU there would be no reason for territorial claims. Serbia has not given on their territorial claims for Kosovo and I respect that just like Macedonia, but it just messed up the transport system to Central Europe and West Europe.

    • Yvetta

      I also do not think that such a small state can claim land from everyone. I also do not think that there is an issue with the name republic of Macedonia (my shift key is broken) as long as it is understood that this has a geographic nature. However, the republic keeps using the name Macedonian on its own (which in my view has the purpose of creating confusion and lack of distinction between Greek Macedonian (which is the core part of ancient Macedonia) and the modern-day republic, which is of a completely different ethnic identity. There also is an active attempt on behalf of the government of the republic to create a “Macedonian” identity which supposedly originated in antiquity and has survived to modern times. This contradicts the historical record and archaeological finds and is in direct clash with the Greek ethnic identity. And this is what the problem is. I think Greece should stand its ground and that this small state is very aggressive and manipulative towards it neighbours. There already are countries in the EU which I think should not have been admitted.

  139. Mihail Todorov

    Macedonia has an aggressive foreign policy towards Bulgaria and Greece. The Same way Serbia had also disrespectful policy towards Bulgaria and the ethnic minority in Serbia. Bulgaria has a problem with Serbia and Macedonia the same way Poland and The Czech Republic hate Russia for the Invasion in 1968. So Bulgaria should have more friends from the former Eastern Block than to be Friends with the Post-Yugoslav States.

    The Former Yugoslav States had more rights to go into Western Countries than the Eastern Block. The Soviet Union on the Other hand was quite strict and somethings there were even worse.

    I think that they should block Macedonia until they change their attitude against Bulgaria and not just to suck it and listen to their propaganda. I think its right that the Greeks react and look for the truth and Bulgaria should follow them. Of course Bulgaria should give chance to negotiate with Macedonia to improve their relations, but for now its just impossible.

  140. Justin Sepevski

    Guys one thing you must understand about Greek-Macedonia was the site of the assimilation of the Macedonian people. It began after the balkan wars and WWII where macedonian was divide to Yugoslavia, Greece Albania and Bulgaria. I remeber the horide stories my grandfather tried to tell me when i was younger as he grew up in greek macedonia. He recounted that as he was a boy he remebered scraping the VSKI off the tombstones of the original macedonian graves and having to carve out either an is or os on the end of them. Furthermore as timr went on the macedonians being assimilsted in this new ‘Greek Province’ were not able to speak their mother tongue otherwise they were shoot on site which my grandfather had to suffer watching his father and uncle being brutal shoot and humilated in front of a greek audience. On his grave guess what the put down as his surname? NOT Sepevski but Sepanos. I dont choose to go by Sepanos no more but Sepevski now my true surname. i just hope that everyone understand what really happend to the people of Macedonian and not what the greeks say about us.

    • Yvetta

      Really sorry to hear your family’s experience but they hardly are the only ones. There are many such stories worldwide and there hardly is any people that has not suffered, including the Greeks themselves, mainly at the hands of the Turks. Sadly, that’s just the way it goes. There are the relevant international bodies where people can hopefully find justice. However, if the Republic of Macedonia genuinely wants to join the EU, it needs to leave the past behind and keep the emotion out of politics and diplomacy. The wars are now over and countries are trying to get along with each other as much as possible. Besides, I find your above complaint one-sided. The surname ending -vski is actually 2 inflections for possessive male one after the other; one is -v which and the second one is -ski. Why the need to use a double inflection in your surnames? Why hide the Bulgarian ending for a surname by adding a Polish 9or Serbian one0 on top of it? It looks like there have been attempts to disguise the ethnic identity of the Slav Macedonians before the Greek ones and this is compatible with what old people in the Republic of Macedonia say about being beaten for speaking Bulgarian or saying that they are Bulgarian, Bulgarian churches being converted into Serbian, about 40 Bulgarian cemeteries having disappeared etc. And still how does any of the above justify laying a claim to Greek national heritage and identity by using the name of an ancient Greek tribe to call yourself and then engaging in state-sponsored historical revisionism in order to propagate that that tribe was not Greek? I think that the two sides need to leave this holier-than-thou approach out and concentrate on the issue at hand; the name and claims to its neighbours’ heritage of the Republic of Macedonia.

  141. Mihail Kolev

    I do not feel Slavic or Slav. Look at what happened. Macedonia hates Bulgaria. Serbia hates Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. Ukraine and Russia have a war. I do not know if there is something like between Slovakia and Czech Republic and Poland. But I do not feel Slav. If I was in Macedonia’s place I would solve the problem with Greece and go with EU integration. However I think that the EU should be a mediator between Greece and Macedonia or the UN should be a mediator. It is very hard to let alone Greece and FYROM to solve their issues together!!!!!

  142. Mihail Kolev

    @Christos Mouzeviris

    Christos did you knew that under the 5 centuries of Ottoman Empire dominance in Bulgaria a priest called Paisius Hilendarius decided to write a book called “History of the Bulgarian Slavs” so that he could inspire national esteem in the Bulgarian population, because the Ottoman Turks destroyed our national pride and many Bulgarians Converted into Greeks to into Bulgarian Muslims by the Ottoman Turks. Most of the Bulgarians converted into Greeks, because the Head of the Orthodox Church in Constantinople(Istanbul) was Greek.

    I personally do not feel Slavic. There are many families from Greek origin in Bulgaria assimilated to become Bulgarians. However I know that Greece’s best friend in the Balkans is Serbia. I also like Greece. However they grouped Romania with Bulgaria. This is from one of the neighbors we have not lost anything.

    Have a Good Day Christos. I am back in Bulgaria by the way !!!!

  143. Mihail Kolev

    @Debating Europe

    Do you accept comments with spelling mistakes?


  144. Yvetta

    Why are my comments being deleted/

  145. Yvetta

    Please may I have an explanation as to why my comments are being deleted/

  146. Yvetta

    Why are my comments being deleted/ This page is run by Gruevski/

  147. Yvetta

    Why do you keep deleting my comments/ Anyone there able to speak/

  148. Mihail Kolev

    @Christos Mouzeviris

    Christos did you knew that under the 5 centuries of Ottoman Empire dominance in Bulgaria a priest called Saint Paisius of Hilendar or Paìsiy Hilendàrski decided to write a book called “History of the Bulgarian Slavs” – Istoriya Slavyanobolgarskaya so that he could inspire national esteem in the Bulgarian population, because the Ottoman Turks destroyed our national pride and many Bulgarians Converted into Greeks or into Bulgarian Muslims by the Ottoman Turks. Most of the Bulgarians converted into Greeks, because the Head of the Orthodox Church in Constantinople(Istanbul) was Greek. This more or less signifies the purpose of the author who speaks about the danger of Bulgarians falling victim to the Hellenization policies of the mainly Greek clergy.

    The most famous part of the whole book is the sentence:

    “Why are you ashamed to call yourself Bulgarian?”

    I personally do not feel Slavic. There are many families from Greek origin in Bulgaria assimilated to become Bulgarians. However I know that Greece’s best friend in the Balkans is Serbia. I also like Greece. However they grouped Romania with Bulgaria. This is from one of the neighbors we have not lost anything.

    Have a Good Day Christos. I am back in Bulgaria by the way !!!!

    • Zeus

      So Under Ottoman Empire Bulgarians were going to convert from Slavs to Greeks??? How is that possible???

  149. Viking

    Issues like the Macedonian issue on the Balkans will be resolved in the long term. The issues about pride and national identity are complex and it would require a great amount of time for these issues to be resolved. Of course Greece is forcing the issue by using its place as a EU member and as a NATO member. This is a sort of blackmail. But Macedonia has no other chance then to solve their issues with them if they want to be an EU member. Still I do not think that the changing of a name of a country would result in catastrophe.

  150. TK

    Are the Bulgarians Slavs? Are Macedonians Bulgarians? Are Bulgarians Tatars or simply they are a mix of both Slav and Tatar heritage. These questions can provide a lot of info on how would the Macedonian Society determine itself and how would they solve their problem with Greece. On the other hand Greece is forcing the name change which is not an easy task to change the name of an entire country.

  151. eugenia natsoulidou

    Yvetta, are the Turkish population that came to Macedonia in Greece, just less than 100 years ago, MACEDONIANS? From what I know they declare they are Greeks from Turkey! The native populations of Macedonia are divided in several ethnic groups (Vlachs, Roma, Arvanites, etc) who have Macedonia as their homeland but self-define ethnically with other names… The ones who do not belong to these ethnic groups are the Macedonians (not Greek, Bulgarian, Vlach, Roma, Albanian, etc). Macedonia as a region has its own native nation which self-define as Macedonians. All the others (for example the Greeks) use the term ‘Macedonian” as geographic term, like Cretan, Epirote, Thessalian, etc. Why do you get so confused with things that are so clear? After all, not all Greece’s inhabitants are ethnic Greeks and they do not use the term Greek to self-define (ex. the Turks in Western Thrace and the Macedonians in the three Greek prefectures West-Central-East). Greeks are free to use the term “macedonian” with its geographic meaning but they cannot deny that a Macedonian nation exists in MACEDONIA! A very simple way to find out how many Macedonians live in Greece, a census by ethnic groups should take place in the region of Macedonia: I am sure that if the Greek inhabitants of Macedonian where to choose to declare Macedonians or Pontian, Vlach, Arvanites, Asia Minor Greek, etc, they would never declare just Macedonians! They would declare exactly what they feel they are.
    But Greece never did such a census. Why?

    • Yvetta

      Ms Natsoulidou, I am not getting confused at all. As explained to you previously, it is your speech that does not make sense and I have given you the reasons why. It would seem it is yourself that is causing confusion, but not to me, rather to the people that do not know much about the history of the area perhaps. To your question: “Are the Turkish population that came to Macedonia….”: part of my family came to Greek Macedonia with the exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey and I can tell you 100% they were not Turkish. They came from a small village in the outskirts of Istanbul, which was a Thracian settlement in ancient times that was converted to Christianity during the times of the Roman empire and eventually started speaking Greek in the 3-4 th century. Thracians were in the area long before there were any Greek or Slavonian-speakers; they were not Turkish. My family mostly had blue eyes and some of them red hair and the occasional slanty eye. They were not at any point Turkish, so, please, may I ask you to be careful how you express yourself, as it shows ignorance at least, and borders on the racist. You are campaigning for self-determination but are refusing this to other people. As a representative of a Greek political party you should inform yourself better before you post publicly and should be careful to not offend. My great grandparents always said that they were Thracian, never Macedonian, and they used a Thracian vocabulary when speaking Greek. I was also brought up knowing that on my Greek side I am of Thracian descent. I am not aware what other people make of themselves and, as far as I am concerned, Macedonian refers to an ancient Greek tribe that comprises the whole of the Greek population, and, in more modern times, it refers to Slavonian-speakers that settled in Roman Macedonia. This debate, by the way, is about the name of a country neighbouring Greece. It is not about Greece…The people that you say that don’t belong to the “ethnic groups” you are numbering…actually, if you take all these out, there is no one left in Greek Macedonia. So who are these people you are talking about? Where are they? Why have I never seen them? Where is this “native nation” and what do you mean when you say “native”? Your rhetoric reminds me of nationalistic/racist parties, the BNP to be more specific. You are aware that the only place humans are native to is Africa and that Europe was settled through migration? Who do you mean when you say “native”? The very first people that called themselves Macedonians had come down from the north at roundabout the same time as the Myceneans; they were migrants, not native; they buried their dead in the same way and used the same pottery as the Mycenaens, so, that tells us they were of the same Seima-Turbino stock. With regards to pre-existing peoples, the Macedonians themselves tell us that they chased out the Phrygians (Vryges, as they called them) and also, the archaeology shows us that any Illyrians/Thracians were also pushed northwards and west or eastwards respectively (but even they were migrants and not native). The Pelsgian inscriptions that have been found around Greek are pointing to a Proto-Italian people that was partially absorbed and partially forced to flee by the incoming Seima-Turbino warriors that started calling themselves Hellens after a certain point in time. So Indo-European migrants again. So, who are these native people you are talking about and you keep calling them Macedonian? Archaeology, linguistics and ethology have no trace of them. Do they actually exist in real life? With regards to the rest of your questions, I cannot speak on behalf of the Greek government, and, you need to take up your issues with them. However, having seen your views here, I am assuming that, the reason they do not want to deal with your claims is because there is no basis for them and they do not make sense. Not only, but, you are expressing and campaigning the views of the regime of another country, the FYROM, which is engaging in active history revisionism and is denying Greece its own right to self-determination by producing movies, books, websites etc about the ancient Macedonians, that are part of the Greek national identity. And, I am no expert, but to my mind you are effectively working against Greek interests while enjoying full Greek citizen rights and this is treason. Travelling around Greek Macedonia, I have become aware of the existence of Slavic population, so for example, if you take out the Greek ending of your own surname, you end up with a Bulgarian one: Nacheva. Maybe, if you came out asking for the rights of the Slavic or Bulgarian community, you might find that you will get a different response from the Greek government and also support from Bulgaria. Instead, rather than focus on the fact that your community speaks a different language, which is an off-shoot of Bulgarian, and has a different cultural heritage, you are starting racial/tribal conversations about where people came from and what their ethnicity and dna is. With the Balkans having gone through a number of ethnic wars at a great loss of human life, such conversations are dangerous/anachronistic/not wise. If democracy really does work in Greece, I think that they should prevent you from carrying on with this rhetoric. There is no room for racial conversations in modern politics and society. If you are allowed to continue this way, then, this is just indicative of the level and quality of political life in Greece….

    • Yvetta

      Ms Natsoulidou, you are aware that as part of Muslim jihad entire villages throughout areas conquered by the Ottoman Turks were forced to either change their religion to Islam or change their language to Turkish? You are aware that most people opted for switching to Turkish than dropping their Christian faith? You are also aware that as part of Sharia law, the Ottoman empire distinguished people according to religion and not ethnicity and that Greek was called anyone that was an Orthodox Christian under the Patriarchate in Istanbul? You are aware that the exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey was based on religion and not language or genetic heritage? What is the point of this video you are posting? How does this relate to the issue under debate? The people in the video have my congratulations for preserving their traditions and heritage and that they do not try and change this to suit the needs of a modern-day political agenda.
      As previously said, as a representative of a political party and a minority group in Greece, the least you should do before you engage in a public conversation is to inform yourself properly and also to make sure that you do not offend other people’s cultural heritage and identity. If democracy really does work in Greece people like yourself that offend and start racial conversations need to be stopped. They are dangerous for society and for stability in the Balkan area. Your attitude must be putting off people from your own community from identifying themselves as such. I hope that the Bulgarian-speaking community in Greece find a better educated and more professional representative in future and maybe then they can see a brighter day and assert their Macedonian Bulgarian heritage with pride and dignity like the people in this video.

  152. TK

    @Debating Europe

    Please can you do something about posting comments faster please. I cannot see them. Thanks

  153. TK


    Bulgarians identify themselves more as Balkans than Slavs. They think they are more related to Greeks, Romanians, Albanians, Serbians, Croatians, Slovenians, Bosnian, Montenegrin and Macedonian people.

    Yes they speak a Slavic language of some sort, but they do not strong relate themselves as Slavs.

    • Yvetta

      That’s interesting because that is not what I was taught when I attended a Bulgarian school, which to be fair was a long long time ago. However, this change in attitude may have come as a response to the results of the DNA mapping undertaken by the EU, which, I heard were received with great surprise in Bulgaria. I personally, feel Slavic on my Bulgarian side because Bulgarian is a Slavic language and because language is a defining factor when it comes to heritage for me. But also because a lot of people tell me that I look Eastern European. So for me identity is a two-way thing that also involves how others see you. By the sounds of it, it is subjective.

    • TK


      But Balkan people are not Eastern Europeans they are south Europeans. And another thing is that Slavic nations do not support each other compared to Latin or Germanic peoples.

      There is no Union of the Slavic speaking countries. The Slavs are divided into 3 groups: Central – Polish ,Czech, Slovaks
      Eastern – Russian, Belorussian, Ukrainian
      South – Bulgarian, Macedonian, Serbian, Montenegrin, Bosnian, Croatian and Slovenian.

    • Yvetta

      TK, as previously said, Slavic is a cultural and linguistic group, not a political nor an economic one. Albanian is yet different and the Albanian language sits on its own separate branch in the Indo-European tree of languages but also culturally. You can find this linguistic tree widely on the internet, if interested to read.

    • TK


      Slavs are inferior. Hitler thought of Slavs as an inferior ethnic group according to him. Furthermore Hitler thought that the Slavic nation should be melted within the German nation like for an example German soldier sleeping with Slavic women and therefore re-producing Germans or Austrians.

      I cannot explain to myself the fact why some Slavic countries like Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovakia and Ukraine would join Hitler and they are Slavs. Maybe they are shifters from the Slavic ethnic division.

      Anyway Yvetta I was not so much interested in the Slavic languages compared to my interests in the Balkans and particularly at your nation.

    • Yvetta

      TK, I am of mixed cultural heritage and have mostly lived somewhere completely different, so, I do not have “my nation”. I have several cultures but would not identify with any one exclusively. I am not sure what you mean when you say that and…I do not believe in the word nation (apart from a loose common culture notion with common political interests) at all. It is language used by far-right/nationalistic parties.
      With regards to your views towards Slavic peoples, are you effectively saying, you are adopting Hitler’s views? I am not sure at all why the site moderators are allowing such blatantly racist views to be posted at all, but, racist views do seem to be coming up as part of the issue under debate here.

    • TK


      What is your MIXED background then? I am NOT a Racist. I just want to find out the Truth why are you behind in Support of this Macedonian State !!!!

  154. eugenia natsoulidou

    Yvetta, I did not know that Turks cannot have blue eyes and blond hair! I know many Turkish people who are blond and have blue or green eyes. Are you a “Golden Dawn” sympathizer, or something like that? To be a Turk or a Macedonian, or a Catalan, or a Basque, or Irish or a Vlach, etc. is about culture, tradition, customs and habits of ethnic groups and has nothing to do about looks (fair or dark). Some of these ethnic or national groups have no state but this does not mean they do not exist! Some national groups are divided among states like the Irish people are in two states (Ireland and UK-Northern Ireland) or more, like the Macedonians, Thracians, Vlachs, Albanians, Greeks, etc. So, in Greece there are Greeks but there are also Macedonians who are not ethnic Greeks! As about the ancient people you are talking about, well, I have news for you: THEY ARE DEAD!

    • Yvetta

      Well, I am delighted that you have come to this conclusion, Ms Natsoulidou. My time has not been wasted. So, together with the ancient peoples the “native nation” of Macedonia would have died as well, I presume! So, does this mean you will not be campaigning for it any further? And, no, I am not a Golden Dawn supporter because I know my little bit of history and pre-history. And for the exact same reason I do not support your party, the Rainbow, either. From your comments I have read here, the only difference I can see between the two is that the former actively promotes violence. Both yourself and the Golden Dawn base your ideology on “native nation” only that the Golden Dawn have a different nation in mind to the one that you do. But, again, in both cases that “nation” only exists in their minds and not in real life. I hope that neither will be allowed to run at the next elections in Greece. And I also hope that the Slavic-speakers in Greece find a more capable representative to further their interests and I leave you with that.
      P.S. I really do advise you to read a little bit about the Ottoman Empire (amongst other things) and the Turkish people.

    • Yvetta

      So, once again, you have shifted your understanding of the term Macedonian. so, somehow, this is no longer about a native nation not geography but has become a matter of culture. So, according to your own logic, if the language and customs of you community are Bulgarian, how is your culture Macedonian and not Bulgarian/

    • Yvetta

      Or perhaps, more appropriately, how do you differentiate between a person from Greek Macedonia that self-identifies as Bulgarian and one that self-identifies as “native Macedonian” when they both speak the same language and have the same customs (which are Bulgarian)? I would appreciate it if, again, Debating Europe could pose this question to Mr Poposki. Very interested in the answer.

  155. eugenia natsoulidou

    And here are some Bulgarians: the population of Bulgaria today is made up of them, of Thracians, of Macedonians, of Vlachs, of Turks, of Roma, etc.

    • Yvetta

      I think you are confusing Bulgars with Bulgarians, Ms Natsoulidou. Please, do look up a map and see where the Volga river is. It is not anywhere in Bulgaria. The video you have posted is showing somewhere else not Bulgaria, and the people are not Bulgarians (I have not bothered to watch this btw, when I saw the mistake). Thracians in Bulgaria were completely absorbed both culturally and genetically by the incoming Slavs. They switched their language to Slavic and this is when their identity ceases to exist in the region of Bulgaria at least. Please do some reading before you post here. You are a person running at the Greek elections. I am trying to think if there is a polite way of saying you do not know what you are talking about, but, do not think there is…

  156. eugenia natsoulidou

    Yvetta, there is no point to have a dialog with you, but I sometimes take the trouble to enter such conversation because I love the way Greek racists expose their hate and ignorance of ….. everything (history, cultures, linguistics, etc.). Makes all the readers wonder!

    • Yvetta

      A professional politician does not call people names and could not accuse others of racism when their party’s rhetoric is based on “native nation”. But, if the number of votes you’ve been getting is anything to go by, the overwhelming majority of people agree with me one way or the other….I will still not be voting for yourself….

    • Yvetta

      So, could, please, Debating Europe ask Mr Poposki to explain to us who this “native nation of Greek Macedonia” is, as the representative of the UMD in Greece has been unable to and has simply resorted to calling us “racists”? Many thanks.

  157. Yvetta

    TK, sorry I cannot find your original posting, so, responding here: when we say Slavic nations we refer to cultural and linguistic heritage, not politics. Political alliances do not need necessarily be formed along the lines of language or culture. But most people use language and culture as definitive of a country and a lot of people in the West even call the inhabitants of Eastern Europe Russians and this, although not very nice, shows that they perceive the inhabitants of Eastern Europe as similar due to language and culture. And Bulgarian is a Slavic language. The groups you are mentioning are linguistic groups within the Slavic branch of languages and, of course, they would reflect cultural and historical differences as well. But for me the similarities within the Slavic countries are bigger than the differences and I absolutely love it when I go to Poland or Russia and I can understand what people are saying, even if I cannot respond to them, and I absolutely love it that their culture has different influences and I can see something completely different there to what I’ve seen in Bulgaria or Serbia. In terms of the genetics of it, I think this should be left to academics and is only of interest from a scientific perspective. In the year 2014 you cannot conduct your politics based on genetics and besides, although this does seem to have a bearing on people’s perception of identity, the theory behind European genetics is one that is in evolution and tomorrow scientists might tell us something different to what they tell us today. So, it cannot be relied on for issues of national or international importance.
    In terms of the Macedonia discourse, I think that this is a question that Debating Europe needs to pose to Mr Poposki, to, please, define the “native nation” of Macedonia that the representative of the minority in Greece is referring to as having the right to call themselves Macedonian (and nobody else?) but is unable to specify who they are. From other people’s comments it becomes apparent that this is what is at the heart of this dispute. There definitely is a Slavic-speaking minority in Greece that also seems to follow Bulgarian customs.
    Their representative’s, Ms Natsoulidou’s, comments here seem to set her minority apart from Bulgarian and Slavic culture and use a far-right type terminology (native nation etc) for which there should not be room in modern-day politics. In addition, her theory behind this native nation seems to be an inconsistent one, now saying that Macedonian is a geographic term, now saying that it is an ethnic term (referring to the native nation of Macedonia) and then going on to say that the ancient people (which the original Macedonians were) are now dead and should not be discussed at all. My view is that any solution to this issue needs to tackle the exact definition of the term Macedonian before it is used to formally call a country. One’s self-determination should not infringe on and offend another’s. And, if diplomacy is unable to find a solution to this dispute, the case should be brought in front of a court of law where people will have to present factual evidence for their claims and the verity of them can be permanently determined. The court should provide a permanent resolution that is going to be binding and accepted by everybody regardless of whether they agree with it or not. Time to move on.

    • TK

      I think Bulgarians are more related to other Balkan nations and especially Albanians since you two countries are the most screwed up in the Balkans. Of course Bulgarians are Slavs, but your Slavic neighbors the Serbs have not helped you in anyway. They occupied Macedonia and they tried to assimilate them to Serbs which is the biggest Evil if you ask me.

      During the world I war Bulgaria sided with Germany, Serbia with Russia, Romania with France and Greece with Great Britain. Bulgaria was on the losing side and therefore lost territories in Serbia, Macedonia, Dobrogea which went to Romania and the only territories they had was south Thrace from Greece. Then in World war II

      Bulgaria was with Germany (again), Romania was with Germany as well, Serbia with Russia(again) and Greece with Great Britain (again). So Bulgaria lost territories from Greece like South Thrace, but under German pressure Romania had to give back South Dobrogea to Bulgaria.

      Basically you are cheated and screwed up like Albania which was devastated from Greeks, Serbs, Italians and Turks.

      I do not think that Polish people or Russians think of Bulgarians as brothers. Russians have also helped you and pushed you even into more problems.

  158. Bulgar

    The Dacian tribe was also put under assimilation from Slavs in Romania, but they held on and they were not assimilated as Slavs. Despite that there is a lot of influences from the Slavis tribes upon the Romanians from ancient times since the Daco-Roman occupation of Dacia. However they co-existed in peace, but unlike the Latins in Croatia that were melted away or like in Slovenia where they were assimilated by the Slavs. The Latin people in Romania stayed Latin yet with many Slavic words.

  159. Zeus

    There is no country Macedonia. There is a region in Greece called like that. If they want to continue and use this name Macedonia they have to stay blocked and unable to join NATO and the EU. They can choose another name Mathew Nemitz has suggested many names from the UN with Regards to a new name for this country from former Yugoslavia. So I do not think it would be a problem.

    We as neighbors in Greece also want to find a solution and to support this country to join NATO and the EU as soon as possible, but this process has taken 20 years or more. We respect all Neighbors in the region and we want to see them in the European Family.

  160. eugenia natsoulidou

    To all the readers: please, kindly note that Yvetta is spreading lies about me being a politician running in political elections (?) or being member of some political party! I AM NOT!

    • Yvetta

      So, are you saying, you are not a member of the Rainbow party that regularly runs at the Greek parliamentary elections and you have never been and you are not involved with this party? I am sure I saw one of your articles in their newsletter? The UMD say on their Facebook page that you are their representative though in Greece, so, you have assumed some sort of prominent status in all of this affair. I have read some of the letters you’ve been sending to various international organisations. Have you also not written those? So, I am afraid I stand by my previous comments, although, it is useful that you have aired your views here, so that people can see what the stakes are in all of this issue.

  161. TK


    You did not answer my question. What is your background then?

  162. Jean-Francois

    Je pense que la Macédoine se joindra à la Bulgarie. Le pays est faux. Ce pays ne ne mettra pas la pression grecque car ils ne veulent pas changer leur nom, et je pense qu’ils iront dans une Fédération avec la Bulgarie. Kosovo sera divisé entre la Serbie et l’Albanie. Le pays est dans un état de limbo et clairement, ils ne peuvent obtenir une indépendance totale. C’est donc ce que je pense va se passer dans la région des Balkans.

  163. Sebastien Von Eisen

    I think that Macedonia will not hold the Greek pressure and they will want to unite with Bulgaria. The same way Kosovo wants to unite with Albania, but the only difference is that Kosovo has not been fully-recognized as an independent country so there would be a split for Kosovo between Serbia and Albania.

    Das ist jetzt zwischen Serbien und Albanien.Die Balkan-Region ist eine umstrittene Region, so wäre es eine harte Sache, aufzulösen. Wir sehen, dass Russland nicht Ukraine loslassen wird ohne seine Habseligkeiten.

  164. Jean-Francois

    Je pense qu’il y aurait un énorme changement dans la géographie des Balkans. Macédoine s’uniront avec la Bulgarie. Le gouvernement macédonien ne peut pas continuer cette politique destructrice de ne pas résoudre le problème, donc ils voudraient faire une Fédération avec la Bulgarie. D’autre part la Serbie et l’Albanie divisera au Kosovo en à deux parties. Nord du Kosovo est serbe et sud du Kosovo sera albanais. Pure et simple.

  165. TK


    I do not know why the moderator did not post my previous comment and I worked so hard on it. Yvetta I wanted to say that according to Adolf Hitler the Slavs are seen as an inferior race. I am not taking his position or agreeing with him. I am telling you what I have read. I am just amazed that Slavs do not support each other that much compared to other language groups.

    FIRST I would like to make my point that there is a German Language Union:

    [See My Link]


    Secondly There is a Latin Language Union of the Nations who speak a Romance language.

    [See My Link]


    Thirdly there is a union of the English Speaking world which was the post colonies of the United Kingdom

    [Check My Link]


    I am not saying that I agree with Hitler’s book, but if you do not read something how can you comment on it. Of course this was written by a dictator, but I am not saying that I agree with him. I want to stress that there is no reason for you to say that I am a Racist or whatever.

    There was no Macedonian and There is no Macedonian people who Speak a Slavic language in the present day Former Yugoslav Republic. The population there is a hybrid between a Bulgarian and Serb-Croatian Language.

    The Real Macedonians were Greeks or they were from a Greek Branch.

    • Yvetta

      OK, sorry, that’s how it came across. So, Hitler was a racist not you. My impression from reading the comments here and on other Forums
      is that the Slavo-Macedonian people feel that to be of Slavic heritage is something inferior and, in particular, I have seen a lot of hatred bordering in racism, towards Bulgaria so they have come up with this theory that they are descended from some kind of imaginary folk that was not anything akin to any other people in the area. Of course, there is no scientific evidence for this, and, as we have seen here, even the people that promote this theory (that is nothing short of a conspiracy theory) are not comfortable to expand on this theory and/or give an explanation in public. This theory seems to be based on the idea of some kind of racial purity/continiation completely ignoring the history and demographics of the Balkans. Under the Ottoman empire you were only what your religion was and people often changed their religious affiliations either down to their own choice or because they were forced to. To the extent that researchers are unable to say whether Balkan Muslims are the descendants of Asian migrants or local folk that changed their religion. And within this historical context, they come along to talk to us about the “native nation” of Macedonia, or whatever. But cannot work it out for themselves why 20 years down the line they are stuck without and are coming up with yet another conspiracy theory to provide an explanation. Good luck, guys! I have one thing to say: Racists, go down!

    • Bulgar

      @Yvetta and TK

      Once I was talking with an English woman and she asked me where I am from and I said Bulgaria and then she said do you speak Russian and I said NO. Bulgarian is a Slavic Language, but from the South Slavic Branch although we were not part of Yugoslavia like the same way Poland was not part of Czechoslovakia, but we understand the Serbs and the Croats.

      If we have to feel to any other of the Slavs than the South Slavs of the Balkans like Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, Macedonians, Montenegrin and Bosnian than I guess that would be Russians, Ukrainians and Belorussians. Poles, Czechs and Slovaks are also part of the Slavs, but they are west Slavs and they are too far away from us.

      As with Regards to Hitler he also hated Jews and Gypsies. He thought that Gypsies should be made into soap and the Jews were the Devil of the world. but you know what kind of person was Hitler just like Stalin.

      The Greek presidency of the EU cannot change a lot, because Greece is just bullying a smaller and crazier country than them which are the second Bulgaria just like Cyprus is the second Greece, Moldova is the second Romania and Montenegro is the second Serbia.

      However it is true that Macedonia did not participate in the conflicts of Yugoslavia, but they had a civil war with the local ethnic Albanian population. I do not know how can Macedonia manage so many problems. I think they should make a compromise with their pride and accept the fact that the world does not end with the name change of the country.

  166. Zeus

    Greece has not blocked Macedonia from entering a Security organization such as NATO. This decision was taken unanimously in NATO at the highest council. Of course Greece expresses her concerns and her positions, but the agreements that Greece used convinced the NATO council to take a decisions and this decision is that we have to solve the problem and the path and prospects of Macedonia entering the EU and NATO can happily move on.

    In the UN intermarry agreement there is a number of articles and those articles are based on creating a very positive atmosphere between the two countries such as Greece and Macedonia. The idea is to avoid hostile nationalistic propaganda. First of all Demonizing Greece was the biggest problem that was the only and permanent message coming from Mr.Gruevski’s government, but not from the people of the country.

    Secondly renaming of the airports and this decision could provoke a negative feeling in Greece. This decision was taken and then there was a mass change of names of streets, villages, international corridors and this is what people in Brussels and in Europe call Antiquezation of politics and this is a European jargon invented in an effort to solve and characterize the policy of the Macedonian government.

    The EU does not make any preferences between Governments and Macedonia has to co-operate with the governments elected. Of course there is a wind of opportunities since Greece is going to be heading the EU presidency. What I can guess is that within these agreement Greece will try to facilitate the ongoing negotiations and Greece wants to show its good will.

    The position is a national position that there would be name with an adequate geographical name.There has never been a Macedonian language. The language used in this region is used by the Slav people that came many years after Philip The II of Macedonia conquered the world. You say that this is a provocation by Greece. Not accepting the existence of Macedonia. Who denies history is a different perspective. I am trying to be frank and to give some perspective. If we go back 1000 years ago you will be in an award and difficult situation so lets speak on present and future. If Macedonia feels offended by Greece’s position, because we have our pride and history and if they feel offended by that than how about the fact that another neighboring county such as Bulgaria has recognized the name. The official position is that they recognized the name, but they do not recognize the existence of a Macedonian nationality.

  167. eugenia natsoulidou

    Macedonia cannot change its name because it has been there since ancient times! Those who should change their names are: Bulgaria to Thrace (no place called Bulgaria existed in ancient times) and Greece to Achaia (no place called Greece or Hellas did exist before 1824), if both these countries want to be coherent, when they deny the name of Macedonia to the republic of Macedonia. And as both Bulgaria and Greece did not exist in ancient times, how can possibly Macedonia be greek or bulgarian, today?

    • Yvetta

      Macedonia might have been there since ancient times, however, its culture and identity were incorporated into a unified Greek one and that by the will and actions of its own royal house (see mainly Alexander the Great). The ancient kingdom of Macedonia did not include the area where the FYROM now is but only a small percentage of the FYROM was part of Lyncestis OR Upper Macedonia. Besides the current inhabitants of the FYROM are of Slavic/Bulgarian heritage and have little to nothing to do with the ancient inhabitants of Lyncestis. Bulgaria could not rename itself to Thrace, as it includes other geographic areas as well, but also, the Thracian identity and language ceased to exist during the Slavic migrations. Nobody identifies as Thracian or speaks that language today. Achaia was only one of the areas of ancient Greece and was also incorporated into the universal Hellas in antiquity. There is no one of Achaian cultural identity nowadays and in ancient timeseven, Achaians were the first wave of settlers that settled into Greece. The term would exclude subsequent settlers (Dorian etc.). Greek Macedonia is Greek because it is in Greece, and the FYROM can be Bulgarian because it predominantly speaks a Bulgarian language and keeps Bulgarian customs. Simples ;-)! Very easy for someone that knows a little bit of history and also lives in the area. Useful to see the position promoted by the Gruevski government and the UMD (people not even living on this continent but mainly USA and Australia): A combination of ignorance, denial, tribal conversations, and twisting of historical facts…

  168. Zeus

    First I would like to say that the Greek EU presidency would not recognize a position stating that there is a Macedonian language. This is the political situation in my country and I believe I know very well the political situation in my country. GO BACK to 8-17 decision and resolution of the UN intermarry agreement.

    The two parts have to negotiate on the name issue. This is the beginning of everything. This resolution that your government tends to ignore or tries to forget. Go back and with all the ways and read it. I have full respect of the Macedonian people and I cannot change their feelings and the only thing that I would like to stress is that the identity is strong when this identity does not deny the identity of another. I am afraid that the biggest mistake from your side is that you are trying to deny Greek history, Greek identity and Greek culture. I am giving you the reality of the situation.

    Let’s try and find a solution on what we have been discussing all these years. I think that Greece and FYROM or Macedonia can find a solution mutually acceptable. What I say is that we need to have a solution to solve the problem and to have strength and stability in the Balkan region. This problem has to be solved under the UN hospices and the EU. This is a clear position and a way out with a mutual benefit. The resolutions are based on the UN resolutions this is everything.

    OK lets go back to history. When and from who was this country created? How did this country emerged and under what circumstances?

    I am looking at this constructive and forward looking. These provocations from Gruevski Government should stop not tomorrow, it should stop today. We are trying to help all of our neighbors to join the EU family. Enjoy the visa liberalization Macedonia. You mentioned economy. I know that in the region Greece is a leading investors. In Macedonia you have serious economic problems. We also have problems in Greece of a different nature. Why would someone spend a huge amount of money to erect a statue of Alexander the Great. Does this make any logic? Does the re-naming of corridor 3 make any logic?

    This region is a very difficult region Eastern Mediterranean. Cyprus yes my fellow Cypriots were a victim of an invasion. What we should just keep our mouth shut and say nothing no we cannot do that. History is remembering the endurance of a nation like the Greek nation that has a history of 6000 years. in the EU family nobody is pain. This is a family that needs to help each other and support each other.

  169. Flori Mumajesi

    OK, OK people relax .. The Second official language in Macedonia is not Serbian or Bulgarian. It is ALBANIAN :P

    Welcome to the New province of Albania :)

    • Yvetta

      The first one is Bulgarian :-)! Only that the locals are in denial…

    • Yvetta

      So, you think that Slavic people are stupid and this is why you are denying the nature of the modern Macedonian identity? Thank you very much for helping me prove my point and that so promptly. And it goes without saying that an intelligent person does not go on forums calling others stupid in poor ungrammatical English. As previously said, a form of chauvinism on behalf of the FYROM towards Bulgaria and countries of Slavic heritage seems to play quite a major part in this problem. Example by Flori above.

    • Flori Mumajesi

      Yes Slavic people are stupid :D ahaha..

      This is a free debate so everyone can write what they want. I am not Macedonian.

      I am Albanian, but from Kosovo. We wish to unite with our brothers from Macedonia(Tetovo), Kosovo, Greece and join Albania in making Greater Albania.

    • Yvetta

      Doesn’t matter where you are from Flori. Your comments still provide a good picture of the dynamics in the area and the mentality that is fuelling this issue. Chauvinism definitely plays quite a major part in it. Lack of sophistication and overall literacy level of the population might be another factor.

    • Flori Mumajesi


      Look Girl. I am Albanian and I think you are Bulgarian. We should be friends. Bulgaria and Albania. Fuck Greece and Serbia.

      Albania and Bulgaria should be allies. We both countries have been fucked up. We need to support each other.

    • Flori Mumajesi

      @Yvetta yes Macedonian is closely related to Bulgarian. but the second official is Albanian.

      The West supports Albania in making Greater Albania.

  170. Flori Mumajesi

    Yes Macedonians are Bulgarian and the Language is a Bulgarian dialect, but they hate Bulgarians, Albanians and Greeks.

    Macedonians only Love Serbians. Kosovo is Albanian NOT Serbian, Tetovo(Macedonia) is Albanian, South Epirus(Greece) is Albanian.

    BUT Bulgaria and Albania should be FRIENDS :)

  171. Flori Mumajesi


    Look I understand how you feel. Bulgarians feel that Macedonia is part of their country. So try to understand us that Kosovo is part of Albania :)

    We should be helping each other. Serbians screwed up both countries. Greek people have also screwed Albania and Bulgaria.

    and Bulgaria Recognized Kosovo, With Macedonia, Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and the West… So it is done..

  172. Flori Mumajesi

    @Moderator where is my comment a response to Yvetta?

  173. anastasis ven

    my dear Albanian friend you ve got it so wrong… In the first place let me remind you that your country is almost finally balancing because of Greece being next to you. We are the only factor of stability in the South Balkans, maybe Bulgaria is starting to play such a role too. So, instead of trying to bring a mess back in the European territory try to co operate with your neighbors. Albanians spread through their neighboring countries only because they were ”forced” to reproduce themselves that quickly and to inhabit foreign neighboring territories, so later with the help of USA it can be created that thing of Greater Albania you are dreaming. In the middle of my country there are almost a million albanians living, what should we do then? Create an autonomous Albanian province in Athens where you ll be claiming Acropolis as your history? Your history is not even around the area that your country is found at the moment. Also, if it weren’t for Holy GB and the USA, trust me you wouldn’t have half of the country you own now. This was a split of Communist Greece and Serbia – the two actual leading powers in the area that made up your country, so then we can have a stable integration in the EU and the Eurozone. Sadly, the Big Powers have spread a lot of hope to all of you, less developed and relatively poor countries so that they can block our alliance with Serbia or Russia that wouldn’t have let their plan to work effectively. Still, i strongly believe that we all belong to the same family, even though we have different origins. I was so amazed when i visited Albania and almost everyone in Tirana was speaking Greek. It was a big honor. There is no doubt that the Albanian labor force helped the development of Greece. So, we both owe to each other and that’s the only future path to take. When it comes to FYROM, the situation is quite depressing, because these people are the ones that have been told the most lies from their ”alliances”. There is not Macedonian language as your claiming,the only ever existing Macedonian was a Greek dialect, so maybe you should call it Modern Slavic Macedonian, so we can both be respectful to our history and culture. Having the statue of Alexander the Great in the central place of Skopje is more than ridiculous. I just hope that one day you will joining the EU so we can finally have a proper commerce between us, as for the moment all the surrounding countries are heavily depended on Greece. We are the same people, get over yourselves! and what we have between us is just borders ;)

    • Yvetta

      The 1 mill Albanian speakers that live in Greece are not Albanian. They picked up the language from the neighbouring country of Albania, because Albanian is a linguistic group. It does not refer to a people. The Albanian speakers in Greece are the descendants of the native population of Attica and they have the right to call themselves Attic more than anyone else. Because they created the Athenian civilization long before there were any Greeks around. The Greeks are South Siberian newcomers that conquered Athens and Attica only in 2000BC. They do not have the right to call themselves Athenian nor Attic because they have no blood relation to the native population of Attica, a country still under occupation. That population spoke the Attic language of which there is no written record because it did not have its own alphabet. The Greek Attic dialect, of which there is a record, was only spoken by the ruling class of the newcomers/oppressors from South Siberia and is not the original Attic language of the common people. The Greeks called that native population of Attica Pelasgian and could not understand their speech. The chased the Attics out and burnt their land so that they can settle. They were murderers and they refused to speak the native Attic language and tried to eliminate it. They clearly were 2 different peoples. The South Siberian newcomers/Greeks not only are using the name Athenian/Attic wrongfully but they are even claiming that the goddess Athena has anything to do with them. The Albanian speakers/native Attic population of Greece have the rightful claim to the land and self-determination. They are seeking independence as their own state which will be called the Former EU Republic of Attica, have Athens as its capital, the owl of Athena on its flag and Albanian as an official language because the ancient Attic language (which was different to the Attic dialect of the South Siberian oppressors) has been lost and the native population of Attica has switched to Albanian. They have no relation to Albanians, who are an unclean race. The Former EU Republic of Attica are going to apply to join the EU and NATO because they are a factor for stability in the area. From a legal perspective, they have every right to use that name because there is no country internationally registered as Attica and the name has only been used internally in Greece because Greeks have never had any attachment to the name Attica and Athens and it has never been part of their identity. Otherwise, they would have named their own country after it.

    • Yvetta

      Greece needs to rename its own capital to Kekropia, the name that the South Siberians originally used to call Athens before they decided to usurp the name Athens and start worshipping the native Attic goddess. Long live FERA!

  174. anastasis ven

    Im afraid that you are out of the topic dear Yvetta. Firstly, there is no one that could re-write the Greek history. I’m not being nationalist or something but the history scripts, facts, monuments and the books that we all have read around the world tell us that Greek civilization is not only among the most ”important” ones but also one of the most ancient. So, let me just turn down the whole of your comment. Whats more, probably you have a wrong perspective of the human future life. Cant nobody see that history and culture is just a way to be inspired and self defined? Just like a wider picture of your family? Don’t you believe in a better world than what we now have? Do you still wanna be either on Germany’s or Russia’s side? Isn’t there any other possible alternative? Human civilization should promote co operation, respect towards people and love instead of hate. In Greece a lot of people are being over proud of the history that ”we” carry throughout the years, even thought we probably don’t carry the genuine greek genes at all, cause we ve been captured by lots of other nations in the past. I am always on the softest side. I just feel blessed and happy that i ve been born and raised in a place that was close to such an inspiring civilization, that you feel like you are breathing a different air, where the ideas and values were spread and were people cared more about simple life and personal improvement in their everyday wanderings. I feel blessed to speak Greek because undoubtedly is one of the most clever and expressive languages and that made my mind go further than other people had the chance to. Because it works like maths. Its almost science, should u ever study it. Meanwhile, im so sure that every country and every civilization ever existed has something to offer to others… There is a lot of wisdom spread out there. Thats why i choose to travel as much as i can. Thats why i choose to love instead of hate. Because i strongly believe we are equal human beings and thats the only way to grow wiser. For me its certain that in the future years to come the whole European reform that will take place will support the city centered administration so as to survive the kill and after that, no Greece, no FYROM, no Albania will matter. We, Greeks are privileged because we already carry such values from our history and because we are already a part of the EU where the most important global reforms to happen will take place. So, i just wish that all of you wont be left behind. Its sad to see your family go away…like Albania did some years ago. Before the dictatorship they ”chose” to have, let me tell you that Greeks and Albanian were living like brothers. The same way that every simple man that lives on the borders treats any Turkish men. Exactly the opposite than our politicians/church and especially Turkish politics promote. However, people have instincts and now they ve opened their minds. Change is inevitable. Why to care about the name FYROM, when Skopje could possibly be Athen’s or Thessaloniki’s greatest partner? After all we spend our summer days on the same beaches ;)

    • Flori Mumajesi

      Greeks are Bastards and Serbians are Bloodthirsty. Yvetta Bulgaria should join Albania. I send you an invitation. Yes most of the Albanian people are too poor to afford to immigrate anywhere else and that is why they go to Greece or escape to Italy. That is why you will find many Albanians who speak Greek, because they go on seasonal jobs in Greece. Your alliance with Serbia is offending both Bulgaria and Albania. Macedonian people should be given the choice to feel the way they like, but these territories belong to Albania and Bulgaria.

      Welcome to Illyria – Present Day Albania in the Balkans

  175. anastasis ven

    Albania is paying for the choices of Enver Hotza and Bulgaria for joining the Nazi forces on the 2nd WW and in general for not joining its orthodox brothers. Same with Hungary and all those ‘satellite’ countries that became a part of that awful massacre. Still i feel that the other side wasn’t way better though… Anyways, my dear Albanian friend you have a very confused mind at the moment and that doesn’t help any conversation to happen. Albania will need lots of years to recover and establish a respective democratic system where people will be able to see the truth closer. Thinking in that way wont help you or your citizens as your development index is really already low and some of you dont seem to really care. Thats the only thing that i dislike about Albanians in Greece…they come here and they act like they are still living in their village, while we are an advanced European country and they dont always match. Grow up and think out of your nutshell. No offense mate

    • Yvetta

      Appreciate that Albania is not the topic of debate here but somehow it always enters the conversation when the FYROM is discussed. However, I would like to say that Albanian immigrants have been in Greece for quite a few years now and some of them are well-established and settled. They speak fluent Greek (I am actually unable to tell the difference between a Greek and an Albanian) and, regardless of formal education, they read a lot about Greek history and seem to love the country. They are also a good boost to the Greek economy: the majority of the cafes and restaurants I went to had Albanian and Bulgarian speakers as customers, either tourists or people living in the country. I hate to say this but they seem to appreciate what Greece’s got to offer a lot more than the locals. Flori, Illyria was a geographic term in antiquity and not an organised state. It did not match present-day Albania. The link between the Illyrian tribes and modern-day Albania has not been substantiated. There is also no surviving text in Illyrian but only random words, so we are not able to tell much about them.

  176. anastasis ven

    i totally agree with anything u just said! thats the closer view to the existing situation! and i totally consider albanians, our wider family. we share the same traditions and culture. i just wished they hadnt been that much mistreated from others… and that they didnt enclose much of ”hate” in their hearts. come on EAGLES! the same goes for the Former Yugoslavs of Macedonia, after all we have the same alliances more or less nowadays, why to fight? Still for the situation as it is now, they should keep their hands off greek symbols, because facts are facts. Then, on a solid ground they will have all the love they need from their greek brothers. They shouldnt let USA spoil them on the wrong direction

    • Miloslav Ivanov

      Bulgarians are the same way mistreated as the Albanians. It is the same thing.

  177. anastasis ven

    Or should they want to keep in Usa’s path they will have the same fate that Turkey, or Israel are soon to face

  178. Winston Churchill

    I do not understand why this silly and insane Macedonian argument is all about.

    As a matter of Fact all these countries are of no interest to British society or any Western society which is referring to the south Slavs of the Balkans as important to the valuable history of the European continent and the Western Civilization.

    Greece which I love and adore is the cradle of Civilization of the Western World. If you ask me these countries like, Serbia, Montenegro,, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Macedonia are the same SHIT. I do not understand why they dispute so much about Macedonia when they should unite into one country.

    I am not interested in the Slavs of the Balkans as to more of the Greeks, Albanians and Romanians.

    You see Albanians are of ancient culture, Romania is of count Dracula popularity written by the famous Irish poet Bram Stoker.

    • Yvetta

      It’s Western political correctness gone mad. Every time it gets mentioned on the news: “Both Greece and Macedonian claim Alexander the Great as their own hero”. Really? Choose to sit on the fence when the average historian/archaeologist can give you a definitive answer and there is no need for further shenanigans. There was no doubt as to Alexander the Great’s cultural identity before this little statelet came about and it is all crystal clear on any documentary you watch. Nobody has got the guts to come out and tell these people straight that they are quite simply talking rubbish.

  179. Jordan Prodanov

    I think the only option for Macedonia to join the EU is to join Serbia in one country.
    Serbia should annex Macedonia

  180. Maxxx

    The Greeks that live in present day Greece are not the same Greeks fro ancient times. Today’s Greeks is totally different than the Greek from Old times. They use the same alphabet, but they are not the same, they are totally different languages.

    The Macedonians today are not the Macedonians from old times. The Macedonian language today is of Slavic-Bulgarian-Serbian mixed descent and the Old Macedonian Language was of the Greek language branch.

    So this is the story.

    • Yvetta

      The European Union’s DNA mapping project has shown that the modern inhabitants of Greece are to a high degree related to the ancient ones with, obviously, additions from the times of the Roman empire and through to the middle Ages. You can read this here:


      The modern Greek language is descended from the ancient Greek dialects, which can be attested by studying the evolution of the language through to modern times (ancient Greek<Common Greek<medieval/Byzantine Greek<Demotic), a study of the closed-class words (these are the words that show the origin of a language), but, also, the vocabulary that includes so many words also found in ancient texts that it cannot be accounted for by borrowing.

  181. Macedonian

    Will Greece take any of the responsibility in case the worst case scenario happens which prevented Macedonia from Entering NATO with the Provisional name Former Yugoslav Republic of Yugoslavia. If Greece had accepted that Macedonia enters from the article 11 intermediary agreement from the UN as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. “Greece was not allowed to object the application by the membership of the second party in international and multinational organization of which the first party is a member”. So why Greece did accept Macedonia into NATO with the intermediary agreement? What was the problem? Article 11 states it. What is hostile nationalistic propaganda? What do you think of the Greek presidency? I hope things will change. Many Agreements have been made so far and there is a new dynamic and a new window of opportunities. I think there is not a problem with the name of the country rather than with changing with the language and identity. Isn’t this a provocation. Macedonian is an official language since 1977 by the United Nations.

  182. Macedonian

    The relations between Macedonia and Bulgaria should be just between us, Greece should not intervene to fix our relations. We do not think ourselves as Bulgarians they are Tatars and they are not Slavs. Lets talk about the relations between Macedonia and Greece. I think that for the Greeks the language and identity are an issue in these negotiations and not the name of the country. How does Greece expect Macedonia to agree on any term of the name issues when the language, identity and nationality are denied?

    We have been Macedonians even when we have not had a state. Lets keep it simple so under the final solution under the UN hospices should be named Northern Republic of Macedonia? After we change the name than what? What should be our language? What should be our identity? What will Greece insist on? Northern Republic of Macedonia, New Macedonia, The Democratic Republic of Macedonia, Upper Republic of Macedonia or Republic of Vardar Macedonia. As The Greeks have pride we also have our pride. Greece denied us to have our language and identity and they blocked us from entering a security organization such as NATO. Greece also says that if there is stability or destability in the region it is 100% Macedonia’s fault. Without a Macedonian language and identity I do not believe there would be a way out. This is not acceptable for us.

    • Yvetta

      If Greece had acknowledged the existence of a Bulgarian community at the time that it took over Macedonia proper (although there are Bulgarian place names in Greece beyond Macedonia), perhaps we would not be having this debate now. They have also been alienated by Bulgaria, as when the Bulgarian language was going through a formal standardisation process the Macedonian variety was not taken into consideration, as it was considered too provincial/non-standard and unsuitable for formal usage. Quite the opposite, it was standardised (a systematic grammar system was recorded) and elements from Serbian were introduced by the leaders of the former Yugoslavia, which is still where Skopje’s allegiances lie, and the -ski ending seems to have been added to people’s surnames right on top of the Bulgarian -ev/-ov. Greece, on the other hand, took to convincing these people that they are not Bulgarian but Greeks who have switched languages, it banned them from speaking Bulgarian (which at that stage the disillusioned locals would not be happy to call Bulgarian but Macedonian) and tried to make the idea more attractive to them by telling them that being a Greek from Macedonia was great because it meant you were related to the great leader Alexander. Sadly, people cannot forget their language and customs from one day to the next but the Alexander idea is stuck with them so they now go round the world ridiculing themselves by claiming (in perfect Bulgarian) that they are the direct descendants of Alexandros Philippou Makedon. Good luck in trying to resolve by means of diplomacy the results of decades of brainwashing from all directions.

  183. Macedonian

    Greece should take this fact into consideration that Macedonian national awareness has existed 5 centuries under Turkish slavery. Greeks do not know Macedonian history. We want the Greek government to respect the Macedonian national pride and identity, so let meet half way. All these initiatives that Greece says it tries to do that would help all of their neighbors to join the EU are inane if they do not allow Macedonia to join the EU with their authentic name. The Macedonian identity permitted these people to survive through the centuries without a state. How can we visit other EU states when we do not have the money for that. Why do we need this visa liberalization when we do not have money to travel? How does Greece feel that they are becoming a problem to the European Union, because of the Macedonian issue, the Cyprus issue and the economical bankruptcy? Greece is becoming a pain for the EU. Why don’t Greeks show understanding and let it be Macedonia? When will Greece recognize the Macedonian minority in their country?

    • Yvetta

      “Macedonian national identity”=Bulgarian language, Bulgarian customs as opposed to ancient Greek. There was a Bulgarian state before the Ottoman Empire. It was called the Bulgarian Empire. It encompassed the FYROM and at times Northern Greece as well. One of its capitals was at Ohrid. During Ottoman times the Bulgarian Exarchate operated throughout the area catering for the needs of the Bulgarian speakers but also trying to attract people from other communities, so, it was not that rare that people would switch allegiances.

    • Yvetta

      So, this is what Wikipedia says about the Bulgarian exarchate, becoming part of which was voluntary:
      ” After the Christian population of the bishoprics of Skopje and Ohrid voted in 1874 overwhelmingly in favour of joining the Exarchate (Skopje by 91%, Ohrid by 97%)[3] the Bulgarian Exarchate became in control of the whole of Vardar and Pirin Macedonia.”
      This is interesting because it gives us a clue as to the Republic of Macedonia’s populations’ ethnic identity in Ottoman times. Both these towns, Skopje and Ohrid, were at one time capitals of the Bulgarian empire.

  184. Zoran Miloshevski

    I am Macedonian and I can tell you that I consider myself Bulgarian. Once you tell that you are Bulgarian the Macedonian state starts repressions against you. That is why I am ashamed to say that I am Bulgarian or more like afraid. There are a group of people which are called Serbophiles. These people love Serbia and Yugoslavia and they will do anything to jeopardize the relationship between Bulgaria and Macedonia.

    I can tell you that we are scared against the ethnic Albanian population, they have the guts to attack the Serbs, The Macedonians, The Montenegrin and who knows. The majority of them converted to Islam through the Ottoman Empire. The people which are Classified as Serbophiles are also feeling a nostalgia towards Yugoslavia as well. It is not just in Macedonia. Even the young people from Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Macedonia feel a nostalgia towards former Yugoslavia.

    During Yugoslav time they will throw you into jail if you say that you are Bulgarian or they will kill you. The Albanians were quiet then, but now the USA is supporting Albania and Albania will rip off everyone from the Balkans like Old enemies. The Old enemies of Albania are Greece, Serbia, Montenegro and they plan to take some part of Macedonia too.

    However for some reason the Albanians respect the Bulgarians. So they love them the same way Serbians love Greeks. Romania is not really Balkan they put them more with Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland as Eastern Europe. Romania and Turkey can be classified as both Balkan and Not Balkan.

    • Yvetta

      I am posting here some videos of old people from the Republic of Macedonia that testify to the repression and even destruction of the Bulgarian element in the Republic. This is something that seems to have started in the times of the old Yugoslavia. I am assuming that the root of it is to prevent people from seeking a political union with Bulgaria which would then result in loss of territory for the then Yugoslavia. In short, the videos show old people alleging beatings for saying they are Bulgarian, destruction of Bulgarian cemeteries and conversion of Bulgarian churches to Serbian. It also interviews random people in the streets of the Republic regarding their views on Bulgaria. The conclusion that can be drawn from this is that the modern Macedonian identity is one that was constructed in Yugoslav times to serve geo-political purposes. It also shows that there are reasonable grounds for Greece’s concerns. Apologies if these videos have been posted before:


      Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jz-65-OzDqA

      In addition, this document below is a study by the Euro-Balkan institute of the process of historical revisionism in the Republic and attempts to link the modern Macedonian identity to the ancient one. According to this document, this process started with the fall of the ex-Yugoslavia and has largely been driven by the demands of people from abroad (Australia mainly) that call themselves Macedonian but do not even live on this continent. The main organisation that represents them is the United Macedonian Diaspora and their representative in Greece is Eugenia Natsoulidou, whose posts and views you can read above in this debate:


      Msrs Site moderator, if you do not want to post the links, please could you post the text without the links. Many thanks. Inevitably, this is the sort of questions that need to be put before Mr Poposki, since it is this kind of behaviours that are being described as poor neighbourly relations and are putting a stop on the country’s progress internationally. These are the kind of issues that need resolving and not merely a “name dispute”.

  185. Yvetta

    Dear Site Moderator,

    Please could I have my comments skimmed through and posted or alternatively be given a reason why this is not happening. There is one outstanding from 25th March which simply reads: comment awaiting moderation. Perhaps a person who will actually be moderating this site and enjoy it needs to be hired. Many thanks.

  186. Macedonian

    Fuck Bulgaria and Greece

    Kosovo is Serbian and Macedonia is Macedonian.

    We do not want anything from Greece or Bulgaria just our national pride and country.

    We are independent and we are not Bulgarians.

    Fuck the Albanians too.

    Macedonia is for Macedonians.

    • Anastasis venetis

      I’m so sorry to see people talking like that. Such opinions reflect the bad situation that they got u in. People that claim so desperately Fyrom’s national id etc. are definitely so confused by their government and all the lies they ve been told so as to create a fake national pride. I admired the way a guy (of Bulgarian identity) described the situation a couple of days ago. Actually u are a mix of cultures and that’s how u should see ur selves. It’s a matter of politics that brought all of u to becoming a republic and u should clearly know that. Personally I’m so sure u would have had a better fate if u belonged somewhere else, Albania, serbia, Bulgaria or Greece. Also, be cautious when u say fuck Greece and Bulgaria. Let me remind you that Greece is the country that holds the whole of your economy to life. When we sadly put an embargo on fyrom u ended up suffering and loosing 30% of your GDP. No one wants such an action to be taken again. So it would be better if u knew who your friends, your family and your enemies are. This seems like Greece is telling to Germany that they should back off them. Next day Greece will collapse. After all, Greece and Bulgaria are your brothers my dear friend. We are the ones that will help you grow and teach how co operation between neighboring countries seems like. It’s very sad that Greece is a highly advanced country surrounded by poor countries that don’t co operate like Germany does with France, Belgium, the Netherlands etc.. And please keep in mind that every country should help the other with strong bonds cause if ever Greece goes down you will end up in very evil hands of manipulation;) peace my friend! No one shouldn’t hate anybody. We used to live together in the same place before the big powers decided how our borders are going to be;)

    • Miloslav Ivanov

      I can tell you that Serbs are responsible for the creation of Macedonia and faith has got back at them by creating Kosovo. The Macedonians are not uniting the country to support each other by they are rather dividing it. The country is divided into Macedonians, Serbs, Gypsies, Albanians and Turks. The new plan for Skopje 2014 is a madness which is diverting the eye of the crowd from the real problems which are unemployment, corruption and misery.


      Bulgaria and Greece want Macedonia to enter the EU and they want to help the country, but Macedonia is living in the Yugoslav past created by Serbia. If Serbs liked Greece really that much they would not have made Macedonia and if Bulgarians liked the Serbs as their brothers they would not have voted for Kosovo right?

      Anyway Bulgaria wants to help Macedonia but to be an independent state. If Macedonia wants to get in the EU they have a few options. To merge with Bulgaria just as like Moldova wants to Merge with Romania. They can solve their issue with Greece and their candidacy for NATO and the EU can happily move on or they can stay in the same situation without the EU just like Switzerland and Norway, but the only difference is that Norway has Petrol and Switzerland has Banks.

      If the Balkan nations had united and did not started to fight among each other than Turkey would not had the chance to apply for the EU today. They would have been in Anatolia and Eastern European Thrace would have been Greek.

    • Yvetta

      Couldn’t have put it better.

  187. The Great

    Greece is falling a part and worries about a countries name. Natural born haters, leave the EU zone. We will all be better off!

  188. Mihail Kolev

    So Yvetta why does it matter anything about the Cyrillic alphabet? Why is that Important? Who cares its not Latin. The Westerners prefer Latin than Cyrilic.

  189. Yvetta

    This was in response to Makedonka’s video. To those that care about history and linguistics it does matter to have the accurate information. To those that don’t, they don’t need to read. However, it is not acceptable to give out the wrong information on purpose. But it was useful to watch the video, as it becomes apparent how the reporter is keen to promote this country even by spreading the wrong historical information, that is so easy to obtain even casually over the internet.

  190. Mihail Kolev

    Yes people can get fake information of the internet, but actually the Macedonian government pays them to do that. Do you know how many other adverts of Macedonia I see on the CNN. Invest in Macedonia. On The BBC there was a Heading Macedonia – Where Culture Starts.

  191. Yvetta

    It must have been an ad because I am unable to find it now. But even this website would not publish my comments but kept deleting them. And in the end they were published separately rather than as a response to the video and…,although my questions why my comments are being deleted were all posted, the final one that said thank you very much still hasn’t. So, even this website is manipulative in its own way.

  192. Mihail Kolev

    Why are you so interested in the Macedonian issue? Where are you from?

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