We see the Skopje government dragging its feet in implementing the Prespa Agreement. One of the biggest example is the Macedonian[sic] Orthodox Church that is nowhere near implementation. In addition, we recently saw the debacle in the Euro 2020 soccer tournament regarding Skopje's soccer federation name on their jerseys. Has the Greek government failed in keeping Skopje to the task?
I want to make something clear from the start. To avoid willful misunderstandings, by Greeks, I mean the Greeks of Greece. By Diaspora, I mean the Greek Diaspora, which includes myself.
Returning to the question, Skopje is dragging its feet in implementing the Prespes Agreement, which is not a surprise to anyone who understands Skopje's and Athens' strategic cultures. Such a sentiment becomes progressively intense since Skopje and its Diaspora recognize how politicians of Greece think. They understand Greece's strategic culture better than the Greeks themselves.
People who use their hearts to think, instead of their brains, are susceptible. They care primarily for bread and circuses. In addition, they have a mirror image mentality. They believe that others, especially from the Balkans and the Arab states, are like them. They are victims of blandishment, just like children. To counter such a strategic culture which essentially is national behavior, those who indicate concern are misguided in how and what they do. They base their beliefs on delusional motives.
Speaking of delusional motives, both before and after the Prespa Agreement was signed, some Greek organizations in Greece and in the Greek Diaspora invited an irrelevant, self-anointed "genius" mathematician from Greece to enjoy his nonsense, which speaks volumes of the leadership's cognitive state in Greece and in these respective countries as well. So, speaking to fools, a fraudster told them what they wanted to hear.
The challenge is that even when one expects a professional job, one gets disappointed. Without getting into the morality of the matter, Steven John Lalas, an American of Greek descent and former State Department communications officer, got caught by the F.B.I. because of his greed for money and the amateurism of the Greek political establishment and E.Y.P. (i.e. Greece's National Intelligence Service).
Heraclitus of Ephesus said. "τὰ πάντα ῥεῖ καὶ οὐδὲν μένει." It roughly translates to, "everything flows, and nothing stays the same." It seems that Heraclitus was talking to anyone else but the modern Greeks.
A few UNSC decisions call for both parties, Greece and North Macedonia[sic], to comply with the planet's top security body's pronouncements. Reservations, restrictions, or excuses will not do it as there is no language of "hope" in their directives. The Preamble and Article 6 of the Prespa Agreement regard the normalization of relations of both countries as final. Furthermore, Articles 19 and 20 provide directives and remedies for violations, whether "accidental" or intentional.
Since 1830, the country has been looking for a statesman but gets third rate narrow-minded politicians (πολιτικάντηδες ). The country is filled with politicians who are entrenched by cheap means to be elected or stay in office. So, modern Greeks have no choice. Nobody who wants to do something for the people of Greece will ever be elected to office because those of his own party will attack him/her for doing something for Greece, making them look bad.
It is why Greece is where it is. Politicians are those who not only make BAD laws but also apply them very selectively. I remember when C. Karamanlis was working on getting Greece into the European Economic Community (ECC), present-day European Union (EU). The "experts" even made him gay, as if that mattered. Of course, later on, the "experts" reaped the benefits of the EEC/EU. It is called hypocrisy.
Socrates' dictum, "your country is more precious and more to be revered and is holier and in higher esteem among the gods and among men of understanding than your mother and your father and all your ancestors (Plato, Crito 51 a,b – Loeb Classical Library) has become out of fashion or worst, it has taken a hypocritical turn.
As an intelligence professional, I do not care much about what politicians simply say, as much as I care about the result of their utterance and the received perception by others and what they do. An accumulation of small deceptions here and there leads to a big lie in which a country keeps paying and will pay for a long time.
A country's Constitution covers the basic principles and laws of a nation-state. It outlines the government's powers and responsibilities and ensures that citizens have certain rights. Essentially it is a written instrument embodying the rules of a political or social organization.
But here is the issue. Article 28 (2) of the Greek Constitution states,
"Authorities provided by the Constitution may by treaty or Agreement be vested in agencies of international organizations when this serves an important national interest and promotes cooperation with other States. A majority of three-fifths of the total number of Members of Parliament shall be necessary to vote the law ratifying the treaty or agreement (website: Parliament of Greece – Italics are mine).
When it was time for the Greek Parliament to ratify or reject the Prespa Agreement, Nikos Voutsis, the then Speaker of the Parliament, declared that the matter would be offered to the Parliament for discussion and ratification. Nonetheless, he mentioned that ratification of this Agreement would require a three-fifths majority out of 300 in the Greek Parliament. However, he added, "There is no constitutional provision for 180 votes, but for such a serious matter, the larger the majority will be, the better for all". Unfortunately, it is doubtful that Nikos Voutsis had read and understood Article 28 (2) of the Constitution, which he had sworn to uphold.
On January 25, 2019, out of 300 representatives, 153 voted for the Agreement, 146 against it, and 1 voted "present." The day after the Agreement's ratification, Greece's Alternate Foreign Minister, Georgios Katrougalos, signed the Prespa Agreement's enacted law in the Greek Parliament following Article 35(1) of the Constitution.
What is ironic about the whole thing is that although 146 representatives voted against the Agreement, not one of them protested against the violation of the Constitution.
The vote was unconstitutional since the Greek Constitution requires a minimum of 180 votes in the positive given the provision, "[a] majority of three-fifths of the total number of Members of Parliament shall be necessary to vote the law ratifying the treaty or agreement." Since NOT one member of the official opposition said anything about it, it means that they were ALL in it, including and not limited to N.D., and especially Golden Dawn and any political party in between. All this happened because SYRIZA was the political sacrificial lamb. SYRIZA did what N.D. wanted and what the Golden Dawn was begging for to have something to yell against. In such a manner, all parties would gain more members as being more "patriotic." Right now, we have the Skopjan Church throughout the world, Skopje's football federation and the Skopjan Consul General in Toronto implicated in raising the illegal flag of Vergina, and the government of N.D. is as loud as a fish. We also witnessed two foreign politicians being embroiled in the same issue - one Australian, on purpose, and one Canadian, who was caught unaware.
The majority's affirmative vote followed by the absolute silence of the minority made the Prespa Agreement constitutional and consequently very legal.
To put it another way, Nikos Voutsis, the Speaker of the Parliament at the time, acknowledged that Greece's Basic Law was flawed and too vague to be applied fairly.
The answer to whether a Court, any Court, local, or the International Court of Justice (I.C.J.) having jurisdiction on the matter may revoke the said Agreement is NO.
According to the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (May 23, 1969), entered into force on January 27, 1980, registered with the United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1155, p. 331, a diplomatic instrument may not be revoked unless it meets one of the grounds that Article 62 (Fundamental change of circumstances) specifies. The Prespa Agreement does not meet any of the grounds for revocation. Thus, parenthetically, once a diplomatic instrument is in force, it may not be revoked.
In my article Petition to the Government of Greece dated January 28, 2019, I warned the Greek government about the hurdles it would face. As Suetonius attributed to Julius Caesar on January 10, 49 B.C., "Tunc Caesar: "Eatur," inquit, "quo deorum ostenta et inimicorum iniquitas vocat. Iacta alea est," inquit. [Upon this, Caesar exclaimed, "let us go where the omens of the Gods and the iniquity of our enemies call us. The die is now cast."] (Suetonius, The Life of Caesar, chapter 32, section 1, Perseus Digital Library - Tufts University).
In continuation to the previous question then, what would need to happen in order for Greece to ensure its foreign policy obligations are promoted on the international arena in the same manner as other first world states?
The foreign policy of Greece started on a partisan basis, which makes Greek foreign policy extremely complex. Therefore, Greece is in dire need of a national foreign policy that addresses Greece's national interests in every single aspect of them. Such policy must include Greece's natural resources (whether on land, water, or air), but also financial, commercial as trademarks, and intellectual properties, aka copyrights.
To succeed, an organization should not utilize the same persons who developed strategies to implement tactics and employ the same staff to arrange the operation. Nobody is good at everything.
Doctrine is the set of statements an organization acknowledges as exact in an activity domain. Strategy is the process of activity and sequencing commitments steady with the tenet and driven by the one-of-a-kind highlights of an activity space that oblige but do not characterize plans and schedules. A tactic is a unique activity connected in a series of circumstances that acclimate to set criteria. On the other hand, an operation is the means that connects the two ends, i.e., the Strategy with a tactic aiming at the realization of the overall intent.
Writing about the Human Resource Development and the Organization of the United States Army as part of my essay for the postgraduate course of Strategic Leadership, Chapter C (Structure of the U.S. Army), I wrote,
"In certain occasions, Task Forces are formed in a matrix structure, but the line/staff correlation dominates. In this case, frequently, rank is irrelevant, but skill and experience rule. By this, I mean that a skillful person can be in a leadership position although that position normally belongs to a ranking individual."
I wrote it from experience. I have seen it happening in a couple of Task Forces that I had participated in and in the Strategic Intelligence discipline. Organizations, especially those with limited resources, would benefit from the above setup.
A team is an entity that reflects its members' common qualities and consensus without eliminating their individuality.
Strategic Leadership is an approach in which one learns the fundamentals of effectively leading people, teams, and organizations. It helps one develop tools to analyze organizational situations. In addition, one knows how to build a conceptual framework for leadership by devising and putting strategies for immediate impact into practice.
The specialization covers the strategic human resource and organizational foundations for creating and capturing value for long-term competitive advantage within a single organization.
Finally, a leadership and management strategy apply everything one has learned to a real-world issue. The immersive and hands-on deliverable will provide valuable practice and create value from the standpoint of potential members with the cooperation of one or more focal firms.
Coming to the politicians of Greece and their advisors, I can easily say that they have not impressed me. They were elected and hired for their connections instead of for their knowledge and skills. The fact that most of them have graduated from fancy universities means nothing before actual knowledge and experience. I have met a few of them. As I have mentioned many times before, a degree from a fancy university does not make one anything. Each individual makes the degree. The people of Greece hope for the best having these "selected" individuals in mind. Hope is good, but it does not solve any problems.
Because foreign policy is also be tied to a country's products, what do you think of the issue of Feta cheese as a national concern issue? Bulgarians and Serbians, for instance, sell feta cheese abroad, and nobody in Greece says anything. The same thing is true for Greeks who live abroad who claim that Greeks abroad "can also" make and sell feta cheese even when they make it in the United States, Canada, or other countries. Are they correct?
Nations approach constitutions and traditions protecting their political, physical, and cultural identity. They enact laws that aim at the same. What often becomes questionable is their desire to protect the same in practice, or so it seems. It is not rare that politicians seem to maneuver toward partisan gains over the country's benefits and the other way around.
As Thucydides, the ancient Greek realist, stated, "Identity of interests is the surest of bonds whether between states or individuals." The conclusion one draws from Hans Morgenthau's book Politics among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace is "The meaning of national interest is survival - the protection of physical, political and cultural identity against encroachments by other nation-states."
The simplest definition I could find regarding "national interests" is the one from Wikipedia below.
National Interest, often referred to by the French expression Raison d'État (transl. "reason of state"), is a rationality of governing referring to a sovereign state's goals and ambitions, be they economic, military, cultural, or otherwise.
Per Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Raison d'État, or reason of state, is the justification for a nation's foreign policy on the basis that the nation's own interests are primary.
Commerce is part of the national interests of a country.
Let us take the case of Halloumi (Χαλλούμι/Hellim), a product of Cyprus. The European Commission received the official application to register the above names as a Protected Designation of Origin (P.D.O.) for cheese made predominantly from goat milk under the Quality Regulation (E.U.) No 1151/2012 on July 17, 2014. The application covers producers from the whole island and foresees the protection of the name in the two languages, Greek and Turkish. However, the legalities of whether Turkey indirectly may or may not benefit from the registration due to its illegal occupation of the northern part of the island is unknown to me.
However, here is what happened. Halloumi is Cyprus' second-most valuable export after pharmaceuticals. According to official data, the industry has grown between 20% and 22% annually for the past five years. The Ministry of Agriculture says it has now set its sights on penetrating the China market.
In 2019, Cyprus almost lost its rights in the U.K. Here is what happened in the U.K.:
"Then, the halloumi community was dealt a blow when it learned it lost an important trademark in the United Kingdom when Cypriot government officials failed to provide necessary documents in a timely fashion. Instead, a UK-based company that has been producing halloumi successfully secured an annulment of the Trademark Cyprus had in place since 2002. According to an article published in Cyprus Mail, "the Trademark was lost because officials at the commerce ministry passed around a letter from a British court notifying the government of the cancellation application filed by a British company, instead of acting on it. A second letter was forwarded to the company registrar instead of the attorney-general. The British authorities handling the matter were not even given an e-mail address for the ministry."
Returning to Greece, in October 2005, the European Court, a U.N. organization, decided that the Trademark "Feta Cheese" belonged to Greece.
On June 17, 2020, the Ministry of Agriculture of Greece filed a lawsuit against Denmark for infringement of the Greek Trademark and won as a Protected Designation of Origin (P.D.O.). Feta is an "emblematic" Greek product, the ministry of Agriculture of Greece said, adding that Denmark had "refused to cooperate" with E.U. regulations.
Then why does the Greek Ministry of Agriculture look elsewhere when it comes to selling it abroad?
Protected Designation of Origin means that no product made in any other country in the world, not just a European Union state, may sell white cheese as Feta. The ruling applies even if the person who made it is Greek or of Greek origin living abroad. If the cheese is made outside Greece, the cheese is not Feta. The country of origin is important, not the person(s) who made it.
Also, owners of stores that sell cheeses may not advertise white cheese as Feta regardless of how they feel about it or how profitable it is to call it Feta. If the white cheese is NOT made in Greece, it is NOT Feta.
Nevertheless, another issue in regards to feta cheese keeps crawling, going unnoticed. Look at the photograph below.
In Arabic, on the right, the word Feta as "Authentic Bulgarian Feta Cheese," which is فيتا.
However, the Persian script on the left states "Bulgarian Cheese," the word feta (φέτα) or white are omitted.
I remember COSTCO had once advertised "Israeli Feta."
One of Greece's problems is international companies that promote Bulgarian, Serbian, Israeli, Canadian, Danish or whatever "feta" in any way they can. One of them is P.V. EURO MARKET which does business in European countries but not complying with the European Court by advertising and selling "Bulgarian feta."
Here is the address of the P.V. Euro Market, 4805 W. Pleasant Valley Rd., Parma, OH 44129, United States.
The P.V. Euro Market is a multi-ethnic European market and deli. It was established by the Cvjetićanin family from Serbia, who lives in Parma, Ohio, U.S.A.
Whether Greece will go after the P.V. Euro Market itself or Bulgaria is a matter of legal jurisdiction. The EU, Canada, and the United States have several reciprocal legal jurisdiction agreements. Some of the Bulgarian companies could have been established by various smaller companies outside Bulgaria. It is a matter of research by the legal department of the Greek Ministry of Agriculture.
As one may not sell sparkling wine as "Champagne" unless produced in the Champagne region of France, one may not sell Greek Feta unless produced in Greece. After all, the feta cheese of the Dodona region sets the standards of Feta in the world.
These are some examples of the illegal advertisement and sales precipitated by Bulgaria or Bulgarians abroad. The URL beneath offers paraphs of the full scale of the scam.
Check out the same Feta at the Krinos URL (posted below). The LEGAL Trademark for Feta is "Product of Greece." One might add any region of Greece one wants as long as the container states "Product of Greece." One may not make Feta in the United States and call it Greek Feta. One must call it White Cheese. It may be regionally made in Macedonia, or Epirus, or the Peloponnese for all I care, but the trademark feta is for a product produced ONLY in Greece. It is not Feta because the person who made it is of Greek descent or was born in Greece but lives outside of Greece. If the cheese is produced outside of Greece it is still White Cheese; no matter who has made it, it is not Feta. In the case of the Canadian-based Krinos company, it is NOT Greek Feta produced by Greeks in Canada. It is a Greek White Cheese produced by Greeks in Canada.
Check the Prespa Agreement articles 1 and 7. Do not be fooled by words such as Doric and Macedonian. Instead, check the country of origin; the color of the containers helps a lot. They reflect the colors of the flag of Skopje. It does not state "Made in GREECE." It states that it is "Made in CANADA", which means that it may not be sold as Feta in any form.
Specifically, here is the statement as found on the Krinos website: Popular in northern Greece and other Balkan countries, Macedonian style feta, also known as Doric Feta, exhibits the unique characteristics of a "double-cream" cheese, containing a low milk-fat content of 22%. Unlike traditional Feta, it has a smooth and spreadable texture, making it perfect as a morning spread during breakfast.
Made in Canada. Gluten and sulphite free. (Emphasis is mine).
Unfortunately, since the Krinos company cares only about profits, it does not bother with details. The Ministry of Agriculture of Greece should.
When I complained to a Greek diplomat in the late 1990s about American newspapers using "Macedonia" to denote Skopje instead of the FYROM, his answer was, "we cannot send letters to the media every time they use the term Macedonia instead of "The FYROM." The result of such a mentality resulted in what is now known as the 2018 Prespa Agreement.
Does Greece genuinely want to have a repetition of it, this time in one of its valuable national interests that affect the pocketbook of its citizens at home?
So I wonder what the excuse of a present-day Greek Ministry of Agriculture, M.F.A., or Commerce Attaché regarding the Feta cheese will be?
Greece must defend its national interests wherever they lie against any violator. They rob Greece blind, but Greeks are on the seventh heaven because people enamor a Greek product, which will not be Greek as long as the "δε βαριέσαι" mentality rules. Unfortunately, many violators are Greeks, owners of companies that make and distribute white cheese, and food stores or supermarkets that sell the white cheese as "Feta" living abroad. They all promote FETA cheese no matter where it was made.
Aside from products like feta then, and just generally speaking, is there something you can pinpoint in history as to why Greeks don't really defend the national interests of Greece the way we ought to?
Greeks and the Diaspora have a very twisted understanding of friendship between states and between individuals. They do not get that one might be friendly to another, but they could be enemies or even neutrals as far as their countries are concerned.
Here is an example. I know Serbian History exceptionally well. In its existence as a Serbian state since the times of Heraclius, I have not read a single occasion that Serbs came to Greece's assistance when Greece needed it. I am not talking about the idiocies of Mavro Orbin's Ragusa (present-day Dubrovnik) chronicle Kraljevstvo Slovena (The Kingdom of the Slavs) or Vinko Pribojević's sermon De Origine Successibusque Slavorum (The Origin and Glory of Slavs).
One does not have to read Byzantine Emperor Constantin Paleologos, Dimitrije Đorđević, Konstantin Jireček, Robert George Dalrymple, aka R.G.D. Laffan, Slavenko Terzić, Spiridon Gopčević, and a few others to understand Serbia's side of friendship toward Greece. It is enough for one to read Stojan Novaković.
Stojan Novaković, among other things, was Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Serbia, minister of education, minister of interior, and one of the most successful and skilled Serbian diplomats, holding the post of envoy to Constantinople, Paris, Vienna, and Saint Petersburg.
He authored several books, one of which is Balkanska pitanja i manje istorijsko-politic̆ke beles̆ke o Balkanskom poluostrvu, 1886-1905 (Balkan Issues and Small Historical - Political Notes on The Balkan Peninsula 1886-1905). Two of the book's leading chapters, "From Morava to the Vardar" (pages 1-60) and "Two Days in Skopje" (pages 61- 115), deal with Serbia's aspirations over Macedonia. He even argued that the dialects spoken in South Serbia (oblasts of Skopje, Bregalnica, Bitola) that later became part of Vardarska Banovina were nothing more than transitional dialects between Serbian and Eastern Bulgarian, otherwise known under the collective name, Torlak.
As for how the Serbs handled issues like the Politis-Kalfov Protocol, the ABECEDAR, and the murderous Komitadjis speaks volumes.
In the case of the Politis-Kalfov Protocol, on the one hand, Serbia had declared that the Slavophones of Macedonia were Serbs, speaking a Serbian dialect. However, on the other hand, it refused to take responsibility for the actions of the Komitadjis, who freely roamed Macedonia, killing anyone who opposed their plans, i.e., the union of Macedonia with Bulgaria. So the Serbs had the pie and ate it, too.
Anytime Serbia appeared to have done something for Greece is only part of a collateral benefit to Greece where Serbia's national interests and national security were the primary goals. When I asked a Greek of the Diaspora to tell me in what way Serbia is Greece's friend, he responded, "but we helped them so much during the Bosnian wars." It did not occur to him that Greece's actions indicated Greece's friendship toward the Serbian state and not the other way around. True friendships are based on mutuality; otherwise, they are one-sided romance.
Alternatively, what about the whole Serbian Army that Greece saved violating its own neutrality, allowed the island of Corfu to become a haven to retreating Serbian Army, saving it either from capture or drowning in 1916. Between February 6 and February 15, 1916, 235,000 Serbian soldiers, including Serbian King Petar I, Кarađorđević (Петар I Карађорђевић), landed in Corfu. Unfortunately, nothing has changed since.
On July 4, 2021, Proto Thema News had an article that outlined some of the greatest mistakes of successive Greek governments in the Macedonian issue between 1920-1991. This is something you have discussed for years, and it always fell on deaf ears. Is the news article too little, too late? Or, is there an opportunity within the article that the Greek government can learn from?
It is a pretty good article, except that the contents do not justify the title. In the 2020 Macedonian League Annual Assessment, I explain more things that Proto Thema has missed regarding Macedonia.
I wonder what the Tsamides (i.e. Cham Albanians) had to do with Macedonia? However, since the authors introduced the issue of the Tsamides into the article, they should have added the amateur way Tsaldaris had handled the issue on Northern Epirus during the Conference of the Peace Treaties signed in Paris on February 10, 1947. Why Albania? Because the Albanian Parliament had declared their country's union with Italy, and Italy declared war on Greece using Albania, i.e., now Italian soil, to attack Greece.
It also includes several historical errors due to oversimplification. The newspaper has used information related to the Macedonian issue in certain areas but has nothing to do with the Greek M.F.A.'s strategic and tactical errors. Instead, the author used such information as a filler.
To answer your question, "Is there an opportunity within the article that the Greek government can learn from?" my answer is NO. I am not expecting anything better to come out of it since the lifetime of mediocre politicians lasts only as long as the next election. Let us not forget that they are Athenians. They understand the issue of Macedonia much less than I know the function of the black holes in the universe.
By that time, people will forget, and henchmen (κομματόσκυλα) will justify their position with «ὢχ ἀδερφέ, δὲ βαρυέσαι! Δηλαδή οἱ ἂλλοι καλλίτεροι εἶναι;».
Notwithstanding, I wonder why Proto Thema left out the period between 1991 and 2018? In that period, politicians openly sold Macedonia and everything the name stands for to Skopje using the salami slice method.
Perhaps they should have shed some light on why the Macedonian Press Agency (M.P.A.) had lifted the veto over the membership of the Macedonian Information Agency of Skopje in the Association of Southeast European News Agencies in the late 1990s, to start with. Or what about the merger of the M.P.A. with the Athens Press Agency (A.P.A.)?
Has anyone forgotten about the sudden termination of Dr. Liana Souvlatzi's work around the remains of the temple Of Ammon Zeus in the walled village of Aghormi, about three kilometers east of the town of Siwa, seeking the tomb of Alexander the Great? The Greek government withdrew the funding, and the Egyptian government withdrew the permit. Both governments did it simultaneously. Does anyone see the connection?
Back in 1993, in a few days, the government of Greece managed to give away the name of Macedonia without the knowledge of the people of Greece.
January 22- 26, 1993
- Under the Greek prime minister's instructions, Mike Manatos sends a deceitful letter to Pres. Clinton, telling him that Greece was ready to compromise. That happened without giving Clinton a chance to check into the matter. Greece is doomed! http://www.onalert.gr/stories/Ti_kanane_oi_ntopianoi_gia_ta_SkopiaMia_apokalyptikh_omilia_kathhghth
- The Greek U.N. Delegation issues a memorandum rejecting the request of the FYROM for U.N. membership. The representatives of the E.U. members of the Security Council (Britain, France, and Spain) submit a plan of confidence-building measures proposing the temporary name "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia."
- President Karamanlis, not knowing Prime Minister Mitsotakis' directive to Manatos and the Greek Delegation to the U.N. (see notes 1 and 2 of January 26, 1993, above), sought a better American understanding of the Greek position. Karamanlis addresses a letter to newly elected U.S. President Bill Clinton. Karamanlis claims that heeding the Greek position is the only way to avert the spreading of the Yugoslav conflict southwards. http://www.macedonian-heritage.gr/timeline.html
When Dora Bakoyanni was the M.F.A. in Greece, she mentioned that Greece had given away 80% of Skopje's demands. A Western European politician suggested a solution to the name the way his country saw it; Bakoyanni responded, "I agree with you, but I will not be re-elected if I do that." Her issue was not that such a move would be wrong for Greece and its national security but that she would no longer remain in the Greek Parliament, a typical politician.
As I had explained a few times in the past, I was not, and I am not fond of, the Prespa Agreement because its language in certain areas is somewhat vague and subject to interpretation. Article 19(3) refers to the International Court of Justice (I.C.J.) for interpreting the text lest a disagreement arise. One must bear in mind that the language of the Agreement is in English. Greek and Skopjan are only auxiliary languages.
That means that if there is a dispute about stipulations on the Agreement, the pertinent authority will seek a solution based on the interpretation of the English text, not its translations. Also, we cannot jump to conclusions because we also lack knowledge of diplomatic correspondence regarding points of clarification of the text.
Politicians are accountable to their constituencies as the people of Greece, using democratic means, chose and choose their government and representatives in the Parliament.
A few years ago, a Greek politician told me that any time he had tried to do something for the people, the attacks against him did not come from the opposition parties, but his own party, his own boss, because by doing his job, he made others look bad.
For as long as the people of Greece vote for miserable and if they are lucky mediocre politicians mainly because the latter are heirs of prominent families and their fifth-rate entourage full of egos, snobbish mirror image, and complete ignorance of the Greek country-side and its challenges, one must never expect anything better. So before anyone believes that their political party is better than others, I have news for them; they are ALL the same regardless of their political ideology. In a democracy, there is no ideology but a platform.
A political platform is a set of positions on political issues used to promote a specific political party or candidate. It frequently takes the form of a manifesto, a carefully worded political document that appeals to voters by addressing a variety of issues that are important to them.
The weakness of the parliamentary institution in Greece is that the same mediocre politicians and their underlings have enacted such election laws that allow representatives of parties to choose their constituencies instead of constituencies to elect their representatives. The language must be such so that it will be impossible for a candidate to bypass the letter and spirit of the law through some legal inventions and innovations.
Let me explain what I mean. Mrs. Dora Bakoyanni was born, reared, and all her life resided and still resides in a suburb of Athens or Athens itself. So in what way did she represent or still represents the people of Chania or Aetoloakarnania?
Mr. George Papandreou, born and reared in St. Paul, MN, U.S.A., represents his paternal origin's voters, although he is a permanent resident of a suburb of Athens. Why?
Mr. Constantine Karamanlis, who was born and reared in Athens and lives in Athens; how can he represent the people of Thessaloniki or even Serres?
They are all PERMANENT RESIDENTS of and own houses in the basin of Attica. Therefore, for all practical purposes, they only represent their own neighbors. Therefore, one should be representing the people of the political district (περιφέρεια) in which one votes.
In the last 30 years, I know of only ONE of the 300 representatives who had rented a place in Athens. All others, whether born in Attica or not, permanently reside in Athens or its suburbs. In this manner, the only ones genuinely represented in the Greek Parliament are the residents of Athens and its suburbs. I would never forget a discussion I had with an older woman in Rhodos back in 1993. She said to me, "we lived better with the Italians." Need I say more?
So, does anyone expect better results with such a wishy-washy political "elite" who reside permanently in Athens and its suburbs representing the needs of the basin of Attica solely and, if lucky, Peloponnesus? I am surprised that Greece is still in one piece, although I wonder for how long!
If the good people of Proto Thema feel that they have what it takes, why don't they direct their attention to the above issue? Alternatively, if they want to gain some prestige of a newspaper with investigative reporting, why don't they investigate the 1974 invasion of Cyprus by Turkey and the contribution of politicians of Greece to it whether they lived in Greece or abroad, hic Rhodus, hic Salta.
Perhaps Proto Thema would like to explain the statement that Con. Karamanlis had made that "Cyprus was far away", which was why Greece could not help the Greek Cypriots.
When Greeks wake up, it will be past midnight.
An odd conversation still occurs in Greece and Skopje and their respective diasporas regarding how people "want to view" an internationally recognized agreement. Some politicians posture and still claim that they will annul the Prespa Agreement once they come to power in that conversation. Speak to what is an "internationally recognized agreement" against this whole conversation of annulment.
The language drafted in Articles 7 (2), 7 (3), and 7(4) of the Prespa Agreement makes clear "that not only the area and people of the northern region of Greece [Macedonia] but also their attributes, as well as the Hellenic civilization, history, culture, and heritage of that region from antiquity to present day differ from the Slavs. The most important point is Article 7(4), which clearly states that the official language of Skopje belongs to the "group of South Slavic languages." The Parties [first party Greece and second party Skopje] note that the official language and other attributes of the Second Party [Skopje] are not related to the ancient Hellenic civilization, history, culture, and heritage of the northern region of "Greece."
The goal of the extremists in Skopje and Skopje's Diaspora is to annul the Prespa Agreement. An annulment of the Prespa Agreement will mean a great deal for Skopje's
goal and objectives. The Prespa Agreement is FINAL. There is no return to the Interim Accord (September 13, 1995), and any UNSC decisions on the country's name will be null and void. Instead, Skopje will obtain the complete and absolute reversal of what Greece, through amateurish handling, has succeeded in achieving since 1991. Of course, the UNSC will have many things to say, mainly if armed hostilities occur due to such an annulment.
All objectives of the Slavs point to the restoration of the Republic of "Macedonia" and establish all institutions expressly referred to in article 7(2), (4) of the Agreement as theirs "with all the rights, privileges, and honors appertaining thereunto."
Briefly, once the Slavs succeed in nullifying the Prespa Agreement, their next step will be an entitlement to everything about ancient Macedonia as their inherent right. Nobody will be able to stop such an assertion since there would be no Prespa Agreement to disprove Skopje's "inalienable" rights to the soil of their fictitious ancestors and their mythical land of ancient Macedonia as their inherent right.
Once Skopjans succeed in the first step of their objectives, their next move will be ANY other claim that the Slavs would wish to make, including but not limited to private land proprietary rights as they allegedly lost them to the Greek landowners upon the departure of the Turkish forces. I do not even want to touch on military geography and strategic depth that Greece will lose along with any prestige she has.
The problem that I have seen in Greek organizations is that their leadership wants to involve their associations into unfamiliar turfs using a tactic that only those seeking self-aggradation due to hunger for power do. It is a multifaceted issue that people involved do not want to discern that they bite off more than they can chew.
Organizations send letters to officials in the United States or Canada, both of which have no legal standing in the matter. However, the issue is more serious. Reading a few of their published letters, I am not sure whether the presidents of the organizations address them to the readers or the officials.
Nonetheless, the contents of the letters indicate that those in charge have not read the Agreement and have only a superficial understanding of it. Some of them have bad ideas. Others with weak or no arguments resort to cursing those with extensive experience and knowledge of the subject to tell them the truth.
I have mentioned the above because I once questioned the content of a letter directed to the U.S. State Department. The answer I had received made me understand a lot. "If we write the letter the way you are suggesting, the Greeks won't like it." So, the President of the organization addressed the letter to an official of the U.S. State Department, but the contents he/she supplied followed the taste of the Greek readership. But, of course, the Greek readership understands ancient Macedonian history, balls and conventions, dances, claptrap, and fantasy.
Notwithstanding, on the other hand, the U.S. State Department officials understand regional stability, national interests, national security, instruments of statecraft as diplomacy, military and economic power, and how all these intertwine with U.S. foreign policy and other relevant topics, which seemed immaterial to the authors of those letters. It was the last time I stayed in touch with the organization in question.
People must understand that U.S. officials do not assume Greece is part of the United States, and the Diaspora must understand the same. They are two different countries with their issues and views of what constitutes national interests and national security. The Diaspora must make points that help persuade U.S. officials that both countries' national interests and national security are in conjunction. Although the above applies in the United States, it might not apply in any other country.
Letters must be written to cover a specific issue that the consignee comprehends and can relate to.
The late Nicolas Martis, addressing the international academic community on Macedonia, stated what Henry Kissinger said to a Greek of the Diaspora,
"Look, I believe that Greece is right to object, and I agree with Athens. The reason is that I know history, which is not the case with most of the others, including most of the Government and Administration in Washington. The strength of the Greek case is that of the history which I must say that Athens has not used so far with success."
When I had an opportunity to address the Greek Caucus of the U.S. Congress in 2012 at the request of Representative Gus Bilirakis on the issue of Macedonia, the President and Chief Executive Officer of a "Greek" American N.G.O. that supposedly lobbies in Washington sabotaged my lecture, NOT the Skopjans. It seems that someone in his Washington office tipped off the President of the N.G.O., and perhaps after "consultations" with the Greek M.F.A., Mr. Bilirakis' scheduler amazingly was "unable" to find an available room for one hour in the whole U.S. Congress during April and May 2012.
Here is what the President of a Greek Canadian organization stated in an e-mail referring to the President of the "Greek" American N.G.O. mentioned above, after the cancellation of my lecture.
"He might be one of us, but from what I know from 1 hour of a meeting I had with him, and from what I have been told about him, he is arrogant and irresponsible. Just like ELIAMEP, he wants money and minions under him, all the while towing the party line that the YPEX has told him. It is evident (Saturday, February 18, 2012, 10:44:56 AM)" (Italics are mine).
But this is nothing. I have a few more blatant acts of "Greeks" and ONLY online "patriots," which one could classify between boycott and sabotage, including but not limited to cursing, threats, spoofing, fake webpage, fake Facebook profile, and others. I suppose, if one cannot compete in knowledge, one plays dirty. On one occasion, I had to report it to the Cybersecurity Unit of the local Police, which notified all appropriate authorities in the United States, Australia, and Greece.
People must discern that cultural groups are not equipped or staffed to function as actual lobbies. In the case of the Prespa Agreement, nobody can do anything about it unless they try to precipitate war. However, they should think about it very carefully.
Both Skopjan and Greek Diasporas believe that President Biden issued Executive Order (E.O.) 14033, having their organizations and themselves in mind. I suppose the guilty get angry and defensive against President Biden because they realize that the Russians and Turks duped them. Such thoughts indicate megalomania and narcissism, but not reality. The Washington Post journalist Carol Krucoff wrote, "The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance — it is the illusion of knowledge."
Here is the case of Executive Order (E. O.) 14033, issued on June 8, 2021, by the President of the United States, Joe Biden. The E.O. is nothing more than a direct hit to the objectives of Russian and Turkish activities and their local cronies in the former Yugoslavia, which affect Greece and Bulgaria, given the fact that North Macedonia[sic] has territorial aspirations over Greek lands while culturally is connected to Bulgaria, Serbia, and Albania.
The date of the E.O. gives away what hid behind it. President Biden signed it two days before participating in the G7 Summit. After that, he met with the heads of governments of most of the world's advanced economies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States. In addition, U.S. President Joe Biden had a bilateral meeting with his Russian counterpart at the eighteenth-century lakeside Villa La Grange, Geneva, Switzerland June 16, 2021.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) held its 31st Summit in Brussels on June 14, 2021. One of President Biden's meetings on the sidelines of the NATO summit was with Turkey's President Erdogan. As a result, the list of disagreements between the two NATO allies was unusually long. The U.S. Intelligence community is fully aware of MİT's activities in Western Balkans, i.e., Bosnia, Kosovo, Albania, North Macedonia[sic], and consequently Greece. However, the bilateral issues discussed privately outnumbered the problems of the official agenda.
What role has the Greek diaspora media played in disseminating information to Greeks abroad post-Prespes to implement this Agreement?
It depends on the media. Two types of printed media exist in my view. First, the printed media that publish articles of various individuals did the best job because they published articles of various people with different perspectives. Thus, the readers had a chance to read different views and, on the matter, decide.
The media that employ journalists and process information through editorial boards did a wishy-washy job playing to their readership to please the Diaspora and the politicians of Greece. But, unfortunately, these are the ones that have received a monthly stipend from the Greek M.F.A.; while they depend on subscriptions, they try to please all sides, an impossible task if they want to be unbiased and exercise in futility.
What is your opinion regarding the talk of the resurrection of S.A.E. (the World Council of Hellenes Abroad)? Will it work the second time around, or should the Diaspora chart their independent course?
When I read about the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (S.A.E.) back in the early 1990s, I thought it was an excellent idea. I had read that other countries like Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Georgia, India, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, Romania dedicate ministries to their Diaspora. Others like Greece include affairs of their Diaspora within the ministries of Foreign Affairs, while Serbia in the Ministry of Religion and Diaspora.
Nonetheless, as the institution developed, I realized that the Greek M.F.A. was S.A.E.'s driving force and not the other way around following the Constitution, article Article 108 (2), which states that the Council of Hellenes Abroad has its mission "the expression of all communities of Hellenes across the world." Instead of the Diaspora conveying our enduring issues and ephemeral challenges to the Greek M.F.A., anticipating official and unofficial assistance, the Council became the political mouthpiece of the Greek M.F.A. Toward the very end, the transactional nature of the relationship between the Council's leadership and the M.F.A. was apparent. It was something like, "if you want to keep your title and benefits, you will do what I want you to do."
Politicians of Greece are not ignorant of what it entails to be an influential functional lobby. They do not want us to have one. It suits their personal and partisan interests. I remember about 15 years ago, a politician of Greece told the leadership of the Pan-Macedonian Association something to the effect, "the [Diaspora] will not dictate to us Greece's foreign policy."
Nevertheless, the same politician does not have to deal with the United Macedonian Diaspora nor the Turkish Coalition of America. He closes his ears and eyes like an ostrich, and in his mind, the organizations above that roam the United States do not exist.
Such is the foundation that creates the ultra-nationalistic ideals abroad.
The people of Greece and their media do not know, and in the case of the media, they play it both ways lest they lose funding from the government and subscriptions of the public.
Nothing sticks using saliva. A well-functioning lobby requires much money, which the political establishment of Greece expects the Diaspora to pay. Money opens doors to centrally located facilities, high-caliber skilled staff, leading to powerful politicians who could help realize the lobby's political agenda.
In 2011, some people of the Diaspora were interested in starting an independent lobby. So we got together in a suburb of Philadelphia. We held a meeting so that all in the group were on the same page. The concentration of the lobby would be around the "national issues" of Greece.
To me, an appeal for a lobby was about my home country's national interests and national security. Because I understand lobbies and the meaning of national interests and national security, I was given the task to put together all pertinent to lobby requirements on paper and an annual budget.
My budget plan, a total of US $4.8 Million, included renting a centrally located facility, its maintenance, rent of all sorts of top-of-the-line furniture and equipment, choice staffers, and first-rate experts representing each of the lobby's public or foreign policy aims. It totaled five million U.S. dollars. That was only for the lobby to be ready to operate; it did not include any operating expenses such as legal registration fees, parties, trips of themselves and their targets, and other expenses that could easily top the 10 million U.S. dollars per annum.
Nevertheless, here is the issue. As soon as I was tasked with the budget, I received a few suggestions that I considered to demand rather than requests to include certain people in the lobby. So I prepared the grounds for a solemn political pressure team, not nonsense that mocks people's intelligence.
Some of those present gave me a few names with background information irrelevant to the specialized assistance needed for the proposed lobby. Members of the lobby or perhaps the whole lobby must conform with the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (FARA), as amended.
To start a lobby specializing in Greece's national security and interest issues, a political pressure group needs professionals specializing in pertinent sciences. Some of them are in geology, marine geology, fisheries management, international law specializing in Eastern Mediterranean, marine engineering, military geography, diplomacy, and a few other relevant specialties. Moreover, all of them have to be U.S. citizens.
We do not see the above specialties in the Turkish conglomerations of organizations in the United States because behind their activities is a steadfast government. But, unfortunately, we do not have such a luxury.
One must never discount a fundamental specialty for such a lobby in political science, people who understand government and politics how the U.S. government works, especially the U.S. Congress's function like attorneys specializing in government relations and policy advocacy work to include legislation, political law compliance. The structure of the lobby must be horizontal with a concise vertical top with limited powers. Such an organization provides more operational flexibility due to expanding globalization and perpetual development and evolution of technology. At the same time, it does not depend on one power-grabbing individual who solely cares about his/her self-promotion.
Such a lobby might even need a few more to take care of the Greek political establishment. One must know whom to lobby, where, when, and whether one cares about short gains or long-term benefits.
When one cares about the contents in American textbooks regardless of subject matter, one lobbies the Texas State Board of Education. It is the oldest open secret in the world of education in the United States.
Why is the Texas State Board of Education critical in all 50 States? The Texas Education Agency (TEA) http://www.tea.state.tx.us/ defines the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). So, suppose the contents of the TEKS contain subjects of science courses as non-science or social studies filled with American jingoism. In that case, these contents become Texas textbook standards. The TEA always supports the State Board of Education (SBOE).
The SBOE of Texas picks textbooks for a state-approved list. Textbook publishers are notoriously weak-kneed. They will adjust the school books they publish to the TEKS. Only books, which, in the opinion of the SBOE, adequately meet the TEKS, are on the approved list.
Texas is a big buy for textbook publishers, and the publishers do not want to produce multiple versions of their texts. Any of the 1000+ school districts in the state can buy any schoolbooks they wish with their own money. If they want their state to purchase the books, they must choose among books on the approved list. I suspect that no district in Texas wants to buy texts with their own money.
Of course, lobbying members of TEA and SBOE require detective work to find out what each member likes or dislikes, expertise, and money for wining and dining members of the prospective targets. Travel to locations in Greece is part of the task. After all, a trip on a private airplane for a visual presentation of Alexander's the Great city is doubtlessly the best form of education for the members of the above organizations. But, of course, the above is only one of the many matters that the Greek Diaspora is interested in. The inclusion of the Greek Genocide is another one.
As a result of the previous meeting, I started writing the plan for a lobby on June 30, 2011, and finished it on July 18, 2012. Thus, I set the foundations of a lobby with the long-term goal to make textbooks friendlier to the Greek civilization, history, culture, and heritage from antiquity to the present day. In addition, I wanted to neutralize, if not eradicate, the root of the problem. This specific lobby had to do with Greek history as depicted by the textbooks in schools of the United States.
Looking around, however, I could not find enough persons with the ability and sincere desire to work as a team instead of a group of power-grabbing individuals whose desire was only to promote their names instead of the cause.
A friend of mine who was present in the meeting told me that the lobby would never occur, "I saw who was present in the meeting." He was correct. So the lobby never got off the ground.
Lobbying is much more than taking photographs before the offices of Foggy Bottom (district in Washington, D.C.) aimed to persuade the membership that the leadership does something.
Let me provide the readers with two paragraphs from a book by Joseph S. Roucek.
Washington wanted Cyprus to be given to Greece. The British were close to doing this in September 1945, but at least temporarily changed their minds for strategic reasons and because of fears of a Left-Wing government in Athens. This session was not definitely excluded in the future. The State Department also wanted a slight rectification in Greece's favor in southern Bulgaria. Washington's desire was for a grant by Greece to Yugoslavia and Bulgaria of free port rights at Salonica, but international relationships in that corner of the world would have to improve first. The original program, aside from the proposed slight modification of the Bulgarian- Greek border, left Bulgaria her 1939 frontiers, plus southern Dobruja. That was done. (Joseph S Roucek, Balkan Politics. International Relations in No Man's land (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1971), 272).
The Greeks did not help much, however. They pressed their claims for border revisions at the Paris Peace Conference in a naive and inefficient way; in America, they induced Senator Claude Pepper, through the Greek-American sponge-fishing colony of Florida [Tarpon Springs?], to force through the Senate resolutions that weakened any attempt at a positive United States policy in the Near East (Joseph S Roucek, Balkan Politics. International Relations in No Man's land (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1971), 290).
The last paragraph indicates how sentimental and unprofessional lobbying can reverse a nation's goals and expectations. Kardelj and Pijade of Yugoslavia explain the naïveté of Tsaldaris in their books.  I would add that Tsaldaris tasted the ingratitude of the Serbs who were present at the Conference. After all, he was the Prefect of Corfu who gave shelter to the Serbian Army without authorization from Athens in 1916.
People should be aware of those who believe they should try because they have nothing to lose. A person who has nothing to lose will help you lose everything you ever worked for. God gave us brains to think, expecting us to use them without a How to Think manual.
Since you referred to the Pan-Macedonian Association in your previous question: would you consider it a relevant organization or an organization way past their 'best before date.'
The Pan-Macedonian Association was established in New York City in 1947 as a cultural, apolitical organization. The organization was open to U.S. citizens of Macedonian origin, their wives, their posterity, and anyone who was a friend of Macedonia.
The purpose of the Pan-Macedonian Association was to develop and foster economic, cultural, and spiritual ties between American and Canadian citizens and Greek citizens while at the same time providing brotherhood and charity to Greek-Americans from Macedonia. Furthermore, the Pan-Macedonian Association was to provide support for the reconstruction and restoration of Greece. In addition, to improve the health and well-being of Macedonians in Macedonia. One must bear in mind that in 1947 the civil war in Greece was in full swing.
Over the years, the association developed and incorporated Women's and Youth Chapters. Besides charitable deeds, the primary purpose as I saw it was to disseminate information regarding the Hellenism of Macedonia and the differentiation of Macedonia from the Slavic part of Yugoslavia with the same name. It used to publish a magazine before the early 2000s, but it was discontinued due to a lack of funds.
Whether the present Constitution and its By-Laws of the Pan-Macedonian Association need to reach the 21st century is up to its membership. Whether the organization continues the path that it has taken during the last ten years also depends on the membership.
We have to realize that the majority of the people of Greece vote for politicians accountable to them. If they keep voting for miserable or even mediocre politicians, we cannot do anything about it. Therefore, whether we like it or not, the Prespa Agreement by its implementation and acceptance by the UNSC as a legally valid diplomatic instrument may never change.
The Skopje Slavs and their Diaspora have the annulment of the Prespa Agreement as their goal, and as their objectives, the total appropriation of everything Macedonian without exception. However, I do not understand why those in Greece and the Greek Diaspora, including the Pan-Macedonian, play to the goal and objectives of the Skopje Slavs.
If people do not like the results, they should not produce the conditions.
About Marcus A. Templar
Professor Marcus A. Templar is a former U.S. Army Cryptologic Linguist (Language Analyst), Signal Intelligence and All-Source Intelligence Analyst. During his career as a U.S. Intelligence Officer, besides organizational duties, he discharged the responsibilities of a U.S. Army Observer/Controller, Instructor of Intelligence Courses specializing in Deconstruction of Strategies, Foreign Disclosures Officer, and Translator Interpreter of Serbo-Croatian.
He is the Macedonian League's National Security Advisor.
About the Macedonian League
We are an international professional Hellenic advocacy group. Our primary purpose is to advance our interests to informed and responsive governments on issues concerning Greece's national security and territorial integrity.
As of 12 February 2019, the Macedonian League's main focus is on the “Prespes Agreement", as this Agreement is a serious national security issue for Greece and the wider Balkan region.
The Macedonian League also focuses on exposing and combating anti-Hellenism and analyzing political developments in Skopje.
For more information, follow us on: Website, Facebook, Twitter
 H. J. Morgenthau, Politics among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace, 2d ed., rev. & enl. New York: Knopf., 1948.
 Karydes, Megy. “Why Cyprus Is at Risk of Losing Its Precious Halloumi CHEESE Commodity.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 22 Feb. 2019, www.forbes.com/sites/megykarydes/2019/02/22/why-cyprus-is-at-risk-of-losing-its-precious-halloumi-cheese-commodity/?sh=41cf21c11a8e.
 Krucoff, Carol, " The 6 O'Clock Scholar: Librarian of Congress Daniel Boorstin And His Love Affair With Books", The Washington Post, January 29, 1984.
 Edvard Kardelj, Sećanja--borba za priznanje i nezavisnost nove Jugoslavije 1944-1957 (Beograd : Radnička štampa, 1980), 88-88n.
 Moša Pijade, Izabrani govori i članci 1941 -1947 (Beograd: Kultura, 1948), 445-456