There is a misconception among some that Macedonia and Greece must agree to a new name for Macedonia in order to end the so-called name dispute. Greece has been successful in giving the impression that their opinion matters. What the oppressor, Greece, thinks is irrelevant. The country that is trying to wipe Macedonia off the map has no say in deciding what another country is named. Considering that Greece's ambitions are so transparent, and even admitted by a former Greek prime minister, it's shocking that the United Nations even gave it a second thought, much less 25 years of making Macedonia jump through hoops, run in a virtual hamster wheel of endless violations of its basic human rights, all with the goal of allowing one nation, for the first time in history, to name another.
Greece has absolutely no claim to anything Macedonian. It used to deny Macedonia's existence, tried, and continues to try to eradicate the existence of the Macedonian nation, culture and language. Macedonia was partitioned in 1913 among Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and later Albania and either had to, or still has to, fight off assimilation attempts by each of these countries. Greece, and Bulgaria for that matter, are trying to appropriate Macedonia's name, not the other way around. There are different issues altogether with Albania and Serbia...
But it comes down to this. No nation has the right to name another. Self-determination and self-identification are what matters. Add to the fact that Macedonia has always been known as such going back to ancient history, so this isn't really breaking news for anybody. Macedonia didn't just decide to call itself by this name. The West's romanticizing of Greece is what has led to their indulgence of Greece's blatant xenophobia towards Macedonia.
Furthermore, Greece didn't have an issue with the Republic of Macedonia when it was part of Yugoslavia. Since independence, the two countries have, albeit tumultuously at times, conducted business, trade, etc. as any countries would, and with no "agreement” on a name. For example, the 1995 Interim Accord refers to the "Party of the First Part” and "Party of the Second Part”. So, as Macedonia is forced to use the ridiculous acronym "FYROM” for "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, it could, and should, call Greece the "Former Ottoman Colony of Greece” or "The Republic of Misguided Superiority Complex” and business wouldn't change between the two countries. Macedonia could even follow the FOCOGians example and put stickers on cars visiting from Greece saying that Macedonia doesn't recognize The Artist Formerly Known as Greece.
Even if one were to indulge Greece's claim that the name of the Republic of Macedonia creates confusion with the province of Macedonia (that Greece annexed in 1913), the word "Republic” indicates statehood. Case closed. Adding "Northern”, "Slavic”, "Democratic” or any of Greece's other ridiculous suggestions as a prefix does not provide clarity as it claims, but only serves to fulfil Greece's goal of denying the existence of Macedonia and the Macedonian people.
So who will step up and end this nonsensical dispute? Macedonia, the UN, EU, US? Going once, going twice...
Bill Nicholov, President
Macedonian Human Rights Movement International