A day’s debate on FYROM’s name issue from the columns of a Greek newspaper

(“Eleftherotypia” , March 6, 2001)

Editor’s note:
The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Greece issued on 6 March 2001 a statement which referred to the name issue between Athens and Skopje. It stated inter alia that:

“The Church of Greece believes that the use of the name ‘Macedonia’ by the neighbouring state constitutes a usurpation of an important part of our history and culture and opens the way to territorial claims and the raising of non-existent minority issues. It hurts Greek dignity and infringes upon historical truth. The Church cannot ignore the loud voices of protest from the organisations of [Greek] Macedonians Abroad from all parts of the world. Neither can the Church ignore the particular anxiety of its flock living in Northern Greece.

If, with our own signature a state will be recognized with a name comprising the term ‘Macedonia’, then it cannot be ruled out that the northern Greeks will not be allowed to be called Makedones”.

In the same edition of the newspaper there were two different commentaries on the “name issue”:

“Café Greece”

by Sifis Polymilis

“…Yesterday’s attempt by [archbishop] Christodoulos to intervene politically, for one more time in recent months, into [Greece’s] relations with Skopje, is not only inadmissible but dangerous as well. At a moment when the government is involved in delilcate negotiations over an issue that has burdened our foreign policy for over a decade, the archbishop appears as judge, trying to impose his personal political viewpoint. At a time when even the opposition parties, which are entitled to criticize the government, are behaving responsibly, with utmost care , in their criticism, [archbishop] Christodoulos enters the scene in order to…declare which is national correct and which is not. All this is happening at a very dangerous moment, when the Albanian extremists project claims for changing borders…”

[FYROM] “Print of the Nails”

by Yiannis Triantis

FYROM should have been wary of the malicious and undocumented nationalism that arrogantly “resides” in a foreign name, relying on the merchants and Soroses of the world. UCK nationalism is no joke. The fate of small nations is the fate of the neighbour. And there is worse to come, left, as she has been, like a pawn in the hands of masters… And those familiar people need not start weeping and wailing again. By capitulating to the “great powers” for the sake of the name, FYROM has become a game, and will remain a lever for destabilization in the delicate Balkans. This neighbour has never been in any danger from Greek “nationalism”.

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