Tuesday, June 29, 2010
FYROM and Greece: Preconditions for an agreement of lasting peace and good neighborly relations.
Todor Petrov (pictured above between a medieval Bulgarian lion and an ancient Greek sun) is the self-proclaimed “President of the World (Slavo-)macedonian Congress. He wants us all to believe that he is a reasonable man, a man of Peace and reconciliation.
In an article in the Skopje daily Vreme (1)we read that he is asking for nothing less than for the presidents of Greece Carolos Papoulias and the president of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Makedonija (FYROM) Georgi Ivanov to sign a statement of reconciliation. Not just a statement, in fact, but “a joint presidential declaration between (Slavo-)makedonija and Greece on the (Slavo-)makedonijan-Greek historical reconciliation”. This will have to be followed by a proposed suggestion that “both governments must conclude an agreement on a lasting peace and good neighborly relations between (Slavo-)makedonija and Greece, which will replace the Interim Agreement”.
Greece and FYROM have been butting heads ever since the Former Yugoslav People´s Republic split off its mother country Yugoslavia and declared independence, back in 1991. The problem, as Greeks saw it, was the Slavomacedonians´ ultra-nationalism and unbridled irredentism, typical of most nationalities that cut themselves off Yugoslavia at some point or another during the 1990’s.
These attitudes were expressed most vividly in the name and the symbols of the new country: Makedonija, a Slavic rendition of Macedonia, which happens to be the northernmost and largest province of Greece, home of Aristotle and Alexander the Great, among other Greek notables. By 1995, an interim agreement, to which Mr. Petrov makes mention was reached, and some changes were agreed, like dropping the most offensive of FYROM´s constitutional articles that were seemed directed against Greece, and the changing of both the flag and the name. The name for international use was accepted to be FYROM, and it was seen as a transitional name to be replaced later on by a permanent one to be agreed in negotiations between the two countries.
Todor Petkov´s proposals, in other words, sound too good to be true! Finally, someone would think, the most extreme Slavomakedonci groups seem to be putting water in their deleteriously ultra-nationalist positions. It is these expatriate organizations, centered in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto, Canada that ever since the 1940´s seem to be the carriers of the most uncompromising anti-Hellenism. These are the ones who have poisoned the political agenda inside Skopje itself, forcing the “Antiquization” campaign, also known sarcastically as “Bucephalism” from Bucephalas, the name of the horse of Alexander the Great into the political arena. They have forced the revision of this multi-ethnic state´s history, making a two prong attack. First they try to deny the Hellenic nature of the ancient Macedonians, whose name they wish to assume. Secondly, they want to convince the Slavonic inhabitants of FYROM feel that they are not Slavs, and that the Slavic invasion of the 7th and 8th century AD never happened. That these Slavonic people are supposedly indigenous to the area since time immemorial and they are, therefore, the true descendants of the ancient Macedonians.
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