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History never dies in Balkans
[SU2 Edition]
Toronto Star - Toronto, Ont.
Author: Dusko Doder SPECIAL TO THE STAR
Date: Mar 15, 1992
Start Page: F.3
Section: NEWS
Abstract (Document Summary)

Strictly speaking, the problem is one of politics wrapped up in history. Ever since Macedonia, the poorest of Yugoslavia's former constituent parts, proclaimed independence last September, it has had a very difficult time in winning international recognition. The reason is Greek opposition to its assuming the name of an ancient Greek province and thereby hijacking the glorious heritage associated with Alexander of Macedonia.

"The name," a senior Greek official insists, "is more than a name." It is the embodiment of covert territorial pretensions on the northern Greek region of Aegean Macedonia, he explained. The government of Prime Minister Konstantin Mitsotakis persuaded its European Community partners last December to withhold extending diplomatic recognition to Macedonia until Greek objections are satisfied.

"Why should we do it?" said President Kiro Gligorov. "We carried this name for centuries. 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 (A.D)."

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