The proposal “The Republic of Ilinden Macedonia” did not even last for 10 days, as much as the Krusevo Republic. The uprising this time was stifled after only one day. But, this time it wasn’t the Ottomans. However, it has been shown on both sides, both in Greece and in our country, which forces are pulling back and do not want a solution. To deny the reality of the possible, and to demand full acceptance only of your own proposal, that means nothing but failing in all attempts to integrate Macedonia into Europe, becoming a NATO ally this year, and after seven or eight years be part of the European Union as an equal member, thus achieving the most important strategic priority and the greatest historical achievement of independent Macedonia.
Except for Greece and Macedonia, the case with Macedonia is a serious test for all of Europe, the United Nations and the United States, whether or not the conservatives will defeat the quasi-patriotic times that are still untouched by time, or will democracy, reason and the European spirit of compromise win. Finally, when a solution is already in place, powerful European leaders and institutions need to commit themselves more resolutely to reach an honest and sustainable compromise on the name. Without that, the EU’s strategy for the Balkans will collapse.
In Greece, the opposition entered the pre-election campaign, revealing the meaning of the word “Ilindenska”. Mitsotakis Jr. interpreted Ilinden as irredentism. Where in the uprising of 1903 during the reign of the Ottoman Empire he saw irredentism, we don’t know. What kind of irredentism was Greece’s struggle for the same thing until it managed to get rid of the Turkish rule? Apparently, Mitsotakis’ radical statements go in the same direction as his father’s, to never find any solution that would allow a European future to its northern neighbor.
Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos also has a clear and consistent attitude to never find a mutually acceptable solution, nor any solution that will contain the word Macedonia on behalf of the northern neighbor. According to its public statements, it is firmly determined that Macedonia should not become a member of NATO and the EU, and that Greece is not to blame for that. His calculations publicly stated that the Macedonian Parliament cannot pass a decision containing all the Greek demands, and the need for a change in the Macedonian Constitution gave the most emphatic statement so far in the 25 years of talks and name negotiations – that the constitutional revision and changes must be made not only because of erga omnes, but rather that the Prime Minister Zoran Zaev will not be imprisoned because accepting a change of state name without constitutional changes is a criminal offense, so the prime minister can therefore end up in prison. And when he heard the offer of erga omnes with Ilinden Macedonia, he immediately returned to his old story about irredentism.
In Macedonia, the opposition and its leader, Hristijan Mickoski, play the same role as Kiryakos Mitsotakis and his opposition political party. While Mitsotakis argues that the constitution must change, Mickoski says the state’s constitution must not be changed. In any event, the name “Ilinden Macedonia” is not acceptable in this way without documents; the written document should be considered, so that it will be discussed, the necessary consultations are made, and only then the party will be able to reject the proposal as it is done in a democratic party such as VMRO-DPMNE.
President Gjorge Ivanov has a very similar position with his Greek counterpart, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, the difference is that Pavlopoulos is well-informed, while ours is allegedly not informed of anything, so he did not have enough information to take a stand. When they submit the proposal in writing, they will consider it, and then they will say the position. President Ivanov when thinking this does not mean that he has to think something, just as when something says that does not mean that he has to say something.
What is most needed after the euphoria with the name “Ilinden Macedonia” and after the shock and disappointment that came from official Athens after just one day, is wisdom, restraint and cool heads. In Athens, they have bothered to reject the proposal, and not to be guilty, so they asked Nimetz to help them, even with the help of the UN mediator in the negotiations. Now they remembered that “Ilinden Macedonia” is not within the framework of the UN proposals, and everything within the UN, and acceptable to Macedonia, has been categorically rejected. For example, “Republic of Macedonia – Skopje”.
Additionally, account should be taken of the dexterity that rejects the proposal, but accepts the position for erga omnes, if the name “Ilinden Macedonia” is accepted. It is the Greek way of negotiating to take from the package what is in their interest, throw the other, and start from the beginning. The negotiations are starting again and again, without Greece’s concessions. The name “Republic of Ilinden Macedonia” is with an erga omnes indicative sign, which can pass to the Assembly and endure constitutional changes. Other names, proposed by the Greek godfather with an erga omnes sign may be acceptable, but without changing the Macedonian Constitution.
Will finding an acceptable solution in both Greece and Macedonia be stuck here, to the great pleasure of the opponents? Will the dark side of the Balkans win?