“Brussels should launch an international tender to find a ‘godfather’ of Macedonia. Our neighbours, of course, should have a decisive role in the decision-making process,” writes Macedonian journalist Erol Rizaov in an article published in the Utrinski Vesnik daily.
“Greece already expressed a categorical position that a name with a geographic term would suit Macedonia best. It bids on ‘Republic of Northern Macedonia’. After several public figures in Macedonia said that ‘Northern’ seems acceptable and does not violate the national identity and language, and may be used only in the place of the term Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), suddenly Bulgaria came out on the scene and felt affected. Prime Minister Boyko Borisov remarked explicitly that the name Northern Macedonia is not acceptable,” Rizov writes and cited the statements of Boyko Borisov published by the Bulgarian FOCUS News Agency.
“The Serbs would definitely propose a name like Vardar Macedonia or Banovina, while the Albanians are firmly against any variant that includes the term Slavonic. Only the Macedonians will not have the right to interfere and propose a name for their own country,” the text reads further.
“This burlesque, which Europe and the world are watching with an indifferent eye for two decades, perfectly illustrates the great world madness, which could be a good inspiration for a movie parody, if it wasn’t as tragic as it is for the level of the Balkan mentality, primitivism, provincialism and nationalism – no matter how big EU and NATO member a country is. It is well clear that there is a great gap between the equality among the members of these organisations and the Europeanisation. In other words, it is very easy to obtain a membership card, in contrast to feeling of belonging to the European family. It is hard for a Balkan citizen to become a European. And as the people say – a peasant could hardly turn into a bey.
The bid on Macedonia’s name, especially the latest one – coming from Bulgarian Prime Minister Borisov, could turn very useful, especially if regarded cold-bloodedly and without unnecessary tension. Disregarding the absurdity of entering into an argument about the name of a neighbouring or any other country, the message from Bulgaria could be considered good for us, as well as for the world.
First of all, Borisov did not say it directly but it is clear that the best name for our country, and to the best for all our neighbours, is to preserve the name Republic of Macedonia, which has been used for 68 years.
This name did not bother anyone until the partition of Yugoslavia, at least no one declared it so publicly.
Bulgaria is the first to recognise Macedonia’s constitutional name. Borisov does not make a problem out of it. He is concerned about the possible inclusion of the term Northern, as according to him, this could lead to territorial claims.
“Tomorrow they [the Macedonians] may say that Bulgaria is Macedonian. This is what Borisov said, and frankly – I was surprised by his good sense of humour. In fact, Borisov sent a message to Greece. The cream of the statement is that Blagoevgrad may become Macedonian as much as Thessaloniki can. The same is valid for Istanbul – to become Greek, and for Lesbos Island – Turkish. I will stop with the examples because the grandchildren of Alexander the Great may come here with claims, too, and then we will have to redraw the world map.
After the decisions of the Badinter Arbitration Committee and the International Court of Justice in The Hague, it is time, especially for the Great Powers, to pay serious attention to the European integration of the Balkans, because from historical point of view none of the serious or bilateral conflicts in the Balkans has been solved without the interference of the Great Powers.
The bidding for Macedonia’s name and the change of the name with the latest statement of the Bulgarian prime minster confirmed for yet another time that brotherly care for Macedonia, which became the sick patient of the Balkans, exactly because of this brotherly love.
Poor Macedonia, so much beloved, cannot pay to everyone because it has entered into the risky state of being overdosed.”