The Macedonian Tendency: 2005

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Greek Runs for Governor of California

If anyone knows a prominent Macedonian living in California, it would be a good idea to help them forward information on the Greek government's treatment of ethnic Macedonians living in Greece to the campaign of Arnold Schwarzenegger in his fight against his challenger Angelides.

This could help with their "opposition research and embarrass Angelides. Either he has to support the Greek position and lose credibility with the California voters, or support the rights of Macedonians in Greece and thereby undermines the Greek position. Let's not let him get away with "I support negotiations". It is about human rights for Macedonians in Greece an there is nothing to negotiate. Get Reality Macedonian to interview him. The Macedonian cause, allied with the dirty politcs of American electioneering ... a winning combination!

I assume Angelides has supported the Greek lobby's efforts in the past with regard to the name dispute with Macedonia. Lets find out.

This is an ideal time to use whatever small leverage we have to gain national media attention. Possible headlines include:

"Angelides supports cultural genocide of ethnic Macedonians in Greece."

"Angelides wants Macedonians to change the name of their Macedonian language, Macedonian Orthodox Church, Macedonian country!"

"No rights for Macedonians in Greece, no problem for Angelides".


Wednesday, July 13, 2005

They live by the sword and they died by the sword.

Former Albanian rebel commanders killed in Kosovo, Macedonia

Macedonia Needs more Foreign Investment

Macedonia Last in SEE in Terms of Foreign Investment

21 Congressmen Adopt the Greek Position!

News from the Greek lobby, Hellenic News. Looks like the Greek lobby is gearing up for a fight. My bet is that a majority of the congressmen have never talked to a Macedonian to hear about our side. On the other hand, it may not do any good since, I assume, they come from districts that have large Greek populations who tend to give political donations. As they say, MONEY TALKS, BULLSHIT WALKS!

Reps. Maloney, Bilirakis, and 21 Members of Congress Send Letters to President Bush

Monday, July 11, 2005

Balkan Soldiers to Iraq

One of the many things that the Macedonian government did, which I disagreed with, but turned out to be right, was to send soldiers to Iraq. It was a crucial element in the recognition of Macedonian's name by the Bush administration. Looks like other countries are playing the same game. Greeks are now kicking themsleves for passing on the Iraq adventure.

New Contingent of Macedonian Soldiers Leaves for Iraq

BiH Soldiers Depart for Iraq Mission

Albania to Boost its Contribution to Iraq Peacekeeping

Philip II of Macedon is Still resting in Peace

For those of you who are interested in these issues, it had been thought that the tomb of Philip II, also known as the father of Alexander the Great, was discovered. It turns out they we wrong.

Not Philip II of Macedon

Fleeing Albanians in the Summer with Winter Clothing

Don't have time to look into this story. I doubt it is true because it has not been reported in other media. Just part of the anti-Macedonian propaganda campaign. The actual story of the police raid is not bad but the picture of people fleeing is most probably a stock picture from the Kosovo war.


More Greek Pressure on Textbook Issue

In the US Congress, there is something called a "Greek Issues Caucus", which is a club of politicians who click their heels when the Greek lobby gives an order. They will not discuss the plight of Macedonians in Greece, lack of human rights or religious freedom. These people will support the most extreme positions of the Greek lobby. It looks like they marching orders are coming fast on the issue of Macedonian textbooks. Keep in touch.

Gov't: Time has come for FYROM to offer convincing answers to irredentist maps, texts

With Russia, we are 145 million!

This is great news! Although I have no alternative to the current policy of the Macedonian government, which is pro-Nato and pro-EU, I think that Macedonia should go out of its way to develop closer ties to Russia. This is a good step. Invite Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn to Ohrid. Give his free hotel for a week. Invite him to Kiril and Metodi University.

RIA Novosti - Culture - Macedonia to host Russian church music concerts

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Wahabism in Balkans gaining more attention

Looks like the growth of Wahabism in Macedonia has gained the attention of the US military with this article in SEEUROPE.NET.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Dymocks Booksellers

Only Fools and Hearses is a warts and all account of three loveable Australian lads and a hearse, affectionately called the Big Girl, travelling the world. From partying and hangovers at all the must-see European tourist destinations, to being thrown into a Macedonian gaol under suspicion of spying, It will be released in August. They should be interviewed by Macedonian journalists in Austrialia.

Dymocks Booksellers: "Only Fools and Hearses "

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Radicalization of Muslims in Macedonia

We need more information about this trend. I am not sure what this story is saying with regard to the relations between Albanian and Macedonian Muslims.

Makfax novinska agencija: "Schism deepens among radical and traditional Islam in Macedonia Skopje, 12:33"

Can a Journalist in Skopje Ask the British Ambassador and Albright This Question:

By definition, since Greece is a member of the EU and NATO, Greece's values regarding minority rights of ethnic Macedonians represent EU and NATO values. Anyone adopting the Greek position on minority rights would be allowed into the EU and NATO, no questions asked.

Yahoo! Groups : Macedonian_News_Service Messages : Message 6538 of 6538: "UNITED KINGDOM USES MACEDONIA'S CONSTITUTIONAL NAME IN BILATERAL COMMUNICATION"

If only this was our most pressing problem ...

Maybe someone at the BBC can explain why this story made the news, while the plight of ethnic Macedonians in Grece is ignored.

BBC NEWS | Wales | Embassy row over folk group visas

Gerald Zarr is a racist.

When journalists, consultants and politicians refer to the Macedonian people as "Orthodox Slavs", instead of just plain Macedonians, it is not a mistake. It is a deliberate and conscious decision to denigrate the identity of the Macedonian people in support of the "Greek position" that ethnic Macedonians have no language, history or culture. Heh! It sound like he is calling Macedonians "a bunch of "N-words".

Macedonia pulls back from the edge - Editorials & Commentary - International Herald Tribune: "Macedonia pulls back from the edge

Gerald Zarr International Herald Tribune


SKOPJE, Macedonia Five years ago the mood in Macedonia was grim. The war in neighboring Kosovo had pushed 370,000 Kosovar Albanian refugees across the border, threatening Macedonia's delicate ethnic balance between Orthodox Slavs and Muslim Albanians."

Gerald Zarr is a consultant on international development and a freelance writer.

Gligorov the Optimist

A nice small interview with former President Kiro Gligorov. It would greatly help the Macedonian cause of his thoughts on the various western personalities that passed through the Balkans would be published in English. It would not be a great project. One article a week. What did he think of Albright, Mitterand, Major etc. How did they respond when he mentioned that Albanians in Kosovo had few rights while the Macedonians in Greece have no rights.


Making my Blog more readable.

Starting today, I will be posting my comments and a link to the news story. I hope that it will make this blog more readable. In rare cases, where a quote is important, it will be included.

Will Carla del Ponte Respond to This Letter?

Good for Vinozhito. Keep these letters flying. I doubt that Carla will even respond to this letter, but it puts on the public record that Macedonians are still kicking in Greece.

2005 Letter to Carla del Ponte Chief Prosecutor for the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia:

"In the past, the Macedonian minority in Greece was also a victim of genocidal practices and chauvinistic Balkan policies. For example, the Greek army carried out massacres against Macedonian populations and burned villages in the region of Kilkis/Kukush at the beginning of the last century, according to the Carnegie Commission report (1913). This fact obliges us to treat similar problems with particular seriousness and sensitivity within the framework of our political activity.

In Greece, during the war in Bosnia and Kosovo, most politicians, the majority of the intellectual and cultural world, the Greek Orthodox Church and the greater portion of the mass media did not simply openly support even those being sought today for crimes against humanity: Karadjic and Mladic. They moreover reproached those European peoples and governments for their opposing position, thus systematically creating an anti-European and generally anti-western political current in Greek society. Characteristically, the current President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias as Foreign Affairs Minister claimed in a Greek radio interview (March 2001) that the only reason for the NATO military presence in the region was to wipe Serbia off the map, politically and militarily, so as to deprive Russia of its only European ally."

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

EU Commission Lays Down the Law on Gas not Human Rights!

If the EU Commission can take Greece to court "for failing to adopt EU laws to open up gas and electricity markets", then why cannot not take Greece to court for denying basic human rights to its ethnic Macedonian minority? News | EU commission takes five nations to court: "July 5, 2005

The European Union's head office decided Tuesday to take legal action against Spain, Greece, Estonia, Ireland and Luxembourg for failing to adopt EU laws to open up gas and electricity markets.

The European Commission also sent a warning to Portugal for delays in adopting the legislation.


Good for OMO-Ilinden

OMO_Ilinden has the potential of making life difficult for Bulgaria as it nears membership in the EU. Should it capture the attention of the main stream media, it could postpone the date of joining the EU.

News: "Macedonian minority in Bulgaria launch EU campaign

Georgios N.Papadakis, Florina/Lerin 6/30/2005 , by Georgios N.Papadakis

OMO Pirin, a political organization of the Macedonians in Bulgaria, is planning to launch an information “offensive” aimed at European and international institutions in an attempt to achieve recognition for the large Macedonian minority before the country’s entry into the European Union, scheduled for 2007.

The campaign was decided on during a two day meeting between representatives of various minority associations of Macedonians, held in the town of Petrich in the Pirin region of south Bulgaria.

An official letter of protest will be sent to the European Union, European Parliament, Council of Europe, OSCE and the UN. The letter will focus on the fact that although Bulgaria is on the threshold of joining the EU, Bulgaria is still refusing to implement the Copenhagen Criteria regarding national and linguistic minorities.

Last month OMO Pirin also applied for membership of European Free Alliance, a European political party allied with the Greens in Brussels. Addressing the EFA General Assembly in Rennes, OMO Pirin co-chairman Stojan Georgiev painted a dark picture of the way Macedonians in Bulgaria live . Fear, discrimination and lack of basic human rights are all part of everday life for Macedonian speakers, according to Georgiev.

Georgiev, as a minority activist, knows the situation only too well having spent four years in total in prison because he publicly spoke Macedonian and insisted that there is a Macedonian minority living in the country. Courts decided that these acts were “anti-Bulgarian” and convicted him several times. (Eurolang � 2005)"

Monday, July 04, 2005

United Macedonian Diaspora Lobbies Rice

We have to have more of these high profile communications with the White House and the State Department.

Letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice - Steve Gligorov: "Letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

July 1, 2005

Steve Gligorov
United Macedonian Diaspora
P.O. Box 19028
Washington, D.C. 20036
Phone: (202) 294-3400

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20520

To The Esteemed Secretary, Ms. Condoleezza Rice:

The purpose of this letter is: a) to underscore state sponsored discrimination against minorities because of their race, skin color, creed, national origin, or respective religion by the Greek government; and, b) to encourage the United States to remain firm on its policy decision recognizing the country of Macedonia, under Macedonia's constitutional name, 'Republic of Macedonia.'"

The morally correct decision to recognize the Republic of Macedonia, by the Bush Administration, stirred much controversy from the country of Greece, and it stirred much controversy from many Greek-Americans, such as Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME). The primary problem, as the Greek government presents it, is that The Republic of Macedonia has nothing to do with the "cultural heritage of ancient Macedonia."

Conversely, the real problem with recognizing Macedonia (as presented by oppressed Greek citizens, as presented by the U.S. Department of State 2004 Country Report on Human Rights Practices, and according to the United Nations Human Rights Committee) is the systematic state sponsored civil rights discrimination by the Greek government and the specific "unwillingness of the [Greek] government to allow any private groups or associations to use associational names that include the appellation ...Macedonian, based upon the state party's assertion that there are no ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities in Greece..." who are in fact of Macedonian national origin or ethnicity.

Moreover, "[t]he [U.N.] committee notes that individuals belonging to such minorities have a right under the Covenant (the U.N. International Covenant on Civil and Political Human Rights, article 27) to the enjoyment of their own culture, the profession and practice of their own religion, and the use of their own language in community with other members of their group."

In the United States, all Americans, despite the color of their skin, creed, national origin, or their religion, are generally free from unconstitutional state sponsored discrimination. Equally, it is important that minorities of Macedonian national origin living in Greece be free from unconstitutional discrimination because of their creed, religion, or national origin. We live in a day and age where state sponsored hatred based on ethnic discrimination is absolutely intolerable. Civil rights discrimination, including Anti-Semitic or religious discrimination by Greece is not consistent with American foreign and domestic policy; moreover, the United States should not acquiesce to any government that uses such horrid and detestable tools of societal oppression.

The following excerpts and attestations are directly from an April 26, 2005 letter drafted by Greek citizens who are being discriminated against because of their Macedonian ethnicity, national origin, or their Macedonian religion. The letter was delivered to the President of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, to the Commissioner on EU Enlargement, and to the 25 Ministers of the EU countries, as well.

As Greek and European citizens we are obliged to point out that today the key to this so-called "Macedonian issue" lies elsewhere, and not in the conceptual and linguistic objections of the Greek government. The problem that the Greek government diligently conceals is its (as well as Bulgaria's) refusal to recognize the existence and to respect the rights of the Macedonian nation. This of course also entails the refusal to recognize the existence and the rights of the Macedonian minority in Greece. The problem as the Greek government presents it has nothing to do with the so called "cultural heritage of ancient Macedonia", or that a portion of the Greek territory bears the administrative name of the District of Macedonia and the neighbor state calls itself also Macedonia or the Republic of Macedonia.

What the Greek government stubbornly refuses to admit is that it does not agree with the ethnic use of the terms "Macedonia," or "Macedonian" because of the existence of the Macedonian minority in Greece. Greek politicians maintain that the Macedonian minority in Greece is likely in the future to rise up with separatist demands. This - and not the name of the Republic of Macedonia - is the real and diachronic problem for every Greek government. However, if the Greek government admits this, then it must also proceed with corresponding measures to recognize and respect the rights of the minority - which, unfortunately, it does not currently do. We believe that it is precisely the contrary policy - i.e. the repression and violation of a minority's rights - that leads to unrest and disturbances of the peace. The former Yugoslavia taught us this lesson not very long ago.

To quote the famous American civil rights activist, Dr. Martin Luther King, "[i]njustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." The injustice against minorities by the Greek government cannot and should not continue. On June 23 2005 President George Bush forwarded a letter to Congress noting his concern as to "acts obstructing the Ohrid Framework Agreement of 2001 in the Republic of Macedonia" and "[t]he crisis constituted by the actions of person engaged in, or assisting, sponsoring, or supporting (i) extremist violence in the Republic of Macedonia, and elsewhere in the Western Balkans region..." To this end, the extremist acts of the Greek government (as documented by Greek citizens, by the United Nations, and by the U.S. Department of State) require international oversight, international investigation, and international intervention.

The Bush Administration and the Republic of Macedonia both deserve praise in their partnership to eliminate ethnic discrimination in the Balkans. Moreover, former United States Ambassador to the Republic of Macedonia, the esteemed Lawrence Butler, has stated numerous times how America views Macedonia, the Macedonian government, and the Macedonian people. "Today it [Macedonia] stands out as the Balkans only multiethnic, multicultural society. It has [a] truly multicultural, multiethnic government," says Ambassador Butler. Accordingly, the Greek government should learn by example from its neighbor, the Republic of Macedonia. Thus, any attempts by the Greek government to detract attention from their documented state sponsored violations of civil and human rights against minorities cannot and should not go unnoticed; specifically, it is these civil rights violations by Greece that are at the heart of the Macedonia name issue.

Bipartisan support underscoring the need to end oppression against minorities by the Greek government is strongly urged. Any talks relating to the Macedonia name issue must incorporate, and focus on, the discrimination of the Macedonian minority in Greece, as well. At the end of the day, a country's official name generally poses very little harm to ordinary people, but the harm posed by turning a blind eye to bigotry, prejudice, and fanaticism allows discrimination to thrive. Please help stop the discrimination by supporting the Republic of Macedonia and all affected minorities in Greece and the greater Balkans.

Steve Gligorov, Esq.
Civil Rights Advocate
United Macedonian Diaspora

Enclosures: 1. Letter By Greek Citizens to EU Council of Foreign Ministers (26 April 2005), 2. Letter from President of the United States to Congress (23 June 2005), 3. U.S. Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices (2004), 4. Concluding Observations of the United Nations Human Rights Committee (Eighty-third Session 31 March 2005), 5. Greek Helsinki Monitor-Minority Rights Group Press Release (18 April 2005), 6. United Nations Information Services-Human Rights Committee Concludes Review of Report by Greece (24 March 2005).

1. (President Bush Letter)

2. (United Nations Information Service)

3. (Letter by Greek Citizens of Macedonian ethnicity)

4. (U.S. Department of State Country Report: Greece)

5/6. (United Nations recommendations on Greek discrimination)

First Click on:

Next Click on:

Web site of Macedonian Human Rights Committee of Melbourne and Victoria Inc

This is a good site for human rights information.

News Update - Macedonian Human Rights Committee of Melbourne and Victoria Inc

ICG = CIA: You be the Judge

Dear Nicholas Whyte,
Europe Program Director
International Crisis Group

When I mentioned in my post to The Macedonian News Service, that your group, The International Crisis Group was a front for the CIA, you obviously took it in a negative light. Nothing could be further from the truth. The CIA is merely an instrument of American foreign policy that purses “the US national interest” without regard to human rights, war or peace, or collateral damage on other countries. I have encouraged the government of Macedonia to develop close ties with the CIA as you can see from the posts below. Lets face it, when someone has got you by the "yatse", you don't have much room to maneuver.

CIA Spy Spills the Beans on Macedonian Adventure
Macedonia Strengthen ties to CIA
Investigation: Macedonia Implicated in “Abduction” Case
CIA Kidnapping With Macedonian Help Gets the Times Treatment
On Lindsay Moran, CIA Spy, From A Macedonian Who Knew Her.
Pseudo-Human Rights : Freedom House on Macedonia

NGO's covering the Balkans that address the issue of Macedonians in Greece or the Kurds of Turkey are "human rights groups". These include Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and The US State Department on Human Rights (with input -- and no irony -- from the CIA).

NGO's that ignore the Macedonians and Kurds are what I have come to call "semi-official pseudo human rights groups" groups. These include, The International Crisis Group, Radio Free Europe, and Freedom House (in the case of Macedonians in Greece). I have just searched for any reference in the ICG web site to the plight of Macedonians in Greece ... and what a surprise ... I found none. I searched for compelling analysis of the plight of Kurds in Turkey and found this article, “Iraq: Allaying Turkey's Fears Over Kurdish Ambitions”. You may think that this is your finest hour, I do not.

Every barber, every hairdresser, every taxicab driver and every other member is the chattering classes in the Balkans thinks that The International Crisis Group is a front for the CIA and so do I. (not that there’s anything wrong with it!)

Sunday, July 03, 2005

This Article is an Example of Why RFE is Anti-Macedonian

I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that Robert Alagjozovski has written an excellent article for "Transitions (Radio Free Europe)". Robert, keep up the good work and keep writing for Transitions. The bad news is that the assignment given to Robert by the editors of "Transition" was basically anti-Macedonian because it did not include a survey of the use of symbols in other Balkan countries.

I know at least one village in Greece elected a Macedonian mayor from Vinoshito and there are numerous mayors of Turkish speaking villages in Thrace. Are they allowed to fly Macedonian and Turkish flags. How about the Turks in Bulgaria? How about the Kurds of Turkey? How about the Greeks of Albania? By focusing on the deficiencies of Macedonia, without including the context of other Balkan countries, RFE adds to a European drum beat for Macedonia to live up to so-called European standards. Meanwhile, Greece, a member is good standing of both Nato and the EU denies basic human rights to ethnic Macedonians. By definition, Greece's values regarding minority rights are EU values.

Transitions Online: Flagging the Issue: "Flagging the Issue
by Robert Alagjozovski
27 June 2005

A debate on symbols for Macedonia’s minorities exposes rifts within the country – and the ruling coalition.

SKOPJE, Macedonia | Before taking its summer recess, the Macedonian parliament is trying to pass legislation that would fully implement the Ohrid Framework Agreement, which ended the country’s brief civil war of 2001. Any further delay could dampen hopes of the country becoming a candidate for European Union membership by the end of this year.

Macedonia to EU This Year?

I will believe it when I see it. Europe: "Macedonia Expects EU Candidate Status This Year (Update1)

July 1 (Bloomberg) -- The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia expects the European Union to grant it candidate status as early as this year, 14 years after independence, said Economy Minister Fatmir Besimi.

The nation of 2 million people located between Greece and Bulgaria applied for EU membership in March 2004. It also seeks to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 2006, Besimi said in an interview on June 24 during a conference in Monaco.

``We have been very active in the EU integration processes,'' said Besimi, 29. ``We expect to have candidate status at the end of this year or early next year and this will have a very positive impact on economic growth and investments because it will be a very strong signal we are moving in the right direction.''

Macedonia's $5.4 billion economy may grow 3.8 percent this year, Besimi forecast, from 2.9 percent in 2004, led by higher industrial output and foreign investment. The nation's bid for membership follows the EU's biggest expansion last year, when 10 mostly eastern European countries joined. Since then, French and Dutch voters have rejected the EU constitution, raising concern about political integration and further expansion."

Friday, July 01, 2005

More Information Needed on Albanian Election

Many Macedonian news sources are content just to repeat what has been reported by foreign agencies without adding a Macedonian perspective. The Albanian elections are a case in point. Are observers from Macedonia going. Are ethnic Macedonians running for election? Are ethnic Macedonians free to express their concerns? If I were asked by an English language journalist about these issues, I would not know where to sent him to find the information.

Makfax novinska agencija: "Some 400 foreign observers dispatched in Albania

Tirana, 13:22

Some 400 foreign observers, mainly from the United States, have arrived in Tirana to monitor the parliamentary elections slated for July 3rd, Makfax news agency says.

'Parliamentary elections will be monitored by 400 foreign observers,' said Erton Sinani, spokesman of the State Election Commission.

Among the foreign observers, 73 are from the United States, 47 from Great Britain, 42 from Germany, 20 from France, and the rest are from other countries.
The US Ambassador to Albania, Marcie Ryes, said the importance of Sunday's elections is the main reason for the increased presence of US observers.

The Albania elections are very important in terms of demonstration of country's preparedness to meet the Euro-Atlantic integration standards, US Ambassador said.

Local analysts say the race will be centered on two main rivals - the ruling Socialist Party and the opposition Democratic Party."

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Najdi - Macedonian Search Engine

I have added a link to the Najdi - the Macedonian Search Engine. It has indexed more pages than Google. It has managed to find "The Macedonian Tendency" ... a feat that Google has yet to duplicate. Below is an old interview with its creator in a very interesting Macedonian magazine called Metamorphosis.

Metamorphosis > News > Interview with Petar Kajevski, Creator of Macedonian Search Engine Najdi!:

08.November, 2004,

Recently, Metamorphosis has published the news about new Macedonian search engine Najdi!. These days we talked to the man responsible for this project, Petar Kajevski, who currently lives and works in London.

This is his statement regarding Najdi!

“Until few months there was a great gap between substantial amount of content in Macedonian and opportunity for finding it. There has not been a suitable Macedonian search engine, and regular search engines like Google performed and are still performing very shallow indexing of Macedonian web sites. As additional problem, very few web sites provide internal search, so one can access the content of the web site only via navigation.
The gap results in users inability to locate relevant content regarding their queries, although such content exists in digital inscription. This goes vice-versa, too. The organizations providing the content have problems with the distribution of the content to the readers.

That was the reason for launching Najdi! I believe that everybody who needs information from Macedonian web sites and everybody who publishes information on those web sites have benefit from Najdi! Users have greater amount of pages at their disposal compared to the current search engines. Just to illustrate, Najdi! is currently indexing over 387.000 pages in Macedonian and over 40.000 pages in English. The number is constantly increasing."

New US Ambassador to Macedonia

Seems that Gillian has spent the last few years in the US embassy in South Africa. It seems innocuous enough. If she was posted to the Ukraine or Georgia, I would be worried. When searching the web, use Gillian Milovanovic. Hey, if she is married to a Serb, lets not get our shorts in a knot, however, if her husband just happens to be a Macedonian, I'm sure the knot in the shorts of the Greeks will be "Gordian" in proportion.

US Ambassador Nominations Sent to the Senate:

"Gillian Arlette Milovanovic, of Pennsylvania, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenpotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Macedonia."

RFE Bias Against Macedonia

Macedonians need a daily internet news magazine that can put a spotlight on media bias against Macedonia. Reality Macedonia could have met that need with more help.

Radio Free Europe is funded by the US and is sensitive to pressure from the Greek lobby. Below is an e-mail that I sent to RFE regarding such bias. My assumption is that they will not correct their errors.

To: Ulrich Buechsenschuetz
Monday, June 27, 2005
June 24, 2005

1. This statement is false. Jovan was tried for "allegedly" inciting religious and ethnic hatred He now stands "convicted" of inciting religious and ethnic hatred.

Serbian Orthodox Bishop Jovan must spend 18 months in jail for allegedly inciting religious and ethnic hatred

Replace with this one:

Serbian Orthodox Bishop Jovan was convicted of inciting religious and ethnic hatred and was sentenced to 18 months in jail.

2. This paragraph makes no sense. The Macedonian Church enjoys the overwhelming support Macedonians. The Serbian and Bulgarian Churches are supported by a few quislings.

In 1967, the communist Macedonian authorities recognized a MPC separate from the SPC and the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, which has a much smaller number of Macedonian adherents than the other two. The SPC and other Orthodox churches do not recognize their Macedonian counterpart, regarding it as schismatic. PM

Replace with this one:

In 1967, the MPC declared independence from the SPC, which, in 1945 was denied by Communist leader Tito when the Macedonian republic and the Macedonian language were recognised. For over 20 years Macedonians resented being nominally tied to the SPC, viewing as a vestige of Serbian colonialism. The SPC, branding this move as "schismatic", successfully lobbied other Orthodox Churches to deny recognition to their Macedonian counterpart.

The Original Article
RFE, June 24, 2005



An appeals court in Bitola confirmed on 23 June that Serbian Orthodox Bishop Jovan must spend 18 months in jail for allegedly inciting religious and ethnic hatred, Reuters reported. Jovan, who became a central figure in the long-standing dispute between the Macedonian Orthodox Church (MPC) and the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) when he switched allegiance from MPC to the SPC in 2003, was sentenced in August 2004 (see 'RFE/RL Newsline,' 20 August 2004 and 'RFE/RL Balkan Report,' 23 January and 6 August 2004). Jovan must now surrender to police within eight days or risk arrest. He said after the appeals court handed down its ruling that he is 'ready to go to jail if that is what the court says.'

The central problem is deeply rooted in what historians call the Macedonian Question and interrelated issues involving the traditional Balkan tendency to equate one's nationality with one's religion. In 1967, the communist Macedonian authorities recognized a MPC separate from the SPC and the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, which has a much smaller number of Macedonian adherents than the other two. The SPC and other Orthodox churches do not recognize their Macedonian counterpart, regarding it as schismatic. PM"

Monday, June 27, 2005

Free Advice: You Get What You Pay For.

Pauline Neville-Jones, who was a member of the International Commission on the Balkans, (as is Kiro Gligorov), is a silly little tart. The main problem with her report and with this op-ed piece is that she assumes that the EU is there to solve the problems of the Balkans. We all know that the EU is part of the problem because it has ignored human rights violations of Kurds in Turkey, Macedonians in Greece. Even as you read this the EU pressures the Republic of Macedonia to change its name, the name of the Macedonian language and the name of the Macedonian Orthodox Church to appease Greece. Pauline has so many plans for so many people in so many countries but she will not admit that Greek values regarding minority rights are EU values. That is the problem.

Yahoo! Groups : RMDigest Messages : Message 4523 of 4609: "A Balkan rethink is required before it is too late

By Pauline Neville-Jones

Today, there is no fighting in the Balkans, there is no ethnic cleansing and there are elections. There has been progress in the decade since the Bosnia peace agreement. But, Croatia aside, the former Yugoslavia is drifting. Political development is stunted, unemployment high, growth low and corruption pervasive.

More dangerous is the fact that, as the International Crisis Group recently reported, Kosovo stands on the edge of renewed conflict. Pessimism prevails among suspicious, isolated people who are unable to get visas to travel abroad. The Balkans is becoming ghettoised as the gap between the region and the rest of Europe widens.

The international community continues to pour in money. Almost half of Europe's deployable military force is stuck. Exit is impossible as long as Bosnia is governed by an imposed proconsular figure, the status of Kosovo is undecided and the region lacks a vision of the future.

The European Union needs to fulfil the promise its leaders made in Thessalonika in 2003 to integrate the Balkan countries. This can only mean enlargement of the Union. If the EU reneges, there are two possible outcomes: Europe entrenches empire merely to keep law and order, or it lets go to the revived forces of nationalism and conflict. Both are deeply unappealing.

The International Commission on the Balkans, led by Giuliano Amato, the former Italian prime minister, recently issued a report on the way forward. *The commission is clear that present policy, which evolved piecemeal, will no longer do. A coherent, long-term action plan leading to the establishment of stable and open societies is urgently needed.

The commission proposes three big steps towards integration. First, a summit should be held in 2006 at which the Balkan countries would be set on their respective roads to EU accession. Most countries will first need extensive preparation in which institutions are built and small national markets opened up to the regional free trade that is indispensable to attracting private investors. The region should provide its own security. All the countries should join Nato's Partnership for Peace. The role played by Nato in central and eastern Europe in modernising armed forces and creating the climate of confidence indispensable to stability should be replicated in the Balkans.

Policy on justice and human rights needs adjustment. It is easier for local leaders to refuse to surrender indicted war criminals than to improve their international standing by complying with outside pressure. Balkan
governments cannot escape their obligations to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, but the commission considers that co-operation so far has been good enough to move to the stage of 'Europe Agreements' - in which resources would start to flow in the context of countries enforcing standards. In Kosovo, 'standards before status' blocks decisions that are urgently needed to prevent a new slide into violence. The United Nations is right to have instituted a review of its weak administration that is barely in control of local political infighting. The commission advocates an early start on staged moves (which require the co-operation of Belgrade) to full sovereignty realised within, but only within, the EU. Kosovo's independence arouses strong emotions. But neither return to rule from Belgrade or doing nothing is an option. The commission's polling suggests that Kosovo's independence would not lead to the dismemberment of Bosnia but could tempt Kosovo Albanians to seek a 'Greater Albania' that could drive conflict in Macedonia along ethnic lines.

The EU must use its muscle to enforce acceptable outcomes. The EU needs to rethink its thin policy towards Serbia-Montenegro. Managing Kosovo requires this, as does the need either to revive or put an end to the dysfunctional federation.

Finally, Bosnia. Much has been achieved under international administrators but their power now stops local leaders assuming their responsibilities. A special EU negotiator, exercising soft power rather than sovereignty, should replace them - and soon.

The commission has suggested an ambitious accession timetable. Substance must have priority over timing. But the EU should rise to the challenge of bringing the Balkans into the European mainstream not later than a century after the assassination in Sarajevo of Archduke Ferdinand in 1914, which sparked the cataclysms of the 20th century.

* _www.balkan-commission.org_ (
Dame Pauline Neville-Jones, who was a member of the International Commission on the Balkans, is chairman of QinetiQ

New Macedonian Book Published

Yahoo! Groups : RMDigest Messages : Message 4608 of 4609:



Diplomatic action with new archaeological discoveries. Proof that European Civilization began not from Greeks, but from Macedonians' was launched. It has been published both in English and in Macedonian.

The book contains a review by renowned Macedonian historian Aleksandar Donski, and had assistance with editing the English version from Margaret Morse of Brisbane. The book was introduced at the launch by Ljubco Stankovski, editor of the Australian Macedonian Weekly, who gave a biography of the author's life and information about the Macedonian Version.


Tomov explained the importance of the spreading of historical facts and
documents to the world, especially to local governments where Macedonians live outside of Macedonia, to State and Federal politicians, legal system
representatives, institutions and important individuals in the EU and the
European parliament, the UN, Prime Ministers and Presidents of leading countries etc for the purpose of getting them to recognise the Constitutional name of the Republic of Macedonia and its nationality, culture, religion, language and traditional customs. It aims to encourage human rights and Macedonian sovereignty of Macedonia, some parts of which are occupied by Greece, Albania and Bulgaria.

Tomov's books can be purchased from him at PO Box 566 Stones Corner Q 4120, or through the Foreign Language Bookshop at 259 Collins St, Melbourne.

Kosovo independence would set Europe on fire - Serbia-Montenegro minister

Vuk Draskovic is a certified nut case, but he is right on this issue. The US/EU want different standards for Kosovo, Bosnia, Crimea etc. They want to pick and chose who gets the elevator and who gets the shaft. This is the source of instability in the Balkans and indeed the world.

Kosovo independence would set Europe on fire - Serbia-Montenegro minister: "Media Monitor

Excerpt from report by Montenegrin Mina news agency

Belgrade, 26 June: The independence of Kosovo would automatically lead to the independence of the [Bosnian] Serb Republic because the same principles would apply, Serbia-Montenegro Foreign Minister Vuk Draskovic has said.

'In my contacts with world leaders, I insist on the principle of identical standards and I always tell them that the situation in Bosnia-Hercegovina would become more stable if the Kosovo problem was resolved within the Serbian framework. Let the Serbs of the Serb Republic get everything that will be granted to the Kosovo Albanians,' Draskovic told Blic [Belgrade-based daily].

According to Draskovic, the world understands that the future status of Kosovo must be a result of a compromise and an unconventional solution.

'The worst thing would be to impose a declaration of Kosovo's independence. I tell everyone that no Serbian politician will sign a document granting independence to Kosovo. Without Serbia's approval, such a declaration would immediately cause upheaval in Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia-Hercegovina and Albania,' Draskovic said.

This fire could destabilize Europe and Kosovo's independence would provoke demands for the same status to be granted to the Serb Republic, the Turkish part of Cyprus, Basque country, Northern Ireland, Corsica and South Ossetia. [Passage omitted]

Source: Mina news agency, Podgorica, in Serbian 1907 gmt 26 Jun 05

BBC Mon EU1 EuroPol mb/cg"

Sunday, June 26, 2005

More Bad Press on Jovan

Christianity Today is one of the largest web sites devoted non-denominational Chirstianity. This is a very biased article reflecting the success of the anti-Macedonian coalition of the Serbian and Orthodox Churches.

Christian Today > Archbishop of Serbian Orthodox Church Sentenced to Prison in Macedonia: "Archbishop of Serbian Orthodox Church Sentenced to Prison in Macedonia

Posted: Saturday, June 25 , 2005, 21:33 (UK)

Archbishop of Serbian Orthodox Church, Jovan (Zoran Vranisskovski) of Ohrid was sentenced to 18 months in prison by the Macedonian Court of Appeal, Forum 18 has reported.

Archbishop Jovan was charged of 'inciting national, racial and religious hatred, schism and intolerance.'

The Archbishop commented on the situation: 'When they imprisoned an archbishop of a church in the 21st century - merely for serving his people - what else can you say about the system and the state?'

The archbishop is due to be taken to prison eight days after the court decision. He told Forum 18, he had not yet seen the verdict, but expected the court to copy the ruling of the lower court. 'This ruling is final and any appeal to the Supreme Court will not put off serving the prison sentence. So, as you may expect, I am going to jail after all.'

The sentencing of Archbishop Jovan is the latest move in the long lasting discord in Macedonia between the Serbian Orthodox Church and Macedonian Orthodox Church.

The origin of the discord dates back to the 1958, when under pressure from the then-communist government of Marshal Tito, the Macedonian Church was established.

Ten years later in 1968, the Macedonian Church declared its autonomy from the Serbian Orthodox Church; however it was not accepted by any other canonical Orthodox Church in the world.

The Macedonian government refused to give state registration to the Serbian Orthodox Church, and has staged police raids with priests of the rival Macedonian Orthodox Church to 'persuade' members of the Serbian Church in Macedonia to join the Macedonian Church and they also demolished a monastery.

The actions of the Macedonian government against the Serbian Orthodox Church in Macedonia were intensified after the Serbian Church in late May granted full autonomy to its branch in Macedonia and elevated Jovan to the rank of Archbishop.

'It is ridiculous that they are trying to silence me, in this age of the internet and mass communication' Archbishop Jovan told Forum 18. 'When they strike the shepherd they expect the sheep to scatter, but church history is paradoxical – the more the church is persecuted, the more followers it gets.'"

Saturday, June 25, 2005 - Collision Course: NATO, Russia and Kosovo

I don't think that I will buy this book, but the review of the book by Christopher Deliso is excellent, especially his analysis of the International Crisis Group, one of the premiere pseudo human rights groups in the world. It is a must read. - Collision Course: NATO, Russia and Kosovo: "Book reviews: Collision Course: NATO, Russia and Kosovo

By John Norris

Praeger, 2005, 334 pp.

Reviewed by Christopher Deliso

Collision Course: NATO, Russia and Kosovo gives an unprecedented inside view of the planning and conduct of NATO’s 1999 bombing campaign against Yugoslavia. Written by John Norris, the former communications director for Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, this recently released work traces the chronology of decisions and events made by all of the key political players involved. With his enviable access to the communications and meetings held between US, European, Serbian and Russian diplomats, Norris is able to weave a riveting narrative that provides access to the minds and motives of those who crafted the war

...t’s important to note from the outset that Collision Course is an establishment work, and its author and key sources were and are cheerleaders for an intervention and occupation that have led to humanitarian horrors, local mafia consolidation of power, and the imminent betrayal of UN Resolution 1244, which guaranteed that Kosovo would remain a part of Yugoslavia. Despite the analytical critiques Norris makes of poor decision-making and infighting among Clinton officials, the rationale for intervention itself is never seriously questioned, except when it is referred to in order to cast doubting allies (and especially Russia) in a bad light.

Some Nice Words for Macedonia in the UK Parliament

If there were more people like Hon. John Randall in the parliaments of Europe, the Balkans would not be in the mess that they are in today. Good work John!

House of Commons Hansard for 18 May 2005: "UK House of Commons Hansard

May 18, 2005

Excerpt on Macedonia from the Hon. John Randall

(Submitted by Metodija Koloski)

A slightly happier part of the region is Macedonia. My hon. Friend the Member for North Dorset (Mr. Walter) talked about countries that hope to join the EU. Often when that subject is discussed Macedonia is not mentioned, yet Macedonia is making good progress toward joining the EU and has lots of things going for it. I believe that the Government's position is that they look forward to accepting Macedonia into the EU when it has met all the criteria. Macedonia has done a lot to solve some of its internal problems—like many Balkan countries, it has a diverse population—and I consider it a model of what can be achieved."

Friday, June 24, 2005

RFE on Bishop Jovan


An appeals court in Bitola confirmed on 23 June that Serbian Orthodox Bishop Jovan must spend 18 months in jail for allegedly inciting religious and ethnic hatred, Reuters reported. Jovan, who became a central figure in the long-standing dispute between the Macedonian Orthodox Church (MPC) and the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) when he switched allegiance from MPC to the SPC in 2003, was sentenced in August 2004 (see 'RFE/RL Newsline,' 20 August 2004 and 'RFE/RL Balkan Report,' 23 January and 6 August 2004). Jovan must now surrender to police within eight days or risk arrest. He said after the appeals court handed down its ruling that he is 'ready to go to jail if that is what the court says.' The central problem is deeply rooted in what historians call the Macedonian Question and interrelated issues involving the traditional Balkan tendency to equate one's nationality with one's religion. In 1967, the communist Macedonian authorities recognized a MPC separate from the SPC and the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, which has a much smaller number of Macedonian adherents than the other two. The SPC and other Orthodox churches do not recognize their Macedonian counterpart, regarding it as schismatic. PM"

Pro-Serbian Priest Goes to Jail, Will Not Pass Go, Will Not Collect $200.00

I really don't agree with putting this guy in prison, however, if it gives Macedonians the opportunity to discuss the harassment of Macedonians in Greece, then it will not be in vain. I predict the BBC will report on his case, but will ignore Tsarknias, Boulis etc.

MAKNWS-L Archives -- June 2005, week 4 (#5): "MILS NEWS Skopje June 24, 2005

COURT OF APPEAL CONFIRMED ZORAN VRANISKOVSKI'S PRISON SENTENCE The Court of Appeal in Bitola yesterday confirmed the 18 months prison sentence passed last year by the Primary Court to the demoted Bishop Jovan, Zoran Vraniskovski. Vraniskovski was sentenced to 18 moths imprisonment for inciting national, racial and religious hatred, schism and intolerance. The verdict passed by the Court of Appeal is final and Vraniskovski has 8 days to submit himself for serving the sentence. As 'Dnevnik' informs, Vraniskovski said that he is ready to go to prison and that he has intention to finish his PHD at the Faculty of Theology in Thessalonica while serving his sentence. Vasko Gjorgiev, the legal representative of Vraniskovski, said that he would appeal to the Supreme Court and the Court in Strasburg. According to 'Dnevnik', the public in Bitola generally approved the sentence passed by the Court. Vraniskovski's supporters from the so-called 'Ohrid Archbishopric' said that sometimes a sentence can be regard as award and recognition. A1 TV informs that Vraniskovski has been sentenced for committing several criminal acts last year through distribution of Church calendar and propaganda material, as well as holding masses in an apartment in Bitola. He was convicted of issuing slanders against the Macedonia Orthodox Church (MOC) and violation of citizens' religious feelings. In January 2004 Vraniskovski was in custody for 20 days, after which the Primary Court sentenced him to 18 months imprisonment. The lawyers of Vraniskovski appealed against the verdict, but the Court of Appeal confirmed the prison sentence. Vraniskovski was also sentenced to probationary 12 month imprisonment for breaking into the MOC churches. A1 TV informs that the Public Prosecutor in Bitola, Stefce Tasevski, said that he would additional review whether to activate Vraiskovski's probationary prison sentence. If the probationary sentence is activated, Vraniskovski is to serve 30 months in prison."

Bosnian Institute News: Serbian and Macedonian Orthodox churches at war

The Bosnian Institute, a UK Registered Charity, was founded in July 1997 with a generous grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. (I smell a pseudo human rights group.) Below is a reprint from a Montenegrin newspaper. There is sarcasm here, but it is lost in the translation. It is a good article.

Bosnian Institute News: Serbian and Macedonian Orthodox churches at war:

he Macedonian Church proclaimed by the Tomos does not have its own canonical territory or congregation, and exists only on paper. There is no possibility that Macedonia would accept it. On the other hand - herein lies the paradox - the unrecognised MPC headed by Patriarch [or archbishop, depending on the point of view] Stefan has a territory that pays for its upkeep, has its own places of worship, and ordains priests. According to the Macedonian constitution, it is separated from the state but its position is legally established. It is not likely that Macedonia will accept the church proclaimed in Belgrade. The new SPC-appointed ‘head’ of the latter, Jovan, was even arrested. Right now not even the best of church experts have any idea what will happen.

Serbian Church is Shocked and Appalled

Just as new video of Serbian atrocities in Srebrenica were played around the world, the Serbian Orthodox Church took time out to trash Macedonians. I suggest the Macedonian government send this church a bill for its part in the repression of Macedonians from 1912 to 1945.

Serbian Orthodox Church:


The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church is shocked and deeply saddened by the destruction of the monastery of St. John Chrysostom (Svetoga Jovana Zlatousta) in the village of Nizepolje near Bitolj at midnight on October 15, 2004, and considers this to be a barbaric act of state terrorism on the part of the Government in Skoplje, with the full collaboration of the schismatic bishops in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia."

Yikes! Ohrid Agreement Ties Macedonia's Hands

This is an excerpt from report by Halit Ajdini entitled 'No one can deal with NLA apart from The Hague' published by the Macedonian Albanian-language newspaper Fakti on 22 June. If is is true that Macedonia cannot try people who have committed crimes, then is is bad news for the future of the country.

Amnesty prevents Macedonia prosecuting cases rejected by ICTY - legal expert: "Amnesty prevents Macedonia prosecuting cases rejected by ICTY - legal expert
Jun 23, 2005, 11:25 GMT
Printer Friendly Pageprinter friendly Email this article to a friendemail this article Access M&C's RSS Feeds

The Macedonian courts do not have the right to deal with cases rejected by the Hague tribunal [International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia - ICTY]. This limitation is stipulated in the Amnesty Law, which applies to all NLA [National Liberation Army - UCK in Albanian] fighters and others who participated in the 2001 conflict. This law has been approved by parliament and has been published in the Official Gazette.

The statement by Public Prosecutor Aleksandar Prcevski that Macedonia was going to try the cases that the Hague tribunal had rejected has no legal basis, because if that were to happen it would constitute a violation of the Amnesty Law; that is, Article 4 of that law.

'The Amnesty Law exists and has been published in the Official Gazette. It clearly stipulates that all cases that have to do with the 2001 conflict, but are not included in the amnesty, are under the jurisdiction of the Hague tribunal,' said Naser Zyberi, a legal expert and participant in the drafting of the Oher [Ohrid Framework] Agreement in 2001. [Passage omitted]

Zyberi explained that Macedonia has been excluded from the four cases that fall under the responsibility of the Hague tribunal. 'Macedonia has been excluded from the prosecution of these cases. Regardless of the justification that the Hague tribunal has announced for deciding not to prosecute these cases, Macedonia is prohibited under the Amnesty Law to continue investigations into these cases. The law prohibits the prosecutor and all courts from dealing with these cases,' Zyberi said.

Legal experts explained recently that this law had been violated by many senior officials in Macedonia. [Former Interior Minister] Ljube Boskovski has violated this law over 500 times by investigating crimes committed during the war and has not been held to account for that. It seems that Public Prosecutor Aleksandar Prcevski will be the next to break this law.

The four cases that have been handed over by the Macedonian authorities to The Hague tribunal have been dismissed because of insufficient evidence to start criminal procedures against defendants accused of genocide during the 2001 conflict.

The Hague tribunal has said that 70 per cent of the evidence handed over by Macedonia was ridiculous and simple nonsense that justice systems cannot regard as facts.

Source: Fakti, Skopje, in Albanian 22 Jun 05 p 3

BBC Mon EU1 EuroPol cal

Copyright 2005 BBC Monitoring Service distributed by United Press International"

Some Guests Never Know When to Leave.

It looks like the US Army will be with Macedonia for a little while longer. I'm not sure it is such a bad idea at the present time, but like a pitbull, you never know when it might turn on you.

Text of a Letter from the President to the Congress of the United States:

"For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 23, 2005

Text of a Letter from the President to the Congress of the United States


Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. In accordance with this provision, I have sent the enclosed notice to the Federal Register for publication, stating that the Western Balkans emergency is to continue in effect beyond June 26, 2005. The most recent notice continuing this emergency was published in the Federal Register on June 25, 2004, 69 FR 36005.

The crisis constituted by the actions of persons engaged in, or assisting, sponsoring, or supporting (i) extremist violence in the Republic of Macedonia, and elsewhere in the Western Balkans region, or (ii) acts obstructing implementation of the Dayton Accords in Bosnia or United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 of June 10, 1999, in Kosovo, that led to the declaration of a national emergency on June 26, 2001, has not been resolved. Subsequent to the declaration of the national emergency, I amended Executive Order 13219 in Executive Order 13304 of May 28, 2003, to address acts obstructing implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement of 2001 in the Republic of Macedonia, which have also become a concern. The acts of extremist violence and obstructionist activity outlined in Executive Order 13219, as amended, are hostile to U.S. interests and pose a continuing unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. For these reasons, I have determined tha emergency declared with respect to the Western Balkans and maintain in force the comprehensive sanctions to respond to this threat.



June 23, 2005."

Better Late Than Never

Before NATO tanks were allowed to cross Greece on the road to Kosovo, NATO signed an agreement to pay for any road damage. Six years later, they are getting around to fixing the Macedonian bridges. Plus Macedonians cannot bid on the contracts. Watch the majority of the contracts go to Greek firms to strengthen Greek over the Macedonian economy. Nice!

NATO to Repair 60 Bridges in Macedonia ( "NATO to Repair 60 Bridges in Macedonia


NATO is investing 34m euros to help reconstruct bridges in Macedonia damaged during the intervention in Kosovo.

By Zoran Nikolovski for Southeast European Times in Skopje – 21/06/05

The bridges are located along routes used by NATO convoys for the needs of troops in Kosovo. [Getty Images]

On 14 June, NATO and the Macedonian government signed a memorandum of understanding on a grant for reconstruction and recovery of road infrastructure. Specifically, 35m euros will be invested in repairing 60 bridges damaged during the intervention in Kosovo.

... Signing of the memorandum initiates the bidding process. Only companies in NATO member states are eligible to apply for the tender or to be chosen as the main contractor, but Macedonian construction firms could be chosen as subcontractors.

Blease said he hopes some local firms would be selected, though he cautioned that this option is not always available in countries that have yet to become NATO members. The transport and communications ministry has already submitted a request to the NATO Infrastructure Committee to allow for such an opportunity."

More on the 'The Great Water'

Trajkov's 'The Great Water' receives viewers prize in Dubrovnik - Prague Daily Monitor:

(PDM staff with CTK) 23 June - 'The Great Water' from Czech director Ivo Trajkov has won the viewers' prize at an international film festival in Dubrovnik, producer Vladimir Chrenovsky told CTK.

Chrenovsky said the distribution premier of the film was to take place in New York on 17 June. The film has also been sold to Australia and New Zealand.

A co-production of the Czech Republic, Macedonia, Germany and the US, 'The Great Water' appeared in Czech cinemas this spring.

The film based on the Macedonian novel of the same name written by Zivko Cingo and published in the early 1970s at the peak of the Communist regime in the former Yugoslavia.

It shed light on the Stalinist period in Yugoslavia and the cruelty of the Communist leadership towards the children of the 'enemies of the revolution' in labour camps established after World War II.

It is a powerful and emotionally moving story of friendship and betrayal between two boys which explores conflicts between religion, spirituality and political blindness.

Trajkov is also one of the authors of the script.

Chrenovsky says that he would never again participate in a similar project.

'In Macedonia, no written agreements exist, everything is agreed upon verbally and everything looks accordingly. There are no film crews there capable of ensuring any service for shooting. The film was therefore a flying-by-the-seat-of-our-pants affair, he said.

Trajkov's first film, 'The Canary Connection' in 1993, passed unnoticed. Five years later, he made, in co-production with the World Circle Foundation, the film 'The Past', which won awards at many international film festivals."

New Macedonian Film "Mirage"

I hope this Macedonian fim actually makes it to North American.

indieWIRE Insider > Picture This! Acquires Toronto Film, "Mirage":

"Picture This! Entertainment announced today the company’s acquisition of North American rights to Svetozar Ristovski’s SXSW '05 U.S. premiere feature, 'Mirage' (Ilujiza), from Small Moves Ltd. The company plans a November 2005 theatrical release.

Based on an original screenplay by Ristovski and Grace Lea Troje, 'Mirage' tells the story of Marko, a young boy tortured by a tumultuous home life and bullies at school. A microcosm of the lawlessness and corruption extant in post-Balkan War Macedonia, MIRAGE provides one chance for Marko to escape when his teacher encourages him to enter a poetry competition in Paris. But when the teacher later dashes the boy’s hopes and dreams, Marko seeks guidance from another role model: a mercenary who tells him he must “either eat or be eaten.”"

Back in the Summer of 93

Denko Maleski is professor at the Law School, in Skopje; Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Macedonia (1991-1993). The is a too brief account of the problems Macedonia faces regarding recognition. We need this guy to sit down a write a gossipy account of his dealing with the great powers. He has a brief scene with Eagleburger and Scowcroft. We need more of this stuff in English.

New Balkan Politics > The Conduct of the Great Power:


The cruel statistics of Balkan history show that not a single problem in the region has been resolved with a compromise, but that all “agreements” are a result either of wars or external interventions. The last series of Balkan wars in the territory of former Yugoslavia, including the one in Macedonia in 2001, only confirmed this observation. In that sense, the unilateral move of the US to accept the constitutional name of Macedonia is only a historical continuation of the external interventions in Balkan matters. The great power explained its move as a desire to introduce stability in the Balkans. True. However, it was precisely the policy of the two main power centers, the US and the EU, which, as hostages to Greek policy, continuously held the name issue open for more than thirteen years, causing a serious erosion of Macedonian national dignity, with two very dangerous consequences. The first consequence was breathing life into the traditional aspirations of neighboring countries towards the territory and the people in Macedonia. The second one was introducing internal instability into the state through extensive strengthening of the “Albanian factor” in the region, in contrast to the disputed Macedonian identity.


EU Reconsiders Expansion

Two articles from two pseudo human rights groups, IWPR and RFE, both discussing the possible delay of EU expansion caused by the rejection of the constitution. My prediction is that Macedonia will be stringed along for years all the while being subverted by the Greeks on the outside and the Albanians on the inside. The EU is pathetic. We need to call on Russia ... with love.

Institute for War and Peace Reporting:

"Macedonia is today the pivotal state in terms of EU integration. Until a few months ago, there was a consensus among EU policy makers that its membership application was going well.

The European Commission was expected to deliver a positive report in the autumn, followed by a decision at the EU council in December to give Macedonia candidate status. This could have led to the beginning of membership talks before the end of 2006 or in early 2007.

Now, however, some EU member states have second thoughts and seek to slow down this process. Objectively, this would be difficult to explain: after all, Macedonia has largely implemenbted the Ohrid Agreement and meets the Copenhagen political and human rights criteria (the hurdle for gaining candidate status) at least as much as Central European countries in 1997 or Turkey in 1999, when they became candidates.

Such a strategy looks risky, given the importance of internal stability and the investment the EU has already made in Macedonia, and given the risks that emerge as the United States and EU seek to settle Kosovo’s status. A serious setback would send a very negative signal to the region as a whole."


"At least one leader of a major EU member state indicated before the summit that he remains committed to enlargement, stressing that its benefits far outweigh its costs. During a joint news briefing with Macedonian Prime Minister Vlado Buckovski, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said in Berlin on 8 June that unspecified 'populists' are seeking to destroy the EU by attempting to prevent the western Balkan countries from joining that body.

Asked if the EU can afford to fund further enlargement in that region, Schroeder replied: 'Instability is much more expensive.' He added that 'you would be amazed if I told you how much the current situation in the Balkans with European soldiers costs.' He argued that 'Macedonia's example without any doubt...shows that the region's stability is linked to its European perspectives.' He also warned that eliminating these 'perspectives' would fuel instability in the region. At the same time, the chancellor refrained from naming concrete dates for the EU accession of the countries in the western Balkans.

The results of the Brussels summit indicated that Schroeder's pro-enlargement views are in the minority. Regional leaders were not slow in reacting to the unpleasant news but generally sought to put on a brave face. Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader said in Brussels on 16 June that members of the European People's Party, which is a coalition of conservative parties active in European affairs, have given 'full support' to Croatia's bid for EU membership. He added that negotiations could start now and last two to three years, during which time all outstanding problems between Zagreb and Brussels could be resolved. "

Friday, June 17, 2005

Heads Up Everyone

Below is a pile of nonsense from a Greek about the Greek-Macedonian dispute over the "name issue." I don't think Macedonians should engage in a point by point debate over their concerns. Politicians in the US and the EU already know that the Greek position is based on lies, but they continue to humour Greek public opinion because of geo-political concerns and pressure from the "Greek lobby." We have to concentrate on the recognition of the Macedonian minority in Greece and the right of the Republic of Macedonia to its own name. Using these two positions in the UE court system is the way to go. the crunch will come when the EU politicians try to impose a political settlement on Macedonia that ignores human rights concerns. The Bosnian Muslims were betrayed, so can the Macedonians. Heads up everyone.

Google Groups : "Failure of Greek Policy towards FYROM!

Greek policy towards FYROM despite some limited successes in the initial stages continues with its failure to produce the desired results and a resolution to this important issue. After 14 years of frustrating attempts
to resolve the matter, Greece continues with its diplomatic failure to produce a desired outcome! In fact, the only thing successfully produced is a huge rift or chasm between itself and its allies! "

Someone Has Not Been Taking Their Medication.

Sam Vaknin has written sympathetically about Macedonia in the past, but this article seems to point to the fact that he has gone off his meds! It seems to be a draft of a novel, not an observation of reality.

The Balkans - The Titanic Waltz

Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 6/16/2005

The Austrian Embassy again held a Vienese Ball at the Alexander Palace Hotel in Skopje, Macedonia. It was as surrealistic as they get: a Viennese Ball in a decaying Balkan city. Organized by the nation of former Nazis and current Nazi sympathizers in a land of former communist thieves turned capitalist robbers.

... "Outside, fly-infested children beggars extended ulcerated soiled hands in silent plea. Others peddled rusted razor blades and leaking batteries to passers-by. Young men smiled rotting teeth in the smoking humidity of dingy coffee-houses. The middle aged, bent, sparkless eyes, consumed by unemployment and disease, a confluence of wrinkled toothlessness and dwindling hair. The women grey and flabby, wise, weary eyes in penumbral sockets. They glided, huddled, fending off the windy chill that ricocheted from cracking, mouldy walls. Dark clouds weighed on denuded trees in littered boulevards."

The Great Water ... A Great Film

Just a few more reviews of the new Macedonian movie The Great Water.

New York Daily News - Entertainment - Movie Digest: "The Great Water
At the Quad (1:30). Not rated: Mature themes.

A dying man in contemporary Macedonia reflects on his childhood at a Communist-run orphanage in post-World War II Yugoslavia. The framing device is unnecessary; what happens inside the orphanage, where the sons and daughters of anti-Communists are forced to adopt the party's strict doctrines, is powerful enough.

The film follows the developing friendship between two boys who share a determination to resist the increasingly hostile system. The boys - one is actually played by a girl, but you'd never guess - are angels in hell, and director Ivo Trajkov is way too prone to melodrama.

'The Great Water' is ultimately about the indomitability of faith, and the Christian symbolism is laid on thick. But the story, adapted from a famous behind-the-Iron-Curtain novel, sheds light on a subject few people have known about.

Jack Mathews

Surviving Yugoslavia

A Macedonian orphan’s passage into old age as a political survivor


“The Great Water” is filled with a mystical air, accompanied by plenty of Christian symbolism. Communism attempted to take the place of organized religion, wiping out centuries of tradition overnight, and Lem’s orphanage is no exception. Owning a cross is cause for punishment. Perhaps because of this prohibition, the boys take refuge in faith; Isak even seems to have the supernatural powers of a Christ- like figure

Taos Picture Show
March 30-April 3, 2005

The festival's program lived up to its tagline, "a celebration of cinema from around the world," with half of the features coming from outside the United States. Two in particular stood out from the (admittedly small) crowd.The Great Water (2004, by Ivo Trajkov), Macedonia 's Academy Awards entry for Best Foreign Language Film, is a fictionalized look at an obscure piece of history that manages to remain this side of sentimentality despite its subject matter.

The film successfully conveys the confusion of a young boy who is captured and incarcerated in a postwar labor camp for orphans of "political undesirables" through a strong script (adapted by Trajkov from a novel), convincing child actors, stunning cinematography, subtle symbolism and an appropriately desolate and menacing set that serves as a moody and intimidating character of its own (as well as a surprising casting twist revealed by cinematographer Suki Medencevic during the Q&A following the screening).

The young protagonist, acclimating to his confines, spends his days being indoctrinated into the righteousness of communism while endeavoring to avoid being mistreated by the overzealous, masochistic staff. He becomes mesmerized by a mysterious new arrival who helps him explore the secrets behind the walls of the camp and whose serene presence has an unusual affect on the orphans and staff alike.

Macedonian Canadian MP Earning His Keep

Canada initiates the Canada-Macedonia Interparliamentary Friendship Group:
June 8, 2005
Risto Stefov

Thanks to the tireless effort of our first Canadian-Macedonian Member of Parliament, the Honourable Lui Temelkovski, we now have a Canada-Macedonia Interparliamentary Friendship Group. This is indeed an accomplishment for the Macedonian community in Canada, which has been part of this country since the late 1800's.

The Canada-Macedonia Interparliamentary Friendship Group, made up strictly of members of the House of Commons, will function within the mandate of the Speakers of the House of Commons. It will operate with the support of the International and Interparliamentary Affairs Directorate in affiliation, from time to time, with selected groups of Macedonian parliamentarians.
The group's aim will be to strengthen and promote political, economic and cultural ties between Canada and Macedonia.

Establishing the Canada-Macedonia Interparliamentary Friendship Group has been Mr. Temelkovski's goal since his arrival in Ottawa in the fall of last year.

When the momentous occasion finally arrived, Mr. Temelkovski invited the Macedonian community to celebrate it with him.

Among Mr. Temelkovski's Macedonian guests were: the Macedonian Ambassador to Canada, Dr. Sashko Nasev, Dr. Lefter Mantse and Zvonko Mutsunski from Ottawa, the very Reverend Ilija Donev from the Macedonian Orthodox Church in Mississauga, Vlado and Vassa Grozdanovski the organizers of the trip, Mirche Vidinovski, Andre Shukovski, Louie Sekulovski, Alex Nitsis from the Canadian-Macedonian Historical Society and myself, Risto Stefov from Toronto.

Mr. Temelkovski used the occasion to also formally introduce Dr. Nasev, the Macedonian Ambassador, to the Canadian Parliamentarians in attendance.

The various functions which took place in the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa on Wednesday June 8th, 2005, began late morning with our arrival from Toronto.

After a brief visit with Mr. Temelkovski in his 3rd floor office, in the east wing, we were escorted to the main building for a wine and cheese get-together with Senators and Members of Parliament.

Mr. Temelkovski used the occasion to formally introduce our Macedonian Ambassador who in turn addressed the gathering in both French and English.

We then had the opportunity to mingle with the dozen or so Parliamentarians who attended the function. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Bloc Quebecois M.P. Claude Bachand was interested in helping Macedonia join NATO.

Overall our meeting with the Senators and Members of Parliament was very positive and their interest in our issues exceeded expectations. It goes to show that Mr. Temelkovski has been hard at work making friends and promoting the Macedonian cause.

After the wine and cheese get-together we were escorted to the House of Commons visitor's gallery for question period, where we observed our Members of Parliament hard at work.

After question period we were taken to a meeting room where we witnessed the initiation of the Canadian-Macedonia Interpaliamentary Friendship Group. This was indeed a historic moment for Macedonia and the Macedonian people and we were proud to have been there.

The meeting was chaired by Mr. Roger Valley, the MP from Kenora, who formalized the new organization and summarized, for the audience, the most important articles of its constitution. MP's and Senators, members of the new organization, introduced themselves and briefly talked about their interests in the Friendship Group. Afterwards we again had the opportunity to mingle and talk with the Parliamentarians.

After the meeting, Mr. Temelkovski personally took us on a tour of the Parliament Buildings. I particularly enjoyed viewing the building's architecture and visiting the peace tower and the Memorial Room.
Inside the Memorial Room, written on the marble wall, we found the words 'Macedonia'.

The Memorial Room pays tribute to the fallen Canadian soldiers who, over the years, gave their lives to protect us and keep us free. The word 'Macedonia' is in tribute of the Allied Canadians soldiers who in 1915 died, in Macedonia, fighting against the Central Powers.

At the conclusion of our tour, Mr. Temelkovski treated us to a buffet dinner, wine and further opportunities to meet and mingle with Senators and MP's.

Among Mr. Temelkovski's dinner guests was Mr. James Bissett, Former Ambassador to Yugoslavia and a friend to Macedonia.

After dinner we visited the office of the Macedonian Ambassador, which happened to be only a couple of blocks away from the Parliament Buildings.

It was a memorable experience for all of us.

On behalf of all his Macedonian guests, I would like to thank Mr. Lui Temelkovski, for awarding us the opportunity to be part of this momentous occasion.

I would also like to thank Loretta, Lui's wife for her hospitality and courtesy and Julie and Richard, Mr. Temelkovski's aides, for their assistance with the meetings and tour.

For comments regarding this article contact the author at"

Recent Church TOMOS hits Orthodox Faithful in the Soul

Read this if you want to be informed about the impact of the Serbian - Macedonian church dispute. I am pleased that this incident has opened the relations between the Macedonian and Russian Churches.

Recent Church TOMOS hits Orthodox Faithful in the Soul: "Recent Church TOMOS hits Orthodox Faithful in the Soul

By Chris M. Purdef

June 13, 2005

In response to Forum 18 News article Macedonia: Why is state interfering in Orthodox dispute? on June 8, 2005 by Branko Bjelajac

... Nonetheless, when it was clear that efforts to establish the new Archbishphoric in Macedonia were unsuccessful, the Serbian Orthodox Holy Synod, apparently deciding to discipline the Macedonian parish, took it a step further and issued a TOMOS, publicly recognizing the “Orthodox Archbishphoric of Ohrid” as the only canonically legal church in the Macedonia. The official Serbian Holy Synod declaration, for all intents and purposes, proposed to excommunicate the approximately 1.8 million Orthodox Macedonians; clear indication that Serbian Bishops have relinquished their pastoral ideals.

Still however, early indications demonstrate that the TOMOS has drawn little regional orthodox support. In a recent statement, the Patriarchic of the Russian Orthodox Church, Alexy II, came out against the move taken by the Serbian Orthodox Church. It was only a few weeks before the TOMOS that the ROC had sent a representative to the Republic of Macedonia to strengthen Russian and Macedonian Orthodox ties with the announcement that the Moscow Patriarchic Chorus would be performing in Macedonia, bringing with them a written letter of support from Patriarch Alexey II. The official representative from Moscow gave this statement in light of the then rumored Serbian Orthodox TOMOS,

MOYANA - Message from H.H. Archbishop Stefan

A summary of the Macedonian Orthodox Church and its reasons for existence. Good article. Click on the link to read the whle article.

MOYANA - Message from H.H. Archbishop Stefan: "The Macedonian Orthodox Church is in line with the other Regional Orthodox Churches

The Orthodox Church is the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. However, in its administrative activities, the Church is divided into regional Orthodox Churches. Today, again, every regional Church, without exception, is based upon a national source, for people who have their own territory or sovereign and independent nation.

There isn’t a regional church that does not hold the name of the people it belongs to: The Albanian Church for the Albanians, the Bulgarian Church for the Bulgarians, the Greek Church for the Greeks, the Russian, Romanian, Polish, etc. for their own nations, not to mention the Serbian for the Serbs and Macedonian for the Macedonians.

Every regional Orthodox Church establishes its jurisdiction in the land and within the boarders of the nation in which it belongs. Our Macedonian Orthodox Church respects this principle. There has never been a continued or renewed ancient Church or a newly formed regional church without people gaining their own nation or freedom first!

Macedonian Movie - The Great Water

I hope that this film will be release in North America in the near future. This is a link to a review in the Hollywood Reporter.

Yahoo! Groups : Macedonian_News_Service Messages : Message 6485 of 6486: "The Embassy of the Republic of Macedonia
Washington, D.C.


The Macedonian Center of New York

present the opening of the highly anticipated Macedonian film


Macedonia's Official Submission for Best Foreign Film for the 2004 Academy Awards!

THE GREAT WATER is the fifth feature from the Macedonian born, award-winning director Ivo Trajkov. Based on the original novel, Golemata Voda by acclaimed author Zhivko Chingo, THE GREAT WATER is 'a story of emotional dislocation and childhood resilience, of friendship and betrayal, of the state versus the individual. Like many great works, it plays on both a metaphoric and literal level'. (Screen International).

The story follows the childhood of Lem Nikodinoski. Now a high-ranking political figure in the communist movernment, an elderly Lem is rushed to a hospital fighting for his life. As he nears death, his only memories are of his life when he was twelve."

New Book: Walking on the Edge -Consolidating Multiethnic Macedonia 1989-2004

New book on current situation in Macedonia from somone who knows what he is talking about. Can't wait for a review of this book.

Yahoo! Groups : Macedonian_News_Service Messages : Message 6483 of 6486:

It is our pleasure to inform you that the CRPM Program Director, Zidas
Daskalovski, PhD has published his new book Walking on the Edge:
Consolidating Multiethnic Macedonia 1989-2004.

The publication is a pioneering attempt to engage the Macedonian academic
world and political scientists in particular. It aims at reaching out to
the general public, policy makers, representatives of international
organizations, NGOs and lobbyists, as it scholarly defines some of the
basic terms and definitions of the Macedonian democratization and provides
intellectually challenging account of the issues of democratic consolidation.

The book is divided into two parts: 1) The democratization of the country
and the events of the 2001 war; 2) The Ohrid Framework Agreement and its
consequences. In the conclusion the author offers a discussion on the 'way
forward', the current state of affairs in the implementation of the accords
from Ohrid and the potential difficulties the Macedonian policy makers will
face within.