The 20th of January 2019 marks a turning point in modern Greek history. Hundreds of thousands of active Greek citizens have taken to the streets with a massive protest in the Greek capital Athens and its city center, Syntagma Square.
«We are insulted by the Greek premier Alexis Tsipras and its minority government for selling-off the older Greek denomination of Macedonia to the ex Yugoslav leftover in our northern border. Alexis Tsipras, his exterior minister Nikos Kotzias and his partner Panos Kammenos have committed high treason by engaging Greece in a bilateral accord with FYROM, recognizing a non-existent macedonian people, macedonian language and macedonian territory other than the northern part of Greece. They should face justice», say most of the infuriated citizens making a stand for Macedonia, the cradle of the hellenistic Greek civilization.
«I am taking to the streets along with the majority of the Greeks in order to protest against a constitutional crime» says Dr. Ioannis Nasioulas, the candidate Mayor of Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece and the capital of Macedonia. «There is no macedonian nation. No macedonian language and no macedonian territory outside Greece», says the new, highly active politician. «The bilateral accord signed by Tsipras and his counterpart Zaef, is fundamentally contested by Greek parliamentary forces, the Constitution and the vast majority of Greek people. I will never abide by its provisions, no matter what», highlights Ioannis Nasioulas, making a point about the ongoing sell-off of Macedonia, a name and a heritage which means so much for Greeks.
Widespread national fury is what the Greek PM 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, 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 intend to shake hands on a new name for the nationality of the people of FYROM, mainly comprised of Bulgarians, Serbs, Roma and a visible Greek minority.
What enraged the Greeks is that their prime minister -already under heavy blackmail for the finalization of the current Greek bailout program imposed by the IMF and the European Union- has provided consent into giving away the ancient-old Greek name of Macedonia 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 Bulgarian language idiom rendered in Cyrillic, a major dispute has risen, with the two neighbors maintaining minimal official relations until recently.
Greeks are once again taking to the streets. They intend not to leave the Greek Secretary of State Nikos Kotzias unattended when meeting his Slav counterpart Nikola Dimitrov for the official signing of the highly contested deal.
The plan is already unfolding: a human chain around the Greek Parliament in the heart of Athens, the 15th and 16th of June, while inside the Greek temple of democracy a motion of censure is discussed amidst venomous confrontation.
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
Since the people over the northern border of Greece are Slavs and Bulgarians, 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.