Journalist: What is your opinion for the problem which Greece has to accept the name Macedonia which the Scopje Government (FYROM) is trying to implement?
Henry Kissinger: Look, I believe that Greece is right to object and I agree with Athens. The reason is that I know history which is not the case with most of the others including most of the Government and Administration in Washington. The strength of the Greek case is that of the history which I must say that Athens have not used so far with success.
- Henry Kissinger, Management Centre Europe, Paris, 19 June 1992.
- Every ethnic Macedonian who does not claim Albanian or Serbian origin has the right to declare a Bulgarian origin. This is an individual act in accordance with the historical reality of our common ethnic origin.
- Stefan Nikolov, (Bulgarian diplomat - Agency for Bulgarians Abroad of the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry in Sofia), AFP report, Sunday 13 August 2006.
- For Macedonia to be recognized as an independent state, it would be necessary to change its name [...] It is historically proven that the Yugoslavian Democracy of Macedonia was created by Stalin, Tito and Dimitrov, aiming at the stealthy removal of a large part of Northern Greece. This Democracy was used during the period 1944-1949 in order to destabilise Greece.
- Thomas Niles, US Ambassador, statement on the 23rd June 1992 to the SubCommittee of US Congress, Eleutherotypia newspaper, June 24, 1992.
- Since the Bulgarian idea, as it is well known to all, is deeply rooted in Macedonia, I think it is almost impossible to shake it completely by opposing it merely with the Serbian idea. This idea, we fear, would be incapable, as opposition pure and simple, of suppressing the Bulgarian idea. That is why the Serbian idea will need an ally that could stand in direct opposition to the Bulgarianism and would contain in itself the elements which could attract the people and their feelings and thus sever them from Bulgarianism. This ally I see in the Macedonism or to a certain extent in our nursing the Macedonian dialect and Macedonian separatism.
- Stoyan Novakovich, Serbian diplomat, Novakovich's dispatch to the Serbian Minister of Education in 1888.
- We are not related to the northern Greeks who produced leaders like Philip and Alexander the Great. We are Slavs and our language is closely related to Bulgarian. There is some confusion about our identity.
- We do not claim to be descendants of Alexander the Great ...; Greece is Macedonia's second largest trading partner, and its number one investor. Instead of opting for war, we have chosen the mediation of the United Nations, with talks on the ambassadorial level under Mr. Vance and Mr. Nemitz... we are Slavs and we speak a Slav language.
- Ljubica Achevska, FYROM Ambassador to the US, reply to a question about the ethnic origin of the people of FYROM, January 22, 1999.
- "Unfortunately, in many countries, and I regret to say, also in this country [FYR of Macedonia], I see leaders who see politics as a short term game for enrichment of themselves and of their own party, causing conflict in the country, instead of working to resolve conflicts. I think this is a recipe for a destruction of the state".
- Paul D. Wohlers, U.S. Ambassador to R. of Macedonia, September 13 2014, PlusInfo news portal.
- Ovid was lax in his geography, not least over Paeonia (in fact roughly coextensive with the present Slav republic of Macedonia).
- (Ovid [Author], Peter Green [Translator], “The Poems of Exile”, University of California Press, 2005, p.319
- Besides the former kingdom of Macedon, the Roman region included the territories of Paeonia, where the contemporary FYR Macedonia rests.
- Ridvan Peshkopia, “Conditioning Democratization”, Anthem Press, 2015, p.189
- Having just conquered Paeonia (roughly where the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is today).
- Timothy Howe, Jeanne Reames, “Macedonian Legacies: Studies in Ancient Macedonian History and Culture in Honor of Eugene N. Borza”, Regina Books, 2008, p.239
- It is the national identity of these Slav Macedonians that has been the most violently contested aspect of the whole Macedonian dispute, and is still being contested today. There is no doubt that they are southern Slavs; they have a language, or a group of varying dialects, that is grammatically akin to Bulgarian but phonetically in some respects akin to Serbian, and which has certain quite distinctive features of its own... ...In regard to their own national feelings, all that can safely be said is that during the last eighty years many more Slav Macedonians seem to have considered themselves Bulgarian, or closely linked to Bulgaria, than have considered themselves Serbian, or closely linked to Serbia (or Yugoslavia). Only the people of the Skopje region, in the north west, have ever shown much tendency to regard themselves as Serbs. The feeling of being Macedonians, and nothing but Macedonians, seems to be a sentiment of fairly recent growth, and even today is not very deep-rooted.
- ...and Uskub, the great majority of the population is Slavic, [...] the middle ages until 1913 called themselves and were called by their neighbors Bulgarians.
- George Hubbard Blakeslee, "The Journal of International Relations".
- Modern Slavs, both Bulgarians and Macedonians, cannot establish a link with antiquity, as the Slavs entered the Balkans centuries after the demise of the ancient Macedonian kingdom. Only the most radical Slavic factions—mostly émigrés in the United States, Canada, and Australia—even attempt to establish a connection to antiquity [...] The twentieth-century development of a Macedonian ethnicity, and its recent evolution into independent statehood following the collapse of the Yugoslav state in 1991, has followed a rocky road. In order to survive the vicissitudes of Balkan history and politics, the Macedonians, who have had no history, need one. They reside in a territory once part of a famous ancient kingdom, which has borne the Macedonian name as a region ever since and was called ”Macedonia” for nearly half a century as part of Yugoslavia. And they speak a language now recognized by most linguists outside Bulgaria, Serbia, and Greece as a south Slavic language separate from Slovenian, Serbo-Croatian, and Bulgarian. Their own so-called Macedonian ethnicity had evolved for more than a century, and thus it seemed natural and appropriate for them to call the new nation “Macedonia” and to attempt to provide some cultural references to bolster ethnic survival.
- Eugene N. Borza, "Macedonia Redux", in "The Eye Expanded: life and the arts in Greco-Roman Antiquity", ed. Frances B Tichener & Richard F. Moorton, University of California Press, 1999.
- Macedonia was also an attempt at a multicultural society. Here the fragments are just about holding together, although the cement that binds them is an unreliable mixture of propaganda and myth. The Macedonian language has been created, some rather misty history involving Tsar Samuel, probably a Bulgarian, and Alexander the Great, almost certainly a Greek, has been invented, and the name Macedonia has been adopted. Do we destroy these myths or live with them? Apparently these “radical Slavic factions” decided to live with their myths and lies for the constant amusement of the rest of the world..."
- T.J. Winnifrith, "Shattered Eagles, Balkan Fragments", Duckworth,1995..
- The Macedonian nationalists quite simply stole all of Bulgarian historical argument concerning Macedonia, substituting Macedonian for Bulgarian ethnic tags in the story. Thus Kuber formed a Macedonian tribal alliance in the late seventh century; Kliment and Naum were Macedonians and not Bulgarians; the medieval archbishop-patriarchate of Ohrid, which Kliment led, was a Macedonian, not a Bulgarian independent church, as shown by the persistence of Glagolitic letters in the region in the face of the Cyrillic that were spawned in Bulgaria; and the renowned Samuil led a great Macedonian, rather than a western Bulgarian, state against Byzantium (giving Slav Macedonia its apex in the historical sun).
- Dennis P. Hupchick, "Conflict and Chaos in Eastern Europe", Palgrave Macmillan, 1995..
- The obviously plagiarized historical argument of the Macedonian nationalists for a separate Macedonian ethnicity could be supported only by linguistic reality, and that worked against them until the 1940s. Until a modern Macedonian literary language was mandated by the socialist-led partisan movement from Macedonia in 1944, most outside observers and linguists agreed with the Bulgarians in considering the vernacular spoken by the Macedonian Slavs as a western dialect of Bulgarian.
- Dennis P. Hupchick, "Conflict and Chaos in Eastern Europe", Palgrave Macmillan, 1995.
- The history of the construction of a Macedonian national identity does not begin with Alexander the Great in the fourth century B.C. or with Saints Cyril and Methodius in the ninth century A.D. as Macedonian nationalist historians often claim.
- Loring Danforth, "The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World", Princeton Univ Press, (December 1995), p. 56.
- Finally, Krste Misirkov, who had clearly developed a strong sense of his own personal national identity as a Macedonian and who outspokenly and unambiguously called for Macedonian linguistic and national separatism, acknowledged that a Macedonian national identity was a relatively recent historical development.
- Loring Danforth, "The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World", Princeton Univ Press, (December 1995), p. 63.
- The political and military leaders of the Slavs of Macedonia at the turn of the century seem not to have heard Misirkov's call for a separate Macedonian national identity; they continued to identify themselves in a national sense as Bulgarians rather than Macedonians.
- Loring Danforth, "The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World", Princeton Univ Press, (December 1995), p. 64.
- Whether a Macedonian nation existed at the time or not, it is perfectly clear that the communist party of Yugoslavia had important political reasons for declaring that one did exist and for fostering its development through a concerted process of nation building, employing all the means at the disposal of the Yugoslav state.
- Loring Danforth, "The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World", Princeton Univ Press, (December 1995), p. 66.
- I have even met people who believe there is a special race which they call 'Macedonian', whose 'cause' they wish to aid. The truth is, that in a district which has no official frontiers, and never has had any stable ones, there are people of six races, who, as we have seen, all have causes to be considered [...] I shall speak only of the part I have stayed in- the districts of Lakes Ochrida and Prespa. Here there are Greeks, Slavs, Albanians, and Vlahs. Of Turks, except officials and such of the army as may be quartered on the spot, there are few. The Albanians, I believe, are all Moslem. Should there be any Christians they would be officially classed as Greeks. A large part of the land near Lake Prespa is owned by Moslem Albanians as "chiftliks" (farms).
- Edith Durham, "The Burden of the Balkans", (1905), p. 76.
- Some will ask why I speak of breaking away from the Bulgarians when in the past we have even called ourselves Bulgarians and when it is generally accepted that unification creates strength, and not separation.
- Krste Misirkov, "On Macedonian Matters", Macedonian Review Editions 1974, (Sofia 1903).
- We are Bulgarians, more Bulgarians than the Bulgarians in Bulgaria themselves.
- Krste Misirkov, "On Macedonian Matters", Macedonian Review Editions 1974, (Sofia 1903).
- And, anyway, what sort of new Macedonian nation can this be when we and our fathers and grandfathers and great-grandfathers have always been called Bulgarians?.
- Krste Misirkov, "On Macedonian Matters", Macedonian Review Editions 1974, (Sofia 1903).
- As a Bulgarian, I would willingly return to Bulgaria, if there is a need of a scientific research of the fate of the Bulgarian lands, especially in Macedonia.
- Krste Misirkov, "Diary 5 July to 30 August 1913", Sofia-Skopje, 2008, Published by State Agency "Archives" of the Republic of Bulgaria & State Archive of the Republic of Macedonia, p. 168.
- In Macedonia there are Greeks, Bulgarians and Turks.
- Petko Karavelov, former Prime Minister of Bulgaria, in the Greek newspaper "Empros", in the paper of 19th December of 1897..
- But even stranger is the name Macedonians, which was imposed on us only 10 to 15 years ago by outsiders, and not as something by our own intellectuals... Yet the people in Macedonia know nothing of that ancient name, reintroduced today with a cunning aim on the one hand and a stupid one on the other. They know the older word: "Bugari", although mispronounced: they have even adopted it as peculiarly theirs, inapplicable to other Bulgarians. You can find more about this in the introduction to the booklets I am sending you. They call their own Macedono-Bulgarian dialect the "Bugarski language", while the rest of the Bulgarian dialects they refer to as the "Shopski language".
- Kuzman Shapkarev, in a letter to Prof. Marin Drinov of May 25, 1888 (Makedonski pregled, IX, 2, 1934, p. 55; the original letter is kept in the Marin Drinov Museum in Sofia, and it is available for examination and study)
- While the Greek government is sleeping and uses proclamations as cure for the situation, Hellenism runs down the greatest danger in Macedonia because except Bulgarians, there were added more impudent enemies, Serbs. Like we learn from our Vienna's letter, thousands of Serb peasants in Skopje, rebelled against the Greek Metropolitan bishop, surrounded the Greek school, raided the church, burned the Greek books and raised the Serb flag, instigated without doubt by Serb and Pan-slavist komitates and commiting all these shames while one newspaper of St. Petersburg wrote according to yesterday's letter that "Macedonian question" will be solved between Serbs and Bulgarians.
- EMPROS Newspaper, Monday 25th November, 1896, article "Mutiny in Macedonia".
- [...]But the Bulgarians, from the palace down to the meanest hut, have always been animated by that racial and national idea. The annexation of Eastern Roumelia in 1885 was a great step in the direction of its realization. And it was to carry that programme to completion that Bulgaria made war against Turkey in 1912. Her primary object was the liberation of the Bulgarians in Macedonia and their incorporation in a Great Bulgaria. And the Treaty of Partition with Servia seemed, in the event of victory over Turkey, to afford a guarantee of the accomplishment of her long-cherished purpose. It was a strange irony of fate that while as a result of the geographical situation of the belligerents Bulgaria, at the close of the war with Turkey, found herself in actual occupation of all European Turkey from the Black Sea up to the River Struma and beyond,--that is, all Thrace to Chataldja as well as Eastern Macedonia--her allies (Bulgaria's) were in possession of the bulk of Macedonia, including the entire triangle she had planned to inject between the frontiers of New Servia and New Greece!
- For three weeks the Partisan National Liberation Committee had been busy creating, on paper, the new Yugoslavia. Twice Tito had flown to Moscow, conferred with Stalin and the Peoples' Commissar for Foreign Affairs Vlacheslav M. Molotov [...] The new power at once began to expand. Yugoslav Macedonians insisted that Yugoslavia's new Macedonian district should include not only Bulgarian Macedonia but Greek Macedonia.
- TIME Magazine, December 4, 1944.
- Though once the heart of the empire of Alexander the Great, (Macedonia) has been for centuries a geographical expression rather than a political entity, and is today inhabited by an inextricable medley of people, among whom the Serbs, now Yugoslavs, are certainly the least numerous. But a "Federal Macedonia" has been projected as an integral part of Tito's plan for a federated Balkans...taking Greek Macedonia for an outlet to the Aegean Sea through Salonica.
- THE NEW YORK TIMES, July 10, 1946.
- During the occupation[...]a combined effort was made to wrest Macedonia from Greece[...]an effort that allegedly continues, although in altered form[...] The main conspirational activity in Macedonia today appears to be directed from Skopje.
- THE NEW YORK TIMES, July 16, 1946.
- The possible creation of a Macedonian free state within Greece to amalgamate with Marshal Tito's Federated Macedonia State, with is capital in Skopje[...]would fulfill the Slavic objectives of re-uniting the...province of Macedonia under Slavic rule, giving access of the sea to Bulgaria and Yugoslavia.
- THE NEW YORK TIMES, July 26, 1946.
- According to most reliable information, a secret meeting was held yesterday at Comi in southern Bulgaria[...] to draw up plans for a general rising in Greek Macedonia, with the ultimate object of incorporating that region with Salonica in an autonomous Macedonia under Yugoslav hegemony.
- THE NEW YORK TIMES, August 19, 1946.
The Secretary of State to Certain Diplomatic and Consular Officers
The following is for your information and general guidance, but not for any positive action at this time.
The Department has noted with considerable apprehension increasing propaganda rumors and semi-official statements in favor of an autonomous Macedonia, emanating principally from Bulgaria, but also from Yugoslav Partisan and other sources, with the implication that Greek territory would be included in the projected state. This Government considers talk of Macedonian "nation", Macedonian "Fatherland", or Macedonia "national consciousness" to be unjustified demagoguery representing no ethnic nor political reality, and sees in its present revival a possible cloak for aggressive intentions against Greece.
The approved policy of this Government is to oppose any revival of the Macedonian issue as related to Greece. The Greek section of Macedonia is largely inhabited by Greeks, and the Greek people are almost unanimously opposed to the creation of a Macedonian state. Allegations of serious Greek participation in any such agitation can be assumed to be false. This Government would regard as responsible any Government or group of Governments tolerating or encouraging menacing or aggressive acts of "Macedonian Forces" against Greece.
The Department would appreciate any information pertinent to this subject which may come to your attention.
Department of State
- U.S STATE DEPARTMENT Foreign Relations Vol. VIII Washington D.C. Circular Airgram (868.014/26 Dec. 1944).
- [...]well, the news that Bulgarian Hitar Petar would get a Macedonian passport is somehow more realistic. The former Minister of Macedonia(FYROM) got a Bulgarian passport, so why not Bulgarian Hitar Petar get a Macedonian one?
It means that he will have two Bulgarian passports.
- [...]but about Alexander the Great, the Macedonians(FYROM) are right. He was a total Macedonian. They called him "Sashe Velikiot". Sashe Velikiot was a famous Macedonian ruler from VMRO who expanded Macedonia up to India! Even, Macedonian Brothers, write because now I will tell you one unique fact from your "Macedonian" history! When he went to India, Sashe Velikiot was not alone. He took with him the Saint Brothers of the Macedonian Alphabet- Cyrrill and Methodius, who taught the Indian elephants to speak in a Macedonian Language. Now, some people in Macedonia will say: "There aren't any speaking elephants"… ..well there is not also a "Macedonian" language. ...when it appears, the Indian elephants will learn it right away.
- On November 4, 2004, two days after the re-election of President George W. Bush, his administration unilaterally recognized the “Republic of Macedonia”. This action not only abrogated geographic and historic fact, but it also has unleashed a dangerous epidemic of historical revisionism, of which the most obvious symptom is the misappropriation by the government in Skopje of the most famous of Macedonians, Alexander the Great [...] We do not understand how the modern inhabitants of ancient Paionia (FYROM), who speak Slavic – a language introduced into the Balkans about a millennium after the death of Alexander – can claim him as their national hero. Alexander the Great was thoroughly and indisputably Greek. His great-great-great grandfather, Alexander I, competed in the Olympic Games where participation was limited to Greeks [...] We call upon you, Mr. President, to help - in whatever ways you deem appropriate - the government in Skopje to understand that it cannot build a national identity at the expense of historic truth. Our common international society cannot survive when history is ignored, much less when history is fabricated.
- From the "Letter to President Barack Obama", signed by 350 international scholars..
- A Slavic-speaking people, todays ethnic Macedonians, are descendants of Slavs who settled in the Balkans during the seventh century AD.
- Karen Dawisha, Bruce Parrott, "Politics, Power and the Struggle for Democracy in South-East Europe (Democratization and Authoritarianism in Post-Communist Societies)", Cambridge University Press, 1997.
- Despite the efforts of the post-1945 Macedonian historiography to represent Delchev as a Macedonian separatist rather than a Bulgarian nationalist, Delchev himself has stated: "...We are Bulgarians and and all suffer from one common disease [e.g., the Ottoman rule]" and "Our task is not to shed the blood of Bulgarians, of those who belong to the same people that we serve".
- Victor Roudometof, American professor of sociology; "Collective memory, national identity, and ethnic conflict: Greece, Bulgaria, and the Macedonian question", Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002, ISBN 0275976483, p. 79.
- The "Macedonian issue" pertains to the asserted original Bulgarian identity of Macedonians living in what is now the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).
- Cas Mudde, “Racist Extremism in Central & Eastern Europe”, Routledge, 2005, p.21
- Yet as far as I could see, the country - and I am determined to call it Macedonia - has a perfect right to exist. The population is overwhelmingly Macedonian, with a distinctive language, culture and history. It is poorer than some of the other old Yugoslav republics, but considerably richer than Albania. The people are civilised, friendly and highly educated. Even my tour guide had an MBA... From now on I will call our esteemed EU partner "the former Ottoman possession of Greece".
- [T]he Republic of Macedonia is strongly determined to continue to build friendly and good-neighborly relations.
- Macedonia has succeeded over the last 16 years to build a state architecture of equal opportunities. Every single citizen can be engaged in politics, in culture, the economy, in education, in media, and there are schools for everyone in their mother tongue, news for everyone in their mother tongue, politics for everyone in their mother tongue—sometimes too much.
- I have heard many, in a matter of fact not many but plenty educated people from Skopje, which out of somewhere believe that Alexander of Macedon was a Slav and that he is their progenitor. There are also people who believe in that but that is not a job for press conferences, but for universities, and if the universities don't help - then [it is a job] for physicians...
- Vuk Drašković, Serbian writer and politician, stated in 1991 in Skopje (Nova Makedonija, 13-VII-1991)..
- We belong to the same Slav people.
- Slobodan Casule, (born 1945), Foreign Minister of FYROM, to the Foreign Minister of Bulgaria Solomon Pasi, in an interview to "Utrinski Vesnik" of Skopje on December 29,2001..
- We are Slavs who came to this area in the sixth century (AD)... we are not descendants of the ancient Macedonians.
- We are Macedonians but we are Slav Macedonians. That's who we are! We have no connection to Alexander the Greek and his Macedonia. The ancient Macedonians no longer exist, they had disappeared from history long time ago. Our ancestors came here in the 5th and 6th century (AD).
- The idea that Alexander the Great was something that belonged to our history was in the minds of some extremist political groups only! These groups were insignificant the first years of our independence, but the big problem is that the old Balkan Nations have been used to be legitimized through their history. In the Balkans, if you want to be recognized as a Nation, you need to have history 3000 years old. So since you made us invent a history, we invented it! (…) You forced us to the arms of the extreme nationalists who today claim that we are direct descendants of Alexander the Great!
- Denko Maleski, first Minister of foreign affairs of FYROM (1991 to 1993) and ambassador to the United Nations from 1993 to 1997, in an interview to Greek TV channel Mega, November 2006.
- Why are we ashamed and flee from the truth that whole positive Macedonian revolutionary tradition comes exactly from exarchist part of Macedonian people? We shall not say a new truth if we mention the fact that everyone, Gotse Delchev, Dame Gruev, Gjorche Petrov, Pere Toshev - must I list and count all of them - were teachers of the Bulgarian Exarchate in Macedonia.
- former Prime Minister and Vice President of FYROM, Ljubčo Georgievski, 2007, in his book "С лице към истината" ("Facing the truth")..
- For many years, since the decade of the '90s, we have been making efforts so that the name 'Republic of Macedonia' (FYROM) is not recognized, because no nation should steal the history and symbols of another nation.
- Mike Rann, Eleftherotypia newspaper, May 05, 2007.
- We are not stating by accident that Josip Broz Tito is Jesus Christ for Macedonia, a father and a mother for Macedonia. Because we have, in that time, after NOB [Serbian:Narodnooslobodilačka borba, "People's Liberation Struggle"], for the first time created a Macedonian alphabet, a Macedonian television, a Macedonian state, a language, a passport, an identity card, a university for the first time, a Macedonian academy for the first time. We, communists, have created the Macedonian Orthodox church.
- Slobodan Ugrinovski (Слободан Угриновски), politician of the FYROM and the current leader of the left-wing political party Union of Tito's Left Forces, "Tito e Isus Hristos za Makedonija" ("Tito is Jesus Christ for Macedonia"), A1 TV, FYROM May 04 2009..
- The artifacts that we may see tonight are part of the rich fund of the 19.000 specimens found this year, for yet another time fortify and confirm the identity of Macedonian history. They are undeniable proof for our heritage created through the millenniums. Respected present ones, it is indeed a great number of prominent domestic and foreign archaeologists and explorers, which on the basis on obtained knowledge about the material culture of the people which lived with centuries in these areas have called Macedonia "the magic land of archaeology". This epithet confirms itself on every foot of Macedonian soil upon which, with little fantasy, you may be part of the past of Heraclea, Stobi, Scupi, to feel yourself as descendants of Ancient Macedonia, of Rome, of Byzantine Empire.
- Elizabeta Kančeska - Milevska (Елизабета Канческа - Милевска), Minister of Culture of FYROM (VMRO-DPMNE), an excerpt from her speech during the opening of the exhibition entitled "Archaeological Macedonia 2011" ("Археолошка Македонија 2011") held in Skopje, December 28 2011. (Note: the speech and museum exhibition are part of the "antiquisation policy".)
- "liberal minds living within our side of the border, would certainly not feel ashamed of their own Slavic language, or the fact that their basic identity, just like the language, is Slavic, instead of establishing a variety of racist theories about antiquity and some super-humans from which we originate".
- Denko Maleski, first Minister of foreign affairs of FYROM (1991 to 1993) and ambassador to the United Nations from 1993 to 1997, in an interview to Radio Free Europe, March 30 2013
I want to be sure there is consensus before I move any pages. The name has now changed, and English-langauge sources have already started using it. So should we reflect this change? Antondimak (talk) 13:32, 9 February 2019 (UTC)