Macedonia-What’s In A Name?

Remember your history?  Macedonia the home of Alexander the Great, that sexual switch hitter, and then Macedonia was part of the old Communist country of Yugoslavia….then with the break up of Tito’s dream Macedonia started fighting for its independence….

Like most international situations I have written a bit on this one also…..

With all the problems in the world these days I find it fascinating that these two countries are in dispute over a name…..

That is right there has been a battle for the name, Macedonia…..and some 25 years or more they are still protesting and fighting over the name….

Macedonians are hoping that it is time for their country to make a step forward in the EU integration process this June. The past EU progress reports have pointed out some significant improvements in certain areas of the country, but there is more to be accomplished in the implementation of necessary reforms required by the European Union – the rule of law remains a must for Macedonian politics. Prime Minister Zaev is convinced that such reforms should be made not only for progress towards EU integration, but also for the country and the Macedonian people themselves.

But there is another key issue that Macedonia should solve before moving forward – its name issue with Greece. The 9th of June is the deadline for a final response. The disputes continue, as both countries are facing strong opposition of their own. None of the versions presented – Northern Macedonia, Upper Macedonia or New Macedonia – seems to have worked until now. President Ivanov has not accepted a solution that can be universally used. He is calling on Prime Minister Zaev to try to reach a national consensus in overcoming the name dispute and find a solution that will not violate Macedonian dignity

That is right my friends the protests are over the name….not some domestic policy that has gone horribly wrong….but rather the name Macedonia….

Tens of thousands rallied in northern Greece on Wednesday to protest against a possible compromise solution to a long-running row between Athens and Skopje over the ex-Yugoslav republic’s name.

Protesters staged separate rallies in about 23 northern Greek cities. They held banners reading “Macedonia is Greek”, “Respect our history” and waved Greek flags.

“Macedonia is our soul! There is only one Macedonia and it is in Greece, where King Phillip and Alexander the Great were born,” said one of the rally speakers in Pella city, adding Greeks would never accept another country was called Macedonia.


Across the border Macedonians held another opinion of the name….

As Macedonia and Greece approach the final stages of talks over Macedonia’s name change, thousands have taken to the streets. Name tensions have stymied Macedonia’s efforts to join the EU, with Greece holding veto power.

Thousands of right-wing opposition supporters in Macedonia protested against plans to change the country’s name in the capital, Skopje, on Saturday.

Protesters waving Macedonian and party flags gathered in front of the main government building, with some holding banners reading “Macedonia will win.”

While I was researching this situation there came word that there was the possibility of a solution to this name quandary…..

Greece and Macedonia are very close to a deal to resolve a decades-old dispute over the ex-Yugoslav republic’s name, government officials in Athens told Reuters.

The row has blocked the tiny Balkan state’s efforts to join the European Union and the NATO military alliance, of which Greece is a member.

Athens and Skopje are aiming to agree the broad outline of a settlement before an EU summit in late June, though any deal would need to clear a referendum in Macedonia and win approval from lawmakers in both countries.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev are expected to discuss the issue over the phone on Tuesday.

Could this decades long dispute be close to a solution?

I will watch and write….as I always do…..


10 thoughts on “Macedonia-What’s In A Name?

  1. I suspect that Macedonia will agree to a name change, if it means being accepted into the EU. Membership would make that country the recipient of a great deal of money, and that might be worth more than hanging on to an ancient name…
    Best wishes, Pete.

      1. One way to imagine the scenario is that the EU pays poor farmers not to produce things. Things like milk, where there is already too much. By keeping production lower, they keep prices high for the supposedly wealthier countries. The poor countries then have farmers with more money, but no need for staff. Then the displaced workers can migrate to piss-poor menial jobs in the affluent countries, working with little respect, few rights, and no contracts. Germany and France (and to some extent, the UK) do well out of the system, but it is inherently corrupt, and one reason why I voted to leave.

  2. This is a comment I made on my redflagflying blog. I think (well, I would) that it sums up the EU.

    “I see the EU as a ‘super-capitalist’ European state, controlled in the main by the interests of France and Germany alone. They allow supposedly ‘inferior’ states to join, those like Romania, and the Baltic countries. They in turn supply cheap labour to the western countries of the EU, reducing the pay bill for the multi-nationals. Then the EU brings in restrictive laws in areas like agriculture and fishing, making it harder for individuals to carry on in these traditional industries. Farmers then sell off land, and houses are built on that land by private companies, many also multi-national. Then the fishing industry becomes dominated by big corporations, using that cheap labour from the ’emerging’ countries admitted to the EU.

    Then the ‘lesser’, non-productive countries like Greece and Portugal are allowed to spiral into debt. Once that debt is recalled, those countries have no future, other than to be debt-owning vassals of that same European state, doing what they are told, for the foreseeable future

    Behind it all is international big business; pharmaceutical companies, car companies, and others. They are often ‘disguised’ as local firms, though are in fact part of conglomerates.

    Huge companies; exploiting workers, forcing down wages, changing working conditions; limiting trade union influence, and homogenizing an entire continent. As a former activist on the Hard Left, this Euro capitalism and suppression of workers is why I never voted for it in the first place, and why I voted to leave in 2016.”
    Best wishes, Pete.

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