The Macedonian Tendency: March 2007

Saturday, March 31, 2007

European Commission Takes Greece to Court of Justice

The European Commission has never taken Greece to court on human rights for Macedonians in Greece. These people are not our friends. However, I am so glad they are taking Greece to court over animal rights. The EC obviously has its priorities straight. Nice! I think that Macedonians in Greece should kidnap a French poodle, British bulldog and a German shepard and then maybe the European Commission would stand up and take notice.

European Commission takes Greece to Court of Justice
Makfax vesnik

Athens/Brussels /21/03/ 18:44

The European Commission took Greece to the European Court of Justice for violation of two European laws.

The Greek media reported that the country violated legal obligations on participation of the enterprises in public agreements and on the animal welfare standards.

In the first case, EC found that applied alterations to the national legislation breached the European laws and impeded exercising of the basic freedoms.

In addition, EC found that the animal welfare standards in the country were still marked by persistent shortcomings as Athens has not put in place European Union rules that set a minimum standard for animal welfare in transport and at slaughter."

Bulgaria: I'm Going to Pay the Fine and Not Change

This is how the EU operates. Slap on the wrist and continue to discriminate. Nice!

Kalfin for MIA: Strasbourg court decision doesn't oblige Bulgaria to register OMO Ilinden Pirin
Macedonian_News_Service : Message: Daily Bulletin

Skopje, March 21 (MIA) - Bulgaria has always had in principle position that each decision by the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg should be executed. This also completely refers to the decision on OMO Ilinden Pirin. Sofia has paid the fine, determined by the Court. However, an automatic obligation for Bulgaria to register OMO Ilinden Pirin doesn't stem out of the court ruling, says Bulgarian Vice PM and Foreign Minister Ivajlo Kalfin in an interview with the Macedonian Information Agency - MIA.

The ruling by the European Court of Human Rights refers to the events that occurred in the period between 1999-2000, when the legitimacy of the registered political party OMO Ilinden Pirin was disputed. Infringement of the right of association was found. However, it has been estimated that Bulgarian actions on the issue had legal foundation, underlined Kalfin.
Registration of any kind of political party in Bulgaria is under significant jurisdiction of the Court, whereas the executive authorities are prevented from interfering the work of the judicial authorities in any way. -

Throughout October 2006, the Sofia City Court rejected OMO Ilinden Pirin registration due to evident mistakes in the documentation i.e. failure of compliance with law's provisions,"

Jaap de Hoop Scheffe is Loopy on Kosovo

Saying so, does not make it so. Scheffe proclaims that Kosovo is unique, but does not say why. It reminds me of Lord Owen saying that redrawing ethnic boundaries in Bosnia would promote peace because it recognized "facts on the ground". Instead what it did was to inflame the conflict between Croats and Bosniak into a full scale war. Don't get me started on Iraq!

Jaap de Hoop Scheffe: Two words - constructive interaction - must become key in NATO-Russia relations, Interfax:

But he expressed regret that the Russian people have a negative view of NATO and of what it does.

'Regarding NATO's image in Russia, we are still to do a great deal, and Russians must assist us in doing so - perhaps, not only the press, but, above all, the Russian leadership,' Scheffer said.

He also claimed, that the eventual decision on Kosovo's status could not serve as a precedent either for South Ossetia, or Abkhazia, or other entities seeking independence.
'Be it the Republic of Srpska [within Bosnia and Herzegovina], Chechnya, or some other territory within an existing state, they cannot view Kosovo as an example to follow,' de Hoop Scheffer said.

'Kosovo is a unique case. We should all be aware that a decision on Kosovo will have a fundamental significance for European security because we are discussing not something remote but are talking about the Balkans. This region is vital to Europe's stability and security,' he said.

'NATO is not involved in the process of determining Kosovo's status. This issue is for the UN Security Council, in which Russia, among others, plays a decisive role. But all the participants in the process should understand that the determination of Kosovo's status is vital not only for peace"

UMD keeps Pelosi Informed

This is a good letter by United Macedonia Diaspora (UMD) to House speaker Nancy Pelosi. Everyone agrees that Macedonia's lobbying efforts can be improved. Some people say our lobbying efforts, like a glass of water is half empty, others say it is half full. While I want to find the dumb F&%k that drank half the glass! See UMD for full letter.

UMD concerned at Greece's treatment of Macedonian minority
Makfax vesnik:

Washington/Skopje /22/03/ 10:50

The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) wrote a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to bring to her attention some concerns regarding Greece’s treatment of minorities and its relations with its neighboring country of Macedonia.

'Today, Macedonians in Greece are banned from speaking their language in public, cannot sing to their traditional folk songs, have had their names transliterated into Greek, and have even had cemetery headstones in the Macedonian Cyrillic script replaced with Greek ones. All of this discrimination is happening in the cradle of Democracy,' OMD said in its letter to House Speaker Pelosi ahead of the meeting with the Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis.

The representatives of Macedonian Diaspora in the United States say over 120 countries worldwide, including the United States, Russia, China, India, the United Kingdom, Poland, Turkey, as well as Macedonia’s immediate neighbors, Bulgaria and Serbia, all recognize Macedonia as the Republic of Macedonia. 'To date, the only state with any objection to Macedonia’s use of its constitutional and historic name is Greece.' /end/"

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Macedonia ranks 81st in Global Information Technology

Makfax vesnik:
Geneva /29/03/

Macedonia was ranked 81st on the Global Information Technology Report (GITR) 2006-2007's 'Networked Readiness Index', published by the World Economic Forum.

The World Economic Forum (WEF), jointly with INSEAD, assessed the progress of networked readiness in 122 countries. The Report uses the Networked Readiness Index (NRI) to measure the degree of preparation of a nation or community to participate in and benefit from ICT developments.

Macedonia advanced one position compared to previous ranking. The country has 3.41 points same as Guatemala and Algeria. Next is Vietnam with 3.40 points.

For the first time, Denmark has ousted the US to top the GITR rankings. The GITR attributes Denmark's outstanding levels of networked readiness to 'the country's excellent regulatory environment, coupled with a clear governmental leadership and vision in leveraging ICT technologies for growth.'

Sweden, Singapore and Finland follow, while the United States loses ground in networked readiness, falling 6 places to 7th position. The US was down to the 7th position, 'mainly due to relative deterioration of the political and regulatory environment.' Singapore moved one place down to the third position this year.

Among other countries in the region, Slovenia tops the rankings at 30th position (4.41), followed by Croatia - 46th, Greece - 48th, Turkey 52nd, Romania 55th.

Who is Against Kosovo Independence?

There considerable opposition to the independence fro Kosovo . See the report from Romania, although you would not know who opposes it from the AP story further below. Just another case of "manufacturing consent".

Romania rejects Kosovo independence plan Regional

The European Union will support the UN plan for the Kosovo province independence , although several states, including Romania, pledged in favor of Serbia and denounced Martti Ahtisaari's plan, the EUObserver website informs.
According to the source, USA and EU announced their support for Kosovo's 'under surveillance independence' plan, despite Russia's and Serbia's opposition. Cyprus, Spain, Greece and Slovakia also reject the idea.

Serb representatives rejected the mediator's plan to ensure extended sovereignty for Kosovo, under international surveillance. Albanian ethnics, who represent some 90% of the local populace, demand independence for the province.

Russia already warned that it may use its veto right to block the UN project, while China has not adopted yet an official position. "

European Parliament backs U.N. plan granting Kosovo supervised sovereignty

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) : The European Parliament on Thursday overwhelmingly backed a U.N. plan that would give Kosovo supervised independence from Serbia, and the EU's foreign policy chief said the bloc's planned development project in the province was "the most important EU mission in history."

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Albanian Issues Caucus

By David Edenden

This is an impressive list of 25 American politicians, including Bill Clinton and Madeline Albright that have agreed to join "The Albanian Issues Caucus". these people have been doing their homework. Some of these guys and gals are also members of the "Greek Issues Caucus". I wonder how they will juggle their fund raising appeals when they have to deal with Greek rights in Albania or Albanian rights in Greece. I'm sure they will find a way.

Welcome to :: An Albanian Immigrant and Cultural Resource

The Albanian Issues Caucus promotes six primary goals: 1. The peaceful evolution of democratic institutions in Albania, Kosova, FYR Macedonia, and other areas in the Balkans with Albanian populations; 2. Alleviation of human suffering in Albania, Kosova, FYR Macedonia, and other areas of the Balkans with ethnic Albanian populations; 3. Expansion of cultural exchange between Albania, Kosova, FYR Macedonia, and other ethnic Albanian populated regions; 4. Respect for human rights, including the rights of minority groups in Kosova, Albania, FYR Macedonia, and other ethnic Albanian populated regions; 5. Establishment of free market economies throughout the Balkans; and 6. Promote contact between Albanian Americans and their ancestral homelands in the Balkans, the U.S. government, and other ethnic communities.

A list of Congressmen and contact information.

    1. Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY), Co-chair 2303 Rayburn HOB Washington, DC 20515 Tel: (202) 225-2464 Fax: (202) 225-5513 Internet: Contact: Jason Steinbaum
    2. Congressman Peter T. King (R-NY), Co-Chair 403 Cannon HOB Washington, DC 20515 Tel: (202) 225-7896 Fax: (202) 226-2279 Internet: Contact: Robert O'Connor
    3. Congresswoman Eva Clayton (D-NC) 2440 Rayburn HOB Washington, DC 20515 Tel: (202) 225-3101 Fax: (202)225-3354 Internet: Contact: Johnnie Barnes
    4. Congressman Martin Frost (D-TX) 2256 Rayburn HOB Washington, DC 20515 Tel: (202) 225-3605 Fax: (202) 225-4951 E-mail: Internet: Contact: Justin Kasmir
    5. Congressman Benjamin Gilman (R-NY) 2449 Rayburn HOB Washington, DC 20515 Tel: (202) 225-3776 Fax: (202) 225-2541 Internet: Contact: John Herzburg
    6. Congresswoman Sue Kelly (R-NY) 1222 Longworth HOB Washington, DC 20515 Tel: (202) 225-5441 Fax: (202) 225-3289 Internet: Contact: Dan Boston & Dennis Lambert
    7. Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA) 2217 Rayburn HOB Washington, DC 20515 Tel: (202) 225-3531 Fax: (202) 225-7900 Internet: Contact: Dr. Kay King
    8. Congressman John J. LaFalce (D-NY) 2310 Rayburn HOB Washington, DC 20515 Tel: (202) 225-3231 Fax: (202) 225-8693 Internet: Contact: Patricia Hennesey
    9. Congressman Sander Levin (D-MI) 2209 Rayburn HOB Washington, DC 20515 Tel: (202) 225-4961 Fax: (202) 226-1033 E-mail: Internet: Contact: Drew Setter
    10. Congresswoman Nita Melnikoff Lowey (D-NY) Rayburn HOB Washington, DC 20515 Tel: (202) 225-6506 Fax: (202) 225-0546 Internet: Contact: Matt Traub
    11. Congressman James P. McGovern (D-MA) 416 Cannon HOB Washington, DC 20515 Tel: (202) 225-6101 Fax: (202) 225-5759 Internet: Contact: Cindy Buhl
    12. Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) 1214 Longworth HOB Washington, DC 20515 Tel: (202) 225-4376 Fax: (202) 225-0017 E-mail: Internet: Contact: Michael Eastman
    13. Congressman John Olver (D-MA) 1027 Longworth HOB Washington, D.C. 20515 Tel: (202) 225-5335 Fax: (202) 226-1224 E-mail: Internet: Contact: Kelly Bovio
    14. Congressman Bill Paxon (R-NY) 2412 Rayburn HOB Washington, D.C. 20515 Tel: (202) 225-5265 Fax: (202) 225-5910 E-mail: Internet: Contact: Chris Downing
    15. Congressman Donald M. Payne (D-NJ) 2244 Rayburn HOB Washington, DC 20515 Tel: (202) 225-3436 Fax: (202) 225-4160 Internet: Contact: Charrise Espy
    16. Congressman John Porter (R-IL) 2373 Rayburn HOB Washington, D.C. 20515 Tel: (202) 225-4835 Fax: (202) 225-0837 Internet: Contact: Kelly Curry
    17. Congressman Dana Rochrabacher (R-CA) 2338 Rayburn HOB Washington, DC 20515-0545 Tel: (202) 225-2415 Fax: (202) 225-0145 Internet: Contact: Paul Behrends & Al Santoli
    18. Congressman Jose Serrano (D-NY) 2342 Rayburn HOB Washington, DC 20515 Tel: (202) 225-4361 Fax: (202) 225-6001 E-mail: Internet: Contact: Nadine Burg
    19. Congressman Edolphus Towns (D-NY) 2232 Rayburn HOB Washington, DC 20515 Tel: (202)-225-5936 Fax: (202)-225-1018 Internet: Contact: Alexander Beckles
    20. Congressman David Bonior (D-MI) 2207 Rayburn HOB Washington, DC 20515 Tel: (202) 225-2106 Fax: (202) 226-1169 Internet: Contact: Scott Paul
    21. Congressman Michael R. McNulty (D-NY) 2161 Rayburn HOB Washington, DC 20515-3221 Tel: (202) 225-5076 Fax: (202) 225-5077 Internet: Contact: Charles Segal
    22. Congressman James H. Maloney (D-CT) 1213 Longworth HOB Washington, DC 20515 Tel: (202) 225-3822 Fax: (202) 225-5746 Internet: Contact: Bryan Miller
    23. Congressman Steven R. Rothman (D-NJ) 1607 Longworth HOB Washington, D.C. 20515 Tel: (202) 225-5061 Fax: (202) 225-5851 Internet: Contact: Raffi Hanparian

And for those who want to go right to the "top", write or phone:

President Bill Clinton, The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington, DC 20500 --Tel: (202) 456-1414 or (202) 456-1111

Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State, Department of State 2201 C Street, NW Washington, DC 20520 --Tel: (202) 647-4000


Two Congressmen Stand UP for Human Rights

Two members of Congress protested the Senate resolution that passed referring Macedonia as "FYROM". Better than nothing. with these type of odds, I think we need help from Rambo, (by the way, directed by a Macedonian, Ted Kotcheff.)

Members of Congress Concerned Over Use of FYROM

Congressmen Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) and Mark Souder (R-IN) sent a letter today to President George Bush expressing their concern over the use of the acronym FYROM in the Senate Bill 494 also known as the NATO Freedom Consolidation Act of 2007. To read the letter, please click HERE.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Now He Tells Us!

It seems that our good friend Olli Rehn has the good sense to be ashamed of himself. I wish these Macedonian news agencies could link directly to the source of these comments. Journalists are under tight deadlines and this is the type of article that needs to be verified.

Olli Rehn: Reference FYROM is awkward:

Thursday, 22 March 2007

The reference FYROM is awkward, Euro-enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said Wednesday at the European Parliament. - The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is a candidate country (for the EU membership) and I believe that the bilateral problem between this country and Greece will be solved soon, so that we will no longer have to use this awkward name, Rehn said.

Rehn responded to a question of EP member, who made a joke proposing Macedonia to be named 'Future European Republic of Macedonia' instead of FYROM.

Rehn was unwilling to comment launching of a date for Macedonia's EU entry talks.

- Macedonia should above all learn the rules of the democratic game, namely the political consensus that will result in completion of the necessary judicial, public administration reforms, Rehn said.

France says "Me to" on Kosovo Plan

I just realized that this campaign in support of the Kosovo independence plan is designed not to intimidate or pressure Russia, but is focussed on the public opinion in the EU countries. Don't want anyone straying off the reservation. Seems to have worked, since no one in Europe is looking closely at this plan.

France says Kosovo plan would stabilise Balkans (


PRISTINA, Kosovo, Serbia -- The UN plan for Kosovo offers a 'unique opportunity' for stability in the Balkans, French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said on Thursday (March 22nd). France fully supports the plan for the province drafted by UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari, Douste-Blazy told reporters during a visit to Pristina. He characterised the blueprint as 'a balanced solution, reconciling the aspirations of Kosovo's majority population with serious guarantees offered to the Serb community and other minorities'. He reiterated that position during meetings later with Serbian officials.

Meanwhile, Kosovo police confirmed that an explosion hit a popular restaurant in Pristina late Wednesday. The hand grenade caused no casualties or serious damage. (AFP, RTS, Beta, Tanjug, AP - 22/03/07)"

Greek Helsinki Monitor on Persecution

This is the full report by the Greek Helsinki Monitor on Macedonians in Greece. Read it an weep. If you don't trust me, download the report yourself.

Greece: Denial of minorities and persecution of minority rights activists
(download the Report)
April 3, 2006

Human rights defenders, who advocate for minority rights in Greece, a country that persistently refuses to recognize the existence of national minorities in their territory, face hostility and persecution, and are treated as threats to public order and national security.

In the course of one year (May 2004 – April 2005), the three key international bodies of experts on minority rights, the UN’s CESCR and HRC and the CoE’s ECRI, have published comprehensive criticism of Greece’s persistent refusal to respect its international commitments by even just acknowledging the existence of two national minorities, to whom belong all those Greek citizens who identify themselves as Macedonians or Turks. The relevant texts are appended to this statement. Characteristically, ECRI noted that:

“Even today, persons wishing to express their Macedonian, Turkish or other identity incur the hostility of the population. They are targets of prejudices and stereotypes, and sometimes face discrimination, especially in the labour market.”

The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), in turn, urged Greece:

“to reconsider its position with regard to the recognition of other ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities which may exist within its territory, in accordance with recognized international standards, and invite[d] it to ratify the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (1995).”

Finally, the UN Human Rights Committee urged Greece to

“review its practice in light of Article 27 of the Covenant… [and] noted with concern the apparent unwillingness of the government to allow any private groups or associations to use associational names that include the appellation Turk or Macedonian.”

The Greek state’s response was to confirm the ban of Macedonian and Turkish associations, and, at the same time, harass or attack human rights defenders who disseminate these texts and advocate minority rights.

The “Home of Macedonian Civilization” continues to be denied registration (most recent ruling in 2003 with appeal hearings only in September 2005 and decision pending through March 2006) by the courts sixteen years after it first applied and eight years after Greece was convicted by the ECHR for having refused the registration of that association.

In 2005, the Supreme Court refused the registration of the “Turkish Women Cultural Association of the Rodopi Prefecture.” It also dissolved the “Turkish Union of Xanthi,” operating legally since the 1930s.

The rulings are exemplary in showing why the Greek state considers the acknowledgment and the advocacy of the existence of such minorities a threat to public order and national security as well as promotion of foreign state interests. In the “Turkish Union of Xanthi” case it is stated (emphasis added):

“The association’s aim is illegal and contrary to Greek public order, since it is in contradiction with the international treaties signed in Lausanne, as it is attempted openly to present that in Greece (the area of Western Thrace) there is a national Turkish minority, while according to these treaties only the presence of a religious Muslim minority is recognized in the area. The reference to the Turkish identity does not reflect some remote Turkish origin but a current quality as members of a Turkish minority that would exist in Greece and would pursue the promotion within the Greek state of state interests of a foreign state and specifically Turkey. The association with its actions (…) gravely endangers Greek public order and national security (…) and raises a non-existent minority problem of ‘Turks’”

In the “Home of Macedonian Civilization” case it is stated (emphasis added):

‘The formulation of the associations’ articles is unclear and can cause confusion regarding its real goal… The use of the term ‘Macedonian culture’ intensifies this confusion by connecting it with a non-existent language, described as ‘makedonski’… The recognition of such an organization contains a direct danger to public order and provides an opportunity for exploitation by foreign agents, who have tried from time to time, unsuccessfully, to fabricate a historically non-existent ‘Macedonian nation’… For all the reasons mentioned above, we reject the application.’

It is no wonder then that human rights defenders advocating for the rights of the two minorities are considered themselves dangerous to public order and foreign agents, and every effort is deployed to keep them out of Greece, muzzle them and/or attack them.

On 4 August 2005, Gjorgi Plukovski, of the Canada-based “Macedonian Human Rights Movement International,” was denied entry into Greece by way of the Republic of Macedonia because he “is considered to be a threat to public order, internal security, public health or the international relations of one or more of the Member States of the European Union” (Document available at A month earlier, on 6 July, Mr. Plukovski had entered Greece by way of Italy and remained until 24 July. Hence he is not on the alert list for the purpose of refusing entry in all Schengen countries: only Greece considers him a threat to public order and internal security. Mr. Plukovski is a Canadian citizen of Macedonian descent born in Greece in 1938 and becoming a child political refugee in 1948.

On 14 August 2005, Thessaloniki’s main daily “Makedonia” censored “out of principle” the regular Sunday column of writer and human rights activist Thanasis Triaridis that was to have an article with the title “A short note on a banned language,” summarizing the history and the reasons for the prohibition on speaking Macedonian in Greece, as well as Greece’s refusal to recognize national minorities, such as the Macedonian and Turkish ones.

In early October 2005, Erol Kasifoglu, President of the Solidarity Association of Western Thrace (BTTDD), was not allowed to enter Greece at the Greek-Turkish border. Kasifoglu, who was stripped of his Greek citizenship in 1987, on the basis of the now abolished Article 19 of the Greek Citizenship Code, had previously entered Greece many times with a Schengen visa. This time, Kasifoglu was issued a document that states that he is a threat to public order and national security. In the past, Selahattin Yύldύz, Tahsin Salihoglu, Halit Eren, Taner Mustafaoglu and Burhaneddin Hakgόder, then directors of BTTDD, had also been refused enthry in Greece with the same justification.

On 13 October 2005, Mr. Theo Alexandridis, GHM legal counsel, was held at a police station for four hours after having participated, along with other human rights activists, in various demonstrations against the expulsion of Roma children from their school, subsequent to pressure exerted by certain parents of non-Roma children in the “Psari” neighbourhood in Aspropyrgos, near Athens. Mr. Alexandridis had gone to the police station to lodge a complaint against the parents, responsible for violent acts during those demonstrations. Once he had filed the complaint, Mr. Alexandridis was not allowed to leave or meet with his colleagues at GHM. He was subsequently told that he was under arrest. Two hours later, he was told that he would not be judged in the framework of read-handed procedure and was released. The president of the Pupils’ Parents Association lodged a complaint against Mr. Alexandridis for “libel” and “defamation”. Police did not send the case file to the court until January 2006 and through March 2006 the case has not been assigned to an investigator.

On January 20, 2006, the Head of the Patras Appeals Prosecutor’s Office, Mr. Anastassios Kanellopoulos, said in a radio interview that “perpetrators, instigators and accomplices” of Roma “will be called to take the stand”, specifically including as potential targets representatives of the Greek Helsinki Monitor. This declaration was made in reference to the case of Roma families living in the Makrigianni area, city of Patras (Cultural Capital of Europe 2006), who were threatened of being forcibly expelled, despite a decision of the Magistrate’s Court of Patras (312/2005). GHM had offered legal aid to these families.

Yet, Mr. Anastassios Kanellopoulos ordered on that day the launching of an urgent preliminary investigation into allegations that the Roma of Makrigianni threw litter in a river, following many protests by local residents against this situation. While explaining the various aspects of the judicial investigation, Mr. Kanellopoulos underlined that its objective was to identify the perpetrators and instigators of these acts, as well as their accomplices. When queried by a journalist, the Prosecutor stated that all Roma are crime perpetrators and also admitted that he would examine the role of GHM representatives, known for their struggle for the rights of the Roma. “If it is proved that they too have helped the Roma, then be assured that they will be called to the stand”, the Prosecutor noted.

Richard Holbrooke, Why Do You Think You Are God?

Macedonian Tendency:

Richard Holbrooke, why do you think you are God?

Richard Holbrooke:

Well, when I pray, I find that I am talking to myself!

I really wish I had time to do a good analysis of Richard Holbrooke's position on Kosovo. (It's basically ... because I said so...). Anyway according to our friend Dick, "Georgian territorial integrity is important", but Serbian territorial integrity is not, and lets not even mention Cyprus. (oops, I just gave a hand to the Greeks).

World: Former U.S. Ambassador Discusses Georgia, Kosovo -

"Holbrooke: I do not believe the United States should or will make concessions about Georgia. I certainly would oppose that. Georgian territorial integrity is important, the Russians should stop supporting the breakaway illegal regimes in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and Georgia should be allowed to develop on its own.

RFE/RL: Regarding Kosovo, will it get independence or not?

Holbrooke: Of course, Kosovo will become independent. It's inevitable. But the Russians are encouraging the hard-liners in Belgrade by opposing the [Martti] Ahtisaari plan and that is very unhelpful. And if the Ahtisaari plan is not approved by the UN Security Council when it comes up for decision next month, there will be violence in Kosovo, and that will be the consequence of Russian actions, and they should be held fully accountable for that if it happens. And in 'The New York Times' today [Russian] Ambassador [to the UN] [Vitaly] Churkin is quoted as attacking the Ahtisaari plan and calling for a new mediator to replace Ahtisaari. That is really the wrong thing to do.

RFE/RL: What are the options for Russia with regard to Kosovo?

Holbrooke: I don't think, I hope they won't veto [at the Security Council]. Russia's option, the correct opt"

Putin Right, Hobrooke Wrong!

When Vladimir Putin is cheering for the rule of law in international affairs and the US/EU is saying we will do what is in our national interest, you know that something is a-foot, the game is on, hold on to your wallets. A line by line analysis of this report could reveal a "Guinness Book of Records" for the most hypocrisy in a single article. Ouch.

Russia: Is Putin Looking To Impose Solutions To Frozen Conflicts? -

Russian President Vladimir Putin said during his 31 January Kremlin press conference that there is a need for 'universal principles' to settle 'frozen' conflicts. His comments come against the background of impending talks on the future status of Kosovo, which many predict will grant it a form of 'conditional independence' from Serbia and Montenegro. As an ally of Serbia, Moscow has consistently opposed the idea of Kosovar independence. Putin's remarks suggest he may be shifting his position, but only if the principles applied to Kosovo are also applied to frozen conflicts in the former Soviet Union. If Kosovo can be granted full independence, he asked, why should we deny the same to Abkhazia and South Ossetia?"

China is Near

It seems that the Chinese are interested in what is happening in Macedonia. In the US/EU newspapers, only anti-Albanianism was mentioned. It is great that the Macedonian government set the record straight.

Macedonia protests to Greece over anti-Macedonian video clips
People's Daily Online --

The Macedonian authorities on Thursday protested over a video clip showing Greek soldiers in training chanting anti-Macedonian songs, news reaching here from Skopje reported.

Macedonian Foreign Ministry called in Greek ambassador to Skopje for talks and handed him a formal protest note, according to Macedonian independent news agency Makfax.

The video clip was broadcast by media in Macedonia on Wednesday, showing Greek soldiers in training singing: 'Blood runs in true Macedonian's veins is Greek'.

It was reported the video was recorded in 2005 during a military training and its authenticity was verified on Thursday.

'The Greek soldiers' behavior runs contrary to the declared commitment for good neighborly and friendly relations and has a negative impact on the overall relations between the two states and nations,' the note says.

Macedonia got independence from former Yugoslavia in 1991 and entered the UN under the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Greece is at odds with Macedonia over the country's name, which Athens says implies territorial claims to the northern Greek province of Macedonia.

Source: Xinhua"

My Greatest Hits

To make this blog readable, I have decided to post short analysis on events with excerpts of articles highlighting the relevant information rather than publish the whole article. Sometimes an article is important and it has been published in whole. From time to time, I have posted more lengthly analysis. Below are my "greatest hits".

Richard, It's America's Test In Kosovo, Not Russia's

The Lost Opportunity of Vasil Tupurkovski

77 US Politicans Adopt the Greek Postion on Human Rights for Ethnic Macedonians

ICG = CIA: You be the Judge

My Grandfather and Gypsies (Rom)

Monday, March 26, 2007

Miloshoski is Mad, But Not Crazy

Dear faithful readers, you know I oppose the independence of Kosovo. I have never met Miloshoski, but I do not believe that this article reflects his true sentiments. I think that, like myself, he is really pissed off at the Serbs, not to mention that he is doing th bidding of the US/EU by spouting the party line ... democracy, human rights, etc for Kosovars but not for ... you know who. (Yikes!)

Miloshoski: Macedonia first to recognize Kosovo
Macedonian_News_Service : Message: Daily Bulletin:
Skopje /26/03/

Macedonia will be among the first countries to recognize an independent Kosovo, the Foreign Minister Antonio Miloshoski told Kosovo's media.

'Skopje is interested in timely definition of the Kosovo status by the UN Security Council and then, Macedonia will recognize this new reality,' Miloshoski said.

Miloshoski told the Kosovo's radio and television that Kosovo deserves to have its own status.

'Kosovo deserves a status, the international community works in this context and we are trying to help. We are in positive mood to recognize this new reality same as other countries after the decision of the UN Security Council,' Miloshoski said.

As regards the demarcation of the border with Kosovo, Miloshoski said the ownership rights of each citizen on the two sides of the border will be fully respected.

Albanian media say Miloshoski's statement confirms that not only the Albanian political parties in Macedonia but also the Macedonian parties back Kosovo's independence.

Kosovo's media cite a similar statement by the Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski during the visit of the Kosovo's opposition leader Hashim Thaci. Gruevski said Macedonia will be the first to recognize any resolution and decision approved by the UN."

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Greeks in Albania Need More Rights! (ya right)

This is a very interesting article about the plight of the Greek minority in Albania with comments on the Cham/Albanian minority in Greece. I do not want to get to obvious in my analysis of this situation in comparing it to the plight of ethnic Macedonians in Greece, because what really interests me in not what is happening in the Balkans, but how the politicians in Washington react to these issues. I predict that the members of the Greek Issues Caucus will champion the rights of the Greeks in Albania, but ignore the rights of the Cham Albanians in Greece. The is the nut that is hard to crack. How can politicians in Washington promote human rights throughout the Balkans without picking and choosing? Because of this, the Greek Issues Caucus is one of the main forces of destabilization in the Balkans today. What Washington needs to do, pronto, is form a "Balkan Issues Caucus.

Security and Politics in Albania: A Limitation of Civil Liberties?: » Blog Archives »

"Today, the small Greek community in Albania remains fearful that its prominent members (politicians, journalists, NGO members, lawyers etc) could yet again become subjects of state ‘attention.’ According to Albanian media sources, the Albanian secret service is currently monitoring members of the Greek community because of their statements on the “North Epirus issue.” The border provinces between the two countries are referred to separately as “Epiros” by Greeks and “Chameria” by Albanians; both states claim historic and cultural contiguity upon the cross-border terrain.

The demands of the Greek minority members in Albania which are today causing concern with the Albanian authorities include having more say in the communal affairs and seeking ties with their brethren in Greece. According to statistics and unofficial estimations, some 2-10 percent of the Albanian population has Greek ancestry and the overall controversy around “North Epirus” is interrelated with the overall democratic process in the post-communist Albania.

A relatively recent strain in relations between both states occurred on November 1, 2005, when Greek President Karolos Papoulias left in haste from an official visit to Albania, when an event s"

Roger Casement on Macedonia

This excerpt from John Shea's book illustrates the unity in pain between the Macedonian and Irish people. It is a follow-up to my Happy St. Patrick's post. Download his book for free "The Crime Against Europe" which has two pages on Macedonia

Macedonia and Greece - The Struggle to Define a New Balkan Nation,
John Shea, McFarland and Company Inc., North Carolina, 1997

My readings have established to my satisfaction the weakness of the Greek historical argument. It is also clear to me that national aspirations were alive and well in Macedonia long before Tito arrived on the scene. But by and large the Macedonians have had a pretty miserable time of it, dominated by one greater power or another for much of their history, a domination most recently perpetrated by the same European nations who were slow to support the Macedonians in the 1990s. As the Irish patriot Roger Casement (executed by the British after the 1916 uprising in Ireland) put it: “I know of two tragic histories in the world - that of Ireland, and that of Macedonia. Both of them have been deprived and tormented.”

Casement was speaking primarily of the Macedonians who then inhabited the lands that fell within the borders of the ancient Macedonian homeland. A majority of them were Slavic speakers when Greece conquered a large part of Macedonia, taking it from the Turks, just before the First World War. Casement's rather eloquent lines by themselves must cause us to ponder Greek claims that a non-Greek Macedonia was merely a Communist invention. "

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Risto's books on Macedonian History

These books by Risto Stefov, from the might village of Oshichima (Trigonon if you want to find it on a current map.) are available from his website.

Dialectal Dictionary:
The Little Book of BIG GREEK Lies:
For those in the Toronto vasinity, I will be selling my books at St. Clements this Sunday, March 25.
Regards, Risto...

Life became even harsher after the 1912-1913 Balkan wars. The Greek occupation put an end to all that was Macedonian. Greek policies of forced assimilation erased the Macedonian language and abolished long-standing Macedonian traditions, even in small villages like Oshchima. Place names and buildings alike were given Greek names. The Svety Nikola Church, the most cherished Oshchimian possession, was re-named Agios Nikolaos. All the Macedonian writing in the church was erased, including the names of the saint on the icons and the names of the dead on the gravestones. The Macedonian writing on the civic building and stone markers was also erased and replaced with a Greek equivalent. The village was renamed Trigonon which had absolutely no historical significance or meaning for the tradition bound Oshchimians. People’s names were also changed and Boris was renamed Vironos, Trpo became Trifunas, Kita became Stavroula and Slava became Evdoxia. The city of Lerin became Florina, Voden became Edessa, and so on.

Video Macedonia

Great site for videos from Macedonia focusing on tourism and culture.

Video postcard from Macedonia
Video Macedonia:

This video clip shows scenes from Republic of Macedonia, some of the last really untouched nature on the European continent."

Macedonian Football/Soccer Site

Great English language site for Macedonian football/Soccer fans.

Macedonian strikers on fire
"Monday, March 19, 2007

Goran Pandev, Ilco Naumoski and Stevica Ristic scored for their teams this weekend

In-form strikers
Stevica Ristic, the new name in the Macedonian NT, continued scoring for his new team, the Asian Champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors from Korea. He scored a fantastic goal with 'scissors' kick.
Ilco Naumoski is getting back in the scoring form on right time, just before the important match against Croatia. He scored nice header in the 5th minute for his Mattersburg against Altach in the Austrian championship.
Goran Pandev just can't scoring for his Lazio in the Serie A. This weekend against Empoli he scored his 10th goal this season and also assisted one. Here's what the Italian medias say about him:
Goran Pandev (Lazio)
Who says Lazio don’t have any star players? This guy is the real deal, a talent with a bright future ahead of him in Italy. A goal and an assist against Empoli, Pandev basically secured his side the three points against the Tuscan minnows with a commendable first half display.

You can see the highlights of the Lazio-Empoli match on the following video"

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

What are Macedonians Doing?

Are the Macedonians too busy fighting among themslevs to visit the US or meet with Nancy Pelosi?

Bakoyannis to meet Ban Ki-moon over Macedonia's name
Makfax vesnik:

Athens /20/03/ 12:26

Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on Tuesday will meet with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to discuss themes concerning Greece and the region including the name dispute with Macedonia.

The discussions are in the framework of the UN's efforts for a solution to name dispute, Greek media said.

The UN Secretary General was briefed by special mediator Matthew Nimetz last Friday.

Bakoyannis will also discuss the Cyprus issue, the situation in Kosovo and in the Middle East.

Greek foreign minister will be holding talks with officials of the Bush Administration and Congressmen. She will also meet with the Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and with the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. /end/"

Farewell to the Bosniaks

When my grandfather and I were watching video footage of Mladic taking the Bosniak males away on buses, he had two comments. 1. "It's not fair" 2. "The Serbs are making the Germans happy because when any European thinks of fascists, the will think of Serbia!

In Bosnia, Catholics are Croatians, Orthodox are Serbians and Muslims are Bosniaks. This gives Bosnia a certain symmetry which makes it easier to discuss a very complicated political situation . The Bosniaks are making a huge mistake to try to change the Bosnian constitution for Srebrenica, which to me, seems totally beside the point.

The Bosniaks first mistake was to go along with the independence of Slovenia and Croatia. Their second mistake is to not voice objection to the independence of Kosovo. Bosniaks must realize that they will be the immediate losers if Kosovo gets independence, because what's good for Kosovo is good for Republica Srpbska, not to mention Herzegovina.

Watch for the US/EU criticize the Bosniaks, in the press, as being obstructionist and not willing to compromise. Then you will know that betrayal is in the air.

Calls for Srebrenica secession follow ICJ ruling

"In the aftermath of the ruling, Bosniak leaders are calling for Srebrenica to secede from the Bosnian Serb entity, Republika Srpska (RS).

'The territory of the Srebrenica municipality needs to have the status of district and as such should be taken out of the jurisdiction of the Republika Srpska institutions,' the Bosniak and Croat members of the BiH presidency, Haris Silajdzic and Zeljko Komsic, said in a statement. 'We are entitled to justice.'"

Monday, March 19, 2007

Greek Blogger on Name Issue

This Greek blogger is quite logical and moderate. What he is trying to do is find a compromise between Macedonia and Greece in a political environment where the EU lets Greece discriminate against ethnic Macedonians. Any compromise on the name issue has to include human rights for Macedonians in Greece. Can't only blame Greece, we also have to blame the EU. There's the rub!

A road path for a solution for the “Macedonian” name issue
Strategic Analysis & OSINT Management

Posted March 19th, 2007 by Ioannis Michaletos
Categories: South Eastern Europe, Greece

This year will most probably bring interesting developments, regarding the strife between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as far as the finalized and universally name of the latter is concerned.

Last year European Union member states decided to proceed with the beginning of accession negotiations with FYROM -In due term-, and it is assumed that the final integration will not become a reality before 2012, the earliest. The above important decision was addressed by the EU, with the dictum that an acceptable compromise must be found between Athens and Skopje until the negotiations reach the final stage. The current FYROM government won the elections last year and has as a strategic vision to integrate the country into the Euro-Atlantic security framework, namely EU & NATO."

Macedonian Girl Wins Euro Piano Prize

Culture - Republic of Мacedonia: "
(Spic, 19.03.2007) –

Macedonian young pianist Jana Ceteleva from Bitola has been awarded Gold Medal by Clode Kohn International Piano Competition in France. The event gathered the best young pianists from France, Italy, Germany, Japan, Korea and other countries.

“I competed in Esuperiore competition and won the first award with 100 points,” Ceteleva said. The Bitola pianist is the most successful piano student at the Music Academy in Sofia. She had a music recital in Bitola a month ago and is the winner of the most prestigious state competitions in piano."

Venice Commission Speaks

I had some bad things to say about the Venice Commission without a great deal of information, but I am sure that after a great deal of analysis, my original impression will still hold.

"Venice Commission Greenlights four Macedonian draft-laws
Makfax vesnik:

Venice /16/03/ 18:48

The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe gave positive opinion on the draft-laws on churches, on public prosecution and the electoral code related to voting of Diaspora.

Macedonian Ministry of Justice announced this after today's visit of the Minister Mihajlo Manevski to the Venice Commission, whose opinion is crucial for the European Union.

The assessment of the Commission's experts is that the draft-laws on the statuses of the churches, religious communities and religious groups are in accordance with the international principles and standards.

'As regards the draft-laws on public prosecution office and the council of public prosecutors, the Commission concluded that they represent a good basis for independent and efficient operation of the public prosecutor', Ministry's announcement says.

Some remarks have been made in terms of more detailed defining of the subordination hierarchy as well as specifying of some provisions.

The announcement says that basic support was given to the draft-laws on alterations to the Electoral Code, including entitling of Diaspora a right to vote."

High Tech in Macedonian Schools

Computerization of the Schools in Macedonia

With the tender for procurement of 100.000 PCs for primary and secondary schools in Macedonia, published on March 13, 2007, the Government launched the “Computer for every child” campaign. The PCs will be allocated and paid at the end of 2007 and beginning of 2008.

The other 50.000 PCs will be paid from the budget of 2009, when this campaign is expected to be finalized. The finances are provided by the budget and the country will not raise credits. The aim of the campaign is to enable pupils to learn using computers, and to allow teachers to convey knowledge using modern methods. "

Austailia and the "Name Issue"

Very comprehensive analysis of Australia's policy on the name issue

Influencing Australian Foreign Policy on Macedonia:
United Macedonia Diaspora

"Why hasn’t the Australian Government or opposition
recognised the Republic of Macedonia under its
Constitutional name? Why should it and what can the
Australian Macedonian community do about it?

The Australian Macedonian community has many unmet
social and political needs such as the name issue as a
result of historical, political, management, and
strategic realities and inaction. The capacity of
ethnic communities to influence Australian foreign
policy is dependent on their level of commitment, the
degree of unity and the strength of their
organisations to plan, organize resources, implement
campaigns, provide leadership, raise and build
sustainable funding and learn from past experience and
best practice. Size of the community is not the
critical issue as can be seen from the Jewish
community’s example and its strong influence on
Australia’s foreign policy in the Middle East."

UMD Keeps US Congress Honest

UMD Salutes the Passage of S. 494 and H.R. 987; Concerned about Use of Abbreviation:

"United Macedonian Diaspora salutes the passage of the
Senate Bill 494 and the House Resolution 987 that
support the timely admission of the Republic of
Macedonia to NATO. However, our organization is
concerned that at the last minute amendment to the
Senate bill was introduced to reference to the
Republic of Macedonia as FYROM. This type of verbiage
is contradictory to the official policy of the United
States when referencing the Republic of Macedonia. It
is of great importance that Albania, Croatia, and
Macedonia join NATO in 2008 in order to secure and
stabilize the Balkan region."

Hitlerite Propaganda and "The Name Issue"

Just before Hitler invaded Yugoslavia in WW2, newspapers in Germany were reporting that "Yugoslav warmongers" were planning to attack Germany. The Greek newspaper Kathimerini is not telling the truth. Greece, not Macedonia, wants sole possession of the Macedonian name. That is what this whole dispute is all about.

Macedonians like to share.

Keep your blue starburst flag, let up have the red starburst flag.
Keep your "province of Macedonia", let us keep the "Republic of Macedonia".
Keep your "University of Macedonia", let us keep " Alexander the Great Airport"

The Macedonian Ambassador to Washington should consider asking the US "Congressional Research Office" to investigative this claim. While they are at it, they can look at both Macedonian and Greek textbooks, and Macedonian and Greek minority rights policies.

Kathimerini: Skopje Government wants to present Macedonia as sole successor of Ancient Macedonia
Macedonian_News_Service : Message: Daily Bulletin:

Athens, March 13 (MIA) - After renaming the Skopje airport from Petrovec to Alexander the Great, the north-neighbouring Government has also 'mobilised' the archaeological artifacts in its possession, trying to present Macedonia at an international plan as primary, if not sole successor to the historical and cultural heritage of Ancient Macedonia, Athens-based Kathimerini writes.

- In the lobby of Macedonian Government's building, eight big statues from the Greek-Roman period are displayed, which are, according to unofficial statements by Skopje archaeologists, authentic and transferred from museums, Kathimerini reports.

The article's author writes that 'these activities are in line with the ideology by the ruling party, which is tightly connected with the nationalism of the past, since it has derived from the secession of the renowned VMRO-DPMNE'.

The author underlines that Macedonian Foreign Affairs Minister Antonio Milososki has recently dubbed the name dispute as two-party issue and states that no other organization than the UN may undertake the responsibility to review two-party issues."

"Astalavista" FYROM by the Fall?

This an English language translation of a Bulgarian translation of a Macedonian translation of a Greek article on the "name issue". I hope its correct and nothing has been lost in translation.

"Dnevnik: FYROM is Republic of Macedonia for UN
FOCUS Information Agency:
14 March 2007 | 10:19 | FOCUS News Agency

Athens/Skopje. A Greek newspaper claims that “owing to the Greek veto in NATO, Skopje will be recognized in the UN,” Macedonian newspaper Dnevnik writes today.

“Dora (Bakoiani) silently approves the outcome with the name of the Former Yogoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) in the UN and NATO,” the Greek newspaper point out.
It is considered that the Greek Foreign Ministry was under pressure to take “realistic decisions” and continue recognizing the acronym FYROM in NATO. This procedure will end this autumn at the UN Common Council where the issue with the name will be discussed, with Skopje insisting on recognizing the country by the name most member states accept it – Republic of Macedonia. "

US: Russian Oil Good, Russian Gas Bad

Good day for Russian influence in the Balkans (and good for Macedonia), bad day for US hegemony and world domination.

Oil pipeline route
Russia clinches Balkan oil deal

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a deal in Athens to ship Russian oil to the EU via a pipeline bypassing the busy Bosphorus.

The 285 km (178-mile) pipeline will go overland from Bulgaria's Black Sea port of Burgas to the northern Greek town of Alexandroupolis on the Aegean Sea.

The deal caps negotiations that have lasted 13 years.

A Russian consortium will hold a 51% stake in the pipeline. It is expected to be ready in three years' time.

The consortium brings together state oil firm Rosneft, pipeline monopoly Transneft and a subsidiary of gas giant Gazprom. Bulgaria and Greece will each have 24.5% stakes.

Prime Ministers Costas Karamanlis of Greece and Sergei Stanishev of Bulgaria joined Mr Putin at the signing ceremony in the Greek capital.

The pipeline project's estimated cost is 900m euros (£616m; $1.2bn).

Russian tankers are frequently held up for 10 days at a time as they wait to navigate Turkey's narrow, congested Bosphorus and Dardenelles Straits.

The removal of these delays should help to bring oil costs down, the BBC's Malcolm Brabant reports from Athens.

Pipeline diplomacy is helping to reassert Russian influence in the region, he says.

Earlier this month a senior US State Department official, Matthew Bryza, was in Athens and congratulated the three signatories to the pipeline accord. He said the more oil that reached global markets the better. But Mr Bryza added that the United States was concerned that Europe could become too reliant on the Russian energy giant Gazprom as a source of natural gas. At least one third of Russian oil exports currently leave by tanker via the Black Sea and Bosphorus Strait.

The Sacrifice Ivo Ivanovski

Not many people would take a huge cut in pay and return to Macedonia to serve their country government. Ivo Ivanovski did and good for him. Here's more on Ivo "new ministry", metamorphosis, minister.

American dream takes detour to Macedonia
The Columbus Dispatch - Local/State:
Sunday, March 11, 2007

When Ivo Ivanovski received word that his country needed him, he was naked as the day he was born.

'Will you hold for the prime minister?' Ivanovski was asked when he answered the phone after stepping from the shower last fall at his Gahanna home.

The call was from Macedonia, the homeland Ivanovski had left as a high-school student in 1996 to finish his studies in Columbus.

'I have an uncle and aunt, Tom and Sally Petrovski,' Ivanovski said last week. 'They offered me their home."

Unity Regarding Name Issue

It looks like my concerns regarding the Macedonia issue was unfounded. My apologies to all concerned.

Macedonia confirms unity on name dispute with Greece
Makfax vesnik:

Skopje /16.03/ 14:49

Macedonian top officials reaffirmed their unity on the name dispute with Greece.

This was announced after today's coordinative meeting among President Branko Crvenkovski, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and Foreign Minister Antonio Miloshoski.

'...The sole position and strategy of the Republic of Macedonia on overcoming the name difference was reaffirmed, as one of the highest state's priorities and prerequisite for preserving the constitutional name of the country', says the joint press statement released after the meeting that was attended also by the Macedonian Special Envoy over this issue, Ambassador Nikola Dimitrov.

The announcement further says that the meeting was aimed at 'mutual briefing on the current developments and coordination on this issue of highest state interest'.

Crvenkovski-Gruevski meeting comes in a time of strained relations between Athens and Skopje, but also in time of tension in the dialogue between the Prime Minister and the President.

Yesterday, the Government sent to Greece a note of protest relating offending behavior of some of their soldiers towards Macedonia.

Previously, Greece raised objections over renaming of the Skopje Airport into Alexander the Great."

Mathew Nimitz is still alive

Matthew Nimetz, negotiator-for-life-in-the-Macedonian-name-dispute, is briefing the UN's Ki-moon. I hope he has a good presentation on what he has been doing for the last 15 years. I hope he has a good pension. I hope he has been working on his memoirs on his mission to humiliate the Macedonian people. It should be fun reading. Here's last year's article.

"Nimitz briefed Ki-moon on Skopje, Athens positions regarding name dispute issue
Macedonian_News_Service : Message: Daily Bulletin:

New York, March 17 (MIA) - UN mediator on the name dispute issue, Matthew Niemitz met late Friday with Organisation's Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in UN Headquarters in New York in order to present the Macedonian and Greek position on the matter.

UN official told journalist that 'there's no new direction of events' considering the issue.
The meeting took place before forthcoming talks between Greece's FM Dora Bakoyannis and Ki-moon, which are scheduled on March 20."

Firefox Browser is Available in Macedonian

Most Macedonians in Macedonia already know this, but the Firefox Browser is available in Macedonian!

Mozilla Firefox - Next Generation Browser

Macedonians Can't Stay in US

All around a sad story about Macedonians fleeing to the US to escape Albanian violence.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

North Jersey Media Group

Family sent home after 14 year fight

CLIFTON -- In their native Macedonia, the Matlijoski family lived with the fear that armed men would storm into their home one day and haul them away."

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Patrick Moore, Radio Free Europe
Nicholas Whyte, International Crisis Group

I am siting at my computer drinking real Guinness stout in a real Guinness glass. I was in Ireland a few years ago and the first meal we had when we landed in Dublin was Irish stew. When I asked the young waitress whether they served Guinness, she was about to answer when she realised that I was just trying to tease her.

I hope you guys were not mad at me the last time I mentioned your name and organizations (RFE ... ICG). I noticed that SE Times which is funded by the Pentagon mentioned that Macedonians in Bulgaria were denied the right to form a political party while both of your groups remained silent. Ouch! Too bad, so sad ... nothing personal ... no harm, no foul ... water under the bridge.

Anyway, I thought that you might get one of your Irish friends to write about an Anglo-Irish diplomat who supported Irish independence circa Easter 1916 and was thoughtfully hanged by the British for treason. He was gay, if that helps you to identify him ... not that there is anything wrong with being gay. I was going to write something in honour of St. Patrick's Day but, I forgot. I can't remember his name, but he wrote about the plight of the Macedonians after the Balkan wars in 1912, when Macedonia was partitioned between Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria. I read a quote from some Macedonian sources who quoted him as saying "only the Irish can know how the Macedonians feel" or vice versa. I am sure you both will know what he means.

I don't want you to write this yourself because you might get in trouble with your superiors. I am not sure why the RFE and ICG both continue to ignore the plight of Macedonians in Greece since both the State Department and the CIA have reported on this in the past and since the ICG and RFE are funded predominantly by the US. Its a mystery, I tell ya!

Maybe you can leak some information about this policy of your organizations to your Irish writer friends (... oh no! ... make that an English writer, that way your bosses will not be suspicious.

I can't find the link right now, but on some Irish website, it was mentioned that Ireland was discovered by a Macedonian. Get some one to write that up also. The Irish may continue to reside in Ireland until the controversy of ownership with Macedonians can be adjudicated by Javier Solana.

All the best.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Macedonia: No Debt to Russia

Macedonia owes no money to Russia, and Russia owes nothing to Macedonia.

Macedonia completes successfully negotiations over Russian clearing debt
Makfax vesnik:

Skopje /16/03/ 15:31/17:04

Macedonia has wrapped up successfully the negotiations on the projects intended for settling of the debt owned by the Russian Federation to the Republic of Macedonia.

The Cabinet of the Macedonian Vice-Prime Minister, Zoran Stavrevski, announced this after completion of the governmental delegation's official working visit to Moscow.

In the course of the visit, Macedonian officials met with the Russian Finance Minister Sergey Storchak, who is in charge of settling liabilities of the former USSR towards the Republic of Macedonia.

The negotiators reached an agreement the debt to be returned by construction of a gas-pipeline system in Macedonia.

Initiation of as many as four projects has been agreed, including the primary and secondary gas pipeline ring encircling Skopje, the local pipeline Klechovce-Veles-Stip and the pipeline Skopje-Tetovo.

The interlocutors agreed also to set up a working panel, comprised of representatives of Gazprom and Macedonian experts, tasked to work out the details on the realization of the projects."

2005 Interview Burns vs Konstandaras

This is an interview from 2005 so it does not shed any light on US thinking today. One thing I can say is that Under Secretary Burns must be a hockey player, because he shows a great deal of skill as a stick handler. I did not know that the US was so outspoken on Macedonian matters at the OSCE. I wish someone would tell me these things. Hey!, Burns, don't be a stranger!

Interview With Nikos Konstandaras of Kathimerini (Greece):
October 22, 2005

QUESTION: On the Macedonia issue, which is fresh...

UNDER SECRETARY BURNS: Yes, I know…what I said…I saw the newspaper articles extracted a lot of commentary.

QUESTION: There was a kind of change in the nuance of what you said, but the meaning was clear, that the United States would object to Greece objecting to a country called Macedonia joining NATO. I am sure you are aware that this is a very passionate issue in Greece and Greece has these diplomatic tools that it can use. How could anyone suggest that it not use diplomatic tools at its disposal?

UNDER SECRETARY BURNS: I think that, unfortunately some of the Greek newspapers misquoted what I said and changed the meaning of what I said. I never said that it would be “shameful.” I never said anything of the sort. I was talking to a Macedonian reporter, and she simply asked me what would happen if Greece and Macedonia were unable to work out their problems and Macedonia’s entry was blocked. And I think it’s clear that the Greek government does not want to block Macedonia’s entry into NATO or the European Union. The argument is not over the entry in NATO or the European Union; the argument is over the name of the country.

And when I said it would be a “shame,” I meant it would be a shame if these problems were not resolved at some point in the future. We believe they can be resolved. Both sides are responsible for resolving them. The United States is neutral in this regard. We have told both the Macedonians and the Greeks that we think the problem should be worked out through the UN special negotiator, Ambassador Nimetz, and we don’t have any influence over his proposals. We have not sought any influence over his proposals. He writes his own proposals. They are not manufactured in Washington, D.C. and by our government. We take no position as to which is the right outcome. We think Greece and Macedonia can determine that.

QUESTION: Well, you did take a position. And the fact that President Bush was very quick after his reelection to recognize our neighbor as the Republic of Macedonia made very clear where the United States stands on the issue. I wonder if you have found that to be an obstacle in your dealings with Athens and Skopje?

UNDER SECRETARY BURNS: No, I don’t think so. That was a national decision that the United States took and we have to stand by that decision, obviously. What I was referring to was the UN negotiation, that Ambassador Nimetz has been running for a number of years. In that particular process, where Greece and Macedonia are involved together in these discussions with Ambassador Nimetz, it is there that we have said we don’t believe it is appropriate for the United States to prescribe what we think is the right outcome. We think that both sides should work with Ambassador Nimetz and try to have a compromise solution. I think we’ve been neutral in that respect. I think we should be neutral. And I’m sorry that some of the Greek newspapers did not translate my words in the correct way.

QUESTION: There was also some tension over the last couple of weeks over statements made at the OSCE by your country’s ambassador, regarding Greece’s treatment of what the envoy termed minorities in Greece. Athens protested to Ambassador Ries here. Is it now U.S. policy to recognize an “Albanian minority” in Greece, as well as the others mentioned?

UNDER SECRETARY BURNS: There’s really no major change in U.S. policy. We’ve had a longstanding practice of recognizing that there are minorities in Greece. This is nothing new. I remember the previous Greek government did not appreciate this fact. We simply have to stick to our own opinion. But it’s not a crisis in our relationship. It should not be a crisis. There are more important issues that we should be discussing.

This is Serious, Not Fishy!

Ohrid and this fish are a great asset for future tourism when Macedonia gets its act together. Save the 'Ohrid trout" now!

Diners eating 'ancient' Macedonian trout into extinction
OHRID, Macedonia (AFP)

Praised by chefs around the world and devoured by many a celebrity, the rare trout of Lake Ohrid still graces menus in many Macedonian restaurants, despite being on the edge of extinction.

What's on your wish list?

The 'Ohrid trout,' or Salmo letnica by its scientific name, was identified as unique in 1924, but locals prefer to brand it as 'ancient' since its closest species is only found in fossils.

Its moniker comes from the only body of water in which it is found -- Lake Ohrid, one of the oldest in the world along with Baikal in southeast Russia and Tanganyika in eastern Africa."

Novel - 'Snow in Casablanca'

Another Macedonian novel ... in Macedonian

'Snow in Casablanca' receives 2006 award 'Novel of the Year'
Macedonian_News_Service : Message: Daily Bulletin: "'Snow in Casablanca' receives 2006 award 'Novel of the Year'

Skopje, March 15 (MIA) - Novel 'Snow in Casablanca' by Kica B. Kolbe, published by house 'Tri' has won 2006 literary award 'Novel of the Year' allocated by daily 'Utrinski Vesnik'.
'Snow in Casablanca' is a novel with a deep view into intimacy, but also critical openness towards the world. It is realistic and imaginary, a mosaic of memories and expectations. Kolbe's novel is another testimony about the destiny of the Macedonian refugee, who expresses her thoughts through work, assesses the selecting commission of 'Utrinski Vesnik'.
Kica B. Kolbe was born in Basino Selo in Macedonia in 1951, in a family of refugees from Aegean Macedonia. She studied philosophy at Skopje and Belgrade Universities. Kolbe has lived in Germany since 1986, working as writer-translator and artist. Her first novel 'Aegeans' (1999), which treats the topic of exile upon the example of her own family, had huge success abroad.
The formal presentation of the award will be held in Skopje's 'MPs Club' on March 28."

More Pressure on Name Issue

I am very leery of closed door meetings to arrive at a consensus and then have the "compromise" foisted on the unsuspecting public. A forum on TV with the leaders of the Macedonian Orthodox Church and leading professors and journalists should be held inform the public of the crucial negotiations that are taking place with the US/EU to get a unified consensus on what is to be done.

"President and premier to hold consultation over name dispute with Greece
Makfax vesnik:

Skopje /16/03/ 08:22

President Branko Crvenkovski and Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski are due to hold consultation today aimed at defining the future steps of Macedonia regarding the name dispute with Greece.

According to the announcements, Foreign Minister Antonio Miloshoski and the Macedonian negotiator Nikola Dimitrov will also attend the meeting.

Yesterday, the Government sent to Greece a note of protest relating offending behavior of some of their soldiers towards Macedonia.

Previously, Greece raised objections over renaming of the Skopje Airport into Alexander the Great.

Greece's media reported that the local parties are very likely to use the name dispute for propaganda purposes during the 2008 election campaign."

The Venice Commission is Sinking!

I have never heard of the Venice commission but it is supposed to review laws of countries to determine whether they follow EU standards, the Macedonian delegation should force the Venice Commission to rule on whether Greece's laws follow EU standards. Lets play offense.

Macedonian draft laws to be reviewed by Venice Commission
Makfax vesnik

Skopje /16/03/ 08:20

Macedonian Justice Minister Mihajlo Manevski will elaborate Macedonian draft laws on prosecution and religious communities before the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe.

The agenda of the Commission's plenary session includes adoption of three draft opinions on draft law on the legal status on a church, a religious community and a religious group; on the draft laws on the public prosecutor’s office and on the council of public prosecutors in the Republic of Macedonia.

The opinion of the Venice Commission bears special importance in terms of incorporation of the European and international standards in the new legislation."

Thursday, March 15, 2007

ABC News Misses the Point

ABC News should go to Florina (Lerin) to interview ethnic Macedonians to ask how it feels living in a country with this type of atmosphere.Amelia Newcomb pick up the ball and get in the game for god's sake.

ABC News: Reporters on the Job:

' …And Writing the Later Drafts: For correspondent Nicole Itano, clashing views of history in the Balkans is not confined to the classroom (see story). The taxi driver she uses to get around Athens, for example, will order passengers to get out if they refer to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYRM) as simply 'Macedonia.' The reason: Greeks say that the kingdom of Alexander the Great, known as Macedonia, was part of present-day Greece. 'Many Greeks are upset at what they see as an attempt by a Slavic country to appropriate his legacy for itself,' Nicole says.

During a Greek broadcast of a soccer match between England and Macedonia, Nicole says, the station superimposed the letters FYRM (pronounced 'feerim') to 'correct' the scoreboard's rendering of the teams: ENG vs. MAC. 'That's how touchy these issues are,' she says.

Amelia Newcomb
Deputy world editor"

Macedonian Mayor of Prespa, Albania

Good luck to Edmond Temelko.

Interview with 1st Macedonian to be elected Mayor of Prespa, Albania
United Macedonian Diaspora
Friday, 09 March 2007

Source: Macedonian daily newspaper Dnevnik

Translated by UMD Staff

We hold the key to the development of the rights of Macedonians.

Prespa is a very poor region and there is a lot of work ahead of us. This is why we will need the help of both Albania and Macedonia.

At the local elections in Albania, held on February 18, 2007, a Macedonian from the party Macedonian Alliance for European Integration (MAEI) was, for the first time, elected as mayor. Edmond Temelko, a 36-year-old veterinarian turned politician won the mayoral position in Prespa municipality, making him the first Macedonian elected in Albania.
During the campaign, you frequently said that the Macedonians had a historic opportunity during these elections. What does your election victory mean to you and your electorate?

These are crucial moments in the history of Macedonians in Albania. Macedonians in this country unable to fully exercise their basic human rights such as schooling in the mother tongue, the use of national symbols and participation in the state institutions. We also fought very hard to register our political party, the Macedonian "

Stefani's Website

As a follow-up, below is Stefani Sen Senar's website which is in French and Macedonian. The novel, "Le Firman" is available at Amazon France.

Any Macedonian student who is taking French immersion might want to order this novel and produce a review in English. I would be happy to publish it.

Our Stefani is 50% French on her fathers side, 50% Macedonian on her mother's side and ... 100 % babe (as you can see ... because of her Macedonian side!)

Stefani Sen Senar (Website)

BiblioMonde (Translated by Google)

Stefani SEN Senar

Born in Dijon (France) in 1970, Stefani SEN Senar is of origin Macedonian by her mother, it grew in Parisian suburbs where it always lives in an old village, nested on a slope between the Seine and the forest of Sénart - the origin of its pseudonym. It studied the balkanology with the INALCO, in Paris, course a three years during which it was interested, in particular, at the period of the Othoman domination. Its many stays in republic of Macedonia since its youth and, in particular, those which it accomplished in 1991 and 1992, at the time of the bursting of the Yugoslav Federation and the access to independence of Macedonia was decisive for young auteure, old, then, 21 years which took part in the first newspaper independent Macedonian, Republika. In 2000, Stefani SEN Senar published a first novel with Skopje, Varvarski Koreni, (“cruel Roots”) (at AEA-Misla), then a second in 2004 Ferman (at Kultura). This novel is appeared in France in 2006 pennies the title the Decree.

“As of the exit of its first novel, of aucuns saw in this young novelist a “Francoise Sagan of Balkans”. This work brings much more than one surprised in our European literature: a certain hope.” (Predrag Matvejevitch)

Superman Obama, Ignore Ignatius's Advice, Brzezinski is Kryptonite

It is a wet dream for Zbigniew Brzezinski for the US partition Russia. He wants the US to have "hegemony" over Siberia as a way to dominate the world for the foreseeable future. ... No, I do not have tin foil wrapped around my head to protect my brain from aliens ... "Zbig" says so himself in his book "The Grand Chessboard". See an excerpt here. David Ignatius, what are you thinking?

A Manifesto For the Next President -
David Ignatius -

"The most intriguing part of Brzezinski's book is what I would describe as the Obama manifesto. (He doesn't call it that, but I don't think he would quarrel with that characterization, either.) Brzezinski argues that the world is undergoing a 'global political awakening,' which is apparent in radically different forms from Iraq to Indonesia, from Bolivia to Tibet. Though America has focused on its notion of what people want (democracy and the wealth created by free trade and open markets), Brzezinski points in a different direction: It's about dignity.

'The worldwide yearning for human dignity is the central challenge inherent in the phenomenon of global political awakening,' he argues. His worry is that America -- enfeebled by 'material self-indulgence, persistent social shortcomings, and public ignorance about the world' -- may not get it."

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Dimitar Vlahov, David Ben-Gurion and the Jews of the Ottoman Empire

I read in "A long row of candles; memoirs and diaries, 1934-1954", the journalistic memoirs of C. L. Sulzberger, that David Ben Gurion, the first president of Israel wanted to invite Israel Dimitar Vlahov, formerly leader of the leftist United VMRO and at the time, a Vice President of Tito's Yugoslavia .

Apparently Vlahov, as a deputy in the Parliament of the Young Turks, often spoke out in defense of the rights of the Jews, when Jewish members of Parliament were "too cowed to speak" (Sulzberger's words). Vlahov and Gjorche Petrov had meetings with Theodor Hertzl (and I assume Ben-Gurion) to discuss cooporation between Macedonians and Jews. I do not know if Dimitar ever visited Israel, but apparently, his son Gustav Vlahov wrote a book called "How I Saw Israel ". (How he got the name "Gustav", I don't know).

I like Bush

I wrote a letter to Slate magazine long ago, objecting to their Bushism column and I also now object to David Letterman's equivalent video segment, because to be funny is to be unexpected. Making fun of Bush's intelligence is not funny unless you are Roger Ailes, then it is really funny. . Both Gore and Kerry were never subjected to this kind of mean spiritedness, although Edward Kennedy, like Michael Jackson and O.J. Simpson, is. I think that journalists should study Bush's recognition of Macedonia by its real name to see what makes Bush tick. I think he did the right thing for the right reason. Not many US journalists are interested in that. Oh!, I also like Rice and Rumsfeld.

Bush Stands Firm Against Greek Lobby

Impact of Trajkovski's death on George W. Bush

Macedonia wins Recognition from US

Lets Build a Statue to Donald Rumsfeld in Macedonia's Capital City, Skopje.

Condi Rice named "Person of the Year" by The Macedonian Tendency

Grozdan Popov on Mark Mazower on Dimitar Vlahov

I have not read Mark Mazower's book "Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims and Jews 1430-1950" , With 500 pages and its span of 500 years, I did not think that Mazower would cover the Macedonians and their history. Grozdan Popov's review is thorough. He does not think much of Mazower's skills as a historian. This is the only review I have seen from a Macedonian perspective. If anyone has a review that is of interest to Macedonians, forward the link to me.

Mark Mazower presents a distorted, biased history of Salonica based on trash and wrong on fact

Now, if interested, Mazower could easily find out who was Dimitar Vlahov and why was he important. The man Mazower mentions twice as much as he does Josip Broz Tito (who influenced the remodeling of the Balkans of today) did not allow any speculation about his ethnicity or nationality. He wrote and signed (Memoirs of Dimitar Vlahov, Nova Makedonija, 1970; Speaches and Articles 1945-47, 180 p. Skopje, 1947) that "I myself am purest Macedonian and nothing else". Vlahov (born in Kukus or Kilkis, like Gotse Delchev) was one of the most daring young commanders or a VMRO regiment and indeed a member of the first and only Ottoman parliament where he represented the "Bulgarian community" of the district of Salonika.

In his long life he was not only Consul-general of the Bulgarian Empire in Odessa but also the chief administrator of Kosovo during the Bulgarian occupation (1915-1918) of the present UN-protectorate which is crudely being carved-out from Serbia. Vlahov enthusiastically supported the creation of Israel and Theodor Herschel personally. He lead the group which formed VMRO (united) in 1924 in Vienna. Its main objective was to free Macedonia within its geographical and economical borders and create an independent political unit that will become an equal member for a future Balkan Federation.

Some 20 years latter he became the first president of the Democratic Republic of Macedonia, plus, vice-president (Josip Broz was the president) of AVNOJ (Anti-fascist Council of the People's Liberation of Yugoslavia) the highest legislative and executive organ of the country which will become a federation and a beacon of worker's self-management and of the non-alignment movement. Prof. Georges Haupt, a French historian, claims that Dimitar Vlahov's Memoirs are "of great use for the study of social developments on the Balkans". It is pointless to blame Mark Mazower for not being capable of figuring out this complexity better than by labeling Vlahov as "the Bulgarian". If he tried he would have unravelled the documents for the heinously atrocious practices and general genocidal attitude nourished by the Greeks against everything of Slav, Jewish or Muslim origin in the region. While he was alive partisan battalions were named after him and today in Macedonia (rabidly sensitive on everything Bulgarian) hundreds of streets, schools, institutes, establishments carry his name Dimitar Vlahov, absolutely unthinkable if he was considered a "Bulgarian".

In the Greek Civil War (1946-1949) that followed World War II, the Macedonians of Aegean Macedonia fight on the side of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) as it promised them their rights after the war. About half of the 35,000 soldiers of DAG were Macedonians. On the liberated territory in Aegean Macedonia 87 Macedonian schools were opened, newspapers in Macedonian were published, and cultural and artistic associations created. But after few years of KKE's success, the communists lost the war, and the Macedonians were once again stripped of their human rights. 28,000 Aegean Macedonian children, known as 'child refugees', were separated from their families and settled in eastern Europe and Soviet Union in an attempt to save them from the terror that followed. Thousands of Macedonians lost their lives and great numbers of the Macedonian villages were burned to the ground.

Thus: he is wrong, Mazower is, labeling Dimitar Vlahov as Bulgarian. Such a mistake indicates Mazower's dilettante perception and understanding of the history of Salonika and its natural background.