New Macedonia is the name that the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) has proposed, and Greece agreed, in order to end the decades-long name dispute.
The two sides and mediator Matthew Nimitz, the UN official responsible for the negotiations, agreed to using New Macedonia, a name proposed by the Skopje government.
The name New Macedonia was proposed in 1992, but was rejected by the Greek side at the time. Another proposal later was Northern Macedonia, also rejected by Athens because it appeared irredentist implying that there is also a Southern Macedonia.
Greece has agreed to the name change, and the announcements are to be made in the spring of 2018.
Citizens of Pseudo-Macedonia are not Macedonians, but Slavs. Real Macedonians are a branch of Greeks, living in real Macedonia, located in Northern Greece. Membership negotiations for Pseudo-Macedonia have been painfully slow. Greece objects to the name Macedonia as it sees this as a threat to the territorial integrity of its Macedonia region. Pseudo-Macedonia also has numerous disputes with Bulgaria and there are persistent concerns to democracy and rule of law.
Greece cannot accept the word Macedonia or any name that includes “Macedonia” in it as the permanent name of its northern neighbor, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). This name (FYROM) was agreed to be only temporary; “Macedonia” has to be removed before entry to any international organization.
Like any other nation, Greeks feel only proud if another country uses historical or other Greek names and words when introducing new scientific terms, or naming companies, places, or cities. However, it is the first time that a country (Pseudo-Macedonia) demands to name itself after the name of its neighboring region.
On January 11, 1934, the Comintern (Communist International) recognized the existence of a non-existing Macedonian nation, which included all the –multiethnic—inhabitants of the territory that was once ancient Macedonia, the largest part of which is in Greece. Subsequently (~1945), prime minister—and later president of Yugoslavia—Josip Broz (commonly known as Tito), considered it advantageous to instill in the diverse population of south Yugoslavia (today’s Pseudo-Macedonia) the idea that they are the descendants of Alexander the Great and that the Greeks occupy a large part of their land (the large part of Northern Greece which was Macedonia since the ancient times and is still called Macedonia today); this would bring to the newly founded “Macedonian nation” a sense of pride., and would unite them in the strife to “reclaim” the Greek Macedonia and thus get access to the sea.
Since then, this is the “history” the children of Pseudo-Macedonia learn. Pseudo-Macedonia and its government make no effort to hide these intentions. It is not only the big statue of Alexander the Great that the government built in a central square of Skopje, or the renaming of their airport after Alexander the Great, or the rather incomprehensible video, with racist overtones, speaking of their national purity and higher purpose, and calling them to rise as their time has come, which was actually aired in a government-owned TV channel. Recently, the Consul General of FYROM attended an event by the “United Macedonia” in Toronto, Canada, where their “Macedonian pride” was declared in front of “a map of their country.”
Furthermore, in the meeting between the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kotzias, and Pseudo-Macedonia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikola Dimitrov, the latter had the audacity, as he speaks about peace and reconciliation between the two countries, to say: We are not going to argue here that the history of Ancient Macedonia is part of Greek history, as anyone with some degree of historical knowledge is well aware of that.
We hope it is clear, however, that with Pseudo-Macedonia right on its Northern border stirring animosity against Greece, Greece cannot accept the name Macedonia or ANY name that includes the word “Macedonia” (FYROM included) in it, which will be reduced to “Macedonia”, just like FYROM is already referred to as Macedonia in many world maps. Greece cannot vote for entry of FYROM into the EU and NATO, until the people of Pseudo-Macedonia choose a permanent name for their country that does not include “Macedonia” in it.
It is difficult not to notice—and worth pointing out—the closer ties that Pseudo-Macedonia is developing with Turkey, Greece’s eastern neighbor, who provokes Greece on a daily basis by invading Greek waters and airspace, and disputes Greece’s sea borders.
Greeks throughout the world do not harbor any enmity or hostility toward Pseudo-Macedonia nationals, and yearn for a peaceful and productive coexistence between the two peoples. It is important to note in this regard that Greece has decidedly contributed to building Pseudo-Macedonia’s economy and infrastructure. Greece has an earnest desire for mutual respect. Offering Pseudo-Macedonia a permanent name that includes the word “Macedonia” in it, or accepting it into NATO as FYROM, a temporary name that already includes “Macedonia” in it, is only an exacerbation of a serious problem for Greece, Pseudo-Macedonia, and the Balkans, it is not a solution.