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200 INTELLECTUALS PEN OPEN LETTER URGING MACEDONIA'S POLITICAL LEADERS TO END NAME TALKS WITH GREECE.

"Deeply concerned and disturbed by the manner in which the Government of the Republic of Macedonia is leading the process of negotiations with the Hellenic Republic concerning our constitutional name and national identity, we feel historic responsibility not to be silent and to turn to the whole Macedonian and world public in the spirit of Misirkov's thought: what have we done and what do we need to do in advance?" This is how 200 intellectuals from Macedonia and abroad, including Biljana Vankovska, Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova, Solza Grceva, Gorazd Rosoklija, Simona Gruevska-Madjoska, Elka Jaceva-Ulcar and Zidas Daskalovski, commence their open letter in which they urge the Macedonian authorities to end the name negotiations with Greece.

Nobody, they say, including the Government, the Parliament and the President, has any constitutional authorization to decide a name change even if it is "only" for international use.

"The promise that the people will decide in a referendum is not based on the Constitution or any law either because there is no norm in the positive law on calling a referendum either consultative or mandatory for the purpose of changing the country's name and especially regarding the identity provisions," the letter says.

The letter emphasizes the fact that in the past 27 years, Macedonia has been recognized with its constitutional name by 137 countries and that Macedonian officials have been using the constitutional name in the international English language communication.

"Hence, seeing that the Government is not using all the legal, political and moral arguments that are undoubtedly on the side of the Republic of Macedonia we wonder: 1. Why are you silent about the Badinter report? 2. Why do you behave as a culprit/irredentist when you have the Judgment of the UN International Court in which it is explicitly said that nothing that our country has ever done is irredentist? 3. Who authorized you to negotiate our name and identity? 4. Why do you put pressure on the public that this is a historic moment to join NATO when facts show that a summit is not necessary if the NATO member states decide to admit the country without any blackmails, in keeping with the Interim Accord and based on the Judgment of the UN International Court of Justice? 5. Without a political vision, courage and virtue, you, the politicians of both the government and the opposition are trying to smother every meaningful debate and to avoid having to account to the citizens whose identity you are negotiating. Do you plan on "kidnapping" this issue, too, resolving it outside of institutions and in breach of the Constitution, not giving the public any say in the matter?"

The Macedonian intellectuals urge the Macedonian authorities to stop lying that there is national consensus and that negotiations are "only" conducted to change the country's name.

"Even the ordinary person realizes that this is about the Macedonian identity, the one that we have here and the one of the Macedonians living as a minority not only in the Hellenic Republic but also in the other neighboring countries," the signatories of the letter say.

They also urge the politicians to admit to not having even an elementary strategy on the issue, to end the negotiations brokered by Matthew Nimetz and to turn to the UN General Assembly as the only international instance in which the Republic of Macedonia is not David as against the mighty Goliath but an equal member with all the other states having recognized it with its constitutional name, to end the use of the provisional reference and to ensure a resolution is passed by the UN General Assembly guaranteeing the accession of the Republic of Macedonia to international organizations under its constitutional name.

They further alarm that the insistence on an urgent resolution of the dispute could lead to instability and possibly an internal conflict. "If the politicians of both the government and the opposition turn a deaf ear to these arguments, they should bear in mind they will face a nonviolent resistance and will be remembered for their capitulating and treacherous role by the future generations of Macedonians".
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Title Annotation:MIC NEWS
Publication:INFOMAC Daily News Service
Geographic Code:4EXMA
Date:Feb 19, 2018
Words:682
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