Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by Thanas » 2018-02-17 06:05pm

To make it more simple for others:

This is akin to modern France deciding to call itself the Roman Empire.

And here's what is extra crazy: France would probably have a better claim to the RE than FYROM does to Macedonia.
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by Zaune » 2018-02-17 07:06pm

I'm sure there's a good Asterix reference in there somewhere, but damned if I can think of one right now.
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by Broomstick » 2018-02-18 01:17am

First of all, thank you Crown I do feel I'm gaining some more understanding here.
Crown wrote:
2018-02-17 02:33pm
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.
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)...[snip]....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.
On the other hand, someone who emigrated from the Republic of Georgia to the State of Georgia might cause someone confusion if, while vacationing in Arizona, he tells someone else "I'm from Georgia".... granted, that would be unusual and not really the same thing we're talking about here.
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.
Honestly, when someone says "Macedonia" the first thing I think is "Alexander the Great", not anything to do with the modern world.

I wonder if a better analogy (for Americans, at least) is the dancing around the word "native" we do here. "Native American" now refers to the indigenous peoples who inhabited this continent prior to Columbus's voyages and their present day descendants. They are distinguished semantically from all other people born in the United States who, although "native born citizens" are no longer referred to as native Americans. There are a number of circumlocutions like "born in America", "of American birth", and so on but the Natives won that battle (more or less, we do have hold outs). It does distinguish between those who share a "cultural and linguistic background that goes back 2000 plus years" (and more for Native Americans) and those who ancestors arrived here more recently. How does that fit? Does that make sense?

(The Canadians use different terminology - First Nations, if I recall correctly, so take what I just said as applying to the United States only)
Crown wrote:
2018-02-17 02:33pm
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.
Reminds me of the Appalachian area - that pretty much describes my spouse's family and the geography they lived in. Culturally, though, I'm assuming they're worlds apart.
Crown wrote:
2018-02-17 02:33pm
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.
I'm still leaning more towards the distinction between Native American and born in America (which, yes, can also be seen as analogous to a copyright violation). That might be a better way to explain it to the Americans. What you'd use for someone else... well, that's a different question. If you think that analogy works I'll use it when discussing the issue over here, as something those in my country might grasp more intuitively than some other analogies.
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by Netko » 2018-02-18 06:52pm

Crown wrote:
2018-02-17 02:33pm
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.
This is a very Greek (-Macedionian?) viewpoint to things.

As a Croatian, that would exactly be my thinking - my "mental catalog" would go something like:
"I am Macedonian" = Slavic, ex-Yu, to the south, less developed, arrived at roughly the same time as us (i.e. close to a millennia and a half ago), speak a Slavic language that I can get a gist of but not fully understand; similar to Bulgarian; has Ottoman influences similar to Bosnia due to being under Ottoman rule for a long time

While if someone said
"Ancient Macedonian" for me that is = Ancient Greece/Greek-related culture, but slightly different then your typical ancient Greek city state like Athens or Sparta, ancient kingdom, expanded to empire under Alexander the Great, collapsed afterwards leaving things like Hellenic Egypt

Aside from a geographic (neighborhood) link, the two concepts are not at all related in my head.

That said, I find this a very petty stance by Greece - the thing is, those people have considered themselves "Macedonian" for more then a century - what exactly else would you have them be called and call themselves, which is not completely ridiculous like "Skopje" (i.e. the entire country are inhabitants of the capital city?!?). Your example of "West Bulgaria" is also at least a century (of completely separate history) late, and more importantly, certainly offensive to Macedonians who most certainly do not consider themselves Bulgarian and, partly, define themselves in opposition/separation from a Bulgarian identity.

I.e. somehow, as I see the Greek perspective, "copyrights" (to use your term) from two millennia ago should trump the self-identity of a people developed during at least the last two centuries. That for me is a prima facie case of damaging the present by mentally living in the past, which, being a citizen of a country which tends to do that on a fairly regular basis on other topics, I find utterly detestable.

And I find it a typical example of toxic ethnic Balkan bullshit - in Europe you have examples like Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (the independent state that is a EU member) vs the province of Luxembourg (largest Belgian province, to the south, with more population and land mass then the Grand Duchy), which also have different dominant ethnicities (Germanic-aligned Luxembourgish vs Francophone-aligned Wallon), and yet Luxembourg (the country) and Belgium are the tightest of tight allies and you would really have to look heavily to find someone who has a problem with there being two Luxembourgs.

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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by Soontir C'boath » 2018-02-19 01:24am

Slavic background aside, should I find it intriguing that the Macedonians are treated as part of Greek history when it seems they were considered separate cultures then? The notion that Philip II/Alexander the Great are Greeks or are inherent heroes in Hellenic history seems oddly weird to me. It's as if it was to consider Ghengis Khan, Kublai, etc as Chinese and celebrated as such rather than the Mongolians that they were.
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by Thanas » 2018-02-19 05:11am

Netko wrote:
2018-02-18 06:52pm
And I find it a typical example of toxic ethnic Balkan bullshit - in Europe you have examples like Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (the independent state that is a EU member) vs the province of Luxembourg (largest Belgian province, to the south, with more population and land mass then the Grand Duchy), which also have different dominant ethnicities (Germanic-aligned Luxembourgish vs Francophone-aligned Wallon), and yet Luxembourg (the country) and Belgium are the tightest of tight allies and you would really have to look heavily to find someone who has a problem with there being two Luxembourgs.
Because they are both parts of the former Grafschaft/Herzogtum Luxemburg which got reduced in size and got split. It is not the same.
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by mr friendly guy » 2018-02-19 07:36am

Soontir C'boath wrote:
2018-02-19 01:24am
Slavic background aside, should I find it intriguing that the Macedonians are treated as part of Greek history when it seems they were considered separate cultures then? The notion that Philip II/Alexander the Great are Greeks or are inherent heroes in Hellenic history seems oddly weird to me. It's as if it was to consider Ghengis Khan, Kublai, etc as Chinese and celebrated as such rather than the Mongolians that they were.
1. There are lots of Greek city states with different cultures. Just compare Athens and Sparta. Having different cultures didn't preclude them being Greek.

2. From various sources, I have heard two interpretations on whether the Macedonians were greek. The first is that the ancient Macedonians were considered by other Greeks at one time to be the equivalent of how we might view country bumpkins. Not civilised but still better than those damn foreigners, er I mean barbarians.

The second is that the Greeks considered the people if ancient Macedon to be a foreign people, but accepted that the kings of Macedon were of Greek ancestry ie Greeks ruling over barbarians.

Obviously the first interpretation is better for those arguing Macedonians are Greek, although the second interpretation still gives Greece a stronger claim than FYROM.

3. Given Chinese can also mean a nationality as well as an ethnicity, AND that there are more Mongols living in China than in Mongolia (ie ethnic Mongols who are Chinese nationals), it's not surprising there are Chinese who claim Kublai as part of their history.
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by Thanas » 2018-02-19 09:10am

The debate if Macedonians were eventually considered greek proper or not is not something that can ever be decided really considering the sources for it are either written with the intent of proving they were greek (i.e. Phillip II. and Alexander's propaganda) or written with the intent of disproving it (i.e. Athenian propaganda).

However it cannot be disputed that Macedonians (no matter their origins) were definitely part of the Hellenic world during the time of the diadochi, so the debate should have no bearing on them eventually becoming part of the Greek heritage, which nobody really disputes AFAIK.
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by mr friendly guy » 2018-02-28 08:59pm

Fun times have spread our humble corner of the globe

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‘They started it’: Macedonia hits back over ‘racist’ signs in Melbourne
A DECADES-long conflict has reignited, with “racist” signs and flags hanging in public. One side claims it all started with one offensive poster.

“THEY started it”.

That’s the catchcry from members of the Macedonian community in Melbourne accused of erecting “racist” signs and defacing the Greek flag with phallic symbols.

News.com.au revealed on Wednesday how ugly tensions had flared in Melbourne. Signs reading “Greeks are Turks”, “F*** Greece for unfairness” and “F***ing racists” appeared on freeway bridges and Greek Orthodox churches last week.

A prominent member of the Greek Australian community, Chris Moutzikis, said the signs were “disgusting” and had been erected by “bigots” and “racists”.

But the Macedonian community has fired back, claiming they’ve been persecuted for too long and that Greek Australians are not the innocent victims.

“Racist slogans, you say?” one member of the Macedonian community wrote to news.com.au. “I find it racist when someone says Macedonia is Greek when clearly we’re not.”

IT’S COMPLICATED

The Macedonia issue is complex but at its most basic is about the dispute over land in the Balkan Peninsula that is half the size of Tasmania but home to some two million people.

It occupies a controversial place in Greek and Balkan history, subject to claims and counter-claims about identity, history and culture.

The greater Macedonia was divided following the end of the Second Balkan War and the signing of the Bucharest Treaty in 1913. Macedonians say they’ve been persecuted ever since.

The Republic of Macedonia was formed when it seceded from Yugoslavia in 1991. More than 130 countries, including the UK, US, Russia and China recognise the Republic of Macedonia by its constitutional name.

But Greece insists it has the rights to the name because Macedonia is already a region in the country’s north.

In Macedonia, people speak mostly Macedonian, a Slavic tongue, or Albanian. That’s entirely unrelated to the Greek spoken by Greek Macedonians.

The debate is continuing at a diplomatic level where leaders of both countries have shown a willingness to compromise. But increasingly, the conflict is being fought in communities overseas, including in Melbourne.

Peaceful rallies have been held — including one where leaders of the Greek community addressed crowds on Sunday. But ultranationalist sentiments have found their way into the mainstream.

Video of a Greek flag being burned was shared by a pro-Macedonian group on Facebook. But they say Greece started it with a sign on a building in Richmond.

Most say the back-end-forth is unhelpful and not a representation of either community.

WE ARE FED UP’

Many members of the Macedonian community were angered when a giant poster was erected on a building in Swan St, Richmond. It advertised the rally at the Greek Consulate in Melbourne and featured the words, in big bold letters, “Macedonia is Greek”.

A similar sign was hung from the same bridge over the Eastern Freeway where a defaced Greek flag was later spotted.

“The Greeks started this tension,” a user wrote on social media, pointing to the Swan St sign. The sign has since been removed.

Another sent pictures of the burning of a Macedonian flag with the words “Remember” and “This is your karma, bitch”. It’s not clear where or when either picture was taken.

A “proud Macedonian-Australian”, who was born there and now lives in Perth, told news.com.au he was disappointed in the actions of a few ultranationalists.

“I condemn hatred in any way, shape or form and wholeheartedly agree that as a democracy, we as people should have the right to voice our concerns, and it should be done so in a peaceful manner, free from hatred and racism towards others.”

He said he experienced discrimination growing up in Australia as early as primary school.

Another Macedonian-Australian wrote that “ultras are doing wrong but we as a people are fed up with how the Greeks have treated us for a very long time.”

Another Macedonian who asked to remain nameless told news.com.au “a lot of the signs erected around Melbourne are not there because of the Macedonian people”.

“We see those signs and are equally angry at people erecting signs of hate.”

The woman said her family “comes from the region that was split by the Bucharest Treaty and that is in Greece” and that she still sees the “tears in my father’s eyes” over the name dispute.

On Monday, the Macedonian Coalition wrote on Facebook: “Calling all Macedonians everywhere you live, Australia, Canada, Germany, Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Albania and the Republic of Macedonia, this is your last call, there will be no more chances after this if we lose our identity, our name and our culture.

“I don’t want the next generations to grow in a world where culture is history and family is irrelevant.”

The group told news.com.au Macedonians are frustrated and that’s why the issue is boiling over.

“What we are seeing though is that Macedonians have had enough. The issue had basically become non-existent in Australia and the latest occurrence have brewed up old tensions. Denying a person’s identity would do these types of things.”

But Mr Moutzikis said attacks on Greek Australians had to stop.

“Those putting up offensive signs should leave the issue to people with sense and good will to find a solution,” he said.

A #March4Macedonia rally has been organised for Sunday, March 4. Mr Moutzikis urged members of the Greek community who were considering attending a counter-rally to think again.

He said he “condemned such idiotic behaviour”.
From memory, a decade or so ago, Melbourne had one of the highest numbers of Greeks living there (in a city) outside of Greece itself.
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by Thanas » 2018-03-01 03:46am

It is no surprise that the expat Macedonian community is involved in this, they pushed heavily for claiming the lineage of Alexander and adopting ancient Macedonian symbols.
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by mr friendly guy » 2018-06-12 10:55pm

It lives

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-13/m ... ia/9862810

For those who don't want to read the whole spiel.

1. The former Yugoslav republic of macedonia will be now called the Republic of Northern Macedonia.
2. The greeks claim this means the Republic of Northern Macedonia "cannot and will not be able in the future to claim any connection with the ancient Greek civilisation of Macedonia."

This kind of makes sense, since the name of Macedonia in the FYRM is derived from the Roman province of that name, which included parts of Greek Macedonia and other nearby lands. The part which the FYRM lies in, is not the Greek Macedonia part.

3. If Macedonia does the appropriate constitutional reform to recognise all these changes, it will make it easier for them to join NATO and the EU. So possible EU expansion on the cards, although Macedonia can't really contribute much economically to the EU.

Republic of Northern Macedonia: Decision finally made on new name after decades of debate
Updated about 3 hours ago

The prime ministers of Greece and Macedonia say they have agreed on "Republic of Northern Macedonia" as the new name for the Balkan country, ending a bitter 27-year dispute that had prevented the former Yugoslav republic from joining international institutions such as NATO.

Key points:
The new name will be used both domestically and internationally
Macedonia will also amend its constitution as part of the deal
The dispute over the "Macedonia" name had been a thorn in relations between the two countries at least since 1991
Greece's Alexis Tsipras and Macedonia's Zoran Zaev made the announcements shortly after speaking by phone.

The new name — which in Macedonian is Severna Makedonija — will be used both domestically and internationally, while Macedonia will also amend its constitution as part of the deal.

Greece had long demanded that Macedonia change or modify its name to avoid any claim to the territory and ancient heritage of Greece's northern region of Macedonia — birthplace of ancient warrior king Alexander the Great.

"There is no way back," Mr Zaev told a news conference as he explained the decision.

"We have been solving a two-and-a-half decade dispute … that has been drowning the country," he said, adding that the deal "will strengthen the Macedonian identity".

Mr Tsipras said the deal dictates "a clear distinction between Greek Macedonia and our northern neighbours".

"We have a deal," Mr Tsipras said.

"I'm happy because we have a good deal which covers all the preconditions set by the Greek side," he told Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos during a televised meeting.

"[The deal] puts an end to the irredentism which their current constitutional name implies."

He added that Macedonia "cannot and will not be able in the future to claim any connection with the ancient Greek civilisation of Macedonia".

A massive new statue of Alexander the Great in Skopje, Macedonia.
PHOTO: Macedonia will no longer be able to claim Alexander the Great as part of the deal. (By Christopher Bobyn)
The dispute over the "Macedonia" name had been a thorn in relations of the two countries at least since 1991, when Macedonia broke away from former Yugoslavia, declaring its independence under the name Republic of Macedonia.

Athens, which has a northern region also called Macedonia bordering on the ex-Yugoslav republic, objected to the name, demanding it be changed.

The row has stymied Macedonian attempts to join the European Union and the NATO military alliance in a region where the two organisations jostle for influence with Russia.

Mr Tsipras said the deal met the concerns of Greece that a revised name for Macedonia be a "compound" name with a geographical qualifier.

Athens and Skopje had been racing to agree the outline of a settlement before an EU summit in late June, though any accord would need to clear a referendum in Macedonia and win approval from politicians in both countries.

A NATO summit is scheduled for mid-July.


On the timeline of the deal, Mr Tsipras said that it would be first signed by the two countries' foreign ministers and then ratified by Macedonia's Parliament.

Greece will then back invitations for Macedonia to join NATO and start negotiations on joining the European Union.

However, Mr Tsipras said, this will be contingent on Macedonia completing the constitutional changes.

"In other words, if the constitutional amendment is not successfully completed, then the invitation to join NATO will be automatically rescinded and the accession talks with the European Union will not start," he said.

The deal was welcomed by EU officials, with European Council president Donald Tusk tweeting his "sincere congratulations" to Mr Tsipras and Mr Zaev.

"I am keeping my fingers crossed. Thanks to you, the impossible is becoming possible," he said.

AP/Reuters
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by Sea Skimmer » 2018-06-13 11:07pm

Ha, yeah right would this be solved that easily, Macedonia is already in political turmoil over it with the president refusing to sign the deal negotiated by the prime minister.
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by mr friendly guy » 2018-06-13 11:51pm

Sea Skimmer wrote:
2018-06-13 11:07pm
Ha, yeah right would this be solved that easily, Macedonia is already in political turmoil over it with the president refusing to sign the deal negotiated by the prime minister.
I didn't know that. So the plot thickens. As with a lot of the times, the old Chinese proverb about living in interesting times seems to apply.
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Re: Greece and Macedonia dispute over name

Post by LaCroix » 2018-06-14 02:38am

At least the final battle for the title of true Macedonia will be fought for with proper equipment - Phalanxes fighting each other - because both don't have money for bullets.
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