Whose Violations Is Mrs. Sekerinska
Talking About?

By Nina Gatzoulis, Vice President of the Panmacedonian Association

“The dispute over Macedonia's official name between Skopje and Athens cannot be part of the political criteria for Macedonia's EU membership, although it could have a negative impact on its road to Brussels, Deputy Prime Minister Radmila Sekerinska has said. With the signing of the Interim Accord, Greece has committed itself not to block Macedonia's integration in European institutions, but this kind of behavior on the part of Greece - linkage between EU candidacy and the resolution of the name dispute - could constitute a violation of the accord's decree, she said. Sekerinska said that, nevertheless, Macedonia should not compromise, adding that she was convinced it would receive a positive avis from the European Commission.”

The above report contains some very strong statements expressed by the FYROM Deputy Prime Minister Radmila Sekerinska. The reader gets the impression that Greece by signing the Interim Agreement, has undertaken only obligations and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (The FYROM) has the green light to do as it pleases. Nevertheless, Mrs. Sekerinska is partially correct. Whether Greece may or may not block the FYROM from receiving the green light that signals the beginning of the talks for her country’s membership in the EU legally depends under which name this state applies with.

If the FYROM applies for membership, then Greece may not block it. It is however, up to Greece’s discretion whether she will or not block the FYROM, because the temporary name “the FYROM” was not intended to last more than seven years. The political decision was made by the FYROM successive governments to intentionally drag the negotiations by not only refrain from submitting to Mr. Nimetz even one name to be used as a basis for negotiations, but also rejecting any name Greece and Mr. Nimetz submitted. Greece can claim security reasons and it has a civil war in her past in regards with the Macedonian issue.

The following is taken from the minutes of an intergovernmental meeting that took place in February 2001 (Skopje Dnevnik 16 Feb 01 pp 13). The speaker is VMRO-DPMNE leader Boris Stojmenov. "No one has the right or authorization to change this country's name. This is not merely a party matter, but also concerns the citizens inside the country and abroad. It should not be raised bilaterally, in our relations with Greece. The UN Security Council should resolve this issue. Our experience has shown that if we find the solution unfavorable, we will certainly win justice in court" … "there was no need for Macedonia to hurry with the negotiations. Time is on our side. In addition, Greece's euphoria over opposing Macedonia's name has subsided. We only need to wait a little longer." All participants of that meeting agreed to something that supports the fact that the FYROM never intended to negotiate the name and the whole thing was a matter of tactics and then turn around and blame Greece for the delay. Putting the issue in simple terms the FYROM negotiated in bad faith and the tactics that it used do not meet the specifications intended in the United Nations Security Council resolutions 817/1993 and 845/1993 and the exchange of letters drafted and signed by the hand of her present day President Branko Cervenkovski do not go along the lines of the Interim Accord. It is not wise for a country to sign a very important document such as the Interim Accord and not intend to honor it. Such a practice will put into question the validity of any other document that this state signs in the future.

If the “Republic of Macedonia” applies for membership into the EU, then Greece has every right to block such a membership under Article 11, paragraph 1, which states: that “the Party of the First Part [Greece] reserves the right to object to any membership referred to above if and to the extent of the Party of the Second Part [The FYROM] is to be referred to in such organization or institution differently than in paragraph 2 of the United Nations Security Council resolution 817 (1993)”. The sector of the FYROM for the EU integration states that “The Republic of Macedonia has applied for membership in the European Union.” This statement means that Greece can block the FYROM entrance to the EU.

Since Mrs. Sekerinska has opened the matter of a possible future violation of the Interim Accord on behalf of Greece, I thought it would be a good idea to mention some violations, already committed by the governments of the FYROM.

Article 2 of the Agreement states: “The Parties hereby confirm their common existing frontier as an enduring and inviolable international border.” Also, Article 3 of the Interim Accord state that “Each Party undertakes to respect the sovereignty, the territorial integrity and the political independence of the other Party. Neither Party shall support the action of a third party directed against the sovereignty, the territorial integrity, or the political independence of the other Party.”

Article 4 states “The Parties shall refrain, in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, from the threat or use of force, including the threat or use of force designed to violate their existing frontier, and they agree that neither of them will assert or support claims to any part of the territory of the other Party or claims for a change of their existing frontier.”

Successive governments of the FYROM, a legal entity originally created by the communists that has become a country as a result of the demise of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY), has violated all articles and resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, in reference to the sovereignty, the territorial integrity, or the political activities of the parties.

The FYROM has continued to refer to the part of Macedonia, which historically is Macedonia Proper, belonging to Greece, as “Aegean Macedonia”, as though the neighboring state does not accept Greece’s sovereignty of that territory. Furthermore, the successive FYROM governments have never discouraged any of their own publications to abide by article 7 of the said Accord. On the contrary, in the FYROM schools pupils are being taught that there are Macedonian territories beyond their country waiting to be liberated. The FYROM schoolbooks keep referring to the Greek Macedonia as Aegean Macedonia.

The FYROM, despite the fact that the negotiations were going on in New York, was making agreements with other countries to recognize them as "Macedonia." Sometimes the FYROM diplomats resorted even to lying to countries such as Mexico that the matter was already closed. The FYROM even chose blackmail, accepting only documents referring to the state as “Macedonia.” If the correspondence were addressing “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” it was returned as “non-grata.” Such acts constitute a violation of the spirit of the Interim Agreement. The letter Mr. Papoulias sent to Mr. Butros-Ghali regarding the matter is still valid.

Agencies of successive governments of the FYROM have registered political parties whose emblems bear the Sun of Vergina, a clear violation of article 7. These parties are MAAK and VMRO-DP. The latter has the map of Macedonia the way the FYROM constituency likes it and this map includes the Greek, Bulgarian and Albanian parts of Macedonia into the FYROM territory.


The political Part “Macedonian Alliance” in clear violation of Article 7 of the Interim Accord is a registered political party with the FYROM.

Gorge Atanasovksi the founder and President of the FYROM Political Party “Macedonian Alliance” in his office. Behind him is the old FYROM flag with the Sun of Vergina.


The above website states: “Since 1996, Mr. Atanasovski has been the president of the Macedonian Alliance political party (Makedonska Alijansa). This party is registered in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia.”

Makedonsko Sonce (Macedonian Sun)

Furthermore and in violation of article 7 of the aforementioned Agreement publication Makedonsko Sonce (Macedonian Sun) portrays the Sun of Vergina as its emblem. As I understand now it has a TV Channel and the Sun of Vergina is its emblem.

So, these are not the violations that Mrs. Sekerinska is talking about, of course, although they occur on a daily basis in the FYROM and abroad with the blessings of the political community and the citizens of that country.

Now, let me mention one violation that Mr. Dimitrov, the present chief diplomat of the FYROM in the UN has committed while representing his country as her US Ambassador and now as the UN Ambassador and the “talks,” a monologue I should say, since Greece offers names and the FYROM offers the double name as the solution.

When various states such as Texas were considering adopting resolutions in favor of the Greekness of the ancient Macedonians, this gentleman flew to Texas mingling in the internal affairs of the United States by lobbying with the Legislature of this State trying to persuade them not to adopt such resolution. He even gave interviews in the local media against the resolution. I doubt if he received permission from the US State Department to go out of the permitted 25 miles radius from Washington in order to mingle in the internal affairs of the country that hosts him. Texas passed the said resolution. Here are the details of Dimitrov’s visit to Austin Texas.


March 11, 2003 Columbus, OH: The Macedonian Ambassador to the US Nikola Dimitrov visits Austin and meets with the chair of the Border and international affairs Committee, Norma Chavez, the Texas Governor Rick Perry, and the Lt. Governor David Dewhurst. He also attends a reception hosted by the MAFA Focus Group, meets its members and exchange ideas about further moves against the resolution. He received assurances from Rep. Norma Chavez that her Committee has no intention of wasting time on Rep. Bonnen's resolution. The El Paso Times reports on the developments and clarifies that the resolutions at best going to be left to die in committee.

Can Mrs. Sekerinska clarify to all involved why is she talking about possible future violations on behalf of Greece and silences about factual violations of her own country?

Nina Gatzoulis

Vice-President of the Pan-Macedonian Association

The Pan-Macedonian Association was founded in 1947 with the goal of uniting all the Macedonian societies of the United States. It is a nationwide membership organization for Greek Americans whose origins are from Macedonia, Greece. The organization promotes the culture, language, history and traditions of Macedonia and Promotes charitable projects and works to benefit the region and its people. It strives to educate its members and the general public on various issues pertaining to Macedonia, especially the Hellenic origin and nature of the name Macedonia and to counter falsifications and distortions of history with respect to Macedonia. For more information about the Pan-Macedonian Association of America, established in 1947 and active nationwide in the Greek-American community, visit the organization's website at http://www.panmacedonian.info/

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