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October, 2008

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September 27, 2008



The Leadership of the Pan-Macedonian Association US meets with Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyianni

                      Activities in Greece which undermine the Greek positions regarding negotiations with FYROM

                      Mr. Mathew Nimitz, the first President of a Skopjan friendly NGO in Greece

                      Skopjan friendly propaganda from within the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)

                      American Elections and pressures on Greece regarding negotiations with FYROM


The President of the Pan-Macedonian Association USA Nina Gatzoulis and other leading individuals from the Association, met privately with Foreign Minister of Greece, Dora Bakoyianni at a centrally located hotel of New York, immediately after the Minister hosted a reception for the Diaspora. Mrs. Gatzoulis expressed to the Minister her concerns regarding the developments of the FYROM name issue and also reiterated once more the unaltered positions of the Association regarding the name of Greece’s neighboring country.

Mrs. Gatzoulis at the end of the meeting presented to Mrs. Bakoyianni a memorandum, pointing out that as shown by the repeated polls the overwhelming majority of the Greek people, including the Greeks abroad, oppose a composite name. She also noted that a geographical designation in the name of FYROM is a risk for future claims and it essentially legitimizes its inhabitants as «Macedonians».

Mrs. Gatzoulis expressed the satisfaction of the Diaspora of the fact that during the minister’s contacts in New York, under the UN, Nimetz’s package about «Macedonian» ethnicity and language of the FYROM people were not discussed. She also submitted to the minister various indicative sources with facts, which undermine the Greek positions and asked Mrs. Bakoyianni to respond. Specifically she referred to the actions of an NGO, called “Center for Democracy and Reconciliation of South East Europe.” The aforementioned NGO maintains an office in Ano Poli in Thessaloniki. The first project CDRSEE undertook was the Joint History Project (four books of common Balkan history). Costas Carras one of the Board members of CDRSEE, among other books thanks the State Department for assisting the publication of the books (Note that the State Department funded a $100.000 a study of the “Relevance of the Smyrna Catastrophe”). Amongst others George Soros’ “open societies” is one of the sponsors of the Common Balkan History. The project has been also funded in part by Coca-Cola and the National Bank of Greece!

Regarding the content of the aforementioned books, whose aim, according to the publishers, is to  «contribute towards the balance, objectivity and reconciliation in the Balkans» in reality they distort historical truth and serve the claims of FYROM. They openly challenge the Hellenic cultural dimension and historical continuity of Macedonia and promote the alleged existence of a separate, Macedonian ethnic entity. These books were translated in Greek as they were targeted to be used by Greek pupils and students from other Balkan countries under revised school curricula:

“What is very surprising said Mrs. Gatzoulis, “is the fact that the special UN mediator Matthew Nimetz, appears to be the first president of the this NGO. His Skopje/friendly stance is a given, particularly with his last package which included a so-called “Macedonian” ethnicity and «Macedonian» language. Why does the Greek diplomacy accept a mediator who serves the interests and agenda of one side?”


Skopje/friendly propaganda within ELIAMEP

As it is stated in the memorandum, the leading figure of the four-volume edition is Professor Athanasios Veremis. It should be noted that Mr. Veremis appears to be a founding member and former President of the semi governmental think tank Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP), which is also funded by the open societies of George Soros, and is the Chairman of the National Council of Education (ESYP), Council President of Higher Education and University Professor at the National University of Athens.

 (Horizons-magazine of CDRSEE), (Please note that Mr. Veremis has publicly refused the genocide of Greeks in Asia Minor.)

The researchers Triandafyllidou, (member of ELIAMEP), Kalloni and Mikraki on their article on this website titled: “Modern Greek Nationalism” include the following: “More specifically, in the Balkans, where nations are perceived in ethnic terms, the states which succeeded the Ottoman Empire set the foundation for great illusions, namely that they represented ethnically homogeneous societies ... Minority groups experienced a variety of exclusionary measures varying from suppression of rights to extreme situations such as collective expulsion and ethnic cleansing.”

“In other words, these researchers not only reproduce hostile positions towards Greece but also go a step further and denounce Greece for genocide! How could it be possible for an institution which supposedly defends the Greek national interests to aid expediencies which are harmful to Greece?” asked Ms Gkatzoulis.

Dennis MacShane, member of the British Parliament, who never has missed any of the ELIAMEP meetings, on June 12, 2008 in a Parliamentary session, states: “There is huge Greek investment in both Macedonia and Kosovo. Greek businessmen are there, helpfully making money and growing the two economies. Yet Athens cannot, for its own reasons, find its way to a peaceful relationship with Macedonia over the name issue or even give Kosovo diplomatic recognition, as we have and as France, Germany, the Nordic countries and the United States have."

“Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr I. Valinakis who is a member of the ELIAMEP has ever tried to inform Mr. MacShane about these erroneous claims?” wondered Ms Gatzoulis, adding, “The past has shown that the continuous compliance of Greece creates precedents and encourages unreasonable demands from neighboring countries. Is our position so weak? How shall we deal with the aggression of seventy-five million Turks, if Greece is not able to counter the aggression of one million two hundred thousand Skopjans, especially when we have all the historical arguments and we have a powerful ally, the truth?”

Referring to the FYROM propaganda Mrs. Gatzoulis said: “The Foreign Minister of FYROM Antonio Milososki, knowing the weakness of his country in serious scientific proof of his compatriots’ kinship with the ancient Macedonians, recommended that 'we should leave history to historians.” But they are the ones who are using distorted historical and false arguments to promote their irredentism to Greece. We wonder if our mediators ever during the talks, instead of trying to prove our self-evident affinity with the ancient Macedonians, have contested the Skopjan alleged kinship with the ancient Macedonians.”


US Elections and Pressures 

«The first one to refer to a “Macedonian” minority in Macedonia in the Bush administration, was Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nicholas Burns followed by his counterpart Daniel Fried who defended them, saying that “these people exist.” The American expert at the UN for Minority issues, Gay McDougall, recently arrived in Greece ... with a serious mission “to discover” minorities and met with representatives of the self-proclaimed “Macedonian minority” in Edessa and Florina. Why haven’t we raised the very existence of the 2,500,000 Macedonians in Greece? What minority are they referring to?”

“The pressure and intentions of this government of the U.S. are very clear,” stressed Mrs. Gatzoulis “In a few months the American elections will take place. Whatever the outcome is, the balances will be overturned. Both candidates promise big changes in their policies. The candidate of the Republicans, John McCain although sparing the issues relating to Greece will not at least bear the stigma of the Bucharest failure and he has by his side a portion of the Greek-Americans. On the other hand, the philhellenic positions of Barack Obama and John Biden, candidate for Vice President divert the majority of the Diaspora toward the Democrats. In the UN Security Council and EU Greece has important allies. Why are we in a hurry to close the name issue of FYROM with a government that is at the end of its duration and its intentions are clear; Could we now, taking advantage of the intransigence of FYROM, the goodwill of friends and the changes in the political context of the superpower, review our own positions and to go back to the original decision by the political leaders of 1992? How could we sacrifice in the altar of “relations, friendship and good neighborliness” and give away the ancient Greek name of Macedonia to a seventeen year Slavic-Albanian state?” concluded Mrs. Gatzoulis. 

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Mrs. Dora Bakoyanni informed the leadership of the Pan-Macedonian Association about the diplomatic struggle about the issue and the recent developments in the negotiations. The discussion lasted about 45 minutes and was conducted in a friendly and confidential atmosphere. The leadership of the Pan-Macedonian Association thought it would be appropriate to disclose the questions tabled and to inform the Greek people. The Association once more declares that based on the resolutions of Pan-Macedonian Associations the world over who express the majority of the millions of Greeks abroad, maintains its firm position that we will not accept the word «Macedonia» or derivatives in the name of

FYROM. The statement which was given to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, was also sent to the President of the Republic Mr. Karolos Papoulias, the Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis and SAE US Coordinator Mr.

T. Spyropoulos.  The meeting was attended by the Ambassador of Greece Mr. Alexandros Mallias, the Greek Consul General in New York Mrs. Agnes Balta, the President of the Pan-Macedonian Studies Center Nancy Biska, former presidents and executives of the Pan-Macedonian Association Panos Spiliakos, Fotis Gerasopoulos, Sotiris Proios, the president and past presidents of the Thessalonikean Society Theodore Moschokarfis, Dimitris Vozirikides, Kostas Hatzistefanides, the member Niki Tsolis, the Honorary President of the Pan-Macedonian Studies Center Elias Neofytides and Professor of Adelphi University in New York, Dr. Anagnostis Agelarakis. “We must not give into pressure and haste of this administration which is expressed both in problems within the U.S. and in its foreign policy to affect the Greek attitude. The responsibility of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Greek government is huge and the handling of the name issue of FYROM will create a crucial part of our historical route which will influence future Greek generations,” indicated Professor Agelarakis.

Photos Maria Tolios


1. The Leadership of the Pan-Macedonian Association US meets with Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyianni


2. Dr. Anagnostis Agelarakis, the Greek Consul General in New York Mrs. Agnes Balta, President of the Pan-Macedonian Association US Nina Gatzoulis, President of the Pan-Macedonian Studies Center Nancy Biska, the Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyianni, former presidents and executives of the Pan-Macedonian Association Panos Spiliakos, Fotis Gerasopoulos, Sotiris Proios, the Ambassador of Greece Mr. Alexandros Mallias, President and past presidents of the Thessalonikean Society Theodore Moschokarfis, Dimitris Vozirikides, Kostas Hatzistefanides, the member Niki Tsolis and the Honorary President of the Pan-Macedonian Studies Center Elias Neofytides.