Toronto Greeks Protest against FYROM Name (Video)

February 6, 2018

TORONTO – Toronto Greeks gathered by the hundreds on The Danforth on Sunday, Feb. 4 to protest against the use of Macedonia in the new name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) as the negotiations to settle the dispute over the name continue between Greece and FYROM, as Inside Toronto reported.

The protest was held at Alexander the Greek Parkette at Danforth and Logan Avenues where the community members voiced their opinion for two hours in solidarity with the thousands of Greeks who protested in Athens for the same issue. Inside Toronto noted that the “locals said [the Athens protest] was the largest gathering in decades.”

The negotiations to settle the dispute are being mediated by the United Nations. The dispute over the name, as Inside Toronto reported, has kept FYROM out of the European Union and NATO.

President of the Greek Community of Toronto Andonis Artemakis, said, as reported in Inside Toronto, “the dispute is about more than simply the name, Macedonia.”

“Macedonia is Greece. It speaks Greek. It is Greeks. We hope it remains so,” Mr Artemakis said, adding that “It is not the name only; it’s the culture, language and history they tried to steal. They’re looking for identity. If they’re looking for identity, they should take the Slavic identity, not the Greek. They’re of Slavic descent.”

As reported on Inside Toronto, “The Greek Community of Toronto represents more than 150,000 Canadians of Hellenic descent in the Greater Toronto Area.”

The rally organizers posted on Facebook that “they support the Greek people in their action to protect the heritage of Greece and Macedonia,” Inside Toronto reported.

“We will fight with all our might against the unacceptable, unlawful, treacherous act of Greek politicians to surrender the name, history, civilization and soul of Macedonia and Greece,” the Teachers’ Council of the Greek Community of Toronto who organized the rally posted on Facebook post.

“The traitors of our country will find us against them. Their plot will be in vain.”

The Facebook post concluded, as Inside Toronto reported, “No recognition of Skopje with any name that contains the term ‘Macedonia.’ No to the surrender of Macedonia. Macedonia is one, Greek, and not for sale.”

Also Feb. 4, the Greek government issued a statement on its Ministry of Foreign Affairs website that the name of FYROM “is about behavior and territorial integrity, not only facts or symbols,” as reported by Inside Toronto.

The statement said, as Inside Toronto reported, “(It) is not just a dispute over historical facts or symbols. It concerns the conduct of a UN member state, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, which contravenes the fundamental principles of international law and order; specifically, respect for good neighborly relations, sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Protests were also held in other cities around the world including London where protesters sang the Greek National Anthem in front of the British Parliament building.


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