The Washington Times Prints HLA Letter to the Editor on Macedonia Name Issue

For Immediate Release: June 26, 2009

Contact: Nikolaos Taneris, New York, Tel. 1-917-699-9935

NEW YORK-Today, June 26, 2009, The Washington Times published Hellenic League of
America (HLA) Press Officer, Nikolaos Taneris’ letter to the editor, responding
to The Washington Times report (“No names, please,” Embassy Row, World, June
12) regarding the Macedonia name issue. The text of the letter appears below,
followed by The Washington Times report to which the letter responds.

To see the Letter to the Editor online, visit ( and
click on the ‘Letters to the Editor’ section, or try this link

June 26, 2009

Letters to the Editor
The Washington Times
3600 New York Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20002

To the Editor:

Ivica Bocevski neglected to clarify the legacy of the so-called name dispute, as
reported in The Washington Times recently (“No names, please,” Embassy Row,
World, June 12). The country Mr. Bocevski hails from is a state that was part of
the former Yugoslavia, an artificial political construct that waged war on
Greece during the immediate aftermath of World War II.

The name “Macedonia” was originally bestowed on the region buttressing Greece by
the dictator Josip Broz Tito, who funded and armed a military campaign fighting
for partition of our land and people. It was concocted primarily by the
Comintern and carried out with the most callous disregard for the basic human
and linguistic rights recognized in modern Europe. It remains one of the gravest
political crimes of all time and continues to stain the history of Europe and
the United States. Imagine cutting a living human being limb from limb. This is
the legacy of the Greek Civil War, a war fueled by communist forces seeping in
from the porous borders of northern Greece and Macedonia.

The Macedonia of Alexander the Great was, and forever will be, Hellenic — not
Yugoslavian. It is time that Mr. Bocevski end his country’s isolation by
embracing the Hellenic origin of Alexander, one of Europe’s greatest sons. Stop
denying the past and dispense with false historical revisionism. It smacks of
genocidal ideologies of a discredited era.


Press officer

Hellenic League of America

New York City

The Washington Times
Report published on Friday June 12, 2009
EMBASSY ROW by James Morrison

The new deputy prime minister of Macedonia declined repeatedly Thursday to
discuss the one issue that is keeping his country out of NATO and the European

Ivica Bocevski told reporters at the National Press Club that the dispute with
Greece over the formal name of his nation is the responsibility of other
Macedonian officials, who are negotiating with their Greek counterparts.

Greece objects to the use of the name, Macedonia, because it is a region in
modern Greece and historically associated with Alexander the Great. Although
Alexander was born in the capital of ancient Macedonia, his birthplace has long
been part of modern Greece.

Greeks say Macedonia hijacked the name to establish a stronger claim to
Alexander, even naming the national airport after the Greek conqueror and
planning an eight-story-high statue of Alexander in the Macedonian capital,

Greece continues to object to Macedonia’s membership in NATO and the European
Union until the name dispute is settled. The country was admitted to the United
Nations under the provisional name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

The United States and more than 120 other nations recognize the country as

Mr. Bocevski, on his first visit to Washington as deputy prime minister, talked
around the name dispute, as he complained of problems from Macedonia’s isolation
from European institutions.

He noted that his mother traveled throughout Europe on a Yugoslav passport when
Macedonia was a province in the former communist nation. But since independence
in 1991, Macedonians have been required to get visas to visit other European
countries because the nation is not part of the European Union.

Mr. Bocevski, who will turn 32 next week, said most of his generation of
Macedonians have never traveled outside their small Balkan nation.

“Closing the borders has also closed the minds of a generation of Macedonia,” he
said, adding that the isolation can cause a political backlash against Europe.

“Macedonians could fall prey to xenophobes and populists in the region,” Mr.
Bocevski said. “Closing the region has only made the situation worse.”

He is meeting with State Department officials and members of Congress and
speaking at a conference on Macedonia.

Source: Enocism Blog

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