There are plenty of rivalries that you could argue have some sort of justification, yet the ongoing disputes over the name Macedonia strike me as totally ludicrous. I’ve come across few issues in EU politics that contain such fire as when you tell a Greek that ‘Macedonia’ wants to join the European Union. Greece continues to insist that the country be referred to as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and that efforts to join the EU and NATO should continue to be conducted under that title, and Greece is now angered that there are plans to rename Skopje airport after Alexander the Great – see this BBC News story.
Are the Greeks so obsessed that they are the place where modern civilisation was founded, bla, bla, that other countries in the area are not allowed to use similar names? It’s not even as if this is a matter that would cause any sort of communications confusion. The country of Luxembourg and the Belgian region of Luxembourg (see image) seem to cope just fine with a similar sort of arrangement. So why can’t the Greeks come to some reconciliation with the Former Yugoslavs resident in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia [sic]?