Supporters of the name deal write to The Guardian newspaper - see link here
Preface comment by Sasha Uzunov - TEAM UZUNOV blog editor
The "North Macedonia name deal" signed by Greece and Macedonia on 17 June - in reality formulated by the US despite the play acting - is an attempt to erase Macedonian identity off the face of the earth.
Putting aside the Kabuki theatre / pantomime in Athens, Greece loses nothing in the deal; in fact makes no concessions but Macedonia loses: the right to its own history, giving up its concern for ethnic Macedonians in Greece who are denied their rights ; and above all giving up its sovereignty by allowing Greece extraordinary powers to prosecute those who might be accused of "anti Hellenic" rhetoric, something unheard off.
What underpins the agreement is US foreign policy and geo strategic needs - that is to put the Balkans finally to bed under US hegemony. Macedonian identity poses a "problem" for Washington - especially to its NATO allies Greece, Bulgaria and Albania. Therefore the path of least resistance is to bully Macedonia.
To highlight the hypocrisy there is the deliberate silence of the US/EU/NATO of World War II Albanian Nazi collaborator statues built recently in Macedonia by "mainstream" ethnic Albanian politicians and former KLA terrorists from the 2001 war in Macedonia. In contrast, Germany - the birthplace of Nazism - has no Nazi statues. see link here
Back in the 1940s and even unto the 1960s you had white Hollywood actors playing Asians, African Americans and so on. Who could forget John Wayne playing Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan on the big screen...
Dr Risto “Chris” Popov - retired Australian public servant with the federal immigration department and long time Australian-Macedonian human rights activist - see links here and here
The characterisation by the signatories of those Macedonians who oppose this agreement as “hardliners and extremists” is not only highly offensive, but completely inaccurate and irrational. [see link here] What they are asking Macedonians, not only in the Republic of Macedonia, but in all parts of ethnographic Macedonia, to do is to relinquish their most basic human, political and cultural rights, including those to self-identification and self-determination; something that the signatories themselves would not even dream of suggesting to the peoples of the countries that they are citizens of.
In addition, there will be pressure on non-state bodies and organisations (for example those promoting recognition of the rights of ethnic Macedonians in Aegean Macedonia, that 51% of ethnographic Macedonian annexed by Greece in 1912-13) to desist from using “irredentist" terminology (for example, defending the human rights of the large ethnic Macedonian minority in Greece),Greek names for Macedonian towns and cities and landmarks in Aegean Macedonia will have to be used officially- all the names of these towns and cities were changed after that part of Macedonia was annexed by Greece in 1913 along with the personal names and surnames of ethnic Macedonians who remained in Greece- and possibly by ordinary citizens of "North Macedonia" and the Kutlesh flag and all symbols associated with it will be banned in state institutions and their use by private individuals will be "discouraged".
The agreement foresees the development of a joint History commission whereby so-called differences regarding interpretations of historical events and educational materials will be discussed. What this means in reality is that Macedonian history books will be revised to reflect a Greek view of Macedonia’s history and given that Greece holds the whip hand in that EU/NATO entry for Macedonia depends on it meeting Greek demands, then it is clear that such text books will reflect a Greek point of view which does not recognise the existence of a distinct Macedonia nation, ethnic group , language or identity anywhere in our Balkan homeland, which includes not only the Republic of Macedonia, but those parts of ethnographic Macedonia now within the borders of Bulgaria, Albania, Kosovo and Serbia.
There are many more offensive and insulting Orwellian clauses which will severely restrict freedom of speech in the Republic of Macedonia by limiting discussion of topics deemed irredentist or offensive by Greece; namely, mentioning or talking about the existence of a Macedonian minority in Greece and their total lack of basic human rights. This is simply obliteration and the beginning of a process of cultural genocide of the Macedonian people. However, there are many hurdles to pass and until such time that it is ratified by both countries, the name remains Republic of Macedonia.
The quisling Zaev government which was installed by the West to change Macedonia's name and get it into NATO is facing strong internal resistance -demonstrations, civil disobedience - and the sooner it falls the better. And remember this very important maxim; a country which does not respect itself by surrendering its most valuable and fundamental human rights can hardly expect to have its social and political rights respected by others. So if one is making a morally and politically unjustifiable deal –i.e. trading away one’s rights to a name and the identity and cultural issues which flow from that for the illusory economic and other so-called benefits of EU/NATO membership- rest assured that not only is that “deal” totally unacceptable, but bound to end in even more economic hardship for the ordinary people of Macedonia, as opposed to its comprador and subservient ruling class. The only thing that will be achieved by such a Faustian pact is the rapid depopulation of Macedonia by even greater emigration in the unlikely event that it gains membership of the EU; that is if the EU is still in existence in 15 years which is how long it may take for Macedonia to be admitted.
This is why this shameful agreement must not be allowed to stand and any referendum, whether consultative or binding, boycotted en masse so that the message is sent loud and clear to the Zaev regime that the Macedonian people roundly reject and delegitimize any attempt to even consider any change of our historical, centuries-old and rightful name. A large majority of ethnic Macedonians in the Republic of Macedonia oppose any such name change. I suggest that your readers read the text of the Agreement carefully to uncover the horror that awaits Macedonia should it be implemented. No self-respecting government would accept the dictates contained in this document.
Dr Risto Popov