The Macedonian Tendency: November 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

An Open Letter to Matthew Nimetz

An Open Letter to Matthew Nimetz
Mediator, Macedonia/Greece “Name Dispute"
Nov 11, 2014
David Edenden:

I understand that you will call a new meeting with Macedonian and Greek representative to discuss the long standing “name issue” on Nov. 12,2014

We can agree that these talks, after 20 years, have not been a success and we can agree or disagree on which side shoulders most of the blame.

However, the framework that these talks have held is surely part of the problem.

1 Secrecy

The original concept was to conduct the all negotiations in secret has, in retrospect, not been very useful. It was supposed to give negotiators the freedom to discuss sensitive issue frankly so that a just compromise could be achieved.

However this secrecy has fueled a low level but constant wildfire of speculation, rumors and conspiracy theories … on both sides


  • Release all documents relating to the name issue, letters, proposals, and memorandums … a document dump … to historians, journalists and politicians to help better understand the issues.
  • Encourage both Greece and Macedonia to release their documents.
  • Encourage the US and UK as well as other countries to release documents from their archives from WW2 to the present.

2 Educating the People of Greece and Macedonia

As a result of the secrecy, people of both countries are really not aware of the position of the other country … only what is fed to them … as propaganda, by their own side. We have to find a mechanism whereby propaganda can be overwhelmed by facts and truth.


Hold a week long conference … in the form of a “trial” ... in public … on TV … “whereby both sides can present their arguments to a “jury of experts” … chosen by you for their knowledge. The jury will rule on the following issues.

  • Did Tito  “invent” the Macedonian language.

OR did he “recognize” it. Review and discuss the background to the Macedonian language

Georgi Pulevski  "A Dictionary of Three languages" (1875)
Krste Misirkov  “├ľn “Macedonian Matters” (1903)
Greek Government  “ABECEDAR” (1925)

  • Statues and Place Names

Does the government of Macedonia have the right to name any place or stature as they see fit.

  • The Rights of Macedonians in Greece

The plight of the Macedonians in Greece has been viewed as a peripheral issue that is not within the scope of your negotiations. This has been a the core mistake of the negotiations.

It speaks to culture, identity and language. The can be no lasting reconciliation between Greece and Macedonia until the rights of Macedonians in Greece are secured.

If not, Greece will launch a 100 year long campaign to rename Macedonians in the history books, government census, film festivals, textbooks not as Macedonians but as “Northern Macedonians”, “Vardar Macedonians”. Greece will be relentless and will not stop

Macedonians in Greece have been subject to “forced assimilation” via name changes to people and villages, pressure regarding work, justice etc.
If this is not “cultural genocide” what is?

What are they called in Greece for official purposes
What rights do they have
Are these rights consistent with EU values
What is the status of “Begalsi”.. Macedonian refugees from the Greek Civil War

3 History

The issue of history is complex and subject to misunderstanding, myth and mischief.


Two historians, one Macedonian, one Greek will be asked to write a brief … two or three page synopsis  … on the history of the useage of “Macedonian”. It should start with the era of Alexander the Great to present day.

It would give journalists, historians, politicians and governments a template on how to discuss Macedonia and Macedonians. It will then be presented to the conference.

In Macedonia:

Macedonians and Albanians  OR
Macedonian Slavs and Albanians or 
Makedonsko/Macedonian and Albanian

In Greece:

Ethnic Macedonian and Greek Macedonians OR
Skopians; Slavophone/Slavic; Dopii (Locals); Ethnic Macedonians and Greek Macedonians
????? and Greek Macedonians

The historians should be those raised in the outside the Balkans where they drink from the cool waters of “”western rationality” rather than the hot springs of the Balkans.

My suggestion:

Andrew Rossos (Macedonia)

4 Where to go from here

After the spring conference, both parties will continue to negotiate over the summer. If agreement cannot be reached, the issue back to the UN General Assembly in September 2015

Spring        2015 Conference
Summer     2015 Negotiations
September 2015 Un General Assembly