Statement on Skopje’s referendum

Δημόσια Δήλωση Κωνσταντίνος Γάτσιος

The overwhelming abstinence of the slav-macedonian element from the referendum in Skopje is, in essence, a total rejection of the “Prespa Agreement”. (Even those who voted said they were doing it with a “heavy heart”). Their attitude is an act that we have to interpret. Because it conceals a reality to which we should not turn a blind eye, as a large part of the political world had done for many years or perhaps it still does.

The “Prespa Agreement” constituted, to a great extent, a major concession on Greece’s part on key issues. Even though many people do not want to admit it, signing this agreement was a great diplomatic victory for Skopje, which would be even greater with its implementation. Yet! The people of Skopje and especially so the slav-macedonian citizens rejected it in the most emphatic way. They rejected an agreement that not only echoed their baseless claims on their language and nationality but also an agreement which (that was the “narrative”) would pave the way for their country to join NATO first and then the European Union.

There is, therefore, a reasonable question. Why did the citizens of Skopje reject an agreement that obviously and clearly satisfied them in so many areas and promised them so much? The answer is that they rejected it for the very simple reason that it did not satisfy them in the most important point for them: it ceased to legitimize ideologically and legally their designs on the Greek Macedonia, because ideologically and legally it suppressed their collective fantasy for the one and single (Slavic) “Macedonia” with Thessaloniki as its capital! In other words, if this rejection implies something, it is unfortunately that in the neighboring state the expansive aspirations against Greece arise in a very natural way because, simply, they constitute the central element and the basis of the collective consciousness and the way in which its citizens perceive reality in the modern world. This is the truth!

The realization of this may be very uncomfortable. However, not realizing it, or, in other words, turning a blind eye to the truth, may prove to be very dangerous in the medium term for our country.

The “Prespa Agreement” was, unfortunately, a mistake. It was mistaken in its content because it undermined our national interests by ignoring that the moving force of the neighbor’s policy, its deep core, is precisely its expansive aspirations against us. Which, in turn, stem in a very natural way from the very state ideology of “Macedonianism” which, although historically baseless, it constitutes the cornerstone of their statehood. The agreement was also a mistake as a process because it undermined our democracy: while the people of FYROM had the opportunity to take a position on it, the Greek citizens were not given that opportunity either before or after signing it.

At least, however, I want to believe that, as a mistake, it served to reveal the truth that many did not want to admit. That it served to see things more clearly than before.

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