The description of Skopje as “Historic Macedonia” sets off alarm bells

6 March, 2024

For several days now Channel 9 has been regularly running a Tripadeal advertisement promoting a “Balkan holiday package” with one of the destinations being the supposed “Historic Macedonia”. Unfortunately, no mention is made of Greece, nor of visits to Vergina, Pella or Aigai.  They refer to Skopje, thus stirring up and reviving the feelings of indignation and anger that for decades now have pervaded Hellenism everywhere, especially the Macedonians, when they are confronted with the falsification of our history. 

Not all of us were surprised by the recent statement of Mrs. Bakoyannis that the agreement on the name of Skopje “was a success of the Kotzias negotiations”. However, how ‘successful’ this negotiation was will become clear after the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Skopje (on 8 May) if the polls that show the far-right party VMRO-DPMNE winning by a large margin are confirmed and, of course, immediately after Skopje’s full accession to the European Union.

The infamous Prespa Agreement, as many have pointed out, was never going to stop the misinformation and the usurpation of our history. The remarks about the non-historical connection of the Skopians with ancient Macedonia and by extension the Hellenism of ancient Macedonia were simply “ashes in the eyes” of the Greek people and have been effectively neutralized by the Skopians themselves, inside and outside their country, as the Sun of Vergina with a red background dominates every place on the planet where there are Skopians.

The said “Agreement” has only succeeded in establishing, with the Greek consent, the aggressive designation “Macedonian” for anything coming from Skopje and their national designation as outright “Macedonians”.

The Pan-Macedonian Association of Melbourne and Victoria sent a letter of protest to Channel 9 yesterday asking for the withdrawal of the advertisement in question. If the advertisement is ultimately not withdrawn there are many avenues that could be pursued. However, the next moves by the powers that be are certainly something that will be ‘weighed up’ in due course.  So it remains to be seen, with great interest, how this issue will unfold.

Unfortunately, this shameful Agreement has permanently placed us in the role of ‘firefighter’, as the challenges and claims are likely to intensify over time.

Of course, the issues that we face as Greeks everywhere, but also as Australians of Greek origin, are many and it must be reiterated, once again, that the establishment of a flexible collective and representative body of the Greeks of Australia is necessary for the rapid and more effective response to the challenges that we will surely face moving forward.

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