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News Archive

President Ivanov: "Changing of Macedonia's name would be an international precedent "

21. August 2010. | 09:23

Source: MIA

 The issue of Macedonia's constitutional name requires great patience, caution, as the country is pressed to urgently find a solution to the matter in order to join the Euro-Atlantic institutions, which is not foreseen by the 1995 Interim Accord with neighboring Greece, President Gjorge Ivanov told reporters on Friday.

 The issue of Macedonia's constitutional name requires great patience, caution, as the country is pressed to urgently find a solution to the matter in order to join the Euro-Atlantic institutions, which is not foreseen by the 1995 Interim Accord with neighboring Greece, President Gjorge Ivanov told reporters on Friday.

The problem is complex, he said, as pressure has been exerted only on Macedonia that initiates meetings with the political leadership of Greece, which on the other hand is being considered as a 'constructive partner' in the (name) negotiations.

There is progress in the relations between common citizens of both countries, which is not the case with the politicians, Ivanov said, reminding that in the course of his one-year presidential mandate he has in several occasions invited his Greek counterpart for a meeting, which may not settle the name row, but will contribute to bolstering the overall relations between the two countries.

He also referred to the past failures of Macedonia's diplomacy, saying that MEP Doris Pack told him that in 1995 the country rejected the proposal to launch the processes for the European Union, NATO membership under its interim reference.

Greece is breaching the Interim Accord, under which it is bound to not impede Macedonia's Euro-Atlantic integration, Ivanov said, pointing out that the law is on Skopje's side.

How could Greece guarantee its respect of a possible name settlement when the experience thus far has been proving the opposite, Ivanov said.

Macedonia is for a solution, but it must take care for its dignity, as not only the name, but the identity is also at stake, Ivanov said.

Changing of the country's name would be an international precedent, as such scenario opens the road to powerful states to force the weaker ones to alter their identity, the President said. All concessions that go beyond the UN Charter on admitting new members present a serious threat for abuse in the future, he added.

Citizens of Macedonia should believe in the state institutions as the country has been functioning at all levels, Ivanov said in regard to the name dispute and inter-ethnic relations.

He believes that Macedonia and other countries of the region should promote open policy that will contribute to surpassing the present situation in the Balkans, as isolation could only generate conflicts.


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21. August 2010. 17:12:00

| Hmmm


An absolute travesty in the 21st Century, where a NATO and EU member is using the membership to demand another change its name.
This is creating a very dangerous precedence for all nations and must not be allowed to happen
Kick greece out of both organisations for their childish behaviour, and see how they like it.

21. August 2010. 19:07:17

| liberty


The balkanites really need to wake up. Do the Greeks believe that trashing Macedonia will benifit them in the long run. Greeks, Macedonians, Serbs, and Bulgars share a Christian bond yet have no conscious of the events that are unfolding just next door. I think Europe in general needs to wake up and help these small minded balkanite politicians forget about the past and get them integrated into europe together. Why leave black holes that leave Muslim Extremists watering at the mouth. Wahabbism is groing amoung Muslim communities in the balkans. That is not a good thing. Just look at France and some of the other countries. We have some serious issues. As a Christian Macedonian all I would like to say to any Greek listening. We have much more in common than that which is dividing us. A good relationship with your norther neighbor will only bring positive benifits to all the people. Please think of the evangilists 2000 years ago that came to these lands and spread the gosphel. We are the craddle of Christianity. We need to lead by example.

22. August 2010. 08:37:43

| John


Its laughable to say that Greece is violating the Interim accord. The political leadership of Skopje is Grossly unsophisticated. The open attempt to appropriate a huge part of Greek History was a huge mistake.
So now, reap the rewards of your actions. What did they expect, for Greece to sit there and do nothing to protect their History. Was Alexander the Great really a Slav?? I can see their leadership is in bed with the Turks, another good move, just ask the Armenians...

22. August 2010. 08:37:43

| Ime


Macedonia is a region not a nation.

Bulgarians lived on a piece of land always called Vardaska Banovina under Yugoslavia. Why are they looking to rename Vardaska to Macedonia?

What connection do slavic people have with Macedonia? Puzzling.

22. August 2010. 17:22:26

| Don't expect anything


Macedonia does not feel it is really under pressure. Look back 15 years when Greece was actually physically blockading the country - until the EU took Greece to court for an illegal blockade.

The Greek violation of the Interim Accord is being dealt with at the ICJ at the moment - and it is unlikely that Greece will win. Insiders have said that Greece's initial responses (not publicly released as yet - we have not reached the oral hearing stage)were not very well aligned in relation to the charge. Unless there is a change in Greek arguments in the oral pleadings - it looks very likely that Macedonia will win at the ICJ.

Macedonia has stated that they will follow up a victory at the ICJ with a UN General Assembly vote. Given that Macedonia has a huge advantage in support at the General Assembly and there is no veto, a resolution to the Macedonian name issue in favor of the Macedonian leadership is only a matter of time.

That is why they are in no hurry to compromise.

22. August 2010. 17:22:26

| Gandeto


Greeks have nothing in common with the Ancient Macedonians. This issue with the name is nothing but a ploy concocted to subvert and deflect the real issue at hand : the Macedonians living in Greece whose rights as people and citizens of Greece are not being recognized and respected. Greeks entered Macedonia for the first time in 1913 with the Balkan Wars. They occupied Macedonian land, expelled the Macedonians from their ancestral lands, confiscated their properties, changed the existing names of cities, villages, mountains and rivers into Greek sounding names and forced (by brutal measures) the rest of the remaining Macedonians to abandon their Macedonian nationality. They even forbade the Macedonians to use their Macedonian language and destroyed and burned any Macedonians books and artifacts. Even the icons in the Macedonian churches were not spared; the Cyrillic alphabet was erased and replaced with an ugly Greek one. As long as Europeans support this racist, bigoted and a very corrupt government in Greece, there will not be any room for justice, democracy and a real prosperity in the Balkans.


23. August - 29. August 2010.