CLOSE
Loading...
32° Nicosia,
20 June, 2019
 

FYROM and its irredentist claims

There is potential for Turkish meddling in FYROM, Kosovo and Albania

Costas Iordanidis

Costas Iordanidis

The aggressive rhetoric being exchanged by Greece and Turkey is full of perils, but the crisis between Athens and Ankara over the Aegean and Cyprus may in some odd way come to act as a catalyst for real progress on a series of ongoing issues in the Balkan neighborhood, foremost of which is the current effort to find a solution to the name dispute with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

Even in the early years after the fall of the Iron Curtain – outside which Greece enjoyed decades of unprecedented security – various analysts had warned of the risk of Turkey increasing its influence in the so-called Muslim arc, stretching from the coast of the Black Sea to the Adriatic.

The issue has returned to the fore today because of the potential for Turkish meddling in FYROM, Kosovo and Albania.

However, concerns expressed by some of the Great Powers regarding the possibility of Moscow penetrating deeper into the western Balkans, in combination with the change of government in Skopje, have created a new dynamic for a solution to the name dispute with Greece.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras – notwithstanding the well-publicized opposition of his governing partner, Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos – has accepted the idea of FYROM being inducted into (or trapped in) the system of the West so that Greece will be in a position to expand its influence toward the north.

Whatever the mood in Skopje, though, we shouldn’t kid ourselves

Talks, however, have hit a snag in the irredentist ambitions of Greece’s northern neighbour.

With the exception of Eleftherios Venizelos’s serious error in regard to the Greek-Vlach minority in the 1913 Treaty of Bucharest, Greece has never recognized an ethnic minority, and the present government will be no exception. Otherwise, the negotiations will simply fail.

However, no Greek government has directly disputed the existence of a “Macedonian people” inside the border of FYROM, not even over the many years that it was a part of Yugoslavia.

Whatever the mood in Skopje, though, we shouldn’t kid ourselves: Even if these irredentist ambitions are not expressed formally by the state, they will be expressed.

But if Greece – with its ethnic homogeneity, its numerous universities and catalytic archaeological discoveries, its unimpeachable historical sources and its sizable population of Greeks in foreign lands – fails to deal with a country invented by Josip Broz Tito, then I’m afraid it has little future.

At the end of the council meeting, Nebenzia read a passage from the novel “Alice in Wonderland” about a trial where the Queen demands the sentence first and the verdict afterwards. “Does that remind you of anything?” he added.

Pierce responded: “There is another very good quote from Alice in Wonderland which is: ‘sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast’ so I think that’s the quote the suits my Russian colleague best.”

TAGS

Comment: Latest Articles

The Trump factor

The Trump factor

There has been much ado around Greek-Turkish relations, a result of sensationalism and ignorance about the substance of ...
Alexis Papachelas
 |  OPINION
Prudence and moderation

Prudence and moderation

Greece is going through one of the most toxic pre-election periods it has experienced in decades
Alexis Papachelas
 |  OPINION
President Anastasiades visiting Nicosia General Hospital on the 7th of June 2019 following the implementation of the General Healthcare System

Anastasiadescare

When it comes to policy making, politicians should be judged based on the results of their actions not their intentions
Yiannis Kafkarides
 |  OPINION
The silent vote

The silent vote

“It’s better if the result exceeds your expectations”
Alexis Papachelas
 |  OPINION
Marina Economides keeps things straight as politics of hope clash with populism and fear

They are not Europe

Hope will save the day, not populist rhetoric that flirts with racism and fear
Marina Economides
 |  OPINION
President Nikos Anastasiades shakes hands with Niyazi Kızılyürek on election day

Against all odds

Cyprus elects first ever Turkish Cypriot MEP, shuns nationalists
Yiannis Kafkarides
 |  OPINION
Eleni Xenou asks how much longer until anger over old politics turns rage into action

How much longer?

Old fashioned politics not up to task, but reaction has yet to boil over
Eleni Xenou
 |  OPINION
Andreas Paraschos writes about the overburdened voters as he sees trouble ahead on the Old Continent

Monnet or Orban?

Putting national power above the greater good for Europe spells out a bigger problem
Andreas Paraschos
 |  OPINION
Eleni Xenou sifts through the mud of dirty politics to see a cleaner picture ahead of European elections

Did someone say Europe?

Cheap shots in Cypriot politics rule the day as party leaders choose bickering over substance
Eleni Xenou
 |  OPINION
Andreas Paraschos connects the dots as multiple cases fail to deliver justice, one after the other

The yellow lake

Lady justice fails to prevail as politicians hop from one case to the next
Andreas Paraschos
 |  OPINION
Marina Economides is fed up with petty politics that do irreparable damage, Kızılyurek’s candidacy a case in point

Toxic environment

Short term memory loss strikes around election season, but at what cost?
Marina Economides
 |  OPINION
Eleni Xenou looks closely at the racist question and discovers hidden undertones

So are we racists?

Walls go up as the dreadful question about racism fails to hit a nerve
Eleni Xenou
 |  OPINION
Cry havoc!

Cry havoc!

The decision by the President to call the Turkish incursion into the Cyprus EEZ an invasion has raised eyebrows both at ...
Yiannis Kafkarides
 |  OPINION
X