Letter from World Pan-Macedonian Associations to L. Coffey


World Pan-Macedonian Associations

Nina Gatzoulis
Coordinator of the Committee
of World Pan-Macedonian Associations
Email: ninagatz@comcast.net

September 16, 2014

Luke Coffey
Margaret Thatcher Fellow
The Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom
The Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy
The Heritage Foundation
214 Massachusetts Ave NE
Washington DC 20002-4999

Dear Mr. Coffey,

We, the worldwide PanMacedonian Associations and representatives of 3.5 million Macedonians (Greeks originating from and/or living in the region of Macedonia in Greece), are writing to you to express our concern with your public statements concerning Greece and its northern neighbor the FYROM (in your recent Heritage Foundation essay as well as your Op-ed based on this that was published in the Washington Times, and especially your social media Twitter statements regarding this). We acknowledge your opinion against Greece and leave it stand for itself. After all, it is not the first time that the Heritage Foundation has made similar negative comments in the media about Greece – it seems that prior to every recent NATO summit, a Heritage opinion against Athens hits the media. However, we are concerned with your extreme bias against Greek arguments in the dispute with Skopje because they are prejudiced against a whole people.

Lucke Coffey

More specifically, your “tweet” on May 27, 2014 asking your followers if the Hellenic Republic should be renamed “Former Ottoman Possession of Greece”, and attaching a 2003 Op-ed in The Guardian by the current UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who coined this rather childish term, is offensive to say the least. These public statements by politicians and political advisors like yourself are inappropriate and undiplomatic, and have been used by ultranationalists in Skopje (including the ruling government) in discourse (as if the current FYROM was not an Ottoman “possession” longer than was Greece). Unlike, the offensive term “FOPOG” for Greece that is a slur created in the mind of David Cameron, we would like to remind you that Greece’s northern neighbor was accepted in the UN as “the FYROM” under decisions 817(1993) and 845(1993) of the UN Security Council, and it agreed to be called “the FYROM” until a mutually acceptable name is finalized for it.

Additionally, your flippant, dismissive, and incredulous responses to people who criticized you reveal an amusement on your part in doing this. A follow up “tweet” on September 4, 2014 implied that all those who disagreed with your views are racist and bigoted. While a handful of the many comments to you may have been understandably written in an angry tone, they are not worthy of catch phrases like “racist” and “bigoted”. You then publicly denigrated all Greeks by stating: “…poof…another Greek troll blocked!” Mr. Coffey, the legitimate ethnocultural sensitivities of a people are not a silly teenager’s video game where you magically make them disappear to the delight of some of your followers: some of who are members of the FYROM’s government and media, and some who are leaders of nationalist diaspora groups in the US that do Skopje’s bidding in Washington DC. Furthermore, statements from your Op-ed such as finding “Macedonian” soldiers in Afghanistan just like when they were under Alexander’s rule thousands of years ago, and in your “tweets” such as “Greece doesn’t hold a monopoly on regional history” are uninformed, ignorant, and uneducated. They also echo the ultranationalist statements stemming from Skopje.

Mr. Coffey, we are here to inform you that the Greeks do not have “4 followers” as you claim regarding the issue with Skopje. We are a nation of 11 million people with almost 10 million in the diaspora, and the Pan-Macedonian Associations represent 3.5 million people worldwide. We do not expect a response or apology on your part nor do we need an explanation as to your relationship (and by extension the Heritage Foundation’s) with nationalist groups that have ties to the FYROM government. We simply ask whose interests do you really advance in Europe and the US? Is it Washington’s, London’s, or Skopje’s?

This letter and screen copies of your “tweets” have been sent to the president of The Heritage Foundation, and to the Greek Embassy in Washington DC. A little more public decorum and political maturity would be appreciated from you in the future. Your behavior is not becoming of a political advisor in Washington DC, and a former member of the UK Defence Ministry.


Pan-Macedonian Association USA- Dimitris Chatzis, Supreme President
Pan-Macedonian Association Australia – Dimitris Minas, President
Pan-Macedonian Association Canada – Demetris Yantsulis, President
Pan-Macedonian Association Europe – Archimandrite Panteleimon Tsorbatzoglou, President
Pan-Macedonian Associations of Africa – Amyntas Papathanasiou, President


Nina Gatzoulis, Coordinator (Representing over 150 Macedonian Organizations)
Philoptohos Brotherhood of Men of Thessaloniki – Theodore Dardavesis, President
Florina Chapter in Thessaloniki – Demitrios Gakis, President
Association of Pisoderites the World Over “Saint Trinity”- Michael Liakos, President
Thracian Hearth of Thessaloniki-Benjamin Karakostanoglou, President
Federation of Western Macedonian Associations of Thessaloniki-George Tzoulis, President“Omada 21” (Team 21) Macedonia – Thrace – Antonios Daskopoulos, President
Pan-Hellenic Federation of Cultural Chapters of the Macedonians – George Tatsios, President


Florina Chapter of the Descendants of the Macedonian Struggle Fighters
Amyntaio Chapter of the Descendants of the Macedonian Struggle Fighters
Florina Educational Team “Aristotle”
Cultural Chapter of Sitaria Florina
Cultural Chapter “New Horizons” Sitaria, Florina
Cultural Chapter “Alexander the Great” of Polyplatanos, Florina
Alexander the Great Chapter of Ethniko-Kratero-Agia Paraskevi
Carrier of history and Culture “Iera Drys” of Kella, Florina
Cultural-Educational Chapter “Amyntas” of Skopia, Florina
Connection of Letters and Arts of Kozani Prefecture
Cultural Chapter of Kozani “The Macedonians”
Association of Edessa’s citizens “Ion Dragoumis”
Association of Macedonian Veteran Descendants of Edessa and Almopia
Folklore Society of Pella Prefecture
Association of Edessa’s Friends of Antiquities “The Timenides”
Cultural Association “Edessa’s Book Friends”
Association of “Macedonian Cultural Home” of Aridaia
Association of “Friends of Macedonian Cultural Tradition” of Almopia
Educational Association of Ida Eksaplatanos “Ion Dragoumis”
Historical and Folklore Society of Giannitsa “Filippos”
Macedonian Dance and Cultural Association “Amyntas” of Kalyvia
Educational and Environmental Club of Pella “Ancient Pella”
Cultural Association of Kato Grammatiko “Patriarchis Xrysanthos”
Community of Letters and Arts of Kozani Prefecture
Educational Association of Florina “Aristotle”
Cultural Association of Ethniko-Kratero- Agia Paraskevi of Florina “Alexander the Great”.
Cultural Association “Elpida Melitis”of Florina.
Pan- Hellenic Association of Macedonian Veteran Descendants “Pavlos Mellas” Pan-Hellenic Cultural Society “Makednos” Thessaloniki
Cultural and Educational Society in Arnaia-Chalkidiki
Macedonian Artistic Society of Kilkis “Art”
Society for Study and Research of the History of Serres
Youth Educational Chapter of Arnissa
Educational-Cultural Chapter Lefkadion “St. Paraskevi”
Chapter of Startsovites & Friends “St. Minas” New Petritsi – Serres
Association of people from Monastiri (Bitola) of Thessaloniki “Karteria”
Macedonian & Thracian Association of Papagou and Holargou –Athens
Association of Women from Thessaloniki-Macedonia in Athens
Pan-Macedonian Association of the Macedonian Struggle-Thessaloniki
Pan-Macedonian Confederation in Athens
Federation of Western Macedonian Associations in the Prefecture of Attica
Confederation of Macedonians in the area of Attica
Association “Alexander Filippou Greek Macedon”
Cultural Association of Kozani “Oi Makednoi”
Macedonian Association of Volos
Cultural Association Grivas-KilkisCultural Association of Polyplatanos-Naousa
Youth Cultural Association of Polyplatanos-Naousa
Friends of the Museum of the Macedonian Struggle, Prefecture of Kastoria
Association of Drama’s Cultural Studies
Informative Committee of National Issues
Macedonian Chapter “Alexander the Great”in Iraklio, Attica

Cc: James DeMint, President, The Heritage Foundation
His Excellency, Christos B. Panagopoulos, Ambassador of Greece to the United States of America



Related posts: