Monday, May 09, 2005
The country's own constitution names the country simply as Macedonia, and over 100 countries recognize it under that name, but the EU, bowing to Greek pressure, use FYROM. The US last November, in a move that somehow eluded major media coverage, went from FYROM to Macedonia. The Greek government is very unhappy, but again nobody cares.
An alternative name offered by the UN has been proposed and accepted by the Greeks -- Republika Makedonija-Skopje, which would use the Macedonian Slav language -- but not the Macedonians. Why would they, when the issue is moving in their favor already? (Leave it to the UN to try to stop a snowball rolling downhill.) This is very different from Taiwan, where it is trying to declare independence from China. The Greeks do not have any desire as far as I can see for taking in Macedonia as part of its own, but it has this inordinate fear that Macedonia wants part of its northern border moved. Macedonia has its own issues with ethnic Albanians and unstable neighbors to the north, and has no need to add to its problems with a border dispute with a larger, much more wealthy neighbor to its south.