Posts Tagged ‘Gruevski’

FYROM: How a Lie was Imposed as a Supreme Reality

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

Vasko Gligorijevic
A citizen of FYROM 

The nominally “Macedonian” nation of FYROM emerged as a byproduct of Yugoslavia’s dissolution in the 1990’s and suffered a major transformation of the internal relationships after the US-supported uprising of its Albanian population in 2001 which led to a de facto confederalization of the country. As of late 2008, it is led by the charismatic ex-boxer Nikola Gruevski surrounded by a clique of young politicians. Plagued by chronic unemployment standing at the rate of 35%, with economy characterized by collapsing light industry based on primitive technologies and decaying public infrastructure, the nationalistic government of VMRO-DPMNE failed to attract any substantial foreign investments. Most of its economic policies failed to raise the public standard based on average salary of barely 300 USD. At the same time analysts predict that the consequences of the Global financial crisis are yet to strike FYROM, raising the issue of further deterioration of the prospects for decent livelihood.

The main-although progressively marginalized ethnic group-in FYROM are the “Macedonians”, a nation postulated by the Communist internationale in 1934 and created by policies of Josip Broz, Communist’s Yugoslavia strongman after 1944. A basic historical review of their ethnicity reveals that prior to 1941, when the Bulgarian army, invading the remains of royalist Yugoslavia, was greeted euphorically by the local population, this population considered itself Bulgarian and led a combined struggle of civil disobedience and guerrilla warfare against Belgrade in order to achieve either annexation to Bulgaria or a transitional autonomous state with Bulgarian preeminence. Further exploration of the past reveals an ubiquitously attested in historical sources Bulgarian character, an impression complemented with the peculiar character of the local Slavic language which shares features with standard and dialectal forms of the Bulgarian language proper which set it quite radically apart from all Slavic languages. While this ethnic group to a various degrees assimilated in the last two centuries a certain number of Serbs and Vlach/Aromanians (the latter having historically a Greek consciousness), this is almost irrelevant to its ethnological and linguistic qualities which are almost identical as the Bulgarian vernacular.

The other large population in FYROM is the Albanian. Compromised from descendants of the Paleobalkan ethnic group of Dardanians which was to a certain extent influenced by Roman culture and Latin language and which took refuge in the mountains of present-day north Albania (“Ghegnia”) in late antiquity/early middle ages, the Albanians which converted to Islam under Ottoman rule spread to Kosovo and western FYROM in 17th and 18th centuries. Today, in FYROM, they number near 600. 000, with a compact presence in the towns of Tetovo, Gostivar and Debar and representing a significant population in Skoplje, Kumanovo, Ki?evo and Struga. Cherishing an archaic formalized code of conduct based on family and clan loyalty, ethos of reciprocity and obligation, Albanians have been historically more successful than the Bulgarians/”Macedonians” in preservation of means of private entrepreneurship and achieving a more vertical socio-economic stratification coupled with elaborated social network designed to minimize contact with the “Macedonian” non-Muslim population.

Among both the “Macedonians” and the Albanians, collectivist, anti-individualist attitude is deep-seated. Within the daily affairs of both ethnic groups there is a strong reverence for authority and hierarchy. The notion of “state”, a concept held identical with the actual government, which has to be obeyed and respected and which represent the supreme reality in which any individuality is lost is particularity prominent among the “Macedonians” having its root in their quite recent and long-lasting premodern feudal historical phase. It is no wonder that having realized that after the 2001 conflict and the subsequent signing of the Ohrid Agreement they lost the privileged status and that both factually and symbolically they cannot cherish the FYROMian state as their own, the elite of the “Macedonians”, realizing that any confrontation with the Albanian factor would be too dangerous, designed a national idea with the purpose of keeping the wider “Macedonian” public mobilized against non-issues. This recent idea is composed of the recycled concept of “Macedonian autonomism”-Bulgarian idea that that any initiative of the Slavs of Geographic Macedonia has to be labeled “Macedonian” in order to gain sympathies by deciding external political factors and the concept of “Ancient Macedonism”, the idea that the Slavs of FYROM are direct descendants of Ancient Macedonians.

The idea of “Macedonian autonomism” needs no further explanation of its perfidiousness and absurdity. Regardless of the trick character of the concept it still remains a doctrine of the Bulgarian nationalist originating from FYROM: The Bulgarians of Geographic Macedonia should claim that although their singular ethnic identity is the Bulgarian one they are, nevertheless, the exclusive Macedonians. As late as 1960’s this doctrine was restated by the leader of VMRO Ivan Mihailoff with the words “the name Macedonia should be preserved because it is a thorn in the eyes of Greeks and Serbs”.

The enormous success of the idea of “Ancient Macedonian continuity”, which originated among the most primitive sections of FYRO Macedonian emigration in 1970’s (in Sweden, Australia and Canada) needs careful analysis. Although the fallacy of the crude ethnogenetic theory which claims that the “Macedonians” of FYROM and elsewhere speak the tongue of Phillip II and Alexander the Great and that their customs, folklore and other aspects of the culture are either intact or evolved form of the civilization of Ancient Macedon is quite easy refutable, this is not the case in the current conditions under which the national discourse articulates itself in FYROM.

Briefly, Ancient Macedonians were a Greek entity with Greek ethnic name, using exclusively a Greek Doric dialect and later Koine Greek and practicing the same Olympian religion with the rest of the Greek. Ancient Macedonians participated at the Olympic Games, where only Greek were allowed to compete and had theaters on the soil of Macedon, an uniquely Greek concept. All names of Macedonians (with several exceptions) are Greek as confirmed by their Greek etymology. Conclusive to 2008, no scholar outside FYROM has even remotely claimed that the language and culture of Ancient Macedonians are an ancestral type of the present-day FYRO Macedonians, which are descendants of Slavs, an ethnic group originating from North-East Europe. Slavs settled the Balkans from 5th to 7th century and the FYRO Macedonian tribes were homogenized under the rule of the Turkic horsemen tribe of Bulgarians. These Slavs never called themselves “Macedonians”, while Byzantine, Bulgarian, Serbian, Ottoman sources as well as western travelers and others failed to furnish any reference to a “Macedonian” ethnic group prior to late 19th century.

The issue of the ethnic, cultural and linguistic nature of the Ancient Macedonians deserves a wider and detailed expose, referenced and structured according to the scientific method. However, in light of the present state of knowledge, based on the enormous archaeological wealth and a plethora of historic sources, modern historiography universally accepts the conclusion that Ancient Macedonians were Greeks. The key issue with regard to the “Macedonian” nationalism is how the opposite and improbable conclusion could became a “valid” and all-pervading form of public discourse and the root of national self-identification.

The problems arouse with the way in which the totalitarian VMRO-DPMNE government energized the masses among which the national confusion brought by media exposure of contradictory data grew. Firstly, it reactivated the conflict with Greece by multitude of irredentist moves. Secondly, within FYROM it carried massive policy of introduction of Ancient Macedonian symbols (names of institutions, statues) after the expected and natural Greek negative reaction. The population, feeling threatened, mistook the attitude of aggressive “Macedonization” sponsored by the government as “defiance” against a hostile state (the hostility of which was precisely provoked by FYROM’s initial provocations). Capitalizing on the fact that the vast majority of the general population does not have neither a capability nor a will for sustained scientific research regarding ethnology, history and linguistics, the government managed to capture attention of the whole body of citizens. One can presume that the sheer authority the organized government yields in a conformist society where libertarian principles of critical thinking and individual self-reliance regarding the process of opinion-forming are practically absent is sufficient to impose an entirely absurd idea of identity. In FYROM it is unchallenged by organized bodies from which a better knowledge of the true state of affairs might be expected, including universities, institutes, museums etc. With the sole exception of Internet, all electronic and printed media are participants in government’s monopoly over identity dogmas. Only few individual voices of distaste and revolt against the lies have insofar voiced their concerns (Denko Maleski, Petar Hr. Ilievski) but they got a hostile, unsympathetic public response.

While the prospect of organized challenge of the pro-governmental stances regarding the identity issues is something expected given the conventional political dynamics within pluralist societies, this is not quite a case. Nikola Gruevski achieved dominance of his party by calling premature elections in 2008 at the time of peak in the approval rating of his first mandate caused by populist measures. That gave him an unprecedented might against which FYROM has no institutionalized mechanisms of control. Furthermore, in a state of affairs whereby the larger part of the Slavs have abandoned their Bulgarian and Serbian culture in belief that they represent a separate ancient ethnicity in a category of its own, creators of the policy of the opposition (led by the leftist SDSM party) must carefully measure their words of opposition to the lavish Pseudomacedonian rhetorics, since they may be branded as “traitors” given the appropriate circumstances. Consequently, in such occasion they would find themselves ostracized from the ongoing debate.

This leads to the conclusion that the solution to the Pseudomacedonian hysteria which totally dominates public life in FYROM is not only confined to the change in the internal situation which may come as a result of economic collapse or a full-scale civil war, but also from strong pressure from outside which would enable FYROM to conform itself to reality and to rational way of conducting cultural policy. The reign of VMRO-DPMNE, characterized by collectivist, group-centered policies, extensive role of the police in society, new legislature sponsoring religious education, subsidizing biological procreation with wealth redistribution, enforcing ethics of service to the “common good”, emphasizing the feral, folklorist and medieval aspects of local national culture in opposition to modern as well as apolitical high culture, is the greatest political catastrophe FYROM faces in early 21st century. A hope remains that the Slavs of FYROM will reject the artificial and overbearing attempts to instill a connection with chronologically and ethnically distant Greek kingdom as well as to make history the most important aspect of their everyday lives. Only through enduring action from within and from abroad the local state-worshiping, centrally-planned tribal way of life may be liquidated and replaced with a political system based on freedom, a change which will forever put the era of Pseudomacedonism behind, as a doomed ideology based on lies.

An overly comfortable limbo E.U & FYROM

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

An overly comfortable limbo

By Vessela Tcherneva

24.10.2008 / 14:35 CET

Like Greece and Macedonia itself, the EU is too willing to accept Macedonia’s state of limbo.

To be ‘the Republic of Macedonia’ and continue a decades-long dispute with Greece, or to be ‘the Republic of Northern Macedonia’ and remove a key obstacle to accession to NATO and the EU? That is the question that the government of Macedonia was posed when a UN’s special envoy, Matthew Nimetz, suggested a compromise solution to the name dispute that the UN has been seeking to resolve for the past 13 years. Macedonia’s answer, announced by the office of President Branko Crvenkovski last week, was that “Macedonia’s leaders have agreed not to come out with an official answer to the latest UN-sponsored proposal”.

For Greece’s part, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis declared that “the negotiations will continue until there is a solution that satisfies both countries”. Putting that in undiplomatic language: not now, not ever.

This failure to resolve who can lay claim to the name Macedonia – the state or the Greek province – has proved costly to Macedonia internationally. But the status quo is also convenient for the ruling coalition of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski. The recently re-elected premier believes he has the public’s backing in putting off a solution. He also stands to benefit from blaming Greece for Macedonia’s slow EU accession. If Greece can be blamed for his country’s isolation, then why not also blame Athens’s obstructionism for Macedonia’s slow pace of administrative reform, its economic difficulties (the rate of unemployment, officially reaching around 34%) and its poor record on foreign investments? Macedonia’s Greek-imposed isolation makes it easy for Gruevski to make excuses.

For Greece, too, the status quo works fine. Resolving the name dispute would leave the ruling conservative party Nea Demokratia without a secure constituency in northern Macedonia ahead of parliamentary elections in 2009, and the major opposition party, the socialist PASOK, would be deprived of a chance of settling the dispute (PASOK’s leader, George Papandreou, would also have to answer questions about his failure to resolve the issue when he was foreign minister).

Leaving the UN negotiator and US diplomats to mediate between an EU member state and a candidate country did not add to the EU’s leverage in the region

But the EU too is proving too comfortable with the status quo. It clearly faces challenges: the fact that Greece is blocking Macedonia from integration in NATO and EU at a crucial moment for the region says much about Greece and demonstrates that Greece’s European partners have limited influence over Athens. But the EU has been unwilling to intervene (and for this some of its biggest and oldest members, such as France, hold particular responsibility for this). Leaving the UN negotiator and US diplomats to mediate between an EU member state and a candidate country did not add to the EU’s leverage in the region. Rather, it cemented the impression among candidate countries that Europeans are actually not that serious about the promise made in Thessaloniki in 2003, that the EU’s doors are open for countries from the south-east of the continent.

With the lack of a credible prospect of membership, the Macedonian leadership has realised that entering closer relations with Brussels would only expose it to tougher scrutiny – and would not bring Gruevski any votes. That is why he has settled for a goal much easier to achieve and more visible to the public: visa liberalisation. In the meantime, since the Bucharest summit at which Macedonia’s bid for NATO membership was thwarted, foreign diplomats in Skopje have discovered that their advice is increasingly being ignored and that EU-related reforms idle far down the government’s agenda.

This is emblematic of a broader problem in Europe’s periphery, from the Balkans and throughout what the EU calls its neighbourhood – it has become ***bon ton*** to be self-sufficient and isolationist and for political leaders to exercise their powers in a style more reminiscent of Tito’s leadership, leaving their countries in a grey zone between West and East. Their political goal is to maximise votes, regardless of the long-term consequences for their countries. For these leaders, European Union integration is far from being their only strategic option – and that is even more so since integration is not an option for Brussels for the time being.

Why should the West care if there are now no major crises in those regions? The West should have learned from the experience of recent months that frozen disputes – like frozen conflicts – can easily become combustible and even explosive. For Georgia’s Mikheil Saakashvili, war and peace appeared not to be matters of life and death, but weapons in ahis political arsenal. Gruevski may not be able or willing to use the same weaponry, but he too shows combustible tendencies. For the EU, the question is to be comfortable and accept a risky status quo, or to accept discomfort to reduce such risks.

Vessela Tcherneva is a senior policy fellow with the European Council on Foreign Relations and head of its Sofia office.

© 2008 European Voice. All rights reserved.

Time’s Up for “Macedonian” Perverse Nationalism

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

September 30, 2008

Time’s Up for “Macedonian” Perverse Nationalism

By Nicolas Mottas“For all of us who love History, and know History, Macedonia is as Greek as the Acropolis”. What Mike Rann, the current Premier of South Australia, said during an interview (1) is what most people in the world know: simply, the impregnable fact that the term ‘Macedonia’ is an inextricable part of ancient Greece’s historical heritage. However, modern diplomacy’s cynicism doesn’t recognize History (and its truth) as a tool of Foreign Policy – on the contrary, its is fully based on the concept of realism. Therefore, the 17-years long naming-dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia couldn’t be an exception on that.

In a recent commentary in the Washington Times, U.S. senators Bob Menendez and Olympia Snowe put the whole issue in its right context analyzing with distinctness its recent backround (2). A significant part of the above article refers to the assumption that the recognition of the name “Republic of Macedonia” by the Bush administration in 2004 was, indeed, a wrong decision. The result was actually even worse than Ms.Condoleezza Rice could imagine: the rapid increase of Skopje’s intransigence which was expressed in various forms. One of them was their perverse refusal to accept Greece’s reasonable proposition: one compound name with a geographic qualifier, for all uses, including international organizations (U.N., EU, NATO) and bilateral relations.

The above unbending attitude had, of course, a first obvious negative effect: FYROM didn’t receive an invitation to join NATO, as long as there wasn’t a mutually accepted solution to the naming-dispute. But the most discouraging thing is that Skopje seems not to appreciate the actions of good will from the Greek side: It should be noted that Greece is the number one foreign investor in FYROM, with $1 billion invested capital generating around 30,000 new jobs (3). And its not only that. Athens has, constantly and officially, supported FYROM’s EU perspective (4), but with the infrangible prerequisite that there will be a commonly accepted solution to the naming-dispute. Nevertheless, the government of Skopje, maybe motivated by petty politics, remains in its hard nationalistic line, denying to contribute effectively to a fair compromise.

A negative assumption, which can also be explained by the fact that FYROM didn’t manage, until now, to renounce its hidden chauvinistic idle wishes. Because, actually, the Greek concern isn’t the name itself, but what lies benieth the use of the name: Articles 3, 68 and 74 of the Constitution of the self-called “Republic of Macedonia” include reference to a “possible change of the existing borders”, meaning the borders between FYROM and northern Greece. Taking into account that, for many decades, nationalism and ethnic tensions have been proved as a fundamental reason for Balkans’ dismemberment (e.g. Kosovo, Montenegro), nobody can guarantee that the northern Greek borders are fully secured from Skopje’s smouldering chauvinism.

On that point, its very positive the fact that prominent members of both the U.S. Congress and Senate share the above concerns. On August 3, 2007, senators Barack Obama, Olympia Snowe and Bob Menendez introduced to the Senate a resolution (S.R.300) calling Skopje to “stop the utilization of materials that violate provisions of the United Nations-brokered Interim Agreement between FYROM and Greece regarding hostile activities or propaganda” (5). Furthermore, the Democratic Presidential nominee, Barack Obama, proved that he – contrary to George W.Bush – understands the political condition in South Eastern Europe and has the will to contribute positively to the persistence of Peace, Security and co-operation in the region.

Therefore, a clear and honest message must be send to the government of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. That they must act with responsibility and prudence, far from nationalistic practices. Good or bad, I guess that’s the only way to catch the train for NATO and the European Union.


1. Interview in Eleftherotypia Newspaper, Athens, May 5, 2007.

2. “Macedonian quandary” by Bob Menendez & Olympia Snow, The Washington Times; September 24, 2008.

3. NATO Enlargement — The View from Athens by Ambassador Alexandros P. Mallias, The Huffington Post, March 27, 2008.

4. EU-Western Balkans Summit in Salonika, Greece, June 2003.

Authors Bio: Born in Salonika, Greece in 1984, Nikolaos L. Mottas is a research university student (PhD) and an article-writer. He is a graduate of Political Science and holds a Master of Arts on Diplomacy from the Diplomatic Academy of London. He cooperates with the Greek newspaper ‘Makedonia’ as a freelance international news Editor.

FYROM: The Troublemaker of the Balkans?

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008


FYROM: The Troublemaker of the Balkans?

Nicolas Mottas
October 21, 2008

One of the most significant decades-long problem in South Eastern Europe is the irripresible political use of history and national symbols by region’s governments. The case of ‘Macedonia’ is an example of the above assumption. Since its birth as a state entity in 1991, just after the dissolution of the united Yugoslavia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) has based its own existence in the appropriation and use of ancient Greek names and symbols. That created de facto a clone-state without a concrete national identity; a ‘ticking bomb’ in the heart of the Balkans, as the UN High Representative in Kosovo described FYROM in December 2000.

Since its independence from Yugoslavia the state of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia remains a thorn in the heart of South Eastern Europe, being a factor of political unsteadiness for the broader region. There are two major issues which create justifiable concern and doubts regarding FYROM’s contribution to Peace and Security in the Balkan peninsula: A first – and most significant – issue is the known naming-dispute with neighbouring Greece. Since its creation in 1991 and until today, Skopje bases its policy on imbecilic and anachronistic irredentist ideologies. The Greek position, being in accordance with the principles of International Law, is that nationalistic, chauvinistic and irredentist policies do not have place in the region. Therefore the appropriation of Macedonia’s name, of ancient Greek symbols (e.g Vergina Sun) and the invention of supposed minorities (e.g. Macedonian Minority) must not be used as the ‘Trojan Horse’ of irredentism. That is the actual and fundamental problem in the relations between Athens and Skopje. Greece does not express a hypersensitive or insubstantial theory about its historical heritage – on the contrary, Greece clearly defines that chauvinism must be completely abolished from Balkan politics, something which FYROM’s leadership seems not to understand. Or, perhaps, it does not want to understand it.

Furthermore, the governments of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia have failed to consort with the UN-sponsored Interim Accord of 1995, broking specific provisions of that agreement. According to a U.S. Senate Resolution (SR 300), submitted in August 2007 by senators Barack Obama, Olympia Snowe and Robert Menendez, Skopje must “stop the utilization of materials that violate provisions of the United Nations-brokered Interim Agreement between FYROM and Greece regarding hostile activities or propaganda” (Article 7, Paragraph 1 of the Interim Accord). Additionally to that, the current Prime Minister of FYROM have done his best in order to break provisions of the 1995 Agreement, by grossly interfering in domestic Greek politics. He did that through public statements and interviews, either by refering to Greece’s political scandals – which have nothing to do with his business – or by posing to international organizations nonsensical issues regarding supposed repression of ethnic minorities in Greece. But such actions consist violation of Article 6 (Paragraph 2) of the Interim Accord which prohibits Skopje’s interference in the internal affairs of neighbouring Greece.

A second issue has to do with Human Rights’ protection in FYROM, within the frame of Democracy’s establishment in the country. According to the 2003 Amnesty International report for the former Yugoslav Rep. of Macedonia, opposition journalists and Human Rights activists face extrajudicial executions and intimidation. Furthermore, the Internationa Helsinki Federation for Human Rights has reported Police harassment of ethnic minorities, including Albanians and Roma. But its not only that. On January 11, 2004, the local authorities arrested Bishop Jovan of Ohrid and Exarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Skopje, a case which created obvious concern in the European Union regarding the protection of religious freedoms in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. In addition to the above, FYROM’s political stability is still in doubt as long as 25% of its population are ethnic Albanians. Despite the 2001 Framework Agreement of Ohrid which brough an end to the fighting between Slavophones and Albanians, the problem still exists as a factor of fluidity in the broader region. The solution to the issue passes through the European perspective of FYROM as well as its participation in the North-Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

However, Skopje’s declinatory political attitude of irredentism leads the country far from the international organizations; actually, it leads to nowhere. From its side, Greece wants FYROM’s existence as a stable state-entity, full member of the EU and NATO. It should be noted, once more, that the Greek governments have supported EU economic aid to FYROM, while Greece is the number one foreign investor in the country with around $1 invested capital, creating thousands of job opportunities. Athens has expressed its constant support to FYROM’s European perspective, but with the infrangible prerequisite that there will be an accepted solution: a compound name with a geographic qualifier for all uses. Nevertheless, even today, Skopje remains attached to its years-long perverse intrasigence, trying to dynamite dialogue: recently, FYROM’s leadership rejected another one proposal, submitted by the UN Mediator Matthew Nimetz. Until when? If the leadership of Skopje wants to stabilize FYROM’s creaky existence, then they have to fully understand something: that intrasigent and nationalistic practices must be abandoned as soon as possible. The future of the country is within the European Union and NATO, in harmonious co-existence with its neighbours, including Greece. Otherwise, FYROM will remain a ‘ticking bomb’ in the heart of South Eastern Europe – but then, it won’t last for ever.

HistoryOfMacedonia Blog

Announcement regarding attempts by FYROM to disseminate misinformation

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Announcement regarding attempts by FYROM to disseminate misinformation

Announcement regarding attempts by FYROM Foreign Ministry to disseminate misinformation regarding Panama, Mexico and Congo’s stance on the name issue
Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Athens , 20 October 2008

With today’s announcement by the Foreign Ministry of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the government of Mr. Gruevski is trying in vain to continue the operation of disseminating misinformation that it has been carrying out lately.

It is obvious that the government of Mr. Gruevski did not get the message from the latest categorical disclaimers by NATO and the Russian Foreign Ministry.

This is why, today, instead of any other answer to this new attempt to disseminate misleading information, we quote the official diplomatic announcements signed by the representatives of the governments of Panama, Mexico, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Note verbale of Panama’s Foreign Ministry
(Panama, 4 July 2008)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Panama is honoured to announce to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic that, following a series of discussions regarding the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, we would like to assure you that the Government of the Republic of Panama will abide by the relevant United Nations resolutions on this country’s name, for international and bilateral purposes.

Furthermore, we would like to point out to the Government of the Hellenic Republic that the Republic of Panama supports UN efforts to reach a mutually acceptable solution on the name issue, and will implement, for all purposes, any outcome that will result from the negotiations held under the auspices of the United Nations.

Joint Press Statement – Meeting of Mexico’s Foreign Undersecretary Ambassador Juan Manuel Gómez Robledo and Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Yannis Valinakis
(17 October 2008)

Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Yannis Valinakis met with Mexico’s Foreign Undersecretary Ambassador Juan Manuel Gómez Robledo in the framework of the 63rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
They reviewed the bilateral agenda and, in this context, they underlined the importance of the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Greece and Mexico, which will take place on August 12, 2009.Both sides recognized that this milestone constitutes an excellent opportunity to further strengthen the relations of the two countries.

Undersecretary Gómez Robledo thanked Greece for its support for the candidacy of Mexico for a non-permanent seat on the Security Council for the period 2009-2010, and reiterated that the participation of Mexico in the Security Council will be aimed at promoting peaceful settlement of disputes; peace and stability; and upholding the principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter.

Deputy Foreign Minister Valinakis briefed Undersecretary Gómez Robledo on developments regarding the name issue of the State provisionally referred to as the “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”.In this regard, Undersecretary Gómez Robledo underlined that the Government of Mexico fully supports the United Nations efforts to find a mutually acceptable solution on the subject.He also assured that, pending settlement of the difference that has arisen over the name of that State, Mexico provisionally refers to that State as the “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, in conformity with the relevant Security Council Resolutions 817/93 and 845/93, for all international and bilateral purposes.

Finally, Deputy Minister Valinakis and Undersecretary Gómez Robledo emphasized the readiness of both Governments to further promote trade and investment opportunities, taking full advantage of the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and Mexico.

Joint Press Statement of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Greece
(Quebec, 18 October 2008)

The Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mr. Antipas Mbusa Nyamwisi and Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr. Yannis Valinakis, met today in the city of Quebec, on the sidelines of the 12th summit meeting of “La Francophonie” Organisation.

Both men expressed their satisfaction with the good relations that exist between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Greece, and discussed ways to further improve and deepen these relations in the political, economic, and cultural sphere.

The two Ministers also discussed topical issues of particular regional importance.It is within this framework that Mr. Valinakis briefed Mr. Mbusa Nyamwisi on developments regarding the name issue of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.Mr. Mbusa Nyamwisi pointed out that the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo fully supports UN efforts with a view to finding a mutually acceptable solution on this issue, and assured Mr. Valinakis that, as long as the process for finding a solution is pending, the Democratic Republic of Congo shall refer to our neighbouring country as the “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” in all of its bilateral and international relations, in accordance with Resolutions 817/93 and 845/93 of the UN Security Council.