June 14, 2010
We do agree with Richard Rahn’s statement in his June 3, 2010 article in the Washington Times titled, The Irresponsible Neighbor: Greek Profligacy Hits Bulgaria and Macedonia: “Whether you are a homeowner or a country, it is better to have responsible rather than irresponsible neighbors”. However it is more important to have neighbors that do not steal their neighbors’ property, money, credit cards and social security numbers. With such articles as Mr. Rahn’s in the Washington Times, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (the FYROM) is encouraged to commit such crimes: usurp its neighbor’s history, identity and culture.
We found the article profoundly insulting to Greece and to Hellenism as a whole. It is historically unfounded, profoundly biased and misleading. Mr. Rahn should know that Macedonia is a Greek province. We consider any mention of “Macedonia and Greece” as two separate and unassociated entities, a direct attack of the sovereignty of Greece. What would the reaction be in the US if someone was talking about New England or California as separate and unassociated entities from the United States? Would the US just stand by and not object if Quebec seceded from Canada and decided to rename itself Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine or New England?
Mr. Rahn should know that as per UN Resolutions #817 of April 7, 1993 and #845 of June 18, 1993, the official name of the country he refers to is “the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia“, or simply the FYROM, until a permanent name is agreed between this country and Greece. The Interim Accord was signed by BOTH Greece and the FYROM, and its purpose was to find a name other than “Republic of Macedonia” for the aforementioned country as this was and continues to be the root cause of their dispute.
All the claims Mr. Rahn presents in this article cannot be more further from the truth. Could he perhaps point the scholars of the world towards a reference that corraborates the line: “even though Slavic people have been the majority population for the last 1,300 years in the land that is now the country of Macedonia?”
According to the Turkish census of Hilmi Pasha in 1906, in the area of Macedonia (part of the European Ottoman Empire before the emancipation of this region from the Turks) there was no “Macedonian” ethnicity recorded:
423,000 or 41.71% Muslims (Turks and Albanians)
259,000 or 27.30% Greeks
178,000 or 18.81% Bulgarians
13,150 or 1.39% Serbs
73,000 or 7.72% others”
It must be noted here that the Turkish archives are quite indicative of the situation since, as the rulers of the area, they would certainly emphasize the existence of a “Macedonian” nation if such a nation existed. The Greeks living in Macedonia were simply Greeks and nothing else.
The author fails to explain why there was no «Macedonian» army to fight for the rights of the supposed “ethnic Macedonians” during the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913. In addition during the negotiating talks of the Bucharest Treaty of 1913, which determined today’s borders with Greece’s neighbors, there were no representatives of any “Macedonian Nation”. The 1914 Carnegie Report (Report of the International Commission to Report on the Causes and Conduct of the Balkan Wars) not only did not record the existence of a “Macedonian” army, but neither did it record the existence of any “ethnic Macedonian” civilians. Doesn’t Mr. Rahn wonder why the Krushevo Manifesto that the people of the FYROM hold so dear did not include any “Macedonian” nationality? It actually calls all inhabitants of Macedonia, as Macedonians, “regardless of faith, nationality, sex or conviction.”
Mr. Rahn seems to forget something very important when he states, “the people of Macedonia and Bulgaria will face a shrinkage of their markets…” He is forgetting that Greek businesses that exist in the FYROM have created over 30.000 jobs there. Moreover the country’s economy would fare much better if the FYROM government did not spend millions of dollars in propaganda against its neighbors and propping up statues of Alexander the Great and his father Philip in their futile attempt to antiquate Skopje.
The FYROM contributes to its own instability with its artificial nation-building campaigns at the expense of its rather large and restive Albanian minority which is growing ever so impatient as the days go by. To openly suggest that the FYROM’s economic troubles are due to Greece and that it should enter the European Union in order to save itself is false, amateurish and smacks of propaganda. To highlight this point, Mr. Rahn’s executive association with the Bulgarian American Society should provide some sort of conflict of interest, considering that Bulgaria also does not recognize a “Macedonian nation and language”.
As to whether Alexander the Great or his father King Philip II were Greek or not, why doesn’t Mr. Rahn take a look at the letter written to President Barack Obama by 364 world-known historians, archeologists and researchers who state: “The answers are clear: Alexander the Great was Greek, not Slavic, and Slavs and their language were nowhere near Alexander or his homeland until 1000 years later”. Their entire letter and their scholarly documentation can be found at: http://macedonia-evidence.org/obama-letter.html and should be read and wisely used by anyone writing/commenting on this subject.
In order to have peace and stability in that region, FYROM needs to refrain from the identity theft of Macedonia. Thus the FYROM must stop the vicious propaganda through media, internet and any other means of publicity including using biased economists writing for the Washington Times. We consider any mention of Greece as a corrupt country hostile to Hellenism.
Dr. Antonios Papadopoulos Demitris Chatzis
Supreme President Supreme secretary
of the Pan-Macedonian Association
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