Friday, April 23, 2010

Random News Generator- Macedonia

Having just done an RNG update, let's go ahead and run a new one. Today, the RNG lands on Macedonia.

Macedonia has wanted to be part of the European Union since 2005. They're in the process of scheduling talks on how exactly they're going to go about getting in.

As you're probably well aware, the EU is the cool kids' club. They don't let just anybody in, because with everyone using the euro, and everyone tied together in other, more subtle ways, one economic basket case has the capability to stymie the entire group.

One of those more subtle ways is what's kept Macedonia at bay to this point. If you want to be in the EU, you have to go along with what the current members want you to do. You don't go along, you don't get in. It's that simple. And Macedonia has not done enough to please EU member Greece.

Specifically, it's Macedonia's name, the 'Republic of Macedonia', as stated in their constitution. Greece has a province also named Macedonia, and believes that Macedonia-the-country's name as currently stated makes undue claims on Macedonia-the-province. If, however, Macedonia-the-country were to rename itself 'Northern Macedonia', or what it's called at the UN, the 'Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia', that would be enough to please Greece. The same problem has also kept Macedonia out of NATO, which they'd also like to join.

What's in a name? In the eyes of Macedonia, national pride. As EU Observer reports:
"By objecting to our chosen title, Greece shows that their demands do not end with the constitutional name of the country but go beyond and touch the forbidden zone of individual and national rights to self-determination and national identity", [Macedonian foreign minister Antonio] Milososki complained after the Greek reaction.
That's the short version, anyway. Here's the long version.

This has been going on since 1991. They'd like to have the issue hammered out by the end of June, but posturing still abounds. According to Bulgaria's Focus Information Agency, Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski is scheduled to arrive in Athens next week for a conference organized by The Economist, but as Gruevski's plane reads 'Republic of Macedonia', it's up in the air as to whether he will be allowed to land the plane on Greek soil.

Hopefully they can hammer it out, but we'll see how it goes.

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