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  The following is from a paperback "THE MACEDONIAN AFFAIR" published by the Institute of International and Strategic Studies in Athens, Greece, before 1995.

THE MACEDONIAN AFFAIR

A HISTORICAL REVIEW OF THE ATTEMPTS TO CREATE A COUNTERFEIT NATION

Contents

A. Introduction

The 'Macedonian Question' Today

B. A Brief Historical Review of the Macedonian Question

1. Historical Evidence of the Greekness of Macedonia
2. Conflicts between National Movements in the 19th Century

The Greek-Bulgarian Conflict
Romanians and Vlachs
3. The Macedonian Struggle
4. How to Construct a Nationality

C. Skopje's Theoretical Sleight of Hand

1. Cyril and Methodius, the 'Patron Saints of Europe'
2. When Maps Reveal the Truth
3. The Greekness of the Slav-Speakers
4. First Attempts to Document a Non-Existent Nation by 'Scholarly' Means
5. Taskovski Cooks the Books
6. The Invention of the History of the 'Macedonian Nation' and the Real Descent of the Macedonians
7. Is there a Macedonian Language?
8. Some Examples of Expansionist Thinking
9. The Pseudo-Macedonian Church of Skopje
10. Is there a Macedonian Minority in Greece?

Notes


INTRODUCTION

The "Macedonian Question" Today

The 'Macedonian Question' can be understood only when its historical evolution is perceived. That historical evolution is connected with general developments in the area and sheds light on the far-reaching and dangerous consequences which any recognition by the international community of a state bearing the name 'Macedonia' would have in an area which, once again, is living up to its description as the 'powder-keg of the Balkans'.

By using the geographical term 'Macedonia', the expansionists in Skopje have always sought to convert that term into a national name for a Slav nation. In the course of that process, they have also attempted to deprive the Greek people of its lawful rights over a considerable portion of its cultural identity. For 45 whole years, the name Macedonia has become the principal means for promoting the territorial and cultural expansion of Skopje at Greece's expense.

Today, Greece has many serious reasons for refusing to recognise the so-called 'Socialist Republic of Macedonia'. The most important of these reasons are as follows:

First, the fact that for forty years Skopje was the leading edge of Tito's policy of expansion: a policy which in other respects relied on a simplistic and ignorant view of the history of the area. This, with justice, creates a feeling that expansionist designs on Greece are being harboured.

Second, the claim made by Skopje that "the whole of Macedonia has never been liberated" and that "only that part of it which is controlled from Skopje" is free, is an indirect but clear questioning of Greek sovereignty.

Third, the use by Skopje of the denomination of Greek Macedonia is also a questioning of Greek sovereignty, especially in conjunction with Skopje's persistent refusal to accept the placenames used in the area since the Balkan Wars.

Fourth and last, by using the name Macedonia Skopje is lodging a cultural claim against Greece, since what is geographically 'Macedonian' is being appropriated so as to turn it into 'nationally Macedonian'.

Any recognition of a Yugoslav republic as an independent 'Republic of Macedonia' would be a constant threat to peace and security in south-eastern Europe.

It is common knowledge that Bulgaria lays claim to historical and ethnic bonds with the Skopje area and with the Slav part of its population, and that it has already proceeded to recognise the 'Republic of Macedonia'.

The composition of the population in the Skopje area creates a risk of the provocation of renewed ethnic conflict in the Balkans. The Albanians who make up one third of the total population of the Skopje Republic have already made plain their objections to the Skopje government and have demanded self-determination. In the event of recognition, the lack of homogeneity in the population of the Skopje Republic (which includes Albanians, Turks, Vlachs, Gypsies, Bulgarians, Serbs and others) could lead to one of the minorities gaining dominance over the others - with consequences which are impossible to predict.

It is clear today that the Skopje Republic is an ethnically antagonistic and economically non-viable entity which suffers the further disadvantage of being surrounded by rival 'suitors' and 'protectors'. As a result, the area is liable to the intervention of stronger powers which might be interested in expanding their influence.

Apart from anything else, recognition of the Skopje Republic as an independent state is impossible under International Law, since the Republic fails to comply with all the requirements for recognition (such as the concepts of a 'people' and of 'organised authority'). The reasons for this are as follows:

% The national identity of the so-called 'Macedonian people' is highly questionable in terms of historical, ethnological and sociological criteria.

% The requirement of 'organised authority' is also not complied with, since it is a historically indubitable fact that the so-called 'Republic of Macedonia' is identified with the creation, by Tito, of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, whose main objective was to restrict and weaken Serbia. The main objective of Skopje, on the other hand, is to gain an outlet on the Aegean.

A BRIEF HISTORICAL REVIEW OF THE MACEDONIAN QUESTION

1. Historical Evidence of the Greekness of Macedonia

All the historical sources are agreed on the location of Macedonia: it lay between the Aegean Sea and the Mounts Cambounia, Pieria and Olympus to the south, lakes Ochrid and Prespa and Mounts Bambouna, Skomion (Rila Planina) and Rhodopon to the north, the river Nestos to the east and the Grammos and Pindus ranges to the west.

The inhabitants of this area (Macedonians) were one of the most ancient Greek tribes. Their closest relatives were the Thessalians and particularly the Magnesians, with whom they shared Aeolian ancestry. The language they spoke was among the oldest forms of Greek, and it had affinities with the Aeolian, Arcado-Cypriot and Mycenean dialects. The religion of the Madeconians was that of the other Greeks, and their myths and traditions were those found throughout the Greek world (1).

King Philip II of Macedon and his son Alexander the Great - to whom Skopje is currently attempting to attribute a 'Slavomacedonian' (sic) identity - acted not simply as Greeks but as Panhellenic leaders in the sense that they embodied the old idea of the formation of a united Greek state with the amalgamation of the Greek city-states. As Johann Gustav Droysen - among other scholars - points out in his History of Alexander the Great, both Philip and Alexander "brought to the peoples of Asia and implanted in them not the Macedonian culture, which had no independent standing, but the Greek culture".

In subsequent periods, and especially after the appearance in the Balkans of the Slavs and Bulgars (6th and 7th centuries AD), the geographical area of Macedonia as defined above continued to be the bulwark and bastion of the Greek race, just as it had been in antiquity. Polybius calls Macedonia "the advanced line of defence" and pays tribute to the Macedonians for fighting the barbarians ('non-Greeks') to preserve the security of the (other) Greeks" (2). This view is reiterated for the Byzantine period by the French historian Paul Lemerle in his classic work Philippe et la Macedoine Orientale (Paris, 1945).

No mention is made of 'Macedonia' or 'Macedonians' as a distinct ethnological group in any official text of either the recent or the mo Neither the Treaty of Berlin, for example, nor the Treaty of San Stefano which was revoked by it make any reference to such concepts. The official Turkish census of 1905 gives figures for the populations of Greeks, Bulgarians and "quasi-Bulgarians" in the vilayets of Thessaloniki and Monastir, where the Greeks were in the majority, but contains no reference to 'Macedonians'-for the simple reason that none of those questioned stated such descent (3).

E.M. Cousinery, who served as French consul in Thessaloniki, informs us in his Voyage dans la Macedoine (Paris, 1851) that "the Bulgarians" (as the Slav-speakers were called at that time) "never penetrated into the forests below Mt. Vermion, where the population remained Greek". The German geographer Leonard D. Schultze, writing of the same area in his Macedonien Landschafts und Kulturbilder (Jena, 1927) observes that in terms of language, tradition, cultural affinities, national will and religion the inhabitants of Macedonia are "as genuinely Greek as their brothers to the south". Both these authors repeat, in different ways, what Lord Salisbury, representing Britain at the Congress of Berlin, said at the session of 19 June 1878: "Macedonia and Thrace are as Greek as Crete".

The fact that a small percentage of the population of this area also speaks a language which is fundamentally Bulgarian (though containing numerous loan words from Slav, Greek, Vlach and Albanian) is no proof of Slav or Bulgarian origins. As demonstrated in the recent past with the forcible removal to Greece of Greeks from Asia Minor who spoke not a word of the Greek language, the linguistic criterion, taken in isolation, is of no value whatever.

It is also characteristic that among the freedom-fighters of the 'Macedonian Struggle' (1904-1908) there were many who spoke the local tongue but were fully Greek in terms of national consciousness. Their names-Kotas, Dalipis, Kyrou, Gonos and others-are still remembered. The Russian historian E. Goloubinsti (4) wrote of these Greeks who were not Greek speakers that "they had relentless hate and profound contempt for everything Bulgarian or Slav".

After the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913, the area occupied by ancient Macedonia was divided up, 51% of it becoming Greek territory, 38,32% going to Yugoslavia and 10,11% passing into Bulgarian hands (5). This brought about a territorial status in which, with the voluntary exchange of populations under bilateral agreements (the Treaty of Neuilly, 1919, which provided for the voluntary exchange of populations between Greece and Bulgaria, and that of 1926 known as the 'Kafantaris-Moloff agreement') and the settling of Greeks from Turkey in the Greek part of Macedonia, the population of that area became purely Greek even though some of the inhabitants were bilingual. In other words, Greek Macedonia became an entirely homogeneous part of the Greek State. This became even more the case in the post-Occupation period (1945-1949), when almost all the bilingual inhabitants of the area whose national consciousness was not Greek moved to neighbouring states, and to Yugoslavia in particular (6), where their quasi-Greek or quasi-Bulgarian nationalities were mutated into the 'Macedonian' - that is, Slav-Macedonian - nationality.

The emergence of this state of affairs was preceded by a number of violent incidents, such as the Ilinden rising, during which the Bulgarians were alleged to have revolted against the Turks on 2 August 1903 in the town of Krushevo, near Monastir, where the population was overwhelmingly Greek. In fact, however, the Bulgarians rose in revolt against the Greek population, whom they attempted to exterminate-with the co-operation of the Turks-without significantly harming the other inhabitants of the town (7).

Until the year 1914, the concepts of "Macedonia" as a Slav state and of "the Macedonian race" as a separate nationality were completely unknown. The part of Macedonia which was incorporated into Serbia, like that which became Bulgarian, was a narrow strip of territory along the Greek border, and it amounted to a very small proportion of Serbia as a whole. Skopje, which today claims to be the capital of what it calls "the Republic of Macedonia", in fact lies a considerable distance outside Macedonia. The "People' s Republic of Macedonia" later renamed "Socialist Republic of Macedonia", was founded at the end of the German Occupation as a deliberate political attempt intended - with the conceding of the Skopja and Tetova districts, which had never belonged to Macedonia in any sense - to state the presence of a Serbian population in the thinly-populated part of Macedonia beyond the Greek frontiers (where the inhabitants were Serbs, Greeks, Greek Vlachs, quasi-Turkish Muslims and Bulgarians), or, at least, of a Slav-speaking population with a language of their own and a shifting national consciousness. The founding of the People's Republic of Macedonia was thus intended to lead, in the long term, to the re-constitution of a 'Macedonian' state-though this time under a Slav mantle and with the aim of giving Yugoslavia an outlet on the Aegean.

2. Conflicts between National Movements in the 19th Century

During the l9th century, as the Balkan peoples - one after the other-acquired the nuclei around which their nation-states would be built, their national ideologies coincided in areas where there were mixed populations and where there were also overlapping national claims.

One of the areas in which these problems manifested themselves in particularly acute form was Macedonia. In the l9th century, this part of the world was the place where four mutually conflicting national ideologies-the Greek, the Bulgarian, the Serbian and the Albanian-came up against one another. As a result, it was inevitable that the national identity of the inhabitants of the area should be one of the fundamental factors in the promotion of each side's claims.

Leaving aside the Muslims, who made up approximately 1/3 of the total population, it was at this time extremely difficult to determine the national identity of the Christian population groups. Until the mid-19th century, the bulk of the rural population remained faithful to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, which was the guardian of the Greek language, the Greek Byzantine tradition and even of historical memory. This factor reinforced an automatic tendency towards Greek culture on the part of the population groups which did not speak Greek: in other words, those which spoke Slav languages, Vlach or Albanian. However, in the hinterland and particularly in the Slav-speaking areas of central and north Macedonia, the Greek national ideology advanced slowly and new influences began to penetrate the region. The antagonism between the Greek and Bulgarian churches, which became much more acute after the foundation of the Bulgarian Exarchate in 1870, caused sharp clashes between Greeks and Bulgarians in the parts of Macedonia which they shared.

The Greek-Bulgarian Conflict

The Greek national ideology attached particular importance to the Classical Greek past of Macedonia and, naturally enough, stressed the period and achievements of Alexander the Great. At about this time, a pamphlet telling the story of Alexander's life and emphasising the continuity of the Greek nation was printed in the local Slav dialect (though in the Greek alphabet) and placed on the curriculum in schools in areas still under Turkish control. Attention was also paid to cultivating and disseminating the tradition of the Byzantine Empire. The two multi national empires, that of Alexander and that of Byzantium, provided forceful arguments for believing that despite their differences of language and custom the various population groups would choose to identify themselves with Greek culture against a background of broader state formations. Indeed, Rigas Pherraios had envisaged something of this nature with his Balkan Federation.

The Bulgarian national ideology, on its part, attempted to graft the cultural tradition of Bulgaria on to the Slav-speaking population of Mthe fact that a considerable proportion of the Slav speaking population, particularly in the central and southern regions, had retained a flourishing Greek historical tradition. The Bulgarians soon realised that the factor of history militated against the dissemination of the Bulgarian national ideology, and for that reason they turned their attention to other mechanisms by which national consciousness can be moulded.

The first such mechanism which they exploited was that of linguistic affinity. Subsequently, the Bulgarians attempted to manipulate popular indignation over the social oppression exerted by the area's Ottoman rulers. Their aim was to provoke a popular uprising which, suitably handled, might turn into a Bulgarian national movement. In parallel, the Bulgarians fomented a confrontation between the rural population and the Greek clergy, launching a violent attack on what they called the 'spiritual slavery' of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. With the help of the Bulgarian State, Bulgarian schools began to spring up in the towns and villages of Macedonia. The basic aim of these schools was to inspire in the pupils pride in the medieval history of Bulgaria and particularly in the empire of Tsar Samuel, whose capital was at Ochrid. The Bulgarian historical armoury was not, of course, sufficient to eliminate the Greek cultural and historical heritage in Macedonia, and for that reason a system of forging historical truth by appropriating historical events and personalities was adopted. The Greek missionaries Cyril and Methodius were thus presented as Bulgarians, while their apostolic and civilising work among the Slavs was deemed to be a 'political and cultural achievement on the part of the Bulgarians'. Even Alexander the Great, who occupied so important a place in the hearts and minds of the people of Macedonia, was portrayed in popular texts of the time as being of Bulgarian descent. This is closely related to the nature of Skopje's current propaganda target, which is to portray Alexander the Great as a 'Skopjian'.

The Serbs, Romanians and Vlachs were late in appearing on the scene in Macedonia. However, they, too, saw it as expedient to enlist the aid of the memory of a Serbian presence in Macedonia in the Middle Ages-regardless of the fact that from the chronological point of view this presence was confined to the period of Tsar Dusan and his successors (14th century).

Romanians and Vlachs

A further problem was the appearance among the Vlachs of Macedonia of the Romanian national ideology in the last two decades of the l9th century. Of all the non Greek-speaking population groups in Macedonia, the Vlachs had given the most whole-hearted support to the Greek national ideology. They were a living example of how a non Greek-speaking population could be fully incorporated into the Greek national movement. During the War of Independence of 1821 a similar phenomenon had been observed in the case of the Christian Albanian-speakers (the 'Arvanites'), who identified themselves completely with the Greek national cause. However, in the late 1860s the Romanian national ideology began to penetrate some Vlach communities, and its impact was still stronger after Romania gained its independence in 1877. The Romanian 'enlighteners' pointed to the common Latin origin of the Romanian and Vlach languages and also attempted to exploit the historical factor, inventing theories about a common historical origin for the Vlachs of the southern Balkans and the Romanians of the Danubian areas. These efforts had very limited-though far from negligible-results. One of the fundamental reasons why the Romanians failed to win the majority of the Vlachs over to their cause was undoubtedly the fact that for many centuries the Vlachs had identified themselves with the Greeks by whose side they lived and had taken active part in all the struggles of the Greek nation for its liberation. This living memory could not be substituted by historical references to the Roman period.

A further central problem which arose during the l9th century was that of whether the Slav-speakers of Macedonia were Bulgarians or belonged to a separate Slav group. At that time, the term 'Macedonians' was very widely used, sometimes in a regional and geographical sense and sometimes culturally. When the Serbians realised that they could not pass the Slav-speakers of Macedonian of as true Serbs, they chose to put forward the theory of the existence of a separate Slav-Macedonian people which differed from the Bulgarians but had affinities with the Slavs. At a later date, some of the revolutionaries who emerged from the ranks of the Bulgarian national movement began to promote the idea of an autonomous 'Macedonian' state which would be independent even of Bulgaria. They took as their slogan "Macedonia for the Macedonians", but in effect this was only a tactical maneuver. Although the leaders of this movement appeared to be supporting the creation of an independent Macedonia, they made no attempt to interfere with the Bulgarian historical identity of the Slavs of Macedonia, thus demonstrating that in fact they continued to be attached to the Bulgarian national identity. The only difference was that their political aim was autonomy and not union.

3. The 'Macedonian Struggle'

After the foundation of the Bulgarian Exarchate in 1870, clashes between Greeks and Bulgarians began in Macedonia. The main aim of the Greek side was to prevent the Bulgarian attempt to gain control of the Slav-speaking populations who lived in the area between a Kastoria-Ptolemaida-Yannitsa-Zichni (Serres) line to the north and a Ochrid-Perpeles-Stromnitsa-Meleniko-Nevrokopi line to the south. The Greek defeat in the war of 1897 allowed the Bulgarians to compel a large part of the Slav-speaking population in this area to embrace Bulgarian ideals. This resulted in the Ilinden rising on the feast day of the Prophet Elijah in 1903, a revolt which was crushed by the Turkish army.

The rising led, in turn, to the sacking of many Greek villages and towns, including Krushevo. The looting and the persecution of Greek populations put the Greek on to a war footing, and 1904 saw the beginning of the Greek armed rising known as the Macedonian Struggle, which was to last until 1908. Throughout the Macedonian Struggle armed bands of volunteers from the free Greek state (from Crete, Epirus, Thessaly and many parts of the Greek world which were as yet unredeemed), fighting shoulder-to-shoulder with the local inhabitants, were able to prevent any extension of Bulgarian activities and to preserve the Greek character of southern and central Macedonia. In many cases, the Greek units consisted principally of Slav and Vlach-speaking guerrillas fighting for the Greek cause. This preference for the Greek national ideal caused the Bulgarians to call them 'Grecomani'-that is, fanatical Greeks. The descendants of these freedom fighters still live in the Monastir district.

The armed Macedonian Struggle was broken off in July 1908, because of the Young Turk Revolt. When the Young Turks overthrew the feudal regime of the Sultan, they issued a general amnesty and also promised all the nationalities equal civil rights.

The Macedonian Struggle, which began under the most adverse circumstances and lasted four whole years, was an unqualified triumph for the Greeks. One reason for this was that the Struggle attracted Greeks from the free state, from Crete and from other enslaved areas, who fought side-by-side with the Macedonians. A second, and equally serious, reason for the success was that the Greeks were fighting in an area inhabited by a fraternally-related population with the same ideals and the same dedication to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Greek national idea, regardless of the fact that the Greek language was not always spoken.

4. How to Construct a Nationality

The Turkish defeat in the First Balkan War brought the Ottoman period in the history of Macedonia to an end. Of the geographical area of Macedonia as a whole, Greece received 51%, Serbia 39% and Bulgaria 10%. foreign soil, together with exchanges and deportations, drastically altered the ethnological composition of all these parts of Macedonia, and were particularly noticeable in the Greek section.

The successive defeats of Bulgaria in the First and Second World War led to the growth in Bulgarian Macedonia of a combative Bulgarian Macedonian nationalism. The Comintern attempted to exploit the irridentist trends of this nationalism by adopting the policy of a "unified and independent Macedonia" to form part of a "Balkan Communist Federation ".

In Yugoslav Macedonia, the policy of conversion to Serbian ideals applied by Belgrade produced relatively poor results. In order to escape ill-treatment, part of the population refrained from expressing its pro-Bulgarian disposition, suppressed its Bulgarian names and made use of the politically neutral geographical term Macedones. Other sections of the population chose to incorporate themselves openly into the Serbian national community.

In Greek Macedonia, the remnants of the Slav-speaking population amounted to 100-150,000 after the exchange of populations and were divided into two groups: one fairly large group, which under Turkish rule had thrown in its lot with the Greek national identity, and a smaller group which had adopted the Bulgarian national identity or remain non-aligned.

During the Second World War, the incursion of the Bulgarian army into Yugoslav Macedonia was welcomed by one section of the population as the first step towards the liberation and incorporation into the Bulgarian state for which they longed. A similar phenomenon, though on a much smaller scale, also occurred in Greek Macedonia.

The Yugoslav partisans under Tito soon became aware that at all costs they must break the bonds between the population of Yugoslav Macedonia and Bulgaria. They thus exploited the growing discontent towards the Bulgarian occupying forces among the population: the Bulgarians reacted with cruelty and mass reprisals to the attacks of the partisans. Tito's partisans promised the population that in post-War Yugoslavia the Macedonians- that is, the Slavs of Yugoslav Macedonia-would have rights equal to those enjoyed by all the other nationalities, and even equal to those of the Serbs. They emphasised, however, that the Slavs of Macedonia had no affinities either with the Serbs or with the Bulgarians: they constituted a separate, Macedonian, nationality. The idea of distinct Macedonian nationality was welcomed by a significant proportion of Yugoslav Macedonia. The political and social conditions were ripe for acceptance of the new theory: Bulgaria had been defeated, Tito had succeeded in gaining Stalin's consent to implementation of the new Macedonian policy, and the population was worn out after half a century of Serbian and Bulgarian efforts to impose on it their own national identities.

After the success of the Patriotic Front revolution in Bulgaria (in which the Communist Party of Bulgaria played the leading role) in September 1944, negotiations began between the Communist Parties of Yugoslavia and Bulgaria on the future of Macedonia and of the Balkans as a whole once the War was over. On 2 August 1944 the formation of the "Socialist Republic of Macedonia" was announced at Prohor Pcinjsci Monastery: it was to form part of the new federal Yugoslavia.

In September 1944, a Yugoslav delegation headed by General Tempo and Lazar Kolisevki, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Macedonia, visited Sofia and extracted from the new Bulgarian leadership a promise that the inhabitants of Pirin (Bulgarian Macedonia) would be granted autonomy as a first step towards unification with the federal "Republic of Macedonia " in Tito's Yugoslavia. In April 1945, Tito imposed a federal system on Yugoslavia and installed the governments of the federal states of Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia, Montenegro and Skopje, the last of which was founded on 30 April 1945.

In the meantime, and while the outcome of the civil war which had broken out in Greece remained in the balance, the Yugoslavs exerted ever-increasing pressure on their Bulgarian comrades to have Bulgarian Macedonia ceded to Yugoslavia. By the end of 1946, the Bulgarians' had made specific concessions to Yugoslavia over Macedonia. At its 10th Session in August 1946, the Central Committee of the CPB resolved to work "towards cultural convergence between the inhabitants of Pirin Macedonia and the People's Republic of Macedonia ". This was followed by a sweeping programme of cultural exchanges, while at the same time the inhabitants of Pirin were given the right to chose between the Bulgarian and the "Macedonian" nationality.

Tempted by the various incentives offered, most of them chose to be "Macedonians". After a long period of consultation, Tito and Dimitrov, the leaders of Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, met at Bled in Yugoslavia on 2 August 1947 and signed a series of agreements known as the Bled Protocols, by which Bulgaria agreed, in return for certain minor concessions, to recognise the inhabitants of Bulgarian Macedonia (Pirin) as "Macedonians" and to prepare the ground for the incorporation of the Pirin province into the "Socialist Republic of Macedonia". In return, Bulgaria requested only that the so-called "Western districts" which the Serbs had occupied at the end of the First World War be returned.

However, Tito's grandiloquent plans for a "Federation of the South Slavs" under his leadership fell foul of Stalin. The split came in the summer of 1948, and it made nonsense of all Yugoslavia's plans to make Tito the master of the Balkans using the 'Macedonian question' as a lever. In these circumstances, Bulgaria was able to release itself from the concessions it had made over Macedonia. It rejected the theory of the "Macedonian nation" and expelled the political instructors dispatched to Bulgaria by Skopje. Sofia then attempted to exploit the difficulties in which the Yugoslavs found themselves to raise once more the pre-War slogan of a "united and independent Macedonia ".

SKOPJE'S THEORETICAL SLEIGHT OF HAND.

1. Cyril and Methodius, the "Patrons Saints of Europe"

It is historically proven fact- and one which is accepted by Slav historians- that the Slavs settled in the Balkans in the 6th century AD and that their cultural history begins in the 10th century AD. The cultural history of the Slavs was founded by two Greek monks from Thessaloniki, Cyril and Methodius, who taught the Slavs the Cyrillic script and initiated them into Orthodox Christianity. It is a matter of common knowledge that the Byzantine Greek achievements in science, the arts and letters constitute the main and central part of the infrastructure of Slav cultural history.

However, some Slav historians argue that these two Greek monks were actually "Slavs", and Skopje has advanced an even stranger and less accurate theory: that since Cyril and Methodius were from Thessaloniki, they were "Macedonian Slavs" and that, consequently, as their descendants (!), they have the honour of having "enlightened" their fellow-Slavs.

A serious blow to the credibility of these theories was struck by Pope John Paul II (himself a Slav), who on 31 December 1980 issued an official apostolic encyclical (Egrigiae Virtutis), to the Catholic Church as a whole and sent a private letter to the President of the Hellenic Republic proclaiming Cyril and Methodius, "our brother Greeks, born in Thessaloniki", patron saints of Europe. The Pope reiterated this proclamation in an address delivered on 14 February 1981 in the church of San Clemente, Rome.

There is no shortage of Slav politicians and historians who accept that Cyril and Methodius were Greek: They include the Czech Byzantologist F. Dvornik, the Serbian historians of early Serbian literature P. Popovich, Dj Sh. Radovich and Dj. Trijunovich, and the Slovenian Professor B. Grajeneurer of the University of Ljubljana.

One characteristic example of this can be found in the History of Early Slav Literature (Belgrade, 1980) by professor V. Bagdanovich, a Serb, who writes: "Cyril and Methodius were born in Thessaloniki and were of descent".

2. When Maps Reveal the Truth

The attempts made by Skopje to provide evidence for its allegations by the use of forged maps are familiar to all. However, no matter how hard one may try, one will find no maps printed anywhere in the world before 1944 which show the word "Macedonia" in any country other than Greece. In 1944, the first maps published by the Yugoslavs showed southern Serbia as the "Socialist Republic of Macedonia ". This map was later reprinted, with the words 'Socialist Republic of' omitted and the word "Macedonia" deleted from Greece: as a result, those using the map would form the opinion that "Macedonia" lay only within Yugoslavia and that therefore there was a "Macedonian nation" which, of course, would speak its own language.

The groundlessness of Skopje's contentions concerning the alleged existence of a "nation of Macedonians" is proved by the following ethnographic maps:

a. The ethnographic map of nationalities in Macedonia in the period 1912-1926 published in the New Cambridge Modern History (1970).

b. The ethnographic map of Kieport (Berlin 1818).

c. The ethnographic map produced by the Italian Amendore Virgili in 1908, and based on the Turkish census carried out by Hilmi Pasha.

d. The Stanford map.

None of these maps, or any other published before the Second World War, makes any reference to a "Macedonian nation", for the simple reason that no such thing existed before the Yugoslav Communist Party invented it.

During the period of rule by the Ottoman Empire (after 1529), the Turks implemented their own system of division, as can be seen from the ethnographic map of 1908 based on the census conducted by Hilmi Pasha in 1904. This map makes no reference to Macedonia, because the area was divided into "sancaks" and "vilayets" (the Vilayets of Monastir and Thessaloniki).

A map dating from as far back as 1350 shows the realm of King Stepan Dusan of Serbia, who referred to it as the "Kingdom of Serbs and Greeks". Stepan Dusan divided his kingdom into two parts, the northern (stretching as far as Skopje), which he bestowed on his son, and the southern (Greek), which he kept for himself. If there was any such thing as a "Macedonian nation" he would surely have called his realm the "kingdom of Serbs and Macedonians" or the "kingdom of Serbs, Greeks and Macedonians".

The "kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians" was set up after the First World War. Once again, had there been any Macedonians, it would have borne the title of "kingdom of Serbs, Croats, Slovenes and Macedonians ".

In 1824, a New Historical Map of Greece was published at Baltimore by E.Z. Coal. In the legend, the publisher describes Macedonia as a part of mainland Greece. and marks its northern border as lying beyond the town of Monastir.

3. The Greekness of the Slav-Speakers

Various sets of Statistics saw the light of day during the period of intense Greek Bulgarian conflict concerning the ethnological composition of the Macedonian population. The numerical data given fluctuate wildly, since the sets of statistics were based on different criteria and were designed to serve the national ambitions of those who compiled them.

When it was ruled by the Ottoman Empire, Macedonia was divided administratively into two vilayets of Thessaloniki and Monastir. The general inspector of vilayets had his headquarters in Thessaloniki, and in the run-up to the Balkan Wars this post was held by Hilmi Pasha. His census of 1904 must be a close approximation to the real situation; it gives the following proportions of Greeks and Bulgarians:

                                Greeks          Bulgarians
Vilayet of Thessaloniki         373,227         207,317
Vilayet of Monastir             261,283         178,412
Total                           634,510         385,729

In an interview with the French writer Paillares, Hilmi Pasha had the following to say about the Slav-speakers: "My view, and the view of my government, is that these people are Greeks. We classify our subjects according to the churches and schools they frequent. Unless violent pressure is applied to them, these people call themselves Greeks" (8).

As early as 1871, the Russian author Golonbinski wrote that "these so called Greeks display towards anything Bulgarian or Slav a more relentless hatred and more profound contempt than even real Greeks would have done" (9). And in memorandum which the inhabitants of the Monastir area sent to the French government in 1903, they expressed the point more eloquently than any traveller could do :"We speak Greek, Bulgarian and Albanian; that does not make any of us the less Greek, nor do we permit to call our Greekness into question" (10).

Further proof of the Greekness of the Slav-speakers-and of the inhabitants of the area in general - is to be found in the educational organisation of the Greeks of Macedonia. In the Monastir area there were 284 Greek schools, of which the town of Monastir alone had a secondary school, a teacher training school, a girls' school, a boys' school, a seminary, an 'urban academy' and 14 primary schools. In Krusheno there was a junior secondary school, a girls' high school, a boy's high school, four primary school and a nursery school. They were primary school, girls' schools, institutes of advanced education and nursery schools in Megarovo, Trnavo, Milosista, Nizopoli, Gopesi, Upper and Lower Belista, Brusnik, Lahci, Bukovo, Stromnita, Gevgeli and Meleniko. In some cases, the Greeks may have lost their language as a result of living in close proximity with members of other races, but they never lost their sense of nationality. Greek education kept that sense alive even when it was delivered in Slav or Vlach.

The area which was incorporated into Greece after the Balkan Wars included the greater part of the vilayets of the Thessaloniki and Monastir. Over the next ten to fifteen years (to 1925), tremendous shifts of population took place and radically altered the ethnological composition of the area. During the period of wartime (1912-1919), scores of thousands of Bulgarians left the area, a trend which continued with the departure of 53,000 Bulgarians by virtue of the agreement for the voluntary exchange of populations between Greece and Bulgaria. Only the Slav-speakers of western Macedonia remained: the majority of this population was Greek in terms of national consciousness and had chosen of their own free will to stay in Greece.

The League of Nations produced the following statistics for Greek Macedonia in 1926, when the exchange of populations between Greece had also been completed:

Greeks                          1,341,000               88%
Muslims                         2,000                   0.1%
Bulgarians                      77,000                  5.1%
Miscellaneous (mostly Jews)     91,000                  6.0%
Total                           1,511,000

In 1924, within the framework of the League Nations, Greece and Bulgaria signed a protocol (known as the "Kalfoff- Politis protocol") by which Greece recognised as Bulgarian the Slav-speaking population which had remained on its territory. However, there was such an outcry in Greece (while at the same time Serbia reacted by abrogating the Greek- Serbian Treaty of Alliance of 1913) that the Greek Parliament refused to ratify the protocol and the League of Nations released Greece from the obligations which it had undertaken.

4. First Attempts to Document a Non- Existent Nation by 'Scholarly' Means

Although socio-economic conditions at the end of the Second World War were favourable to the experiment of causing the national mutation of the population, it was far from certain that the entire population of Yugoslav Macedonia would welcome its new national identity. For as long as there were no supports upon which the edifice of the new nationality could be erected - or until such supports could be invented- its future was highly dubious. Foundations, then, had to be found quickly, and they ought to be strong.

The first task of those who were moulding the new "nationality" was to find and establish a name for it. They settled for the easy way out: t name of the area. Yet this name was common to all the population groups living in all three parts of Macedonia: the Greeks called themselves Makedones, the Slavic groups used the term Makedontsi, and the Vlachs styled themselves Macedoneni.

There is no doubt that apart from its geographical meaning the term "Macedonia" carries with it a lengthy historical and cultural heritage which could not be ignored. Initially, it was seen as inadvisable to link the new nationality with the ancient Greek Macedonians. Efforts focused principally on the appropriation by the new nationality of the Bulgarian presence in Macedonian history. Everything Bulgarian automatically became 'Macedonian'. Wherever possible, the same process was applied to evidence of the Serbian and Greek presence in Macedonia. Those in charge of building the new nationality gave the impression that they would not be satisfied merely with success in the experiment of national mutation. After succeeding in constructing the "Macedonian" nationality, they would then - by usucapion- acquire the right to assign to the new nationality everyone and everything that had ever had Macedonian roots.

The events of the late 1940s - that is, the beginning and the end of the Civil War in Greece-led the Yugoslav leadership to abandon its policy of territorial expansion in Macedonia. But the policy of historical and cultural expansion to further the ends of the new "Macedonian" nationality was not abandoned: rather, it was made broader and more "scholarly". Naturally enough, this provoked angry criticism from, and controversy with, Bulgarian and Greek historians.

This controversy gave rise to a "Macedonian Question" of a new kind, but one which was not simply a dispute between university teachers. For the Yugoslavs, a reinterpretation of the history of Macedonia was an essential requirement if the construction and survival of the new nationality was to be possible. For the Bulgarians, resistance and reaction to such a policy meant blocking any further eradication of the Bulgarian element in the historical past of the Slavs of Macedonia, and it also raised a barrier to the spread of the 'Macedonian nation' theory among the population of Bulgarian Macedonia. For the Greeks, a critique of the Yugoslavian position was a justified defence against designs on the Greek historical heritage in Macedonia, as well as a reaction to the attempt to appropriate and monopolise a historic Greek name.

5. Taskovski Cooks the Historical Books

According to the historians of Skopje, the Slavs of Macedonia were not, in the early 19th century, in a position to emulate the process of national awakening which occurred among their Greek, Serb and Bulgarian neighbours. Their elevation from the status of a people ("narod") to that of a nation ('nacia') was impossible for reasons which were primarily economic. Since capital was in the hands of the Jews, the Greeks, the Vlachs and the Armenians, no Slav-Macedonian bourgeois class capable of giving impetus to Slav-Macedonian nationalism emerged. A second reason was the absence of any particular medieval tradition which could inspire national self-awareness and national revival. The third and last reason was the presence of the national liberation movements of the Greeks, Serbs and Bulgarians in Macedonia. The Slav- Macedonians joined these movements, and so - according to the historians of Skopje- identified themselves with one national formation or the other.

According to one of the foremost theorists of the 'national regeneration' of the 'Slav-Macedonian people', Dragan Taskovski, the Slav inhabitants of Macedonia like their Greek neighbours- were profoundly impressed by the majesty of ancient Macedonia and the Macedonian name. As the Greeks had aldo done, the Slavs adopted the Macedonian name so as to state their geographical origins. In the 19th century atmosphere of fervent nationalism, the Slavs of Macedonia could not bear to look on with indifference as the use of the name changed. They loved their country, Taskovski says, and its history, and if they could achieve some degree of identification with the ancient Macedonians, the Slavs of Macedonia would acquire a measure of moral and perhaps political superiority over the Bulgarians and the Greeks. Still following Taskovski's line of argument, the Greek nationalists exploited the historic Greek connection of the Macedonian name in order to prove that the Slav-speaking inhabitants of Macedonia, who called themselves Macedonians ('Makedonski') were in fact Greek. And so, Taskovski concludes, many Slavs ceased to call themselves Macedonians so as to avoid being identified with the Greeks, adopting the Bulgarian name and presenting themselves as Bulgarians.

The historical sleight of hand is an attempt to explain why it should be that the Slav - speaking inhabitants of Macedonia developed a Greek or Bulgarian national consciousness during the 19th century. They were unable to embrace a Macedonian national ideology since - as Taskovski has to admit- there was no such thing at the time.

6. The Invention of the 'History of the Macedonian Nation', and the Real Descent of the Macedonians.

Those who produce the propaganda issued in Skopje attach great importance to the ex post facto construction of the history of the 'Macedonian nation'. The "National History Institute of the Macedonian People" was founded in Skopje in December 1948. The historians of Skopje focused their attention on proving that a separate "Macedonian" nation existed - regardless of whether or not it had ever given any sign of life in the past.

Those historians included Kriste Pitoski, Alexander Trayanovski, Risto Poplazakov and Ivan Katardziev, together with the politician Dimitar Vlahov. Their argument consisted of the claim that there had been a 'Macedonian' people of Slav descent who lived in the area of Macedonia in the 7th century AD. "After a period of importance in the Middle Ages" (this, of course, is the Empire of Tsar Samuel, who was a Bulgarian and certainly not a "Macedonian") 'the Macedonian people were enslaved by the Bulgarians and latterly by the Turks'. In the particular case of Samuel, the argument from Skopje is that he was a "Macedonian Slav", that since he was the leader of a Macedonian state he was therefore a 'Macedonian', and that consequently the state he founded was "the first Macedonian state".

The historical truth of the matter is that Samuel was a Bulgarian Tsar, not a Macedonian. Consequently, the state he founded was Bulgarian. That is why the Byzantine Emperor Basil II, who crushed Samuel and his state, is known as Basil the Bulgar- Slayer and not Basil the Macedonian - Slayer.

According to A. Vasiliev, "Basil's war against the Bulgarians was a very cruel one, as a result of which he was called 'the Bulgar - slayer' ". And M. Levtchenko says that "Basil II acquired the name "Bulgar-slayer" because of his exploits and cruelty in war. By 1018 he had finished with Bulgaria".

An inscription dating from 1017 has been found at Monastir: it refers to John, the nephew of Samuel, "Bulgarian by race".

The "Macedonian" historians of Yugoslavia have been careful enough to avoid the trap of claiming that they are the continuation of the ancient Macedonians. However, they have indulged in theories of various other kinds, identifying the Macedonians with the ancient Illyrians, or tracing their ancestry back to some separate indigenous tribe - a sort of mixture of Illyrians and Thracians.

As a result, the Greek influence which can be seen everywhere in Macedonia has to be interpreted as imported from the Greek colonies of Chalkidike, while the Macedonian kings and their stock are described as "Hellenising apostates" and the population is Macedonian rather than Greek. However, the historians of Skopje are aware of the need for their "Macedonian" nation to acquire some bonds with antiquity. They thus invented the theory that the invasion of the Slavs (a thousand years after the golden age of Macedon) resulted in the extermination of a part of the indigenous population and inevitable intermarriage with mplified version of the process by which nations are born, the Slavs who established themselves in Macedonia "married into" the last traces of the ancient Macedonians so as to provide the Yugoslavs with 20th century 'Macedonians' (11).

7. Is there a Macedonian Language ?

The "Macedonian" language, as a self-contained Slav tongue, was completely unknown until the time of the Second World War. The language used by the Slav speaking inhabitants of southern Yugoslavia and south-western Bulgaria was known to be an idiomatic form of Bulgarian.

After the foundation of the 'Socialist Republic of Macedonia ', attempts were made, for obvious political reasons, to break the linguistic bonds which joined the inhabitants of Yugoslav Macedonia with Bulgaria. For that reason, an army of philologists and scholars of literature was pressed into service to construct a separate written language.

Taking the Perlepes dialect as their starting-point and borrowing widely from Serbian, Bulgarian, Russian and other Slav languages, the "Macedonian literary language" was created and recognised by the Yugoslav Constitution as one of the country's three official languages.

It is true that in central Macedonia, and even more so in the north, the Slav speaking population had a Slav dialect of their own. This served only for oral communication (there was no written language) and had a very scanty vocabulary of no more than one thousand to one thousand five hundred words. Of those, the majority were derived from Slav languages, though there were numerous Greek words in correct or corrupt forms and borrowings from Turkish, Vlach, and Albanian. In essence, this dialect was the western form of the Bulgarian language spoken in northern Macedonia. The only real difference between the official (eastern) form of the language and the western dialect was the shift in the letter "R inverted" ('promenlivoto R' ) Wherever this letter occurred in official Bulgarian, the western dialect converted it to E: thus, for instance, Bulgarian ^RTO ('ljato', summer) is pronounced 'LETO' in the western dialect. Naturally enough, when Bulgarian education began to penetrate Macedonia after 1878, the differences between the dialect and official Bulgarian became less pronounced.

The Greek language had been spoken in Macedonia since ancient times, and as everyone knows the entire works of the Macedonian philosopher Aristotle were written in Greek.

As Nikolaos Martis aptly points out, "If we accept that the Macedonians spoke another - non-Greek - language, then how can this language have disappeared so suddenly and completely that not one text, not one inscription survived, and how did it fail to impose itself given the pride the Macedonians took in their origins?" (12).

Plutarch tells us that when Alexander the Great selected 30,000 Persians to join his army, he gave orders "that they should learn Greek and be trained in Macedonian weapons" (13).

The fact that the Macedonians spoke the same language as the other Greeks can also be seen in the work of the Roman historian Livy, who describes the assembly of Greeks in Aetolia in 200 BC as having been attended by "representatives of the Aetolians, the Acarnanians and the Macedonians, all of whom spoke the same language" (14).

Professor Nikolaos Andriotis, of the Chair of Linguistics at Thessaloniki University published his The Federal State of Skopje and its Language in English in 1957 and in Greek in 1960. On p. 34, he notes that "In September 1944, a committee of scholars was formed at Skopje in order to fix the grammatical form and orthography of the Macedonian language".

In an article entitled 'Macedonico' (15), the Italian linguist Vittore Pisani states that "the Macedonian language is actually an artifact produced for primarily political reasons".

Despite 45 years of endeavour, the new language continues to be an offshoot of Bulgarian- not that has prevented Skopje from proclaiming for domestic and foreign consumption that there is such a thing as a "Macedonian language". The historians of Skopje have attempted to demonstrate that their dialect is a separate Slav language, thus further supporting the ethnic differentiation between 'Slav Macedonians' and Bulgarians. However, the Bulgarians themselves have produced a wealth of evidence to show that the "Macedonian" school-books cited by Skopje were no more than Bulgarian texts printed in the local dialect "for the use of Macedonian Bulgarians", as was printed at the top of the page.

When the inhabitants of a region speak a particular language, they have an educational system which corresponds to it (teachers, schools and pupils). Between 1878 and 1888 the number of Greek schools, academies and nursery schools in Macedonia tripled: there were 58,000 Greek pupils in a total of nearly 900 schools, and that by itself is sufficient proof of the Greekness of Macedonia.

As the modern Skopje historian Kriste Pitoski writes, "the churches and schools of the town of Monastir in the mid- 19th century were in Greek hands ". (16). The number of Greeks among the population of Macedonia is also demonstrated by the memorandum submitted to his government in 1901 by Lecanda Lazarescu, head of Romanian propaganda: "In villages where the population consists entirely of Vlachs, the Greek schools are packed with pupils while the Romanian schools stand empty. The Vlachs contribute to the running of the Greek schools and, when they die, leave their fortunes to the cause of disseminating Greek education" (17).

There can thus be no doubt that the "Macedonian language" was invented to serve specific purposes. Since 1944, the linguists of Skopje have been engaged in a massive campaign to rid the Slav- Macedonian dialect of all its Bulgarian features and replace them with Serbo-Croatian words. They were so successful in this that a mere ten years after the attempt began the Bulgarian Macedonians of Pirin had difficulty in understanding radio programmes broadcast in Skopje.

8. Some Examples of Expansionist Thinking

% On 17 June 1990, the founding conference of VMRO-DPMNE (the 'Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation'), the extreme nationalist party within the 'Socialist Republic of Macedonia (SRM), adopted a proclamation stating, inter alia, that it would "fight for a free, autonomous and united Macedonia" within the framework of a prospective "European federation " on the basis of "the Ilinden ideals". VMRO won more seats than any other party at the elections in the SRM, with 37 out of a total of 120.

% Ljupce Georgievski, President of VMRO, has stated that he is "in favour of the spiritual, intellectual and territorial unification of Macedonia" (Borba, 31.12.90). On 7 November 1990 he had this to say: "The Macedonia of Pirin, the Aegean and the Vardar is not Greater Macedonia: it is simply Macedonia. We shall be talking of Greater Macedonia when we claim Belgrade, Sofa, Thessaly, Valona and elsewhere".

During a tour of Canada, Vasil Tupurkovski-who represented Skopje in the former collective Presidency of Yugoslavia-made the following statement on television: "Europe has already proved that it can resolve the question of unification among peoples, as happened in the case of Germany. And if that can be done once in Europe, there is no reason why Europe should hold itself aloof from the national ideals of a people such as the Macedonian people ".

Asked by a journalist whether the Macedonians ought to struggle harder for cultural and spiritual unification rather than territorial unity, he replied: "I believe that the national ideal cannot be subjected to constraints, and that it includes territorial unification ".

SRM deputy K. Petrov submitted a VMRO-supported proposal to the Parliament of Skopje early in January 1991 calling for the adoption of a declaration concerning the independence and sovereignty of the SRM and for it to submit to the international organisations claims "for the return of territories held by Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Albania, which belong to the SRM by virtue of the fact that Macedonians live there".

We conclude this section with an extract from an article in the periodical Nin (1 February 1991):

"The new President of Macedonia, Kiro Gligorov, has stated that a major campaign will soon be under way to inform the rest of the Balkans about the truth concerning the sections of the Macedonian people in Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria who were divided and enslaved after the Balkan Wars. The leading Macedonian nationalist parties, in their desire to see a larger Macedonia, make no secret of their intention to bring these territories back within the sovereign state, and do not hide their determination that it is only a matter of days before the power of Macedonia redraws the borders of Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia ".

9. The Pseudo-Macedonian Church of Skopje

The 'Orthodox Church of Macedonia', founded in Skopje in 1967, which was initially autonomous and is now autocephalous, has done much to spread propaganda about the non-existent 'Macedonian Question'. Soon after its own foundation, this 'Church' set up a 'bishopric' in the United States.

It should be borne in mind, first of all, that no other Yugoslav republic has an independent church. This 'Church', founded in violation of all the rules of Orthodoxy, is not recognised either by the Ecumenical Patriarchate or by the Patriarchate of Serbia-or indeed by any other Orthodox church. To cap it all, the pseudo-Orthodox Church of Macedonia was unique in world history as the only church to be set up by a Communist state which officially persecuted the Christian religion!

The irregularity of the founding of the 'Orthodox Church of Macedonia' by Presidential Decree and in the face of objections from the Patriarchate of Serbia broke the spiritual bonds between the Slavs in the Republic of Skopje and the Serbian nation.

Tito himself undertook to inaugurate this new ecclesiastical policy. On 28 May 1958, he received the hierarchy of the Serbian Church at the Presidential Palace, and, replying to an adders by Patriarch Vincent of Serbia, said: "It is my wish that you should solve the problems of the Church of Macedonia in the best possible way and in accordance with the interests of our country" (18).

Despite Tito's personal intervention, the Serbian Church refused to settle the matter, and the years which followed were marked by a tug-of-war between the Church of Serbia and the governing Communist Party over whether a 'Macedonian Church' should be formed.

In the end, an assembly of clergy and laity controlled by Skopje met at Ochrid on 17 July 1967 and bestowed autocephalous status on the 'Church of Macedonia'. The Serbian Patriarchate reacted immediately, and at an extra-ordinary assembly on 14 and 15 September 1967 decided that the irregular activities of the 'Church of Macedonia' had severed all bonds between it and the Orthodox Church as a whole. The assembly went as far as to describe the 'Macedonian Church' as a "schismatic religious organisation".

All students of the subject are agreed that the objective of Tito's government was not to meet the spiritual needs of the faithful under a Communist regime in a more satisfactory manner. Tito used his political fabrication for the purposes of propaganda and to promote Skopje's positions abroad. Despite the limited role which the pseudo-Macedonian Church has played in domestic developments, it has to be admitted that it has been an effective means of disorientating and misinforming emigrants from the broader geographical area of Macedonia (Greeks and Bulgarians).

10. Is there a 'Macedonian' Minority in Greece?

In view of all the facts given above, it is not reasonable to argue that there is a 'Macedonian' minority in Greece. In the past, there were undoubtedly persons with a Slav national consciousness, who sometimes behaved as Bulgarians and sometimes as Slav-Macedonians. But after the Second World War and the end of the Greek Civil War, these persons took refuge elsewhere, principally in Yugoslavia. There, in conditions which can easily be imagined, they were given suitable training and guidance and the overwhelming majority of them were absorbed into the local Slav environment.

Greece rejects the claim advanced by Skopje for recognition of a 'Macedonian' minority for the very simple reason that, since the Greek-Bulgarian exchange of populations in 1919 and the departure of the 'Slav-Macedonians' in 1949 there has been no Slav minority in Greece. Some remnants of a population group with a Slav national consciousness emigrated to countries such as Canada, Australia and the United States. The very small group still speaking the dialect in Greece demonstrated their Greek national consciousness in practice by refusing to join SNOF or NOF (the Slav National Liberation Front and the National Liberation Front).

Forty years after the events of the 1940s, the drift of populations to the cities, general social mobility, a modern educational system and a higher standard of living have all contributed to greatly reducing bilingualism-that is, the use, in addition to the main Greek language of the sui generis Slav (Bulgarian) dialect which Skopje persists in calling the 'Macedonian language'. Some of the Greeks of northern Greece learn the dialect for reasons of commerce or tourism.

Notes

1. See, by way of indication, Wells, The Outline of History, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Glimpses of World History, A. Vakalopoulos, Contemporary Problems of the Balkans, and Will Durant, World History of Culture.
2. Polybious, Historiae, Leipzig 1898.
3. A. Vakalopoulos, op. cit., pp. 84ff, G. Rousos, Recent History of the Greek Nation.
4. Brief History of the Orthodox Churces of Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania, Moscow 1871.
5. See Ekdotike Athinon, Macedonia
6. E. Kofos, Nationalism and Communism in Macedonia, Thessaloniki 1964, pp. 185ff.
7. Douglas Dakin, The Greek Struggle in Macedonia 1897-1915, Thessaloniki 1966, and Dakin with K. Mazarakis-Ainian, E. Kofos and I. Diamantouros, The Macedonian Struggle, Athens 1985.
8. L' improglio Macedonien, Paris 1907, pp. 50-51.
9. Op. cit., p. 176.
10. Hellenism 1903, p. 717
11. See Istorija na Makendonskiot Narod, Skopje, 1969, vol. I pp. 79-92.
12. The Counterfeiting of Macedonian History, Athens 1983.
13. Alexander, 473.
14. XXXI, 29,15.
15. Paedia (12), 1957, p. 250.
16. TheActivities of the Bishopric of Pelagonia 1878-1912, Skopje 1968, pp. 35-43.
17. Hellenism 1907, pp. 585, 586.
18. Newspaper Politika, 29 May 1958.

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