Makfax news story:
Greek nationalism denying the existence of the Macedonian national identity lies in the essence of the dispute on the name of the Republic of Macedonia, the Rainbow party said.
The letter sent to Matthew Nimetz by the leadership of the Rainbow party; which defends the interests of the Macedonia living in Aegean Macedonia as a part of the Macedonian minority living in Greece; says:
"The essence of the internal problem of this question for Greece is the denial of the recognition and the respect of a separate and distinct Macedonian ethnic/national identity different from the Greek one, because to do so would result in the collapse of the Greek myth of national homogeneity that the state has imposed for decades now."
The letter explains that when the Greek state acquired a part of the territory of Macedonia in 1912/1913, it extended this "myth" to the new territories. In other words, the average Greek citizen and indeed the vast majority of Greek politicians have the following views:
'We are Greeks, descendants of the Ancient Hellenes. The Ancient Macedonians were also Greek. Ancient Macedonia was a Greek (Hellene) district. Therefore we are the inheritors of this ancient world as a whole and nobody else has a right to this.'
As regards the technical problem of the name, Rainbow brakes down the Greece's thesis that the name confused the world as it referred to a region in Northern Greece.
Greece has three administrative regions carrying the name "Macedonia”, including Western, Central and Eastern Macedonia.
Each region has a prefix before the word "Macedonia”, thus distinguishing one from another, so having this logic in mind, there can also be no confusion between these regions of Greece and the independent and sovereign state called the Republic of Macedonia which has the prefix "Republic of” before the word "Macedonia”.
"In this context, it is interesting to note that there is not a single region and place in Greece which is called 'Republic of Macedonia'. Nor are there any other Greek citizens which self-identify as 'ethnic Macedonians' other than those belonging to the Macedonian minority of Greece. Therefore, there can be no confusion even in this area about the issue," Rainbow explains in its letter to Nimetz.
The letter further points out that in the last 15-20 years, there had been renaming of a number of Greek public bodies incorporating the word "Macedonia”, including an airport and a Ministry.
In 1988, the Greek government renamed the "Ministry of Northern Greece” into "Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace” when it became evident that the dissolution of Yugoslavia was imminent and as a result there was a possibility that an independent Macedonian state would be declared.
"Another such examples were the "Industrial School of Thessaloniki” which was renamed the 'University of Macedonia' in 1990 and the airport 'Thessaloniki-Mikra' reamed 'Thessaloniki-Macedonia' in 1992, etc, when the Republic of Macedonia had already declared its independence.
To read the full content of the letter to Matthew Nimetz, click here.