In 1992, following the division of Yugoslavia into five states, southern Serbia (FYROM) adopted the name Macedonia, claiming that its people are descendants of ancient Macedonia. But the claim did not stop there.
It extended much further into the realm of historical distortion by delinking ancient Macedonia from ancient Greece and portraying Macedonians as Slavs, even if the latter appear much later on the scene (as one other group among “barbarians”) and are first mentioned as an ethnic group by Byzantine authors.
Naturally, Greece has objected to the use of the name Macedonia by its northern neighbor, and the issue remains unresolved although the rest of the world (including some high-minded Greek leftists!) seems to be using freely the term Macedonia instead of FYROM.
Nonetheless, history and scholarship is clearly on the side of Greece, as Professor Stephen Miller from the University of California and one of the world’s leading archaeology scholars reminds us in a recent exchange over the contentious issue of the use of the name Macedonia by a nation whose people are Slavic.
The first President of FYROM, Kiro Gligorov, on 10.07.1993 spoke of the existence of a minority of more than 100,000 Greeks in his country.