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Greek Lectures and Fantasies
read in Macedonian


Ah, our Greek friends.  When will they ever learn?  I spill a lot of time, energy and ink (or, more appropriately, bytes) writing about them, chastising them, and generally setting the record straight because of their lectures and fantasies.

Not three weeks ago, they trotted out their rather simple Foreign Ministry spokesman Gregory Delavekouras, to respond to Prime Minister Gruevski’s statement following the meetings with UN Ambassador Matthew Nimetz.

Gregory’s first statement – “Arrogance and introverted nationalistic populism are a poor guide” – is actually a reflection of the situation in Greece.  Arrogance – towards the international community and especially the Germans – is what got them into financial trouble in the first place.  Believing themselves to be above the truth of math and believing themselves to be the so-called “cradle of democracy” the Greeks have truly shown us that their arrogance and introverted nationalistic populism are a poor guide and bad way to run a country.

But it is Gregory’s second statement that really begins to show us who has the fantasies. One can actually picture Gregory stating this with a straight face:  “Greece has repeatedly and tangibly proven its readiness to find a solution on the name issue within the framework of the negotiations, as set down in the resolutions of the UN Security Council and as underscored in the International Court of Justice ruling.”  By now everyone knows what the word “spin” means, especially in the political arena.  For Gregory to take Greece’s losing position in the International Court of Justice and say that Greece is working within it is a truly monumental attempt at spin.  But to say that Greece “has repeatedly and tangibly proven its readiness to find a solution” is a very bold and outright lie.

Gregory continued stating “Mr. Gruevski welcomed the formation of a new Greek government with insulting attacks and unfounded accusations. For our part, we will not enter into the mindset of the artificial straining of relations that Mr. Gruevski is trying to provoke for domestic political reasons. We are stating the obvious: that for the purpose of achieving a solution, Greece is seeking a credible and sincere collocutor. The Skopje side will have to show this in practice.”

Not even a thank you for the congratulations, Gregory?  And what were those “insulting and unfounded accusations”?  Prime Minister Gruevski’s statements about the Macedonian minority in Greece.  Of course Greece could help itself by recognizing and respecting its minorities, including especially the Macedonian minority. But Greece continues with its fantasy that it has no minorities. And as for Greece “seeking a credible and sincere collocutor,” well, the people of Macedonia have spoken three times since 2006 and have elected Gruevski three times.  If that is not credible I know not what is.  Of course we don’t need to count the number of governments Greece has had since 2006 do we? 

Gregory’s next statement is simply designed for Greek domestic consumption: “Meanwhile, the ongoing, tiresomely repetitive agitprop for domestic consumption – which is contained in the announcement from the FYROM Prime Minister’s Office – shows that Mr. Gruevski did not utilize the meeting with the UN Secretary General to make progress. In fact, he attempted to misappropriate the meeting. Once again, he attempted to promote the familiar propaganda regarding ineffectualness or unwillingness of the Greek side. This is a falsehood, as confirmed by Mr. Gruevski’s ongoing intransigence throughout his term in office.” The Greeks use this as an excuse not to talk, despite Macedonia’s willingness to talk anytime, anyplace and anywhere.  The Greeks will continue manufacturing excuses not to engage in talks and will continue to be obstructionist.

Gregory ended his statement with rhetorical flourish: “As for the other issues that occurred to Mr. Gruevski, all I have to say is, where reason ends, fantasies begin. Fortunately, our sensible neighboring people listen to him less and less.”  Again, do you really believe, Gregory, the people are listening to Gruevski less and less?  Polls show the reverse to be true.

And as for fantasies, our Greek friends will continue to spout this rhetorical nonsense pretending that they believe it.  And the world’s politicians and unelected and unaccountable officials will continue pretending that they believe it.  It is a tragedy, it is absurd, it is a farce and it is sad.

The rest of the world knows and understands this and most wish that the Greeks would simply grow up, behave like responsible members of the international community and get their fiscal house in order.  At the same time, the world also wishes that the Greeks would recognize that – like the rest of the world – other ethnic groups reside within Greece and should be accorded the same rights that other countries provide to their minority groups.  Unfortunately, the rest of the world, for some bizarre reason, continues to allow Greece to wallow in its misguided, and quite frankly, evil ways.  And that is a bloody shame.

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Jason Miko
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