5 September 2018, Thessaloniki, Greece
« There exists no Macedonian Nation »
Widespread opposition is what the Greek PM Mr. Alexis Tsipras and his leftist minority government have managed to trigger by reaching a controversial agreement with the prime minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Mr. Zoran Zaef. The deal is over the new state denomination of the southern leftover of Yugoslavia bordering with the northern Greek region of Macedonia; along, the two Secretaries of State shook hands on a new name for the nationality and the language of the people of FYROM, mainly self-identified as Bulgarians, Albanians, Slavs, Roma and Greeks.
What enraged many Greeks is that their prime minister has provided consent into giving away the ancient-old Greek name of Macedonia («Μακεδονία») for use under a very vague international and domestic juridical context by their foreign neighbors. For a time-span of decades the authorities in Skopje have been seeking out a common national identity for the inhabitants of the miniature state formerly comprising Yugoslavia. By arbitrarily adopting the name of Macedonia for their ex Yugoslavic (i.e. «United Slavic») state, the name «Macedonian» for the people and the denomination «Macedonian» for their South Slavic/ Bulgarian language idiom rendered in Cyrillic, a major dispute has risen, with the two neighbors maintaining minimal official relations until recently.
Greeks have then on been taking to the streets. A motion of censure has been discussed amidst venomous confrontation in the Greek Parliament. No visible consensus exists on giving away the Greek name of Macedonia and its derivatives for erga omnes utilization by foreigners.
Greeks are concerned that the utilization of the name “Macedonia” by foreigners will provide the basis for a nation-building based on an abuse of their national, anthropological, historical, linguistic and religious heritage.
The name of Macedonia means a lot to the Greeks since it describes the cradle of the Hellenistic civilization: the kingdom of Macedonia under King Philip the II and his son Alexander the Great united all warring Greek states for the common goal of teaching a lesson to the Persians who invaded the Greek Kingdoms and City-States and obliterated the Greek temples. In the emblematic temple of Goddess Athena, the Parthenon, Alexander the Great, the No 1 hero of the Greeks for the past 23 centuries, made his collectively given mandate official with a declaration which goes as follows: «Alexander, son of Philip, and the Greeks except the Lacedaimonians…» etc, etc. The Lacedaimonians, i.e. the Spartans would not leave their comfort zone so the rest of the Greeks went on alone to face their time-old oriental enemy, in light of bringing to justice the foes of King Leonidas and Pericles of Athens, the all-mighty Persians of Xerxis and Darius who attacked Greece and destroyed the holy places of the Greek Gods which were since olden times thought off of residing in the Mount Olympus in the heart of modern-day Macedonia, in northern Greece.
Around 90% of what has historically been self-identified by Greeks as the region of Macedonia today comprises three Greek Regions, namely Eastern, Central and Western Macedonia, in the Greek north.
Since the people over the northern border of Greece are Slavs, Bulgarians or Albanians, and have come to the vicinity only after the 6th century, ages after Alexander and his teacher Aristotle, those from the international community demanding that Greeks accept a nation-building on the expense of historical, anthropological, linguistic and cultural integrity are asking too much.
Mr. President, please accept my highest regards.
Dr. Ioannis NASIOULAS
Candidate Mayor of Thessaloniki