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Athens responds to FYROM provocations

Those who wonder whether the FYROM’s new government means what it says about a new beginning in its relations with Greece should have already received the first reply after the recent irredentist event in Toronto, Canada.

The FYROM Consul in Toronto on August 15, addressed his compatriots from a platform with a backdrop that depicted irredentist symbols and a map of FYROM, that included Greek territories.

The new public provocation was the straw that broke the camel’s back concerning the violations of the Interim Accord that requires abstention from any action supporting territorial claims.

However, beyond the immediate written response issued by the Greek Foreign Ministry, Athens has decided to proceed with the following moves.

First to record all violations of the Interim Accord by the neighboring country, briefing the UN Special Envoy Matthew Nimets with update documentation and photo material on all relevant incidents, and finally is expected to appeal to the International Court of Justice.

Among the data collected by the Greek side are outlined the following facts:

Maps extending FYROM to…Thessaly

FYROM’s consul general in Toronto, Jovica Palacevski, a few days ago was involved in an irredentist event, where he addressed the participants from a platform with a background of a FYROM’s map, that included Greek lands all the way to…Larissa, as well as various irredentist symbols!

Also, two other identical cases occurred in Canada in 2016 and 2015. Both events were attended by state official representatives.

Ambassador of FYROM did the same at an event in Toronto (February 2016), while vice president of Parliament and former foreign minister Antonio Milososki gave a speech in Ontario (2015) with a background of the “Great Macedonia’s” map.

More recently, last June, FYROM’s general consul in New York raised on a social networking page his photo in front of the sun of Vergina and maps of “Great Macedonia”.

Additionally, Antonio Milososki In September 2014 and June 2015, was photographed with the Vergina sun flag once even at the top of Mount Olympus.

Provocations in sports events, monuments

In early August the Greek Handball Federation withdrew it players from European Championship in Skopje in protest that the FYROM team did not stick to the bilateral agreements and the EHF rules according to which team must wear logos with the official country names.

Then, in a statement, the Greek Foreign Minister recalled that under the Interim Accord of 1995, the accession of FYROM to international federations can only be done with its provisional name.

Furthermore, during the period 2012-2017 have been recorded dozens of cases of monuments and public places that refer to symbols of Greek historical and cultural heritage, although their use is prohibited by the Interim Accord.

Among these are for example the renaming of Skopje airport to “Alexander Makedon”, the raising of statues of Alexander the Great and Philip in many parts of Skopje, including the central square, the name of the road way “Alexander the Macedon”, as well as the renaming of Skopje archaeological museum to “Alexandros the Macedon’s Mansion”.

Violations of the Interim Accord does not stop there, since the list with often use of Greek symbols and names proved particularly long.

Many people have been changed in the new government of FYROM but irredentism continues to penetrate state ideology and everyday practice in the neighboring country.

Thus, it is noteworthy the message sent by the Greek Foreign Ministry’s through its recent statement: “The necessary conditions for the realization of FYROM’s Atlantic aspirations” are “the renouncement of irredentism, respect for the borders and the practical compliance with the principles of good neighborliness,” the ministry said.