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Big Bad Sven 04-08-2019 08:46 PM

[QUOTE=Tomche Makedonche;180326][url][/url]

[B]North Macedonia name change both heals and divides[/B]

The Prespa Agreement changing the country's name officially settled decades of bitter dispute between Skopje and Athens. But Teri Schultz found domestic debate still going strong.

In the Republic of North Macedonia, many people still trip over their tongues, trying to get used to what they must now call their country.
Well, not everyone is trying.

"Not me —*not me. No, not at all," avowed former*diplomat Martin Trenevski, who served as his nation's envoy to Sweden, Canada and NATO while*it was provisionally called the "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" (FYROM). Trenevski retired before the current government accepted the Prespa Agreement and he refuses to comply with the name change, albeit just in a personal capacity. "Luckily I'm a pensioner now," he said with a chuckle, "so I don't have to —*and I will not."

His wife, sitting at the other end of their dinner table, shakes her head. Vasilka Poposka was Skopje's ambassador to Austria as the Prespa Agreement was in its final stages of negotiation. She often facilitated those meetings and saw up close just how high the stakes were. "There was no other way, for sure," she said with conviction. "I saw that it was not easy for both sides, for the Greeks and for our side. I'm sure that nobody's happy with this, but we knew it that we have to do this."*

"Maybe I'm more pragmatic," she shrugged. "'North Macedonia' for me is not so bad," she added.

[U]There goes the (Vergina) sun[/U]

But it's not only the name that has to change, and that's something both former diplomats acknowledge their citizens —*and even themselves —*haven't quite grasped completely yet. National monuments will have new placards clarifying that there are different interpretations of historical claims.*Everyone's worried about what they can and can't do under the new agreement, how strictly it will be interpreted and what symbols could be deemed a violation.

Additionally, the agreement stipulates the removal of the iconic Vergina Sun from public use in the Republic of Macedonia; a committee will review school textbooks, historical documents and maps in both countries to mandate removal of content deemed "irredentist,"*demanding the restoration of their country.

That's a problem for Trenevski. With obvious emotion, he gestured around his art-adorned home in downtown Skopje. A former journalist and author of several history books, he feels Prespa is wiping out large parts of his country's past with the required changes. "I have on the wall a map from the early 17th century," he explained. "It says Macedonia! But in the new editions of history books, it should be something else."

He's referring to the part of the Prespa Agreement that says a joint committee of interdisciplinary experts will be examining textbooks, teaching guides, atlases and other official documents to see what should be changed. Skopje already agreed to change the flag it used from 1992 to 1995 because Athens*insisted the Vergina Sun symbol it contained is Greek.

[U]Paying for Prespa[/U]*

Trenevski believes the price for Prespa was too high. "We should have grasped the opportunity in making a better deal," he insisted.

Poposka, for her part, said it was made clear to her in no uncertain terms that if her government scuttled this agreement the "deep freeze could go deeper." She said everyone in the international community had wanted to help Skopje but only if it helped itself. "The price is big," she agreed, "but we have to live with this."

And there were immediate rewards. The agreement opened the long-shut door to NATO, which Trenevski himself had pounded on for years in his Brussels posting. Now North Macedonians, especially the younger generations, are hoping the European Union opens its arms, too, and offers the country a smooth path to membership.

[U]Passport to the past[/U]

The couple's daughter and her Canadian husband recently returned to live in North Macedonia, fulfilling their plans to raise a family there with the birth of their daughter, Sophia, in October. Holding her giggling baby, Galena Cunningham said she views the situation with mixed feelings.

Once the Prespa Agreement was approved and the name change was imminent, the Cunninghams rushed to apply for Sophia's passport so that it would say "Republic of Macedonia" and not "North Macedonia." They succeeded with only five days to spare. "Sentimentally, I really wanted at least her first passport to be from the Republic of Macedonia," Cunningham said. "It's okay that her next passport is going to be*North Macedonia, but this does mean a lot to me."

At the same time, she acknowledged there was no other way to break out of North Macedonia's rut. "This was the only step forward," she said. "We're not magically going to be the same as the Western countries, but this is one step closer." After the last meeting with North Macedonia's leaders, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini chief said it is still the bloc's*desire —*and plan — to open*negotiations*with Skopje this year.

Cunningham believes that if that better future starts to become clear, some people will still be upset with the mandated changes in signs, monuments, textbooks and other federally-funded items, but that will be a minority. "The name change was the biggest issue with people," she said. "But since that was accepted so well then I think everything will be okay."

Except perhaps at her parents' house, where her father continues to lament the conditions of Prespa. "If I ask for my birth certificate it will say that I was born ... in North Macedonia, which is not the case!" lamented TrenevskI. "I was born in the Republic of Macedonia."[/QUOTE]

Funny article. It pretty much sums up what is happening in Macedonia and the fact that people have pretty much accepted the Prespa agreement, saying its not all that bad.

Some crazy things these peopele are saying:

- I'm sure that nobody's happy with this, but we knew it that we have to do this."*"Maybe I'm more pragmatic," she shrugged. "'North Macedonia' for me is not so bad," she added.

- The name change was the biggest issue with people," she said. "But since that was accepted so well then I think everything will be okay."

There is only one smart thing this stupid peasant woman said and it was:
"She said everyone in the international community had wanted to help Skopje but only if it helped itself. "The price is big," she agreed, "but we have to live with this."
I strongly believe that if Macedonians where united from the beginning up until today they would have gotten more international support from the international community against the shiptars, against the greeks and maybe the prespa agreement wouldn’t have come out so embarrassing.

Niko777 04-16-2019 09:25 PM

The government of North Macedonia recently changed the name of the country's public news service from "Macedonian Information Agency" to "Media Information Agency", therefore keeping the same acronym "MIA". They think they're so clever...

Meanwhile Greece get's to keep the name of it's public news service unchanged "Athens-Macedonian News Agency".

kompir 04-16-2019 10:51 PM

I propose a new name for the Hellenic state: "New Idea"

Because they are full of made up shit and a recent invention.

[SIZE="1"]The Australians on here will get it :D[/SIZE]

Karposh 04-17-2019 08:32 AM

Kompir, don't give up your day job :) I think comedy is best left to RtG.

Niko777 05-21-2019 10:42 AM

A directional sign in Kavala the shows the name Konstaninopoulis with the Byzantine double headed eagle. What would happen if in Skopje there was a sign showing the direction of "Solun" with the Macedonian sun on a red background?


Carlin15 05-21-2019 09:40 PM

[B]Greek fighter jets test radar coverage of N. Macedonia in NATO-linked overflights[/B]


21 May, 2019

[B][COLOR="Blue"]North Macedonia says fighter jets from neighboring Greece have carried out NATO-linked test overflights of its territory as part of the country’s process of joining the alliance, AP reports.[/COLOR][/B]

Two flights on Tuesday tested radar and communications coverage of North Macedonia, its Defense Ministry said. North Macedonia has no fixed-wing military aircraft, and NATO has a program to protect the airspace of members that do not have sufficient means of their own.

North Macedonia is set to become NATO’s 30th member by the end of this year, after NATO member Greece dropped its long-standing objections. The move followed a deal to normalize relations between Athens and Skopje that saw Macedonia renamed North Macedonia.

The “name deal” also cleared the way for the small former Yugoslav republic to pursue accession to the EU.

Gocka 06-25-2019 11:35 PM

Discrimination?! If that's discrimination, then WTF do we call what was done to us for the last 25 years! Mother *******! I swear the world makes less sense to me every single day.


[B]Northies' Has Crept Into The Macedonian Debate. Will It Ever Go Away?[/B]

[Quote]Even before Macedonians' decades-old spat with neighboring Greece was finally resolved earlier this year, the new name-calling had begun.

Referendum "boycotters," social-media trolls, and some other critics were already belittling as "Northies" (северџан/severchan) their fellow Macedonians who took part in the process to rename their ​former Yugoslav republic North Macedonia and ease Greek concerns that territorial claims on their region called Macedonia were just a matter of time.

And while the "Northie" name-calling appears to have abated since the implementation of the so-called Prespa Agreement that guided the name change to North Macedonia, its use continues, especially hashtagged on social media but also occasionally in more traditional media.

And the practice is a matter of concern to some.

Mirjana Najcevska calls it a textbook case of "hate speech."

"By using this term, a certain group of people is seeking to dehumanize or, in this case, 'de-identify,'" Najcevska, who specializes in rights and discrimination issues for the Institute for Sociological, Political, and Juridical Research, told RFE/RL's Balkan Service.

"Some people seek to label others in a way that not only degrades and humiliates but also takes away certain characteristics -- either to limit the rights of those people in a given situation or to create a hostile atmosphere and in future justify violent behavior toward that group of people."

Supporters of a boycott of the name-change referendum in Skopje in September 2018.
Supporters of a boycott of the name-change referendum in Skopje in September 2018.

Others counter that even if the intention is to insult, the term "Northies" is so matter-of-fact that it doesn't pack the kind of punch that is likely to truly divide Macedonian society.

"It's not hate speech," Angel Mojsovski, a researcher with the Skopje-based European Policy Institute, a think tank, told RFE/RL. "Maybe it's meant to be an insult from those who are saying [it], but it doesn't mean anything. What does 'severchan' mean? Nothing. 'People who are living in North Macedonia.'"

He noted that the "Northie" label was initially being applied by detractors to anyone who was participating in the referendum, including liberals who would go on to back Prespa or nationalists who turned out to oppose the name change, stripping it of much real meaning.

Mojsovski suggested that such insults could melt away with political realignments in Macedonia, leaving a short-sighted term like "Northie" behind.

But such a warning is especially pertinent in the Balkans, where the breakup of Yugoslavia was accompanied by a decade of bitter conflict fueled by nationalism, ethnic rivalries, and strategic ambitions.

NATO, EU Ambitions

Many of those ambitions have since been replaced with hopes of joining NATO and the European Union, as fellow former Yugoslav republics Slovenia and Croatia have done.

Skopje has already signed an accession protocol with NATO that awaits ratification in allied capitals.

But as the European Union drags its feet on expansion and with eager Macedonians already frustrated by a lack of economic opportunities, critics warn that healing the divisions over the Prespa process might be made more difficult.

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev's center-left government negotiated the Prespa Agreement in part on the basis of a referendum in September that equated a solution to the name dispute with EU and NATO membership.

"Are you in favor of European Union and NATO membership by accepting the agreement between the Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Greece?" the referendum asked voters in the mountainous country of some 2.1 million people.

Macedonians overwhelmingly approved it, albeit with only about one in three eligible voters casting ballots.

EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn called the endorsement "very significant."

Many Macedonians saw those and other indications as an assurance that resolution of the name squabble would immediately launch the country into accession talks, a yearslong goal of Skopje's foreign policy.

But North Macedonia was recently shunted along with Albania into EU limbo despite a European Commission recommendation for the start of those negotiations, reportedly in part because of objections by EU members France and the Netherlands.

There are concerns that the seeming contradictory actions by the EU might provide political ammunition against the "Northies."

One "boycotter" last week posted a video of Zaev reading the referendum question from last summer, punctuating the message with a #Northie tag.

So the bout of "Northie" name-calling could well continue, and it could leave a bitter taste in a lot of Macedonians' mouths, particularly if the European Union continues to keep them at arm's length.

But it is unlikely to rile Macedonians too much, or to create any intractable problems in their newly renamed country.

"We mind our own business. We're here eating and drinking and going on with our lives," said Mojsovski. "Most of the divisions that I see -- and maybe it's a global problem, I don't know -- if you just follow social media, you'll think that all hell is breaking loose. But if you go out among real people, you don't get that feeling, especially in Skopje. It's not like we're killing each other."[/quote]

Carlin15 07-07-2019 08:09 PM

[B]North Macedonia changes name of army[/B]



North Macedonia changed the name of its army to abide by the provisions of the Prespes accord, the deal signed with Greece last year to end a decades-old dispute over the country’s name, state-run news agency ANA-MPA reported Thursday.

The country added the adjective “north” to become the army of the Republic of North Macedonia.

Carlin15 10-14-2019 08:52 AM


Oct 13, 2019

It’s all in the name for North Macedonia’s NATO, EU bids

[I]For years, the nation known until recently as the Republic of Macedonia has worked to gain NATO and European Union membership, with efforts blocked by Greece because of a dispute over its name. But in February, the country adopted a new name, North Macedonia, and is hopeful the name change will open the door for membership. Special correspondent Christopher Livesay reports.[/I]

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