What’s In A Name?


There are two “Macedonias” in the world. One is the former Yugoslav Republic, the other is a province in Greece that buttresses the former Yugoslav Republic. Macedonia-the-country is officially referred to at the UN as the “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM),” which aside from being a mouthful is somewhat backward looking. Understandably, Macedonia wants to change this. But Greece is concerned that calling Macedonia, “Macedonia,” would sow confusion and imply claims on its northern province.

Yesterday, a UN mediator came up with a compromise: “The Republic of Macedonia (Skopje).” Greece, though, is dissatisfied. Why does this matter? Because next week, NATO is meeting in Bucharest to consider admitting Macedonia and Athens is threatening a veto. Yikes.

(Bronze statue of Alexander on Bucephalus Museo Nazionale di Villa Guilia, Rome, Italy)