Thursday, May 17, 2018

OpEd: FYROM or Macedonia?

In 1991-1994 I worked for SEV in Brussels lobbying for Greek business interests to UNICE (now BUSINESSEUROPE) and the institutions of the European Union.

The delegation to protest the "Macedonia" issue came to Brussels mainly from Salonica.

There was a meeting of the delegation led by Mayor Cosmopoulos in the European Parliament which was attended by many Brusselois Greeks including me.

Many were angry. I thought to myself "why don't they tell us which argumentation to use". 

The next I attended the demostration on Rond Point Schuman. 

Belgian Police kept us on the square so as not distrurb traffic. 

2 days later I went to the Brussels office of EOT the National Tourist Agency of Greece and asked for a poster with Macedonia, possibly portraying Alexander.

"Are you from Salonica" asked the rep.

In my office I had the map of Europe, the poster and the bumper sticker "ΔΕΝ ΞΕΧΝΩ". 

I asked my boss in Athens, a Caltech man, the late George S. Argyropoulos, later a member of the board of RAE, to send me a 2 page argumentation on the FYROM/Macedonia issue. I got it a few days later, I was told it was drafted in collab with the MFA of Greece.

I translated it and gave it to my colleagues the other Permanent Delegates to send to their HQs. The reason was that we did not discuss such issues at the official meetings of UNICE.

A few weeks later got copies of a brochure on the issue made by Kinissi Politon.

I gave them to my colleagues and send it to the chiefs of all European Commissioners.

A Greek MEP assistant, Valia Boukis. asked me for copies when President Gligorov visited a Committee of the European Parliament. I gave her my only copy left and she made copies and distributed it to the MEPs.

Having said that, Yannis Marinos, the editor in chief of Oikonomikos Tachydromos back in the early 1980s reported that in Australia the was intense advovacy activity by "Skopianoi".

The reason is simple.

In my opinion the citizens of Macedonia the country bear zero DNA link to Macedonians. But it was Tito who named the Yugoslav state Macedonia.

The whole world calls the country Macedonia.

Everyone calls me Nicholaos, Nikos, Niko, Nikolai, Nikas or Nicholas.

But my name is Nick.

At Zeta Psi I was Ulysses79 and at Dropbox Alexander.

MIT '85, Northwestern '87, INSEAD '90

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