Sunday, February 25, 2007

“Macedonia to buy contested borderlands with Kosovo”

A bit of speculation by the Macedonian and Albanian media about the border dispute with Kosovo. The fact that Macedonia is willing to "buy" this parcel of land proves, once agian, that it is not theirs in the first place. In any case, if the border demarcation stands as is, Macedonia will have to compensate the owners of the land (which happen to be Kosovo Albanians. Coincidence? Not so much!) . I mean, who is going to compensate them? The land is being transferred to the Macedonian side, and it is only reasonable that they are responsible for compensating people. There is nothing unusual about it.

Macedonia will be more then happy to pay up, but it will not be that easy. Even Ahtisaari acknowledges, in a twisted way, that the land belonged to Kosovo at one point. He says that the borders of Kosovo should be the same as they were in 1989 with the exception of the border with Macedonia. The exception acknowledges that borders were changed. The article below is from B92:

SKPOJE -- Media in Kosovo and Macedonia report that the government in Skopje intends to buy the contested territory.

The Macedonian authorities reportedly visited the Kosovo village of Debalde located some one hundred meters away from Tanusevci and offered money to the residents for their land, the Macedonian newspaper Vreme reports, citing the Priština-based Lajm newspaper.

The Macedonian government did not comment on the information, which it said was unofficial. The Democratic Union for Integration (DUI) and the Democratic Party of Albanians (DPA) denied having sent members to buy lands.

Thursday, Kosovo’s Prime Minister Agim Ceku visited Debalde. He told the residents that “no one could deprive them of their property.” Ceku stated “he hadn’t heard about the problem before” and shifted the responsibility to the Kosovo negotiating team. The contested land covers 250,000 square meters. They are the major reason why the border between Macedonia and Kosovo there has not been marked yet.

UN special envoy Martti Ahtisaari’s plan for Kosovo future status refers to the demarcation of the border in that area as “just a technical matter.” He proposes that the border be marked according to the existing line, which means that the land belonging to Kosovo residents would remain in the territory of Macedonia. They would be able to enter Macedonia in order to cultivate their land only with special identity documents. The residents of Debalde, however, oppose such proposal. They said they “would not allow their lands to become part of the Macedonian territory”, the Macedonian media report. Fair use from B92.

To corroborate this story, an Albanian newspaper from Macedonia, Lajm, quotes a villager from the disputed territory, Hamdi Hasani (who is the head of the border village) as saying: “Five [Albanian] members of the Macedonian Government offered me bag of 600,000 euros just to keep my mouth shout and give up on my land. I refused.” There does seem to be some truth to this whole story.


Anonymous said...

What makes this story more interesting is the fact that members of the Albanian parties in the Macedonian Govt approached the villagers. Why would a fellow ethnic group buy out eachother? Its possible that this move is just to create a 'smoke screen'. The UN and EU will obvsiously misread the information and may award the land to the Kosovo govt.
The Macedonian govt has placed an enormous amount of energy into ironing out corruption, why would they set themselves up so stupidly? Its sounds too suspicious to me.

Balkan Update said...

The fact people who offered the money were Albanians doesn’t mean the Macedonian government wasn’t involved. You got to understand that this parcel of land is still on the Kosovo side and inhabited by Albanians. So a person speaking one of the pan Slavic languages is not going to be welcomed in this village under current circumstances.

There is nothing to misread here-everyone knows, even the Macedonian government- that the land belonged to Kosovo at one point. What the Macedonian government and the EU are trying to do is resolve this issue as some kind of minor technical glitch. I don’t think the Government of Kosovo will go crazy over this either, but I do believe it will not budge on principle: That is, the demarcation was negotiated with Serbia. At the time the demarcation was negotiated, Serbia did not have any legal authority over Kosovo, and let alone authority to amend its borders. So in the end the Macedonian government may get its way, but not without re-negotiating the matter with the government of Kosovo.

And by the way, the Macedonian government will most likely compensate all those that are affected by this. But before that happens, the issue will have to be re-negotiated with the government of Kosovo.

WARchild said...

The rumor that Albanian government partners pitched the deal has been disowned by them. The rumor was designed to imply that M-Albanians want the deal too, which is not and never has been true. At any event, it is sovereignty that matters and not compensation.

Macedonian government knew what they were getting into when they did it. I suggest they direct their grievances to Belgrade

Anonymous said...

The land is neither macedonians or albanians to sell so whats the point of this story?

Anonymous said...

"is willing to "buy" this parcel of land proves, once agian, that it is not theirs in the first place."

not really, just means they don't want to send troops against kosovars, but just pay the blackmail money..

Balkan Update said...

If they are paying for something that is theirs, then Macedonians are dumb. But we all know they are not dumb, so the conclusion is that they are willing to pay for something that is not theirs. That makes sense to me.

Anonymous said...

The truth about Macedonia...
• Simple answers to frequently used Slavic arguments
In this section we will attempt to answer a series of arguments used frequently to question the Greek identity of Macedonia.
"Greece officially denied the use of the name Macedonia after the Balkan wars." This is a very inaccurate argument. There are several examples of state institutions and private businesses using the name Macedonia which operate in Greece since the early 1900s. These are just a few of them:
The "Macedonia" newspaper (1912)
The Society for Macedonian Studies (1939) [web site]
The museum of ancient Macedonia (1961) [web site]
The museum of the Macedonian struggle (1979) [web site]
Greece has been actively using the name Macedonia since its liberation from the Ottoman empire. If Greece's official position was to "deny the existence of Macedonia" how would it be possible for hundreds of private companies to be named after Macedonia?
"Greece has changed the "Macedonian" names of locations in the Macedonia region."The Greek names are older than the Slavic ones and most of them have their roots in ancient Greece. The Greek names of the towns in Macedonia are also mentioned in the Bible. A characteristic example is Thessaloniki. This city was founded in 315 bc by the Macedonian king Kasssandros and it was named after Alexanders' half sister - Thessaloniki. How could the Greeks change the name from Solun (as the Slavs claim) to Thessaloniki in 1912 if that was the original name? The name Thessaloniki is even mentioned in the bible by St Paul. Why did he address his letters (epistoles) to the people of Thessaloniki and not the to the people of Solun? What about the Greek names of towns inside FYROM used during the Ottoman times? Did Greece change them as well? "Today's 'Greeks' and ancient 'Hellenes have no relation between them."How is it possible for the people who live in the same region, speak the same language and have the same names and culture not to be descendants of the ancient inhabitants of the region? Similarly we could say that today's Egyptians are not descendants of ancient Egyptians and today's Chinese people are not descedants of ancient Chinese. The name 'Greek' is in fact ancient as well as the famous philosopher Aristotelis verifies: "...and she was not there forever, but after the cataclysm of Defkalion, which occurred in the Hellenic area, in fact, in the ancient Hellas, which was around Dodoni, and it changed many times the flow of Acheloos river. In that area live the Selloi and the ones that were once called Graecoi and are now called Hellenes..." [Aristotelis Meteorologika, I, 14] "There is a large Macedonian minority in Greece"There is no "Macedonian minority" in Greece because there is no such nationality. There is a small group of people who speak a Slavic dialect which is in fact different from what is claimed to be the "Macedonian language" These people are not a "Macedonian minority" as they consider themselves Greeks. There is also an even smaller group of Slav propagandists who are trying to create a Macedonian minority in Greece. Anyone who didn't consider him/herself Greek could and should have left Greece during the exchange of populations in 1919. "One million people in Greece consider themselves Macedonians"In the 1996 parliament elections in Greece the political party of the people who claim to be a "Macedonian minority" gained 3.485 votes (official result). In the 2000 parliament elections they didn't take up part at all. Of course there is no doubt of the integrity of the election procedures since Greece is a member of the European Union. If there was such a large number of "Macedonians" in Greece (1/10th) wouldn't be easy for them to stand up against the "Greek occupation"? "Greece acquired illegally Aegean Macedonia in 1913"Greece acquired 51% of Macedonia in 1913 as a result of the treaty of Bucharest. International treaties are not illegal. Furthermore Greece in 1913 was not a powerful country to acquire any land it desired. This land was "given" to Greece because it historically belonged to Greece and its residents were Greek. "What gives Greece the right to name another country? This issue is straightforward, every country has the right to call itself whatever it wishes."This is a misleading statement. The author knows very well why Greece is objecting to the use of the name Macedonia. In fact every country has the right to chose its own name as far as it does not belong to another country's history. The name Macedonia belongs to the Greek history. Greece has the right to protect its history and heritage. "Saints Cyril and Methdje (or Kirl and Metodi) were not Greeks but Macedonians."Saints Cyrilos and Methodios were Greeks born in Thessaloniki and this is well known to all Christians. Pope John Paul the B' in an official apostolic homily to the entire Catholic Church proclaimed that Methodius and Cyril "Greek brethren born in Thessaloniki" are consecrated as "heavenly protectors of Europe". John Paul B' repeated this statement in a speech delivered in the church of Saint Clements, in Rome. You can see the original document here. "Greece stole the Macedonian history"Greece does not 'steal' history. It has its own lengthy and respected history. It is the only thing that Greece has plenty of it. The Greek history and culture is respected by all the countries in the world. People who don't have their own history need to 'steal' someone else's... "Linguistic science has at its disposal a very limited quantity of Macedonian words. A very limited quantity in this case is a quantity indeed, that Greeks cannot ignore."This argument proves the Greek point that the "Macedonian language" was a Greek a dialect. There only exists "a limited quantity of Macedonian words" because the Macedonian dialect had "limited" differences from the Greek language. How could it be possible for a separate "ancient Macedonian language" to disappeared after what Alexander had achieved? "If Philip united and not conquered the Greeks why did Alexander leave 25.000 men of his army in Macedonia when he is about to face the strongest and most numerous army in the world?"No sensible leader would go on a quest taking ALL his army with him and leaving his homeland unprotected! And of course he did not leave 25.000 men in Macedonia because he was afraid of the other Greeks. Macedonia had lots of real enemies at its northern border (Illyrians, Dardanians,Paionians etc). "If Macedonians were Greek then why only 30% of Alexander's army were Greek?"The right question to ask is 'why as many as 30% of Alexander's army were from the rest of Greece?' After all Macedonians and Greeks were supposed to be enemies! The Macedonians 'conquered' the Greeks according to the Slavic version of the Macedonian history. The fact that a very significant part of Alexander's army were non-Macedonian Greeks shows the truth. "Ancient Macedonians did not take part in the Olympic Games"This is another false statement. It can be easily proved that people from Macedonia took part in the Olympic Games. For a list Macedonians who won the Olympic Games the click here. "Ancient Macedonians fought against Greece."This is another misleading statement. It is well known that the ancient Greek states were largely independed of each other and that often led to wars between them. Some well-known examples are the Peolloponisian was between Athens and Sparti, the Athenians quest in the island of Mitilini, the brutal war between Sparti and Thebes and many more. A war between two ancient Greek regions did not mean that one of them was not Greek. "There are no ancient monuments written in the Macedonian language because Greek archaeologists destroy them when they are recovered."Even if we accept that this is true it still doesn't explain why aren't there any monuments in the rest of Macedonia! What about the ancient monuments in FYROM and Bulgaria? What about the ancient monuments on Alexander's route in Asia? Why aren't there any "non Greek Macedonian monuments" ? Oh, I know why! The Greek archaeologists must have destroyed them as well !!! "If in fact, "Macedonia is Greece", how come they feel the need to emphasize, to shout, and to proclaim over and over again? After all, we never hear them proclaiming that 'Thebes is Greece', or 'Sparta is Greece' ". If the Salvs wanted to name heir country "Republic of Thebes" or "Republic of Sparta" who would shout out "Thebes and Sparta are Greek". But they are claiming to be Macedonians so we shout that "MACEDONIA WAS GREEK" "MACEDONIA IS GREEK" "MACEDONIA WILL BE FOREVER GREEK" If you have an argument which is not answered in this page please email us.
© Real Macedonia 2001