Dear Mr. Loverdos,

Dear Mr. Loverdos,

** “The opinions expressed in the following message are those of the author and do not necessarily express those of HEC or its directors.”

Dear Mr. Loverdos,

Very recently you expressed what many Hellenes would like to believe is your personal opinion. You stated that when PASOK becomes the next government you will propose to allow about 100,000 Slavs to return to their prefectures of Florina, Pella, Kozani and Kastoria.

According to the 2001 census, there were 145,797 people in Pella, 54,768 in Florina, 53,483 in Kastoria and 155,324 in Kozani.

If you proceed with your idea in practice, should PASOK become the next government, and should it ever appoint you to any ministry with influence on immigration you will have changed the language and the demographics of Macedonia from Greek to Slavic. In practice, you will have ceded Macedonia over to the geographically-adjacent state with its capital in Skopje.

Most of the Slavs left from Florina and Kastoria (which today together have about 110,000 people) and if your plan is put to practice, they will return to those same places.

Perhaps we can remind you about some relevant history, that we hope changes what we want to believe is your personal opinion and not PASOK policy.

In 1885, Eastern Rumelia became autonomous and in 1908 it was incorporated into Bulgaria. Karavelov’s firm line on Macedonia focused on Eastern Rumelia. The region’s internal administration makeup and structure had been decided in Berlin and was under the control of a governor-general, who was to rule via elected assembly, while a permanent council of that assembly was to function as a cabinet. The intention of Berlin was to make the permanent council such that representatives of the Turkish and Greek minorities would constitute it while an elaborate system of proportional representation would be devised when the regional assembly elected the permanent council from its own constituencies.

In practice what happened should be an eye-opener; A Bulgarian deputy was so persuasive that upon the vote, all council posts were taken by the Bulgarians. Though minority rights were safeguarded in Rumelia, the election of a purely Bulgarian permanent council meant that the province’s political machinery was entirely in Bulgarian hands.

There was an understandable desire to emphasise the Bulgarian nature of the province. To that end, the Bulgarian flag and the Bulgarian national anthem were used extensively and as many of the region’s official institutions as possible were modelled on the Bulgarian prototypes. The school system became similar to that in Bulgaria, the literary alphabets became the same and many other institutions followed the Bulgarian norms.

Now, take this history and replace the word “Bulgaria(n)” with “Macedonia(n)” and Rumelia with Macedonia and you will see why your personal idea does not bode well for Greece’s territorial integrity or for its demographics (indeed its stability).

All of the Slavs you propose to repatriate are exceptionally-educated and some will enter the Greek Parliament. The FYROM Slavs are very activist regarding the “Macedonian” issue, especially those that you envision repatriating. The Sadik and Faikoglou period of a previous PASOK government pale in comparison to what is certain to happen under your idea.

It is astounding that Greeks, with such a long history and experience, continue to forget their past and repeat the same mistakes over and over.

If PASOK is willing to place its name in history as the political party, under the leadership of George Papandreou, that gave Macedonia to the Slavs, Mr. Loverdos-your idea (and possibly your plan) is indeed excellent and a selfless gift to Skopje!

Mr. Loverdos, you are entitled to musings and intellectual meanderings. The question many would like answered is if this is PASOK policy.

If so, where does repatriation stop? Will a PASOK government repatriate those who left under the Lausanne Treaty in Thrace? In Epirus? Will a PASOK government cede the islands in the Aegean? Will it cede Cyprus in its entirety? Where will it stop? How much of Greece will remain to be called Greece?

If Mr. Loverdos wants to test the validities of his theories in a real-life context, he should do it in Pireaus and not in Macedonia.


Marcus Templar and Dr. Nick Giannoukakis

Source: Hellenic News of America

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Demitri says:

Some of my relatives are Pasok and even they are shuddering at those words. If Pasok did this… it would be a repeat of the Greeks that were Yugoslav communist sympathizers during the civil war of the 1940s (where we almost lost Macedonia to Tito’s Vardar.. and many many Greeks died.).

IMO not even one FYROM nationalist should be allowed to move to Greece until the name dispute is resolved. It will only result in large scale violence. In fact, we should be taking about another trade embargo until the issue is resolved. Every time we’ve been soft on the issues and talked… we get stepped on. The only thing that’s ever brought real compromise is being tough. If we are criticized for simply defending ourselves… it will be from the exactly same people that are criticizing them and helping them now. (i.e. hardly concerned with Greek interests or our human rights)

I can only help Loverdos was only speaking for himself or a minority around him. There is a divide between Greeks in politics… but lets stay united as country around this issue ok? No one is helping Greece or FYROM by causing a war down the road.