FYROM name change was political

Bill Nicholov wrote to demand the resignation of MP Jim Karygiannis because he referred to some Macedonians as "Skopjans." (RE: "Macedonians demand Karygiannis's resignation," March 16) It's worth remembering that a past president of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kiro Gligorov, admitted that, "We are Macedonians but we are Slav Macedonians. That's who we are. " What's more, among the many proposals put forward by UN mediator Matthew Nimetz to solve the name dispute between Greece and FYROM is the "Republic of Macedonia-Skopje." Referring to some Slavs by a UN-sanctioned name (Skopjans) is therefore not inappropriate. Nicholov also criticized the Liberal Party, writing that "pandering to ethnic communities is a Liberal specialty." While Liberals, like all political parties, engage in such activity, this Conservative government has taken it to a whole other level. Furthermore, according to documents obtained under Access to Information, the Conservative government eventually over-ruled the March 15, 2007 recommendation of the Department of Foreign Affairs "that Canada maintain its current position with regard to the official name," referring to FYROM. This shows that the decision to recognize the "Republic of Macedonia" was a partisan political ploy to pander to a specific group of voters. As a final point, internal DFAIT documents highlight that when the Conservative government decided to change its name policy, it chose "a more low-key approach where the policy is implemented without public announcement." Why the need, though, for such a cowardly approach if they were so confident in their new policy? Gus Gymnopoulos Toronto, Ont.

Published: Wednesday, 03/23/2011 12:00 am EDT

Bill Nicholov wrote to demand the resignation of MP Jim Karygiannis because he referred to some Macedonians as "Skopjans." (RE: "Macedonians demand Karygiannis's resignation," March 16)

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