Balkans: It's All In A Name


October 30, 2007: 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 independent state.

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.




Help Keep Us From Drying Up

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling.

Each month we count on your contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage.
Subscribe   Contribute   Close