Translated by Marcus A Templar
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Macedonian League.
- The first significant misconception is that the dispute is ONLY (EXCLUSIVE) for the name of our country.
This misconception becomes apparent when the Greek documents from the period when the name dispute arose in the early nineties of the last century would be inspected. It is explicitly stated that the actual issue of Greece is the Macedonian [sic] identity, which was to continue to develop in an independent state, which was unacceptable to her [Greece]. Moreover, this position is a constant of Greek foreign policy to this day. With a small insight into the website of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, you can find the document entitled "FYROM Name Issue" (https://www.mfa.gr/en/fyrom-name-issue/), in which it is contained the official Greek position on the name dispute. It explicitly states that our country declared its independence in 1991, "based on its existence as an independent state of the slogan and false notion of the"Macedonian nation," which was systematically cultivated through falsification of history and the use of ancient Macedonia for genuine political aspirations. "Practically, the Greek foreign minister Kotzias did not abandon the platform created by Samaras in the early 1990s, but only slightly softened the terminology and, unlike Samaras, accepted direct meetings with our chief of diplomacy.
Through the prism of such knowledge, it becomes clear why Greece keeps insisting on the essential change of the name of our country in the Republic of Upper (or Northern or Vardar Macedonia). Just to change the identity of our "artificial and false nation" in a way that is acceptable to the Greek side, regardless of the consequences for our country.
- The second big mistake is the fact that the admission of our country to the United Nations in 1993 is a severe defeat of our diplomacy, realized through a violation of the UN Charter, with our country receiving a temporary name.
The truth is quite the opposite. The admission of the Republic of Macedonia [sic] to the United Nations is the result of a very successful diplomatic action based on the UN Charter and led by a few friendly Western diplomats (mostly the British), who, through an unusual manner managed to avoid the obligation of Britain and France to veto our admission to the Security Council. This is the second misconception about the so-called "Reference", and this is the insane (which is wrong) that the name of the state has been changed to "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia". Many of our politicians and journalists, even our former prime ministers, in their statements succumb to this misconception, so they speak of a "temporary name". The truth is that the extremely unusual mechanism for addressing us (the so-called "reference") it implies that the UN and its member states will address us (will refer to us) under the reference, while our country will use its constitutional name in its communication with them. Practically, this has made it possible not to change the name of our country. It is a big defeat for Greece, which she defiantly conceals from her own public, and our authorities have never bothered to explain them to their citizens.
This inconvenient truth about Greece had come to the surface entirely during the proceedings before the International Court of Justice, who explicitly ruled that the so-called "Reference" not be a state name. Through the 1995 Interim Accord, the same mechanism was transferred to other international organizations, which adequately protected the state interest.
The third misconception is about the 1995 Interim Accord and the removal of the sixteen ray sun from the state flag of the Republic of Macedonia [sic].
In our public, the standard error is that by removing the sixteen ray sun (which Greece calls the "Star of Vergina") from the state flag, the Republic of Macedonia [sic] renounced its essential symbol and suffered irreparable damage. The truth is that the sixteen ray sun is not at all tied to the identity of the Macedonian [sic] nation, since it was unknown during the struggle for our national awareness and liberation during the 19th and 20th centuries, nor at the time of the creation of the Macedonian [sic] Republic based on the decisions of ASNOM since 1944. The Macedonian [sic] national identity has no root in any direct connection with the ancient Macedonian kingdom. Prof. Denko Maleski, our Kissinger, as I would call him, rightly emphasizes that the dominant position in world historical science be that the ancient Macedonian kingdom has a Greek character. The Republic of Macedonia [sic] has the right to the cultural heritage of the ancient Macedonian kingdom, as part of the world's cultural heritage, but also as part of the cultural heritage of our territory. Unfortunately, we must admit that placing the sixteen ray sun of our flag is a rather big mistake and to be reconciled with the fact that with the interim agreement of 1995 we were enabled to get rid of that mistake, not that we were forced to deny of something that is worthwhile for us.
- The fourth mistake is the renaming of our country is possible, without affecting our Macedonian [sic] identity.
As already stated above, the goal of the Greek insistence on a fundamental change in the name of our country in the Republic of Upper (Northern, Vardar) Macedonia is to achieve a change in our Macedonian [sic] identity. Therefore, the negotiations raise questions such as how the Macedonian [sic] language will be named after such a renaming of the state, or how it will be called citizenship, etc. To have no confusion, citizenship (in English: "nationality") is a legal relationship between the individual and the state, and it cannot be named differently from the state to which it relates. Moreover, the renaming of the state in the Republic of Upper (or Northern or Vardar Macedonia) opens the possibility of making an adjective of such a name (for example Upper Macedonian) and that must be clear to us.
Through the clarification of these misconceptions, the Macedonian [sic] public will be able to monitor the course of negotiations over the name dispute much more peacefully. Also, one cannot overlook the circumstances that the current full constitutional name of the Republic (Republic of Macedonia [sic]), which is complicated in itself, clearly distinguish between the name of our country and the name of the region of Macedonia in which it is located. It is also worth mentioning that in the past almost twenty-five years of negotiations under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General, the only compromise accepted by both sides, but at different times is the change of the name of our country to the "Republic of Macedonia-Skopje) ", i.e., "Republic of Macedonia (Skopje)", in the international (overall) relations [only]. We recently learned that Greece gave this proposal in September 1997 and our country before the NATO Summit in Bucharest in 2008. Of course, the adoption [of such a proposal] by us in 2008 was conditioned by confirmation of a referendum.
From the original article on PlusInfo