Outside the Nest: Greeks protest Macedonia’s name

Outside the Nest: Greeks protest Macedonia’s name

What Happened?

More than 140,000 Greeks turned out in protest Sunday, Feb. 4, to rally against the name of the country Macedonia. The protesters marched to Syntagma Square outside of the parliament in Athens, waving Greek flags and chanting that the name “is in our soul,” according to NPR.

In Context

The dispute over Macedonia’s name has gone on for more than 26 years. One of Greece’s northern provinces holds the name Macedonia, and the Greeks feel the name, one they say is integral to ancient Greek history, has been stolen.

Macedonia believes it may keep the name because of its roots to the ancient kingdom of Macedon, the kingdom once ruled by Alexander the Great. Macedonia is recognized by more than 140 countries, including the U.S., Russia and China. But, because Greece opposes the name, Macedonia has been barred from joining NATO and the E.U., according to NPR.

This is the second such protest this year. The first took place on Jan. 21 in Thessaloniki, the capital of the Greek Macedonia region, drawing close to 90,000 demonstrators.

The Latest

One of Greece’s most celebrated composers, Mikis Theodorakis, 92, said, “Macedonia was, is and will forever be Greek.”

Names that have been proposed include “Republic of New Macedonia” and “Republic of Macedonia-Skopje,” the latter one being accepted by Greece but rejected by Macedonia, according to the BBC.

What’s next?

Protesters argue that the only way the dispute will be resolved is to hold a referendum. Last month, Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said they would change the name of their airport from Skopje Alexander the Great to help in a compromise, according to the BBC.

Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias is reported to have received death threats after he said it would be months before the situation is resolved.

Related Posts

1 Comment

  1. Elefterios Mitsos
    February 6, 2018 at 2:38 am

    There will be zero tolerance with FYROM. If Zaev wanted to mend relations with Greece he would have announced the demolition of the grotesque Italian made Hellenic reproduction statues that litter the FYROM landscape, the renaming of the airport in Skopje, the renaming of the highway, the renaming of the football stadium, the removal of the repulsive Baroque Hellenic style facades, the correcting of school carriculum, the removal of the Hellenic symbol on the national flag, the removal of all greater Macedonia maps from government institutions and a heartfelt apolgy to the nation of Greece for his nation being vile for the last two and a half decades. Cultural theft cannot be forgiven easily. Actions speak louder than words. Greeks do not want to hear politicians trying new age diplomacy that they learnt in their political science classes. Dimitrov, Šekerinska, Zaevand all the Slavic Fyromians currently running FYROM are just as dogmatic about an exclusivity of the name as the Gruevski ultra nationalists. There is no scope for negotiation with these antiques. Greece is the victim here. Our history has been hijacked by Fyromian Slavs. Leave our history alone. It’s not a good fit for you. You cannot pronounce nor read the Ancient inscriptions for they are in Greek. If FYROM wants exclusivity to the name Macedonia they will have to change their official language to Greek for this corresponds with the Ancient Macedonian language. We Greeks embrace everyone as a Hellene as long as they speak Greek. You cannot have Bulgarian speaking Slavs of FYROM claiming they are Antiques. It’s ridiculous.
    Sekerinska can sit around bagging the VMRO for their crimes but she is just as bad. She claims she is a Slav and a non Antique and in the same breath attacks Greece for not recognizing FYROM. I thought that her hair incident would have knocked some sense into her. Dimitrov has also had a go at it. The fool was part of the negotiation team under Gruevski. He failed miserably because he too will never give up the name. These Slavs are like a dog with a bone but in their case the bone is plastic and has zero marrow.
    They know what they have to do and it will never happen. The constitutional name will not change because the antiquated population of FYROM will never vote for it. They have had way too many history lessons from Milenko Nedelkovski. The vile sneaky tactics of attempting to be admitted to NATO and the EU under their provisional FYROM name won’t work either. They are fruitless attempts at diplomacy that not only waste time but also soak up tax payers efforts. Think twice FYROM before attempting negotiations with the Greeks on their history. The Albanian, Roma and Turkish birth rate is twice that of the Slavs. While you lot are busy fixating about exclusivity of your name and your antique culture the non Slavic population of FYROM will become a majority group within their ancient wonderland. The last census was in 2001, these so called minority groups were are 35% collectively. I would hate to think what they are at now. 16 years of fertile breeding has to be worrying for the new government. Back off our history you deluded farm animals.