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-   -   Macedonia & Greece: Name Issue (http://www.macedoniantruth.org/forum/showthread.php?t=1556)

Tomche Makedonche 06-17-2018 08:09 PM

[url]http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/divisive-skopje-2014-landmarks-find-new-purpose-06-14-2018[/url]

[B]Macedonia to Rename Divisive Statues That Irked Greece[/B]

Monuments erected in the Macedonian capital under the Skopje 2014 project – often depicting figures from Classical Antiquity that angered Greece – are to get new inscriptions honouring Greek-Macedonian friendship

Huge statues erected in recent years in the Macedonian capital of the ancient warrior kings Alexander the Great and Filip of Macedon – as well as that of Alexander’s mother, Olympia – will be officially renamed and marked in honour of Greek-Macedonian friendship, the Macedonian government has announced.

[B][U]“The monuments will get plates with explanations. For example, 'Equestrian Warrior' will be called 'Alexander the Great' – with an explanation that he symbolises the Ancient Hellenic period and remains a symbol of friendship between Macedonia and Greece. The same will apply to the statues of Filip and Olympia,” government spokesperson Mile Bosnjakovski said.[/U][/B]

[B][U]“These monuments will be marked for the purpose of strengthening our friendship. We are not afraid to call the monuments as they are,” Bosnjakovski added.[/U][/B]

The giant statues in the centre of the city form the centrepiece of the controversial Skopje 2014 project – a government-sponsored revamp of the capital.

They were erected in 2011 and 2012 by the then nationalist government of former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.

However, the statues were officially never named after the ancient figures they represented, in a futile attempt not to anger Athens, which still called them acts of cultural theft.

For example, the Alexander the Great statue was merely called “Equestrian Warrior” and his father Filip's statue was simply named “Ancient Warrior”.

Their erection still annoyed Athens, which saw the move as a provocation and an attempt to appropriate what it considers exclusively Hellenic figures.

At the heart of the problem was not the statues but the long-standing dispute between the two countries over the name "Macedonia".

After Greece blocked Macedonia’s NATO accession in 2008 over the unresolved dispute, and did the same next year with the start of EU accession talks, the government in Skopje turned towards more hard-line words and gestures, among other things erecting more statues that it indirectly linked to Macedonian heritage.

The move to rename the statues comes just days after the Macedonian government led by Zoran Zaev reached a historic deal with Greece aimed at ending the "name" dispute, which now has to be implemented.

Under the agreement, Macedonia is to change its name to “Republic of North Macedonia” in exchange for swift accession to NATO and the start of EU accession talks.

Tomche Makedonche 06-17-2018 08:21 PM

Some reports on the signing and consequent protests

[QUOTE][url]https://www.sbs.com.au/news/protests-erupt-as-historic-deal-to-end-macedonia-name-dispute-signed[/url]

[B]Protests erupt as 'historic' deal to end Macedonia name dispute signed[/B]

Greece and Macedonia have signed an agreement to resolve their bitter differences over the use of the name Macedonia amid widespread protests

Protests have erupted after Greece and Macedonia signed a historic preliminary agreement to rename the small Balkan nation the Republic of North Macedonia, ending a row that has poisoned relations between the two neighbours since 1991.

The foreign ministers of the two nations signed an accord on Sunday amid angry protests on both sides of the border.

In the Macedonian capital Skopje, hundreds of nationalists hit the streets to protest the decision, with police firing stun grenades and tear gas into the crowd.

A Reuters witness saw protesters throwing stones at police and chanting, "Macedonia, Macedonia we will give our lives for Macedonia."

Across the border, in the Greek village of Pisoderi, about 3000 people rallied against the historic deal. At least six people were injured in clashes with police.

The accord aims to start unravelling one of the world's longest diplomatic disputes, which began 27 years ago with Macedonia's declaration of independence but whose roots date back centuries.

"This is a brave, historic and necessary step for our peoples," said Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

"We are here to heal the wounds of time, to open a path for peace, fraternisation and growth for our countries, the Balkans and Europe."

Macedonia Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said: "Our two countries should step out of the past and look to the future. By signing the agreement... we have really moved mountains."

Zaev and several of his ministers arrived by speedboat at the picturesque fishing village of Psarades under a sunny sky, on the southern bank of Lake Prespa, one of the natural boundaries between the two countries.

Tsipras and Zaev embraced on the village dock and were treated to a standing ovation by gathered dignitaries.

“We have a historic responsibility that this deal is not held in abeyance.”

UN under-secretary-general for political affairs Rosemary DiCarlo, longterm UN negotiator Matthew Nimetz, EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini and EU enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn were on hand, snapping pictures with their smartphones.

Nimetz, who turned 79 on Sunday, and was given a birthday cake, has been trying to broker a solution since 1994, first as a US envoy and subsequently on behalf of the United Nations.

But it was the election of Zaev in 2017, replacing nationalist prime minister Nikola Gruevski, that proved crucial.

An economist and former mayor of Strumica, Zaev made a rapprochement with Greece a priority to secure his country's membership of the European Union and NATO, blocked by Athens for years.

After the signature, Tsipras crossed over to the Macedonian side of Lake Prespa for lunch, becoming the first Greek prime minister to visit the neighbouring state.

Since 1991, Athens has objected to its neighbour being called Macedonia because it has its own northern province of the same name, which in ancient times was the cradle of Alexander the Great's empire - a source of intense pride for modern-day Greeks.

The two premiers, born just months apart in 1974, have bucked strong hostile reactions at home to push ahead with the agreement.

[U]Accusations of treachery[/U]

Tsipras has been accused of treachery by Greek hardliners, and on Saturday defeated a vote of censure against his government amid protests and clashes with police outside parliament.

In Macedonia, President Gjorge Ivanov plans to exercise a one-time veto option to block the deal that the nationalist opposition has called a "capitulation".

The Macedonian parliament is scheduled to start debating the agreement the coming week.

The accord still needs to be approved by Macedonia's parliament and then pass a referendum.

The Macedonian constitution must also be revised by the end of the year, before Greece's parliament is called to ratify it.

[U]'Brave steps'[/U]

Tsipras' domestic critics say he has bargained away Greece's diplomatic advantages - the power of veto over EU and NATO accession - for a deal that could backfire.

Specifically, by officially recognising a Macedonian language and nationality, it is almost certain that the country will be called Macedonia by the broader world, instead of North Macedonia, opponents of the deal argue.

Officials in Athens insist the deal will help stabilise the historically volatile Balkan region, permitting Greece to focus on other regional challenges, Turkey among them.

Macedonia was admitted to the United Nations in 1993 under the provisional name of the "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", but more than 120 countries including Russia and the United States have recognised the Balkan country under the name of "Republic of Macedonia".

Skopje hopes to secure a date to begin EU accession talks at a bloc's summit in late June and an invitation to join NATO in mid-July.[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE][url]https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/greeks-and-macedonians-protest-signed-pact-on-name-20180618-p4zm2h.html[/url]

[B]Greeks and Macedonians protest signed pact on name[/B]

Berlin: Greece and Macedonia signed an agreement on Sunday to resolve one of Europe's longest-running international disputes.

At Lake Prespa, on the border between the two countries, the Greek and Macedonian foreign ministers signed a deal they hoped would bring an end to 27 years of enmity over who are the true heirs of Alexander the Great.

However, hundreds of Greek nationalists voiced their opposition to the deal as they clashed with riot police near the village of Pisoderi, 25 kilometres away from the ceremony.

Macedonians also protested the deal in the southern Macedonia town of Bitola

A woman was hit on the head by a rock and a man was being treated for breathing trouble, health officials said, as about 500 demonstrators waving Greek flags tried to approach the signature ceremony

Under the agreement, Macedonia is to be renamed Northern Macedonia. In return, Greece will drop its long-standing block on its northern neighbour joining NATO and the EU, and end objection to the use of the Macedonia name.

"This is a brave, historic, and necessary step for our peoples," Greeke Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said as he watched the lakeside ceremony.

Macedonia Prime Minister Zoran Zaev called upon Greeks and Macedonians to "step out of the past and look to the future".

The signing was a personal triumph for the two leaders, despite opposition in both countries. Tsipras survived a no-confidence vote over the deal on Saturday, while Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov has threatened to veto the name change. Ivanov's veto cannot prevent the change, but only delay it.

But the agreement has to be put to the Macedonian public in a referendum and ratified by both countries' parliaments. Macedonia joining NATO could also anger Russia. "Moscow has noticeably refused to endorse the agreement," said Professor James Ker-Lindsay of St Mary's University, Twickenham. "There will be fears that Russia may try to somehow influence the vote."

If ratified, the deal will end the compromise under which Macedonia had to be referred to as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia at the UN and other bodies

The dispute dates back to the break-up of the former Yugoslavia. When Macedonia declared its independence in 1991, there was already a Greek region of the same name. Greece objected to the new country's use of the name. But the roots of the issue go back much further, to Alexander the Great, who died in 323BC at the age of 32. Alexander was born in Pella, in ancient Macedonia, which lies in the modern Greek region of Macedonia.

Greece accused Macedonia of attempting to appropriate one of its cultural icons. For Macedonians, the name and their history as part of Alexander's empire gave them an identity separate from their Yugoslav past. A tug-of-war ensued, in which Greece blocked Macedonia from using the Star of Vergina, a symbol associated with Alexander, as its flag, and Macedonia built oversized statues of him in its capital, Skopje.[/QUOTE]

This line here from an article by the Guardian almost knocked me off my feet!!!

[url]https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/17/macedonia-greece-dispute-name-accord-prespa[/url]

[QUOTE]Changing hearts and minds on an issue that is as much about identity – ethnic, cultural and linguistic – as it is about pride, will be paramount in the runup to a referendum that Zaev has called for the autumn at the latest.

[B][U]But the social democrat, who has been likened to John F Kennedy[/U][/B], is also described as a natural peacemaker by supporters desperate to see their impoverished country join the rest of the world.[/QUOTE]

Yep, you read that right, they just compared Zaev with Kennedy, and looks like the propaganda and political pressure is set to be applied liberally by Europe's interested parties

[QUOTE]But while the path ahead is strewn with potholes, both sides have said there is no going back. Affiliate parties in Europe have already begun jockeying to convince politicians in Athens and Skopje that the row has to end.

The Lake Prespa accord erases the last trace of the old Yugoslavia. With the adoption of its new name, Macedonia will not only assume a new title, it will ultimately change the map of Europe. [/QUOTE]

Tomche Makedonche 06-17-2018 08:24 PM

Any word/response yet coming out of the MOC?, from my understanding, the terms of the agreement would require them to change their name as well?

kompir 06-17-2018 09:01 PM

[QUOTE=Vangelovski;174123]Its this kind of fundamental misunderstanding of the democratic system that has gotten Macedonians into this mess to begin with. But my point was that the actions of the government called for the people to remove it by force if necessary, which is their fundamental right.

But again it was the Macedonian people who did not care enough about their own affairs and allowed this to happen. Two million people cannot allow 120 to do as they please and then complain that they couldn't hold such a miniscule group to account.[/QUOTE]

How is it a fundamental misunderstanding of the democratic system? What we have today is an illusion of democracy and people power, be it Macedonia or anywhere else.

Vangelovski 06-17-2018 09:15 PM

[QUOTE=kompir;174128]What we have today is an illusion of democracy and people power, be it Macedonia or anywhere else.[/QUOTE]Your statement is a fundamental misunderstanding of democracy. But I don't have the time or the patience to discuss the fundamentals of political life that are clear to anyone willing to spend more than 30 seconds thinking about it.

Its this entrenched thinking that the people are helpless and there's nothing they could possibly do that has put us in this situation in the first place and that will ultimately lead to our complete destruction. Its absurd. Everything that has happened to Macedonia from 1991 to date is the fault of the Macedonian people and their apathy and belief (or excuse) that its all out of their control.

The whole 'slave mentality' topic has been beaten to death on this forum and if you are hearing about such things for the first time then I pitty you. I hope you're young and haven't wasted too much of your life in that pit.

Niko777 06-17-2018 09:21 PM

[SIZE="4"][B][COLOR="Red"]Kosta Seltsas, Greek MP from Lerin, Talks to Macedonian Journalists in Macedonian[/COLOR][/B]
[/SIZE]
Watch video: [url]http://www.dw.com/mk/%D1%81%D0%B5%D0%BB%D1%86%D0%B0%D1%81-%D0%BC%D0%B0%D0%BA%D0%B5%D0%B4%D0%BE%D0%BD%D1%86%D0%B8%D1%82%D0%B5-%D0%B2%D0%BE-%D0%B3%D1%80%D1%86%D0%B8%D1%98%D0%B0-%D1%81%D0%B5-%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%B4%D1%83%D0%B2%D0%B0%D0%B0%D1%82-%D0%BD%D0%B0-%D0%B4%D0%BE%D0%B3%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%BE%D1%80%D0%BE%D1%82/a-44263707[/url]

kompir 06-17-2018 09:31 PM

[QUOTE=Vangelovski;174129]Your statement is a fundamental misunderstanding of democracy. But I don't have the time or the patience to discuss the fundamentals of political life that are clear to anyone willing to spend more than 30 seconds thinking about it.

Its this entrenched thinking that the people are helpless and there's nothing they could possibly do that has put us in this situation in the first place and that will ultimately lead to our complete destruction. Its absurd. Everything that has happened to Macedonia from 1991 to date is the fault of the Macedonian people and their apathy and belief (or excuse) that its all out of their control.

The whole 'slave mentality' topic has been beaten to death on this forum and if you are hearing about such things for the first time then I pitty you. I hope you're young and haven't wasted too much of your life in that pit.[/QUOTE]

When I talk about democracy as we have it today being illusory isn't rooted in the "slave mentality" you speak of regarding Macedonia and the "woe be us" attitude, it comes from years of experience within the overt political world here in Australia and the US. The political life as you call it is a shell game, a charade that deals with the mundane and the routine. Unless one has been involved in any capacity within the political system as it is, they won't know otherwise. In a nutshell, money talks and bullshit walks.

It's time to take the blinkers off...

Risto the Great 06-17-2018 10:06 PM

Just read the Guardian saying Zaev has been likened to John F Kennedy. A natural peacemaker. The world is against us my dear Macedonians.

kompir 06-17-2018 10:18 PM

[QUOTE=Risto the Great;174137]Just read the Guardian saying Zaev has been likened to John F Kennedy. A natural peacemaker. The world is against us my dear Macedonians.[/QUOTE]

A natural peacemaker... they seem to forget that JFK didn't sell his country and people out to appease fuckwits.

Vangelovski 06-17-2018 10:22 PM

[QUOTE=Risto the Great;174137]Just read the Guardian saying Zaev has been likened to John F Kennedy. A natural peacemaker. The world is against us my dear Macedonians.[/QUOTE]JFK and Zaev? JFK stood up to his enemies, he didn't bow down to them. He made peace once the Soviet Union removed its missiles from Cuba not regardless of and then some. I fail to see the similarity, unless the Guardian thinks that Zaev will end up the same way as JFK.


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