Let's call Macedonia ... Macedonia, says Canada
November 21st, 2016


Let's call Macedonia ... Macedonia, says Canada
October 8, 2007

The decision was reported by Reuters from the Macedonian capital Skopje, quoting Macedonia's Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski last Thursday (October 4).

Because of steadfast opposition from Greece against the name Macedonia, NATO, the European Union and the United Nations still refer to the country by the acronym FYROM, which stands for "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia."

But the United States, Russia, China, and several EU member states use the name "Macedonia" in their bilateral relations.

According to the Reuters report, Canada's decision has infuriated Greece and Canadians of Greek origin alike. Greece, which neighbours on Macedonia, has rejected the country's right to decide how it wishes to be called ever since it became independent 16 years ago.

The name is one of the most emotive foreign policy issues in Greece because "Macedonia" is also the name of Greece's northern province, birthplace of Alexander the Great.

Athens objects to the use of the name as a sign of territorial ambitions.

Reuters quoted Gruevski as saying, "We were informed by the Macedonian embassy [in Canada, presumably? SchoolPlusNet] that Canada recognized Macedonia under its constitutional name, which is a good thing."

Reuters also quote Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos as saying, "This decision does not please us."

Reuters also said Greece, an EU and NATO member, has indicated it might block Macedonia's bid for membership of these organizations if it tries to join under the disputed name. Greece insists the row must be resolved before membership is discussed.

Macedonia has EU candidate status and hopes to be invited to join NATO next year.

A NATO official said it was not clear if Canada, one of NATO's founding members, was testing the waters with its decision.


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