ARCHBISHOP CHRISTODOULOS' LETTER TO EU LEADERS

Athens, 19 November 2004 (18:28 UTC+2)

Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece expressed his concern about the world that is being formed with total demerit toward objectivity and truth in a letter addressed to EU heads of state and the heads of Christian Churches on the issue of the FYROM name.

Archbishop Christodoulos stressed that the use of the name "Macedonia" by FYROM is more than a simple and innocent cultural misappropriation, pointing out that the cultural aspect of the issue is a permanent cause of passion stirring while he also referred to the occupation by Greece's neighbors of part of the Greek Macedonia during both World Wars.

He also mentions that the history of southeastern Europe has been colored by the harboring of insatiable irredentism that often led to armed conflicts not limited to the area in question. Specifically on FYROM, he pointed out that irredentism appears at two levels, the Slav and the Albanian, and for this reason is regarded more explosive.

Therefore, mentioned the Archbishop, the Greeks believe that the recognition of the neighboring to Greece FYROM under the name "Macedonia" does not serve any Balkan state because it raises the temperature on tension and suspicion in the region, while it appears to vindicate all those who build their history with stolen material and rewards all those who keep the spark of disorder and permanent instability burning in a crucial region for Europe and in times of constant tension.

The Archbishop also reminded the support offered by Greece to FYROM since the first moment of the country's founding and the encouragement of bilateral cooperation.

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