If you’ve ever wondered why the Hellenic Macedonians and Slavic inhabitants of the country of Macedonia are bickering over the country’s name, there’a a pretty good primer at Euractiv:
The European Commission welcomed the action taken by the government in Skopje to end a 25-year stalemate on a name dispute with Greece and now hopes to see “concrete results”, a spokesperson told EURACTIV.com on Thursday (4 January).
Maintaining good relations between neighbours, including a negotiated and mutually acceptable solution to the name issue, under the auspices of the UN, remains essential, the Commission official underscored.
“In this regard, we welcome the steps taken by the government to engage in discussions with their counterparts in Greece to strengthen good neighbourly relations and we hope this will translate into further concrete results,” the spokesperson added.
And if you’ve been wondering about the name here’s a summary of how it all happened:
Ancient Macedonia (mostly in modern Greece) => Modern Greek Province of Macedonia
Ancient Paeonia => Incorporated by the Romans into their province of Macedonia => Part of the Bulgarian Empire => “Southern Serbia” (when part of the Serbian Empire) => Vardar Banovina => People’s Republic of Macedonia of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia => Republic of Macedonia
I assume that makes everything much clearer.