by Gregoris Ioannou and Giorgos Charalambous
The process ahead leading to a possible agreement between the community leaders and submission to separate and simultaneous referenda is expected to be neither smooth nor easy. Although the outcome – partition or reunification – is still far from certain, since September the final phase of this process has been signaled. On Monday the two leaders will meet in Switzerland to discuss the land issue. Put differently, the final phase began at the time when the two leaders could no longer proclaim another stalemate. The conjuncture may be favorable as it has been before in the recent past, yet the broader context vaguely defined can fool the passing observer. The constellation of political, economic and ideological interests and forces opposing the reunification of Cyprus remains formidable and this will continue to be so until the referendum day. In view of a necessary and inevitable political battle on the ground, here we will attempt to outline and Read More
Akis Gavriilidis (interviewed by Boris Georgievski for the DW)
1.The Greek migration minister Yannis Mouzalas was asked to resign after calling the neighboring country «Macedonia». Why is it forbidden or unacceptable to use this name in Greece?
This is a very simple and justified question, but to answer it in a satisfactory way is an extremely complicated affair, believe me –if it is possible at all.
As is known, in the beginning the official line of explanation was that the use of this name is a “theft” of “Greek cultural heritage” and that it is a tool for “irredentist claims”. But, after so many years, I hope nobody seriously believes any more that some army is likely to invade Northern Greece and annex it to the Rep. of Macedonia.
My impression is that, whatever the initial causes have been, from a certain point on, Read More
by Akis Gavriilidis
Recently, the anthropologist David Graeber suggested through Tweeter that “Greece should charge the rest of Europe for it past contributions”. He even made concrete quantified proposals as to how much should be charged: “100 billion euros for Aeschylus” and “200 bil for Socrates”.
A similar suggestion was made some time ago by the veteran French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard.
These statements were no doubt made in good intention: they were meant as a display of solidarity for the bullying the Greek society has been submitted to the past 5 years due to the debt crisis. It is also true that their authors were addressing mainly the European public opinion, especially its sections which have proven vulnerable to cultural racism against the allegedly lazy, good-for-nothing Greeks. However, when somebody is speaking about a certain country, they should give some consideration to how this speaking will sound in the country itself. And in Greece these statements sound quite nasty, believe me. As a person who is trying to fight in Greece against the austerity regime and the Read More
Some weeks ago, a ‘blasphemous’ provocation against the ‘values of Hellenism’ took place in a Greek military camp. An official prohibited several soldiers to sing the ‘Famous Macedonia’ (Makedonia Ksakousti), a military march that celebrates the Greekness of Macedonia, a deviant act resulted in a hysterical public outcry. The song is commonly considered as the national anthem of (Greek) Macedonia and is present over and over again in anniversary marches, military camps, but also in state institutions with an educational role, such as schools. I can recount for instance our teacher of “Religion” in high school making us sing the song “as loud as we can” after the end of his class, with him as a self-appointed conductor waving a wooden stick trying to instill passion and militancy in the choir. The song had to be performed by the fifteen year old students as its g(l)oriness demanded; with a proud, determined and clear voice that gives the sense of unity and coherence to both the performing subjects and their enemies. The song, written after the Balkan wars and the annexation of Thessaloniki to the Greek state in 1912, stresses that freedom for the territory of Macedonia equals Greekness: Read More