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Official Complaint from the [Greek] FM to FYROM

February 13, 2012

By Dora Antoniou
Translated from the Greek original: Kathimerini, 13.01.2012

The "Macedonia" Arch in Skopje

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs handed an official complaint to Skopje after the unveiling, last Friday, of the “Macedonia Arch” in the centre of the capital of FYROM. The arch, yet another monument that has been added to the city, as part of the controversial “Skopje 2014” project, is an irredentist monument, as on it all the elements of the irredentist propaganda of the neighbouring country can be seen. The creator of the work, Valentina Stefanovski, who also created the gigantic statue of Alexander the Great that was placed in the central square of Skopje, declared during the unveiling ceremony that “with these representations I presented the history of Macedonia, starting from antiquity and up to the time of independence. I presented the Macedonian phalanx, Justinian, the tsar Samuel, the King Marko, the revolution of Karpos, the assembly of ASNOM, and the exodus of the Macedonians from Aegean Macedonian in 1948, but also the declaration of Independence in 1991”.

The unveiling of the arch provoked negative reactions from the Albanian community of FYROM. Osman Kandriou, an Albanian specialist of International Law, declared that the sculpted decoration of the monument, that incorporates scenes from “Macedonian” history , is in breach of the Constitution of FYROM, as it includes elements of irredentism, which violates articles of the Constitution.

In the meanwhile, yesterday, a preparatory meeting was held under the minister of Foreign Affairs, mr Stavros Dimas, ahead of the next round of talks on the issue of the name, which will be held the following week in New York under mr Matthew Nimetz. The representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, mr Gr. Delavekouras, answering a question concerning the declarations of the Prime-Minister of FYROM, Nikola Grusevski, who called the meetings a New York a “waste of time”, declared that mr Gruevski with his attitude *is undermining the hopes for advancement of the negotiations.

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