Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia PM Gruevski Australian visit comes up short (Greece, Bulgaria)

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia PM Gruevski Australian visit comes up short (Greece, Bulgaria)
Australian Macedonian Advisory Council

November 01, 2009

The Prime Minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Nikola Gruevski, has left Australia after what is considered to have been a disappointing return from his visit.

The FYROM PM created an international incident while in Australia when his comments were construed by the Bulgarian and Greek governments as showing obvious aggressive territorial intentions against both countries. Compounding this disappointment was the fact his plea for Australia to break with United Nations policy and instead recognise his country under the name ‘Republic of Macedonia’ fell on deaf ears in Canberra.

Australia, in contrast to certain countries such as the United States and Canada, has remained steadfast in recognising Gruevski’s country under the UN mandated name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and has refused to recognise the country simply as the ‘Republic of Macedonia’, a name which is opposed by Greece and other stakeholders in the region.

To Gruevski’s disappointment the bilateral agreement on social security which he signed with Australia was signed under the UN mandated name; the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

To the disappointment of many in the Slav Macedonian community of Australia, Gruevski’s visit failed to rate a mention in the Australian print and television media, with the only mention of the visit coming from several online news websites.

In what is considered the biggest mishap of the visit to Australia, however, Gruevski has once again been seen to make statements which evidence his ultra-nationalist leanings and exhibit territorial ambitions against his neighbours, Greece and Bulgaria. When Gruevski lamented the fact that Slav Macedonians with origins in Greek and Bulgarian territory cannot live in unison in FYROM as they do in Australia he received stern replies from the President of Bulgaria, Georgi Parvanov and the Greek foreign ministry.

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