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Thread: Macedonia Naming Dispute: Solved?

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    Abdülmecid I's Avatar ¡Ay Carmela!
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    Default Macedonia Naming Dispute: Solved?

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-44401643

    The naming dispute dates since the dissolution of Yugoslavia, when the new, independent state of Macedonia was created in 1991. Although the name "Macedonia" was used, without any issues at international recognition, by the socialist predecessor of the modern country, which was part of the federal republic of Yugoslavia, many Greeks, including high officials, reacted passionately at the new name. Governments fell, trade embargoes were declared and tensions rose, until 1995. Then an Interim Accord was signed, which allowed Macedonia to join several global organisations, after having made a couple of compromises, such as changing its flag and adding a new constitutional amendment, where territorial expansion was explicitly forbidden.

    However, the negotiations proved fruitless in regards to the name of the country, until last week, where the prime ministers of the two countries, Zaev and Tsipras for Macedonia and Greece respectively agreed to the compromise of Northern Macedonia. Moreover, the Macedonian language will be recognized by the United Nations as belonging to the Slavic family and the nationality of the citizens of the Republic of Northern Macedonia will be called as Macedonian, but after having disassociated themselves from the ancient kingdom. The compromise was greeted positively in an almost universal scale, with the unsurprising exception of domestic audiences. Extremists in both countries plan rallies in an effort to press their governments to backpedal and populists try to exploit the radicalism of the mob to gain votes.

    In Macedonia, president Ivanov criticized the deal and clarified he's not going to approve it. Of course, his veto is not omnipotent. According to the established procedure, he is obliged to accept any legislation, if the Parliament votes in favour of it again, for a second time after its rejection from the president. Meanwhile, in Greece the atmosphere became quite heated during the vote of no confidence initiated by the main opposition party. A member of Golden Dawn, a group of Greek Nazis, openly called for a military coup, then retracted his statements and is now hiding from the police, following a car pursuit, having been accused of high treason. The reaction from the Greek and Macedonian nationalists shows that the proposed solution is still far from certain, as long as the fragile leadership faces the dilemma of fixing a mutually damaging dispute, at the expense of serious political cost.

    In my opinion, the agreement is definitely a positive development, capable of benefiting both neighbors in the short term, while also gradually deescalating the tribalism manifested from many nationalists. Essentially, it's based on nothing other than inflammatory rhetoric conflicting nationalist narratives. Macedonia is a young state that inevitably tries to construct its own national myth, upon which it will justify its existence. The name of Macedonia, linked to the conquests of Alexander III, who still enjoys a legendary reputation, is obviously a very attractive option, which renders its history very prestigious. Ruthless politicians exploit tribalism, by building kitsch statues (also addressed by the agreement) and emotionally appealing to the steady disappearance of the Slavo-Macedonian minority in Northern Greece, in order to gain votes and distract society's attention from their corruption and administrative inefficiency.

    In Greece, the situation is similar, as nationalists get upset at having their monopoly at the history of Macedonia questioned and become paranoid over doom-and-gloom scenarios of Northern Macedonia reaching the Aegean Sea. Basically, it's a vicious circle, where nationalists exploit each other irredentism and hostility to profit politically and financially over something completely stupid, which doesn't harm or help the interests of anybody. The quality of the discourse has devolved so severely that the nationalists model themselves along the nationalist Committees that acted during the Macedonian Struggle, essentially a war between various bands of brigands busier at massacring civilians than fighting each other in the Ottoman Vilayet of Selanik.

    Fortunately, I hope that, providing the agreement is ratified by the parliaments and the popular referendums, the situation will quickly improve, because nothing will happen, contrary to the claims of the nationalists' scare-mongering. Neither Greece will invade up until Kosovo nor Macedonia will annex Mount Olympus. Slowly but surely the controversy will be forgotten, except for some obscure TV shows, where insincerely passionate salesmen will rant over the great betrayal after urging their viewers to buy their DVDs and their books printed in cheap paper. It will hardly matter to anyone outside the most ignorant and fanatical ultra-nationalists.

  2. #2
    Morticia Iunia Bruti's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: Macedonia Naming Dispute: Solved?

    At least Tsipras win the no-confidence vote at him and only 3000 people demonstrate against his agreement.

    http://www.spiegel.de/politik/auslan...a-1213393.html

    So hopefully this "problem" will finally be solved and other Balkan states got a good example how a proplem can be solved peacefully through agreements.
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    Default Re: Macedonia Naming Dispute: Solved?

    This was and is probably one of the pettiest disputes in this region, or the world for that matter.
    The Armenian Issue
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    Alastor's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: Macedonia Naming Dispute: Solved?

    I would say hold your horses. Zaev and Tsipras may have come to some sort of an agreement. But the agreement still needs to be ratified by the parliaments of both states. Already Ivanov said he is not signing it and Zaev's coalition doesn't have a majority of seats. Will it actually pass? Twice? As for the other side, Tsipras survived the no-confidence vote yes, but his coalition was still bruised. The second half of his coalition, ANEL, is in disarray. It's not even certain he'll be able to hold his government together until the vote takes place, much less that the vote will pass.

    So yeah, hold your horses. This is far from over.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Macedonia Naming Dispute: Solved?

    Political football to distract the masses from the issues at home. Like you said, hopefully this puts the issue at rest. Though im sure some of our resident Greeks will have something to say.

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    Alastor's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: Macedonia Naming Dispute: Solved?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sukiyama View Post
    Political football to distract the masses from the issues at home. Like you said, hopefully this puts the issue at rest. Though im sure some of our resident Greeks will have something to say.
    If the vast majority of a nation. In this case two nations. If they consider an issue to be important enough to topple governments for. I would say dismissing it as "political football to distract the masses from the issues at home" is not a very accurate way to do so.

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    Default Re: Macedonia Naming Dispute: Solved?

    Considering all Greece has on it's plate - debt, the Aegean dispute, systematic persecution on Total War Center, you'd think they'd fully embrace the opportunity to have at least one reasonably quiet front. Still, considering the implications of the name North Macedonia, it may not be over. Just consider it in the light of the divided Korean Peninsula or North Dakota's territorial ambitions at the expense of the South.
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    goro's Avatar Tribunus
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    Default Re: Macedonia Naming Dispute: Solved?

    To most greeks especially macedonians giving up the name to their northern neighbors means they will have a much noisy front and also the distortion of their identity. Now Macedonians will have to say im greek macedonian. Every product there will be called greek macedonian and children will grow up confused as to what this macedonian identity really is.

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    Alastor's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: Macedonia Naming Dispute: Solved?

    Quote Originally Posted by sumskilz View Post
    Considering all Greece has on it's plate - debt, the Aegean dispute, systematic persecution on Total War Center, you'd think they'd fully embrace the opportunity to have at least one reasonably quiet front. Still, considering the implications of the name North Macedonia, it may not be over. Just consider it in the light of the divided Korean Peninsula or North Dakota's territorial ambitions at the expense of the South.
    Indeed. Tsipras is taking what he perceives to be the pragmatic approach. Trying to close a front. But as you say the agreement has certain implications that will complicate things. Starting from your example and going of course further to the recognition of a Macedonian language/culture, even with the disassociation from the culture of old. Lets not forget that the supreme court of Greece has explicitly rejected in a decision only a couple of years ago the existence of either. As I said above. This is not over yet and it can go either way.

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    Default Re: Macedonia Naming Dispute: Solved?

    Hopefully this will end this worthless dispute over a name. Good on Tsipras Zaev for trying to finally end this dispute.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Macedonia Naming Dispute: Solved?

    Alexis Tsipras will go down in history as one of the worst Greeks of all times, worse than Ephialtes and Michael VII Parapinakes.

    He reduced his country to a colony, sold off its assets, starved his population, ethnically replaced them and finally prostituted the cultural heritage too. What a traitor.

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    Default Re: Macedonia Naming Dispute: Solved?

    Quote Originally Posted by Basil II the B.S View Post
    Alexis Tsipras will go down in history as one of the worst Greeks of all times, worse than Ephialtes and Michael VII Parapinakes.

    He reduced his country to a colony, sold off its assets, starved his population, ethnically replaced them and finally prostituted the cultural heritage too. What a traitor.
    Amen. Although it was already a colony when he took over
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    Default Re: Macedonia Naming Dispute: Solved?

    Eh, pretty much. It's not like ND are innocent or any better. KKE and GD are even worse.

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    Default Re: Macedonia Naming Dispute: Solved?

    In one year you'll get ND once again and it will be the same all over again. Parliament full of pretentious, lying, corrupted scum and i see no hope for the future since the old uneducated and gullible generations and the fanatic party loyalists represent most of the voting mass. Democracy has been failing hard for decades in this country.

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    Default Re: Macedonia Naming Dispute: Solved?

    Last evening i watched the entire sesion of Greek parliament (about 8 hours) that 163 members spoken including party leaders, the foreign minister and senators.
    The Foreign Minister CONFIRMED my thoughts about a 3rd Balkan War when he spesificaly addressed to the major opposition party and said that Greece makes that "retreat" in the name dispute inorder to have the stradegic depth with the incomming war against Turkey , keeping Turkey our of FYROM's influence and having a land bridge that will allow Greek, Bulgarian and Serbian armed forces to co-ordinate top avoid the creatiuon of a new Ottoman Empire and a Great Albania.
    The 8 hours video is not available but anyone that interests can issolate that speach and understand what I am saying. Turkey created naval base to Albania and invests huge ammount of money to FYROM but FYROM fears Turkey's plans for a Great Albania that will open a secoind froint against Serbia and Greece allowing Turkey to focus on Aegean and Cyprus. Serbia on the other hand never forgets Kosovo and gathers forces in the area and re-inforce its air power and artilery. Only last month Bulgaria desides -despite it financial problems- to produse 150 8x8 APCs and buy 24 F-16s and co-ordinate its airspace with the greek one. So...that Greek retreat on the name dispute is part of a larget plan trying to keep Turkey as possible separated from Albania. Because Tyrkey hopes in a south Bulgarian Muslim minority uprissing to create a land path that with FYROM and Kosovo will connect her with Albania. If that land path will be blocked Tyrkey must risk to re-inforce Albania through the sea that still Greece dominates!
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    Alastor's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: Macedonia Naming Dispute: Solved?

    Quote Originally Posted by Basil II the B.S View Post
    Eh, pretty much. It's not like ND are innocent or any better. KKE and GD are even worse.
    And that basically is the problem. It outlines the bankruptcy of democracy in Greece. Anyone who followed this story for instance is keenly aware of the vehement opposition to this deal by ND(the official opposition). Culminating yesterday into a no-confidence vote that left Tsipras and his coalition bruised. But anyone with some idea of Greek politics should also be aware that ND would just as readily agree to this given the opportunity and is only utilizing the event to gain power. Naturally if ND was the one in the government, agreeing to this, Tsipras would be the one motioning for a no-confidence vote. The end result being, the opposition, any opposition, always acts in demagogic ways to convince the voters. The government, any government, once in power, always acts against the wishes of the people. So indeed what is the way out?

    Either way, again as I said above, this is far from over. I forgot that on top of all the other factors I mentioned, Zaev will have to convince his people to vote for the agreement in a referendum also. I personally believe that Greece is a done deal. My prediction is, that if this deal fails, it will be the other side that blocks it.
    Last edited by Alastor; June 17, 2018 at 07:29 AM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Macedonia Naming Dispute: Solved?

    Well, even if it doesn't come to such an extreme scenario, I think Greece and its Yugoslav neighbours need each other and can't afford petty disputes. It's not a perfect, historically accurate solution, but an acceptable one IMO.

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    Alastor's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: Macedonia Naming Dispute: Solved?

    Quote Originally Posted by athanaric View Post
    It's not a perfect, historically accurate solution, but an acceptable one IMO.
    Polls show that 70% of the Greeks, including 50% of Tsipras' own voters, don't find it an acceptable solution. The problem most often referenced being what I mentioned above: language/ethnicity. The deal speaks of a Macedonian ethnicity, a Macedonian language, not a North Macedonian one. Despite the agreed name for the state. The Greek public, particularly in northern Greece (Macedonia), will not easily swallow such a deal. And I would bet the opposition will be fiercer than the government expects. Particularly when you take into account that the second half of Tsipras' coalition, depends on votes from that region. All that said, personally, I still believe Greece to be a done deal. Mostly because, as I mentioned above, I am convinced that currently any possible Greek government would betray the will of the people anyway. It is afterall rather telling that solely the Greek side was not given a referendum. Telling, but not surprising, besides even if a referendum happened, as recent history has shown, the outcome would be ignored if the government didn't like it.
    Last edited by Alastor; June 17, 2018 at 10:57 AM.

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    irontaino's Avatar Pizza time!
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    Default Re: Macedonia Naming Dispute: Solved?

    Quote Originally Posted by Setekh View Post
    This was and is probably one of the pettiest disputes in this region, or the world for that matter.
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    Alastor's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: Macedonia Naming Dispute: Solved?

    Certainly. If you perceive issues such as national identity, cultural heritage etc to be trivial this dispute is petty. Naturally that is an entirely subjective take.

    Then again we can consider the issue of contributing to the topic at hand and aphorisms like that do not contribute.

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