OP-ED: “No, to costless and blind nationalism”

OP-ED: “No, to costless and blind nationalism”

No one expected that resolving the name issue dispute between Greece and fYROMacedonia would be a case-solving without reactions from either side. What specific “circles” invested into the controversy between the (two) states and into the nationalistic rhetoric they used, for the sake of their political future, forged powerful views, most of times wrong ones, on the essence of the differences.

Many parties in Greece were created based on nationally red lines. Even the Church of Greece used this “national” line, which actually offered it a hand that would help its future survival, since, its spiritual deficiency and conservatism pushed its “listeners” far from it.

But of course, none of them would accept, as Greek “national irredentism” of their rhetoric for the lost (older Greek) lands, Asia Minor, Byzantine Constantinople, Eastern Rumelia and Thrace as well as Northern Epirus. Nor have these “circles” been preoccupied with a provocative move by Greeks who raised a Greek flag in the waters of the Golden Horn (Haliç) in Istanbul and sang the Greek National Anthem during the Epiphany ceremony.

In fYROMacedonia, too, once the conservative VMRO party and Nikola Gruevski assumed power, tried to develop a new “ethno-Macedonism”, in order to create (a national) identity and a common national conscience, in a country with profound national differences. Symbols of thousands of years were used to form a national identity, against every single historically documented truth. During the first meeting of Nikola Gruevski with Sali Berisha in Tirana, the Albanian Prime Minister described Gruevski’s attempts to counterfeit history, as ridiculous. However, the above mentioned view did not change Nikola Gruevski’s practice, which saw its peak with the “Skopje 2014” project; based on it, ancient Greek architecture dominated the centre of the capital, Skopje, where dozens of statues suddenly appeared, with faces from Greek, Roman, Albanian and Bulgarian history figures. What topped the forfeit of the history (in this case) was the name “Macedonian, that was given to the Slavic origin of the country’s language.

We have had enough of nationalistic tendencies, both costless and blind. All rubbish tainting our “purity” was hidden under the carpet. Realism is what is missing from politicians and citizens alike. Opportunities to solve the differences will certainly present themselves, but time is on no one’s side. Unfortunately, we have become prisoners of history…/IBNA