The Macedonian Tendency: February 2007

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

New Common Values NGO

It will be interesting to see how this new NGO handles the treatment of Macedonians in Bulgaria. Greece and Turkey are excluded, so naturally, I smell a plot! "Pseudo Human Rights Group(?) , I can't be sure, but all the signs are there.

Common Values
FOSIM Web Site:

In 2006 Common Values will implement a regional initiative Minority Rights in Practice in SEE, involving Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Croatia. The Program is financed by FOSIM, King Baudouin Foundation, and Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. It promotes law regulations and ethnic community rights conventions in Macedonia, strengthens the NGO sector to address problems and needs and to include citizens in the decentralization process on national and local level.

Starting from January 2006 Common Values will be a part of the regional project Dialogue for Interaction. Advocacy and Networking Capacity Building for Minority Rights in Practice in SEE – DIANET supported by the European Commission. Common Values will implement the project together with NGOs from Albania and Serbia, and the King Baudouin Foundation.
The overall goal of the project is to increase the possibilities of equal participation and access of minorities in the context of the democratic stabilization of the region, and in view of EU international objectives. Common Values will prepare shadow reports, including results of monitoring and analyzing conditions, problems and needs of minority communities in six municipalities, and enactment of the legislation regarding the protection of minority community rights and their equal participation in the bodies and institutions"

NATO - Turkish Values at Work! Pray for the Kurds of Turkey!

It is interesting to me that the SE Times, funded by the US Defense Department would print this story. What's their motive? I don't know. Maybe we can get them to cover Macedonians in Greece. I could happen!

Turkey sentences pro-Kurdish party leaders to prison for distributing leaflets

"ANKARA, Turkey -- An Ankara court sentenced two Kurdish politicians, the leader of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) Ahmet Turk and DTP deputy leader Aysel Tugluk -- to 1.5 years in prison on Monday (February 26th). The two were convicted of breaching the Turkish law on political parties by distributing Kurdish-language political leaflets last year. The material reportedly backed the terrorist organisation Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and praised imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan. Turk and Tugluk's lawyer denied the charges and said they may take their case to the European Court of Human Rights. (Zaman, Sabah - 27/02/07; NTV - 26/02/07)"

US/EU Balkan and Russian Policy: "Because I Said So"

The Balkan counties are being destabilized, but not by Russia. They are destabilized by the US/EU and the destabilization program seems to have its own momentum without a brake or reverse gear! If Olli Rehn can make any sense of the US/EU policies below, I am willing to listen.

US/EU to Serbia: Kosovo must be independent. "BECAUSE I SAID SO!"

US/EU to Kosovo: No union with Albania. "BECAUSE I SAID SO!"

US/EU to Bosnia: No independence for Republica Srbska. "BECAUSE I SAID SO!"

US/EU to Macedonia: Increased rights for Albanians. "BECAUSE I SAID SO!"

US/EU to Bulgaria and Greece: No rights for ethnic Macedonians. "BECAUSE I SAID SO!"

US/EU Russia: Subsidize oil to Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia. "BECAUSE I SAID SO!"

Rehn says Russia's veto can destabilize Balkan
Makfax vesnik:

Berlin/London /27/02/ 11:40

The eventual Russia's veto at the UN Security Council on Martti Ahtisaari's blueprint could unleash a chaos and instability in the Balkan region, EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said.

The BBC's Serbian news service quotes extracts from Commissioner Rehn's address to the International Bertelsmann Forum in Berlin. He said the eventual veto by Russia is not in line with Moscow's principles.

According to Rehn, Russia's threat to use its veto powers at the UN Security Council is quite unusual given the fact that Russia condemns unilateral moves in general. /end/"

Sam Vaknin Solves Macedonia's Economic Problems

A genuinely a good article about Macedonia's economic problems. Someone should do an article about the inability of Macedonia to harnass the economic potential of the emigre community.

Marketing Macedonia since 1997:
American Chronicle
Sam Vaknin

In the November 1st, 1997 edition of the prestigious economic magazine, "The Economist", there is an ad published by the Berlin Economic Development Corporation. It contains the names of all the countries in Eastern and Central Europe including such godforsaken ones as Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan. Only one name is missing: Macedonia.

A second story: all the important internet sites provide their users with lists of countries. The users use these lists to identify themselves to the webmasters of the site and to other visitors. The lists are very comprehensive. Even the names of tiny quasi-republics are included (anyone ever heard about Tuvalu?).

With the exception of very few Websites, Macedonia is not to be found on any of these lists.

One last story: on my way from Prague to Skopje, I was seriously asked by a reservations clerk of one of the leading airlines whether Skopje (Macedonia's capital since time immemorial) was a suburb of Belgrade.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Good Short History of Vratnica

I really don't know who wrote this, but it is a good history of Vratnica, including the impact of the creation of the Macedonian Orthodox Church and Serb vs Macedonian issues.. Macedonian students should use this as an example for writing a history of their village.

Vratnica: History of a Unique Macedonian Village

"During the 2001 terrorist “insurgency” in Macedonia by Albanian ultra-nationalists whose exploits were tolerated by the US, NATO, and the EU, Vratnica was again under attack. This was an example of sanctioned “terrorism.” Armed Albanian bandits besieged four villages at the far north in the Tetovo region populated by Macedonians. Vratnica and the three surrounding villages of Staro Selo, Belovishte, and Rogachevo, consisting of 2,500 residents, were under a practical siege by the so-called NLA (National Liberation Army). Vratnica went for weeks without food, water, medicine, or any medical assistance.

This siege created a ghetto of Vratnica and the neighboring villages and was especially difficult on the children and elderly. The Albanian terrorists, based in the nearby village of Odri, presented an ultimatum to the residents of the surrounded Christian villages to leave the area, the Albanian version of “ethnic cleansing.” Toni Kocevski, the mayor of Vratnica, told reporters: “We do not have food, neither medicine and for ten days we do not have a doctor. A couple of days ago some representatives from the International Red Cross came and promised some humanitarian help made up of medicine and food for tomorrow. From time to time we are visited by OSCE, but that d"

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Karolina Goceva is Going to HELSINKI!

Macedonian nominee for the Eurovision Song contest not without some controversy! Nice Youtube clip. (Ignore FRYM)

Eurovision Song Contest Helsinki 2007

"Karolina Goceva will represent F.Y.R. Macedonia in the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest in Helsinki with Mojot svet. This was decided during the national final tonight. The singer reached an impressive victory: For the first time, regional voting was used. Karolina managed to get the top mark from each and every city which means 144 points in total."

Friday, February 23, 2007

Macedonian Documentary on Boris Trajkovski

This documentary sounds really good. I only hope that it can be translated into English. Maybe someone should approach the Ford Foundation and what the hell, why not ask for a grant from the Onassis Foundation. It can't hurt.

Boris Trajkovski "I believe in Macedonia"

"An especially rich visual documentary story about the life and mission of President Boris Trajkovski.The film shows the aspects of his character as a devout man and politician. The film contains statements from about twenty eminent people from Macedonia and abroad, including those closest to him. The documentary also contains some of his most inspiring speeches taken from a huge source of exclusive archive material. The motto of the film is the belief in Macedonia, which was the main slogan in his campaign during the presidential elections. The 60 minute documentary is produced by Macedonian Television, in co-production with the Boris Trajkovski foundation.

Screenplay - Mirjana Vasileva, Goran Trencovski
Camera - Sokole Josifovski
Sound - Filip Popovski
Lighting - Aco Spasevski
Editing - Dragica Lazarevic
Directed by Goran Trencovski

The promotion of the film will be on the occasion of the three year anniversary of Trajkovski's death, on Sunday 25.02.2007 at 18:00 h., in Macedonian National Theater, while the premiere will be broadcast on Monday 26.02.2007 on Macedonian Television at 20:00 h."

Two Pseudo Rights Groups Talking Nonsense With Each Other

Calling the ICG and RFE fronts for the CIA would be giving them too much credit. Having them trading nonsense with each other is very funny. This interview with Gareth Evans, a nasty little piece of work,. is simply designed for misinformation to pressure the Serbs to capitulate on Kosovo. Its not going to work. Russia and China will stand firm against Kosovo independence for their own self-interest.

Macedonians will remember this former Australian Foreign Minister as adopting the Greek position on the Macedonian name issue. His "compromise" was to call everyone from the Republic of Macedonia ... wait for it ..."Slav Macedonians" ... including the Albanians!, Turks!, Jews! ... you get the picture. Good fun from a total goof!

"ICG: Russia likely to abstain from UNSC vote on Kosovo
Makfax vesnik:

Prague /23/02/ 15:05

Russia, regardless of the current opposition to the UN plan on Kosovo, will abstain from voting at the UN Security Council, which will lead to Council's adoption of Martti Ahtisaari's blueprint, ICG's president said.

In an interview with Radio Free Europe, Gareth Evans - the president of the International Crisis Group (ICG) said the Council's approval would not mean a formal proclamation and recognition of Kosovo's independence by the UN Security Council. However, it will put Kosovo on the road to statehood and each country can recognize Kosovo individually.

Although there is no mention of the word 'independence' in Ahtisaari's plan, Kosovo will be given clear perspective for self-rule.

'The plan is very carefully drafted, as there is no mention of 'independence', which is thorn in the eye, particularly to Russia, ICG's president said.

He added that Kosovo, however, could not enjoy a full independence given the need for long-term international presence. /end/"

Clay Scott is not "Nahsi", but He Wants to be!

Clay Scott is a veteran, well-traveled reporter who managed to find himself on the wrong side of the tracks in Sofia, Bulgaria. Good fun!

Something to Celebrate
By Clay Scott - 11/19/06
Helena Independent Record:

"I could understand what he was saying, but the language he was speaking wasn’t Bulgarian. Before I could react he hit me in the mouth with a jab, and followed it up with a hook to my jaw. With the table between us the punches were less than full force, but they smarted, and I felt my mouth bleeding. Suddenly it dawned on me that he had been speaking Macedonian.

“What are you doing, brother?” I said. “I’m a Macedonian. I’m a Macedonian from America.”

“Really,” he said skeptically. “What’s your name?”

Thinking fast, I remembered a Macedonian restaurant I used to go to in San Francisco.

“Stoyanov,” I said. “Alexander Stoyanov.”

“Hey!” he said to his comrades. “He’s one of ours!”

His girlfriend got a bowl of ice and a towel from the bar, and he gently and expertly cleaned the blood from my face. He didn’t ask what I was doing in Bulgaria, or why, if I was Macedonian, I was speaking Bulgarian.

“I’m sorry, brother,” he said. “I didn’t know you were one of ours. Hey you!” he said to the bartender. “Put on some Macedonian music. We have something to celebrate!”"

Clay Scott is a veteran, well-traveled reporter who lives in Helena.

Its a Riot (Greek, that is!)

These "YouTube" videos show the conference of Macedonians "Rainbow -Vinozhito" conference in Thessaloniki (Solon) Greece. too bad that its in Greek from a Greek news program. Now if we can only get it translated into English and show it to the Greek Issues Caucus in the US Congress, we may have some movement in our direction. Can any one find footage of the Greek riot over the Rainbow sign in Florina and put it on the Web. That wood be great.

"Excerpts of the Vinozhito Conference in Solun - 2004 » Vinozhito
Macedonia News:

YouTube Video 1
YouTube Video 2
YouTube Video 3

Thursday, February 22, 2007

How DID Bulgaria Get in the EU?

It occurred to me that I never did get the whole story as to how Bulgaria managed to get into the EU with a tainted human rights record against its Macedonian minority. This is a story from November 2006. Geoffrey van Orden, conservative member of the EU Parliament produced a report that favored Macedonian recognition, but this section was deleted during debate. Why and how? Who was for it (the Greens and the ethnics) who was against it? (Greece and who else). I don't know.

Sofia disturbed by EP's suggestion on Macedonians in Pirin
Makfax vesnik: Sofia/Strasbourg 14/11/2006

The call of the European Parliament to register the Party of Macedonians 'OMO Ilinden Pirin' caused anxiety in the Bulgarian political circles.

At the yesterday's regular plenary session of the European Parliament, a proposal for registering the Party of Macedonians 'OMO Ilinden Pirin' and for guaranteeing the right of the Macedonian minority, was included in the last monitoring report on Bulgaria ahead of country's admission into the Union.

'We call upon the Bulgarian authorities to ensure that no obstacles for registration of the political party of the ethnic Macedonian will be put, and that all discriminative and abusive activities aimed at this minority will cease', says the supplementary document to the monitoring report.

The report was drafted by Geoffrey van Orden , and the demands of the Macedonians' Party are included in the Section 13 of the report, and signed by MEPs Milan Horáček, Joost Lagendijk, Angelica Beer and Elly de Groen..

'The reasons for the introduction of the amendment for the recognition of the Macedonian minority are not political', Elly de Groen told Bulgari"

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Some Thoughts on Ethnicity

I came upon this article and an interesting web site by a Macedonian-American. Good Reading!

Ethnicity: Macedonian-Makedonski

By Dr.Stojadin B.Naumovski

“Going to the grass roots” was the slogan for candidates going in to campaign for the elections 2004. But what that really meant?

Did it, mean the “Grass roots” of the party members or the “Grass roots” of the voters?

In countries with multiple Ethnic [minorities] groups, and especially in the Balkans, where existence of “ethnic political parties” become “rule of the thumb”, going to the “Grass roots” [ in addition to the “ideological grass roots”] meant going to these elite group entities who were claiming to have the legitimacy of the ethnic groups. The agenda of this political elites was primarily based on the Nationality of the Ethnic group, while offering “variation on the theme” including ingredients such as “left” or “right”, socialist, democratic, liberal…"

Memo to Greece: Should Have Sent Troops to Iraq!

I don't really like to like to this Bulgarian News Agency, but sometimes they have good snippets of information. I am sure that Greece is working hard on the family tree of Barack Obama. The Greek lobby has deep roots in the Democratic Party, so the next US presidential election should see lots of pressure on the Democrats. If Obama choses to pander to the Greek lobby, it may offer the Republicans an opportunity to attack and subvert his campaign ... denial of basic human rights know!

FOCUS Information Agency:

"Athens. Greece will have to look to the U.S. for support over the Macedonia name dispute, Macedonia daily Utrinski vesnik writes citing Greek Ethnos.

Greece, which has committed to back Macedonia’s NATO and EU membership but under the FYROM name, is now in the latest stage a crucial decision. If vetoed Macedonia could turn to the U.N. Security Council where three of the permanent members -- the USA, Russia and China, have recognized Macedonia under its constitutional name. This would be the most humiliating ending for Athens as only Greece and the EU would continue to use the FYROM name. Athens might call a referendum on the matter, Ethnos writes."

Bulgaria! The US Defense Department is Watching!

The SE Times is a relatively good site that is funded by the US Defense Department. They never mention the plight of Macedonians in Greece, so I was surprised that the Macedonians of Bulgaria were mentioned in this post.

Bulgarian Supreme Court refuses to register Macedonian party (


SOFIA, Bulgaria -- Leaders of the OMO Ilinden-Pirin group announced on Tuesday (February 20th) that Bulgaria's Supreme Cassation Court has rejected its appeal, upholding instead a ruling by Sofia's City Court that denied the group the right to formally register as a political party. OMO Ilinden-Pirin said its only option now is to file an appeal with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. OMO Ilinden-Pirin accuses the Bulgarian judiciary of discrimination and says the rulings indicate the courts are not yet independent. The government views the group as radical. (Vecer, Utrinski Vesnik - 21/02/07; MIA, A1 TV, MRT, Focus - 20/02/07)"

Germany to DUI: Drop Dead!

At least one German seems to think that Macedonians should be able to run their own affairs. He does not support the DUI's extra-parliamentary campaign for power.

Germany urges for "steady development" in Macedonia
Makfax vesnik:

"As regards the impact of the future solution on the Kosovo status on Macedonia, Erler said that 'the entire SEE region will be affected by the solution, one way or another'.

'The Albanian population that lives in different countries attaches great significance to acquiring a positive response to the wishes and conceptions that have been building up in Kosovo for years', the German official said.

According to him, 'it is clear the solution will have an impact on Macedonia', given the latest census 'that showed Albanians account for 25 percent of the population in the country, therefore, good living together between the Slavic Macedonians and Albanian Macedonians stands as a precondition for the stability of the entire region'.

Erler pointed out at the fact that 'all responsible forces in Macedonia are committed to implementation of the Ohrid Agreement as an encouraging circumstance', singling out the conflict between the Albanian parties as the gravest challenge at the moment.

'The bigger Albanian party (DUI)has hard time to accept the role of an opposition party', Erler told Deutsche Welle Radio."

Macedonians Can't Run for Office in Bulgaria

These are European standards at work. Nice attitude on the part of Maxfax. Next time some US/EU/Nato nutcase waltzes through Skopje, Macedonian journalists should ask whether Greece and Bulgaria's ethnic policies are their policies.

"Bulgarian agency 'Focus' slobbers over decision against OMO Ilinden"
Makfax vesnik:

Sofia /20/02/ 19:06

With undisguised delight and in a manner which is out of any journalistic standard, the Bulgarian news agency 'Focus' reported about Supreme Court's ruling to upheld the decision that rejects registration of the party of Macedonians living in Bulgaria 'OMO Ilinden Pirin'.

In the newly introduced section dubbed 'Treat of the Day' posted on its webpage , the agency collected all reports published today in both Bulgarian and Macedonian media on the final decision for rejection of the request for registration of the political party of the Macedonian minority that lives in Pirin Macedonia.

The section is also 'embellished' with edited picture depicting OMO Ilinden Pirin as a box of detergent. The comment under the picture says 'OMO - Cold Water, no Rinsing'.

Focus agency has been giving wide publicity to the anti-Macedonian stances voiced by the Bulgarian establishment, putting in forefront the statements of the far-right politicians and public figures, who have been disclosed by the Bulgarian media themselves of being former or current collaborators of the secret services."

What's Going on Here?

I have no idea what is going on with this meeting. Can Moyana help me out on this.I expect zero results. Its a complete waste of time meeting with Greek Bishops in Istanbul. This "Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew" represents a congregation of "5,000 people" and he thinks he is "the king of the world". My suggestion is the MOC lobby the Russian Orthodox Church for recognition and for all ties to be cut with this "pseudo-church" in Istanbul (not Constantinople!).

MOC's Bishops to meet with Patriarch Bartholomew
Makfax vesnik:

Skopje /21/02/ 07:51

The Bishops of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, Naum and Timotej, are due to meet today in Istanbul with the Bartholomew I.

Metropolitans Naum and Timotej will come forward before Patriarch Bartholomew
with MOC's requests for granting an autocephalous status and recognizing the name of the Church.

Macedonian Bishops declined to give any comments before their departure to Istanbul yesterday, announcing statements upon their arrival back in Macedonia.

The Ecumenical Patriarchate qualified today's meeting as an attempt for re-establishing the communication with the Macedonian Orthodox Church."

What's Going on Here?

I have no idea what is going on with this meeting. Can Moyana help me out on this.I expect zero results. Its a complete waste of time meeting with Greek Bishops in Istanbul. This "Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew" represents a congregation of "5,000 people" and he thinks he is "the king of the world". My suggestion is the MOC lobby the Russian Orthodox Church for recognition and for all ties to be cut with this "pseudo-church" in Istanbul (not Constantinople!).

MOC's Bishops to meet with Patriarch Bartholomew
Makfax vesnik:

Skopje /21/02/ 07:51

The Bishops of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, Naum and Timotej, are due to meet today in Istanbul with the Bartholomew I.

Metropolitans Naum and Timotej will come forward before Patriarch Bartholomew
with MOC's requests for granting an autocephalous status and recognizing the name of the Church.

Macedonian Bishops declined to give any comments before their departure to Istanbul yesterday, announcing statements upon their arrival back in Macedonia.

The Ecumenical Patriarchate qualified today's meeting as an attempt for re-establishing the communication with the Macedonian Orthodox Church."

A Communist Under Every Bed

This article is one of the many reasons that I view the IWPR as an agent of destabilization. Macedonian needs a "truth and reconciliation commission" along the lines of what happened in South Africa. This will bring people together. We don't need a which hunt with people accusing each other for political gain. This will tear them apart.That, I fear, is the objective of the IWPR!
Wikipedia - Lustration is historically the term for various ancient Greeks and Roman purification rituals.
In the period after the fall of the various European Communist states in 1989–1991, the term came to refer to the policy of limiting participation of former communists, and especially informants of the communist secret police, in the successor governments or even in civil service positions.

New Lustration Process Won't Cure Macedonia's Ills:
In Weeding out low-level informers to the old secret services and not their bosses is neither just nor useful.

By Iso Rusi in Skopje (Balkan Insight, Jan 26 07)

This week Macedonia is making an attempt to weed out former security service informers from public life with a draft law imposing new conditions on those applying for office.

Deputies say the old secret police structures have had a devastating effect on the country's recent life, contributing to the many failures of the transition process, including increased poverty, criminal privatisation processes and stunted political pluralism.

While deputies blame these problems on the remaining elements of the former communist system - low level 'snitches' - there is no word about the responsibility of those who ideologically mobilised and organised them and used their data for investigations, beatings, psychological maltreatment.

These people are all missing from this proposal law, which means in effect that they will be amnestied. It gives rise to suspicions that real lustration in Macedonia will in fact be impossible, as it would be carried out by the same people who ought to be its object.

There is a risk that other categories will never be fully uncovered, because"

Monday, February 19, 2007

Take the Quiz on Macedonia

Good little article. I actually learned something about Macedonian that I did not know.

Global Politician:

"Ten Questions About Macedonia
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 2/20/2007
Ten Questions You Wanted Answered About Macedonia - But Never Dared to Ask:"

Oil In Macedonia?

If oil is discovered in Macedonia, the US will be our new best friend.

International Oil Companies Drawn to Untapped Oil Riches in Macedonia:
10/22/2006 (

Norwegian, Turkish and Kazakh oil and gas companies plan to come to Macedonia to see just how much oil is bubbling under the surface at the untapped Engilija field near Sveti Nikole in the east of the country, reported Skopje daily Vreme on October 21.

Although it has been known since at least the 1960’s that the flat, soft area known as Ovcho Pole (Shepherd’s Plain) contained some amount of natural resources, no one knows exactly how much. In Yugoslav days, a company from Novi Sad in northern Serbia, Nafta Gas bored into the earth near the village Ergelija, registering positive for oil and gas. After the discovery, however, work mysteriously stopped for reasons still unknown, and until the present day no one really knows how much oil Macedonia might be sitting on. A few months ago, the economics weekly Kapital caused a brief sensation with a lengthy article discussing the issue.

According to Vreme, new Minister for Foreign Investment, and former Vice-President for Publicity and Marketing of the AMBO oil pipeline project, Gligor Tashkovich is in touch with the heads “of some big world’s energy companie"

Milcho Manchevski's web Site

Milcho Manchevski

Milcho Manchevski's web Site

Milcho Manchevski

US to Russia "Bring It On!"

As if the US was not over extended enough, it is trying to piss in Russia's doorstep.The last line regarding using Central Europe to protect the US against North Korean missiles is too funny for words. The BBC should be ashamed of stringing those improbable words together. Someone in the US government has to put their thinking caps on. Why do I care ... see Loui Dimitrovski's "I Am Macedonian-Canadian" .

Czech-Polish OK for US missiles:

"The US wants to build a missile interceptor site in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic.

Russia has condemned the plan, saying it will be able to target the sites.

'If the governments of Poland and the Czech Republic take a decision to this effect, the strategic missile troops will be capable of having these facilities as targets,' said Gen Nikolai Solovtsov, commander of Russia's missile forces.

The US says the missile defense in Central Europe is designed to guard against possible missile attacks from the Middle East or North Korea."

Great News For Macedonians in Albania

I did not realize that Macedonians were so sell organized in Mala Prespa!

"Macedonians claim election victory in Mala Prespa"
Makfax vesnik:

Pustec /19/02/ 11:32

Macedonian Alliance for European Future (PMAEI), a party founded by Macedonians in Albania, said it won the mayoral vote in Mala Prespa, Albania, Makfax correspondent said.

PMAEI's Political Secretary Kimet Fetahu told Makfax news agency the party's candidate Edmond Temelko has garnered majority votes in the municipality of Mala Prespa, in the course of Sunday's local elections in Albania.

Fetahu said PMAEI's candidate for mayor won majority votes and the party won five seats in the Council of the Municipality of Mala Prespa, i.e. 35 percent of the total number of Council members.

Fetahu added there was no immediate word on the outcome of mayoral vote in other municipalities, as the count began late on Sunday.

As regards the voting process, Fetahu said the elections were conducted in calm atmosphere"

Macedonia, Not Greece Fined Over Slow Courts

This ruling does not make any sense. Macedonia is fined by the European Court of Human Rights while Greece sits pretty. It does not make sense. This is the type of story that needs to by analyzed and discussed. Too bad there is no one to do it.

"Macedonia fined over slow courts in 2006
Makfax vesnik:

Skopje /19/02/ 14:02

Macedonia has been fined by the European Court of Human Rights over the slowness of its courts in 2006 and the country has to pay EUR 90.000 fine for violation of the right to court trial within a reasonable term.

In its latest report, the Macedonia's Helsinki Committee says the Macedonian courts are slow and inefficient.

'These verdicts confirm the protracted proceedings in national courts. The bitter aftermath of slow courts thwart the citizens to exercise their rights within reasonable deadline,' the report says.

Macedonia's Helsinki Committee said the verdicts of the European Court of Human Rights are prompted by 'inaction of judicial system, focus on 'more' important issues and non-compliance with the timetable for launch of court documents'."

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Would Anyone in His Right Mind Trust This Guy?

I am sorry to say that this guy is so full of "you know what", its coming out of his ears! I just want to spit!

Ahtisaari says Kosovo status proposal focuses on protecting minority rights (

"My settlement proposal focuses strongly on the protection of minority rights,' he told the 46-nation body. 'It provides the foundation for a democratic and multi-ethnic Kosovo in which the rights and interests of all communities are firmly guaranteed and protected by institutions based on the rule of law. It also foresees a strong international civilian and military presence within a broader future international engagement in Kosovo.'"

Description Good! Prescription Bad!

These guy want to save the world with a "Grande Theory", but when these guys were in power during the Clinton administration, they were in charge of putting the boots to the Kurds of Turkey and the Macedonians of Greece. If they want the democracies of the world to unite, first expel Greece and Turkey from polite company!

"Democracies of the World, Unite"
Ivo Daalder & James Lindsay
The American Interest: Policy.

The Bush revolution in foreign policy is over. After September 11, the Administration acted on the conviction that an America that dared to shake off the constraints of international rules, laws and institutions could remake the world for the better. What they found instead was that an America unbound alienated allies, empowered adversaries and divided Americans. Faced with an overstretched military and multiplying threats, the Bush Administration in its second term has acknowledged through its deeds what its critics have long argued: The United States, powerful but no"

Macedonian Journalist Interviewed

The Focus Information Agency is a good propaganda tool for the Bulgarian government. Macedonia does not have anything like it. We should. This is a good interview.

FOCUS Information Agency:

Dragan Pavlovic Latas, editor-in-chief of the Macedonian Vecer daily newspaper, in an interview with FOCUS News Agency

FOCUS: Mr Latas, regarding your today’s article that calls on Dosta Dimovska to Knock down Krasimir Karakachanov so that Pirin Macedonia could be set free, I’d like to ask you what do you mean with the words about the “freedom of Pirin Macedonia” and is Krasimir Karakachanov the factor that impedes this “freedom” that you write about?
Dragan Pavlovic Latas: Firstly, this is a thesis put on a preliminary thesis of part of the Bulgarian society… I read the Bulgarian Trud daily last week, whose article was published in the Macedonian Utrinksi Vesnik, and while I was in Bulgaria I read other papers too, and they still speak about Macedonianism, and not about Macedonian people. They still write that they are our brothers; we can see that neither the language is recognized; and with the presentation of a series of reasons they deny the existence of the Macedonian nation. This is a respond to all that and claims that all that is a slavery to the Serbian dominance in Macedonia. As a response to this, we, the people in Macedonia (…) Dosta Dimovska, and Ljubco Georgievski, is that this part of Macedonia is free, it has its nation, its state… And the fact they often abuse Pirin and Aegean Macedonia, under the same criteria – these are their criteria, and we define that this part of Macedonia is not free. It is about placing the issue on an absurd level so that we can explain it.

FOCUS: How would you recommend your idea about Mrs Dimovska to eliminate Karakachanov be interpreted – as a journalistic fiction, or as an appeal towards “hardening” the relations between our two countries?
Dragan Pavlovic Latas: If something becomes a senseless polemics, you can try explaining it in a way that may be absurd. Personally, I do not think that Mara Buneva is a national heroine. Mara Buneva deserve no attention. Howevr, someone persuades me that she deserves such attention. If this is a good example that should be mentioned and celebrated, than you can apply it once again. And since it cannot be applied again – this case, placed in today’s modern conditions, shows that it is all about a simple murder, in which there is nothing heroic. Well, this is made in such a context so that we can explain that Mara Buneva is nothing. Of course, it cannot be realized, and it is not an agitation to ‘knock down’ Karakachanov or something like that, but to explain the absurd of the framed-up heroine of Mara Buneva.

FOCUS: Do like holidaymaking in Bulgaria? How many times have you visited Bulgaria over the last couple of years and do you like Bulgaria in general?
Dragan Pavlovic Latas: I have not come to Bulgaria for 10 years now. I am personally glad that Bulgaria has joined the EU because if your neighbor is OK, you’ll be OK too. Unfortunately, when Bulgaria joined the EU, and after the several-year silence on the claims to the Macedonian nation. The issue was raised once again. Now, Bulgaria has no impediments for the EU. Before they were silent because they had to.

FOCUS: How do you see Macedonia’s future in the next five years and in 10 years, if it fails to join both NATO and EU?
Dragan Pavlovic Latas: Macedonia will become an EU member state, at least because it has better possibilities than Bulgaria. Macedonia has higher wages than Bulgaria – the average monthly payment in Macedonia is EUR 200, while the average salary in Bulgaria has not reached this level yet; Macedonia has a speedway, while Bulgaria doesn’t; Macedonia has Western culture, which has been accumulated for 60 – 70 years with the free travel abroad, which something that is not a fact in Bulgaria yet… This means that Macedonia has a better capacity and will join the EU.

General and Macedonian Encyclopedia Completed

Too bad this great effort came at a time when the internet has exploded on the scene. This would make a good index for a Macedonian guide to knowledge on the internet.

Culture - Republic of Мacedonia:

"(Vest, 20.12.2006) -
Book publishing house “Mi-An” published the fourth and last volume of the “General and Macedonian Encyclopedia” these days. The issuing of the last volume comes at the fifth anniversary from the beginning of the Encyclopedia’s preparation and eight months since the publishing of the first volume. The four volumes contain more than 32,000 entries, one-third of which on Macedonian topics. The encyclopedia was developed by about 50 professors, Masters of Art and PhDs, while Jovan Pavlovski is the editor-in-chief."

What's Good for Kosovo is Not Good for Bosnia!

This is a news story from January but it is relevant today. I have never seen these EU nut cases really grilled as to why Kosovo and Bosnia cannot be linked. The Balkan journalists are too frighted to ask and the EU journalists are to lazy to even try to understand the issues.

Schwarz-Schilling, Solana condemn attempts to link RS with Kosovo status (


BRUSSELS, Belgium -- High Representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Christian Schwarz-Schilling and EU security chief Javier Solana condemned on Wednesday (January 17th) any attempt to link the future of BiH's Republika Srpska (RS) with the Kosovo status issue. Following talks with Solana, as well as with EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn in Brussels, Schwarz-Schilling said the EU was unhappy with comments from Belgrade suggesting the outcome of the Kosovo status issue would impact RS. He reiterated that BiH is a sovereign state, whose territorial integrity is guaranteed by the Dayton Peace Accord and said that Serbia, as a signatory to Dayton, must respect its international commitments. (Nezavisne novine - 18/01/07; OHR Sources, PBS BiH - 17/01/07)"

Whose Is This Song?

I would like to see this movie, it sounds good. Here is the Google Video.

The strains of a Balkan ballad
By Nicholas Wood International Herald Tribune
Tuesday, November 16, 2004

SKOPJE, Macedonia And you thought the Balkan wars were just about
politics. One evening five years ago a group of friends - a Serb, a
Turk, a Greek and two Bulgarians - were at a restaurant in Istanbul.
As they ate, a band struck up a familiar tune. A dispute broke out,
each of the diners claiming that the tune was a famous national song
that belonged to his or her country.

The idea that the same song could be shared by nations that had been
at each others' throats for hundreds of years enraged and infuriated
some of them. It was also grounds for one of those diners to spend the
next four years making a film about it.

The result, a 70-minute documentary entitled "Whose Is This Song?" by
the Bulgarian filmmaker, Adela Peeva, has recently gone on general
release in Bulgaria after winning prizes at several specialized film
and television festivals, notably in Paris and in Nashville.

The film has touched a raw nerve among audiences in the Balkans,
questioning what many see as an integral part of their national
identities and ultimately, Peeva believes, showing just how much they
have in common.

The documentary follows Peeva through Macedonia, Turkey, Greece,
Albania, Bosnia, Serbia and Bulgaria.

In most countries, the tune is a love song with varying lyrics, but in
others, such as Turkey and Bosnia, it has also been used as a war
song. In each country the reactions are the same as people display
shock, anger, or disbelief when Peeva suggests the same tune is also
claimed by their neighbors.

"The Turks took it from us," says an Albanian in Tirana, explaining
that the song was originally theirs. "We are one of the most ancient

In Vranje, a town in southern Serbia, Peeva's hosts storm out of the
restaurant they are entertaining her in when she plays a Bosnian
version of the tune that has been used as a call to arms.

"This is theft!" shouts one man before leaving.

"Music and song are one of the strongest parts of our identities,"
Peeva explained. "But when someone comes along and say it is not, they
are very sensitive."

The film does not attempt to define where the song originally came
from, although Peeva said she was given numerous differing
explanations, including the possibility that it had been introduced by
soldiers from Scotland who were based in Turkey during the Crimean

In Greece it is known as "Apo Xeno Eopo," or "From a foreign land,"
and in Turkey it is called "Uskudar," after the region of Istanbul.

The Turkish version was the subject of a film, "Katip" (The Clerk),
directed by Ulku Erakalin in the 1960s, and the singer and actress
Eartha Kitt recorded a version of the song, also called "Uskudar," in
the 1970s.

However many different versions there are, Peeva says they all point
to the fact that most Balkan nations share a tradition passed down to
them by what was once the Ottoman Empire, and the Byzantine Empire
before that. This goes against what most people in the region have
been brought up to believe, viewing the Turks as oppressors who sought
to crush their true national identities.

The idea that the same song could be shared by several nations has
enraged some people.

"We tend not to accept we have a common identity," said Peeva.

The rise of nationalism in the 19th century saw everyday traditions
shared throughout the region redefined in national terms, according to
Alex Drace-Francis, a research fellow at the University of London who
also writes about the culture of identities in southeastern Europe.

"Basically there was a common culture, in terms of cuisine, domestic
life, music and clothing," he said. "There were regional differences
but they were not defined in terms of nationhood."

Those differences were re-emphasized and exacerbated towards the end
of the 20th century, with the exchange and expulsion of populations in
Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria, as well as the interethnic conflicts of
the 1990s in the former Yugoslavia.

Peeva claims that, just as the film has shown how sensitive people in
the region are about identity, it has enabled audiences to see the
absurdity of the different claims. "It makes us laugh at ourselves,"
she said.

Reactions to the film have been positive throughout the region, she
said. "People laugh and sing in the same places. The Bulgarians even
sang the Bosnian version of the song and clapped during the

Greece is the only country in the region that has not shown the film.
"I think they have a problem with it," said Peeva.

Mark Mazower, a professor of history at Columbia University and author
of "The Balkans," a book that explores identities and nationalism in
the region, says that the film is the latest in a series that
challenges long-held images of national identity.

He cited two recent Greek films, "A Touch of Spice" by Tasos
Boulmetis, released last year, and "Ulysses's Gaze" by Theo
Angelopoulos, starring Harvey Keitel and made in 1995, as recent
examples that explore the blurred and mixed national identities in the

"There is clearly a mood to question the national myths about the
Balkans," Mazower said in a telephone interview.

Peeva would now like the film to be used in schools throughout the
Balkans. She acknowledges, however, that not everybody who sees the
documentary accepts its lesson.

"The reaction of some of the people are the same as in the film, even
when it has ended," she said. "It needs time."

Copyright © 2004 The International Herald Tribune |

Patriot Games

This is an old story from our friend Fiachra about Colin Farrell's Alexander. I saw the movie. Not much of a story, just enough to make Macedonians and Greeks look foolish. Wouldn't be proper to mention the role of US/EU in this comedy. Wouldn't be prudent!. People are watching! Mum's the word.

Patriot games

Which people are the true descendants of the greatest military
commander in history? Fiachra Gibbons reports on how Oliver Stone's
epic Alexander is reigniting an ancient, bitter feud.

Friday November 19, 2004
The Guardian

The first western imperialist ... Colin Farrell as Alexander

"We will come and kill you in your beds, cut your throats, and wipe
you from the face of the earth ... if Alexander the Great were alive
today he would grind you gypsy dogs into the dust, dig your dead from
their graves and silence forever your filthy language that insults his
name ..."

Internet chatrooms have never been the most decorous of forums but
even in the free-for-all that is cyberspace, those dedicated to
discussing Oliver Stone's new film, Alexander, are a case apart.

Since the combative director of JFK chose to make his first foray into
historical epics with a biopic of the most fought-over figure of the
ancient world, rivers of blood have been spilt - figuratively at least
- in a propaganda battle between Greek and Macedonian nationalists
over who has the right to claim the all-conquering hero as their own.

This very modern ethnic turf war is being fought with tortuously
argued historical blogs about which Macedonia Alexander conquered the
known world for - a tiny new Balkan republic that has only recently
come to see itself as the keeper of his flame, or a province that was
officially known as "Northern Greece" until the former Yugoslav
republic of Macedonia declared itself independent and bagged the name.

But the real blood and guts of the battle, the part Alexander would
have so enjoyed, is in the chatrooms, where fanatical foot- soldiers
taunt each other with blood-curdling threats heavy with echoes of the
short but brutish Balkan wars that carved up ancient land between
Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria almost a century ago.

Stone has remained uncharacteristically silent, preferring to wrestle
on set with war elephants and his leading man, Colin Farrell. Even for
such a seasoned controversialist, this is a scrap to stand back from.

For the struggle over who have the right to call themselves
descendents of the greatest military commander in history, and the
first real western imperialist, is neither pretty nor edifying. In the
early 1990s, Greece nearly invaded the newborn Republic of Macedonia
for "stealing" Alexander's symbol, the Star of Vergina, for its flag,
as well as the White Tower in the Greek Macedonian capital of
Thessaloniki for its banknotes, something the millions of ordinary
Greeks who took to the streets saw as "blatant acts of aggression".

The flag and the banknotes were hastily withdrawn, but Greek pride was
far from restored. To the horror of its European partners, Athens
briefly contemplated carving up its defenceless northern neighbour
with the Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic. In the end, Greece
stepped back, choosing instead to blockade the tiny republic of barely
two million people in an attempt to strangle it at birth. Since then
millions have been spent on a war of attrition to claim the name - and
Alexander - back.

You cannot walk more than a few hundred metres in any town in northern
Greece without tripping over a new statue, bust or monument to
Alexander, who extended the Hellenic world as far as India in the
fourth century BC with such slaughter that even today in Iran and
central Asia his name is used to scare unruly children. You will find
the most pointed statue of all at the border with Macedonia at Niki -
named after the Greek god of victory - where a giant Alexander angrily
brandishes a javelin at the upstart state across the frontier.

All over Greek Macedonia, streets, schools and airports have been
hastily renamed, while archaeologists, having all but ignored ancient
Macedonia until relatively recently, are digging furiously for its
traces. The spectacular tomb of Alexander's father, Phillip, at
Vergina near Thessaloniki, and the city's revamped museum, hammer home
the kingdom's Greekness.

Still, passions had cooled somewhat after an unhappy compromise over
the name that burdened Skopje with the cumbersome temporary moniker of
the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, or "Fyrom" for short. Greek
investment also began to build bridges - until Stone and his army of
Hollywood stars appeared on the horizon to put nationalists on both
sides back on a hair-trigger.

It is into this fraught and febrile atmosphere that George W Bush has
now wandered. With the world waiting and wondering where the president
will start the next war, Bush chose as his first major foreign-policy
decision of his second term to recognise Fyrom by its "proper" name as
the Republic of Macedonia, prompting paroxysms of Greeks anger across
the globe and Athens to vow to block Macedonia's entry into the EU and

Even before Bush's intervention, the very mention of the M-word in
Greek Macedonia risked a stern lecture on how it has been Greek since
antiquity. I nearly lost an ear to a particularly patriotic barber in
Thessaloniki last month when I mentioned that I had just arrived from
the "other Macedonia".

Those people are not Macedonian, he raged. "That is a Slav lie. We are
the real Macedonians. They are prostitutes and Gypsies and worse than
Albanians," he declared. His family, it turned out, were recent Greek
immigrants from Georgia who, he claimed, went "east with Alexander".
He liked to take his son on Sundays to the massive equestrian statue
of Alexander on the city's seafront promenade, where Greek
right-wingers gathered after Bush's bombshell to burn American and
Macedonian flags. "I tell him to be proud of his ancestors and how
lucky he is to have returned to the land of his forefathers."

But ask anyone four hours north in Skopje what Alexander was and they
will smile sheepishly and say, "Macedonian, of course!" And when
pressed about the obvious absurdity of a country that has a majority
Slavic population claiming a man who was born nearly 1,000 years
before the first Slav appeared in Macedonia, they answer, "Well, he
was certainly not Greek."

If the Macedonians were Greek, why did Alexander have to address his
troops in both Greek and ancient Macedonian, they argue. And every dog
can quote the Athenian orator Demosthenes' famous condemnation of
Alexander's father Philip as "not only no Greek, nor related to the
Greeks, but not even a barbarian from any place that can be named with
honour, but a pestilent knave from Macedonia, whence it was never yet
possible to buy a decent slave."

"No one is saying that Alexander spoke modern Macedonian, that is
ridiculous, but who is to say that there isn't something of him still
floating around in the genome," says Vojislav Sarakinski, a lecturer
in ancient history at the city's main Cyril and Methodius university.
It is easy to ridicule all this as archetypical Balkan lunacy until
you realise how much of the emotional heat of the dispute stems from
the insecurity of both countries about their borders, fears fully
justified by the region's recent history.

Stone has been well aware of these sensitivities from the start,
though initial Greek outrage at his film focused on Alexander's
omnivorous sexuality, in particular his fondness for eunuchs. His
film, he insists, is purely about the historical "man god", and so has
made no secret of showing Alexander's love for his friend Hephaestion.
There is, however, none of the lurid decadence promised from Baz
Luhrmann's planned film about Alexander, if it ever gets off the

Evangelos Venizelos, the formidable former Greek culture minister and
a Macedonian, attempted to get Stone onside early on, offering him
Greek locations and the use of the army for battle scenes, but the
director demurred and instead diplomatically chose locations far away
from controversy in Morocco and Thailand. Confronted with angry MPs
unhappy with what they were hearing about Alexander's bisexuality,
Venizelos despaired, "What can I do? It's Hollywood."

Generally, though, most Greeks see the Stone film as a chance to
strike a blow against Skopje, given that it is based on the biography
by the Oxford academic Robin Lane Fox, whom both sides see as a

None of the previous, deeply disappointing attempts to bring
Alexander's extraordinary life to the screen have had to walk the same
tightrope because, until Skopje broke away from Belgrade in 1991,
Alexander's origins were not in dispute. In fact he barely figured in
the old Yugoslav textbooks, and even in Greece he was something of a
forgotten figure - relegated to the second and third division of
Hellenic heroes behind Pericles, the great philosophers, and warriors
such as Leonidas. While the great Greek director Theo Angelopoulos
dealt obliquely with him in his film about a 19th-century Macedonian
brigand, Megalexandros, there has been no biopic in either country.

"Alexander lived long before nationalism and so is our common hero,"
says Vasil Tupurkovski, a former deputy president, who has written
four popular histories about him. "He would be laughing at us arguing
about him now."

Ah, but would he be laughing in Greek or Macedonian? Professor Nade
Proeva, the expert on ancient Macedonia in Skopje, thinks both.
"Alexander certainly spoke and wrote Greek, but then it was the lingua
franca of the time, like English is now. I speak French but that does
not make me French."

With such treacherous ground to negotiate, and amid thunderous
lobbying from both sides, Stone has chosen a remarkably adroit middle
course. His masterstroke has been to give Alexander and the men of the
Macedonian phalanxes Irish accents, while the Greeks speak clipped
English RP.

Macedonians of all complexions are content with this, each convinced
it favours their cause. So in another two millennia when people ponder
again the origins of the mysterious Macedonian who emerged from the
southern Balkans to rule the world at 25, they will turn their ears to
Colin Farrell's guttural brogue and conclude that he was in fact a

· Alexander opens in the US next week and in the UK in January.

Italians Teach Macedonians to Fight Mafia

By David Edenden
I don't usually link to Serbianna since it is one of the centers of the vast Serbian chauvinist conspiracy against the existence of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, but this story is too much fun to let it pass by. A few years ago, the EU forced Macedonia to re-run its census since there were complaints by the Albanians about under counting their population. The EU experts were led by a Greek statistician. I always thought that this was a way that the EU could demonstrate its total contempt for the Macedonian people. Having a Greek lecture Macedonians about ethnic sensitivity while Greece denies the very existence of Macedonians ... nice! Now we have the Italians coming to teach Macedonians how to fight the mafia. What next ... cooking lessons from the English!

"Italian Mafia experts to help Macedonia fight organized crime

January 26, 2007 4:06 PM

SKOPJE, Macedonia-Italian experts who deal with the Mafia will help train Macedonian police in fighting organized crime as part of a program funded by the European Union, officials said Wednesday.

Justice Minister Mihajlo Manevski said the two-year project will promote contacts with Italy's Ministry of Justice and the International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences, based in Sicily, as well as Italian police officers who deal with organized crime."

Trajkovski Murder Conspiracy?

I think that the Trajkovski plane crash was due to pilot error, but there seems to be some inconsistencies regarding the rescue. Lots of room for conspiracy mongers.

Makfax vesnik:

"SFOR arrived immediately at plane crash site in Rotimlje

Skopje /09/02/ 13:06

Several vehicles of SFOR arrived at the plane crash site 20 minutes after the crash of the plane carrying Macedonian president Boris Trajkovski.

Almost three years after the tragic accident, the local residents of Rotimlje, a village near the crash site, told the Macedonian media that SFOR teams arrived at the plane crash site shortly after the crash. The government's King Air jet, carrying the then president Boris Trajkovski and his entourage, went down minutes before landing at Mostar's airport.

Rotimlje residents told the Macedonian printed and electronic media that the plane was located shortly after it went down, not 26 hours later as the official report claims.

'The road to crash site runs through the village. Two SFOR jeeps stayed at the main road and other two jeeps climbed to the hill around 9 pm. They returned shortly afterwards, in 20 minutes. We didn't know what had happened up there. We learnt the next morning that a plane had crashed,' local resident Ahmet Pehlic said.

Macedonian police urged the prosecutor's office last Monday to re-open the investigation into plane crash that took place on 26 February 2004.

Macedonian President Branko Crvenkovski will visit Mostar on Saturday, but his"

Pete Maravich Biographies

It seems that Peter Maravich's mother is Macedonian. Don't know much about him.

Pete Maravich Biographies -
Books - Review -
New York Times:

"Kriegel also tries to situate Maravich in his times, particularly in relation to the era’s racial dynamics. Despite the precedent of Bob Cousy’s legerdemain, Maravich’s crowd-pleasing style was identified with that of the urban playground and its black stars. Marvin Turner, a black player from Baton Rouge who competed against Maravich in the summer, tells Kriegel, “There had never been a white guy who played like that — he had a soul game.” The growing National Basketball Association was beginning to be dominated by African-Americans, and the mantle of “great white hope” thrust upon Maravich, along with the accompanying rich contract, didn’t help his transition to the league; when he joined the Atlanta Hawks, black veterans like Lou Hudson and Joe Caldwell, who’d toiled for years for a fraction of the money Maravich commanded, were understandably annoyed. In time, the tempest blew over, but over a 10-year career that saw enough success for him to be named one of the N.B.A.’s 50 greatest players, a complementarity of teammates and coach failed to materialize, and he never came close to showcasing his skills in the service of a championship."

Leninists in Greek Macedonian Church

For those who are interested the Macedonian name of Axioupolis (Kilkis) is Bojmica (Kukuš). According to the Rainbow Party, I am not sure whether these people are Greeks or ethnic Macedonians. Anyone who knows, drop me a line. It makes a difference to the story if they are Macedonians.

Church painting of Lenin sparks Greek row: News - Latest News

"A Greek priest walks past an image of the late Russian leader Lenin trimming the beard of Saint Lucas painted on the wall of the Greek Orthodox church of the Holy Virgin in Axioupolis, northern Greece February 6, 2007. The painting has offended traditionalists, who have threatened legal action to have Lenin's image removed. REUTERS/Griogoris Siamidis"

... The church's head priest, Father Dorotheos, defended the subject matter chosen by the painter, Costas Vafiadis, who started work on the project four years ago.

"There have been reactions from some, who feel Orthodox tradition is being violated, but I don't think the Church forbids personal style and expression," he said.

Best Irish Pub in the World is Located in Kumanovo, Macedonia!

This is another example of the unity between the Irish and Macedonian people. I read somewhere that in the 20's and thirties, VMRO was feared more that the IRA, which at least had some success in founding the Irish Free State.

Unlikely Entrepreneur Creates Macedonia’s First Authentic Irish Pub: "2/17/2007 (

By Christopher Deliso

At first, Mark Murphy’s story might seem common enough; Western peacekeeper stationed in the Balkans falls in love with local girl whom he meets on the job. However, what happened after for this Irish soldier and resident of Kumanovo, a city of 100,000 in Macedonia’s northeast, is much more remarkable. For rather than returning home with the emigrant native daughter, a scenario witnessed countless times since the Yugoslav wars of the 1990’s, Murphy stayed on to create a business, becoming an improbable investor in a small country by bringing a bit of his own culture to it- appropriately enough, in the form of an Irish pub, The Harp.

Although it has only been operating for about two months, The Harp has become a popular place. While Macedonia already has several Irish pubs, the new one of Kumanovo is the most authentic. Murphy spent loving attention to details, decking out the spacious, two-floor bar with clan insignia, Celtic symbols, Irish flags and, of course, Irish music. Unlike the many Macedonian cafés with their bland décor and identical pop or techno music, the Harp has a warmth to it reminiscent of what you might find "

Stanishev, Take the Log Out of Your Eye.

Bulgaria, with a nod and a wink from the EU and Nato can repress the Macedonian minority in Bulgaria. They can routinely use the police and the army from stopping Macedonians laying a wreath at the monument to Jane Sandanski. However, they seem to be upset when a similar actions by "culprits", not the state, to their heroes. to bad, so sad. Take that note to the Macedonian ambassador and shove it ... you know where!

FOCUS Information Agency:

"Sofia. ‘We call on Macedonia to carry out a correct analysis and to take all measures to punish the culprits for the incident in front of the Mara Buneva plate from January 13th this year’, Sergey Stanishev, Prime Minister of Bulgaria said during a meeting of the Bulgarian Parliament today in a response to a question of the leader of VMRO Krasimir Karakachanov, a reporter of FOCUS News Agency informed. Stanishev added that Bulgaria insists that such incidents do not happen again. Stanishev noted that the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry came out with a statement in the day of the incident and a note was handed to the Macedonian Ambassador to Bulgaria Abdurahman Aliti on January 15th."

New Name for Macedonian Airport

I have never read a report from a Macedonian journalist in which a member of the US/EU diplomatic parade through Skopje is asked a question about ethnic rights for Macedonians in Greece. This is just another case in point. Mirceski is probably a nice guy, but the story misses the whole point of the Macedonian-Greek conflict .. that is human rights for Macedonians in Greece! If they exist, I wish someone could take the stories and quotes from these diplomats and put them on the web!

"Macedonian Airport Lifts Name Dispute to New Heights

18 01 2007 Decision to rename terminal after Alexander the Great marks new phase in tug of war with Athens.

By Vladimir Mirceski in Skopje (Balkan Insight, 18 Jan 07)

The UN mediator for resolving the dispute between Greece and Macedonia flew into trouble last weekend - literally - after touching down at an airport whose new name has brought the conflict to new heights.

Matthew Nimetz landed at Skopje airport just as the Macedonians were about to formally rename it after Alexander the Great, the 4th century BC warrior whom Greeks see as the epitome of classical Greek heroism.

Although the airport still bore the old name Airport Petrovec when he landed, as Nimetz drove towards the Macedonian parliament he could hardly miss the sight of new road signs to the airport proclaiming the name of the mighty conqueror whose empire stretched practically all the way to the Punjab.

Nimetz brought an angry message from Greek foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis, complaining that the move violated the Interim Agreement regulating relations between the two countries.

After a two-hour meeting in Skopje, Nimitz maintained the move was “not a major event here”, adding, however, that the issue was “between two neighboring countries and has to be dealt with great sensitivity”.

US/EU Has Serbia's "Jace" on the Menu

With Serbia trying desperately to join Nato and the EU, I'm sure that the Russians are not eager to jump through hoops in the aid of their fellow Slavs! Russia is obviously adamant in not allowing Kosovo to be a model for ethnic groups in Russia, especially the Chechens. Protecting the territorial integrity of Russia is job one! It is interesting to note how far Russia has fallen, when we seen that the US/EU is about to castrate Serbia and pan fry their balls in in herbed butter sauce and wash it down with a fine young Chianti wine. Yet Serbia still cannot bring itself to ally itself with Russia. There is a lesson there for Macedonia, but I am not sure what it is.

"Ivanov warns Kosovo independence could open Pandora's box
Makfax vesnik:

Seville /09/02/ 12:21

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov on Friday warned that granting full independence to Kosovo could spark chain reaction among other breakaway provinces across the post-Soviet region and in Europe.

'Everything depends on how we approach toward the principle on territorial integrity. Are we going to deal with Kosovo issue on the basis of the present political conjecture or on the basis of inviolability of internationally recognized borders,' Ivanov said at the meeting of NATO defense ministers.

'If we imagine a situation where Kosovo acquires independence, then other people living in regions that are not recognized will ask us 'Are we not as good as them?' Ivanov told his German counterpart Franz Josef Jung.

'This concerns the post-Soviet space, but also the regions in Europe. This can create a chain reaction. We must be careful not to open Pandora's box,' Ivanov said while commenting the plan on near-independence for Kosovo. /end/"

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Green Light for Turkey to Smash the Kurds

This is how the world works. Former US Secretary of State Holbrooke expresses sympathy for the plight of Turkmens of Kirkuk, but not one word about the plight of Kurds in Turkey. Don't expect any Nato general to go to Turkish Kurdistan to apologize for aiding and abetting their oppression for 50 years. US concern for human rights and democracy in Iraqi Kurdistan does not extend to Turkish Kurdistan.There's the rub and there's the cause of instability in the Middle East and the Balkans.

Opportunity For Turks And Kurds?
Richard Holbrooke
Washington Post Post

Whatever happens in Iraq, we must try to limit the terrible fallout from the war. The place to start should be with our indispensable NATO ally Turkey,...

This symmetry of fears has led to semi-secret discussions and even some cooperation between our NATO ally and that charter member of the "axis of evil" on dealing with the PKK, a terrorist group that has conducted raids against both Turkey and Iran from bases just inside northern Iraq for many years. I would not rule out limited Turkish military action against some of those bases -- especially since Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is under enormous political pressure to show strong nationalist credentials against hawkish rivals in an election year.

After years of mishandling relations with Turkey, last year the administration appointed retired Gen. Joe Ralston, the universally respected former NATO commander, as special envoy for the PKK problem. Ralston's intervention helped avoid a Turkish attack in Iraq last summer, and he is accelerating his efforts to get Irbil to rein in the PKK

... The new Iraqi constitution calls for a referendum this year on whether Kirkuk is to be incorporated into the Kurdistan region. The Turks -- who refer repeatedly to the dangers to the Turkmen, their ethnic cousins who live in Kirkuk -- have said that they will not accept such an event. Avoiding a full-blown crisis will require intense mediation by the United States; unfortunately, Ralston's current mandate does not include Kirkuk.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Macedonian Cinema Information Center

A Macedonian site about Macedonian Movies. This site needs somebody to help it link to various English language reviews of Macedonian movies. Anyone interested?

Macedonian Cinema Information Center

[January 2006]
World Opening of "Does It Hurt?" at Rotterdam
Aneta Lesnikovska's dogma film "Does It Hurt?" will compete in one of the most prestigious European festivals, 36th Rotterdam Film Festival (24th January - 4th February). The Macedonian director's film has entered the main selection and is competing for award "Tiger".

[December 2006]
Shooting of "The Balkans Is Not Dead" Starts in August
The first scene of "The Balkans Is Not Dead" will be shot on 2nd August 2007. Macedonian producer Kino Oko will shoot director Aleksandar Popovski's film in collaboration with Testament-film from Belgrade and Pi Film Production from Istanbul. Cejda Tufan of the Turkish production said the script will be worked on carefully because the story focuses on Kemal Ataturk.

[December 2006]
Premiere of TV Comedy "Pusto Tursko"
A nostalgic TV-comedy "Pusto Tursko" directed by Kole Angelovski is opening at the Cinematheque of Macedonia. "In the 70-minute comedy, we used information from 'Confession of a Macedonian chetnik' by Albert Sonnicsen, US journalist who traveled across Macedonia in the early last century and whose notes included a lot of interesting details that enriched the picture of Macedonia in the post-Ilinden period", says director Angelovski.

" The Macedonian Tendency" - The Novel

(hopefully … to be a major motion picture)

Preface: Copywrite: David Edenden, 4th, Oct 2006

See website: The Macedonian Tendency : The Novel

This novel is a work in progress on the web. As I write this story, any links that might be of interest to the novel would be appreciated. I am especially interested in real individuals at work in the Balkans during the Thirties and Forties with information on the Web. Send your stories to the comment section of this blog. You don't have to have the exact details, just the mood and basic facts would be helpful. See my posts for an example of what I want. Blogs are a Good Way of Saving Family (and Macedonian) History.

My two favorite modern mystery authors are Robert Ludlum and John le Carre. Eric Ambler, who started writing in the Thirties, is also interesting to me because of his novels on the Balkans. His novel, The Schirmer Inheritance, which is set in Florina during the Greek Civil War, has some nice local color of ethnic Macedonian partisans.

The “Macedonian Tendency” was originally thought of as a name for a novel. I always liked the Robert Ludlum titles: The Bourne Identity, The Holcroft Covenant, The Osterman Weekend and The Chancellor Manuscript. The Macedonian Tendency seemed to fit right in and has a good ring to it.

Ludlum and le Carre are at opposite ends of the spectrum. With Ludlum, the reader is taken along on a vast thrilling roller coaster ride. Like some rides, you may want to close your eyes and skip a few pages because it won’t really matter. It is the process of reading the improbable plot that provides the entertainment.

My model for the novel, however, is John le Carre because of his ability to weave a probable story with complexity, double identities and double crosses. You can’t miss a page or you will be lost, like in a fog. I will foucs on the behavior of “outside forces” at work in the Balkans. Too many articles have been written with the view that most problems in the Balkans are the result of “ancient hatreds”. This is not true. Two people can always find an accommodation with each other, unless a third party is determined to sow discord: see Jean Paul Sartre’s “No Exit”.

These outsiders will have to distinguish between those who are pro-Communist vs. anti-Communist, pro-Greek vs. pro-Bulgarian vs. Macedonian nationalist. Sometimes, these people could be in the same family, sometime even within the same person

The main character is a naïve young woman, a recent Harvard University graduate, who has been recruited to work for the CIA, circa 1990, before the collapse of Yugoslavia. (I swear, I had this character already formed in my mind before I read about Lindsay Moran). She is intensely religious which means she believes in God and … the devil. Her first assignment is as a desk officer for Yugoslavia, specializing in (you guessed it) Macedonia. All the characters will be fictional but real people will make their appearance when she read newspaper accounts, CIA field reports and prepares classified documents for her superiors

She is not aware of it, but she has some secret family ties to the Balkans since her grandfather was parachuted into the Balkans during WW2 to help in the struggle against the Nazi’s and then against the communists (and Macedonians) during the Greek Civil War. Captain Evans, N. G. L. Hammond and Horace Lunt, will all make an appearance in some fashion.

A Macedonian partisan group in Greece will be working with American agents during WW2 and against them during the Greek Civil War. A few will eventually immigrate to the United States. There will be a Jewish partisan from Florina, who will also find himself in the US after the Greek civil war.

There will be betrayal, division, lies and despair. There will also solidarity, unity, truth and hope. It will be a lot like Macedonia and its history.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

RFE Stops Macedonian Language Service

Radio Free Europe is closing down its Macedonian language service. This is good news and bad news. The good news is that Macedonians will not have to listen to anti-Macedonian message in their own language from an organization that is helping to subvert the national integrity of their country and helping to repress Macedonian minorities in Bulgaria and Greece. For those of you that are interested to know why I feel this way, please see the links below.

The bad news is that a number of Macedonians are going to lose their jobs in "the belly of the beast". These people must know what is going on at RFE. they must know why it ignores human rights violations in Greece. It must know why it has taken an anti-Macedonian stance. Now we will lose access to this information. On the other hand, they will be allowed to write about their experiences and we may be closer to the truth. Before you leave guys, why not take your remaining co-workers to lunch, (especially Patrick and Ulrich) have a beer, discuss "office politics". We really need to know what is going on.

ICG = CIA: You be the Judge
This Article is an Example of Why RFE is Anti-Macedonian
RFE Bias Against Macedonia
The Clash of Orthodoxies
Radio Free Europe is the Problem not the Solution
Transitions Online (RFE) ignores Macedonians in Greece
Ulrich Buechsenschuetz Radio Free Europe


"'The budget request for RFE/RL is sufficient to support our continuing mission to promote freedom and democracy to peoples in Eastern Europe, Russian, the Caucasus, and Central and Southwestern Asia,' said RFE/RL Acting President Jeffrey Trimble. 'We are eager to continue to enrich our programming for Iran, and while RFE/RL programming to Romania and Macedonia remain popular in those countries, the elimination of these broadcasts and other proposed reductions are necessary to allow the BBG to achieve its stated priority of strengthening targeted programming to provide essential access to news and information to critical audiences,' Trimble said.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Is It Time to Screw the Kurds Yet?

I have taken a keen interest in the plight of the Kurds. They face identical struggles for national identity that the Macedonian have faced in the past and continue to face in Greece and Bulgaria. This is a really good article with the notable exception that the role of Nato in repressing the Kurds is totally ignored, not one sentence ... a plot? ... I think so! Christopher de Bellaigue may or may not be a decent fellow, I simply can't tell by this article.

The Uncontainable Kurds
The New York Review of Books

...There are generally reckoned to be about 27 million Kurds in this region, of which some 15 million are in Turkey, 5 million in Iraq, another 5 million in Iran, and 1.7 million in Syria.

... In Istanbul and other places, visiting European politicians deplore Turkey's reluctance to resolve legal ambiguities surrounding the ownership of scores of Christian places of worship. And in the southeast, where the EU has long supported enhanced Kurdish rights—although not the PKK, which it considers a terrorist organization—European officials have on occasion recommended legislation that would make it easier for Kurdish parties that renounce violence to gain admittance to parliament, and would oblige state schools in Kurdish areas to offer instruction in the local language.

... After more than two decades of struggle, in which at least 30,000 guerrillas and sympathizers were killed and an unknown number were imprisoned, tortured, and harassed, the PKK's emotional hold over millions of Kurds remains strong. Even now, in Diyarbakir and other places in the southeast, it is hard to find people who openly criticize the PKK, apart from the "loyalist" Kurds who have been armed and funded by the state.

... Turkey's longstanding fear, that the Kurdish federal region in Iraq will declare independence, adding to nationalist passions among its own Kurds, is shared by Iran and Syria, the other countries that have divided up the ancient region of Kurdistan

... It is not surprising that the US, engaged in a demoralizing struggle against insurgents in Iraq's Arab regions, has balked at starting a new offensive in Kurdistan, the calmest part of the country, against an organization that has never attacked it and at the behest of a country that refused its request for help three years ago. Turkey suspects that Bush's appointment of Joseph Ralston, a retired general, to come up with an anti-PKK policy acceptable to the Iraqi and Turkish governments is a smokescreen

... The US remains officially committed to Iraq's unity, but that could change even before George Bush leaves office. From an American perspective, a new Kurdish state would have much to recommend it. It would be friendly to the US, and as much of a democracy as you are likely to find in the Middle East. But an independent Kurdistan would probably cause Turkey to be even more repressive of its own Kurds, and as a result its chances of entering Europe, which the US has encouraged, will become dimmer. Iran would feel more threatened if there is an independent Kurdistan and would be more likely to intervene secretly and openly in Kurdish affairs. Even if they get hold of Kirkuk, the Iraqi Kurds may find that they have much to gain by putting off their dream of statehood for more than a few years to come.

BBC Ignores Macedonia's Probems With Greece

We can see below the problem that Macedonia faces in getting its message out to the policy makers in the US/EU. This BBC profile mentions Greece's objections to Macedonia but does not mention Macedonia's objections to the treatment of ethnic Macedonian in Greece. It's a plot I tell ya!

Can't the Macedonian ambassador to the UK drive over to the BBC office and ask them to insert this sentence in the profile?

" ... implied territorial ambitions toward the northern Greek region of Macedonia. which has an ethnic Macedonian minority which is seeking minority rights!

Country profile: Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia:

"The country's name remains a contentious issue. It is still referred to formally as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

International recognition of the country's split from Yugoslavia in 1991 was held up over Greek fears that its name implied territorial ambitions toward the northern Greek region of Macedonia. Greece lifted a two-year trade blockade only after the two countries signed an accord in 1995."

Country profile: Greece

Greece has been in dispute since the early 1990s with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Greece contends that the use of the name Macedonia by the neighbouring country implies a territorial claim over Greece's own region of the same name. The UN is involved in continuing mediation efforts

EU Enlargement Commissioner, Olli Rehn Pisses in Macedonia's Soup

The Albanian Party, the DUI, was not included in the governing coalition, so it is boycotting Macedonia's parliament, The Sobranie. Rather than denounce the DUI for trying to subvert the government and the democratic process, Olli Rehn seems to have found faults on all sides. These EU guys think that they can micro manage a country, but instead, they are just increasing the distrust and anxiety when people play by the rules. By the way Ollie, because of Greece's mistreatment of of its ethnic Macedonian minority, Greece cannot be considered a "functioning multi-ethnic democracy". As I have said before, since Greece is a member of the EU, Greece's values regarding ethnic minority rights are EU values!

EU warns Macedonia over entry:
BBC NEWS | Europe |

"But despite winning most Albanian votes in the 2006 election, Mr Ahmeti has found himself in opposition for the first time, after Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski chose a smaller Albanian party for his coalition.

A year ago, the EU praised Macedonia as the only functioning multi-ethnic democracy in the Balkans, rewarding it with the coveted candidate status.

Now things are different, with Mr Rehn criticising all parties for 'obstruction and lack of faith'.

He called on them to work within the democratic institutions they had worked so hard to set up."

Thursday, February 08, 2007

All Shutka, All the Time

Some interesting information about a Rom (Gypsy) village in Macedonia, its music and a film.

The Shutka Music Project:

"The Shutka Music Project, a collection of songs from the Gypsies of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedionia, is the first release from Music That matters, a non-profit group formed by Greg Scarborough. These songs were recorded while Mr. Scarborough lived and volunteered in Shutka, the largest Gypsy community in Europe, located in Macedonia near the Kosovo border. All profits from this CD go to benefit Balkan Sunflowers for their work in Shutka supporting the education and creativity of the Roma (Gypsy) youth."

The Shutka Book of Records
Leeds Film Festival

Shutka, Macedonia is the unofficial, self-governing, world capital of the Roma. Join Dr Koljo (Severdzan Bajram), a character from Emir Kusturica's film Black Cat, White Cat on an exclusive tour of a town usually closed to outsiders. All Shutka (or 'Happy Valley') inhabitants claim to be a champion of something – from boxing to lounge singing to err, goose-fighting. Aleksandar Manic's warm and funny documentary is too extraordinary to be fiction, although some of the local characters 'act' out their stories with a chutzpah and bravado more familiar to melodrama. The Shutka Book of Records won both the FIPRESCI Critic's Award and the Audience Award at the 2005 Serbia and Montenegro Film Festival.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Macedonia Should Have a Journalist at the State Department

If Greece really had a veto, as to whether Macedonia joins Nato or not, then negotiations with Nato would not begin until Macedonia agreed to Greece's terms. The statement below regarding Macedonia's Nato membership is just a way of playing for time until the US/EU can pressure Greece to accommodate Macedonia. So don't get your shorts in a knot, and lets fall off that bridge when we come to it.

US State Department Daily Press Briefing -- February 5:

"QUESTION: Yes. Mr. McCormack, on FYROM. Last Thursday, in answer to a question of mine regarding the land dispute between Greece and FYROM, inter alia, you stated, 'Greece and Macedonia need to come to sort of accommodation or understanding as to what Greece will refer to Macedonia as.' What do you mean with this since that reflects exactly the position of FYROM?

MR. MCCORMACK: Well, you asked a question about membership in NATO. That's how this whole question came about. Macedonia is part of the Membership Action Plan, MAP, so there is some interaction ongoing between NATO as an organization, its individual member-states and Macedonia. We ourselves have made a decision with respect to the name of Macedonia.

Now, eventually, as we have said, that NATO has an open door and we clearly have -- are engaged in discussions with other non-member states right now about the potential for membership down the road, one of those issues between Macedonia and Greece would have to be the name issue. And in -- if you were ever to -- if you were ever to get to membership for Macedonia in NATO, you would have to get all member NATO states agreeing that Macedonia should enter. So it was a reference to the fact that if you ever do get to that point, it's an issue that would need to be resolved between Macedonia and Greece since NATO is"