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Fri Jan 11, 2019, 04:43 PM

Republic of Macedonia Approves Name Change In Step Toward Joining EU

Source: Bloomberg

The Republic of Macedonia cleared its biggest hurdle to joining NATO and the European Union by passing an amendment to change its name and solve a decades-long dispute with Greece.

The parliamentary vote shifts the advantage to the West in its struggle for influence with Cold War foe Russia over the Balkans, Europe’s most volatile region. It also fulfills an agreement struck last year in which Greece pledged to lift its vetoes on the Balkan state’s bids to join the world’s largest trading bloc and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev won a two-thirds majority in the chamber Friday to rename the ex-Yugoslav country to "The Republic of North Macedonia," parliament Speaker Talat Xhaferi said in Skopje. Now the baton passes to Athens, where Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is facing resistance from nationalist opponents to his pledge to ratify the deal and sign off on Macedonia’s NATO accession.

“This is a big deal, even more significant at a time when there’s uncertainty in democracies in the West, in the future of Europe and in the role of the U.S.,” Damon Wilson, executive vice president at the Atlantic Council in Washington, said by phone. “Tsipras has already taken the tough decisions in the political barbs by doing the agreement in the first place, so he’s got every incentive to follow through.”

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-11/balkan-state-backs-name-change-in-step-toward-joining-nato-eu

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Reply Republic of Macedonia Approves Name Change In Step Toward Joining EU (Original post)
brooklynite Friday OP
C_U_L8R Friday #1
PoliticAverse Friday #2
marble falls Friday #3
Igel Friday #8
FakeNoose Saturday #9
NCjack Friday #4
Pacifist Patriot Friday #5
dhol82 Friday #6
SunSeeker Friday #7

Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 05:09 PM

1. May I suggest Macadamia.

So delicious. Tourism would boom.

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Response to C_U_L8R (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 05:12 PM

2. How about - Macadonia Nut?

Macadonia Not?

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 05:41 PM

3. In the Greek mind it was Macedonia Not.

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Response to C_U_L8R (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 06:51 PM

8. The issue is mostly historical.

Greece was overrun by Slavs from the north. They penetrated down to the islands and into Asia Minor. In some areas, Greek faltered and Slavic languages won out. Greek has a lot of Slavic loan words.

From the east, it was overrun by Turks. The bit of Turkey that's in Europe was entirely Greek-speaking until the Turks occupied it, settled it, and either oppressed the Greeks into assimilation or moving out. A big chunk of Asia minor was Greek--back in Homer's day, parts were completely Greek. The vestiges of Greek population that survived the anti-Christian/Kurdish Turkish-nationalist struggle during and immediately following WWI were mutually ethnically cleansed in the 1920s with large-scale population transfers.

Macedonia, historically, is a big deal to Greek national pride and in Greek history, largely due to centuries of oppression by Muslim Turks. But much of the territory was Slavicized. That part was Macedonia, but so's a reasonably sized chunk of Greece. The Greek view is that the Slavs are not Greek. Current Greek nationalist views are that because of Philip of Macedonia and Alexander the Great, Macedonia spoke Greek and is retrofitted to have been ethnically Greek (even if at the time the Macedonians were seen essentially as outsiders to the Greek polity, and if commoners spoke Greek it was probably a divergent dialect of the language; the upper class spoke Attic Greek, but there wasn't all that much Greek ethnic solidarity).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Greater_Macedonia.png

At the same time, the Slavic-speaking people live in an area that has been called "Macedonia" for a long time, and if you're a Slavic speaker from Macedonia it means you're from that part of Macedonia. Macedonians have their own struggle for recognition. First under the same invader-colonial power that was the Ottomans, then merged into Yugoslavia. Bulgarian-first folk claim the area as their own, and until recently claimed Macedonian as a dialect of Bulgarian (and possibly still does). They are largely the genetic descendants of the Macedonians that were there a thousand and two thousand years ago.

They can do what they want, but I'd have argued that "North Macedonia" is as much as the Greek "South Macedonia". There was no "Macedonia" versus "North Macedonia." Still, it's what happens when you try to look back in time to find vicarious greatness in other people's actions.

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Response to Igel (Reply #8)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 09:14 PM

9. Thanks for the background info - most Americans are weak in European history

It seems that every square mile of the former Yugoslavia is steeped in messed up border wars and cultural rivalry.
I must admit that I can't keep track of it all, as much as I've tried.


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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 05:47 PM

4. Missed an opportunity to become Zeuslandia. nt

Last edited Fri Jan 11, 2019, 06:17 PM - Edit history (1)

It's national motto could have been: "If we don't repent and get right with Zeus, Zeuslandia is doomed."

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Response to NCjack (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 06:10 PM

5. Best answer!

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 06:35 PM

6. I am intrigued by how totally different the languages are at the border.

One is Slavic and the other Greek. Not at all similar.
Always cool how languages develop.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 06:36 PM

7. Good for Macedonia. Their future is with the EU. Putin must be bummed.

There are plenty of Macedonians who remember what it was like to live under the Russian boot after WWII.

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