Greece immediately objected to the use of the name Macedonia, as “Macedonia” has been, all the way since ancient times, an integral part of the Greek civilization and world, and a Northern Province of Greece. Because of this objection, the United Nations accepted this new country as a new member of the international community, with the provisional name of “the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” (FYROM), under the clear understanding that a mutually acceptable solution to the name issue should be found quickly between Greece and its Northern neighbor. To date, no solution has been reached, due to the fact that FYROM, instead of negotiating in good faith, is trying to impose the name “Republic of Macedonia” internationally, de facto.
Instead of working hard and in earnest to fulfill all conditions and criteria, FYROM is pursuing a 19th century type of nationalism, resulting in a skewed platform of hostility and agitating propaganda against Greece, a founding member of NATO.
Through the country’s education system and political propaganda, those in power in Skopje (FYROM’s capital, sometimes used interchangeably, primarily by Greeks, with FYROM) have been cultivating the idea of a “United Macedonia,” which would include Greece’s Northern Province and also territories from other neighboring countries, such as Bulgaria. Those policies only serve to stir up nationalism and animosity among countries and peoples, undermining regional cooperation and trust, and could ultimately jeopardize the stability of the whole region.
It is imperative that FYROM finds its way towards NATO membership through fulfilling all criteria and fully respecting fundamental NATO principles, not through engaging in expansionist and hostile policies against its neighbors, instigating bigotry. Accession to NATO, but also to the European Union, requires full commitment to the values of the organization one seeks to enter, and not resurrecting the policies of a bygone era of dangerous nationalism towards supportive neighbors and future allies.
In an interview with TNH, Spyropoulos expressed his joy and satisfaction because as he said “the annexation of Skopje to the NATO coalition was not included.” He went on to say that “the Summit dealt primarily with the Afghanistan issue and how to withdraw its military presence from there.”
He also said there “there were some confrontations between the two sides Greece and Skopje” and added that “Turkey supported them openly. As a matter of fact, Turkey’s minister of external affairs Davoudoglou was honored by the Skopjeans of America and at some point he said ‘I felt Macedonian.’”
|Ted Spyropoulos (R), one of the community’s great benefactors, placed full-page ads in the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times about the FYROM name issue.|
Spyropoulos verified that he placed the advertisement on his own initiative as an individual but he refused to disclose the amount the paid. “I wouldn’t want to say anything on that” he said and he added “the only thing I can tell you is that the two pages cost a lot.” He also said “I am glad that they were placed in a timely manner because the Greek side had done nothing for the issue of the name of Macedonia but neither for Cyprus – which is a member of NATO – [even as] the Turks continue to occupy Cyprus with armed forces.”
He also said that “we should do all we can to support the ethnic issues of Greece and especially to inform the American People.” He said “it is not mentioned anywhere in the text that we prepared and published about a dual name” and he added “it is the only text of its kind.”
“There is no a coherent cooperation from everyone, one common strong voice,” Spyropoulos added, referring to various organizations and federations.
Petros Molyviatis, the interim minister of external affairs of Greece, was the head of the Greek delegation.
On Saturday evening, a group of Greek-Americans hosted a reception in honor of the Greek delegation which was attended by approximately 200 people.