fyrom-macedonia

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)?

Macedonia_map_small3

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.

Vote 2014

Voting is closed in our Debating Europe Vote 2014! The results are now in, so come and see what our readers thought!


288 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……..

    • 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.

      PS:

      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.

  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.

    PEACE OUT

  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..

      Regards…

  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.

    • Michael

      Your little attempt at humour is quite funny ( ha ha ) you see, we Greeks do appreciate humour !!!
      Since your entire post is so amusing I will laugh once more ……… Ha ha . There , I feel better now.

  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)
    @Jovan.
    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. 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).

  119. 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.

  120. Stan

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

  121. 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.

  122. 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 “.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macedonian_nationalism

  123. 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.

  124. 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.

  125. 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…

  126. 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

  127. 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.

  128. 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.

  129. 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.

  130. Yvetta

    Why are my comments being deleted/

  131. Yvetta

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

  132. Yvetta

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

  133. Yvetta

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

  134. 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.

  135. 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.

  136. 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.
    http://youtu.be/o3InK-U6XYs

    • 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…

  137. 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.

  138. 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.

  139. 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.

  140. 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…

  141. 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!

  142. 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 ;)

  143. 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.

  144. 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

  145. 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

  146. 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.

  147. Aaron

    Both of you have mistakes. FYROM should not be that stubborn and Greeks should stop living in Ancient times and should realize that you are not that ” Important ” anymore. Greece should pay more attention to is future that is in danger rather than is past.

  148. princ of macedonia

    the republic of macedonia have a big and long story and was bigger with a a part of grecce and bulgary and albania and serbia all this part was stolen .the albanians and buògarians comes after to the balcans and the serbians macedonia is the oldest state .greece like the glory of aleksander of macedonia why ?it is macedonian of the macedonian history he was a danger for the greeks at that times and now will greek lies and make a not real story.the macedonians and the macedonia have more than 2000 years history in this land.so today the Others can say lies a new detail but its not real because the story can not be write every day it is just one and in the past!!!!!!all that say that macedonia is greek and that not exsist they are nationalist razist and stupid!!!!!!

    • Yvetta

      Alexander the Great himself said it that he was Greek. He even claimed Zeus was his father, the father of the Greek gods. Now you cannot glorify him and yet disrespect and cancel out his own views and sense of identity. Make up your mind whether you have any respect for him or not…

    • Yvetta

      It is a big number of academics of all nationalities around the world who have given their verdict about the ancient Macedonians, and not Greece, as you choose to put it, I am assuming because the fact makes you feel uncomfortable. This is what is being taught at universities’ Graeco-Roman departments, is in documentaries etc worldwide and not just in Greece. You can even watch these on Youtube. How you come here slandering Greece is quite shameful and shows your ignorance but also the hatred and ideological isolation present in your country.
      Debating Europe could you please pose this question to the politicians of FYROM: why are there so many comments here from citizens of the FYROM making claims about the ancient Macedonians that contradict internationally accepted historical facts; why are they accusing Greece of having falsified history and what the government of the country is doing to tackle such extreme elements?

  149. waguy

    What needs to be determined once and for all is whether the people who identify themselves as Macedonian are Macedonians. This has been verified in the DNA iGENEA report. http://www.topix.com/forum/world/macedonia/T6OEF5CAJ7T4SJ5G0. Then we need to establish the existence of Macedonia as a country. The proof of this is in the Bible. Read: St Paul’s third trip: It started from Antioch (53 A.D.), continued north to Tarsus then west to Derbe and Lystra, and then to Ephesus after going as far north as Galatia. After staying about 3 years at Ephesus, St. Paul and his coworkers left to Troas then to Macedonia and the East Ports of Greece and returned to Jerusalem (57 A.D.) from Troas through the sea passing by Miletus and the island of Rhodes (see attached map). Details of some parts of this trip are mentioned in St Paul’s Epistles, while the book of Acts cover them very briefly:
    Here it clearly states that Macedonia nd greece were two separate countries although there was not such country called greece at the time rather people were now as Athenians, Corinthians Spartans Hellas ect.
    It is also confirmed that Alexander attacked Athens (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demosthenes) Now why would a so called greek king attack his own city? Wiki: Demosthenes grew interested in politics during his time as a logographer, and in 354 BC he gave his first public political speeches. He went on to devote his most productive years to opposing Macedon’s expansion. He idealized his city and strove throughout his life to restore Athens’s supremacy and motivate his compatriots against Philip II of Macedon. He sought to preserve his city’s freedom and to establish an alliance against Macedon, in an unsuccessful attempt to impede Philip’s plans to expand his influence southward by conquering all the other Greek states. After Philip’s death, Demosthenes played a leading part in his city’s uprising against the new King of Macedonia, Alexander the Great. However, his efforts failed and the revolt was met with a harsh Macedonian reaction. To prevent a similar revolt against his own rule, Alexander’s successor in this region, Antipater, sent his men to track Demosthenes down. Demosthenes took his own life, in order to avoid being arrested by Archias, Antipater’s confidant. How much more proof does the EU need? DNA, historical FACT and the bible are usually enough to prove authenticity of any argument. Oh and on the question of the Bulgars suggesting that the Macedonians are Bulgarian read below HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!

    • Yvetta

      I do not think that in the year 2014 it is appropriate to bring genetics into a political debate. The attempt is though indicative of the level and quality of political life in the Balkans. I have got in touch with igenea myself (the link you have supplied does not work) and the response I have got is that the data going around the internet, mainly quoted by citizens of the FYROM, are inaccurate and falsified. They referred me to eupedia, which clearly gives South Slavic as the most numerous genetic marker present in the males of the FYROM, classifies the country as Slavic and also accounts for the predominance of a Slavic language. In addition, the same research conducted by the EU gives Bulgaria as being the closest relative of the FYROM. Please feel free to read this.
      With regards to the rest, very poor understanding of ancient Greek history and politics, which makes sense when you are not an archaeologist and you are not Greek either. The Spartans also attacked Athens and the Athenians also called the Spartans barbarians (amongst other Greek tribes). Are you now going to tell us that the Spartans also were not Greek and then go on to redefine ancient and modern Greek identity to suit your needs? Please, speak to an archaeologist and educate yourself a bit.

  150. waguy

    For this exercise we will use the English name given the the country known as hellas Greece. One for the scholars: Alexander the great was born in Pella, Macedonia. The Greeks claim Macedonia and Alexanader as theirs, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the father of modern day Turkey, was born in Saloniki (Solun) in 1881. Again the greeks clam this town as Greek yet they don’t claim Mustafa as greek. Why is that they can claim Alexander but not Mustafa? So does this explain a lot about the Grrek people? Can’t have your cake and eat it too!!!!!! I eagerly await your response to this Yvetta.

    • Yvetta

      Dear Waguy, I am not sure at all why you think that I should respond to you. The questions you are asking in your post you can find an answer to if you read any book on Macedonian or Thessalonian history and/or ethnology. I am not responsible for your education and it is also your prerogative if you would like to come here and ridicule yourself with your posts.
      A Greek in antiquity was someone that spoke Greek as a mother tongue, followed Greek customs, had a Greek culture, was buried as a Greek, said that they were Greek and had political allegiance to Greek interests. That Alexander the Great was Greek is not what Greece is saying but also Graeco-Roman academics and archaeologists worldwide. The only ones disputing it are the government of the FYROM and their opponents, for which they have been unable to produce any archaeological evidence and find themselves isolated. In Ottoman times a Turk was a Muslim. One of the rumour going round about Kemal was that he was a converted Jew and that his aim was to destroy the Ottoman Empire because he hated it.
      Finally, here is a line from Shakespeare’s As You Like It: “The fool doth think he is wise. But the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”

  151. UnKNownSource

    Good news for Macedonia. The International Court of Justice in The Netherlands in the city Hague said that: “Greece was wrong to block Macedonia’s NATO bid”. Therefore Greece’s VETO will be withdrawn and a new date for Macedonia’s entry will be given. Greece violated the Interim Agreement which states Greece not to object of Macedonia applies for entry to NATO under the United Nations Name: “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Court_of_Justice

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16032198

    Therefore Macedonia will join NATO. The court said that the Name issue could not be used when there was a deal between Greece, Macedonia and the UN about the application of the country in NATO under the provisional name: “The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”.

    The court in the Netherlands further said that Greece should not object Macedonia’s entry as well and this is a significant Victory of Macedonia. This makes it even harder for Greece to object Macedonia EU entry as well.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-17550407

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accession_of_Macedonia_to_the_European_Union

    The Former Yugoslav Republic took Greece to court about the name issue and won its NATO entry bid. The country is still waiting for the decision of the court about Macedonia’s EU entry. For now Macedonia won its NATO bid.

  152. Anastasis venetis

    All of you the “new Macedonians” have to see things in a clear way finally! U should see what’s behind actions and arguments. Greece has always been allianced with Russia, as Serbia did too. Since we entered the European family(something that’s definitely positive in my opinion) the USA, or Germany doesn’t really approve any more our connection with Russians. So they had to find a way to tear us apart somehow. Guess what happened and your province of Skopje became a republic, why Serbia was attacked, why the Greek crisis started , why Cyprus is going down and for what reason Ukraine is suffering now…I believe we are in better hands now but at least lets not keep our eyes shut to the reasons that brought us here. The republic of FYROM as u understand definitely needed some history of itself so as they can hold themselves together as a republic and most of the western people are supportive on that..what for? One day you will enter EU. U are a Muslim orientated region and u should be kept out of Serbia. Also, being in the condition u really are u are easy to be manipulated. Still I am wishing peace to everybody! It’s better to be united than separated with our lovely neighbors. When u will enter EU you won’t even be able to claim more land on your own or generally make stupid decisions to oppose Greece! Never forget how much depended you are on us;)

  153. UnKnownSource

    Macedonia should join the EU. This country has suffered too much.

    According to the CIA Fact book The population of Macedonia is:

    Macedonian 64.2%, Albanian 25.2%, Turkish 3.9%, Roma (Gypsy) 2.7%, Serb 1.8%, Bosnian 2.2% (2002 census)

    So basically the word for Bulgarian was exchanged for the word Macedonian. The Bulgarian population in former Yugoslavia was assimilated either to become Serbians or to become a new nationality (i.e Macedonians or Greek Slavs)

    Truly these people are Bulgarian.

  154. FrogKing

    Macedonia is a Romantic tragedy of the Bulgarians. This is the same with Cyprus for the Greeks which was a Romantic tragedy. Bulgarians lost Macedonia to Yugoslavia and the Greeks lost half of Cyprus to the Turks. These nations are the smaller part of these countries and they could not defend themselves from Invaders.

  155. A

    The Greek EU Presidency won’t bring progress in the ‘Macedonia’ name dispute until someone hacks their national app which keeps them being all over the internet talking smack whenever the term Macedonia is being used, that’s the main and real problem over those dudes

  156. A

    Buddy(Yvetta) so you just cited Wiki as a reference? Like…
    Debating is not up to wiki sources as we all are aware that winners ONLY and exclusively write the known history. You won’t ever come up to the article about the exodus(1947) removing native Macedonian people outside Greece new conquered lands and borders, described in Greek as an event and invitation from Yugoslav government to the slavophone people of Northern Greece to resettle(why would they?!) in Southern Yugoslavia(Serbo/Croat/Slovene Kingdom). You have to be from there or be part of those refugees people to know the truth that stayed unwritten in the world history due to the Greek lobby around the globe.

    Lets get to the other point I’ll try make;
    Greece is super contradictional in this whole situation as Macedonia is getting closer to becoming a full member of the EU because:
    People who left Greece will now come back asking for their property, which was illegally given to other (Greek)people.
    People who are already there will unite and the whole Macedonian community would have an revival with its families from the north, that would follows investments and other type of involvement which the Greeks at the moment don’t want to let happen.
    And during all this time, they as a full EU member sponsoring unity in diversity, are making noise over publishing a single copy of Macedonian dictionary in Thessaloniki, then they have changed all of the Macedonian/Native names of places and people lastnames. And all of these started happening when it was clear that Macedonia will without any difficulties gain and independence from Yugoslavia so then they created the FYR prefix not mentioning how silly they are not minding that while it actually only says that the country name is STILL Macedonia, but that their last independence is from Yugoslavia. Acting like their independence is since forever and came all alone or that the Ottomans are not worth prefixing(?!)

    Anyway we can go with logic also, if Macedonians have felt as ethnic Bulgarians, Serbs or Greeks they would just have adapted themselves into these countries independence but all of these incidents are big scream that there is differ out there which needs yet to be recognized. Those wars weren’t for nothing, those revolutionaries did not have died for this.
    What we all should do is, stop the hate, let everyone mind their own business, give equal education and open borders, after that we would all be allowed to speak about it because those people won’t no longer live in boundaries and Greece is stopping this because they know they will easily lose the control. That’s actually all, anyone who really thinks that the name issue is worth reconsidering just get a little education.

    • Yvetta

      Hi A,
      All of this points you are making have already been discussed and replied to further up the thread, so, you just need to scroll up and read. Good luck!

  157. Phillip

    You are Bulgarian speaking slavs, no connection to Macedonia, ancient or modern. Go and be what nature intended you to be, slavs, and leave the Macedonian thing to where it always has been, and that is to the Greeks!

  158. Nick the Greek

    Macedonians have right to keep as Greek as possible, the identity-characteristics of their Haemus-Hellenic ancestors…enshrined under UN charter.

    Native Indigenous Autochthonous population groups have right keep as close as possible, the identity-characteristics of their ancestors.

    FYRoM deprives Macedonians from practicing their UN recognized rights. The Macedonian Name belongs in Greek domain. Macedonian-Identity belongs to Greek heritage.

    Nobody of worth…political, diplomatic or academic, places the rights of FYRoM above the rights of Macedonians wanting to keep as Greek as possible, the identity-characteristics of their regional-historical ancestors.

  159. 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.

  160. 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!

  161. 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!

  162. 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.

  163. 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.

    Easy.

  164. 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…

  165. 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.

  166. 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.

  167. 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.

  168. 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?

  169. 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.

  170. 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.

  171. 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.

  172. 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.

  173. 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.

  174. 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.

  175. 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!

  176. Yvetta

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

  177. 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.

  178. 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.

  179. 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.

  180. 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.

  181. 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.

  182. 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. 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:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKdxjwe1ycA

    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:

    http://www.rrpp-westernbalkans.net/en/research/Completed-Projects/Macedonia/Nation-state-and-the-Institutions-of-Academic-Knowledge–/mainColumnParagraphs/0/text_files/file0/2_Euro%20Balkan%20paper.pdf

    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”.

  184. 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:

    http://www.eupedia.com/europe/origins_haplogroups_europe.shtml

    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.

  185. 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;)

  186. Yvetta

    Couldn’t have put it better.

  187. Yvetta

    As far as I am aware, the current veto on the Republic of Macedonia’s joining the EU is from Bulgaria but the main obstacle to the country joining, according to Mr Fuehle is the Gruevski government’s failure to implement changes as directed by the EU ascension chapters. These involve things like judiciary reform and freedom of expression. Mr Fuehle seemed quite annoyed by this failure in the interview that I watched. The naming dispute with Greece was being put at a second place but he quite clearly put it down to the Gruevski government to resolve this. So, if Debating Europe is really keen to get to the bottom of this, once again, these reforms need to be put as a question to Mr Poposki. The view that Greece is putting a block on this country is one promoted internally by Mr Gruevski and does not reflect views within EU diplomatic circles. It is interesting to note that he is turning up the heat on Greece, when his country’s economy largely relies on Greek economy. Greek companies are the biggest investor in the ROM, it uses the port of Thessaloniki as a port and most of its trade travels through Greece, the biggest part of its tourists come from Greece etc. Voters in the ROM need to consider this behaviour. The advice I would give them is that they need a leader that knows which side his country’s bread is buttered and a diplomat that is going to get the doors opened rather than get them slammed in his face. Thanks.

  188. Yvetta

    Not really…you need to compromise to get on with 2the neighbours2. You can’t always have it your own way. If you like to call that blackmail that is down to you but I tell that is the way it goes. If you don’t want to compromise then the international arena is not for you. You can’t carry heavy luggage all your life. You have to let go and move on.

  189. waguy

    Does it mater where one comes from if one is seeking the truth and enlightenment? It begs the question why do you need to ask?

  190. Yvetta

    LOL! It would seem this country is sinking further and further down into a virtual reality of its own and has its own version of history that reminds one of different places and times, nothing to do with the West…There already are countries in the EU that do not belong. Please, no more.

  191. Yvetta

    When you say Greece has tried to re-write history have you got evidence of that? How was it written before and how did Greece try to re-write it? Because if you don’t, that would be libel. Regardless of any problems Greece might be having with its economy or politics, this does not justify your slander.

  192. Yvetta

    Besides, the FYROM is in an even worst state than any EU country…

  193. Yvetta

    What your answer means is that you have no evidence Rebecca…the people that you say were forced to change their names, that’s not re-writing of history but more like forced assimilation and, having seen some of them myself, these people you are referring to as Macedonian are people of Bulgarian/Slavic heritage and have no connection whatsoever to the ancient Macedonians. You cannot be a scholar of any kind because first of all scholars express themselves in a more intelligent and not fanaticised way and, secondly, having read some scholars myself, they are not of the views nor of the opinions you are posting here. I hope that people like you get held accountable in court one day because enough is enough with random people posting hatred and slander without any evidence to back it up.

  194. Yvetta

    * Hammond & Griffith “A History of Macedonia 550-336 BC” Vol II
    “Macedonian was not a non-Greek language but a dialect of the Greek language in which Alexander spoke for a special purpose; and in the case of his order the vocabulary, as well as the pronunciation, was probably particular to this dialect. On a later occasion the Macedonian”

    * Lucilla Burn, “Hellenistic art: Alexander the Great to Augustus”, p. 28
    The language spoken by ordinary Macedonians, as opposed to the ruling family, seems to have been a dialect form of Greek. The elite communicaed both with itself and with other elites in standard, probably Attic Greek.

    *Alan Fildes, Joann Fletcher, ”Alexander the Great: son of the gods”

    Located in the northern extremity of Greece, and cut off from its neighbors by its mountainous terrain, ancient Macedonia’s relative isolation produced a distinctly separate culture. Although the Macedonians spoke a Greek dialect, worshipped Greek gods,…

    * Robert Morkot, “The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Greece”, Penguin Publ., 1996
    Certainly the Thracians and the Illyrians were non-Greek speakers, but in the northwest, the peoples of Molossis {Epirot province}, Orestis and Lynkestis spoke West Greek. It is also accepted that the Macedonians spoke a dialect of Greek.”

    * Malcolm Errington, “A History of Macedonia”, California University Press, 1990.
    “The Molossians were the strongest and, decisive for Macedonia, most easterly of the three most important Epeirot tribes, which, like Macedonia but unlike the Thesprotians and the Chaonians, still retained their monarchy. They were Greeks, spoke a similar dialect to that of Macedonia, suffered just as much from the depredations of the Illyrians and were in principle the natural partners of the Macedonian king who wished to tackle the Illyrian problem at its roots.”

    * Hugh Murray,William Wallace,Robert Jameson, “The encyclopædia of geography: comprising a complete description of the …”
    M. Malte-Brun distinguishes in the ancient Greek two different idioms: 1. The promitive Hellenic, which he subdivides into three principal dialects, the Arcadian, the Thessalian, with the ancient Macedonian, and the (Enotrian, transported into Italy and mingled with the Latin); 2. the Hellenic of the historical times, divided into four principal dialects and several varieties.

    * NGL Hammond, “Philip of Macedon”, Gerald Duckword & Ltd, London, 1994
    “As subjects of the king the Upper Macedonians were henceforth on the same footing as the original Macedonians, in that they could qualify for service in the King’s Forces and thereby obtain the elite citizenship. At one bound the territory, the population and wealth of the kingdom were doubled. Moreover since the great majority of the new subjects were speakers of the West Greek dialect, the enlarged army was Greek-speaking throughout.”

    * Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, The Outline of History, Glimpses of World History
    The language they spoke was among the oldest forms of Greek, and it had affinities with the Aeolian, Arcado-Cypriot and Mycenean dialects.

    * J.R. Hamilton, “Alexander the Great”, London, 1973
    That the Macedonians were of Greek stock seems certain. The claim made by the Argead dynasty to be of Argive descent may be no more than a generally accepted myth, but Macedonian proper names, such as Ptolemaios or Philippos, are good Greek names, and the names of the Macedonian months, although differed from those of Athens or Sparta, were also Greek. The language spoken by the Macedonians, appears to have been a primitive north-west Greek dialect, influenced by the languages of the neighboring barbarians.”

    * Sylvain Auroux, French linguist, “History of the Language Sciences: I. Approaches to Gender II. Manifestations”, p.439
    “Before the times of the national unity installed by the Macedonians around the middle of the 4th century BC, Greece was composed of many regions or city states[...] That they [Dorians] were related to the North-West Dialects (of Phocis, Locris, Aetolia, Acarnania and Epirus) was not perceived clearly by the ancients. “

    * L.S. Stavrianos, “The Balkans since 1453″, Page 19
    Their language closely resembled the classical Greek from which it differed no more than one English dialect from another

    * Charles Gates, Ancient Cities” page 259
    Philip II came to power in Macedonia in 359 BC. Althought speaking a dialect of Greek, the Macedonians lay on the fringes of Greek culture and had contributed little to Greek political, socio-economic and artistic

    *Chrys C. Caragounis, The Unity and Evolution of the Greek language
    In the fourth century B.C. Philip II (or perhaps his predecessors) adopted the Attic dialect as the official language of Makedonia, because its Greek dialect was too uncouth, undeveloped and lacking in refinement.

    *James L. O’Neil’s , presentation at the 2005 Conference of the Australasian Society for Classical Studies, entitled “Doric Forms in Macedonian Inscriptions” (abstract):
    “A fourth‐century BC curse tablet from Pella shows word forms which are clearly Doric, but a different form of Doric from any of the west Greek dialects of areas adjoining Macedon. Three other, very brief, fourth century inscriptions are also indubitably Doric. These show that a Doric dialect was spoken in Macedon, as we would expect from the West Greek forms of Greek names found in Macedon. And yet later Macedonian inscriptions are in Koine avoiding both Doric forms and the Macedonian voicing of consonants. The native Macedonian dialect had become unsuitable for written documents.”

    *Anna Panayotou, Position of the Macedonian dialect
    Its apparent, yet from the early 4rth Century, Macedonians, greek-speaking tribe of North-Western dialectical group, up to that time in the fridges of Greek-speaking world, adopted firstly for their diplomatical contacts and later for all the forms of written speech, the Attic dialect

    * Robin Lane Fox, Alexander the Great Page 30.
    he was still in a world of Greek gods and sacrifices, of Greek plays and Greek language,though the natives might speak Greek with a northern accent which hardened ‘ch’ into ‘g’,’th’ into ‘d’ and pronounced King Philip as Bilip“.

    * R. Malcolm Errington, ‘A History of Macedonia’
    University of California Press, February 1993, pg 3
    “That the Macedonians and their kings did in fact speak a dialect of Greek and bore Greek names may be regarded nowadays as certain.”

    * Otto Hoffmann, “Makedonians, their language and their Ethnicity“.
    From the 39 “languages” that according to Gustav Mayer their form was “completely alien” has been proven after this research of mine,that 10 of them are clearly Hellenic,with 4 more possibly dialectical forms of common hellenic words,so from the entire collection are remaining only 15 words appearing to be justifiable or at least suspected of anti-hellenic origins.Adding to those 15, few others which with regards their vocals could be hellenic,without till now being confirmed as such,then their number, in comparison to the number of pure hellenic ones in the Makedonian language,is so small that the general Hellenic character of the Macedonian linguistic treasure can not be doubted.(..)THE NAMES OF THE GENUINE MAKEDONIANS AND THOSE BORN OF MAKEDONIAN PARENTS ,ESPECIALLY THE NAMES OF THE ELITIC CLASS AND NOBLES,IN THEIR FORMATION AND PHONOLOGY ARE PURELY HELLENIC.”(…)The general Hellenic character of the Makedonians linguistic treasure can not be disputed even in case some of them might be loans from the Hellenic Mythology or from non-hellenic myths or for the better pre-hellenic myths (Teytamos-Marsyas-Seilinos….*).

    * N. G. L. Hammond,”The Macedonian State: The Origins, Institution and History,” Calrendon Press, Oxford,
    1989, pp. 413.pp. 12-14:”

    4. The language of the Macedonians. What language did these ‘Macedones’ speak? The name itself is Greek in root and in ethnic termination. It probably means ‘highlanders,’ and it is comparable to Greek tribal names such as ‘Orestai’ amd ‘Oreitai,’ meaning ‘mountain-men.’ A reputedly earlier variant, ‘Maketai,’ has the same root, which means ‘high,’ as in the Greek adjective ‘makednos’ or the noun mekos.’

    The genealogy of eponymous ancestors which Hesiod recorded (p. 3 above) has a bearing on the question of Greek speech. First, Hesiod made Macedon a brother of Magnes; as we know from inscriptions that the Magnetes spoke the Aeolic dialect of the Greek language, we have a predisposition to suppose that the Macedones spoke the Aeolic dialect.

  195. Yvetta

    So why don’t you tell us where we need to go and read to learn the accurate history, Rebecca? I am not in Greece by the way. I am in the UK and here also I hear the exact same thing; ancient Macedonia is considered part of ancient Greece. Is the UK spreading lies as well and your government is the only one that speaks the truth?

  196. waguy

    THE BIBLE MORON!!!!!! This from a Macedonian person living in Australia: Last year I was asked by a senior member of the Greek community in Perth where i was from? I provided an answer to this person and said “I am from the Republic of Macedonia”! and he said, “Macedonia is a Greek Word” to which I said that the word “Greek” and “Greece” are both English words and do not exist in their language, I asked that he does not give me a lecture on ancient history as it is the 21 Century and he wakes up out of the so called Greek mythology, he then continued and said that “Macedonia is the heart of Greece” to which I said that it is about time Greece has open heart surgery to cure any medical condition it may have.! Slaaaaap!!!

  197. Yvetta

    The word “Greece” comes from the Latin term Graecia as used by the Romans, which literally means ‘the land of the Greeks’, and derives from the Greek name Γραικός. Aristotle wrote that it was an Illyrian word used to describe the Dorian tribes in Epirus, from Graii, an indigenous name of peoples in the coastal region.
    However, some modern scholars, such as Busolt, trace it to Γραῖα (Graîa), a city on the coast of Boeotia, a name given to the Greeks by the Romans, where they first met. The city’s name itself means “grey,” from Proto-Indo-European *ǵerh₂- (“to grow old”).

  198. waguy

    Eh so you did read the Bible right? No not wikipedia but the Good Book written by the apostles not a web page written by every tom dick and jane. Oh and read the old testament because the new testament has been altered to suit the hellas people. Prey tell what you know about Macedonia and if you have spoken to people that have lived and suffered in the hands of the hellas government? Have you lived with the oppression of having to be told that you can not speak your mother tongue and have to learn a language only a few people can speak? Have you had your land rights taken away from you because your name ended in ..ski or ..ov? Get of this debate unless you have suffered the indignities the old people suffered because they called themselves Macedonian and happen to be on the wrong side of the border!!!! Your comment about Kemal was pointless and you did not answer the question. You say that in Ottoman times a turk was a muslim. That is just generalization and pure assumption by you. Obviously you know very little about the Ottoman empire to make that statement but that was not my question and I dare say that you understood my question and chose your answer from what you found on wikipedia. The Turks had one of the largest Christian enclave in Asia until they slaughtered them all. PS next time do not copy and paste from wikipedia it makes you look very uneducated

  199. waguy

    There is nothing here that belongs to you. Everything that is here is copy/paste verbatim from wikipedia. Just a little fact that you stole this from someone else in the same way the God forsaken hellas people have stolen other countries histories

  200. Yvetta

    Yes, it is from Wikipedia and the whole point, since you don’t seem to have got it, is that you could have found that yourself and you didn’t even have to go into deepest linguistics because even Wikipedia knows it and ridicule yourself with statements such as Greece is an English word etc…To be honest with you, someone like you is not really worth my conversation, so may I refer you to Wikipedia on permanent. Thanks.

  201. Yvetta

    You have an attitude issue, dude. And you are not the only one with that issue here. With anti-EU parties having triumphed in the recent elections the EU should consider carefully whether bringing any more Eastern countries in is a good idea, because that’s when the trouble started and brining any more in might just mean the end of the EU. People are not happy with this attitude.

    Yes, I have spoken to people oppressed by the Greek state and I am fully aware of the hostility towards Bulgarians and Slavic peoples in general present in Greece and I have experienced that myself. Greece and Bulgaria both are in the EU now, the object of which is to improve relations. I am not sure how appropriate it is to discuss this with someone from Australia…but things in Greece are much better than they were in the past and are still improving and everybody is looking to the future. There is no need for bitterness about the past and especially for a new country to come along and market itself with all that heavy luggage is a bad bad bad idea. That part of the world is not the only one with such history.
    If people genuinely think that they have a case against the Greek state, there are the relevant official bodies and courts where they can take their case and I wish them good luck. I still do not think that what you are describing justifies the attitude displayed and trying to appropriate Greece’s ancient heritage.
    With regards to the rest, I will not comment, because it is all in books of history and available to everyone to read. It is not a subject of debate between you and me. There are also the academics you can get in touch with and discuss your objections to the methods used and conclusions reached. Good luck.

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