More than 40 intellectuals from Europe and the United States in an open letter published in the British daily newspaper The Guardian are seeking the historic agreement of 17 June signed between Macedonia and Greece, which ends the name dispute, to be implemented.
In the letter signed by university professors from London, California’s Berkeley, Bologna, New York, Warsaw, Cambridge, members of the European Parliament, prominent philosophers from Strasbourg and Paris expressed their support to the agreement, highlighting that It respects the dignity and the right to self-determination of the two peoples and confirms the desire of both countries for peaceful coexistence.
They also underlined that the agreement defines the political, historical and cultural boundaries between classical Greek Macedonia and – as of now – North Macedonia, by making it clear Macedonian identity can be shared between people who endow it with different meanings.
Reminding that each side has had to address the concerns of the other, in the letter they underline that “when completed, this legally binding international agreement will have resolved an issue of contested political identity, so common in multicultural societies, and will offer a model for future resolution of other protracted conflicts.”
But the agreement still faces big hurdles in both countries, where hardliners and extremists are mobilising against it. North Macedonia’s government, in particular, desperately needs for all parties to fulfil their promise if it is to win the ratifying referendum in the autumn, reads the letter.
“In these critical times, when Europe faces the rise of extreme right-wing nationalism and racism, and dangerous revisionism is resurfacing in the Balkans and Europe dividing people into “traitors” and “patriots”, it is more important than ever to support those who take risks for reconciliation. We support this fair agreement and call on all parties to fulfill their end of the bargain,” reads the open letter published in the British daily newspaper The Guardian.