Macedonia: boing!

Bungee government!

Two weeks ago I wrote about how Macedonia’s goverment had collapsed. Well, over the weekend it un-collapsed — PM Gruevski’s party and the Albanians reached an agreement and they’re coming back in office.

For now.

At least one Albanian minister seems to have resigned in protest over the deal, which suggests the Albanians aren’t getting much of what they wanted. More in a bit, perhaps.

In other Macedonian news, Greece continues to insist that they’ll veto Macedonia’s NATO membership next month if no agreement is reached on the name issue. Since “agreement”, to the Greeks, means “you can’t ever call your country by its actual, you know, name“, this is unlikely.

That probably deserves a post of its own, except that the Macedonia name issue is so stupid that it’s almost physically painful to write about it. Maybe sometime.

13 thoughts on “Macedonia: boing!

  1. If this issue is so painful to write about I suggest you try and write about the true issue that most reporters seem to ignore.

    This issue is not over a name, this issue is about 1 nation trying to assume the identity of another nation.

    This problem will not be solved through the name debate, this problem will be resolved when countries like the US act responsibly and truthfuly and this is not likely while G.W.Antichrist.Bush is in power.

    Step up Douglas Muir and be a true reporter and report the truth and not this political mirrage.

    Douglas give us your true opninion who is related to the Ancient Macedonians (Greece or FYROMacedonia)?
    Be the first to tackle the real issue!

  2. if only you greeks could see yourselves through the eyes of the rest of the world.
    the real issue is the relentless greek name irridentism.
    regardless of what you have been taught,
    macedonia is where we live.
    macedonians is what we are.
    i understand your national frustration,you have been lied to for almost 100 years.
    do yourself a favour and study the events from the treaty of 1913 when macedonia was annexed ( it wasnt the greeks “liberating macedonia from the ottomans”.
    the so called land you liberated we see as being occupied and the macedonian people that were on the greek side of the new border were and have been persecuted ever since.
    it is all documented not made up or fictitious or anything other than fact!
    start with the treaty of bucharest in 1913 just do a google,dont be affraid,enlighten yourself,do it for the sake of truth.
    then read the treaty of versailles 1919.
    keep me posted on your progress .

  3. “This issue is not over a name, this issue is about 1 nation trying to assume the identity of another nation.”

    Being a Greek myself, I’d argue that this issue os about one nation (Greece) trying to determine the identity of another nation (Macedonia).

    By trying to force what they are gonna call themselves, we are trying to violate the Republic of Macedonia’s national sovereignty, and the root thereof: namely their right to self-identification.

    It is also my belief that we’re doing so in significant part due to it’s convenience for the schemes of our Russian overlords who don’t want to see NATO expanded if they can help prevent it.

    History will one day determine our nation’s attempts to alter another nation’s name to have been obscene.

  4. If there are any persecuted Macedonians then they shouldn’t be living in Greece. They can leave their very comfortable lives in Greece and go to the very underdeveloped homeland they so cherish.
    My guess is that not one of them will do so. And any talk of them being persecuted is a load of crap coming from people who don’t know what the situation is really like.
    It’s nice to stick up for the little guy, that’s just human nature. But this get on the FYROMacedonia bandwagon is just illogical.
    And another thing, the learned folks in the rest of the world know a thing or two about history and that’s something that can’t be refuted nor constitutes propaganda. Foreign universtiies are spewing the truth just like the schools in Greece are.
    Here’s a scenario. Scotland gains independence and for some idiotic reason calls itself England(this would mean that they disregard who they are and their history). What pray tell would the average chap in a pub in say London think about that?
    Far fetched I know but I’ll say this. The only reason you disregard the former thought is that everyone knows that Scotland has a history. Not everyone can say that in this dispute now, can they?

  5. Pingback: Global Voices на македонски » Македонија: Владата не се распаѓа

  6. “If there are any persecuted Macedonians then they shouldn’t be living in Greece.”

    Spoken like a supporter of ethnic cleansing. You disgust me.

    The proper answer of a democrat would be that if there are persecuted Macedonians we should all be working together to end their persecution.

    Not what the Greek chauvinists would want of course. Greek people in the 1990s were even driven to court for suggesting we ought recognize the neighboring country as “Slavic Macedonia”.

  7. hey nick,
    i feel for you because you honestly believe we (Macedonians )are trying to steal somethig from you.
    We dont see it that way,we believe we are Macedonian,you believe Macedonia is Greek,mate you are miss led,some of those persecuted people you say should leave Greece are not in “Greece” as far as they are concerned they are from where their grandparents were born,in Macedonia….that is until 1913 when after annexation. (you are led to believe it was the liberation)they were all of a sudden in a differnt country?
    By simply moving a border one can not change the existing indigenous people (Ethnic Macedonians)into Greeks nor can it realy change one country into another as Greece has tried to do for s o long.Are you aware of what happened to most of the existing Macedonians at that time?,most greek people dont know,but every macedonian since 1913 knows.
    Are you aware of where the greatest poulation came from to fill the void left by the indigenious people? Over the next4 or 5 years 1.5 million people were brought in to settle the area from Aasia Minor!,this is fact.
    So for you to say what you have above suggests to me ignorance or anger,educate your self on this issue as you brave countryman Aris has.
    We are not out to steal anything from anyone.
    The Macedonian people who you hate so much resisted (as did the Greeks) the ottomans who would have had us become muslims but allowed us to still be macedonian,we resisted the Bulgarians who would have us become bulgarians but allowed us with distaste to call ourselves macedonians,we resisted the Serbs who would have us become Serbs but allowed us some autonomy and recognised us a Macedonians,and to this day there are Macedonians resisting the greek state which having failed at converting them to greeks even with its best efforts of name changes, forbidding native language and customs,all manner of prohibitions is now trying to prohibit us from being “Macedonians” in our own country!
    Are you people for real!?
    When will your insanity stop!?

  8. I am a greek from the island of Lefkada. So I call myself “greek” and “lefkadian”. If I were from the area of Macedonia, I would call myself “greek” and “macedonian”. That is because “Macedonia” is a geographical term.
    The geographical area of Macedonia spreads to three countries (Greece, Bulgaria and FYROM), and there was a lot of bloodshed before today’s borders were settled in 1913. Even after that, the communist regime of former Yugoslavia used the area’s name for propaganda purposes against the cold-war enemy, Greece.
    The people who live in FYROM can call themselves Peruvians or Marsians or even Macedonians if so they like. And they can claim as ancestors Moses, or Aristotle, or IT. No one cares. These are the balkans however, and today’s joke is tomorrow’s war.
    So us Greeks, who were members of NATO since it’s foundation, members of the EU since 1980, and factor of stability and development in the Balkans when our neighbours were killing each other in the streets of their cities, must take some precautions.
    Namingly, we must make sure that, even if our neighbours want to fantasize with their name, if and when a leader of them claims the whole area of Macedonia for his glorious people “Macedonians”, (and such leaders are not a rarity in Balkans), he will immediately become the laughing stock of the international community, and any potential “supporter” will think twice before he acts.
    To put it simply, and because greeks have been around for a long time, we fight with words today in order to make sure that we will not be obliged in the furure to fight with other, more hurtful means.

  9. Hey Aris,

    I suppose you are a true democrat, eh?
    Why should I support people who would rather see a FYROMian government in Northern Greece? You think that would make me more democratic? Nah, I think not. I think I would just be suckering up to the intelligentsia’s hopeless attempt to give this whole issue a more civil face.
    I’m for democracy just like most rational souls, but when you’re dealing with people who will not negotiate and just stubbornly stick to a poem they’ve learnt from a young age then I have to draw the line. The name Macedonia is as Greek as the idea of democracy itself.
    And Aris if you think that any wrongdoing has been made against anyone in Greece then make some official accusations so we know just how undemocratic Greeks really are.

  10. First of all, Greece is NOT telling fyrom what to call itself. We are simply saying that
    1)you cannot deny the right of greek macedonians to call themselves macedonians. They have and want to have no relation with fyromians. So we need
    a name that will recognize this fact: That Macedonia is a geographical region, and greek macedonians are no less macedonian than fyromians
    So a name like “northwest macedonia”, or “slavoalbanian macedonia” would be ok for greece, and it would actually be, at least in part, the truth.
    FYROM’s incistence is like any European country renaming itself “republic of Europe”, say thet are the European nation, and expecting other Europeans to recognize them as such
    2) when fyrom prints maps with their flag including greek macedonia, we do not need to make friends with a country that seeks greek territory.
    Like Nick said, we are fighting with words to prevent generations of fyromians growing up with the ultra-nationalistic VMRO propaganda that somehow greek macedonia was taken from them and they need to take it back or liberate the non-existent fyromian minority in greece, as opposed to the existing greek minority in fyrom.
    Some people say that Fyrom is too small and poor to pose a threat, but so was Kossovo to pose a threat to Yugoslavia and also Lebanon(actually one political party of it) to start a war with Israel. So clear relations make for good friends.
    3) Last, “Truth is the Daughter of Time”
    at least you are not repeating the “Alexander the great was fyromian” delusions, but you still repeating Tito’s brainwashing. First,
    1913 by all accounts Macedonia was liberated. If there is one thing that all Balkan people agree on, regardless of their problems, even Serbs and Albanians, is that ottoman times were dark times, so liberation from ottomans was by all means liberation.
    Second, before 1913 there was a covert struggle between Bulgarian comitadji and the greek po
    pulation of macedonia with the help of greek volunteers. No way to deny that there was a greek population in macedonia (who else helped the volunteers fight a covert war under the nose of the ottomans?). Noway to deny that there was also a non-greek(Bulgarian) population there(where did the comitadji come from), as there were greek populations in whatis today Bulgaria and fyrom.
    Subsequently there were population exchanges between balkan countries. So there was always a big greek population in Macedonia, the right of which to call itself macedonian you deny. We can also go back even further and say what was the population before the bulgarians came and why go back to 1913 and not to Alexanders or the early byantine times? By the same token why not go back to 1922, and claim Asia Minor?
    From your post it is clear that you want nothing sort of a border change. This is exactly what we are saying we want to prevent.

  11. “Being a Greek myself, I’d argue that this issue os about one nation (Greece) trying to determine the identity of another nation (Macedonia).”
    wtf? If your “Macedonia” gets the name as they wish and everything “macedonian” refers to them, don’t the greek Macedonians, who after all are a) more than the fyro-“macedonians”, b) have a larger part of the region(and one that was always Macedonia instead of borderlie so) and c) have a much stronger historical connection to the region lose their regional identity?
    After all your “Macedonia” has already attempted to use this confusion to claim a “macedonian minority” in greek Macedonia! Hello? There are 2,5 million macedonians there who DO NOT WANT to be a minority, as shown by ELECTION RESULTS. Why should the name refer a handful of loonies and not to the 2,5 million Macedonians?
    If I am a Macedonian from Thessaloniki, why should everything “macedonian” not refer to me and refer instead to someone else. What if “Macedonia” were to call itself Scotland and
    start exporting “scottish salmon” or something?
    This is completely insane!

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