macedoniaBack in January, we published an online debate asking “Can the Macedonia name dispute be resolved?”. The post attracted hundreds of comments and plenty of interest from our readers, but we were forced to lock the debate after just one week because it became too rowdy and difficult to moderate. Today, we’re trying again – so please keep your comments civil and respectful!

Briefly: the “Macedonia Name Dispute” is a disagreement between Greece and its Northern neighbour about who can rightfully use the name “Macedonia”. The Greek government argues that the use the name “Republic of Macedonia” by its neighbour (which was formed after the break-up of the former Yugoslavia) is historically innacurate, and would leave Greece open to territorial disputes between Skopje and a region of Northern Greece also called Macedonia. In response, Athens has blocked Macedonian membership of both NATO and the EU until the dispute is resolved.


In our post back in January, the overwhelming majority of commenters (both from inside and outside the region) were negative about the prospects for a settlement in the near future. Many felt that the dispute could never be overcome because the two sides had grown too entrenched in their respective positions.

On the one hand, Jason argued that:

The issue cannot be solved as long as Greece continues to insist that they – and they alone – are entitled to tell another country and another people what they can call themselves.

Salvatore, on the other hand, felt that:

The stubborn and irrational attitude by the FYROM prohibits the whole process of negotiations from resolving the issue.

This is plainly a topic that many of you care deeply about, so we contacted the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Macedonia (or “former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”) and asked them to respond. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikola Poposki, agreed to a video interview, and you can see his responses to your comments below (Minister Poposki belongs to the ruling VMRO–DPMNE party, which has observer status with the centre-right European People’s Party in the European Parliament).

We began by asking him to respond in general to the negative attitude of our commenters. Are they right to be so pessimistic, or does he see a way through the dispute (as well as various other diplomatic spats with neighbouring countries – including with Bulgaria, who recently opposed the setting of a date for the start of EU accession talks).

Next, we had a comment from Slavko, arguing that:

To solve [the dispute], Macedonians will have to change their identity, and polls consistently show that the vast majority are against a name change. The Macedonian Government simply does not have a mandate to change the identity of its people.

Could the same be said of popular opinion in Greece? Is Slavko right to argue that, even with the best will in the world from the governments negotiating a resolution, public opinion is so divided that there is no popular mandate for the sort of concessions that might be necessary for a settlement?

Then, we took a question from Florian, who says countries in the Western Balkans should expect a long wait for EU membership:

I am sure political leaders in the Western Balkans understand the EU’s current predicament and that they have the patience and determination to stay the integration course, even if that might entail a ten-year delay regarding their aspirations.

But is Florian right about the patience of political leaders in Macedonia?

Finally, we had a question from Nikolai, who argues that the EU is currently in a “state of flux”, and it is unclear whether it may be heading towards a more federal model, a looser union, or something else entirely. Nikolai wonders if it wouldn’t be wiser for countries to know exactly what they were joining before they signed up to accession talks.

What do YOU think? Are you optimistic that the “Macedonia Name Dispute” will eventually be resolved? Or is there too much disagreement between the general population on both sides, regardless of whether the governments can find agreement. Will political leaders have the patience to stay the course, even if EU accession negotiations drag on for many more years? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policy-makers and experts for their response.

Vote 2014

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

206 comments Post a commentcomment

  1. avatar
    Kostas Panakis

    There is no ”Macedonia”…….The official name of this country is FYROM

  2. avatar
    Lambrini Karagianni

    Macedonia is part of the EU as a geographical area in Greece.

  3. avatar
    Semira Pashmineh-azar

    The real Macedonia is Greece that’s the true history no one can change history

  4. avatar
    Panagiotis Gournas

    This is country’s first priority should be to choose a name that distinguishes it from Macedonia, Greece and then start negotiating. Otherwise, Greece will veto its every joining move.

  5. avatar
    Stratos Chatzinikolaou

    Macedonia called the northern province of Greece, thousands years before the creation of the modern state of FYROM.

    Since EU (and UN) officially recognise this state under the name FYROM, “Debating Europe page” should correct the topic, in order to maintain the objectivity of the page.

  6. avatar
    Elisabeth Elle Sandberg

    Of course, they should join EU very soon. By the way, in Sweden we use the name Macedonia (by researchers and politicians for example).

  7. avatar
    Christos Tsapakidis

    It seems that Debating Europe has already resolved the ?Macedonia Name Dispute?.

  8. avatar
    George Vakos

    A masiv brainwashing enforced to a whole generation of Skopje region, starting from childhood, strongly refers to very powerful international centers with political, economic, cultural, even religious motives in the Balkans.

  9. avatar
    Sergiu Netotea

    Oh yea, here’s an old dilemma of the Persian Empire (oh pardon me, which millenia is this?): should Macedonia join EU or should it conquer EU? I don’t understand this naming argument among Bulgarians and Greeks, since Macedonia is obviously Romanian land: an old Thracian wasteland, later Romanized and filled with Vlachs until quite recently.. Macedo-Romanians we call ’em.. [Forgive my trolling, but there are some hidden heavy philosophical remarks in the subtext..]

  10. avatar
    Angelos Pappas

    Kostas, please check your sources again. fYROM is not a name. It is a temporary REFERENCE to the country in a number of international organizations until the naming dispute is resolved. This is why the first letter of fYROM was agreed to be uncapitalised. Greece should be ashamed for holding this position, abusing its power in the region and violating basic human rights of self-determination.

  11. avatar

    The name dispute could be solved very quickly if both sides stop acting like children. The authorities in Skopje should stop promoting science fiction as their history, namely the notion that the Republic of Macedonia, a majority Slavic country whose people did not migrate to the Balkans until roughly a 1000 years after Alexander the Great’s death, has any connection whatsoever to Ancient Macedonia and the Argead dynasty. There is none ethnically, none historically, and very little geographically (most of the territory of the today’s Republic of Macedonia was Paeonia in Ancient times).

    On the other hand, the Greeks too must recognize that while Macedon was historically and culturally a Greek state 2500 years ago, since then, Macedonia was the name of a Roman province, an Ottoman province and a Yugoslav republic, and those did include the borders of present day Republic of Macedonia. So over the course of about half of recorded human history, “Macedonia” as a concept has changed, like the concept of “Greece”, “Europe” and just about everything else has changed during the same period, which is why we can’t insist in 2013 that definitions which existed in 300 BC be in force today.

    The government in Skopje has already committed in a treaty that they make no territorial claims on its neighbors, which is a legitimate concern put to rest. Beyond that, the Greeks making an issue of the name is like France not agreeing to admit Great Britain into the European Community because one of France’s provinces is named Brittany and as a result, Britain infringes on its “cultural heritage.” While I am glad no one is getting killed over this conflict, the dispute does reinforce one of the stereotypes people have about the Balkans, namely that they spend way too much time and political capital on matters of national symbolism that have little to no practical relevance on people’s lives.

  12. avatar

    My opinion for the subject is that the people of Skojie and the surrounding region belong to Balkan community.

  13. avatar
    Andreas Agathokleous

    When FYROM decides to abandon the name Macedonia, then yes. Until then i think it cannot. Macedonia is already part of the EU as it is a part of Greece. FYROM has nothing to do with Macedonia and this is proven by a thousand scientists in the fields of history,archaeology etc. You cannot change history Debating Europe, so you should change your title as soon as possible.

  14. avatar
    Manolis Koutoulakis

    Quite provocative subject for “debate” i would say….There is no point of this question. Macedonia, as a part of Greek territory (spatial, administrative, historical etc) is already part of EU….As far as fYROM is concerned, the preperation for full accession is still far away…since corruption, human rights etc are still under question in this country. I strongly believe in european perspective of all Balkan countries, since they accept and fully respect the european idea and alliance based on MUTUAL TRUST. Both sides made mistakes..lets not continue the same divisive references.

  15. avatar
    George Vakos

    @ A.Pappas: readind your statement, I conclude that u ignore that the so called “Macedonians” claim a big portion of your country (N. Greece). They even argue Alexander the great was not speaking Greek…

  16. avatar
    Angelos Pappas

    Far right populist minorities exist everywhere. This doesn’t change the fact the they have the right to be called the way they want to. Apparently their will to join the EU and NATO contradicts your statement. NATO allies cannot attack each other, while EU has common Schengen borders!

  17. avatar
    Panagiotis Anastassopoulos

    Undoudtfully the only place on this planet called earth that can afford the name Macedonia, should speak and think in the ancient Greek way. And this does not happen in FYROM with Skopiye as their capital city.

  18. avatar
    Pga Anastassopoulos

    Not in a million… This is not only provocative, but also against human rights. My frends european the history of a people is not to be debated… Shame on this idea of manipulating poor residents of FYROM!

  19. avatar
    Angelos Pappas

    So, you have a nation living in a part of the geographical area named Macedonia since at least 600AD. They consider themselves different than their neighbors (Albanians, Serbs, Bulgarians); and they actually are – since they have different traditions, cuisine and minor differences in the language as well! How do you expect them to name themselves? Even back in their war of independence 150 years ago they have been calling themselves Macedonians!

  20. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    @George Vakos: The Skopje authorities committed themselves in the 1990s in a treaty with Greece not to make territorial claims on greece, not to support any revolts by slavs inside Greece and also removed the Vergina Sun from its flag.

    Reason (on both sides) left this debate a long time ago. The Republic of Macedonia has an official unemployment rate of 30%. Unofficially it is probably 20% when you include the gray economy, still not that impressive. Greece’s economic problems are well documented. The fact that this much vitriol gets expended on this issue is still mind boggling to me.

  21. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    Look, the name dispute could be solved very quickly if both sides stop acting like children. The authorities in Skopje should stop promoting science fiction as their history, namely the notion that the Republic of Macedonia, a majority Slavic country whose people did not migrate to the Balkans until roughly a 1000 years after Alexander the Great?s death, has any connection whatsoever to Ancient Macedonia and the Argead dynasty. There is none ethnically, none historically, and very little geographically (most of the territory of today?s Republic of Macedonia was Paeonia in Ancient times).

    On the other hand, the Greeks too must recognize that while Macedon was historically and culturally a Greek state 2500 years ago, since then, Macedonia was the name of a Roman province, an Ottoman province and a Yugoslav republic, and those did include the borders of present day Republic of Macedonia. So over the course of about half of recorded human history, ?Macedonia? as a concept has changed, like the concept of ?Greece?, ?Europe? and just about everything else has changed during the same period, which is why we can?t insist in 2013 that definitions which existed in 300 BC be in force today.

    The government in Skopje has already committed in a treaty that they make no territorial claims on its neighbors, which is a legitimate concern put to rest. Beyond that, the Greeks making an issue of the name is like France not agreeing in the 1970s to admit Great Britain into the European Community because one of France?s provinces is named Brittany and as a result, Britain infringes on its ?cultural heritage.? While I am glad no one is getting killed over this conflict, the dispute does reinforce one of the stereotypes people have about the Balkans, namely that they spend way too much time and political capital on matters of national symbolism that have little to no practical relevance on people?s lives.

  22. avatar
    George Vakos

    @A. Pappas: First of all, E.U. do not accept far right regimes to enter the union. Again: FYROM has first to recognize Northern Greece as Greece and Macedonia, in order to be accepted as EU menber.

  23. avatar
    Matteo De Chiara

    From the names of the commentators it seems only a greek problem. Maybe it is, maybe it is not. However everywhere the country is called Macedonia but in Greece and international treaties. However it ca be a delicate issue and I dont’ want hurt anyone feeling. I totally agree with Jovan comment above, the name issue is similar to the Great Britain an the Brittain region of France, so, I would not consider it as a real problem. Moreover the Macedonia does not claim anymore any portion of Greece and agreed to change their flag ( that was Alexander’s flag). However, even if I found this issue a bit silly in an European view, I also have to say that there are more serious issue that let me think that is it too early for a macedonian membership in the EU.

  24. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    Se os meus amigos estão a comentar que a Macedônia é uma parte da Grécia então é necessário que este pais se torne independente da Grécia a Europa é construida por nações e não por tripos

  25. avatar
    George Vakos

    1/ France admitted UK in EU only after UK abondoned its GB name. THe official name of England is today Uk. 2/ The today socalled “Macedonia” and Skopje region was never both the original Macedonia and Roman and Ottoman region, perhaps only a tiny strip along its borders. 3/ Macedonia was allways ment the wide northern Greece region, including the city of Thessaloniki, which was the second larger city after Konstantinoupolis 1000 years in Byzantium.

  26. avatar
    George Vakos

    @Mihalis Nikolouzos: I correct you: Vardarska

  27. avatar
    Borislav Valkov

    Macedonia demands bulgarians to be called macedonians? Why? They claim Bulgaria steals their history yet they refuse to say why popular “macedonians” are calling thermselves bulgarians!

  28. avatar
    Hristo Topchiev

    Yes, Macedonia should be part of EU and that`s the only way it could be. This would be the best for us and also for them….BUT ONLY AFTER we all see that they start to respect other people`s history! It is very silly to steal Alexander the Great from the Greeks and Tsar Samuil from the Bulgarians and call them “Macedonians”. Especially when both of them has been mentioned in variety of old documents as a Greek or a Bulgarian kings. Macedonian`s history and country is a mistake of the Comunist regime. Macedonia has always been (untill 50-60 years ago) a geographical therm of a place such as Dobrudzha in Bulgaria or Thesally in Greece. Yes, there were an anciant kingdom there that has named the Geographical place, but it was Greek for sure at the begining and then Bulgarian after the Greek period. For me it is so stupid that all folklore Macedonian songs are more popular in Bulgaria than in Macedonia, since they now prefer serbian music! Anyways, they have the right to call themselfs Marsianians or whatever they want to be, but please, at least they should start respecting their neighbour`s history and in the present, they should also start making friendly international and internial policy to all of their EU neighbours. For example, I live in a city called Varna, and we all know from the elementary school that the city was found by greeks from Milet that took the land from the anciant thracians and the old greek name Odessos is also popular for us…..and we all know that the city was a greek city untill about 1000 years ago when it became Varna! There are still few people that speak some old type of greek and has greek names and whatsoever. And nobady has ever said that anciant Odessos was actually a Bulgarian city or the name is an old Bulgarian name….Nobady had ever started making fairytells and calll them history! This would be so stupid! So Macedonians should start showing some respect to all their neighbours and then they would be welcomed from all of us!

  29. avatar
    George Vakos

    @Jovan: please read my previous comments: Very powerful international centers maintaintain this dispute. They dont like an Axis power in Balkans.

  30. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    @George Vakos: Great Britain did NOT change its name to the United Kingdom to join the European Community. We have had this discussion before on this page during one of this topic’s many incarnations. The official name became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland when the British Parliament and Irish Parliament passed the Acts of Union in 1800. Since the Anglo-Irish treaty in the 1920s and the departure of most of Ireland from the UK, the official name has been the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. No one denies them the right to refer themselves as British both in official capacity and in coloquial usage, least of all the French. Ottoman Macedonia did include the Present day nation of Macedonia, as well as the Greek province of Macedonia, and portions of western Bulgaria, which they lost together with the Sanjak region in the First Balkan War of 1912 to the Balkan League (Serbia, Greece, Montenegro and Bulgaria). They also lost Edirne but regained it back in the Second Balkan war in 1913. And the Roman province of Macedonia in the Imperial period also included most of Present day Republic of Macedonia (as well as Albania, Greek Macedonia etc. as you can see in this map.),_Macedonia,_Dacia,_Moesia,_Pannonia_and_Thracia.jpg

  31. avatar
    Stef Stefan

    You should be more careful and not use the name Macedonia as it is not allowed in international debates.Fyrom is the right word and name.And it is not a question about the name.this country falsifies the ancient history of this area in order to serve oscure nationalist purposes

  32. avatar
    Osmen Ajruli

    the former republic our republic yunanistan has no right to stop macedonia

  33. avatar
    Giorgos Ellinas

    First of all, no offence but this country is not called “Macedonia” is called Skopje
    Macedonia is the largest and second most populous Greek region.
    Read history people! There are all written down!
    Other countries like Russia would set even a WAR for misunderstandings like that….
    it’s not a game, it’s our name, our history, our blood..oyr FREEDOM!!!

  34. avatar
    Stef Stefan

    Andrea mekame c est une question qu on ne peut pas repondre ainsi et je crois que vus devriez etre plus attentive en ce qui concerne faits et histoire..

  35. avatar
    Mathieu Tribu de Morrison

    the netherlands has joined even though the word “netherland “technicaly is in reference to the whole benelux region.

  36. avatar
    George Papadimitriou

    Dear administrators, you do know very well that there is no country with such a name. You are also aware that there is a great deal of ongoing negotiation regarding the name dispute so I cannot see the point of asking whether “Macedonia” should join the EU acting as if the matter is resolved. On that basis, I find the question provocative and therefore I am leaving the page. I suggest you should be more careful with such matters.

  37. avatar
    George Vakos

    @Jovan :congradulations to your analysis and knowlege. But please tell me why the todays Skopians insist so strongly to call themselves the only tru Macedonias, if they were always only a small part of Macedonia region. Why they phanaticaly always misrepresent history claiming that Alejander was both not Greek and enemy of Greeks and reproducind in their elementary education maps including N. Greece and Thessaloniki.

  38. avatar
    Takis Psaltis

    what do you care for, you are and will be out anyway, for centuries……

  39. avatar
    Dimitris I. Oikonomidis

    Creating a fake nation to provoke both Greece and Bulgaria is not a friendly action!

  40. avatar
    Anna Mathioudaki

    The Nationalistic insanity of fYROM?s far right government has sparked controversies with most of its neighbours. Greece, Bulgaria and Albania are often fed up with the fYROM?s hostile activities and propaganda against them. fYROM should realize that they are a small minority in a multiethnic region and should define themselves accordingly. Instead, its far right government attempts to monopolize the name, history and symbols of the entire region. The weight of historical evidence clearly suggests that Greece possesses historic title over the name ?Macedonia? and the ancient Macedonian symbols excavated on its territory, since it has used the name ?Macedonia? for constitutional purposes long before it was ever introduced in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. A fact that the state of fYROM loves to ignore. Its apparent the current government of fYROM has shown essentially no will to resolve the name dispute. A geographical quantifier in the name (proposed by Greece ) would be the most realistic option which would imprint the current status quo of the region. The government of fYROM blatantly refuses to accept it. Negotiations where one party is insanely adamant to its initial stance without any will for a more constructive stance, are destined to fail.

  41. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    @George Vakos, the comments here are mostly from Greeks which is why I am making the points against them. Rest assured that when citizens of the Republic of Macedonia take the positions that they do, like defend spending 10 million euros on a monument in Skopje to Alexander the Great, name every single major institution, street, highway, airport, stadium, hospital or any other infrastructure project after either Alexander or Phillip II, I am sure to tell them how historically non sensical that is. I certainly don’t condone it and would be equally forceful against them.

  42. avatar
    George Vakos

    On the other hand, all names are not “Makedonski” but pure and original Greek: Alexander, Phillip, Skopje. The Skopians argu about it, too. Alexander’ s Macedonia was a Greek tribe and it is a prooven fact.

  43. avatar
    Vasileios Bouronikos

    In my opinion, when something belongs to the history of a country, like Macedonia (Μακεδονία) in this case, which belongs to Greece not just as a part of it’s land but also as part of it’s history which is undisputable, Greece has the only right to use it! I believe in this naming case we must follow the protocol of the “Copyrights”! If something belongs to someone you simply can’t use it without permission! For us Greeks it’s something more than a name.. It’s our History and it’s a national matter which concerns us all!

  44. avatar
    Sokratis Diego Mpirmpi Lee

    Osmen Ajruli you have to be more carefull when you get invovled with something it’s none of your bussiness…this is something about the this two countries….Look at your problems there in the Former Republic of Kurdistan you are living in….

  45. avatar
    Antonis Kouvarakis

    The problem is not the name. As Dimitris I. Oikonomidis said before it is the fake history and the fake nation!!!

  46. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    No they do. And they are changing a lot of street names or other places which were named after figures in the Macedonian communist resistance that was affiliated with Tito into Alexander and Phillip. They are replacing from history people who are most deserving of the recognition of their statehood and replacing them with names that have nothing to do with it.

    As a Serb, I tell a lot of friends I have in Skopje how ridiculous it would be that just because my birth city of Belgrade was once the Roman town of Singidunum, to name the Belgrade airport the Gaius Juilius Caseras Airport and put SPQR on our flag. Or to claim Constantine the Great was a Serb because he was born in Nish (Naissus) centuries before we arrived there.

    In terms of internal politics, the Social Democrats get this and don’t push this issue nearly as much as the conservative VMRO ruling party, so their reactions largely vary based on their partisan affiliation.

  47. avatar
    sildia fotopoulou

    Since antiquity greek populations live in the area called “Macedonia”. In the fill of the centuries thiw area has passed from the authority of Romans, Vyzantines and Ottomans. as a result of its belonging in multinational empires, Macedonia was inhabited by slavic, bulgarian, muslim and juish populations as well, but the greek populatio was always the most numberous and the most developing part. During the Balkan wars (1912-1913) and befor that, during the macedonian struggle (1904-1908), the bulgarian community tried to terrorise and incorporate all the other populations including the greeks. However the greek populations stayed loyal to their country and civilization and confronted the bulgarian propaganda. According to the treaty of Bucharest (1913) the boundaries of the area of Macedonia were setted and have not changed since. What should be marked is that during the balkan wars the greek army confronted the bulgarian army. At the time there was no skopian nation or state, but only a serbian nation-state that was not very active in the region, although it participated in the wars. On the years to come Greece defended its teritory during the first and the second world war against the bulgarian imperialism. At the moment Yugoslavia, the successor of Serbia in the region, still remained a non active state. However the end of the second w.w. was the beggining of the yugoslav imperialism, which was expressed not by war but by a communist penetration in the area trying to persuade the local population that they should create an autonomus Macedonia in a future Balkan Federation. Yugoslav leader Tito exploited the greek civil (1945-1949) war in order to promote his vision in the area. When the communists lost the civil war Tito remained with no supporter in Macedonia. Almost half a century later (early 1990’s) Yugoslavia came apart and its southern region, Skopia, claimed that its name was Macedonia. 20 years later we still concern ourselves with the matter of the name of this new founded state. I writted that much because I understand that some commentators are not aware of the history of the region or that claim uninterested in the subject because it seems “only a greek problem”. As you see scopians can not have any demands on Macedonia because they have never had any part of this land either by war or by treaty. Since they have no demand on our teritory, why they are trying so hard to steal our history, our symbols and our heroes????

  48. avatar

    Dear Greek politicians thank you for holding my future and the future of my generation as a hostage, I am very happy that you decide for me, you are such a Europeans and that is EU spirit…

    I can only ask, if you have the power to change the name of my country (against the will of the people that chose the name), do you have the power and sense to accept me as a Macedonian who speaks Macedonian language?

  49. avatar
    Yiorgos Gkaris

    Should Mongolians join the E.U? That is the question!

  50. avatar
    Dimitris Tsoukalas

    We respect everyone?s? opinion but we must be careful when we use words that do not exist. Macedonia for those who don?t know WAS a nation. Now IS a region in Greece and nothing more. States, with high respect on their sovereignty should understand and respect that idea. It is an idea that not only history respects, but also the U.N concerning the name of FYROM.
    Moreover since it is a debate of FYROM?s entry in the E.U, The Republic of Greece calls every member state of E.U to go against it by having in mind the following ?A state, consists of borders, people and common ideas”. When there is one part missing or stolen, then the state start losing part of its sovereignty?. Greece wants to be a sovereign state, tries to be.. But it needs all the support of E.U members who recognize the importance of the word Sovereignty.

  51. avatar
    Teodoro Caloroso

    Dear greek neighbours in Bulgaria we also have a part that’s called Pirin’s Macedonia. The name of the country they have is their own choice. It’s the same somebody chooses his name the same like other. Do Greece have a copyright of the name Macedonia? I don’t think so! On other hand stealing foreign history because you desperately need to call yourself a nation is a very poor act of trying to unite your people!

  52. avatar

    Greece is conducting a flagrant breach of every conceivable principle of human rights by exercizing its power to subdue an entire nation, just because they fear the loss of territory that no one even wants here in Macedonia in the first place. You speak about states and treaties, but you forget one thing: people. There are two million people who have no other ethnic identity than Macedonians. What is their ethnogenesis, when did it happen, how etc. is completely irrelevant. Might as well happened two months ago, its still the reality, because thats how they feel. There is absolutely no way they will change into whatever you impose on them. Yes, the macedonan government is making mistakes in their attempt to solidify the national identity, by linking modern ethnic Macedonians which are Slavs, to the antic times. Many people in Macedonia disagree with their policy. That doesnt change the fact that even those who consider the claim on antique legends like Alexander the great ridiculous, are never going to accept changing their name. There is Macedonian regional identity, that ethnic greeks have, and there is the Macedonian ethnic identity that ethnic Macedonians have. We are not Bulgarians, Serbs, Albanians, Greeks or Turks. We are Macedonians and you should be ashamed of your actions that are slowly causing the destruction of a peaceful state, just because of your own insecurity.

  53. avatar

    Saying that Macedonia is already in EU as a part of Greece is such a ridiculous perception. As far as I know all the members in the EU are states and countries and they are not bragging about such a small things like provinces in the already recognized country. There are 2 countries called Togo – not a problem, I don’t know how many cities called Alexandria
    Alessandria Italy
    Alexandria BC, Canada
    Alexandria Ontario, Canada
    Alexandria Egypt
    Alexandria Jamaica
    Alexandria N. Terr., Australia
    Alexandria Romania
    Alexandria South Africa
    Alexandria Scotland, UK
    Alexandria S. Dakota, USA
    Alexandria Indiana, USA
    Alexandria Tennessee, USA
    Alexandria Kentucky, USA
    Alexandria Pennsylvania, USA
    Alexandria Louisiana, USA
    Alexandria Virginia, USA
    Alexandria Indiana, USA
    Alexandria Kansas, USA
    Alexandria Minnesota, USA
    Alexandria Missouri, USA
    Alexandria Nebraska, USA
    Alexandria Virginia, USA

    Alessandria del Carretto Italy
    Alessandria del Rocca Sicily, Italy
    West Alexandria Ohio, USA


    many vıllages called New Village – not a problem.

    But, of course there is province called Macedonia in Greece and a country called Macedonia – which by the way is totally different thing- AND YES THERE IS A PROBLEM!!!!

    so I hope you all got the point :)

  54. avatar
    Μηνάς Ρασούλης


  55. avatar
    Pantelis Grigoriadis

    Above the name Macedonia FYROM is abusing the history of Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia. Until they stop doing that they should not join EU.

  56. avatar
    Vasileios Bouronikos

    Thing is that FYROM consists of a mosaic of people with different origins! Albanians, Bulgarians, Roma, Serbians, Turks and the so called Slavomacedonians!! A common man can understand that the exist of so many ethnic groups in an area can cause disputes and conflicts! So, It is being tried from the governemnt to bind those people under one identity, the identity of Macedonia and the shadow of Alexander etc etc… (In this occassion the greater the better impact it will have!) I am a commong greek man (not a Nationalist) and I support the entry of FYROM in EU but under the term that they stop calling themselves Macedonians and descendants of Alexander etc.. It’s just ridiculous! I have visited Skopje and I sincerely laughed at the statue of Alexander the Great! You are trying so hard to be someone else… Alexander the Great and in (Great) Macedonia people were speaking Greek!! You should stop insisting on speaking the macedonian language (I saw a comment saying that), cause your lanuage is of Slav origin!

  57. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    They are definitely expropriating Greek and Bulgarian history but as a Serb I can’t say they are stealing anything from us. Unlike Bosnia and Croatia, the WW2 resistance movement did not consist of a disproportionate number of Serbs in their ranks to fight the Nazis and fight for the Yugoslavia that eventually enabled their independence. Macedonian Partisans were a home grown bunch cut off from the rest, they fought the Albanian and Bulgarian occupation forces on their own, and despite having been conquered by Serbia 30 years prior, they wanted to stay in a federation with Serbia. Macedonia was the state that proposed a compromise solution for Yugoslavia that neither the Croats/Slovenes nor the Serbs wanted to hear, and they literally left when it was absolutely and completely clear that the country was over. And when they did, they didn’t attack a single Yugoslav army base, or kick ethnic Serbs out of the north, and they even gave the Serbs every single piece of military equipment because let’s face it, in the early 90s Serbia needed them more. Whenever I go to FYROM I get treated extremely well, from the customs official to store clerks to everyone else, despite the fact that we have a disagreement over their national church. Their political views are a little weird to me, but beyond that I can’t say I in any way feel offended.

  58. avatar
    George Vakos

    @Teodoro: It is not a matter of brandname. History has already decided about these issues since a long time ago. The Skopian propaganda tries desperetly in vane to misrepresent this history. No cultivated human is ever going to recognize stupid theories and idiotic arguments.

  59. avatar

    Of all the historical sources, we get the same message. Alexander never missed an opportunity to certify how proud he was that he was Greek. His parents had Greek origins. Alexander considered himself Greek. He spoke Greek. He grew up and was educated from famous Greek teacher and had as his favorite book Iliad. He believed in the same gods as the other Greeks. Undertook to carry out and did a campaign, based on long-standing enmity between the Greeks and Persians, as “Commander in Chief of the Greeks’. He and his army, spread the Greek language and culture, all the nations of which passed.

    Reading all the comments i realized that everybody wants to provoke and distrakt each other. They said that Greece has no history and it is a fake country!
    (i saw it on a comment). Please check out your language and you will be really suprised by the Greek origins of some words you use. Check your mathematics, your astronomy! you cannot write and claim so easy that a country like Greece has no history!

  60. avatar
    Stavros Kl.

    In our days it is an accepted wisdom that Alexander the Great was Greek.This was a FACT before1991.In 1991 Yugoslavia broke up and 6 countries were created.One of them was FYROM. In June 3rd of 1992 the Prime minister of YROM ,Kiro Glikorov , claimed that Alexander the Great was NOT their ancestor .(proof:
    However,FYROM’s territorial wishes pressed it to adopt a historical background in order to antagonize the Hellenic Republic.The FYROMians denied their slav origin(despite the fact that they were part of yugoSLAVia) and they claimed that they are ancestors of the Macedonian tribe, a tribe which according to historical facts was one of the 15 Greek tribes(Thrace,Macedonia,Epirus,Thessaly,M.Greece,Peloponese,Crete(Minoic),cyclades,Dodecanese,Eptanese, Nothern Aegean Islands,etc).So they actually adopted a history that is not their and they are using propaganda in order to spread this belief and change the existing-before 1991- history….

  61. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    George that is not necessarily true. 70% of 300 million Americans thought the right thing to do after you get attacked by an islamic extremist group based in Afghanistan is to invade Iraq and execute a secular Arab ruler. Never underestimate the depths of human stupidity.

  62. avatar
    Alexandros Ampatzimpasis

    Copyright? !!! we don’t have a pair of jeans here or a new car model!!. It’s our nation’s part that is called Macedonia, just like Sparta, Athena, Fokea, Thespies, Epirus, Thrakae e.t.c. Besides this Slab and not only nation mooved to a part of our ancient Macedonia’s region during the Bysantine empire time, that is long long after king Filipe’s and Alexander’s time (archeology can easily prove that as it’s already done and you know it). So to conclude the issue is that they shouldn’t steel symbols and names from us, neither our history. They can try to give to that place (where they were invited to come) a name providing their history from where they came from. Aren’t they proud of something of their own and come and steal our history? I don’t think it’s nice. They just fool themselves and cause only problems. Now concerning the Pirin part of Macedonia, first of all you don’t claim anything and second try to find where the name Pirin comes from (historically). WE SHOULD CLAIM THIS PARTS OF MACEDONIA AND NOT THEM. But as history teaches we have been all the time peaceful and friendly to our neighbours unless s/b provokes us.

  63. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    Alexandros, there are 19 cities in the US named Athens and 14 cities named Sparta. And I am pretty sure America has never existed near Greece. What exactly do you intend to do about the expropriation of your historical names in that case, or is this simply about standing on some supposed principle against those weaker than you and tucking your tail between your legs against those who are stronger. maybe you need to project some aggression since you are currently being arm twisted by the Germans because your economy imploded and you have the choice of their draconian measures or going back to the drachma, which would be economic armageddon. Either way, it’s a BS argument.

  64. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    A question to “Debating Europe”. Why and under whose authority you are referring to FYROM as Macedonia? Isn’t that a brutal provocation against Greek commenters? Or is it totally accidental again?

  65. avatar
    Mila Damjanoska

    Calling from Macedonia, the FYROM (or whatever you prefer to call it). I think that currently, there’s no inner motivation on joining the union – and by that, I mean that our government and politicians do very little to comply with the requirements and spends too much time on putting the blame on Greece and Bulgaria for being the bad neighbors who want to regress us. The history-copying thing is just a very easy trick to keep people’s attention away and promote fake nationalism, by the lack of offering something else. In my opinion, even if we solve the name issue (which according to Nimitz new proposal was fairly accepted by both Athens and Skopje) the gov. and the country in general, have a long way to go to coordinate the standards and politics with those of EU and to solve the never ending socio-political crisis on national level.

  66. avatar
    Mila Damjanoska

    The name issue is not the main concern, nor is Greece or any other country in the Union acting as bad as Macedonian politicians represent them. Simply, there’s no will getting things going. For those of you who follow the EU affairs, reflect back to 2005 when FYROM managed to get its EU candidate status without getting any kind of interference with Greece. So, it was a matter of leading adequate politics and being tactful enough to put aside nationalistic pretensions. But, for the sake of regional good, I think that this is another good chance to solve this name issue thing and finally get things going somewhere. With the level of hatred speech and sickfull nationalism, I am not really the optimist of smooth developments at this aspect.

  67. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    Mila, the naming dispute is a problem as it relates to exactly what you are talking about. Greece is blocking the start of talks for EU accession, which means EU working groups are not regularly in Skopje to force to coordinate the implementation of the acquis communitaire, which means they don’t impose certain issues on Gruevski’s government which he doesn’t want to deal with, like corruption, judicial reforms, etc. And without EU officials constantly in the news, the government can give whatever excuses they want about the lack of progress and blame it on not so neighborly relations.

  68. avatar
    Mila Damjanoska

    And to those of you who as the government here are sometimes too drunk of the history that you forget about the future – it’s not the fault of any of us that we all have common roots (that’s the principle in which the Balkan functions). Therefore, I think that it’d be much more smarter if we focus on looking forward and helping each others, and look for those aspects where we all could benefit from. Meeting each other better as mentality or culture could be a step forward. And those values are permanent…compared to those of any radical policy.

  69. avatar
    Mila Damjanoska

    As I said, the name issue is NOT the only prevention from accession to the Union. But, to clarify my point. I don’t know how often it is in the Serbian news or in the Greeks (it may not have been at all), but recently Nimitz went publicly opening his latest strategy in solving this conflict of interests. The FYROM is to be soon replaced with North Macedonia (and Greece btw, has made no problems with that), so that the negotiations (IF criteria is going to be fulffiled) could start with the Union. When the negotiations end, speaking hypothetically, there will be a referendum where all people living in the country could vote on whether they want to join the union under the above mentioned name. It may succeed, and it may also fail. Whose fault is it going to be then? So, there’d be no excuses after all, but still, you can’t depend only on the temper of member countries, if you’re so ‘desperately’ in the mood to become a member itself. Eventually, you can’t blame Greece forever for your own mistakes. The hatred speech against this country began as a resistant to provide better communication mechanisms in solving the existent issues. And we can all see how successful it is. If our government does not express any kind of interest to cooperate, then I don’t really see a point of having EU working groups coming over here to do ‘your’ job.

  70. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    There is 3 regions that share the name of Macedonia and there they live 3 different nations. There is Macedonia of Aegean which is the biggest part, where live Greek Macedonians. Macedonia of Pirin in Bulgaria, where live Bulgarians. And Macedonia of Vardar which is FYROM, where live Slavians residents. These are ethnologically Bulgarians, but since they want to autonomise, it’s their right. It’s not their right however ?? usurp the name of Macedonia just for themselves, for many reasons. Historical. geopolitical, ethical. A fair and clear solution should be a complex name for all uses, either geografic such as Northwestern Macedonia, or even better ethnologic such as Slavomacedonia.

  71. avatar
    Mila Damjanoska

    ”Eye for eye will leave us all blind” Ghandi…and surprisingly, it will not be far from the truth. Hopefully one day both nations will realize that all the thoughts of history/territories/identity stealing was just a very bad abuse that governments used to in a replacement of providing something that could bring us together.

  72. avatar
    Mila Damjanoska

    Nikolaos, hope you can provide me your explanation, cause otherwise it’s going to sound illogically. If you say that in those 3 different Macedonia’s live 3 different nations, then saying that Bulgarians and Macedonians are exactly the same ethnologically simply doesn’t fit in the idea with the 3 totally different nations. Nothing to be taken personally, btw.

  73. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    I didn’t know about it until you mentioned it although I doubt that Skopje will accept it. Certainly not on a referendum, certainly not with the level of (lower) popularity the government enjoys after last Dec. If “Gorna Makedonija” becomes the official name for every state worldwide, not just for Greece, it seems like a lot to give up for Skopje since Republika Makedonija is the name under which 167 countries recognize them, including the US. But whatever it takes to get it done I guess.

    I do think, however, that you underestimate the EU’s soft power on government policy in the Balkans. Whether you look at Macedonia, Bosnia or elsewhere, the prospect of EU membership is the reason that a shooting war hasn’t taken place in 18 years.

  74. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    Dear “Debating Europe” you are missing something. Macedonia is already in EU and even in Eurozone. Unless you are refering to FYROM (accidental???). Then yes they should join EU, if they find a proper name and put out of their minds their stupid ideas.

  75. avatar
    Mila Damjanoska

    Eventually, higher centers of power will be dealing with this issue. And those will be constructing their tactics in a way of solving geo-political problems, not problems of identity. Actually, similar as in the case of Serbia and Kosovo. Thus it’d still not be a complete choice of anyone living here, I am almost sure about that. But the soft power that you mentioned, will not solve permanent problems that are embodied in this country. So, when almost all the young population will even more intensely start to leave the country in a seek of survival (and I am not talking about better life), nobody would really care what the US is naming you like. And I am not sure for how longer the tea pot will continue boiling, before it finally starts hissing.

  76. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    Dear Mila the nations, practical, historical and ethnological are 2. Greeks and Bulgarians. But if the Bulgarians that they live in Macedonia of Vardar want to autonomise it’s their right. So for practical reasons I am referring to them as a different nation.

  77. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    To “Debating Europe”: Why and under whose authority you are referring to FYROM as Macedonia? Isn’t that a brutal provocation against Greek commenters? Or is it totally accidental again? (Waiting for an answer or an apology)

  78. avatar
    Mila Damjanoska

    Thanks for the explanation, but I think it’s fairly unpractical that one nation determines any kind of circumstances for another one. But maybe that’s just me. As a Cosmopolit, I never wanted to make any kind of enforcements to other nations, about what or how they should feel like for themselves – same reason why I don’t support the nationalistic cultural programs of our government. That’s why I still manage to have excellent friendships with people from Greece and people from the rest of Balkan. And if you click on the link that takes you to the webpage of debating Europe, you can realize that this ‘Name thing’ was most probably made to challenge both sides to indulge into discussion :)

  79. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    Nikolaos the moderators are using that name because 167 nations recognize the state as the Republic of Macedonia. So its not an accident.

  80. avatar
    Anna Mathioudaki

    @Jovan you are providing false information. For starters where did you get that false number ? Secondly, your explanation is at least not adequate. If the Site claims among others, partnership with European Parliament, while its intent is to discuss “key issues about EU”, then it obviously had to abide by the country’s name accepted by EU and all international organisations. It doesnt !! Furthermore, i noticed the site claims the existence of a similar (?) topic, a couple of months ago, “The post attracted hundreds of comments and plenty of interest from our readers, but we were forced to lock the debate after just one week because it became too rowdy and difficult to moderate”. If the similar topic ended in fights between people from the two nations, why bringing it back aside from the obvious aim of scoring more views/comments? For more fights since obviously this is where it will end? I find also the initial question biased but mostly i am disgusted that people/sites use such a dispute to their own advantage.

  81. avatar
    Maro Kouris

    MACEDONIA IS GREEK. VARDARSKA has been and is the only TRUE name of FYROM. Yes , the country that Dare not speak its TRUE NAME – VARDARSKA. FYROM is VARDARSKA. The neighbours are Vardarski, with absolutely no relation to the ancient Macedonians. The ancient Macedonia kingdom was a kingdom ruled by the Argeads whose descendants were from ancient Argos. The ancient Macedonians belonged to the Dorian branch of Greeks,The name Macedonia was later applied to identify various administrative areas in the Macdonian, Roman and Byzantine Empires with widely differing borders.

  82. avatar
    Nikolas Kalaitzidis

    Ne se razbiram vapros’t!!
    Makedonia vxodila vv Evropeiski soyuz zaedno ss Grtsija!!!!! Vopros’t e ako 4te izleze ! Ami nijama da se!
    Macedonia is already part of the European union.
    There will always be a secure and warm place kept in European union especialy for FYROM / Northern Macedonia whatever! Selfdetermination should take into consideration the rules of “cloudless neighbourhood”.

  83. avatar
    Panos Mentesidis

    The question is should Greece leave the EU before the EU is disolved by the Germans or should it try to promote it and make other countries like Serbia, Fyrom and Albania join it in order to allow the Germans to completely destroy those countries too. There is no need for Fyrom,Serbia and any other Balkan nation to join the EU. Balkan nations should create a union between them ofc not fiscal but stratigic. The EU if it continiues with these policies it doesnt have much time so here at the Balkan region we should be prepared and not ruin our neighboors by making them protectorate states of the all ready German oriented and neo-liberall EU. If the EU doesnt change Fyrom and Serbia should never join. A neoliberal EU based on the american model doesnt work for all of us.

  84. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    To “Debating Europe”: Why and under whose authority you are referring to FYROM as Macedonia? Isn’t that a brutal provocation against Greek commenters? Or is it totally accidental again? (Still waiting for an answer or an apology)

  85. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    Dear Jovan (and Mila) thanks for (nothing) the information. But I wasn’t asking you. I’m asking “Debating Europe” and still haven’t got an answer. They are hiding behind their finger. I’ll agree with you, that they didn’t use the name of Macedonia accidental. Anyway I’m still waiting for an official answer or an apology.

  86. avatar
    Dimitrios Zavlangas

    In my opinion the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia will become a European nation and its citizens will prosper only if they choose another name for their new country. It will not be so terrible for them to call their country for example “Slavia” or “Vardarska”, but not “Macedonia”. This is a registered trademark like “Coca Cola”. There can only be one, and there is already one. In any case, as history and the ancient ruins testify beyond any doubt, the original Macedonians spoke and wrote in Greek, considered themselves to be ancestors of Achilles and Hercules and spread the Greek civilization and culture to Asia. Today’s inhabitants of the area of Skopje, are Slavs, Turks and Gypsies who came to the area during the Ottoman occupation. This is why they do not speak any Greek. The communist regime of general Tito, wrongfully enhanced this “Macedonian” identity to the inhabitants of Skopje through education persuading them that their ancestors were Alexander the Great and Philip, thus creating a group of people with a mistaken identity. If the inhabitants of Skopje insist on calling themselves “Macedonians” i.e. “Greeks”, then all they will achieve is to become absorbed by Greece and become real “Macedonians”.

  87. avatar
    Debating Europe

    Nikolaos, we understand that you would prefer us to use FYROM in all instances. However, most of our readers would not understand what that acronym meant, so we used “Macedonia” once, in the title, so that the issue is clear. We have tried to strike a balance between the parties involved (and also remain understandable to outsiders), so when referring to Minister Poposki’s title in the video interviews, we have used “former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”.

  88. avatar
    Zoran Drangovski

    Dear Nikolaos, tell me where and under which resolution and official document organizations as “Debating Europe” has obligation to use that shameless acronym that is not even official anywhere and you prefer to use it for the name of my country…

  89. avatar
    Zoran Drangovski

    UN Security council 817 Resolution is clear, the povisional name is only recommended to be used within the UN and it does not impose other countries or organizations to use it

  90. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    @”Debating Europe”: Finally, you seem to gave a sort of answer! But firstly, all the readers all over the world, would understand the name FYROM. That’s the official name, and as an official organization, you owe to use it. For the fewest readers that they couldn’t understand, you could at least use the name “F.Y.R. of Macedonia”. You have used only the name of Macedonia, plenty of times to this article and the other beside this, which are in common vew. Your intension was clearly to provoke the common feelings of Greek readers and not only them. If that’s your sence of balance and of equal distances, then either it’s something wrong with your balance, or you are working in favour of someone. Both ways you are dangerous!

  91. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    @”Debating Europe”: In addition, the most pathetic in your article it’s the sneaky phrase “The country that dare not speak its name”. If you are “so balanced” why don’t you change it to “The country that dares to steal others’ name”. 10 minutes for one side and 10 minutes for the other. You just stink…

  92. avatar
    Anna Mathioudaki

    Spot on. “Debating Europe”‘s explanation was disappointing. Especially for a website allegedly wishing to “discuss key issues about EU”, when at the same time it refuses even to abide by the country’s name accepted by EU and all international organisations. The question is apparently biased and deeply offending for the millions of Macedonians in Greece who constitute the vast majority of Macedonian Region population. Apparently all the fuss is done to get more views/comments. My advice to Readers: Stop Wasting Your Time Here !!

  93. avatar
    Maro Kouris

    MACEDONIA IS GREEK. VARDARSKA has been and is the only TRUE name of FYROM. Yes , the country that Dare not speak its TRUE NAME – VARDARSKA. FYROM is VARDARSKA. The neighbours are Vardarski, with absolutely no relation to the ancient Macedonians. The ancient Macedonia kingdom was a kingdom ruled by the Argeads whose descendants were from ancient Argos. The ancient Macedonians belonged to the Dorian branch of Greeks,The name Macedonia was later applied to identify various administrative areas in the Macdonian, Roman and Byzantine Empires with widely differing borders

  94. avatar
    Vladimir Simovski

    I wouldn’t comment the differences between the two countries, but I want to point out one thing. The most absurd moment in the name dispute between Greece and Macedonia over the past period of 20 years was continuous abusing of the NATO and EU membership as a carrot in order to bully and blackmail Skopje to extort concessions. I believe that was the gravest mistake diplomatic Skopje has made during this period. They shouldn’t have agreed on that. NATO and EU shouldn’t mess with the name dispute. This way they practically became plotters against one of the poorest and weakest nations in Europe. Nothing good can come from making any concessions under such a circumstances. Not for Macedonia, nor for Greece. Not even for the whole region.

  95. avatar
    Mila Damjanoska

    @Anna: I understand your concern about the application of the name and how it touches your feeling as a Greek. I also agree that the politics promoted in Skopje is fake (i for sure never grew up thinking that Plato or Alexander were my ancestors) and that it clearly stands to international hatred and sick nationalism. But is that really worth the attention so that we as two nations show up such hatred for each other?! I know I wouldn’t like my Greek or Bulgarian acquaintance to misunderstand me, as a result of a foreplanned political scenario and vice versa. By commenting how much you disagree with the statue of Alexander on the Skopje square, you won’t be feeling better as a Greek, I am sure. And it won’t get them removed after all. So, as a defending mechanism, it fails at the start. Secondly, I don’t think that Debating Europe possesses that kind of credibility like the UN, the EU parliament or any international institution/organization, so that they are obliged on what/how they should be addressing nations. Although, I myself wish there’s a proper official name given soon, rather than all this hassle. But, this issue deserves a debating treatment – and all the comments above are a proof of that. Basically, a good communication is lacking. If you read properly, none of us addresses the actual question posed by Debating Europe, but everyone started tackling questions of history. It’s more than important that people start debating, argumenting RELEVANTLY, on this issue, while at the same time putting their emotions aside. Who stole whose history, will at the end be fatal for both.

  96. avatar
    Rob Geurds


  97. avatar
    Mila Damjanoska

    Both Greeks and Macedonians are acting very childish. As far as I am concerned, the dispute will be solved one day (maybe that day will come soon) and the solution will not be in favor at any of the sides. Simply, they’ll be forced to do that, so that this geo-political problem with the whole territory of Macedonia is solved once and for all. No influential center of power would like to deal wit the ‘wishes’ of any Balkan country, on two decades basis.

  98. avatar
    Αχιλλέας Στεργίου

    In reality all neighbouring countries have a problem with them (depending on the situation be it the name/ethnicity/language/history/church). I have seen no real intention by their gov. to solve all these issues w/ neighbours so i am sure they will stay out of EU.

  99. avatar
    Dimitrios Zavlangas

    @Rob. It’s easy for someone whose country does not feel threatened all the time to joke about it and make comments such as “a bunch of insecure and childish suckers”. Keep in mind that it was only in 1974 (I was 3 years old) that the Turks invaded and took half of Greek-speaking Cyprus killing thousands of soldiers and civilians (I know a few who were killed then). Imagine how threatened your country would feel if a new country emerged right next to one of your provinces and named itself like that province while claiming that they are the true descendants of the original inhabitants of that province. Imagine for example how threatened France would feel if a new country was formed on its southeastern border and called itself “Provence” while claiming that they are half of Provence and the other half is under French occupation. Or how threatened Holland would feel if a new country emerged on its northeast borders naming itself “Groningen” and claiming that most of its region is under Dutch occupation. It does not sound right, does it? Macedonia has always been a region (a province) of Greece and any other interpretation or plan is only an imperialistic hostile plot. That said, the Greeks are neighbors, friends and even brothers of the people of Skopje. We are all inhabitants of the Balkan peninsula and have more in common than with the western Europeans. Instead of fighting we should unite to prosper together financially and culturally. So, the new country in the region, FYROM, should not cause trouble in our relations by creating unresolved matters and insecurity to its neighbors.

  100. avatar
    Debating Europe

    Nikolaos, as we have said, there are other viewpoints we have to consider and we have tried to balance all of them. We have used both “Macedonia” and “former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” in the post, and we have made very clear to all of our readers that the name is disputed.

    We are not an EU institution, and we are not bound to use the official language of either the EU or the UN. Some media use “FYROM” (such as ekathimerini), some use “Macedonia” (such as the the BBC or Le Monde). We have tried to present both names, and to make it clear that there are different viewpoints involved.

  101. avatar
    Vladimir Simovski

    I’ve noticed that many Greeks on these forums try to defame Republic of Macedonia by telling that it had problems with the neighbours. That’s not only petty and malicious, that’s also totally false and abusive because no one can be blamed just because of the remarks of others. That’s the same if one says that Cyprus shouldn’t have joined the EU because of the Turkish claims that there was a separate, Turkish part of the island. The fact is that everybody has troubles with the neighbours in the Balkans. That’s not only because of the mentality of the peoples living in this part of Europe, but also because of the volatile borders between these countries that were established comparably late and because of the open disputes and problems left by the decay of the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires, and later by the breakdown of the former Yugoslavia.

  102. avatar

    The name dispute could easyily be solved if Macedonia/FYROM would accept the name this part of former Yugoslavia had from 1929 to 1939: Vardarskaja Banovina, or now better Vardarskaja Respublica – Republic of Vardar. Vardar is the main river of FYROM/Macedonia.
    To me this sounds as nice as Macedonia. It would also comply with the EU policy to denationalize Europe.
    Although I must admit that a continuation of this bizarre name battle has some entertaining value in an otherwise pretty sterile EU public space.

  103. avatar

    Strange though, how Greece had no problem with this country being called the Socialist republic of Macedonia as an equal unit in federal Yugoslavia from 1945 until the breakup. What did you think was going to happen when Slovenia and Croatia separated, that we are going to forget the last 50 years and start calling ourselves Serbs? Macedonia will never change its name, and the pressure you are exerting from a position of power will only make the Macedonians more defiant, because we are not going to respond to injustice. Eventually, we will probably cease to exist as a nation, and it will be no one else’s fault but the Greek state and the Greek people who are accomplices to their goverment’s politics. I’m sure it will not be a great burden on your conscience, as you’ve already forced the exodus of the Slav population from Aegean Macedonia during the civil war, and forcefully assimilated the rest of them, so what is genocide as the next one on the list. And it is indeed genocide, since the survival of this country depends on its accession to the EU, but you obviously don’t care about the people here. In fact this country has already made the compromise by burying the aforementioned historical dispute about the crimes against the Slav minority in Aegean Macedonia. But rest assured, we are not going to accept to switch to something we are not or ‘invent’ ourselves a new name. Nobody has ever done this in the history of humanity and we will not be the first. The entire premise of Greece’s request is absurd. The population here feels and believes that its is Macedonian by ethnicity, and that is all we need, because it is our right to feel however we choose. We are not calling ourselves Skopians, because Skopje is one city in this country. We are not going to call ourselves Slav Macedonians, because the Bulgarians also are not calling themselves Slav Bulgarians, the Serbs arent calling themselves Slav Serbs etc. Upper or North is also out of the question because it is a nonsensical reference that never had any historical or cultural meaning for us. You don’t have a trademark on the name Macedonia, just because a region in your country is called so, or because the antic empire two millenia ago had greek traits. Nobody is asking you to give up anything, you have the region Macedonia and you have people who feel Greek by ethnicity and Macedonian by regional belonging. We are Macedonian by ethnicity, and there is your distinction. And another one; just as you have the region Macedonia, we have the Republic of Macedonia. Thats all we can agree on. Bottomline, we will be in the EU, or we will stay out of it and perish, but we will not give up our identity.

  104. avatar
    Dimitrios Zavlangas

    @Ivo. I am sorry to say that you are a typical product of general Tito’s propaganda. Under communist rule you were told at school that you are Macedonians and descendants of Alexander the Great in order to give you unity and value, because in reality you are not a consistent group of people. You are a mixture of nationalities and DNA, none of which is “Macedonian”. A percentage Bulgarian, a percentage Albanian, a percentage Serbian, a percentage Gypsy but no percentage Macedonian, since the Macedonians are all Greek. It is easy to make something out of nothing. If for example, they taught you at school that you are Italian descendants of the ancient Romans, you would probably believe it, name your country Rome, erect Julius Cesar’s statue in your main square and name Skopje airport “Augustus airport”. This is a joke. I am surprised you don’t have the intelligence to see it. The people of FYROM have as much in common with Macedonians as they have with the Chinese. No relation.

  105. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    @ “Debating Europe”: I try to see the viewpoint of yours at this page with the name FYROM, but in vane. I only can see 8 times the name Macedonia. And a disgusting phrase. You are more than obviously hostile with the Greek point of view. And now we’ll come to the point! Who exactly are you? Aren’t you financed by EU (that means from the most of the commenders)? Whom exactly are you representing? Can I join the group? If not why? If yes why? Is the salary fair enough?

  106. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    @ “Debating Europe”: I think that at least an apology to all Greeks and to other commenters, should be enough. Instead of that you are trying to justify your unfair attitude. With your behavior you are making people more angry. Truly with so many angry Greeks, you still believe you are impartial?

  107. avatar

    Dimitrios, do you realize that I do not care. Even if all that stands, what does that supposed to mean to me. It is not going to change my mind about how I feel about myself and my nation. I am not going to call myself ‘a percentage Albanian, a percentage Bulgarian, a percentage Serbian etc, its too complicated. There is no turning back history. Two million people here share my opinion. However, it is quite shocking how Tito swayed our minds so easily in such a short time, while Greece with two decades of pressure, threats, blackmails and propaganda can not do a single thing, dont you think? The Slav population here has been conquered many times by the neighbors, and gained national consciousness comparatively later than the others in the region, but it always had a sense of common values, language and tradition. Tito didn’t get the idea out of the blue, it was the logical outcome and the acknowledgement of a long struggle to liberate from the other Balkan nations aspirations.

  108. avatar
    Makis Mjt

    FYROM is the name not macedonia

  109. avatar
    Christinism Mela

    Debating Europe this country is not recognised under the name Macedonia by the UN, EU or any other major international or european organization. Yes you are not an institution, however when you use only that name in the title of your post, it’s as if you predispose readers to accept it as the solution. To put it simply, you ruined the debate before it started, that’s why there are so many posts correcting you instead of discussing in a constructive way. It’s a shame because i was promoting you to my friends with anti-European feelings as an example of how Europe can discuss and find solutions. I am really disappointed

  110. avatar
    Debating Europe

    Nikolaos, we understand you are upset, but we have not set out to offend you. We have explained our editorial policy, although you may disagree with it. You can see our “About” page at the top of this page, which explains more about us. We want to foster debate and discussion, which does include listening to viewpoints you disagree with. We believe we have made it very clear in the text that the issue is highly contested, but if you are not satisfied then this may not be the discussion platform for you.

  111. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    Nikolaos, here is a tip for you that is helpful not only in this debate but in any other you will ever have for the rest of your life. When you start attacking not just the other side, but the moderators of the debate who clearly have nothing emotionally invested in the topic, it makes you look like an extremist and whatever credibility you may have had has been destroyed.

  112. avatar
    Mila Damjanoska

    Debating Europe It is indeed crucial that we hear/read different views and try to respect them, but apart from sharing national emotions and one-sided view on the problem, I didn’t realize there was anything constructive offered at the ‘table’ neither from Macedonians nor from Greeks. So maybe you can re-pose this question once this issue is on a good way to be solved? Hopefully then the feelings at both sides would calm down a little bit and would not affect the culture of debating as they did.

  113. avatar
    Aleksandar from Macedonia

    Let’s call things by their rightful name. The Greek chauvinists will not allow Macedonia to join EU unless it heeds to their demands. I haven’t read a single comment from Macedonia’s neighbors which makes sense.

    This is an issue which has its roots most recently in the period of 1912-1913 and immediately afterwards. The EU is smart enough to know this, and it has taken a side in a stupid argument.

    Macedonia and the Macedonians salute you and will prosper even without a EU membership, don’t worry.

  114. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    @Anna Mathioudaki: Here is where I got that number. From the quoted article: “Because of the name dispute with Greece, Macedonia was admitted to the UN on April 8th 1993 under the temporary name “the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.” Since, 167 members of the UN have recognized the country under its constitutional name of Republic of Macedonia.” In addition, here is a helpful map from Wiki. Countries that use Republic of Macedonia are in green, countries that use FYROM in red, and countries which are neutral in blue.

    So it would appear you are the one who can’t tell what is false information and what isn’t.

  115. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    @Nikolaos Sotirelis: You are looking for an apology as a guest in someone’s online house. Good luck with that.

  116. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    Dear Jovan thanks for the advice. I’ll keep that in my mind. Allthough you’re younger. Now I’ll give you my advice. In a debate you should listen and respect all the pointviews. But you have to expect from the host of the debate to be impartial. If not you have to denounce it, even if you are in the same side. Otherwise you aren’t playing fair and you’re losing all your credibility. The same credibility that Debating Europe have lost!

  117. avatar

    More than 120 countries worldwide have already recognized the Republic of Macedonia under its constitutional name including United States of America, China, Russia & India. The Republic of Macedonia is geographically part of the historical region of Macedonia, so I do not see any reason why they don’t deserve the name Macedonia?

  118. avatar

    85% of the Greeks have never left their “prosperous” country who are living in delusion and they don’t see farther than their noses. Plus, Greece is the first EU country in the 21st century to have a Nazi political party! Do I need anything else to say about this country?

  119. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    Age has nothing to do with it. Has it ever occurred to you that you are not able to judge impartiality because of your own biases? 16 out of 28 EU members (i am including Croatia) now recognize Macedonia under that name. 167 members of the UN do as well. The moderators didn’t take a position either way. There is only one “Macedonia” which is up for EU candidacy, so it’s pretty clear which one they meant, and “Should the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia join the European Union” is a far messier title.

    The EU doesn’t recognize Kosovo as an independent country, and 5 of its members don’t either. Do you think whenever some EU affiliated page uses “Kosovo” as an independent country I jump at them? No, iDo you see Mexicans or Canadians jump when the US gets referred to as “America”? After all, they are on that continent too. No one is ever going to call any country a name that is five words long, and every country has a short form name. It is just semantics, and you seem so blind by nationalist hatred that you can’t see it.

  120. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    The issue here dear Jovan isn’t the name of our neighbours. As you might see in my other comments my position in the matter of the name is at least compromise. The issue is the behavior and the impartiality of the debate organiser. In your opinion the “Debating Europe” was objective or not? So simple!

  121. avatar
    Debating Europe

    Mila, thank you for your constructive comment, and for raising a very valid point. The next time we revisit this issue we will try to focus on more constructive aspects of the debate, so we can take comments from citizens of both countries to politicians from the other country.

  122. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    Dear Jovan this online house is supported (and I mean political and financial) by the EU parliament. They owe to answer or even to apologise, to any citizen of the EU. Thanks for the wishes.

  123. avatar
    Debating Europe

    Thank you for your comments, Nikolaos and Jovan. We do listen to criticism about the way we do things, and we do want a productive debate about this issue so we can take comments and questions from citizens of both countries to politicians from their neighbour. Whilst we welcome (constructive) criticism of Debating Europe, please remember to keep the debate between yourselves polite and respectful.

  124. avatar


  125. avatar

    The answer is very clear , one nation has the right the chose its own name , so if 2 million people decide to call them macedonians , there is nothing to do about that , is the basic rule in international law.
    I think that EU should be above the the stupid conflict started by Greece , because we are living in democracy and is a shame for the international community that permit this anti democratic position of Greece.

  126. avatar


  127. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    In the beginning of ’80s, I decided to travel all over Europe with interrail. When the train arrived at Skopia, a nice guy older than me, came into the cabin beside me. He knew only a few words in English. He told me that he was from Skopia and asked me where I was from. I told him from Kavala a city in East Macedonia. He was enthousiastic and told me that we are brothers. I was shocked! I thought he was mad. I was ignoring that there was a region in Yugoslavia called Macedonia. He on the other hand, thought that in Greek Macedonia were living millions of his “brothers”, waiting for their freedom.
    We both grew up in a virtual reality. It took me a lot to overcome the idea that there was another Macedonia except mine. I believe that the guy from Skopia had also a lot to overcome and especially the idea that there were Macedonians which were Greeks and much more than the Slavish Macedonians. But I won’t be ever able to accept that they will be the only ones, who will be refered as Macedonians and their country Macedonia, without any ethnotic or at least geografic defining. It’s unhistorical, unethical and unfair.

  128. avatar
    Debating Europe

    Thank you for posting this, Nikolaos. It will hopefully help others to understand why you feel so strongly about this issue (this is, after all, about your identity). We will revisit this topic in the future (and next time we will try to focus on an angle that is more constructive and less provocative), and we will try to gather some interesting responses to your comment.

  129. avatar
    Mila Damjanoska

    Nikolaos, that’s indeed a positive example. I am sure that if you take the train now in the same direction as then, you’d come across to at least one person such as the one you met back then. The thing is, that even now in Skopje and in the surrounding cities, there are people who feel like they’re the heirs of Alex the great, those who think he belongs to them and only to them, but there’re also people who want this unnecessary era of going back to history and unnecessary hatred to stop as soon as possible. To make this matter easier to all the Greek debaters here – the Antiquization propaganda that is headed by the government is not greatly supported by Macedonians who live Northern from you. Not every citizen of the country claims Macedonia as their legal property and not everyone here consider themselves Ancient Macedonian.

  130. avatar
    Anna Mathioudaki

    @Jovan, apparently you remain the one who promotes false information. You provide as valid source to your allegation a News Site (?) plus a Wiki map and you want to be taken seriously? I would expect at least that you would have provided an official source to back up your claim of these alleged 167 countries. Yet you failed.

  131. avatar
    Anna Mathioudaki

    I feel i have to commend Mila’s contribution here as the most constructive from all the comments i have read so far. Well done Mila. Wish there were more people like you in both sides.

  132. avatar

    The nerve of complaining about being unfair and unethical, from the side that is keeping an entire country (and nation) in isolation, poverty and tension, possibly on the brink of civil war, just because it doesn’t accept the basic right of self determination. You Greeks never cease to astonish me. We understand that there are Greeks who call themselves Macedonians, and we see nothing wrong with that. Its a different concept altogether. The population here is Slavic, but it isn’t Bulgarian or Serbian, and it lived in the region called Macedonia for centuries, so it has become synonymous with the name, as a way to distinct from the other Slavic nations. Greece’s arm wrestling tactics will not convince Macedonians to abandon their identity. You should realize that the time for historical revisionism is long gone and that there is no other country in the world that has this kind of demands towards another.

  133. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    Anna The wikipedia article is based on footnotes 166 through 289 and it is not practical to name them all. Feel free to check them out and let me know if a single one is incorrect. As for the article, it is exactly on track with what Wiki says. There is no reason to doubt the authenticity. You have produced no evidence they are inauthentic. You have not produced any evidence that the number is different. It is not difficult to be a national propagandist who simply ignores evidence when it is staring you in the face simply because you are too proud to admit you are wrong.

  134. avatar
    Dimitrios Zavlangas

    @Ivo. In your post you wrote “The population here is Slavic, but it isn’t Bulgarian or Serbian, and it lived in the region called Macedonia for centuries, so it has become synonymous with the name, as a way to distinct from the other Slavic nations”. This is correct, but who says that whoever moves into an area and occupies it, is justified to steal the area’s name and history? An example: Thales of Miletus, Heraclitus of Ephesus, Anaxagoras, Anaximadros and Anaximenis of Klazomenes were all important ancient Greek pre-Socratic philosophers of Ionia in Asia Minor. They were the fist to use scientific thinking and put down the bases for the modern scientific world. The Turks took Ionia and still have it under their rule. Does that give them the right to call themselves descendants of these ancient Greek philosophers and to claim that they created the basis of modern scientific thinking? Does it give them the right to put up statues of these people everywhere and to name airports after them? In the same way, the Turks occupy the city of Constantinople. Does that give them the right to call themselves Byzantine Emperors and to claim that they are the children of Constantine the Great, Justinian or Theodora? Or, are the Palestinians the descendants of King David and Solomon, because they occupy an area in Israel. OF COURSE NOT! They have their own history, identity and culture. The people of FYROM should try to find their own identity, history and culture instead of accepting as their own the history, identity and culture of the area they occupy.

  135. avatar
    Debating Europe

    Please keep the comments on-topic, and try to debate the arguments rather than trading insults. You may disagree and argue your case, but please try to keep the level of debate high and don’t make it personal.

  136. avatar

    Dimitrios, the Turks can do whatever they want. If they want to embrace the name Ionia, like we embraced the name Macedonia, then its their choice and nobody should stay in the way. However, the Turks had their identity already developed by then, while in our case, it was an amorphic collective who was late in following the nation building processes in the world, thus lacking in true definition. A large part of this is was due to the constant attempts to use the population in these lands in pawns in various imperialistic schemes of the neighbors and it was in the uneducated Macedonian peasant’s mind that calling himself Bulgarian, Serb or Greek meant nothing but political affiliation, depending on who is giving him food and who is ruling at the moment. But eventually Slav people inhabiting the ancient land of Macedonia grew conscious that this name binds them, and therefore consider it their own. They don’t attempt to prevent anyone else from using it. Which is the opposite of what you do, in the process shamelessly destroying a small and poor country which exists in reality, with real lives of real people, not your abstract ideas, names and heroes from two millenia ago.

  137. avatar

    “Macedonia” is not only a geographical term. It has inextricably been linked with the Greek history, the greek culture and the greek soul which gave many battles and fights in order to maintain the cultural and ethnic integrity during the centuries. Of course neither of us can change history nor has the right to disturb history in order to satisfy his personal feelings. Additionally FYROM should stop claim the name of “Macedonia” only for her own sake, since its boundaries do not belong only in FYROM. So, it would be wise FYROM to compromise with a name that will have geographical orientation for every use and not pursue to steal the name of “Macedonia” in order to unite its ethnic minorities under a common identity.

  138. avatar

    Mihail, thank you for opening my eyes! ;) Wow I was living I lie! ;) I feel so Bulgarian now! ;) Im going to go out now and spread the truth to the rest of the two million lost souls who call themselves Macedonians. who cares what our fathers, grandfathers and grand grand fathers told us, lets change our name, NOW! poor Greeks, now I realize what we have done to them. Thank god we didn’t destroy their wonderful country by ‘stealing history’… imagine, millions would have died from our attitude, because we kept them out of international institutions by calling ourselves that name! ;)

  139. avatar
    Anna Mathioudaki

    Another round of Jovan?s desperate attempts to excuse his lack of any official source backing up his initial claim. For starters he amusingly attempts to shift the burden of proof elsewhere. Nomatter that he is the one who should provide valid evidence, as initially requested. An allegation written by an individual from fYROM in an article is not Official and neither Reliable. The writer also fails to provide any source/evidence for his biased number. In fact nowhere in the internet, there is to be found anything to support this number.
    In another desperate attempt, Jovan tries to blur his lack of evidence by throwing another false claim. Namely ?it is exactly on track with what Wiki says?. However even Wiki contradicts Jovan?s erroneous claims and assumptions. NOWHERE in Wiki is given a number of ?167 countries?. Instead, there is a reference ( claiming that according to fYROM?s gov. ?133 foreign nations? recognized them on December 2011. A number not even remotely close to the unrealistic false number claimed by Jovan. It looks like not only you are spreading false information, but quite dishonestly you attempt to portray others as ?propagandists?. Clearly you are the Propagandist promoting misinformation here. I give you a final chance. Can you provide any Official source backing up your claim of ?167 countries?? YES or NO?

  140. avatar
    George Vakos

    According to EU regulation, any country applying to be Eu member, first has to fully recognize every single EU member. In that sense, Skopje (FYROM) must fully recognize Greece and its northern territory Macedonia.

  141. avatar
    Dimitrios Zavlangas

    @ Anna Mathioudaki. Anna what is the point of arguing about numbers? Whether it is 133 or 167 or 1.000 does not make any difference. The official organizations (EU and UN) have not recognized FYROM as “The Republic of Macedonia” and have forbidden this name to be used for official purposes. The provisional name of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is the official and accepted name worldwide. Jovan and FYROM’s politicians want to believe that their chosen name for their country will be accepted, but until the EU and the UN accept it as an official name, it will only be wishful thinking on their part. And until they change their stubborn, irrational, aggressive and unhistorical attitude, they will stay outside the EU. I think that we have taken them too seriously and wasted too much time trying to show them how wrong they are in what they are doing. All you have to do is watch them embarrass themselves during their celebrations of their “glorious past”. It is a comedy. Gypsies dressed in hastily made plastic ancient armor, not even closely resembling the ancient Macedonian attire, holding broomsticks as spears and wearing flip-flops for shoes. They even dressed up a Gypsy girl as Cleopatra, claiming that she is an ancestor of theirs and brought over from Pakistan some pour chief of a tribe that they claim is made up of descendants of their “glorious army” which concurred Asia. It’s so kitsch, it is almost like watching a B movie. And as for their capital, they have this building program going on trying to make Skopje look like ancient Rome with atrium colonnades, statues, arches etc. What a joke. Can’t they see how ridiculous all this is?

  142. avatar

    Yes all of that is quite ridiculous. Its an official state policy that is wrong, historically inaccurate and controversial among Macedonians as well. Personally I detest it very much and find it disgraceful. Still doesn’t change the fact that we have every right to call ourselves Macedonians and our country the Republic of Macedonia. but if anyone has more genetic link to Gypsies, its you Greeks. Macedonians are Slavs.

  143. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    Right, I am the desperate and you are the one who thinks her strongest argument is, i”t’s not 167, it’s 133″ (out of roughly 200) countries on this planet that disagree with you, and this somehow vindicates you. That more than anything else says it all.

  144. avatar
    Debating Europe

    @Mihail You have already posted links to your clips once here, and one set of links is enough.

  145. avatar

    We’ll give the Republic of Macedonia Greece’s spot. Heck, they can have ours (Netherlands).

  146. avatar
    Christopher Alan Birt

    Certainly Macedonia should be admitted to the EU. The position of Greece is untenable, and Macedonia is as much a European country as is Greece itself.

  147. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    The Issue of recognition by the Skopje government of Greece’s territory Macedonia was achieved on September 13, 1995 when an interim accord was signed between the two countries in which Greece agreed to lift sanctions against its northern neighbor, the European Commission agreed to drop its court case against Greece for engaging in the blockade in violation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy, and the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia was changed to drop any mention of territorial claims on Greece or any of its neighbors and change the flag from Alexander’s Vergina Sun to the red/yellow sun pattern in use today. The name dispute is the only thing that remains.

  148. avatar
    Novica Rancic

    The name of the country and the nation have been introduced so many years ago. The nation of Macedonians exists and the people living there identify themselves as Macedoinians no matter what is the history of ancient Greece. Macedonia whatever is it is not registered trade name. Let them feel how they consider themselves.

  149. avatar
    Lolita Hasani

    Macedonia deserve to be part of the great and unique European Family, the issue name shouldn’t be obstacle to Macedonia to join the EU, Macedonia have only positive recommendations from the European Commission, Macedonia already realize a lot of the Copenhagen Political Criteria, the Macedonian citizens deserve to be part of EU family.

  150. avatar
    Dimitrios Zavlangas

    The people of FYROM definitely deserve to be a part of the EU, but maybe as citizens of their countries of origin. You know that there are many politicians, historians, professors of various fields and of many nationalities who believe that FYROM, one of the newest countries in Europe, should never have been created in the first place, since it is made up of people from it’s neighboring countries. There are many who believe that there is not a single Macedonian in FYROM, since all Macedonians are of Greek heritage and are living in the Greek province of “Macedonia”. That the people of FYROM, if they look into their past, they will discover that their ancestors were Slavs of Albanian, Serbian and Bulgarian heritage with the addition of a large percentage of Gypsies. There is a large group of people in the international scientific and political community who believe that FYROM was an American creation after the division of Yugoslavia in order to create tensions within the Balkan peninsula. That the Americans used the false perception and mistaken identity of the inhabitants of Skopje and planted a political time-bomb which will explode in the future causing war in the area. It is according to the rules of the American politics, after all, to divide and conquer. If there are tensions in the area, the US will sell more weapons. If a war breaks out, then they will come as a peace-keeping army, use their expired weapons on “strategic targets” and then establish military peace-keeping bases in the area. Great!

  151. avatar

    I am MACEDONIAN. We exist we are a loving and peaceful people, how dare the world stand by and allow Greece to bully us in this way. I don’t want to be part of a hypocrytical EU who allows its member states to violate the fundamental human rights, it supposedly espouses. The comments of many people above are disgraceful and a reflection of the rascist and unreasonable attitude of the Greek people. You can see from the names of all the people commenting on this site, that the only people who have a problem with macedonia is Greece and Bulgaria, so you should be asking why are they so fearful and so insecure of a Macedonian nation?? Dig a bit deeper, ignore the greek b.s and you shall find out…

  152. avatar

    Nobody cares about historians and DNA scientists, what matters is how we feel. There is no deadline on nation building. Macedonian nation is younger than the other nations in the region, but that doesn’t make it any less real. In fact, it is only because of the territorial aspirations of the neighbors that this process was slowed down and happened later than the others. Socialist Macedonia was a constitutive state of federal Yugoslavia, equal as a nation to Serbia, Croatia or Slovenia. If the Macedonian nation should have never been created (which is the most stupid sentence Ive ever heard), thats your opinion; what is reality is that this already happened and now it is too late for anyone to do anything to reverse it. Macedonians are NOT Bulgarians. There is a much bigger difference between Macedonians and Bulgarians than between Serbs and Croatians, or Serbs and Montenegrians for example. There are minorities in the country like the Albanian minority, just as there are minorities in Greece such as the Macedonian minority, which the state completely abandoned just so the big Greek fella doesn’t get upset. Same thing happened with our flag, we changed it as well because of your panicking. But thats where we draw the line. Macedonians will not change their name, even at the cost of the European union, thats our last pillar of our identity. And one day the world will find out about Greece’s fascist policies. America didn’t create Macedonia, America doesn’t care about Macedonia, if it did we would already have been in the EU and Greece would have shoved its ultimatums you know where. But Greece is the international community’s darling, so they let them get away with anything, from bankruptcy to crimes agains humanity which is what they are doing towards Macedonia.

  153. avatar
    Dora Spiridis

    I will not add anything to this debate, other than this lengthy, but worth reading article:
    Twenty Years after Independence: Activities of the Government, the Citizens, and the Diaspora of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (the FYROM) for the Appropriation & Possession of the Name “Macedonia”,el/
    I urge all Europeans to read it.. and after they have done so, let them decide if this pseudomacedonian statelet deserves to be a member of the E.U.

  154. avatar

    Ivo I agree with a lot of what you said. No one should have veto power over another nation’s identity. However, there is one thing that sincerely puzzles me when it comes to the Macedonian government. Why is there no honesty about its national origins when their national origins have a pretty inspiring story?

    How did truly Macedonia get forged in modern times as a slavic nation? You had the unique and unfortunate experience of being the only Christians in Europe living under a Muslim feudal state in the early 20th century. Your national liberation movement was loosely affiliated with a sister Bulgarian organization, but any honest interpretation of Delchev’s philosophy is that his social democratic politics were more important to him than Bulgarian nationalism (bulgaria’s government was very right wing back then), which is why he opted to fight for a separate Macedonian state to be created out of Ottoman territory. So that uprising failed, and the Ottomans were kicked out of there by the Balkan League, the Serbian Army being responsible for this on the territory on which the modern Republic of Macedonia is located. So subsequently the Macedonian identity was forged on resisting Serbianization on the one hand, and resisting German-backed Bulgarian occupation which was attempted once in World War I, and a second time in World War II over most of your country, with the remaining territories in the northwest going to the Albanian quisling regime.

    As you know, the Macedonian partisan resistance was built out of those two ideals, fighting for a macedonian republic within a yugoslav federation of six equal republics, and Macedonia had its own resistance units, its own separate command, its own political council (ASNOM) etc. because the lines of communication between Tito’s main command and Macedonia were cut off during most of the war. So you guys won your statehood in World War II and paid it in blood, you did the honorable thing and fought for the right side, and you didn’t let yourselves be walked all over. My only question is, why don’t you just go with that story? I think it’s a pretty good one if you want to build a nation around it. Why in the world are you now changing street names from macedonian partisan commanders who have much more to do with why your country exists today than anyone in the Argean dynasty ever did? How many more highways, hospitals, schools, stadiums or other public works can you rename to Aleksandar Veliki or Filip Vtori?

    Again, this doesn’t give anyone the right to not recognize you, but I have been to Skopje three times in the last year, and I have to tell you, every single time I see your triumphal arc, or your giant statute of Alexander on a horse, I feel like I am in some sort of an amusement park that has nothing to do with reality. I mean, nobody in the whole world learns that Alexander or Samuil were in any way related to the modern Macedonia that your country is, so why falsify history that way? We all have certain national myths where we make ourselves a little better than we are. My fellow Serbs love to talk about their valiant five century struggle against the Ottomans, and forget that from the defeat at Kosovo until the Battle of Smederevo in 1459, the Serbian king was a Turkish vassal and fought alongside the Ottomans to subjugate Bulgaria, to fight the Egyptian Mameluks and the Timurid Empire. And that the defense of Belgrade in the 16th century had more to do with the Hungarian army than anything we put up. But still, we don’t misrepresent where we come from as a people. You guys take that to a whole different level. Seeing Alexander the Great in Skopje (which of course in ancient times was part of Dardania, and most of your country was Paeonia, both Thracian tribes in no way related to the ancient Macedonians) is even more ridiculous than if you had spent millions of euros building a statue to Aragorn King of Middle Earth in Lord of the Rings, or Luke Skywalker, Master of the New Jedi Order. It’s pure fiction, and anyone living in Macedonia who is intelligent enough to know the century of Alexander’s death (4th B.C.) and the arrival of Slavs to the Balkans (6th-7th A.D.) knows how ridiculous this is. Your social democratic opposition is much more reasonable about this question and hopefully now that their rather unpopular President has resigned, they will be able to defeat the ruling VMRO party at the next election, but there is no doubt in my mind that VMRO has gone completely insane with pushing this ancient Macedonia connection.

    It wouldn’t hurt you to have intellectual honesty about your history, especially because you have nothing to be ashamed of when you tell the truth. And to the extent your opponents have a point in this debate, it is only related to this. They would have absolutely nothing constructive to say otherwise. And your government’s insistence on this non existent connection to ancient history continues to amaze me, precisely because it is hurting you in this name dispute.

  155. avatar

    I am reading all these ridiculous comments and it makes me realize how sad and pathetic you Greeks are! The EU should look at this racist fanatical psychopathic country it protects. Lie with dogs and you will get fleas. How can this even be a debate, you are dealing with a peoples identity here. If Greece wanted the name macedonia she should have chosen it rather than Hellas…You all talk about macedonia being a young nation, who cares! Greece didnt exist until the late 1800’s. You modern day greeks have just as little connection to Alexander, you’ve probably more connection to some Turkish hero. If we Macedonians didn’t exist why was my grandfather who is from Lerin forbidden to speak Macedonian, why did the Greeks forcibly change the names of towns and villages, why were my grandfathers siblings ripped away from their family and forced to live in Romania. Why isn’t Greece being demanded to speak up for its atrocities committed against the Macedonians?? Big deal we now have a statue of a guy who lived thousands of years ago, this does not warrant your behavior and attitudes towards the Macedonians. Get a life and sort your country out! Show some compassion and peace for once in your lives, you do realize how this so called debate makes you look to the rest of the world … HATEFUL

  156. avatar


    First of all, I must emphasize, as I did before, that I completely disagree with our government politics. At times I am honestly shocked by the butchering of history that they keep pushing, and all of these monuments that are erected supposedly to solidify this idea of the link with the ancient Macedonans are a complete joke. Not only it is historically false (and aesthetically painful as well), but it is also adding fuel to the fire and clearly provocative and disrespectful to the neighbors. This I completely understand, so I can relate to some of the Greek sentiments. However what they must understand is that the Macedonian government shouldnt be identified with the Macedonian people. There is a strong opposition to what the government is doing, all this ancient macedonian nonsense and identity tampering. There are many supporters as well, but the intellectuals are 100 percent against it.

    What you have to undertrstand is that this government is extremely populist and therefore has the tendency to conceal the real problems such as the economy and social problems behind this agenda of ‘unity and patriotism’, and a lot of the population in the province and rural areas is gullible enough to believe in all of this. Still, none of this justifies Greece’s treatment of the Macedonian people. They are not punishing our government, they are punishing the people. Which ultimately is exactly what our government wants in order to strengthen its rule, as it is its only objective. All of that being said, Greece is playing hardball and hurting our nation before all this ancient Macedonian hysteria even began. So its not really an argument to justify the blockades, vetoes etc. They would have done the same thing even without the stupid statues.

    I can put some light on some of the governments actions as to why they insist on this antiquization and not the actual truth. First of all, there is a common belief, that modern Macedonians indeed have at least some of Alexander’s blood, because the Slavs which came here centuries ago encountered the ancient Macedonians and slowly assimilated them. Although I dont understand why would anyone care so much about this issue, as nations in the true sense of the world actually emerged centuries later, but as we see from the greek examples here, people are obsessed with things that happened ages ago. Some people here believe that unless we prove our link to these people, we lose the right to the name Macedonia, which is completely false, because of the principle of self determination.

    Second, it provides a counterargument to some of the things I saw being said here as well: that the Macedonian nation is too young/new, a derivative from other Slav nations, that the others were here before her, so based on that, it is artificial. The chronological development of the national identity is absolutely irrelevant to me, as whenever this identity is forged, it is real and an undeniable fact. This can also be associated with the aforementioned fact that people are obsessed with history, so the longer the history, the bigger the prestige.

    Third explanation is, which they actually officially use, is that all these historical figures existed on this geographical space, so as we live here now, we should celebrate them as well. I dont see how it has anything to do with Macedonian ethnicity and Macedonian nation, but as I said our government loves to manipulate, and this is not a coincidence that it wants to tie the regional and the ethnic heritage into one concept.

    Fourth. It is a general Eastern European trend to sever the ties with communism and its the same with us. Macedonia’s independence was provided by the communists, as a reward for the part of our partisans in the antifascist movement; however in present times, these once celebrated people are associated much more with communism which is interpreted as a dark chapter, villified etc. In fact, the social democrats are often branded communists here as an insulting term, and that is one factor that prevents its rise and prolongs the rule of this vicious, manipulative government.

    I will conclude by saying that our government has messed up completely. I strongly oppose its actions, but they have become an almost unstoppable power in this society, through their clearly nazi methods, and Im not at all ashamed of this. Sparking nationalism, literally no media freedom, society ruled by one party and its leader in its every segment, persecuting opposition… it has brought us in an unbearable situation. However, NONE of this abolishes Greece of the responsibility and the damage they are doing to two million people, just because they call themselves the way they want to be. If Greece asked for the ancient history to not be monopolised, we would have found an agreement. Greece is asking for us TO CHANGE OUR NAME, which is unprecedented. They would rather have ethnic Macedonians cease to exist, rather than have the name they have chosen for themselves. That is GENOCIDE.

  157. avatar

    Mihail, I ignored your inane rumblings so far, since I deemed their intellectual level unworthy or replying to. However, as other people are reading your nonsense I feel compelled to clarify the following thing.

    A lie repeated a thousand times does not become true. Macedonians do not have affection to either Bulgarians AND Serbs. Maybe until the 90s Macedonia had some sympathy towards the people that lived together with us in one state, but not anymore. Todays generations know about Serb dominion here as Vardarska Banovina and they have wronged us as well. However, they dont deny us our national identity, like Greeks and Bulgarians so, and they never did. We fought alongside them in the second world war, against fascist Bulgaria who allied with Hitler just so it can occupy these territories. For the last time, Macedonians are NOT Bulgarians and its not the Serbs who brainwashed us to think this. We may derive from the same group with the Bulgarians, but that was before the existence of todays concept of national identity. Prior to the 18th century, all the people in this region didnt have any national conscience and were Christian Slavs, or just ‘locals/raia’. I know that you are not going to stop speaking your nonsense as if this is some Age of Empires game, but this is for other people to get a better idea of the context.

  158. avatar

    @Ivo: It’s best not to engage him in any conversation because he is just trying to provoke you. I made the mistake of responding to several things he said and before you know it he started talking about Kosovo and how great the Albanians are just to try and provoke me. He may do the same thing to you. A very wise American writer (Mark Twain) once wrote: Never argue with stupid people. First they drag you down to their level, then they beat you on experience. Se citame povtorno i pozdrav

  159. avatar
    Dora Spiridis


  160. avatar

    @Dora Spiridis

    Are you a Golden Dawn voter? The only reason I ask is because I can’t imagine anyone other than an unapologetic racist using the words “mongrel nations” in 2013. And just FYI, talking to western Europeans using such language has a tendency to be a big turnoff to the point you are trying to make.

  161. avatar
    Victor van Schooten

    No FYROM as we know it now has no place to the EU ! We (EU) have enought problems. FYROM is a small teritory, economy and labor forces, but BIG PROBLEM for its neighbors Greece and Bulgaria. The people in Scopije just won´t realize the truth, that they have nothing to do with Macedonia of Alexander the Great ! They are mostly like bulgarians but in the last 60-70 years their identity was “created” by the comunists of Yugoslavia. No Pulp Fiction countries in EU are needed !

  162. avatar

    Macedonian people will not change their name no matter what the government is. You think that Macedonians will protest in favor of changing the name? I laughed at that one.

  163. avatar
    Dimitrios Zavlangas

    You have a lot of hate for Greece and it shows, but you don’t know what you are talking about. If you knew history, you would know that your people came to our northern Macedonian province in the 6th century A.D. wearing animal skins and furs for clothes. You were barbarians with no culture, no writing, no education. You learned how to read and write from us and this is why your alphabet is almost Greek, but you speak the Slavic language of your barbarian ancestors. We on the other hand, knew how to read and write since at least 3.000 B.C. (Minoan Grammiki A and Mycenean Grammiki B), and our current alphabet is the same as it was in 800 B.C. when it was first created. You lived in mud and wood huts in the forests of eastern Europe until recently, when we were living in three and four story buildings with running hot water and toilets with plumbing as far back as 2.000 B.C. (go to Akrotiri in Santorini and Knossos in Crete if you don’t know this). We invented modern medicine, mathematics, astronomy, drama, democracy, sports competitions and in general the modern culture and civilization that you enjoy today. You invented nothing. Furthermore, we speak today the same language as our ancestors did thousands of years ago. Including that great ancestor of all northern Greeks: Alexander the Great. You on the other hand speak the Slavic language that your ancestors brought here from the east. So, please, have some respect when you talk about my country and know who you are and who we are.
    P.S. As for the “crimes” and “genocide” that apparently us Greeks did against the “Macedonians”, just know that as we kicked the barbarian Turks out of our country 200 years ago, in the same way we kicked you barbarians from our country 100 years ago. Why are you complaining?

  164. avatar

    Dimitrios, if you had a point I have missed it. it wasn’t just slavs who lived in wooden huts and wore fur 2500 years ago, the vast majority of Europeans north of the Po Valley did. Which begs the question, if you had a head start of several millenia on most Europeans, why are you so far below the highest developed nations today and the fur wearing barbarians ages ahead of you?

    I certainly respect the contributions that Greeks have made to civilization, but if you think this gives you the right to look down upon the rest of Europe, think again. The fact is Greeks as a major world civilization were done right around the time that Roman troops walked into Corinth. The Eastern Roman Empire did reassert itself as a Hellenized entity around the 8th century AD but that was roughly when it began to decline and was later completely annihilated. Not however, before Byzantium signed onto the Council of Florence and basically ceded Orthodox Christianity to the Pope, and for what? Some Genovese ships that did nothing to defend Constantinople from the Ottomans. Had it not been for the Russian czar, your religion (and mine) would have now been a footnote in history. Like the Minoans.

    Join us in the 21st century Dimitrios. Where we don’t glorify acts of ethnic cleansing, where we worry less about what happened 3,000 years ago and more about what happened 10 years ago, when your government decided to take the lower interest rates on your bonds when they switched to the euro and instead of investing it, spent it like a drunken sailor in a portside brothel. Now the fate of the entire continent’s economy depends on whether or not the Germans can co sign your loans fast enough and the people who lent you the money can write off enough of their losses. That is Europe’s priority today, not Aristotle’s ethnic origins.

  165. avatar
    Dora Spiridis

    @ Belinda and the rest of the fYRoM citizens: Eliminating Opposition One Way or Another: The Case of the Expelled Swabian Germans and the Kidnapping of Greek children,el/

    Playing the victim card won’t get you anywhere… We are tired of it, the whole world is tired of it. I can imagine what brainwashing can do to a people. I can’t imagine why you refuse to search for the truth though, especially when it’s all around you.

    @The person who asked if I am a Golden Dawn voter: I am Greek through and through.. which means I received Greek education, I have the ethos, respect and follow the laws and ethics of my country, as Heraclitus, Democritus, Periander, Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, etc etc transfered to us through the millenia. I respect no ideology other than DEMOCRACY.

  166. avatar

    @Dora Spiridis:
    Democracy, really? Was that what the Spartans and Athenians practiced when half their people were considered helots and were a non voting slave class? Or when Alexander butchered half the known world? or when the Byzantines ruled as a theocratic dictatorship? Or your modern Kings, or your military junta until the 1970s? Don’t flatter yourself, you didn’t invent democracy, you invented the concept of majority rule and the British put it into practice combined with limited government. Saying Greece invented democracy is like saying Switzerland invented the space program because Einstein discovered modern physics while working as a clerk in Bern. I have never seen such a combination of historical ignorance with chauvinistic grandeur. Get over yourselves.

  167. avatar
    Dora Spiridis

    You will never get the concept of DEMOCRACY, no matter how hard you try Jovan. And please, get your history straight, you have mixed kingship with oligarchy and the lot. As for Switzerland… please check Capodistrias?

  168. avatar

    I have not mixed anything. Oligarchy was practiced in the Greek city states during classical times. Greece was a monarchy in the 19th and the majority of the 20th century. neither is a democratic form of rule, nor is the rule of a murderous self proclaimed god-king (Alexander), an absolutist dictator (hellenistic period), a theocratic one (Byzantine Emperor), or a military one (Regime of the Colonels). It would appear you are the one who is ignorant both of the definition of democracy, as well as 95% of your country’s history. Given the ridiculous opinions you hold, and given that you use openly racist terms like “mongrel nations” it is hardly a surprise.

  169. avatar
    Dora Spiridis

    And which books did you get that info from Jovan?

  170. avatar

    I am sorry which books did I get the information that Alexander’s Empire, Antipater’s Macedon, the Byzantine Empire, the Kingdom of Greece, or the Greek Military Junta were not democratic societies? Did you seriously ask me that?

  171. avatar
    Dora Spiridis

    I asked you for references Jovan. Could you please name the books and authors you got your information from?

  172. avatar


  173. avatar
    Dora Spiridis

    Titles an authors if you please, thank you

  174. avatar

    Dora you still haven’t answered my questions you babble on like a crazy person. How is it playing the victim? These things happened my grandfather lived through them. Yet its ok for you greeks to carry on over a name and a man. As for the other person talking about fur coats 2500 years ago, you are truly showing how ridiculous this debate is. I mean really, who the hell cares. There is nothing civilized or democratic about holding another nation hostage, making outrageous demands and toying with a people’s identity. I do know my history so lets talk about more modern times, something you Greeks hate to discuss is that most recently your lands (like the rest of the balkans) were occupied by the turks for hundreds of years. Need I say more, there is nothing pure about you! Also I do not hate Greece or its people, I’ve visited your country 3 times have some very close friends who are Greek. Its just you people on this website and in the rest of the world that spill their racist ignorant and hateful comments, who I dislike. I am MACEDONIAN, as are my parents, my grandparents my great great great grandparents. And as will my children be. Karma comes around people and i dare say greece you have got yours. Peace

  175. avatar

    mind my asking but any1 here even cared how greeks felt about?have you ever asked why all of the sudden we refuse your “identity”?are we so rasist ,dump or whatever?how about if your next door nation raised a flag with a symbol you believe it was yours?(isnt it the vergina sun a greek symbol?)and even when they sing to take it off they use it in every way every day from football fields to scarfs selling to tourists!!!! how do you think we feel when our cities and part of our country are in every map on your school books ans even worst on top of every black board in every classroom?belinda was talking about her grandparrents running to romania etc..but it was your grandparrents that couple a years ago they where killing mine exactly for that reason..what do you excpect? candies?we see your kids brainashed with a glorious past,your airports ,streets ,parks using our herritage names and wow.. you sing a treaty that you dont have territorial many treaties have been torn apart durring history? the list is long and i only have short time..if you wanna trully found why ..just get in our shoes and take ea pick of what you do to us for a change

  176. avatar

    BELINDA you say you are a macedonian do i..but hey are from a part of macedonia..why this give you and your ppl the right to claim the all ? and not only that..but also you claim the herritage of other ppl who was leaving here centuries before you! no1 in the balkans is pure race and crap..but the herritage and history of every race who lived in this spot of plannet arent issues serious enought for you?we have ppl here who came as refuges also so i can rly understand how you feel about your fam.. but there was a war! long ago.. do you think changing borders in balkans is something wise? if not(as i do) why dont you focus on the maps that includes my city in almost every classroom back in your home country? peace to u2

  177. avatar
    Georgios makris

    Macedonia is a lands name place of Greece, no one can have it because belongs to Greece, Alexander the great was Greek and not Slav, every know world belongs to greek history!……… you all ready know in America found greek church before colombos goes there……….if the UN want this Yugoslavians ex place have a stolen history and name soon we will solve the problem with war……..if ex yougoslavians think you can beat us then come and get it!. Molon lave.

  178. avatar
    Dora Spiridis

    @ Belinda: You are the ones who are keeping yourselves hostage with your false notions and megalomania. You will never realise of course how brainwashed you are, but I guess nobody would be willing to realise such an awful truth.

    You always talk about your right to self determination, but at the same time you deny that right to the 25% of the FYROM population who are of Albanian origin.

    Talking about double standards?

  179. avatar

    If by ‘denial’ you mean including the winner of the majority of Albanian votes in every coalition government since the country was created and giving them a meaningful participation in government including top ministerial portfolios, then yes, they are in “denial”.

  180. avatar

    In 1912 the northern border of the greek state was near Larissa in Thessaly. No Macedonia was part of the greek state. Greece occupied a part of Macedonia by the force of the army and for many years Greece considered the Macedonian territory as New Lands or Occupied Lands. There was also a state institution called Department of Colonization of the new territories! This is true history. As about greek ancient history (written mostly by greeks and pro-greeks historians), it actually claims that greeks were living everywhere (greeks, proto-greeks, proto-proto greeks, etc.): why do Greeks not claim those lands as theirs, too? Or do they…. They are pathetic, in their historical claims!

  181. avatar

    Do you have any clue about what you are saying? Who is denying the Albanians anything? They are a separate ethnic group who have all the rights, including unlimited use of their flag and language in every sector of society. What do they have to do with Greece not recognizing Macedonians identity? Albanians in Macedonia are also Macedonians but by statehood and regional belonging, we are talking about the ethnic Macedonians of Slav origin.

  182. avatar
    Dimitrios Zavlangas

    It is a joke to imply that Greeks did not put democracy in to practice, when we first in 594 B.C. elected democratically the first “archon” (i.e. prime minister) in Athens. His name was Solon and he ordered Draco to create the first democratic laws (i.e. constitution). In 510 B.C. Cleisthenes improved on the laws of democracy and then Pericles ruled democratically until Athens was occupied by the Spartans in 404 B.C. How much more democracy do you want? As for the slaves? Of course they could not vote since they were foreign prisoners of war.

    Let me answer a few of your questions. Like for example why is Greece so far behind western Europe today when it used to be the first in civilization, science and culture in the past. That is easy to answer. Because we are at the doorway of Europe and our job had always been to guard this doorway with our blood against barbarians coming into Europe from the east. Like your ancestors for example. Do the names Miltiades, Leonidas, Themistocles, Darius, Xerxes, Mohamed the conqueror etc mean anything to you? Greece was always either in war or conquered by some illiterate barbarian tribe. There can be no progress when you are ruled ruthlessly by savages.
    Second question. Germany. Let me laugh a little. Do you know how much money these barbarians owe to the Greek government and the Greek people? It was only 73 years ago that after we kicked the Italian’s butts back to Albania, the Germans came to save their weak allies and attacked us. We resisted for two weeks, longer than any other European nation (France fell in under a week). Then they came into Athens and raided the country’s safe depository stealing all the gold that was in it. Of course they called it a “military loan” and gave us receipts stating that they would pay this “military loan” back after the war was over. However, when the war ended, Germany was in ruins and so the “military loan” was forgotten and never repaid. Now, we are officially requesting the payment of this loan, along with compensation for every Greek family who’s civilian relatives were executed in cold blood. The resulting amount is much more than today’s Germany can pay. So you see that these barbarians owe us much more than we owe them. Get it?

    @ Belinda
    One thing you obviously don’t know Belinda, because you keep mentioning it wrongfully is that when Greece was under Turkish occupation, there were no mixed marriages and so no modern Greek is partly Turkish if that is what you imply. In order for a mixed marriage to happen, the Greek girl or boy would have to change religion to Muslim and so she or he was no longer Greek. After the liberation, every Muslim in Greece was an enemy and was either killed or left for Turkey. So, you see whether you like it or not, we are as Greek as it gets. There are repeated attempts to imply that today’s Greeks are not the same as the ancient ones, but this always ends up being unhistorical and unprovable. I for example know my roots a few centuries back and know that I am 100% Greek. It is the same with most Greeks.
    As for your roots and your ancestors, here is the story of “Slavo-macedonians”. Take a look and learn.

  183. avatar

    Being a Macedonian and not a FYROM,which by the way for Greeks who dont understand what FYROM stands for is Former Yugoslav Republic of MACEDONIA.Hence,it has allways been Macedonia even under Yugoslavia which means United Slavs. This year I believe is 2013? Maybe some racist people need to really understand that everyone has a right to call themselves what ever name they want.

    One comment by “jovan”,that slavs came to Macedonia 1000 years after Alexander the great is simply incorrect.There is no proof of this historically in any history book in the world.So please state facts an not fiction.And if slavs did migrate to the balkans/Macedonia where did the come from? Mars? The only one brain washed here is people who have a racist attitude to Macedonians.
    The only reason why Greeks an Bulgarians and some of the other neighbours deny Macedonians existance is their aspirations to claim Macedonia for themelves.

    The EU and NATO seem to think it is okay to allow racism against another country.To allow basic human rights.

    In the encyclopedia britanica there is plenty of proof that the Republic of Macedonia before the treaty in bucharest in 1912 was part of Agean Macedonia.So to say anything other then this is a lie! This arguement is really not helping anyone move forward.Greeks need to accept that we are MACEDONIAN! If Greeks are Macedonian then why dont you call yourselves Macedonian? but you call yourselves Greek? or more so Hellas. So why dont you change you name to Hellass? becuase your language is Helenic.

  184. avatar

    The Greeks were awarded Agean Macedonia by the British,French,US for the Greeks role in the WW1.So let’s not pretend that Macedonia has no right to claim this land. When the countries I just mentioned had no right to give land which was not theirs to give to another country.

    The thing is Greece really needs to learn how to live with this fact they are living in land which is not theirs.But if you want a real history lesson please contact me.(waits for the abuse from greeks).

    To move forward,instead of Greece denying Macedonia how about working together and living together? How about saying there are Greek Macedonians and there are Slav Macedonians and there are Turkish Macedonians and Serbian and Bulgarian Macedonians etc!? If everyone could accept this then people could move forward,instead of having vile racist things said about another human being.

    It’s like this for example:If you live in America and you have a Greek background,do you call yourself Greek only or a Greek American?

  185. avatar

    How stupid conversation and debate about something that no one has the right to change someone filing about himself, about his identity, about his legacy. Who are you to tell me how could or should I call myself. This is stupidity, no democracy. My name is and always will be Macedonia.

  186. avatar

    As always, the topic provokes a nationalistic and hegemonic response from part of the citizens of Greece, probably mainly members or supporters of Golden Dawn, while “the others” who are in the majority but repressed and bullied daily in their own country, still find direct ways of expressing their respect to the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia, and the Macedonians in general, for our peaceful and democratic progress towards our well deserved place in the EU and NATO, as publicly stated by all relevant authorities!
    After the declaration of independence, the Badinter Commision issued a report ( where many of the mentioned Greek “problems” with Macedonia where addressed, and if you read it you will see that the Greek position is formed on imaginary facts….further more the The Universal Declaration of Human Rights ( is clear in the rights of the Macedonians and the Citizens of the Republic of Macedonia, and counters the Greek demands!
    The democratic capacity and the willingness to promote good relations with all of our neighbors led Macedonian politicians to accept an THE INTERIM ACCORD with Greece, and after Macedonia honored all of its points Greece failed to do so or “Greece breached accord with former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – UN court” ( , as the ICJ report clearly defines (
    So what is the real problem? The problem is that some of the Greek politicians continue to facilitate a growing nationalistic and xenophobic culture in order to de-focus their citizens from the real problems of corruption, misuse of public and EU funds, the absence of real democracy and basic freedoms! (as many UN, EU and independent observers have concluded) They have the same approach towards the Albanians, Turks, Vlahs, Jews, Muslims and Chatolics, and they are WRONG!…otherwise why would all of their biggest supporters and friends actually support the Republic of Macedonia in this dispute, 136 countries do so including Serbia, USA, Canada, Russia, China, India!
    Dear friends, please read all of the facts and form your decision on them, not on who wins the argument by force or veto….because there is a reason why Our World should be based on justice and objectivity!

  187. avatar

    karlo who are you to steal my identity? to reverse your question ..and btw your name wasnt always macedonia.cause if it was you will have the etimology of the word in your vocabulary for example

  188. avatar
    Dimitrios Zavlangas

    Jovan is correct in saying that your Slav ancestors came to Greek northern Macedonia 1000 years after Alexander the Great. That is an undisputed historical fact. If you don’t know even that, then you should not post any comments here since you don’t know basic history and maybe you should go to school first. Or take a look at my last post and click on the links to watch a documentary about the history of the Slavs. Your ancestors came from the north east in the 6th and 7th centuries A.D. Alexander lived in Pella and Vergina in the 4th century B.C. Do the maths. There is a 1000 year gap. The lands you occupy today, were Alexander’s (in other words Greek), 1000 years before you people showed up in the area. Greeks are not imperialistic or aggressive people and this is why we don’t claim any of these lands back, although we have every right to do so. All we want is to for you to stop stealing our history, culture and heritage. There are international laws for the protection of Intellectual Property. I will make this as simple as possible so that even you might understand it. You Slavomacedonians are like a lazy boy at school that instead of doing his homework tries to steal another kid’s homework to show that he is a good student. You have no right to do that because the other kid might kick your ass or tell the teacher if you try to steal his homework. By “kick your ass” in this context I mean “take political and financial measures against FYROM and by “tell the teacher” I mean protest against your actions in the world organizations (UN & EU). Get it now?

  189. avatar

    ‘TOM..”There is no proof of this historically in any history book in the world.So please state facts an not fiction.And if slavs did migrate to the balkans/Macedonia where did the come from? Mars?” DO YOU IMPLY THAT SLAVS ARE NATIVE ????lets set some facts together and correct me if im wrong plz.. 1)are the majority of fYROM citizens slavic race or not? (yes or no plz) 2)was ancient macedons slavic race?(yes or no) 3)is macedonia a country or a geographic territory that is devited between 4 countries?lets start with that and then we can go along after you answer those simple questions! all love and peace

  190. avatar

    @Tom, I could agree on principle, yes, but we have to clarify that your example forms descriptions based contradictions!
    If “Greek American” = “Nationality Citizenship” than we have a problem, because there is no “Slav” country, furthermore the Greeks want to have the right to call Greek nationals (one person) that live in Greece with two names “Greek Greek” and “Macedonian Greek”, but exclude the right of that person to be called “Macedonian American”, and even is so they want to force everybody to deny the right of the “Macedonian Macedonians” to call themselves “Macedonian American” when they accept American citizenship!

  191. avatar

    @teo: How can you steal someone’s identity? We have no problem with your sense of belonging, you have. You can call yourself a Macedonians and Hellenes and Greeks and Spartans and Cretans and Byzantines and Americans and Egyptians as you like, we have no problem with it. We live for centuries in the territory called Macedonia and it makes sense to identify as Macedonians, as Bulgarians-Bulgaria, Albanians-Albania etc.. Macedonia is not only the life of Antigonids, much water leaked through this soil. Just as in Greece have changed many peoples and languages​​. Do you think that you are native??? You are pure nation as Hitler said??? Really??? That is your logic??? In whole world there are 100% or 70% states pure??? This theory exist in practice??? Really??? Who are you, racist, Nazi? In what time you are living? By your logic you are not orthodox Christians, because Christianity is the time of Jesus, and now nobody should call himself Christian; You are not Athenians, because great ancient philosophers talk about democracy that you depriving them of other people. I know where is your problem and the problem of Bulgaria, because you confiscate land 100 years ago, because the part that took Serbia became a state, and it bothers you: Having the stain of the past when brutally killing Orthodox Macedonians in Aegean and Pirin and Vardar Macedonia, only for territory and hegemony and assimilation. That is your problem and not the name dispute; because recognizing Macedonia you have to face with your dirty stain from your and our past.

  192. avatar
    Dimitrios Zavlangas

    I think that you are very confused. What you can’t understand is that Greece was always made out of many Greek city states (or “tribes” if you will). There were the Achaeans, the Spartans, the Messinians, the Athenians, the Corinthians, the Arcadians, the Thessalians, the Macedonians, the Thracians, the Cretans, the Ionians etc. These “tribes”, although 100% Greek, used to fight against each other for supremacy within Greece. However, during the Olympic, Delphic, Nemean and Isthmian athletic and theatrical games, they used to stop fighting and join each other to compete in sports. Also, during an external attack, they used to unite against the non-Greek barbarians. Since Greece is made up of all these tribes, it can not be called “Macedonia”, or “Thessaly”, or “Messinia” etc because it comprises of many Greek tribes. So, “Macedonia” can not be a nationality because it is a Greek province and tribe. The father of History, Herodotus, in his work “The Persian Wars” written in 450 B.C. gives a definition for who is “Hellene” or Greek and who is a barbarian. He says that Greek is he who speaks the Greek language, takes part in the Greek traditions and athletic and theatrical competitions, believes in the Greek 12 Gods and is of Greek parents. Everyone else is a barbarian. So, according to Herodotus’s definition, Alexander and the Macedonians were 100% Greek. Are you Greek? Why do you want to adopt a Greek name for yourselves?

  193. avatar
    Dimitrios Zavlangas

    In my honest and fair opinion, since you want to use the name “Macedonia” to show the area that you live on, but you are not Macedonians by ancestry and instead you are of Slavic ancestry, the only fair name for your country would be “Slavomacedonia” or “Slavic Macedonia” or “Slavic North Macedonia” or something like that. This name shows both your ancestry and the area that you live on. This is fair on you and fair of Greece too. But not “Macedonia” because it is wrong from every point of view (historical, ethnic, geographical, lingual etc).

  194. avatar
    Debating Europe

    We have decided to close this thread, as the discussion is again starting to move off-topic and becoming difficult to moderate.

    However, we would like to continue this debate in the future, and we have taken on board your comments, questions and criticism. We are now arranging interviews with relevant politicians and experts from all sides of the debate for a follow-up. In future, we will particularly be focusing on a more constructive approach to the debate, so please stay tuned for the next post on this issue.

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