I’d like to come up with more thoughtful and respectful titles for these posts. But, well.
Stupid #1: In the wake of the NATO summit, and Greece’s veto of Macedonian membership, there’s now a boycott campaign in Macedonia against Greek goods and Greek-owned businesses. Since Greece is one of Macedonia’s largest investors and trading partners, and since Greek tourism is particularly vital to the economically weak southern part of the country, this is pure stupidity; it will cost Macedonia, one of the poorest countries in Europe, millions of euros while accomplishing exactly nothing but to further damage relations between the two countries.
N.B., this idiocy is an entirely private initiative — Macedonian citizens and NGOs are doing this on their own, without the government’s encouragement. On the other hand, the government isn’t discouraging anyone, either.
About the only good thing to say about this is that it probably won’t last long.
Stupid #2: last week, Greece’s Ministry of Transport prohibited Macedonian Airlines from landing in Greece because… wait for it… its name is “Macedonian Airlines”.
Greece has kept MA out for several years already, but this is the first time they’ve explicitly said it’s because of the name.
I’m pretty sure this is illegal under international aviation agreements, but I welcome comments from those better informed. (Alex?)
On the plus side, Greece’s Foreign Minister has said that Greece could “eventually” abolish visas for Macedonians. So, two steps back, one forward.