Greece has never responded to any of the notes of protest that Macedonia have so far filed in protest against incidents happening either on the Greek-Macedonian border or on the territory of Greece in which Macedonian citizens were involved.
On the occasion of the latest incident with the video showing Greek soldiers in Cyprus calling insulting cadences about Macedonians, Albanians and Turks and how they would “suck their blood”, the Head of the Greek Liaison Office in Skopje, Theocharis Lalakos, was summoned to the Macedonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday afternoon to be handed a note of protest. The Macedonian authorities, however, do not expect a Greek response, Dnevnik reports.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs demands of the Greek authorities to take immediate action to condemn these incidents which are not in the spirit of the European values and standards and to make sure such uncivilized acts do not happen again. Mr. Lalakos was also handed a note of protest concerning the practice of the Greek authorities to put stickers on the Macedonian cars in regard to the use of the MK code on the Macedonian license plates.
The EU has never reacted to Macedonia’s protests either and has never condemned the Greek conduct.
In regard to the latest incident, Dnevnik has asked Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, and Viviane Reding, the Vice President of the EC and Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, for a comment but has received neither a comment nor an answer whether they would take any action against this conduct of the army of an EU member state.
The Macedonian Government had earlier condemned the violent and menacing cadence calls of the Greek troops and called on the EU to react instead of turning a blind eye.
Although reacting in one way or another to notes of protest is commonplace in diplomacy, according to Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki not receiving an answer is an answer in itself.
“Not receiving an answer after so many reactions on our part is an answer in itself. It can be seen as a lack of interest, as demonstration of power, and may also be an indication of the attitude of the decision-makers in the south to the promotion of hatred and intolerance and an indication of the institutional culture in the treatment of those who are different or the neighbors,” he told Dnevnik.
This conduct, in his view, raises concern because of being of system nature and because it does not contribute to promoting European values in the region.
All earlier protests regarding the selective ban on journalists, people of culture, associations or simply Macedonian citizens born in Greece from entering Greece, the damaging of cars with Macedonian license plates in Greece and the nationalistic vocabulary of the Golden Dawn political party received the same treatment.
“The European institutions have to do something about this. Turning a deaf ear to these practices has never brought anything good to the EU project. We want to do something in this regard because we are neighbors today and in the future and it is in our interest that we should have an open cooperation. Not calling things by their true name is not doing a favor to either Athens or Brussels and is definitely not doing any good to the Greek-Macedonian relations,” Minister Poposki said.