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Takis Michas: If we ask all countries about the name - 99 % will support the name Republic of Macedonia

Takis Michas
I remain on the position that Greece should recognize the constitutional name of Macedonia, said Greek journalist Takis Michas to “Dnevnik”, following the publication of an analysis titled “Macedonia and East Germany” which talks about how correct, consistent, and selective are the views of Greek foreign policy.

- If we make a survey around the world and ask all countries about the name issue, 99 percent will say they would support the opinion of Macedonia to be called the Republic of Macedonia, Michas said.

According to him, the reason for this response is not that they know that much about the history of Macedonia, nor that they care about Macedonia.

- The only reason why they would say it is standard diplomatic practice. The standard practice is to respect the name, which the government of a sovereign country is using. And it should be respected, not that I or anyone else is concerned about the history of Macedonia, Michas said, adding that he considers that Athens should recognize our constitutional name.

The continuous Greek refusal to recognize the constitutional name of its neighbor, or the Republic of Macedonia, is based mainly on two arguments by Athens, Michas writes in the analysis. The first is that this name does not correspond to the historical and cultural reality, or that Macedonia was only Greek, and second, that the use of the term Macedonia a country that encompasses geographically part of Macedonia means expansionist ambitions.

According to him, if these two arguments do not apply only to the neighboring country, but are general rules of Greek foreign policy, it means that Greece does not recognize states whose name does not correspond to the political, historical and cultural realities. Next argument would be that Greece does not recognize states whose name contains expansionist views, according authorities in Greece, replacing just one part of the name is expansionary stance.

Michas said you should not ask the question whether these rules are correct, but whether Greece is consistent and applies it always or it is done selectively.

As evidence of selectivity, he takes the example of East Germany. In December 1973 the government of the Greek military junta officially recognized East Germany, after West Germany did it in 1971.

- Greek governments recognized GDR under its constitutional name German Democratic Republic, and thus violated two rules governing Greek foreign policy, Michas says.

He says it violates one of the rules because the GDR government was not democratic, but the state was brutal one-party dictatorship that was raising walls to prevent the escape of people. Furthermore, second rule is broken, in this case the name German is used, from a state that is geographically part of the whole of Germany.

- Why did Greece do it? Why did not ask for recognition of GDR as “One-party dictatorship in East Germany “? And why West Germany did that also? Why Bon did not ask change the name of East Germany, as it does now Greek Macedonia, Michas asks.

The answer is simple, because Greece and West Germany recognized the constitutional name of GDR guided by standard diplomatic practice, which means recognition of the reality that the name contains no territorial aspirations.

- Recognition of the name implies acceptance of the fact that it has sovereign rights, including the right of naming, as was the case with Berlin’s decision and the decision of the government in Skopje in Macedonia case, Takis Michas added.

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