Forget Ancient Greek Myths – Modern Myths at Another Level

By Alexander Stoinis


The Greek lies have been circulating for quite some time over the last 28 Years and many have been convinced that what they’ve been told is true. The national propaganda in Greece with regards to Macedonia has been vigorously ongoing in order to support the evasiveness of the political embarrassment in Greece for the last 28 years.

On the basis of Nimetz’s (United Nations Special Representative for the naming dispute) proposals and the pending examination of Macedonia’s application for admission to the EU, the unhappy Greek politicians of the past decade are raising their heads, seeking to regain foreign policy. The culmination of the emerging turn is the accusations (or diplomatic threats) of playing the Godfather where the Greek people will decide on the name and European perspective of our neighbours keeps on popping up every now and again.

Greece needs to have a hard look at itself because their negative attitude to anything Macedonian was influenced by their politicians, the image that was shaped for this in Greek society, forged in 1991-92 by methods of “Ethnic Education”, is based on “unrealistic stereotypes” and “a mixture of forged historical data and Half-truths “, as the official Greek author Evangelos Kofos notes.

Below are Greek fabrications regarding Macedonia that have been used and are still used to influence public perceptions in Greece.

Greek Myth #1

The name “Macedonians” of our northern neighbours first appeared in 1943-44 and is a construct of Tito.

In fact, the name in question has been in use since the mid-19th century when the issue of the national character of the Macedonian Christians of the wider Macedonia region was publicly raised. The latter declare “Macedonians” at the same time as they negotiate their support for the Greek, Bulgarian or Serbian national idea.

A typical example is a quote of the former (Macedonian revolutionary and then mercenary for the Greek propaganda bands in Macedonia) Captain Kotta, as written by Pavlos Melas: “We the Macedonians in order to gain freedom, we have two ways to follow. One way goes to Bulgaria, the other goes to Greece “(Natalia Mela,” Paul Melas “, Athens 1964, p. 242). As the above speech was in the language that Melas himself calls “Macedonian”, the “Macedonians” were called “Makedontsi”.

This is not the only record of proof of distinct Macedonian identity. Upon entering the United States in the first decade of the 20th century, many Macedonian immigrants answered the question of what their “race” or “people” are, by writing the word “Macedonian”. The relevant entries are electronically accessible, in their original form, on the website of Ellis Island.

Macedonians arriving at Ellis Island -early 1900’s
Click on Photo for names of passengers

On the ethnographic map of Stanford (1877), written by the Greek diplomat Ioannis Gennadius. Three decades later, Dimitrios Filippidis also stresses that “the Christian inhabitants, without distinction, the Greeks and the schismatic group, who call themselves the generic name” Macedonian ” (“Macedonia”, In 1906, p. 30).

In 1905, the official cartographer of the Greek mechanics, Captain Patroklos Kontogiannis, officially proposes the use of the term “Macedonians” for the Slav-speaking Christians of the wider region, referring to “Macedonian Hellenization” and “Macedonian Bulgarization” and claiming that ” Is the same in both of these categories, namely the Macedonian “(see” Virus “5.6.05).

The tendency for discrete self-determination has been progressively strengthened in response to the bloody proselytizing campaigns of Bulgarians, Greeks and Serbs. An early call for the creation of a modern, “Macedonian nation” was made in 1903 by Krste Misirkov (born in Pella birthplace of Alexander the Great). For the corresponding crystallizations on the basis of the local societies, the revelation of Stratis Myrivilis in 1917: “Those here the peasants”, writes about his hosts in Velusina, “they do not want either” Bulgar “, nor” Serb “, nor “Greek”. Only “Macedonian Orthodox” “(” Life in Tomb, 1st edition [1924], re-edited. Athens 1991, p. 104-5).

All this, at least a few decades before Tito made his public appearance on the political scene in the Balkans.

Myth #2

The territory of the Republic of Macedonia is mostly outside of “historical” Macedonia.

In fact, as the Greek national historian Konstantinos Paparrigopoulos points out in a service report in 1885, the whole of today’s Republic of Macedonia is included in the boundaries of ancient Macedonia. The much-acclaimed distinction of Macedonia into “geographic” and “historical” is, by contrast, only a trick of the then Greek sub-state, aiming at the arbitrary identification of Macedonia with “that part of that country in which Hellenism can stand out and take root “. <>

Paparrigopoulos refused to accept the relevant suggestions, stressing that “in any historical context we are able to support Macedonia’s new demarcation” and warned that “no one wanted to accept” internationally the “new geographic term” that the Greek political leadership constructed for the northern Macedonian Areas. Although it was not heard at the time, History was to justify it: the renaming of Northern Macedonia to “Dardania” remained a slogan for internal consumption without any repercussions on the international scientific and diplomatic scene – or even universal acceptance by the Greek scholars.

Myth #3

The real historical name of the Republic of Macedonia is “Vardarska Banovina”.

In fact, this name has only been used by the Yugoslav state for 12 years all and everything (1929-1941) and even under conditions that were implemented to promote artificial character.

When King Alexander’s (Serbian) military dictatorship attempted in 1929 to eradicate the ethnicities of the country by merging them into a single “Yugoslav” nation under Serbian rule, all “historical” regions of Yugoslavia were replaced by Administrations (“Banovina’s”) with the names of local Rivers. The change was consolidated with the 1931 Constitution (article 83) and was ironically treated by the international press of the time.

If we take seriously this administrative division, apart from back then (Yugoslav) Macedonia, then there is no Slovenia (but Dravska Banovina), Croatia (Savska and Primorsko Banovina), Montenegro (Zetska Banovina) Herzegovina (“Danskska” and “Vrbaska” Banovina), Vojvodina (“Dunavska” Banovina) and – of course – nor Serbia (“Moravska” Banovina). The ridiculousness of the whole argument, propagated by Greek officials is more than obvious.

Myth #4

The name of our northern neighbours as “Macedonia” implies irrepressible attitudes at the expense of Greek occupied Macedonia.

In fact, older territorial claims against Greek occupied Macedonia have never been based on “terminology” misconceptions. The main argument of Bulgaria and the Titoist Yugoslavia (prior to 1950) was the continued presence of a compact Macedonian minority in areas of Greek occupied Macedonia or the “historical rights” that (supposedly) involved the population composition of the region before the Balkan Wars and The settlement of the refugees of Asia Minor.

The fashion until the Second World War was also the “geopolitical” argument (the “right” of nations to “look for” arable land, Seaways, etc.). Similar arguments were made by the official Athens, calling for an extension of the Greek border to the north. Today, such claims are considered by international law to be unacceptable, while the existence and protection of local minorities have been completely disconnected from territorial “arrangements”.

Myth #5

The Macedonian (imaginary) relationship of the Slav-Macedonians is a historical forgery that was used by Skopje in the post-war years.

In fact, the supposed origin of the Slavs by the ancient Macedonians has been a favourite subject of Greek propaganda since the middle of the 19th century.

They certify Slavonic-language forms that the Macedonians distributed to the local population, such as the “Declaration of the Greek-Macedonian Association of Athens for our Macedonian Brothers” (1905) or the supposed “Prophecies of the Great Alexander” (1907). Similar theories exist in oral sermons to the Slav-speaking peasants (St. Raptis’ History of the Macedonian Struggle, In 1910, p. 168). Finally, the Slavic Macedonian proclamation of the “Homeric” language of the ancient Macedonians by scholars of the time (Tsioulkas, Boukouvalas, etc.) is well known, the rhetoric of which has so far attracted a response to Greek nationalist circles.

Equally old is the appropriation of this “historical” argument by the Slav Macedonians themselves – or they were drawn up with Greek nationalism or not. A consular exhibition of 1871 records the adornment of the “Slav Bulgarian” bookshop of the Bytellians with the image of the Great Alexander, while in 1902 the commentators say they “want to revive Alexander the Great” and his state. In the same year, a Slavic-speaking agent of the Greek apparatus is publicly charlataning his compatriots who “mislead the great prophets that they might be descendants at the same time as Alexander the Great” (G. Konstas, “The actions and assassinations of the Bulgarian committee “, In 1902, Athens, 1902).

Myth #6

The Greek state has been indifferent to the movements of the Republic of Macedonia for half a century.

In fact, as the official Greek historian explains in his review paper (and expert of the Foreign Ministry for at least three decades), Evangelos Kofos, “for our diplomatic service, which many considered to be a” non-existent issue “was a very real and thorny problem. There have been periods during which 50% of the incoming daily papers in the relevant Balkan Department of the Ministry were directly or indirectly referred to Macedonia “.

The relative misunderstanding is due to the choice of the Greek political leaders to consider the issue formally “non-existent”, imposing this line on Greek media.

Konstantinos Karamanlis (senior) did not have, for example, No problem in explaining in 1980 to his Yugoslav counterpart, Mijatovic, how he forced the Greek press to silence the Yugoslav Foreign Ministry’s answer to a question of “our foolish journalist about Macedonia” (Karamanlis Archive, 12th p. 61).

The cause of this ordered self-censorship is not difficult to identify. Thanks to the (secret) Greek-Yugoslav ‘gentleman’s agreement’ of 1962 for the two sides’ refusal to abstain from any Macedonian public uprooting, the Greek state was able to organize – without international complications – an extensive assimilation program for the Slav-speaking minority of the north-Hellenic area. In return, it de facto accepted the existence of the state of Macedonia, as the name of the postwar government is acknowledged in the agreement.

Myth #7

The leadership of the Republic of Macedonia has been firmly intransigent to the name issue, rejecting any compromise.

In fact, the Greek government has taken care to reject first all versions of a complex name proposed in 1992-93 by EU mediators. And the UN, such as “New Macedonia” (1.4.92) and “Nova Makedonija” (28.5.93).

The second was formally dismissed by Gligorov, one day after Mitsotakis.

The same thing happened with bilateral auditions. In March 1992, during the Helsinki-2 conference of the CSCE, FYROM Malevski’s Foreign Minister handed over to members of the Greek delegation a list of five versions of a complex name (Vardar Macedonia, North Macedonia, etc.), urging In the direct joint solution to the problem. The Greek side rejected the demo on the grounds that “the moment was inappropriate”. On the same day, the campaign of Greek counterpart, Antonis Samaras, escalated to prevent any compromise with the “pseudo-state” – resulting in the encroaching of Greek foreign policy on today’s deadlocks.

Myth #8

Macedonian nationalist circles immediately threaten the security and territorial integrity of Northern Greece.

The existence of nationalists in any country is self-evident. A completely different issue is their real danger. In the case of the Republic of Macedonia, a lot of talks took place in 1991-93 on the irredentist slogan of the country’s second-largest party, the VMRO-DPMNE. In fact, as it was later revealed by the local press, the leadership of the VMRO-DPMNE had been in contact with the Greek secret services since 1992 – in particular, with Mitsotakis’ special envoy, General Gryllakis (“Virus” 22.12.2001).

When the VMRO-DPMNE assumed the government of Macedonia in 1998, it followed a more “loyal” policy than its predecessors (sell-out of strategic industries in the Greek capital, etc.). According to “Vima” (June 3, 2001), a consultant of Prime Minister Georgievski “in the consultations with Athens on the name” was no other than Stamatis Maleis – the same person who, as an employee of the Greek Consulate, Talks had begun In 1992 between the contacts Gryllakis-VMRO-DPMNE!

Myth #9

A large Greek minority lives in the territory of FYROM.

It is a non-existent construction that is not based on any real facts. The initial trigger was given by a poll of the magazine PULS (1991), according to which, in case of dissolution of the Republic of Macedonia, 10.88% of the respondents would prefer to live in Greece and not in another neighbouring country – Media (and A2 of GER) was interpreted as an event of Greek national consciousness!

The ceremony was followed by the proclamation of a “Greek National Minority Organization” (19.2.93), which soon proved to be a construct of the domestic “Target”. As the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Virginia Tsouderou, even raising the percentage of the “Greek minority” to 18.6, “as was pointed out,” it reinforced the impression for third parties that Greece is looking for or constructing a base for intervention in the neighbouring country.”

Myth #10

The attitude of Athens towards Skopje has been consistently atypical and not at all threatening.

In fact, Greek nationalism seriously flirted with the idea of dissolving the “pseudo-state” as Greece calls the Republic of Macedonia. In addition to the thousands of protesters who flooded the streets of Athens asking for “border breaks” and “border with Serbia” (10.12.92), Greece’s “military pressure” and partition also supported public figures such as Stelios Papathemelis, Chrysanthos Lazaridis, Konstantinos Vakalopoulos, Sarandos Kargakos, Christos Passalaris or former President Christos Sartzetakis. In the Athenian press, the Hellenic Army advanced the scenarios on the territory of Republic of Macedonia (“Vima” 15.12.91 and 31.5.92), as well as a map of the proposals of the Hellenic National Armed Forces on the new borders of Greece (“Ethnos” 7.12.92).

On another level, Samaras from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs based a large part of its strategy on the prospect of the breakup and collapse of the “state” (thanks to the first atypical Greek embargo of 1992), while the talks with Milosevic and Draskovic for Greek-Serbian partition of the Republic of Macedonia.

Finally, different plans for the “preventive” occupation of a “sanitary zone” within the Republic of Macedonia in the event of an extension of the intra-communal riots there were formally discussed in the competent committee of the Parliament in August 2001.

An almost forgotten aspect of the 1991-94 nationalist hysteria concerns the political identity of the “experts” who undertook to illuminate overnight the domestic public opinion about the prehistory, nature and real dimensions of an issue that had until then been “non-existent” by The official state and its ideological mechanisms.

The coverage of the political, ideological and bibliographic vacuum generated by the ordered state silence (and the indifference of the then left and progressive intellect on similar issues) was undertaken by the representatives and organic intellectuals of the post- and cult nationalist state that, after the 1974 Transition, Get into the margins.


Alexander Stoinis is a regular writer for the World Macedonian Congress – Australia and other Human Rights Watch Organisations.


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By | 2018-03-29T02:28:38+11:00 July 11th, 2017|Latest News|0 Comments