Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

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Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by mr friendly guy » 2018-02-05 04:30am

insert cultural appropriation joke here
Macedonia? Skopje? FYROM? The European country with a name no one can agree on
IT’S a modern European nation and yet no one can agree what to call it. Now violent protests have broken out over a solution.

A EUROPEAN country that declared independence more than a quarter of a century ago, and has been recognised as a fully-fledged nation for almost as long, is still on the search for a name.

To some, the small nation of two million, governed from Skopje, is simply Macedonia; to others, it will never be that simple.

The conundrum of what to call the nation, in the centre of the Balkan Peninsula in south eastern Europe, has focused minds from Brussels to New York and Geneva. This week, the debate took a new urgency as tempers flared in Greece.

Over the weekend, more than 100,000 people gathered in Athens’ central square to protest at a compromise that could see Greece agreeing to Skopje using the word “Macedonia” in its official name.

The crowd chanted “Hands off Macedonia!” and “Macedonia belongs to Greece!”

Around 700 left-wing and anarchist protesters set up a counterdemonstration nearby. Rocks were thrown with police responding with tear gas and stun grenades.

The Greek compromise is significant for the government of prime minister Alexis Tsipras, given the deep nationalistic fervour the name conjures up on both sides of the border.

So why has it taken so long to agree on a name for a country?

WHERE IS MACEDONIA?


It’s a good question, and there is no exact answer. To Skopje, the Republic of Macedonia is their nation. To Athens, Macedonia is a region in central northern Greece with Thessaloniki its largest city.

Ancient Macedon is ill defined but generally includes Greek Macedonia and part of the area governed by Skopje. The wider region of Macedonia also spills into Bulgaria, Albania, Serbia and Kosovo.

SO THE REGION’S NOT COHESIVE?

Absolutely not, and it’s criss-crossed national borders for some time. Macedonia is also located at the meeting point of the Albanian, Slavic and Greek peoples.

The people of Skopje, for instance, mostly speak Macedonian, a Slavic tongue, or Albanian. That’s entirely unrelated to the Greek spoken by Greek Macedonians.

“At the heart of the argument is whether any one of the Balkans’ ethnic groups should monopolise Macedonia’s heritage or whether the name could be constructively shared by everyone in the region,” Neophytos Loizides, a Professor in International Conflict Analysis at the University of Kent told The Conversation last week.

WHY IS SKOPJE SO KEEN TO CALL ITS COUNTRY MACEDONIA?

Skopje says there is historical precedence for using the name. Before independence in 1991, Macedonia was the name of the Yugoslav region which had exactly the same borders. Skopje has also claimed many of the historical symbols of Macedonian antiquity, such as the Star of Vergina, as its own.

WHAT’S ATHENS’ POINT OF VIEW?

Athens points out more of both the Ancient and modern Macedonia is within its borders than any other country’s. The population of Greek Macedonia is also greater than that of the entire Republic of Macedonia Why, then, should that nation claim the name?

SO WHAT IS THE COUNTRY CALLED NOW?

Loads of things. The Republic of Macedonia is the name the country calls itself. But Greek pressure has ensured that internationally it’s generally referred to as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia or “FYROM”. Colloquially, it’s going Skopje’s way, with many visitors simply calling the country Macedonia.

HOW AS IT AFFECTED GREEK-MACEDONIAN RELATIONS?

Badly. The two are worse than those angry neighbours you see on A Current Affair. The name fracas led Greece to slow down Macedonia’s eventual entry to the United Nations, and it’s not a member of NATO for the same reason.

WHAT’S ALEXANDER THE GREAT GOT TO DO WITH IT?

The Ancient Greek figure of Alexander the Great of Macedon was adopted by the Skopje government as a historic national figure. The previous, more nationalist government, renamed the city’s airport after the hero. Skopje also has a ridiculously big statue, which looks suspiciously like Mr The Great. This has riled Athens because Alexander’s birthplace was within the boundaries of modern Greece.

IS THERE MORE TO THE DISPUTE THAN A NAME?

There have always been fears in Greece that if Skopje was officially allowed to call itself simply Macedonia it may, at a later date, agitate for parts of that region within Greece.

CAN IT JUST BE CALLED FYROM?

Skopje is not keen on that name hanging around. It harks back to Yugoslavia, which is long gone.

WHY IS THIS ALL HAPPENING NOW?

The dispute has always been simmering, but right now the UN is trying to sort it out once and for all. UN envoy Matthew Nimetz is in the region holding talks with leaders to find a way out of the impasse.

“I think there is a will here (Athens), and I believe also in Skopje, to try to reach a settlement,” he told reporters after talks with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias last week.

COULD A SOLUTION BE FOUND?

Despite the protests, there is hope. Macedonia has a new, less nationalistic prime minister in Zoran Zaev who has proposed taking the Alexander the Great name off the airport.

In December, he made another symbolic move, acknowledging historical figures were not Skopje’s alone. “I give up the claim of Macedonia being the sole heir to Alexander. The history belongs not only to us, but also to Greece and many other countries,”

Mr Zaev and Mr Tsipras also had a cordial chit-chat at the World Economic Forum in Davos last month. There, Mr Tsipras said Greece could accept a “composite name” that included the word “Macedonia’.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT A COMPROMISE IS REACHED?

A solution is in everyone’s interests. Macedonia needs Greece’s help to if it wishes to join NATO and eventually the European Union. And Greece wants to bring Skopje closer, lest Moscow fill the void.

WHAT NAMES HAVE BEEN SUGGESTED?

Greece had previously suggested the Vardar Republic or Republic of Skopje. But they were never going to fly.

One solution would have seen Skopje use the name Macedonia internally but Northern Macedonia internationally. But the current front-runners look like Upper Macedonia, New Macedonia or Macedonia-Skopje.

The Skopje Government has said it will put a future name to a referendum. Passions have begun to run high again.

Greece’s greatest living composer and resistance icon Mikis Theodorakis said a referendum should also be held in Greece. “Macedonia was, is and will forever be Greek,” the 92-year-old told a massive crowd of protesters gathered in Athens.

The Greek PM doesn’t want a messy public vote on the issue. He just wants the issue to go away.
Ok, here is my simplistic take on the history.

The Greek regions known as Macedonia roughly corresponds to where the old country of Macedonia which spawned Alexander was. Obviously Alexander expanded the empire all the way to "India" (which would be modern day Afghanistan and Pakistan, rather than modern day Republic of India), and Persia (includes Egypt, Iran etc).

When the Romans took over the territories of the successor states of the Macedonian empires the region they called "Macedonia" includes the Macedonian regions in Greece, and the area occupy by the current FYROM. So both sides do have a historical basis for the name "Macedonia". Although one might ask, could other parts of the former Macedonian empire also use that name if they so desired (no one else does, but lets just say they do). Beats me.

The current people in FYROM are a Slavic people who migrated there years later, but AFAIK they do claim to have intermixed with the locals and Macedonian descendents living in that region. Given the way of human interbreeding with one another, I wouldn't be surprised that they do have some ancestry in that regard even if most of it is Slavic.

I have no idea how likely FYROM would want to claim the Greek part of Macedonia, but given they would have to absorb a population greater than their own population and you know, deal with NATO, it seems kind of suicidal.

Personally I think the name Upper Macedonia or New Macedonia encapsultes its geographical location for the former and history for the latter nicely. Ultimately though I think the Macedonians could choose one or the other, or which ever one they want, which would definitely make it less ambiguous.

Thoughts?
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by Broomstick » 2018-02-05 11:10am

Thoughts?

Thank Og Great Britain never objected to recycling placenames in the New World. Imagine the dustup we'd have over New England, New Jersey, New York... which, I might add, are never confused with England, Jersey, or York back in the Old Country. Those are just three examples that come to mind.

Maybe they could go with "Modern Macedonia", to distinguish themselves from the past Macedonia? And the demonym would probably be shortened to "Macedonians" just as the demonym for citizens of the Unite States of America are shortened to "Americans" and the the demonym for citizens of Estados Unidos Mexicanos is "Mexicans".

I just don't get why the Greeks have their panties in a twist over this, but then, I'm not Greek or Macedonian.
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by Zaune » 2018-02-05 11:32am

Broomstick wrote:
2018-02-05 11:10am
I just don't get why the Greeks have their panties in a twist over this, but then, I'm not Greek or Macedonian.
It's a European thing. We've spent so many centuries waging war on each other that we treat grudges like a precious heirloom to be handed down from father to son and/or mother to daughter, even when the original reason is lost to the mists of time and the only reason it carries on is because that's what they've always done. A thousand years from now the descendents of your local gangbangers will be doing the same.
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-02-05 11:45am

Pride and presumably the fear mentioned in the article that Macedonia would want to take over the part of Greece called Macedonia as well.

York/New York is obviously distinct though. Better example would be the state/country of Georgia.
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by Dartzap » 2018-02-05 05:29pm

And New York is named after the Duke, not the city, I think. Named it after himself after kicking out the Dutch.
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by LaCroix » 2018-02-06 08:13am

Dartzap wrote:
2018-02-05 05:29pm
And New York is named after the Duke, not the city, I think. Named it after himself after kicking out the Dutch.
Kicking them out of the city of New Amsterdam...
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by Thanas » 2018-02-06 08:21am

Crazedwraith wrote:
2018-02-05 11:45am
Pride and presumably the fear mentioned in the article that Macedonia would want to take over the part of Greece called Macedonia as well.
Tourism. There is a lot of worth in historical names for tourism and ad purposes.


As to my personal take, I do think the greeks have the better claim.
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by mr friendly guy » 2018-02-06 08:51am

Thanas wrote:
2018-02-06 08:21am
Crazedwraith wrote:
2018-02-05 11:45am
Pride and presumably the fear mentioned in the article that Macedonia would want to take over the part of Greece called Macedonia as well.
Tourism. There is a lot of worth in historical names for tourism and ad purposes.


As to my personal take, I do think the greeks have the better claim.
Just for interest, do you think both countries have a right to have Macedonia somewhere in the name of their respective regions, as long as its clear the Macedonia's are different, eg Upper Macedonia for the FYROM and Greece keeps a region simply called Macedonia.
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by Crown » 2018-02-14 01:30pm

Broomstick wrote:
2018-02-05 11:10am
I just don't get why the Greeks have their panties in a twist over this, but then, I'm not Greek or Macedonian.
Well let me help you; I'm Macedonian, ask me anything.
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by Broomstick » 2018-02-14 04:22pm

OK - give the Macedonian viewpoint on why the name of your country should be Macedonia as opposed to something else, and why it's so important to you (or, if not, why it's so important to so many of your countrymen).

For the most part, the people I come from really were never that attached to a particular piece of land or a particular nation so that viewpoint is quite foreign to me.
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by Thanas » 2018-02-14 05:50pm

mr friendly guy wrote:
2018-02-06 08:51am
Just for interest, do you think both countries have a right to have Macedonia somewhere in the name of their respective regions, as long as its clear the Macedonia's are different, eg Upper Macedonia for the FYROM and Greece keeps a region simply called Macedonia.
Sure they do - in the end of it every nation can decide for itself how it names itself. I mean I am sure you don't dispute the right of Taiwan to call itself China anymore than you dispute the right of (Mainland) China to call itself China as well.

In the end it comes down to whether you believe the Roman invaders or the original inhabitants got it more right when saying wich was Macedonia. The Romans - for administrative reasons - enlarged Macedonia to include parts of nowadays five or six countries (of which FYROM is one). The original definition of it however only included the central part which nowadays is nearly all in Greece. However, the Roman province existed for far longer than the original kingdom so the argument of longevity is in favour of the six countries all having a claim to the name.

Yet when I think of Macedonia I think of Phillip and Alexander and the subsequent dynasties and not the administrative subunit of the Roman Empire. Which is why I think the Greeks have the better claim.

Also doesn't help that the FYROM engages in all sort of historical fuckery in order to lay a claim to the ancient macedonian kingdom, including trying to use its symbols. So their lineage claim is wrong. They got a legitimate claim to the provincial name but not the kingdom name.
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-02-14 10:41pm

Broomstick wrote:
2018-02-14 04:22pm
OK - give the Macedonian viewpoint on why the name of your country should be Macedonia as opposed to something else, and why it's so important to you (or, if not, why it's so important to so many of your countrymen).

For the most part, the people I come from really were never that attached to a particular piece of land or a particular nation so that viewpoint is quite foreign to me.
Well, being attached to a name comes with being attached to a sense of identity, in that "this country of ours isn't just a random blob of land that was able to secure independence by historical happenstance, it's a thing that has some relevance and existential significance."

Like, when we think of "Poland," we think of a culture and a country that has a history. Even at a point in time when Poland had been fully occupied by foreigners and divided up by foreign dynasties for 150 years, the Poles still had (somewhat vague) concepts that there was a land called "Poland," that it really had a valid existence. This gave them an incentive to work together across (then) international boundaries, seek independence for their national identity, and eventually pull together into a (admittedly quite flawed?) country.

If there was no historical concept of "this land has a name, it is Poland and it is where the Poles live," then nothing like this would have been possible. The land we know as Poland would just be a random blob of territory to be divided up and shuffled around between empires, and there would be little cause to defend it against intrusion.

So to say "your nation, which you think of as Macedonia, should not be called Macedonia," is in a sense to undermine the Macedonians' own concept that their country is worth defending or protecting from outside control. Or, for that matter, worth founding in the first place.

This can understandably be seen as something of an attack on their identity as a group.
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by Crown » 2018-02-15 02:36pm

Broomstick wrote:
2018-02-14 04:22pm
OK - give the Macedonian viewpoint on why the name of your country should be Macedonia as opposed to something else, and why it's so important to you (or, if not, why it's so important to so many of your countrymen).
I don't know ... why are you asking me that question? Think a moment before you reply, I'm trying to use this as a teaching moment, not to be a cunt.
Thanas wrote:
2018-02-14 05:50pm
Also doesn't help that the FYROM engages in all sort of historical fuckery in order to lay a claim to the ancient macedonian kingdom, including trying to use its symbols. So their lineage claim is wrong. They got a legitimate claim to the provincial name but not the kingdom name.
I think it's beyond doubt what they are using it for Thanas.
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by mr friendly guy » 2018-02-16 01:50am

Crown wrote:
2018-02-15 02:36pm
Broomstick wrote:
2018-02-14 04:22pm
OK - give the Macedonian viewpoint on why the name of your country should be Macedonia as opposed to something else, and why it's so important to you (or, if not, why it's so important to so many of your countrymen).
I don't know ... why are you asking me that question? Think a moment before you reply, I'm trying to use this as a teaching moment, not to be a cunt.
1. Well you implied by being Macedonian you had some knowledge about the situation we outsiders don't when you replied to Broomstick. Hence why she asked you a question.

2. If you are referring to that specific question, as opposed to a question in general, could it be that when you use the term Macedonian, you aren't referring to citizens of the FYROM, but people from the Greek area of Macedonia. Is that your teaching moment?
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by Broomstick » 2018-02-16 12:25pm

Crown wrote:
2018-02-15 02:36pm
I don't know ... why are you asking me that question? Think a moment before you reply, I'm trying to use this as a teaching moment, not to be a cunt.
I am puzzled by your tone, as well as your caution about thinking before replying (although I did, in fact, take some time prior to making this post).

I wasn't trolling you, being sarcastic, or... well, I don't know what you're implying here. I genuinely want to know your viewpoint on the situation because I know I don't understand the issues or the history very well, if at all. If anything Thanas has given more insight here than you have, although you seem to have some disagreement with his assessment of the situation.

Old World and New World do have different viewpoints on things like territory and nationality. This shouldn't be news to anyone but maybe it is. The country to the south of mine is officially the United States of Mexico and has as much claim to being called "The United States" as my country does, and no one gets their panties in a twist over it. And before you leap on me for that statement yes, I know it's a very different situation than the one between your country and Greece. I am also aware that I am ignorant of the details which is why I asked you, a Macedonian, about it. No ulterior motives, just an honest question about your own viewpoint.
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by Esquire » 2018-02-16 01:04pm

Thanas wrote:
2018-02-14 05:50pm
mr friendly guy wrote:
2018-02-06 08:51am
Just for interest, do you think both countries have a right to have Macedonia somewhere in the name of their respective regions, as long as its clear the Macedonia's are different, eg Upper Macedonia for the FYROM and Greece keeps a region simply called Macedonia.
Sure they do - in the end of it every nation can decide for itself how it names itself. I mean I am sure you don't dispute the right of Taiwan to call itself China anymore than you dispute the right of (Mainland) China to call itself China as well.
Umm - we* kind of do, though; note how it's always "Taipei, Taiwan," and not "Taipei, Republic of China."

*That is, English-and/or-French-speaking media of which I am aware, which themselves may not be either representative or correct.
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-02-16 01:21pm

I suppose I've also noticed that, it's almost always called Taiwan, to the point that I'm guessing most English speakers in the West... well, at least in the USA... probably don't know or remember that it's actually the Republic of China. So yeah, it would be fairly unusual for most of 'us' to spontaneously start referring to it solely as the ROC/China.
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by Thanas » 2018-02-16 03:33pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-02-16 01:21pm
I suppose I've also noticed that, it's almost always called Taiwan, to the point that I'm guessing most English speakers in the West... well, at least in the USA... probably don't know or remember that it's actually the Republic of China. So yeah, it would be fairly unusual for most of 'us' to spontaneously start referring to it solely as the ROC/China.
The right of other nations to not go along with the new name of "AWESOME BEST NATION ON EARTH VERY HUGE HANDS LIVE HERE" of a nation does not infringe upon the right of the nation "AWESOME BEST NATION ON EARTH VERY HUGE HANDS LIVE HERE" to call itself that.
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by GuppyShark » 2018-02-17 02:34am

Is it not possible for a nation to be called "Makedon" while there is a province in a neighbouring nation that also is called "Makedon"?

Even in the US there is a city that shares its name with a State and that is only mildly annoying.

(It is my understanding that Makedon is the more correct historical spelling and have no other reason for using it)

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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by Crown » 2018-02-17 03:38am

mr friendly guy wrote:
2018-02-16 01:50am
<snip>
1. Well you implied by being Macedonian you had some knowledge about the situation we outsiders don't when you replied to Broomstick. Hence why she asked you a question.

2. If you are referring to that specific question, as opposed to a question in general, could it be that when you use the term Macedonian, you aren't referring to citizens of the FYROM, but people from the Greek area of Macedonia. Is that your teaching moment?
1. I identified as a Macedonian (which I am) and asked Broomstick to ask me anything so I can help help with her with the following specific point of confusion;
Broomstick wrote:
2018-02-05 11:10am
I just don't get why the Greeks have their panties in a twist over this, but then, I'm not Greek or Macedonian.
2. Yes, the teaching moment for those following the conversation is that by calling myself Macedonian (which I am), Broomstick made the assumption that I was referring to myself as not-Greek (which is no slight on her) which might ... wait for it ... provide an insight as to why us Greeks "have [our] panties in a twist over this [naming malarky]".
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by Crown » 2018-02-17 03:53am

Broomstick wrote:
2018-02-16 12:25pm
Crown wrote:
2018-02-15 02:36pm
I don't know ... why are you asking me that question? Think a moment before you reply, I'm trying to use this as a teaching moment, not to be a cunt.
I am puzzled by your tone, as well as your caution about thinking before replying (although I did, in fact, take some time prior to making this post).

I wasn't trolling you, being sarcastic, or... well, I don't know what you're implying here. I genuinely want to know your viewpoint on the situation because I know I don't understand the issues or the history very well, if at all. If anything Thanas has given more insight here than you have, although you seem to have some disagreement with his assessment of the situation.
My tone is one of someone desperately trying to point out that I'm not trying to attack or degrade you (I'm not trying to be a cunt), but trying to get you to think "what did I assume when I posted to Crown my reply"?
Broomstick wrote:
2018-02-16 12:25pm
Old World and New World do have different viewpoints on things like territory and nationality. This shouldn't be news to anyone but maybe it is. The country to the south of mine is officially the United States of Mexico and has as much claim to being called "The United States" as my country does, and no one gets their panties in a twist over it. And before you leap on me for that statement yes, I know it's a very different situation than the one between your country and Greece. I am also aware that I am ignorant of the details which is why I asked you, a Macedonian, about it. No ulterior motives, just an honest question about your own viewpoint.
As above; in no way am I questioning your sincerity, honesty, intelligence, empathy, character or intention; I'm asking you to think; what did you assume about me when you posted that question based off one sentence. And when you understand what that is, you'll have your answer to the following;
Broomstick wrote:
2018-02-05 11:10am
I just don't get why the Greeks have their panties in a twist over this, but then, I'm not Greek or Macedonian.
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by Broomstick » 2018-02-17 09:31am

OK, I get it, I was confused as to which Macedonia you were from. I"m sorry if you were offended by my mis-identification, it certainly wasn't intentional.

But from my viewpoint it's like being confused whether someone means the US state of Georgia or the nation of Georgia, or when someone says "I'm from Georgia" on the internet I make a wrong guess on which Georgia they're referring to. I don't know - do people in the nation of Georgia find it offensive that the US has a state named Georgia? I come from a place where people routinely have to clarify if they're talking about Birmingham, Alabama or Birmingham, England or for that matter whether we're talking about the State of Washington or Washington, DC. Or New York City or the State of New York.

Around here when I say "I'm going to visit my sister in Buffalo" the conversation that follows sometimes goes "New Buffalo, Michigan?" "No, in New York." "New York City? I thought you said she lived in Buffalo?" "Buffalo, New York". "Oh, OK."

Having to clarify "which X are you referring to?" is so routine for me that it's a non-issue. Getting confused about nearly identical place names is routine.

So, from the viewpoint of someone in the US the whole "who gets to be called Macedonia" and why it's so very important is a little hard to understand.

So, my apologies for mistaking where you come from. To rephrase, why is it so important to the people in Macedonia, Greece that the "FYROM" not be called Macedonia? Is there objection to a city named Olympia being the capital of the State of Washington? What about Athens, Georgia; Athens, Ohio; Athens, Alabama; Athens, Indiana; Athens, Maine; Athens, New York; Athens, Pennsylvania; Athens, Tennessee; Athens, Texas; Athens, West Virginia; Athens, Wisconsin; Athens, Louisiana; Athens, Michigan; Athens, Illinois; Athens, Pennsylvania? All the US cities named Sparta? Close to half the US states have a city named "Troy". There are a bunch of "Ithacas", too. Is the difference that for the Macedonia question the two are in close proximity and all those others on another continent? Seems to me that that Slavic Macedonia has more claim to that name than any of the US cities using Greek names. Are the Greeks offended by Americans using the names of Greek cities? Would you get upset if we changed the name of, say, Wyoming to Sparta?

Do people in Greek Macedonia identify first as Greeks or first as Macedonians? Is there concern about a land grab? For that matter, is "Greek Macedonia" offensive? Would "Slavic Macedonia" be offensive to people in the FYROM?

I get that that this is a serious issue to those concerned, I just don't get why and I admit I'm so clueless I can cause inadvertent offense. In the end I may just have to accept that I don't understand this on a gut level and just have to recognize that it's really important to the people involved even if I don't get it (actually, that's where I am now - I understand it's important, just not why).
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by Crown » 2018-02-17 02:33pm

Broomstick wrote:
2018-02-17 09:31am
OK, I get it, I was confused as to which Macedonia you were from. I"m sorry if you were offended by my mis-identification, it certainly wasn't intentional.
Of course it wasn't intentional, and I don't blame you at all. But it's what will happen if Greece acquiesces to the FYROM demand in using the name 'Macedonia' without any pre-qualifier. I mean to be honest it's what will happen if Greece allows it to use the name Macedonia with a pre-qualifier as well as people are generally ignorant (and not taking a cheap shot there), so I'm getting more and more hardline on this issue.

I used to think I'd be okay with 'Upper Macedonia' or some such, but now I'm really questioning if I am anymore (I think there's an old thread on the issue on this board, I'll see if I can track it down).
Broomstick wrote:
2018-02-17 09:31am
But from my viewpoint it's like being confused whether someone means the US state of Georgia or the nation of Georgia, or when someone says "I'm from Georgia" on the internet I make a wrong guess on which Georgia they're referring to. I don't know - do people in the nation of Georgia find it offensive that the US has a state named Georgia? I come from a place where people routinely have to clarify if they're talking about Birmingham, Alabama or Birmingham, England or for that matter whether we're talking about the State of Washington or Washington, DC. Or New York City or the State of New York.

Around here when I say "I'm going to visit my sister in Buffalo" the conversation that follows sometimes goes "New Buffalo, Michigan?" "No, in New York." "New York City? I thought you said she lived in Buffalo?" "Buffalo, New York". "Oh, OK."

Having to clarify "which X are you referring to?" is so routine for me that it's a non-issue. Getting confused about nearly identical place names is routine.

So, from the viewpoint of someone in the US the whole "who gets to be called Macedonia" and why it's so very important is a little hard to understand.
You'll notice that in your original post that I quoted I cut out the part of English towns/counties being re-used in the colonies; there might be a moment of confusion of from X or Y when you say City Q, but once that's sorted there isn't a big deal because .... (see below)
Broomstick wrote:
2018-02-17 09:31am
So, my apologies for mistaking where you come from. To rephrase, why is it so important to the people in Macedonia, Greece that the "FYROM" not be called Macedonia? Is there objection to a city named Olympia being the capital of the State of Washington? What about Athens, Georgia; Athens, Ohio; Athens, Alabama; Athens, Indiana; Athens, Maine; Athens, New York; Athens, Pennsylvania; Athens, Tennessee; Athens, Texas; Athens, West Virginia; Athens, Wisconsin; Athens, Louisiana; Athens, Michigan; Athens, Illinois; Athens, Pennsylvania? All the US cities named Sparta? Close to half the US states have a city named "Troy". There are a bunch of "Ithacas", too. Is the difference that for the Macedonia question the two are in close proximity and all those others on another continent? Seems to me that that Slavic Macedonia has more claim to that name than any of the US cities using Greek names. Are the Greeks offended by Americans using the names of Greek cities? Would you get upset if we changed the name of, say, Wyoming to Sparta?
In all those examples (and you left out Athens, Ontario - I know it's in Canada) no one, and I mean no one is going to assume when someone from Athens, Illinois says "I am an Athenian" (true statement) they are implying that they are from the same place as Pericles, Plato, Aristotle from antiquity, or that they are speaking about a cultural and linguistic background that goes back 2000 plus years.

When someone says "I am Macedonian" people aren't going to stop and think; "Oh, you're a slavic descendant of people that migrated into the southern Balkans 500 odd years A.D.?". No, they're going to think they mean they are speaking about a cultural and linguistic background that goes back 2000 plus years, which is just not true in their situation.
Broomstick wrote:
2018-02-17 09:31am
Do people in Greek Macedonia identify first as Greeks or first as Macedonians?
First of all, outside of the current, and I mean current generation of Athenians, Greek's identify themselves in this order from most important to least; Village, Prefecture, Provence and then Greek. And if you've ever gone to Google Maps and turned on satellite view of Greece you will understand why this is true now, and why in ancient times there were countless Hellenic City States but never a Hellenic nation; we be a mountainous peninsula. As a pleasant anecdote my mother's village is Frourio and my father's Paliouria as the crow flies they are about 13km apart, but by car they are about 25km and it takes about 40mins now with the new roads ... with the old roads it was closer to an hour ... while my parents were growing up in post WW2 Greece with no roads and no cars and only by horse, it was over a day. People did not tend to wander too far from their home village, ever. Which is why (excluding those that are second/third generation Athenians), Greeks still identify with the village/prefecture first.
Broomstick wrote:
2018-02-17 09:31am
Is there concern about a land grab?
Realistically, no we'd curb stomp them (if you pardon the vernacular), if however you cast your sight into the misty crystal globe you can easily imagine an actual federated EU and there being a state called 'Macedonia' and while borders probably still won't shift but it will piss us off to no end. The best way to think about it is that this is a copyright claim dispute.
Broomstick wrote:
2018-02-17 09:31am
For that matter, is "Greek Macedonia" offensive?
Only in that you're implying that there could be a Macedonia that is not "Hellenic", and this is where Thanas makes the distinction of what people think when they say Macedonia; are you thinking of the Roman administrative region or are you thinking Phillip II and Alexander expanding Hellenism? As far as Greeks are concerned; not all Greeks are Macedonians, but all Macedonians are Greek.
Broomstick wrote:
2018-02-17 09:31am
Would "Slavic Macedonia" be offensive to people in the FYROM?
I imagine they would, but they'd find it more preferable to my suggestion of "West Bulgaria" which when using all their criteria as to why the can use Macedonia is just as a valid name, well more if you consider they speak Bulgarian. I nearly spat my drink out when I was reading the OP article and they said they speak "Macedonian" but then they saved it a little by saying (a slavic language), and this is just another little niggling thing that shows the depths of their duplicity.
Broomstick wrote:
2018-02-17 09:31am
I get that that this is a serious issue to those concerned, I just don't get why and I admit I'm so clueless I can cause inadvertent offense. In the end I may just have to accept that I don't understand this on a gut level and just have to recognize that it's really important to the people involved even if I don't get it (actually, that's where I am now - I understand it's important, just not why).
As I said above, in the most emotionless sense possible; it's a copyright dispute. I mean it bridges into identity of course, but it come down to copyright and just what is factual true and what is factually false. Here's an example to help clarify; the history of Anatolia stretches back millennia, and if you were to visit Turkey you can see Assyrian history, Persian history, Greek history, Roman (East and West) history and Ottoman history, and your Turkish tour guides will identify them as such. They don't pretend to be Assyrian/Persian/Greek/Roman when doing this. Sure the people might have been descendants from one or all of those groups, but they understand that this was something that happened before the culture/identity/nation of Turkey.

Same with Sicilians not pretending to be Athenians just because they have the best preserved example of Doric temples on their island and once being part of "Magna Graecia" and a colony of Athens.

And same with Bulgarians not running around claiming they're Thracians I mean they could, they do occupy the majority of what was Thrace (I think) and Greece actually has a minority of it (with Turkey having more if it that Greece but less than Bulgaria). But they don't, because Bulgarians didn't arrive into the area of what we think of Thrace, until it was just a region within Rome (just like Macedonia). And the only people calling themselves "Thracians" today are Greek.

But these guys (FYROM) are just not being honest, and you can ask Thanas to provide context on his "historical fuckery" line to understand the factually not true shit they peddle from time to time to understand why we look upon them in such bad faith. I am obviously a biased commentator on that issue.
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by Crown » 2018-02-17 02:40pm

Crown wrote:
2018-02-17 02:33pm
And the only people calling themselves "Thracians" today are Greek.
Just to clarify referring to the province of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace with this line.
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by Crown » 2018-02-17 02:57pm

Here's the old thread I was referring to Broomstick, where I felt I kept a calm and cool demeanour through out (/sarcasm) as promised, and this is what I was referring to specifically about my stance then;
Crown wrote:
2008-03-06 05:39pm
Darth Wong wrote:Crown, you keep calling them F.Y.R.O.M., which stands for "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia". So even you refer to them by a name which incorporates "Macedonia", do you not? All they're doing is ditching the long-winded preamble.
I'm not a nationalist zealot, nor am I racist purist. I have no problem if they decide to call themselves New Macedonia, Slavic Macednoia, Upper Macedonia, or any 'X' Macedonia.
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