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Member UpdateBulletin 

Editorial Committee: Achilleas Adamantiades, Dimitri Dandolos  Alex Economides,

Gerasimos Merianos, Maria Eleftheria Giatrakou, Panagiotis Siskos, Stella Tsirka;

Associate Editor: Dean C. Lomis, Acting Editor: Costas Efthymiou                          

                               

                                     Bulletin 155  February 2018                                                                     

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                 ΑΝΑΦΟΡΑ ΣΤΗΝ ΒΕΡΓΙΝΑ!

 

The renowned Professor Emeritus of Archaeology at Berkley, Stephen G. Miller, in his monumental letter to the Archaeology Magazine  reprinted below, uncovers usurpers of historical truth, and with unshakeable reasoning and documentary evidence, methodically devastates Skopje’s claimed right to be called Macedonians. Prof. Miller’s letter was written in reply to the provocative article of Reporter Matthew Brunwasser, “Letter from Macedonia: Owning Alexander,” supporting Skopje’s position.  With his letter, Professor Miller overturned completely the fundamental idea pushed by Skopje that their country- the ancient Pelagonia – was part of Macedonia,

                                                                                                CJE

 

 

January 22, 2009

Editor, Archaeology Magazine

36-36 33rd Street, Long Island City , NY 11106,  U.S.A.

Dear Sir,

I opened the January/February issue of Archaeology today and eagerly turned to “A Letter from Macedonia” only to discover that it was actually a letter from ancient Paionia – the land north of Mt. Barmous and Mt. Orbelos. Livy’s account of the creation of the Roman province of Macedonia (45.29.7 and 12) makes clear that the Paionians lived north of those mountains (which form today the geographically natural northern limits of Greece) and south of the Dardanians who were in today’s Kosovo. Strabo (7. frag 4) is even more succinct in saying that Paionia was north of Macedonia and the only connection from one to the other was (and is today) through the narrow gorge of the Axios (or Vardar) River. In other words, the land which is described by Matthew Brunwasser in his “Owning Alexander” was Paionia in antiquity.

While it is true that those people were subdued by Philip II, father of Alexander, in 359 B.C. (Diodorus Siculus 16.4.2), they were never Macedonians and never lived in Macedonia. Indeed, Demosthenes (Olynthian 1.23) tells us that they were “enslaved” by the Macedonian Philip and clearly, therefore, not Macedonians. Isokrates (5.23) makes the same point. Likewise, for example, the Egyptians who were subdued by Alexander may have been ruled by Macedonians, including the famous Cleopatra, but they were never Macedonians themselves, and Egypt was never called Macedonia (and so far as I can tell does not seek that name today).

Certainly, as Thucydides (2.99) tells us, the Macedonians had taken over “a narrow strip of Paionia extending along the Axios river from the interior to Pella and the sea.” One might therefore understand if the people in the modern republic centered at Skopje called themselves Paionians and claimed as theirs the land described by Thucydides.

But why, instead, would the modern people of ancient Paionia try to call themselves Macedonians and their land Macedonia? Mr. Brunwasser (p. 55) touches on the Greek claims “that it implies ambitions over Greek territory” and he notes that “the northern province of Greece is also called Macedonia.” Leaving aside the fact that the area of that northern province of modern Greece has been called Macedonia for more than 2,500 years (see, inter alios, Herodotus 5.17; 7.128, et alibi), more recent history shows that the Greek concerns are legitimate. For example, a map produced in Skopje in 1992 (Figure 1) shows clearly the claim that Macedonia extends from there to Mt. Olympus in the south; that is, combining the ancient regions of Paionia and Macedonia into a single entity. The same claim is explicit on a pseudo-bank note of the Republic of Macedonia which shows, as one of its monuments, the White Tower of Thessalonike, in Greece (Figure 2). There are many more examples of calendars, Christmas cards, bumper-stickers, etc., that all make the same claim.

Further, Mr. Brunwasser has reported with approval (International Herald Tribune 10/1/08) the work of the “Macedonian Institute for Strategic Research 16:9,” the name of which refers “to Acts 16:9, a verse in the New Testament in which a Macedonian man appears to the Apostle Paul begging him: ‘Come over into Macedonia, and help us.'” But where did Paul go in Macedonia? Neapolis (Kavala), Philippi, Amphipolis, Apollonia, Thessaloniki, and Veroia (Acts 16:11-17:10) all of which are in the historic Macedonia, none in Paionia. What claim is being made by an Institute based in Skopje that names itself for a trip through what was Macedonia in antiquity and what is the northern province of Greece today?

I wonder what we would conclude if a certain large island off the southeast coast of the United States started to call itself Florida, and emblazoned its currency with images of Disney World and distributed maps showing the Greater Florida. 

Certainly there was no doubt of the underlying point of “Macedonia” in the mind of U.S. Secretary of State Edward Stettinius on December 26, 1944, when he wrote: 

“The Department [of State] has noted with considerable apprehension increasing propaganda rumors and semi-official statements in favor of an autonomous Macedonia, emanating principally from Bulgaria, but also from Yugoslav Partisan and other sources, with the implication that Greek territory would be included in the projected state. This government considers talk of Macedonian “nation”, Macedonian “Fatherland”, or Macedonian “national consciousness” to be unjustified demagoguery representing no ethnic nor political reality, and sees in its present revival a possible cloak for aggressive intentions against Greece.”

[Source: U.S. State Department, Foreign Relations vol viii, Washington, D.C., Circular Airgram (868.014/26Dec1944)]

Mr. Brunwasser (a resident of Bulgaria), however, goes on to state, with apparent distain, that Greece claims “Alexander III of Macedon (Alexander the Great) . . . as Greek.”

This attitude mystifies me. What is there to “claim”? Alexander’s great-great-great grandfather, Alexander I, was certified as Greek at Olympia and, in the words of the father of history “I happen to know that [the forefathers of Alexander] are Greek” (Herodotus 5.22). Alexander’s father, Philip, won several equestrian victories at Olympia and Delphi (Plutarch, Alexander 4.9; Moralia 105A), the two most Hellenic of all the sanctuaries in ancient Greece where non-Greeks were not allowed to compete. If Philip was Greek, wasn’t his son also Greek?

When Euripides – who died and was buried in Macedonia (Thucydides apud Pal. Anth. 7.45; Pausanias 1.2.2; Diodorus Siculus 13.103) – wrote his play Archelaos in honor of the great-uncle of Alexander, did he write it in Slavic? When he wrote the Bacchai while at the court of Archelaos did he not write it in Greek even as it has survived to us? Or should we imagine that Euripides was a “Macedonian” who wrote in Slavic (at a date when that language is not attested) which was translated into Greek?

What was the language of instruction when Aristotle taught Alexander? What language was carried by Alexander with him on his expedition to the East? Why do we have ancient inscriptions in Greek in settlements established by Alexander as far away as Afghanistan, and none in Slavic? Why did Greek become the lingua franca in Alexander’s empire if he was actually a “Macedonian”? Why was the New Testament written in Greek rather than Slavic?

On page 57 of the so-called “Letter from Macedonia” there is a photograph of the author standing “before a bronze statue of Alexander the Great in the city of Prilep.” The statue is patently modern, but the question is whether the real historic Alexander could have read the Slavic inscription beneath his feet. Given the known historic posterity of Slavic to Greek, the answer is obvious.

While Mr. Brunwasser’s reporting of the archaeological work in Paionia is welcome, his adoption and promotion of the modern political stance of its people about the use of the name Macedonia is not only unwelcome, it is a disservice to the readers of Archaeology who are, I imagine, interested in historic fact. But then, the decision to propagate this historical nonsense by Archaeology – a publication of the Archaeological Institute of America – is a disservice to its own reputation. 

Let it be said once more: the region of ancient Paionia was a part of the Macedonian empire. So were Ephesos and Tyre and Palestine and Memphis and Babylon and Taxila and dozens more. They may thus have become “Macedonian” temporarily, but none was ever “Macedonia”.

Allow me to end this exegesis by making a suggestion to resolve the question of the modern use of the name “Macedonia.” Greece should annex Paionia – that is what Philip II did in 359 B.C. And that would appear to be acceptable to the modern residents of that area since they claim to be Greek by appropriating the name Macedonia and its most famous man. Then the modern people of this new Greek province could work on learning to speak and read and write Greek, hopefully even as well as Alexander did.

Sincerely,

Stephen G. Miller

Professor Emeritus, University of California, 

Berkeley

PS: For a more complete examination of the ancient evidence regarding Paionia, see I. L. Merker, “The Ancient Kingdom of Paionia,” Balkan Studies 6 (1965) 35-54

cc: C. Brian Rose, President, Archaeological Institute of America

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State of the United States of America

Dora Bakoyiannis, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece

Antonis Samaras, Minister of Culture of Greece

Olli Rehn, European Commissioner for Enlargement

Erik Meijer, Member, European Parliament

 

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THE HISTORICAL SOLUTION TO THE FYROM/MACEDONIA DILEMMA

                                                Dean C. Lomis, Ph.D. *

    A 1939 Yugoslavia postage stamp titled: “Jugoslavija” (I.E., “land of the southern

Slavs”), depicts the eight provinces of the then-Federation: Dravska, the northwest region

fed by the Drava, an important tributary of the Danube River; Hrvatska; Vrbaska;

Drinska, the western region fed by the White Drin tributary emanating from the River

Drin in Albania; Dunavska, the eastern region fed by the Danube River; Hcravska;

Zetsca; and, Vardarska, the southernmost region crossed by the Vardar River.

    The Yugoslavia Federation was established after World War I — originally as the

Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians, known as “Kraljevina Srba, Hrvata I

Slovenaka.”  If a “Macedonian” nation had existed, it would have been the Kingdom

of Serbs, Croats, Slovenians and Macedonians.  However, no such nation existed.

The Kingdom was dissolved in 1941 at the German invasion.  If, therefore, World War II

had not occurred, or if after the War the Communist Party had not ruled, there would not

be a “Macedonia” issue today.

    The border between Greece and Serbia was defined in 1913 on the basis of the

advances of the armies of the two nations during the 1912-1913 Balkan wars.  The

border between Greece and Bulgaria was defined at the treaty of Bucharest, and the

border with Albania by the treaty of London.  Since then, the borders of the four nations

had remained the same.  

    Be it as it may, the land of “Macedonia” was part-and-parcel of the ancient

Greek system of city-states.  The inhabitants of Macedonia identified themselves as

Greeks, believed in the same gods, shared the same cultural and athletic activities, and

spoke the same language: Greek.  It is also of major significance that the ancient Greeks

had placed the habitat of their gods on Mount Olympus in Macedonia.  It would have

been totally inconceivable for the Greeks to have placed the habitat of their gods in a

non-Greek, “barbarian” territory.

     Above the land of the ancient Greeks of Macedonia were the lands of the ancient

Dardanians.: Dardania.  It was in Dardania that the Slavs descended into the Balkans

and from Dardania to the lower Balkans, in Macedonia, in the 6th Century, A.D.  For

three centuries, the Slavs spoke their Slavic tongue – not language, which had no

written or reading form.  It was not until the 9th Century that two Greek brothers, Cyril

and Methodius, both of whom were monks, illuminated them on Orthodox Christianity

and grammatically taught them their own Slavic language. Cyril is credited with

inventing the Cyrillic alphabet – a modified version of Greek to accommodate some of

the particular non-Greek sounds —  thereby providing for them the tool to learn to read

and write their own tongue.  Accordingly, therefore, the Slavs cannot and do not have

any historical connection with Macedonia before the 6th Century, nor any political bond

prior to the 9th Century.  

     Unless we accept the absurd notions of the late Turkish Prime Minister and President,

Turgut Ozal {who, in his book: Turkey in Europe, asserts that Homer as well as Aristotle

were Turks), the Macedonians, like all Greeks had their own regional identification and

leaders: Pericles the Attican, Epaminondas, the Boeotian, Homer the Chian,  Pyrrhus  

the Epirote, Leonidas the Lacaedemonian, Philip and Alexander the Macedonians, and so

on, including in later times Domini(os) Theotokopoulos the Cretan who signed his great

art as “El Greco.”

    The “Macedonia question” became an issue in late 1944, and a turbulent controversy

after the breakup of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s.  In 1944, with the predominance of

the Communist Party in then-Yugoslavia, Marshall Tito, for reasons of geopolitical

expediency for territorial expansion southward toward a warm water port in the

Mediterranean, arbitrarily renamed the area officially until then “Vardarska” – as shown

on the 1939 Yugoslav postage stamp – but also known as South Serbia, to the “Socialist

Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and its inhabitants “Macedonians.”  Tito’s action was

a consequence of the 1921 Moscow resolve by the “Comintern” (the Communist

International) and the Balkan communist parties to pursue autonomy for the Macedonia

region in order to eventually include the most strategic territory into the Communist

camp.

    Tito’s pronouncement of a “Macedonian nation” on December 26, 1944 was swiftly

denounced by the United States.  Then-U.S. Secretary of State Edward Stettinius

dispatched immediately “Circular Airgram (868.014)” determining America’s foreign

policy in opposition to Tito’s reprehensible action:

 

         “The Department has noted with considerable apprehension

           increasing propaganda rumors and semi-official statements

           in favor of an autonomous Macedonia, emanating principally

           from Bulgaria, but also from Yugoslavia Partisan and other

           sources, with the implication that Greek territory would be

           included in the projected state.  This Government considers

           talk of Macedonian ‘nation,’ Macedonian ‘Fatherland,’ or

           Macedonian ‘national consciousness’ to be unjustified

           demagoguery representing no ethnic or political reality,

           and see in its present revival a possible cloak of aggressive

           action against Greece,”

to which the then-Soviet Union’s arch-Communist, Joseph Stalin, boasted in 1946:

“They do not have Macedonian consciousness, but they will.”  However, the statement

by former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger suffices to acknowledge once more

what the Pontus-born, Roman-era historian and geographer, Strabo, wrote: “Macedonia,

therefore, is Greece.”  Dr. Kissinger declared in Paris in 1992:

           “ I believe that Greece is right to object and I agree with Athens.

             The reason is I know history, which is not the case with most

             others, including most of the Government and Administration

             in Washington.”

In the final analysis, therefore, U.S. recognition of a state with the pseudonym

“Macedonia” would be tantamount to a Communist victory after the end of the Cold

War, on an issue that our nation opposed them during the Cold War.

     Upon the dissolution of Yugoslavia following the fall of Communism in the early

1990s, the remnant leaders of Tito’s “Socialist Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”

dropped the “Socialist Yugoslav” for the obvious reasons and announced their breakaway

state “The Republic of Macedonia.”  Immediately, they announced that the portions of            

the Macedonian region within Greece, Bulgaria and Albania were under foreign

“occupation”;  printed the famous “White Tower” of Thessaloniki in Greece on their

monetary notes; named the city of Thessaloniki (which they call “Solun”) as their

nation’s “capital” under Greek occupation; printed schoolbooks and started teaching their

children that Macedonia outside its current borders is under foreign occupation; depicted

the “Sun of Vergina,” discovered during excavations of King Philip’s tomb in the late

1970s, as the symbol for their “national” flag; and, among myriad other usurpations,

pronounced Alexander the Great their historical ancestor.

    Lack of national identity for the Slavs of “FYROM” does not justify their desire to

develop one by usurping someone else’s.  In addition, aside from the fact that they,

themselves, are not “Macedonians,” the large Albanian and Bulgarian  minorities also

 

do not wish to be identified as such, for they know they are not.  The Albanian minority

comprises about 1/3rd of FYROM’s population, and the Bulgarian minority about 1/4th.

Some 250,000 of the Bulgarian minority recently applied for Bulgarian passports,

desiring to be identified as Bulgarians, since Bulgaria is on the road to membership in the

European Union, which FYROM is not primarily due to its falsified name.

     FYROM’s total area of only 13,578 square miles (146 miles east-to-west and 93 miles

north-to-south) comprises a strip which is a mere 20 miles wide north-to-south from the

Greek border, and just 1/5th of its total territory.  FYROM’s remaining 4/5ths is

located outside the Macedonian region, including its capital, Skopje.

  Historical backgrounds and ethnic identities indicate clearly that FYROM in its

entirety cannot be accepted as “Macedonia.”  That its southern 1/5th portion of 20 miles

wide be called its “Macedonia Province,” similarly to the one in Greece, would be proper

and should not only be acceptable, but also a very fair compromise.

    The solution of the FYROM/Macedonia dilemma is for the portions of the 7 southern

counties (of the country’s 28 total) which fall within the area of the Macedonia

region (I.E., Resen, Bitola, Prilep, Kavadarci, Negotino, Gevgelija, and Strumica)

to comprise the nation’s “Macedonia Province.”  The remaining areas can also have

their own “province” identification, in existence today as in the past: “Planina” to the

west, where the majority of the population is ethnic Albanian and borders with

Albania; “Plackovica” to the east, where the majority of the population is ethnic

Bulgarian and borders with Bulgaria; and “Jakupica,” the central and northern portion,

to include the nation’s capital, Skopje, which is inhabited by Slavs, perhaps

even almost entirely by Serbs.  Thus, the “Macedonia Province” will contain mostly the

so-called “Slavomacedonians.”

    The official name of the country, with its four provinces and twenty-eight counties,

can then be called by its true identity: “Vardarska,” as applied officially before World

War II, or “Dardania,” if the inhabitants of the entity wish to identify themselves with

e his som orical past.  Certainly they should be able to discover some Dardanian

historical t

past in the 4/5ths of the land where the ancient Dardanians lived, rather than

attempting to usurp Macedonia’s Greek identity of more than five millennia.

           

     Resolving the “name issue” with proper identification would also have many

immediate and long-term benefits for the Balkan Peninsula; the Mediterranean Region;

the European Continent; and for the world at large.

    For the Greeks, it will eliminate their current concern that FYROM is attempting

to usurp a significant part of their Hellenic national identity, and that no longer will a

“Vardarska” or a “Dardania” be seeking to expand its borders by absorbing the remainder

of the Macedonia region, as they currently advocate and teach in their schools.  The many

and enormous global problems that the world is facing today due to extremist teachings

of the Koran by Islamist “fundamentalists” (a misnomer rather than “fanatic extremists”),

are serious enough to require understanding and cooperation to prevent future conflicts.

Continuing to teach “The Falsification of Macedonian History” (a most apropos

book title by the late former Governor of the Macedonia Province in Greece,

Nikolaos Martis), will create a tumultuous “Balkan” problem in the decades to come,

similar to the racial tensions faced by Europeans in general and the French in

particular today.  

    Kosovo, with its twin ethno-religious problem of Albanian Moslem versus

Serbian Christian animosity, and the unsettled Bosnian triangle of Croatian Christians

versus Serbian Christians versus “Bosnian” Moslems and also Croatian Catholic versus

Serbian Orthodox are dangerous enough, not to mention FYROM’s own Albanian

Moslem versus Slavic Christian differences.  Solving the problem now, therefore, will

ensure order and peace for Skopje’s future.

      For the people of present-day FYROM, a name consistent with their own true

identity – not someone else’s – will, at least eventually, develop a genuine national

“consciousness,” thereby giving some credibility to their then-idol Joseph Stalin’s

statement.  Moreover, once it has its proper name, the country will have a “true” identity

in the United Nations; enjoy the total support of Greece for membership to both NATO

and the European Union; and have Greece’s unlimited promotion for security of its

borders, and of its territorial integrity, against any potential aggressors, or even internal

 

turmoil it may not be able to contain itself.  And, with proper name identification leading

to good relations with its neighbors, especially under the protection of considerably

powerful Greece, its people will begin to develop a solid economic infrastructure away

from the chrysalis of Communism, and prosper.

    It is therefore of immense and utmost importance that the world’s powers, especially

the industrialized societies of Europe and America, (not to mention their own national

interests), instruct, convince and lead present-day FYROM to adhere to international law

by which it was “provisionally” admitted into the United Nations under the “temporary”

name of FYROM, until a suitable name “in agreement with Greece” would be found.

After more than a decade of intransigence, it is ultimately in FYROM’s best national

interests to compromise in line with the stipulations it accepted to become a provisional

U.N. member.

* Dean Lomis is Professor Emeritus of International Education, University of Delaware, and a Member of the Board of Directors of the Hellenic Link, Inc.

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Further dissection of the pseudo claims of Skopje against northern regions of Greece reveals projection by them of a fictitious size for their territory, falsely labeled Macedonia. In the following article Ioannis Bougas sheds light on the nuances of this particular Skopian trick .

                                                                                                                         CJE

 

ο ισχυρισμός ότι η Ελλάδα κατέχει μόνο το 51.5% είναι βασισμένος στην έννοια ύπαρξης «Γεωγραφικής Μακεδονίας» που ξεκίνησε να προωθείται τον 19ον αιώνα από τους Ρώσους και τους Βουλγάρους με τη βοήθεια χαρτογράφων. Ο στόχος τους πάντα ήταν να παρουσιάζεται η Μακεδονία μεγαλύτερη ώστε να περιέχει και ευρείες περιοχές εκτός Ελλάδος κατοικούμενες από Σλάβους, ώστε να αποκτούν και αυτοί «δικαιώματα κατοχής»!

Ο πρώτος γνωστός χαρτογράφος της Μακεδονίας είναι ο Γάλλος Ami Boue (1847). Σ’ αυτόν βασίστηκε μετά ο Βούλγαρος χαρτογράφος και πανσλαβιστής Basil Kantsof (1900), ο οποίος οραματιζόταν τη Μεγάλη Βουλγαρία. Την δεκαετία του 1940 η ΚΟΜΙΝΤΕΡΝ και ο Τίτο υιοθέτησαν τον όρο «Γεωγραφική Μακεδονία», γιατί οραματίζονταν τη Μεγάλη Μακεδονία…και εκεί έμεινε το θέμα για χρόνια. Οι Σκοπιανοί άρχισαν πρόσφατα να το χρησιμοποιούν για να κάνουν πειστικότερο τον ισχυρισμό τους ότι εμείς οι Έλληνες δεν έχουμε αποκλειστικότητα στην γεωγραφική περιοχή της Μακεδονίας.

Δυστυχώς οι ιδέες περί Γεωγραφικής Μακεδονίας έγιναν δεκτές και από κάποιους Έλληνες ιστορικούς και εμπειρογνώμονες ή «ιστορικούς» και «εμπειρογνώμονες» και χρησιμοποιείται συχνά από πολιτικούς μας και αρθρογράφους (π.χ. από την κ. Ντόρα Μπακογιάννη, και τον καθηγητή Α. Ηρακλείδη, πρόσφατα). Εκείνος που αναφέρεται ως «πηγή» ότι η Ελλάδα κατέχει το 51.5% της Μακεδονίας είναι ο Ευάγγελος Κωφός, συνεργάτης της ΜΚΟ ΕΛΙΑΜΕΠ.

Στην πραγματικότητα η Ελλάδα έχει το 85% της αρχαίας Μακεδονίας, γιατί το βασίλειο της Μακεδονίας δεν εκτεινόταν ποτέ πέρα από τη γραμμή Αχρίδα-Μοναστήρι- Κρούσοβο, κλπ. Και στην Ρωμαϊκή εποχή η κυρίως Μακεδονία (Macedonia Prima) περιείχε μόνο το βασίλειο του Φιλίππου και του Αλεξάνδρου, ενώ η ευρεία Μακεδονία (Macedonia Secunda) περιείχε και την Παιονία. Καμία Μακεδονία δεν εκτεινόταν βορειότερα από μια λεπτή λωρίδα του σημερινού κράτους της ΠΓΔΜ, ενώ η πόλη των Σκοπίων δεν ανήκε ποτέ στη Μακεδονία.

(Editor’s note: definitive clarification of this point is also given in the letter of Prof. Miller to “Archaeology”, reprinted above).

Τα γράφω αυτά, παρά το ότι το ποσοστό κατοχής της γεωγραφικής Μακεδονίας από την Ελλάδα και τα Σκόπια δεν έχει μεγάλη σημασία. Η αντίθεσή μας στις επιδιώξεις των Σκοπιανών βασίζεται στο γεγονός ότι οι αρχαίοι Μακεδόνες ήταν Έλληνες και δεν μπορούμε να επιτρέψουμε κλοπή της Ιστορίας τους και της πολιτισμικής τους κληρονομιάς από τους σλαβόφωνους βορείους γείτονές μας.

 

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 The tenacious attachment of Greece’s northern neighbors to theit irrendentist vision has led to intense diplomatic activity lately. Unable to make progress in their expansionist scheme on their own, they have resorted to grounding their hopes on the leverage of foreign powers which have strong geopolitical interests in the Balkans. As is known, the Macedonian dispute has become the central issue of protracted negotiations involving, in addition to the opposing parties, the United Nations and other governments. The Greek people sensing the pressure exerted from the outside have been alarmed and risen to vociferous opposition against any unjust concession that would compromise their legitimate historical rights and possibly suffer in time encroachment on their national sovereignty. In two recent massve rallies, one in Thessaloniki (January 21, 2018), the second in Athens (February 4, 2018), Hellenes from every corner of the country warned their government not to yield under pressure, wherever the latter originates.

In the following article, a participant of the rally in Athens describes the mood of the crowds and the nature of their demands for dignified settlement in the ongoing negotiations.    CJE

Τι είδα στο συλλαλητήριο για τη Μακεδονία   

Την Ελλάδα δεν την πονάς, ούτε τη ρίχνεις στα σκουπίδια: Τι είδα στο συλλαλητήριο για τη Μακεδονία

FEBRUARY 5, 2018

Του Δημήτρη Γ. Απόκη*

Στη ζωή μου δεν έχω πάει ποτέ σε συλλαλητήριο. Χθες όμως, ως Έλληνας, αισθάνθηκα, ότι εάν δεν βρισκόμουν στο Σύνταγμα θα είχα πρόβλημα με τη συνείδησή μου και αυτά που, πάνω από πολιτικές ιδεολογίες, κόμματα, και απόψεις, πιστεύω.

Βρέθηκα λοιπόν να περπατώ με κατεύθυνση την πλατεία Συνάγματος, από τις 12 το μεσημέρι, παρατηρώντας με προσοχή αυτό που συνέβαινε γύρω μου. Πραγματικά η όλη εμπειρία επιβεβαίωσε αυτό που βλέπω εδώ και καιρό. Η κοινωνία και ο λαός, η Ελλάδα, έχει αφήσει πίσω της τους κυβερνώντες και το πολιτικό σύστημα, και παρά αυτά που υφίσταται, παραμένει ζωντανή.

 

Κατεβαίνοντας τη Βασιλίσσης Σοφίας στις 12 το μεσημέρι, ο απλός κόσμος σιωπηρά και χωρίς φανφάρες, κρατώντας Ελληνικές σημαίες κατευθύνονταν στο Σύνταγμα. Άνδρες και γυναίκες, όλων των ηλικιών, και το ευχάριστο πολλά νέα παιδιά. Όσο περνούσε η ώρα, ο κόσμος γίνονταν όλο και περισσότερος και στα πρόσωπα όλων έβλεπες μια σιωπηρή αποφασιστικότητα που δεν είχε να κάνει με το ψεύτικο δίλλημα δεξιά, αριστερά. Δεν έχει να κάνει τίποτα με ταμπέλες, ακροδεξιούς, φασίστες, πατριδοκάπηλους και όλο αυτό το εθνομηδενιστικό παραλήρημα.

Το μόνο που έδειχνε φόβο και απομονωτισμό, ήταν οι τρεις κλούβες των ΜΑΤ στην είσοδο της Ηρώδου Αττικού, στη Βασιλίσσης Σοφίας. Απομόνωση των κυβερνώντων σε ένα κόσμο που καμία σχέση και επαφή δεν έχει με αυτό που συμβαίνει στην κοινωνία. Με αυτό που αισθάνεται η Ελλάδα και η συντριπτική πλειοψηφία των Ελλήνων.

Πουθενά μέχρι τις 4 το απόγευμα που βρισκόμουν ανάμεσα στον κόσμο στο συλλαλητήριο δεν άκουσα ένα πολιτικό σχόλιο, δεν είδα μια κομματική αντιπαράθεση. Απλά κόσμο που φώναζε Ελλάδα και μέσα από το θέμα της ονομασίας των Σκοπίων ανέδυε μια οργή και μια απογοήτευση για την κατάσταση στην οποία έχει βρεθεί η Ελλάδα και οι Έλληνες.

Παρών ανάμεσα στον κόσμο, λίγο πριν την έναρξη των ομιλιών και ο πρώην Πρωθυπουργός, Αντώνης Σαμαράς, ο οποίος όταν πρωτοεμφανίστηκε δάκρυσε από την ανταπόκριση που είχε η παρουσία του. Όταν οι δημοσιογράφοι και οι κάμερες βρέθηκαν μπροστά του, δεν μίλησε πολιτικά, μίλησε ως Έλληνας. Και πριν βιαστούν κάποιοι να λοιδορήσουν ας αναρωτηθούν κάτι πολύ απλό. Ποιος πρώην Πρωθυπουργός, αλλά ειδικά ο νυν Πρωθυπουργός, θα μπορούσε να βρεθεί χθες ανάμεσα στις εκατοντάδες χιλιάδες Ελλήνων και να μπορέσει να σταθεί ταπεινά χωρίς τυμπανοκρουσίες, συνομιλώντας με όποιον απλό πολίτη του έδινε το χέρι; Η απάντηση είναι δεδομένη. Κανείς.

Αυτή ήταν η εικόνα στη χθεσινή εκπληκτική παρουσία του Ελληνικού λαού, της Ελλάδας, στο Σύνταγμα. Μια Ελλάδα ζωντανή, μια Ελλάδα βαθιά οργισμένη από την ταπείνωση. Μια κοινωνία στη συντριπτική πλειοψηφία απογοητευμένη από την ελλιπή και προκλητική απέναντί της, ηγεσία της χώρας.

Η λογική λέει ότι μετά από αυτό που έγινε χθες, μια ηγεσία μη ποτισμένη από το δέλεαρ της εξουσίας, θα έπαιρνε το μήνυμα. Δεν θα επιδίδονταν σε ένα αγώνα απαξίωσης της Ελλάδας και των Ελλήνων. Σε ένα εθνομηδενισμό, βγάζοντας, στην καλύτερη περίπτωση γελοίες, ανακοινώσεις για τον αριθμό των

συμμετεχόντων και σε επιθέσεις με υπονοούμενα εναντίον του βασικού ομιλητή της χθεσινής εκδήλωσης, του Μίκη Θεοδωράκη.

Σε πολλά μπορεί να διαφωνεί κανείς με το Μίκη Θεοδωράκη, στη διάρκεια της πολύχρονης πορείας του στα δρώμενα της χώρας. Η χθεσινή ομιλία του όμως ήταν εθνική. Είπε αλήθειες που όλη η ελληνική κοινωνία, συζητά κάθε μέρα στο τραπέζι και το καθιστικό του σπιτιού της. Περπατώντας ανάμεσα στις εκατοντάδες χιλιάδες των Ελλήνων χθες, φαίνονταν στα μάτια τους, συμφωνούσαν και έγνεφαν καταφατικά χωρίς εξαλλοσύνες.

Όταν στη διάρκεια του συλλαλητηρίου έπαιζαν τα τραγούδια του με την εμβληματική φωνή του Γρηγόρη Μπιθικώτση, έβλεπες την συγκίνηση και τα χείλια όλων να τα σιγοτραγουδούν. Ίσως να είναι η πρώτη φορά μετά την επτάχρονη χούντα που η μουσική και οι στίχοι αυτών των τραγουδιών, είχαν εθνικό χαρακτήρα. Και εδώ κυβερνώντες, σύστημα και γραφικοί χάθηκαν στη μετάφραση.

Το να ασχολείσε με τα νούμερα και να παριστάνεις ότι δεν καταλαβαίνεις τι έγινε χθες στους δρόμους της Αθήνας, δεν δείχνει απλά ότι βρίσκεσαι σε πανικό, δείχνει απρέπεια έναντι στη χώρα και το λαό της. Δείχνει πόσο φτύνεις το έθνος και την ιστορία του. Πόσο καβάλα στο άλογο νομίζεις ότι είσαι. Πόσο σε έχει διαφθείρει το νέκταρ της εξουσίας και το σάπιο και βαθιά διεφθαρμένο σύστημα της παγκοσμιοποίησης που έχει ως μοναδικό στόχο την εξαφάνιση της ιστορίας και την ισοπέδωση των εθνών.

Μπορεί κάποιοι να παριστάνουν ότι δεν συμβαίνει τίποτα. Μπορεί να κρύβονται πίσω από το θεσμικό και νομικό πλαίσιο για να φτύσουν την Ελλάδα και τους Έλληνες. Αλλά ένα είναι σίγουρο. Δεν μπορούν να κρυφτούν από την ιστορία, της οποίας η ετυμηγορία είναι πάντα αμείλικτη.

Κύριοι και κυρίες της κυβέρνησης, χθες στη πλατεία του Συντάγματος και στους δρόμους της πρωτεύουσας ήταν η Ελλάδα, ήταν το Ελληνικό Έθνος. Αυτό υπηρετείτε και δεν επιτρέπετε να το φτύνετε κατάμουτρα.

 

Ο Δημήτρης Γ. Απόκης είναι Διεθνολόγος – Δημοσιογράφος, Απόφοιτος του The Paul H. Nitze, School of Advanced International Studies, The Johns Hopkins University, και Μέλος του The International Institute of Strategic Studies.