與希臘爭議27年 馬其頓要改國名「北馬其頓」 上報20180613

The Republic of Northern Macedonia

“Under the deal, Greece's northern neighbour can define its language and ethnicity as "Macedonian".”
“Greece will then send a letter to the EU withdrawing its objection to accession talks, and a letter to Nato too.
That would be followed by a Macedonian referendum in September or October.”

與希臘爭議27年 馬其頓要改國名「北馬其頓」    上報20180613
誰才是真正的「馬其頓」(Macedonia)?這起爭議不僅困擾希臘政府與「馬其頓共和國」(Republic of Macedonia)長達27年,更引發兩國人民各自走上街頭抗議。13日,希臘總理齊普拉斯(Alexis Tsipras)宣布,同意馬其頓共和國總理薩耶夫(Zoran Zaev)將國名正式改為「北馬其頓共和國」(Republic of North Macedonia),多年來的國名之爭有望解決。

薩耶夫表示:「經過25年,我們達成歷史性解決辦法。我們達成的共識包括全面使用北馬其頓共和國。」齊普拉斯則稱此舉象徵「一個盛大的外交勝利」同時也是「美好的歷史機會」。《英國廣播公司》(BBC)報導,國名爭議落幕將促成馬其頓共和國加入長年被排除在外的歐盟(EU)與北大西洋公約組織(NATO),北約秘書長史托恩保(Jens Stoltenberg)也表達肯定兩國在和解上的意願。

BBC報導,這項國名更正協議將於16日,在兩國邊界的普雷斯帕湖(Lake Prespa)簽訂,同時將各自送交兩國國會核准,並於910月交由馬其頓共和國人民公投。此外,希臘政府也承諾將致信歐盟與北約,撤回針對馬其頓共和國的反對。


根據希臘外交部網站解釋,在歷史層面上,「馬其頓」一詞源於古希臘西北部、由亞歷山大大帝(Alexander the Great)開創的馬其頓王國。在地理層面上,馬其頓地區則泛指巴爾幹半島上希臘北部、部分馬其頓共和國、部分保加利亞以及部分阿爾巴尼亞地區


因此,儘管「馬其頓共和國」是國際社會普遍認知或稱呼的國名,但1993年登記於聯合國(UN)下的正式名稱實為「前南斯拉夫馬其頓共和國」(The former Yugoslav Republic of MacedoniaFYROM,並沿用至今。

國名之爭不只是政府間的事,兩國人民更是互不相讓,各自走上街頭抗議。早於今年2月,就有超過10萬人走上希臘首都雅典、及第二大城塞薩洛尼基街頭抗議,高呼「馬其頓是希臘的!」6月時,更延燒至超過25個希臘城市,抗議希臘政府擅自和解。高齡92歲作曲家西奧多拉基斯(Mikis Theodorakis)表示,「馬其頓過去、現在、永遠都是希臘的!」

不過,兩國政府在國名爭議上也曾試圖達成協議,避免衝突債留子孫。除了國名之外,薩耶夫還宣布將「史高比耶亞歷山大大帝機場」(Skopje Alexander the Great airport)更名為「史高比耶國際機場」(Skopje international airport),而馬其頓通往希臘的主要公路將改名為「友誼公路」(Friendship highway),盡可能釋出善意。

而在國名討論中,希臘總理齊普拉斯也同意可自「上馬其頓」(Upper Macedonia)、「新馬其頓」(New Macedonia)、「北馬其頓」(Northern Macedonia)、「馬其頓史高比耶」(Macedonia-Skopje)之中選出新國名。他在推特上稱,「此舉將結束一個傷害區域穩定性的衝突,並打開一扇通往未來之窗,一扇友誼、團結合作、繁榮的明窗。」

不過,更名之路仍充滿未知數。不僅大多數希臘人拒絕接受馬其頓共和國在未來的國名中含有任何「馬其頓」字眼,希臘右翼政黨「獨立希臘人」(Independent Greeks)恐也將力擋協議。


Macedonia and Greece: Backlash over name deal    BBC 20180613
Macedonia's president is refusing to sign an historic deal agreed with Greece to change his country's name, saying it violates the constitution.
"My position is final and I will not yield to any pressure, blackmail or threats," Gjorge Ivanov declared.
On Tuesday, Macedonia and Greece agreed to end a 27-year row by renaming the ex-Yugoslav state "The Republic of North Macedonia".
The goal was to distinguish it from an identically-named Greek province.
That mattered to Athens, which argued that by using the name Macedonia, the country was implying it had a claim to the Greek region.

So, is this a U-turn by Macedonia?
No - it's down to a disagreement between the president and Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, who struck the deal with his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras.
The dissent comes from President Ivanov, who is strongly connected to the nationalist VMRO-DPMNE party that was forced from power in 2017.  He has the power to veto the deal - but not indefinitely.
The foreign ministers of Macedonia and Greece are expected to sign the accord this weekend.  Macedonia's parliament will then vote on whether to approve it.
If it votes in favour, the president can refuse to sign it off - which would send it back to parliament for a second vote.  If it passed again, Mr Ivanov would be obliged to approve the legislation.

Mr Zaev's government needs a two-thirds majority to get the deal through parliament.  However, it can't secure that without the opposition VMRO-DPMNE party, which won't support it.
The president is also refusing to be swayed by possible future membership of the EU and Nato.
Greece has historically blocked Macedonia's bid to join these blocs over the name row - a stance that should now end.
But Mr Ivanov says a shot at membership would not justify signing a "bad agreement".

Storms but no surprises from Macedonia's president    By Guy Delauney, BBC Balkans correspondent
President Gjorge Ivanov's opposition was always to be expected - and he has not disappointed.  Reports suggest that he stormed out of a meeting with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev after just three minutes.
This is unsurprising, considering he was nominated to run for president by the nationalist VMRO-DPMNE party which was forced from power last year.

Mr Zaev will not be losing any sleep over the president's outburst.  He is fully aware that Mr Ivanov can only use his veto once - and has no power to block a referendum.
A bigger conundrum is how to win over the opposition.  At least some VMRO-DPMNE MPs will be needed to gain a two-thirds majority in a parliamentary vote.
In Greece, Alexis Tsipras faces similar, also predictable, problems - especially as he lacks the support of the junior partner in his governing coalition.

What's the reaction in Greece?
Prime Minister Tsipras has also faced heavy criticism from political opponents.
Greece's main opposition party, New Democracy, has threatened to submit a motion of no-confidence in the government.
Its leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis called the deal "deeply problematic", and said most Greeks opposed it.
Critics have accused Mr Tsipras of surrendering part of Greece's cultural legacy, insisting that the title Macedonia belongs to Greek culture and heritage because it was the name of the ancient Hellenistic kingdom ruled by Alexander the Great.
Under the deal, Greece's northern neighbour can define its language and ethnicity as "Macedonian".

Conservative newspaper Eleftheros Typos branded the deal "the surrender of the Macedonian identity and language".
Mr Tsipras has firmly rejected that analysis. In a TV address on Tuesday, he said Greece was becoming "a leading power in the Balkans" and "a pillar of stability in a deeply wounded region".

What needs to happen for the name change to go through?
The aim is to get Macedonia's parliament to back an agreement before EU leaders meet for a summit on 28 June.  Greece will then send a letter to the EU withdrawing its objection to accession talks, and a letter to Nato too.
That would be followed by a Macedonian referendum in September or October.
If voters there back the deal, their government would have to change the constitution, a key Greek demand.
The deal will finally have to be ratified by the Greek parliament - which looks unlikely to be straightforward.