Everyone that talks nonsense calls on “the people”

Erol Rizaov

Greeks are not giving Macedonia up. Macedonians are not giving Macedonia up. Poor thing, no one want to give it up, yet somehow it belong to everyone. Frustrated Greeks protest in defense of the name. Frustrated Macedonians protest in defense of the Macedonian language. They will protest for the name later. The normal Macedonians drink coffee, buy nice rags on sale in Thessaloniki and go fishing in Greece. Meanwhile, the normal Greeks go to dinner at the casinos in Macedonia, have fun, play roulette and blackjack, and fill up their tanks with cheaper petrol on the way back. I really liked the response to the protests by normal Macedonians and Greeks. The first ones went to Thessaloniki for coffee and shopping, and the others came to Gevgelija to try their luck at the gambling table and the Swedish table. One of those tables is always winning.

It’s a pity that on Sunday there was not a good TV-documentary crew to record a remarkable show of how the horsemen departing on ships from Crete to Thessaloniki and how trains, buses, cars, and ships all over Greece go to Thessaloniki to protest on the magnificent bay that the citizens of Thessaloniki and city mayors managed to save from the construction mafia and get the most beautiful empty space in Thessaloniki, a wonderful, spacious and arranged promenade on the seashore. The movie scenes can be anthological for the Balkans, as the nationalists under high voltage scream “We aregiving you the name Macedonia”, while at the same time normal people peacefully enjoy their ouzo and wine, Greek and Macedonian salad, fish and squid, with coffee and halva bouzouki and sirtaki. The fiery speeches of the great patriots become very ridiculous if they go alternately from the rally of the Thessaloniki Bay and from the funeral procession in front of the Parliament of Macedonia, directly opposed to the Thessaloniki shops and taverns, to the recreational fishermen in the middle of the winter, Bistrica at Veria, and the minute they catch a fish, the scene is transferred to a casino in Gevgelija when the jackpot bell echoes. The colleagues from the documentary team were able to borrow pictures of our horses and dukes, who each year on Ilinden ride to Krusevo. That would be a good BBC documentary that Europe should see. I drafted the script as a co-author with Theodoros Pangalos, the former corrupt and controversial foreign minister, who at the time scared us to death with his angry statements, and then made us laugh to tears. Today, referring to the demonstrators in Thessaloniki, he says that those kind of reactions such as “The name must not be given” come from “frustrated and questionable characters and circles”. Pangalos says: Our northern neighbor has the right to call itself any way it wants, even Athens and Sparta. It is astonishing that a Greek foreign minister, even a former one, has a very fierce attitude on the name referendum. He says: Ignorant people cannot declare their opinion in a referendum. Anyone that talks nonsense calls on “the people”.

Yes, I know it’s unbelievable, he said this with a head and a beard, the 140 kilograms heavy and two feet tall Theodoros Pangalos, the former head of Greek diplomacy, nowadays apparently just a wise Greek. He does not hesitate to say that Nikola Dimitrov, our foreign minister, is right when he says “Macedonia is not anyone’s exclusive property”.

It is the Greek part of the documentary film script, and the Macedonian part is almost identical to the Greek about the name. We also do not give the constitutional name to them, the people will decide on a referendum. Forget the referendum, nobody has the right to decide on holy matters. Of course, these are the same “frustrated types and circles”, even with the physical similarity of the characters that hold fiery speeches, burning flags and singing patriotic songs.

We have another part that is more interesting – how a billion euros were spent from the poorest people in Europe by building the largest monuments in the world of Alexander of Macedon, his father Philip, his sister Thessaloniki, for bronze lions and horses, for antique pillars and colonnades, for rebuilding architectural awarded buildings into fake and kitsch baroque buildings and museums, garages, the placement of ships in Vardar with concrete foundations below the river level and willow trees in tin pots planted amidst the river. Why was this fabulously paid nonsense made??!!! At first we thought for nothing, just out of stubbornness and for us to become Greek for a while, to give up the “barbaric” Slavic origin in which hundreds of millions of inhabitants in the world take pride.

Pangalos reveals the crazed and frustrated Greeks. And our newly-discovered ancient Kinta Kunte characters obsessed with identity still think that Macedonia spreads all the way to India, to where Alexander got by riding and left the Huns to guard the border of Macedonia, widely spread on three continents. The great Macedonians on both sides of the border have such geographical maps at home where Macedonia belongs to half of the planet and part of the cosmos that they store as evidence and diagnosis of their disease. How do you explain to these people that all of Western Europe has been educated with generations and generations of the foundations of Byzantium, the eastern Roman Empire, which the European antiquation, completed two centuries ago, placed it in the Middle Ages of Greece, but also of Western Europe. And now our searchers for a glorious past want to change the foundations of old Europe.

A documentary like any other, maybe someone will film it, maybe not. But this film in life runs as a tragic consequence for two million people because of the most unreasonable dispute on the face of the Earth at the end of the 20th and the first half of the 21st century when a state disputes the right to name of its neighbor because it owns a part of the same area and is called to be the sole heir of ancient history and culture, although that inheritance belongs to all and is therefore significant and great. Due to the imposed dispute by the Greek political, and a large part of the intellectual elite, on one hand, and on the other due of the inability of Macedonian politicians and because of the selfishness and protectionism of the EU and the indifference of America, this blockade of the future of a country has lasted for 27 years. The development, security and Europeanization of Macedonia are completely out of the question.

A stupid nation cannot declare its opinion in a referendum, says Pangalos. I agree. Then someone in Athens and Skopje should take responsibility. Greek political elites should do this for Greek and European democracy by rejecting the ultimatum for a country for all uses, erga omnes, for the name of another country, and Macedonian politicians with a consensus on the future of their country and future generations with the return of Slavic roots and finally by removing the intervention of politics in science. We have enough history per capita for great pride and without the appropriation of someone else’s past and history. That must be said and demonstrated clearly and loudly enough.