BOSTON – Dr. Seraphim Papajiannis, MD, past president of the Pan-Macedonian Association USA, in an interview with The National Herald, made a plea to the President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopulos to declare a “national crisis” in Greece to clear the way for a referendum on the Prespes agreement.
Papajiannis noted that he was expressing his personal opinions and not those of the Association.
Commenting on recent developments, namely, the approval by FYROM’s parliament in Skopje of the changes required by the Prespes agreement, including the new name “North Macedonia,” Papajiannis said, “I am sorrowful because the name Macedonia is our ethnic heritage. It cannot be negotiated or given to others.”
He added that “we have been fighting for seven decades now for that cause.”
Dr. Papajiannis, who is well known and respected in the Greek-American Community of Boston as well as the Boston community at large, emphasized that “if a composite name is given, Skopje will call itself Macedonia. How then will there be differentiation between our Macedonia and theirs? They will be an official State and we are going to be just a geographical territory and this is what makes me worry so much.”
Dr. Papajiannis doesn’t believe the agreement will foster stability in the Balkan region as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras claims. He said, “on the contrary I believe that the problems will multiply in the future.”
He also said “this issue is not about Tsipras and the Greek government. There are other interests and powerful elements involved. I am sure the foreign policy of the United States and Europe support the agreement because they want this small State of FYROM to be included in NATO, and they insist that it be added with the name ‘Macedonia’, thus whatever we do requires great effort.”
Asked what he thought the Greek-American community as a whole should do, not just the Association, before Tsipras asked the Hellenic Parliament to ratify the agreement, he said “I think there should be a massive campaign to send letters and telegrams from associations, federations, organizations, and individuals to the President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopulos emphasizing that this is a national crisis and urge him to organize a referendum to reveal the thoughts and wishes of the Greek People.”
Asked how Pavlopulos can do something as president when the agreement is supported by the Prime Minister, Papajiannis explained that “this issue falls within his responsibilities. If the issue has to do with a national crisis the President of the Republic has the right to declare a referendum so that the will of the People could be manifested.”
He said, “this issue should not reach the Parliament. Pavlopulos should act now, immediately.”
Dr. Papajiannis a few days ago sent a letter to all Metropolitans of the Church in the Macedonia region asking them to act vigorously so that the ratification of the Prespes Agreement be prevented.”