Greek protests over the name Macedonia

Published on 02/05/2018 by

Greek nationalism poured out on the Syntagma square. Is the protest behind the Greek opposition or church cleric hiding? How much does this undermine the chances of a possible solution to the name dispute?

Pavle Vascopoulos:
The obsession of the Macedonian issue in Greece is renewing. Protests in Thessaloniki and Athens are images of how an average Greek responds to this issue.
The Macedonian issue is a complement to the general difficult situation in Greece and the financial crisis.
An average Greek citizen believes that Macedonia is part of antiquity and heritage.
There is moderate electricity in Greece, not all ultra nationalists.
In the 1990s Macedonia was a threat to the Greek national identity, now redefining the Macedonian identity according to Greek wishes is required.
I can not predict what will happen. The blockade in Bucharest in 2008 was a surprise to me.
If there is no reform, make sure that the mutual solution to the name dispute will not be easy.
Northern or Upper Macedonia, a country of “guests who came to our region”, will most easily pass by the average Greek citizen.

Ljubomir Gajdov:
Yesterday’s protest is a defeat for Greek chauvinists.
The number of people at the protest in Athens is not an expression of the views of the Greek government.
One of the biggest lies in the world history is that Macedonia is Greek.
Nationalism and chauvinism in Greece are learned from a kindergarten. The church has a great role in that direction.
A big problem is the reparations that will have to be paid when we enter the EU.
Greek politicians are scaring the people by convincing them that we want to take something from them.
Greece can not reconcile with the fact that Macedonia becomes a serious international factor and will be admitted to the EU and NATO.
In this situation, Greece is clashing with the interest of great power, not with the Macedonian state leadership.

Jovan Donev:
7 out of 10 Greeks do not accept a name with a word Macedonia.
The Greek government wants to reduce the significance of the protests.
The Greek government is pressuring Macedonia to improve its ratings after failing with Cyprus.
Not the name problem, the problem is the Macedonian nation.
The problem is simple, if you are a Macedonian, Bulgarian or Greek.
We know that we are not a threat to anyone, but they are educated for generations.
We demand the blame all the time on our side.
The Hague verdict is clear, we have no claim to Greece. Macedonian media are catching up in the Greek PR tricks.
The Macedonian public has no information because there is no strategy for the negotiations.
There should be discretion, but we do not have a strategy and a red line.
We do not have a state consensus since the fifties. We are down to daily politics. Dimitrov’s statement is the last attempt to defend something.
We got into a very bad situation.
Why June is the deadline for solving the problem? Who accepted that term? The issue will not be resolved by then, only the crisis in Macedonia will deepen.
Nimetz left a temporary settlement. It is obvious that he received a signal for such a thing and obtained consent.
Kodzias will not offer anything more than Nimitz. There are no Macedonian and Cyrillic passports.
The question is why the Macedonian state leadership accepted to negotiate something beyond the Interim Accord.
I do not expect anything from these negotiations. Only deepening the crisis.

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