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View Diary: A Tale of Two European Unions (8 comments)

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  •  Macedonia issue (3+ / 0-)

    The main issue here is that the country neighboring Greece, in part, to the north has named itself Macedonia.

    Macedonia, as you correctly pointed out, is a region in Greece.  The geographical region of Macedonia also historically includes parts of the current Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as well as a small part of Bulgaria.

    The issue, for most Greeks, is that the government of FYROM has, through words and actions, attempted to make an exclusive claim on the name "Macedonia" as well as the entire historical and cultural legacy attached to it, which is historically Greek, dating back to the days of Alexander the Great and even before.

    Politicians from FYROM have often been seen promoting maps of "Greater Macedonia," which includes a large chunk of Greek territory.  Their national flag is indeed a recreation of the Star of Vergina, a Greek symbol.  They've named their international airport "Alexander the Great."  They've named roads and other pieces of infrastructure after other Ancient Macedonian figures.  Greek artifacts and cemeteries in the territory have been desecrated, as recently as last week.  

    And despite the Greek side offering various compromises to FYROM on the naming issue, including names like "North Macedonia" (which would still allow them to call their territory Macedonia without being able to make an exclusive claim), these proposals have been repeatedly rejected.

    That's an oversimplified summary of the issue, but hopefully helpful.

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