Alexander the Great is Greek: European Parliament President corrects himself



The newly elected European Parliament President Antonio Tajani has used the opportunity of his recent appointment  to correct himself over statements he made a year ago during a visit to FYROM where he somehow connected Alexander The Great and Macedon with the Slavic state north of Greece.

Tajani who was elected as President of the European Parliament last week, outraged Greece and many in the international community when he made historically inaccurate remarks during a visit as Commissioner last February to FYROM by referring to it as Macedonia and saying   “Macedonia is a beautiful country. Everyone in Italy knows Macedonia. Why? Because Alexander the Great and Philip of Macedon are very popular ancestors of yours.

“Without Alexander [the Great] we would have no Europe because he was the first king who stopped the invasion by Iran and those countries. That’s why they call him Alexander the Great. He strengthened the European borders,” he had said.

But with his appointment, Greek TV station Antenna broadcast the controversial statements Tajani had made forcing him to quickly retract and correct himself yesterday, by tweeting in Greek:


“I know my history very well. Alexander the Great was Greek and his ideas contributed to the birth of Europe,” he tweeted.

Tajani went a step further by issuing a formal press release yesterday emphasising that the EU legislature recognises as the only country name the internationally recognised “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Regarding the Greek press reports about the prior year’s visit of Mr. Tajani in Skopje, the newly elected European Parliament President confirms the established position of the European Parliament that the body recognises as the only country name the internationally recognised ‘Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’ (FYROM),” the statement said.

New Democracy MEP Maria Spyraki tweeted: “The name of the country is FYROM. Macedonia, the place where Alexander and Philip were born are in Greece. Big mistake President”.

European Parliament Vice President Dimitris Papadimoulis said Tajani had committed a historical and institutional impropriety, adding that he had to publicly rectify his mistake. The video of his statements prompted SYRIZA MEP Kostas Chrysogonos to call the new EP President “unhistorical” and “naive”.

GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.

1 Comment
  1. Now tweet it in English please so that the whole world understands that you know your history!