The Agreement (the Final Solution for those pesky Macedonians) explained Part I

by Ivan Slatinski

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of VIRTUAL MACEDONIA. Any content provided by our contributors are of their opinion, and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.

Introduction

Much has been said and at the same time nothing has been said and discussed about the Agreement between Greece and Macedonia, which is advertised as the Final Solution for the name issue. For our foreign readers, the name issue boils down to this: The Citizens of Macedonia want to live in a country we (and 140 other countries or so) call Republic of Macedonia. Greece does not want us to exist under that name and has done pretty much everything in their considerable power to screw us over in the past 27 years or so.

In these series of articles I will try to strip this Agreement to its essential part: Who gets what from the agreement? I will assign points, much like in the Eurovision contest to each party. In the final article, we will see who gets the better deal out of this agreement and provide my own conclusions.

I need to give sincere thanks to Virtual Macedonia for allowing me to use the oldest Macedonian website on the Internet for a forum for my thoughts. The opinions expressed here are my OWN.

I am a citizen of Republic of Macedonia. Basically, an ordinary guy trying to understand what this diplomatic language means. Let us begin.

Preamble

The First Party, the Hellenic Republic (the “First Party”) and the Second Party, which was admitted to the United Nations in accordance with the United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/225 of 8 Apri/1993 (the “Second Party”),jointly referred to as the “Parties”,

The fun begins in the preamble. The first party is the Hellenic Republic and you will need to dig through UN resolutions to figure out who is the second party. The second party is Republic of Macedonia. You can take a look at the UN resolution 47/225. Short resolution as far as resolutions go.

I understand why the Greeks wrote the preamble in this way. They have to justify this Agreement to their voters after all, but that does not mean I have to like it. Due to the problem with our name of their own making, the can not refer to Second Party as Republic of Macedonia, because as far as they are concerned we do not exist. They can not refer to us as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) because they know it will make us angry. Actually, we have been angry about the ridiculous FYROM designation for quite some time. And they can not refer to us as North Macedonia until the agreement is signed. That is diplomatic language for you.

I do not speak this diplomatic language because it is full of half meanings, innuendos and deliberate obfuscations. For the purpose of my analysis, I will refer to the First Party as House Slytherin, because the Former Ottoman Province of Greece is quite a mouthful. Do not read too much into it. The Second Party will be referred to as Macedonia.

The Preamble continues with how great the UN resolutions are; Slytherin screwed us over with their veto to join NATO and EU, regardless of the Interim agreement, but that does not matter anymore: the FINAL SOLUTION is upon us and we can agree to be Godfathers to a new nation.

Neutral

I know that some of my countrymen will be angry at this, but I am trying to be as objective as I can be. I will not assign any points to either Slytherin or Macedonia for the reasons explained above. Do not get me wrong, I do not like it how they refer to us in the preamble, but at least I think I understand why.

Part 1

Article 1

a) The official name of the Second Party shall be the “Republic of North Macedonia”,which shall be the constitutional name of the Second Party and shall be used erga omnes, as provided for in this Agreement. The short name of the Second Party shall be “North Macedonia”.

Here it is. The new name ladies and gentlemen for Macedonia shall be Republic of North Macedonia, This new name will be used EVERYWHERE and Macedonia has to make CONSTITUTIONAL changes on top of it.

 

BAD

Let us change the name of a sovereign country, just because Slytherin does not like the name.

5 points for Slytherin.

 

b) The nationality of the Second Party shall be Macedonian/citizen of the Republic of North Macedonia, as it will be registered in all travel documents.

 

BAD

North Korea = North Korean

South Korea – South Korean

Canada = Canadian

North Macedonia = You have one attempt to guess others will call us.

It stared with the Eurobasket website several days ago, but they have changed it since.

The passports will have to be changed as well.

5 points for Slytherin.

 

c) The official language of the Second Party shall be the “Macedonian language”, as recognised by the Third UN Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names, held in Athens in 1977, and described in Article 7(3) and (4) of this Agreement.

 

NEUTRAL

Thanks for telling us what our official language SHOULD be.

 

d) The terms “Macedonia” and “Macedonian” have the meaning given under Article 7 of this
Agreement.

 

BAD

While we are at it, let us redefine what the term Macedonian means.

5 points for Slytherin.

 

e) The country codes for licence plates of the Second Party shall be NM or NMK. For all other purposes, country codes remain MK and MKD, as officially assigned by the International Organization for Standardization (“ISO”).

 

The ISO code, or to be more precise the ISO 3166-1 code is an international standard to define codes for the names of countries, dependent territories, and special areas of geographical interest. As noted in the agreement, the country codes for Macedonia are MK as Alpha-2, MKD as Alpha-3 and 807 as the numeric code.

 

BAD

The two internationally assigned and agreed upon codes will remain in use. However, the most visible code, the one on the actual license plates will be NMK. Majority of people have no idea about country codes. We will providing free advertising for Slytherin wherever we go. Not to mention that there will be SIGNIFICANT COST in changing the license plates. Who will pay for this? We will.

5 points for Slytherin.

 

f) The adjectival reference to the State, its official organs,and other public entities shall be in line with the official name of the Second Party or its short name, that is, “of the Republic of North Macedonia” or “of North Macedonia”. Other adjectival usages, including those referring to private entities and actors, that are not related to the State and public entities,are not established by law and do not enjoy financial support from the State for activities abroad,may be in line with Article 7(3) and (4).The adjectival usage for activities may be in line with Article 7{3) and (4). This is without prejudice to the process established under Article 1(3) {h) and compound names of cities that exist at the date of the signature of this Agreement.

 

SOMEWHAT NEUTRAL

It is somewhat neutral, because the points were awarded to Slytherin already. The adjective usage is a logical progression from the name change. If I am reading this right, Makedonski Brod will stay Makedonski Brod.

 

h) In relation to the above mentioned name and terminologies in commercial names, trademarks and brand names,the Parties agree to support and encourage their business communities to institutionalise a sincere, structured and in good faith dialogue, in the context of which will seek and reach mutually accepted solutions on the issues deriving from the commercial names,the trademarks,the brand names and all relevant matters at bilateral and international level. For the implementation of the aboveme ntioned provisions, an international group of experts will be established consisting of representatives of the two States in the context of the European Union (“EU”) with the appropriate contribution of the United Nations and ISO. This group of experts shall be established within 2019 and conclude its work within three years. Nothing in Article 1(3) (h) shall affect present commercial usage until mutual agreement is reached as provided in this subsection.

 

BAD

Starting in 2019 and for three more years, expect more changes. If the ISO is involved, the ISO codes might be changed too.

5 points for Slytherin.

 

4. Upon signing this Agreement,the Parties shall take the following steps:

a) The Second Party shall, without delay, submit the Agreement to its Parliament for ratification.
b) Following ratification of this Agreement by the Parliament of the Second Party,the Second Party shall notify the First Party that its Parliament has ratified the Agreement.
c) The Second Party,if it decides so, will hold a referendum.
d) The Second Party shall commence the process of constitutional amendments as provided for in this Agreement.
e) The Second Party shall conclude in toto the constitutional amendments by the end
of 2018.
f) Upon notification by the Second Party of the completion of the above mentioned constitutional amendments and of all its internal legal procedures for the entry into force of this Agreement,the First Party shall promptly ratify this Agreement.

 

SOMEWHAT NEUTRAL

What worries me the most is the language in c) The Second Party,if it decides so, will hold a referendum. Will the outcome of the referendum influence the validity of this agreement or is it a done deal?

 

 

7. Upon entry into force of this Agreement,and subject to provisions under Articles 1(9) and (10), the terms “Macedonia”, “Republic of Macedonia”, “FYR of Macedonia”, “FYR Macedonia” in a translated or untranslated form, as well as the provisional name “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and the acronym “FYROM” shall cease to be used to refer to the Second Party in any official context.

 

BAD

No more Republic of Macedonia. The acronym does not matter that much, because we have been recognized as Republic of Macedonia by almost 92% of the UN countries.

5 points for Slytherin.

 

. Upon entry into force of this Agreement, the Second Party shall promptly in accordance with sound administrative practice take all necessary measures so as the country’s competent Authorities henceforth use internally the name and terminologies of Article 1(3) of this Agreement in all new official documentation,correspondence and relevant materials.

10. As regards the validity of already existing documents and materials issued by the Authorities of the Second Party, the Parties agree that there shall be two transitional periods, one ‘technical” and one “political”:

a) The “technical” transitional period shall relate to all official documents and materials of the Public Administration of the Second Party for international usage and to those for internal usage that may be used externally. These documents and materials shall be renewed in accordance with the name and terminologies as referred to in Article 1(3) of this Agreement within five years from the entry into force of this Agreement,at the latest.

b) The “political” transitional period shall relate to all documents and materials exclusively for internal usage in the Second Party. The issuance of the documents and materials falling under this category in accordance with Article 1 (3) shall commence at the opening of each EU negotiation chapter in the relevant field, and shall be finalised within five years thereof.

 

BAD

All official documents in Macedonia will have to be changed. This also includes MONEY! And we WILL PAY FOR IT!

5 points for Slytherin.

 

11. Procedures for the prompt amendment of the Constitution of the Second Party, In order to fully Implement the provisions of this Agreement, shall commence upon ratification of this Agreement by Its Parliament or following a referendum, If the Second Party decides to hold one.

12. The name and terminologies as referred to In Article 1 of this Agreement shall be incorporated in the Constitution of the Second Party. This change shall take place en bloc with one amendment. Pursuant to this amendment, the name and terminologies will change accordingly in all articles of the Constitution. Furthermore,the Second Party shall proceed to the appropriate amendments of Its Preamble, Article 3 and Article 49, during the procedure of the revision of the Constitution.

 

BAD

In order to prevent the Macedonian Parliament to think too much about this, everything will be changed with one amendment. Also the preamble of the Macedonian constitution, as well as Article 3 and Article 49 will have to be changed as well.

5 points for Slytherin.

 

13. In the event of mistakes, errors, omissions In the proper reference of the name and terminologies referred to in Article 1(3) of this Agreement in the context of international multilateral and regional Organizations, institutions, correspondence,meetings and fora, as well as in all bilateral relations of the Second Party with third States and entities,either of the Parties may request their immediate rectification and the avoidance of similar mistakes in the future.

 

BAD

The meddling in our affairs does not stop with the agreement. It will be on-going.

5 points for Slytherin.

 

Article 2

 

1. The First Party agrees not to object to the application by or the membership of the Second Party under the name and terminologies of Article 1(3) of this Agreement in international multilateral and regional Organizations and institutions of which the First Party is a member.

2. The Second Party shall seek admission to International, multilateral and regional Organizations and Institutions under the name and terminologies of Article 1 (3) of this Agreement.

3. Upon entry into force of this Agreement pursuant to its Article 1, the First Party shall ratify
any of the Second Party’s accession agreement to International Organizations, of which the First Party is a member.

4. In particular with respect to the Second Party’s EU and North Atlantic Treaty Organization
(“NATO”) integration processes,the following shall apply:
a. The Second Party shall seek admission to NATO and the EU under the name and terminologies of Article 1 of this Agreement. Accession to NATO and the EU will be under that same name and terminologies.
b. Upon receiving the notice of the ratification of this Agreement by the Parliament of the Second Party,the First Party shall promptly:

(i) notify the President of the Council of the EU that rt supports the opening of the EU accession negotiations of the Second Party under the name and terminologies of Article 1 of this Agreement.
(ii) notify the Secretary General of NATO that it supports the extension of an access on invitation by NATO to the Second Party.Such support of the First Party is conditional, first, to an outcome of referendum,if the Second Party decides to hold one, consistent with this Agreement, and, second, to the completion of the constitutional amendments provided for in this Agreement. Upon receipt of notification by the Second Party concerning the completion of all its internal legal procedures for the entry into force of this Agreement, including a possible national referendum with an outcome consistent with this Agreement,and upon conclusion of the amendments in the Constitution of the Second Party, the First Party shall ratify the Second Party’s NATO Accession Protocol. This ratification procedure shall be concluded together with the ratification procedure of this Agreement.

 

GOOD

The path to NATO and EU will be open. At least as far as Slytherin is concerned. Their veto will be gone, but we have a rocky road ahead of us. We have to convince the other members too.

10 points for Macedonia.

 

Article 3

 

1. The Parties hereby confirm their common existing frontier as an enduring and inviolable international border. Neither Party shall assert or support any claims to any part of the territory of the other Party or claims for a change to their common existing frontier. In addition, neither Party shall support any such claims that may be raised by any third party.

2. Each Party commits to respect the sovereignty,the territorial integrity and the political independence of the other Party. Neither Party shall support any actions of any third party directed against the sovereignty, the territorial integrity or the political independence of the other Party.

3. The Parties shall refrain,in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, from the threat or use of force, including the threat or use of force intended to violate their common existing frontier.

4. The Parties commit not to undertake, instigate, support and/or tolerate any actions or activities of a non-friendly character directed against the other Party. Neither Party shall allow its territory to be used against the other Party by any third country, Organization, group or individual carrying out or attempting to carry out subversive, secessionist actions, or actions or activities which threaten in any manner the peace, stability or security of the other Party. Each Party shall communicate without delay to the other Party any information in its possession regarding any such actions or intentions.

 

BAD

Say goodbye to any Organization or group that is seeking rights for the Macedonians living in Slytherin.

5 points for Slytherin.

 

Article 4

 

1. Each Party hereby commits and solemnly declares that nothing in its Constitution,as it is in force or will be amended in the future, can or should be interpreted as constituting or will ever constitute the basis for any claim to any area that is not included in its existing international borders,

2. Each Party undertakes not to make or to authorize any irredentist statements,and shall not endorse any such statements by those who purport to act on behalf of, or in the interest of, the Party.

3. Each Party hereby commits and solemnly declares that nothing in its Constitution as it is in force or will be amended in the future can or should be interpreted as constituting or will ever constitute the basis for interference with the internal affairs of the other Party in any form and for any reason,including for the protection of the status and rights of any persons that are not its citizens.

 

BAD

The Greater Macedonia maps are gone, which is fine. It was a pipe dream to begin with.

Part 3 is hypocritical. What Slytherin is saying is that once we are done interfering in your internal affairs then we should be OK. And by the way, say goodbye to the Macedonian Minority living in Slytherin forever.

10 points for Slytherin.

 

Article 5

 

1. In the conduct of their affairs the Parties shall be guided by the spirit and principles of democracy, fundamental freedoms, respect for human rights and dignity,and the rule of law, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Helsinki Final Act, the document of the Copenhagen Meeting of the Conference on the Human Dimension of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Charter of Paris for a New Europe, and other international agreements and instruments to which both Parties are party.

2. No provision of any of the instruments referred to in paragraph 1 above shall be interpreted to give any right to either Party to take any action contrary to the aims and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,or of the Helsinki Final Act, including the principle of the territorial integrity of States.

 

NEUTRAL

Nothing of note here. Both parties agree to uphold human rights from now on.

 

Article 6

 

1. Aiming at strengthening friendly bilateral relations each Party shall promptly take effective measures to prohibit any hostile activities, actions or propaganda by State agencies or agencies directly or indirectly controlled by the State and to prevent activities likely to incite chauvinism,hostility,irredentism,and revisionism against the other Party. Should such activities occur,the Parties shall take all necessary measures.

2. Each Party shall promptly take effective measures to dsi courage and prevent any acts by private entities likely to incite violence, hatred or hostility against the other Party. If a private entity in the territory of a Party engages in such activities without that Party’s knowledge, that Party shall, upon such acts coming to its attention, promptly take all necessary measures as provided by law.

3. Each Party shall prevent and discourage acts, including acts of propaganda, by private entities likely to incite chauvinism,hostility,irredentism and revisionism against the other Party.

 

BAD

Private individuals are on the hook now? Slytherin can object to anything and everything based on this article. Did anybody from the Macedonian side actually READ this?

5 points for Slytherin.

 

Article 7

 

1. The Parties acknowledge that their respective understanding of the terms “Macedonia” and “Macedonian” refers to a different historical context and cultural heritage.

2. When reference is made to the First Party, these terms denote not only the area and people of the northern region of the First Party,but also their attributes, as well as the Hellenic civilization,history,culture,and heritage of that region from antiquity to present day.

3. When reference is made to the Second Party,these terms denote its territory,language, people and their attributes, with their own history, culture, and heritage, distinctly different from those referred to under Article 7(2).

4. The Second Party notes that its official language, the Macedonian language, is within the group of South Slavic languages. The Parties note that the official language and other attributes of the Second Party are not related to the ancient Hellenic civilization,history, culture and heritage of the northern region of the First Party.

5. Nothing in this Agreement is intended to denigrate in any way,or to alter or affect, the usage by the citizens of either Party.

 

BAD

We are now redefining what the term Macedonian means. Unreal.

Alexander (Aco) The Great was Slytherin and the term Macedonian now refers to the Northern part of Slytherin, but not including Republic of Macedonia, from “antiquity to present day”. As far as we are concerned, according to this article, we suddenly appeared out of nowhere because we speak a Slavic language which apparently is quite different than the language spoken by Aco the Great.

How about we leave history to the historians?

10 points for Slytherin.

 

Article 8

 

1. If either Party believes one or more symbols constituting part of its historic or cultural patrimony is being used by the other Party,it shall bring such alleged use to the attention of the other Party, and the other Party shall take appropriate corrective action to effectively address the issue and ensure respect for the said patrimony.

2.Within six months following the entry into force of this Agreement, the Second Party shall review the status of monuments, public buildings and infrastructures on its territory, and insofar as they refer in any way to ancient Hellenic history and civilization constituting an integral component of the historic or cultural patrimony of the First Party, shall take appropriate corrective action to effectively address the issue and ensure respect for the said patrimony.

3.The Second Party shall not use again in any way and in all its forms the symbol formerly displayed on its former national flag. Within six months of the entry into force of this Agreement,the Second Party shall proceed to the removal of the symbol displayed on its former national flag from all public sites and public usages on its territory. Archaeological artefacts do not fall within the scope of this provision.

4.Each Party shall abide by the recommendations of the United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names in relation to the use of the official geographical names and toponyms in the territory of the other Party thus giving priority to the use of endonyms over exonyms.

5.Within one month of the signing of this Agreement, the Parties shall establish by exchange of diplomatic notes,on a parity basis,a Joint Inter-Disciplinary Committee of Experts on historic, archaeological and educational matters, to consider the objective, scientific interpretation of historical events based on authentic, evidence-based and scientifically sound historical sources and archaeological findings.The Committee’ s work shall be supervised by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the Parties in cooperation with other competent national authorities. It shall consider and, if it deems appropriate, revise any school textbooks and school auxiliary material such as maps,historical atlases, teaching guides, in use in each of the Parties, in accordance with the principles and aims of UNESCO and the Council of Europe. To that effect, the Committee shall set specific timetables so as to ensure in each of the Parties that no school textbooks or school auxiliary material in use .the year after the signing of this Agreement contains any irredentist/revisionist references. The Committee shall also study any new editions of school textbooks and school auxiliary material as provided for under this Article. The Committee shall convene regularly, at least twice a year, and shall submit an Annual Report on its activities and recommendations to be approved by the High-level Cooperation Council, as to be established pursuant to Article 12.

6.The Parties acknowledge that the above mentioned mutually accepted solutions which have derived from the negotiations will contribute to the definitive establishment of peaceful and good neighbourly relations in the region, in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions 817 (1993) and 845 (1993).

 

BAD

If we use a symbol that Slytherin does not like, they can request that we change it. The slippery slope here is that we do not know what constitutes “part of its historic or cultural patrimony” It is not defined and as such it can mean anything.

The second stupid part is that Macedonia has to change pretty much everything where the old flag symbol, the Sun of Vergina, is used. Makedonska Kamenica you are OUT OF LUCK! The change does not include archaeological sites.

Personally, I could care less about the Sun of Vergina. Symbols are what they are and sometimes have different meaning to different people. The worst part in this Article is section 4. Here, Slytherin admits that it renamed whole cities and towns, but now we have to use those names as well. So no more Solun, or Lerin or Voden for us.

The second worst part is the creation of “Joint Inter-Disciplinary Committee of Experts on historic, archaeological and educational matters” which will have the sole purpose of changing history books in Macedonia within a year. Basically, this never happened.

10 points for Slytherin.

 

Round 1 Results

 

Currently, Slytherin has commanding lead, which means that the Agreement, such as it is, benefits them a lot more than it benefits Macedonia.

Join me in the next few days for Part II. You can get a notification when I post part 2, by liking the Virtual Macedonia Facebook page, following Virtual Macedonia on Twitter or by subscribing via email.

SLYTHERIN (AKA GREECE)

MACEDONIA
About Ivan Slatinski

Ivan Slatinski is a Macedonian living in the eastern part of Republic of Macedonia(still) with his extended family. When he is not glued to a computer, he enjoys binge-watching shows like Otpisani and Povratak Otpisanih, learning Swahili and taking his pet hedgehog Prle on leisurely walks. He can be reached via email or on Facebook.

 

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