Πέμπτη, 31 Ιουλίου 2008

These that Gruevski omitted in his letter

Απο το :Modern Macedonian History

Article by Constantinos Holevas, Political Scientist, antibaro,gr, 19th July 2008,
translated into English by Captain Agras, 27th July 2008
for fair use only

The content of the recent letter (14/7/2008) by Nicolas Gruevski sent to the Greek Prime Minister, Kostas Karamanlis, did not surprise anyone with a historical knowledge of the region or a keen interest in the ongoing ‘Macedonian’ issue.

Of course the current differences between Skopje and Greece are nothing new nor are they merely limited to the ‘name’ claims by the Skopje side. This dispute has a substantial historical background and is intimately linked with Skopje’s openly expressed irredentist-destabilizing aspirations. The “minority rights” issues recently raised by the FYROM leadership are intended to promote these aspirations.

Ironically, looking at these recent events from the Greek perspective one needs to be grateful to the FYROM Premier. The obvious and outrightly blind fanaticism openly expressed and endorsed by a large part of the Skopje side should serve as a wake-up call to all Greeks who by now should realise what will be the totally negative outcome of any bilateral agreement whereby the term “Macedonia” is included in any composite name of the Skopje State. Instead of facing head-on the real financial problems it is confronted with, and instead of facing the real and grave secessionist dangers from the large resident Albanian element, the Slavic nomenclature has decided to expand the agenda of the dispute with Greece. Within this context they seek the re-introduction of the so call “minority problem” as well as property issues of the ‘refugee children’ or ‘Deca Begalci’ in their terminology.

Reviewing Mr Gruevski’s letter I note that he leaves many issues unanswered.

For example, he does not tell us the truth concerning many of those who were born in Greece and in 1949 fled to Tito’s Communist ‘Socialist Republic of Macedonia’ and who years before (during Greece’s occupation by the Axis in 1941-1944) had openly expressed pro-Bulgarian sentiments and affiliations and enthusiastically collaborated with the Bulgarian allies of the Nazis, and the infamous Bulgarian Ohrana Police Battalions –operating in Both Macedonia and Thrace.

Those very people (especially in Western Macedonia) in the aftermath of the Axis (including Bulgarian) defeat in 1944 and in order to avoid the dire consequences of their treason and collaboration decided, literally overnight, to make a drastic and highly opportunistic change of their political affiliations and national consciousness.

Virtually overnight, these collaborators of the Bulgarian fascist occupation transformed, as if by magic, to left-wing Slav-Macedonians fully committed to the propaganda and designated aims of Tito.

Thus from 1946-1949 they fought for the secession of Macedonia and Thrace from Greece. But this time they wore the cloak of Communist Internationalism and followed the rhetoric of the ‘class struggle’ ideals. Having tasted defeated twice and within a relatively short time, and fearing that justice for their actions was rapidly approaching they decided to flee from Greece and went over to Skopje. Since then they become the basis and the cornerstone of the pseudo-Macedonian propaganda. Many of them afterwards immigrated to the USA, Canada and Australia carrying with them every bit of hatred and fanaticism towards anything Greek, bringing with them the very same sentiments that had guided their actions in the past.

I ask Mr Gruevski, therefore, is he proud of the fact that his actions are supported and indeed championed by all those who were enthusiast collaborators of the Bulgarian and Nazi occupiers? Or is he trying reward all those people and organisations that fought hard to decimate and brake up Greece?

Since he so strongly supports those Slav-Macedonian separatists of 1946-1949 he must be surely in full agreement with their aims and targets. From this perspective he should see nothing wrong then when the Albanians tomorrow ask precisely the same from FYROM! Or perhaps Mr. Gruevski you believe that this is a totally different case opting therefore to adopt double standards? On the one hand, to see all those who fought against the territorial integrity of Greece allowed back to Greece and rewarded and on the other hand, to use force against those who you consider a threat to the territorial integrity of your country, as was the case with the Albanian separatists back in 2001?

It will be very useful to mention to Mr Gruevski that if he insists in the reinstatement of the “rights” of all those who acted against the territorial integrity of Greece then Greece itself would be fully justified in being indifferent, unsympathetic and indeed in refusing any help when the real danger of secession knocks once again on FYROM’s door.

And since Mr Gruevski talks about the issue of property reinstatement for FYROM’s former Greek-born Slavic émigrés and their descendants, it would be very helpful if he could tell us what happened to the properties of the Greek Sarakatsani residents of the Communist ‘Socialist Republic of Macedonia’ who were persecuted mercilessly, tortured and then expelled. Even their sheep herds that formed the basis of their livelihood were confiscated and many of them now live in the Thessaloniki suburb of Eleftherion-Kordellion. Are we justified, Mr Gruevski, to ask you for their moral and material compensation?

Mr Gruevski speaks of Human Rights and believes that he has the moral standing to give Greece lectures on this topic, reminding us that our country is a member of the EU and NATO. Can he therefore tell us what are the rights of the indigenous oppressed Greek minority that today lives in FYROM?

This largely Vlachophone population is a remnant of the once thriving Hellenic centres in Monastiri, Ohrid, Krusevo, Merihov, Resna, Strumnica and Geugeli and even today these people are forbidden to declare their Hellenic decent and to be taught the language of their ethnic origin. In the official census both prior to and after 1991 it was strictly forbidden to anyone to declare that they are of Greek decent.

Moreover, it would be useful to ask Mr Gruevski what Human Rights his country has secured for the legal representative of the Orthodox Church, the Archbishop of Ohrid and Skopje Mr John Braniceski.

Is it true that this clergyman has been jailed twice with forged evidence and that his churches were destroyed because he flatly refused to use the terms ‘Macedonia’ and ‘Macedonian’ in his title? Today he lives in self-imposed exile in Thessaloniki at the University he graduated from.

These are only a few of the items that Mr Gruevski conveniently omitted from his letter. Is Mr. Gruevski’s belligerence perhaps a direct result of what he interprets to be our submissiveness?