It's not a cause for war in the Balkans,
though it certainly was a century ago. However, the Republic of Macedonia's use
of the name Macedonia truly rankles Greeks. A recent poll claimed that "three
out ot five" Greeks do not want the Republic of Macedonia to be allowed to use
the name "Macedonia." The Greek government fears that the Republic of Macedonia
may lay claim to northern Greece (which is also called Macedonia). So as far as
sixty percent of Greeks are concerned, the name should be FYROM Former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Greece has denied Macedonia (the country)
reconstruction money that was appropriate for use on reconstruction projects in
the Balkans because of the name controversy.
October 26, 2007 : Greek
Cyprus' government issued a statement that threatened "to close British
military bases" on Cyprus. Why the fuss? On October 23 Britain signed an agreement
designed to help reduce the political isolation of Turkish Cypriots. Britain
claimed the "protocol" (signed with Turkey) did not recognize the Turkish part
of the island as a separate political area. Great Britain and Turkey are both
guarantors of the 1960 Cyprus independence treaty. Turkey maintains that it
acted under this treaty in 1974 when its troops invaded the island to prevent
Greek Cypriots from making Cyprus part of Greece. Britain has three bases on
Cyprus, one at Episkopi, an airbase at Akrotiri, and an army post at Dhekelia.
The 1960 treaty describes the bases as "sovereign base areas."
October 25, 2007: Serbia
called the preservation of Bosnia's "Republika Srpska" (the Serb statelet
within Bosnia) as a "national priority." Serbia's Socialist Party (Slobodan
Milosevic's old party) issued a statement that said if Kosovo becomes an
independent state, then Serbia should recognize the Republika Srpska as an
October 22, 2007: Diplomats at
the Kosovo "mediation talks" in Vienna, Austria, issued 14 "interim
conclusions" addressing Kosovo's final status and future Serbia-Kosovo
relations. Two of the "interim conclusions" is that Serbia will not control
Kosovo or "re-establish a physical presence" (ie, security forces) in Kosovo.
The document also said that Kosovo will have control over its own finances.
Serbian negotiators objected to these "interim conclusions."
October 21, 2007: Security
forces found 73 boxes of anti-tank grenades and five air-to-ground missiles in
weapons caches found in Bosnia's Republika Srupska. One of the caches was found
in what officials described as a "deserted department store."
October 19, 2007: Kosovo's
local police force reported that a Serbian Orthodox church in Kosovo was
attacked with two gasoline bombs. Meanwhile, Serb police arrested four men
accused of committing war crimes in March 1999. The men were accused of
shooting 14 women and children in the Kosovo town of Podujevo. The men may have
belonged to a paramilitary gang named the Scorpions. The Scorpions were
allegedly involved in war crimes in Bosnia in 1995, including Srebrenica.