Tito’s granddaughter Svetlana Broz says the name ‘Macedonia’ which her grandfather appropriated from Greece and gave to what we now refer to as FYROM, can never work.
Her statement comes just as United Nations special mediator Matthew Nimetz restarted negotiations on Monday between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) over the latter’s name (as reported earlier today by Greek City Times), which have been infused with a bit of optimism after the resignation of former nationalist PM and opposition chief Nikola Gruevski.
“Although my grandfather, Josip Broz Tito, “gave” the name “Macedonia” to one of the six constituent republics of Yugoslavia, it is obvious that this act did not aim to create irredentist claims with its neighbours, with which Yugoslavia developed friendly relations and fruitful cooperation,” said Broz.
“For many years Skopje’s authorities had been presenting maps of “Greater Macedonia,” extending “the geographical and ethnic border of Macedonia” into Bulgaria, Albania, Serbia and Greece. Is that the model of regional cooperation that our friends in Skopje preach to follow?
“The European Union, the United Nations and the international community have invested considerable political and economic capital and deployed great efforts in terms of peacemaking and peacekeeping operations in the former Yugoslavia and in humanitarian assistance to the Balkans. This was not in vain. It is obvious that the international community seeks a climate of stability, cooperation and consent in a region where the future is connected with development.
“The term “Macedonia” has always been used for a wider geographical area, approximately 51 percent of which is part of Greece, 38 percent of which is in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and 9 percent of which is in Bulgaria.
“It would be absurd, therefore, on Skopje’s part, to insist on using the term “Macedonia” on an exclusive basis. I would therefore like the leadership in Skopje to do their best to find a solution.
“In ancient times, the inhabitants of the region of Macedonia worshipped the same gods as Greeks, spoke the Greek language, and participated in the Olympic Games, a privilege reserved only for Greeks. All the philosophers and writers from the Macedonia region, including Aristotle, wrote in Greek. Alexander the Great, Alexander Makedonski, or whatever we want to call him, spread not the “Macedonian” language but the Greek language and civilization.
If someone has a different view of history, this is an academic question, not a political one. Leave it to the academics,” she added.