Note of the Editorial Board: Below we reprint a statement of the Organization of Communists Internationalists (Greece) – a Trotskyist organization in Greece. The statement gives a correct assessment of the background of the negotiations about the enforced change of name of the Republic Macedonia. It denounces the interests of the Great Powers – in particular of U.S. imperialism – and points out the accelerating inter-imperialist rivalry between the Western powers and Russia and China. At the same time, the comrades reject Greek chauvinism and defend the right of national self-determination of the Macedonian people.
We refer readers in this context to our book on capitalism in Greece in which we also deal with the history of the “Macedonian Question”:
Michael Pröbsting: Greece: A Modern Semi-Colony. The Contradictory Development of Greek Capitalism, Its Failed Attempts to Become a Minor Imperialist Power, and Its Present Situation as an Advanced Semi-Colonial Country with Some Specific Features (see chapter II.3 Excurse: Greek Chauvinism and the Macedonian Question), https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/greece-semi-colony/
The RCIT has published a number of pamphlets, statements, and articles of Greece which are collected at a special sub-page on our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/articles-on-greece/.
See also: RCIT: Macedonia: Stop the Police Violence! Support the National Self-Determination of the Albanian Minority! For a Workers and Peasants Government! For a Socialist Federation of the Balkan People! https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/macedonia-statement/
Johannnes Wiener and Ime Berisha: Freedom and Self-Determination for Kosova! Down with the Government of Isa Mustafa Hashim Thaçi, Lackeys for the Rich and Imperialism! 31.01.2015, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/freedom-for-kosova/
Finally, we refer readers in this context also to our books and pamphlets on the accelerating rivalry between the Great Powers (U.S., China, EU, Russia and Japan) which can be viewed at a special sub-page on our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-russia-as-imperialist-powers/
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Prespa Agreement – Referendum in neighboring Macedonia
Internationalist & Class “NΟ” to the US-led agreement! ΝΑΤΟ and Imperialists out of the Balkans!
Message of solidarity and common struggle by OKDE – Organization of Communists Internationalists (Greece), 24.9.2018, www.okde.gr
On Sunday 30/9 a referendum will be held in neighboring Macedonia on the Prespa agreement signed by Tsipras and Zaev. The very question of the referendum shows the real cause why the name issue has been shuffled. Workers and poor popular layers will be asked to answer: "Do you support NATO and EU membership by supporting the agreement between the Republic of Macedonia and Greece?". A blackmailing question, that unfortunately urges some of the neighboring people to the prospect of joining NATO and the EU, which, according to the propaganda of the capitalist elite, will mean an upgrading of the country and the living standards.
This agreement is totally reactionary for a number of reasons. The whole issue is revoked only by the imperialists and the US in particular, to serve their own interests. They re-opened the issue, guided the negotiations and eventually imposed the agreement. Macedonia's membership of NATO - despite its small size and insignificant size - is a strategic step in the integration of the entire Balkan Peninsula into the influence of US imperialism, while eliminating all Russian influence. The goal is to transform the Balkans into an immense NATO base, preparing for the coming conflicts with Russia and China. That is why, along with the issue of Macedonia, they are rearranging the whole situation in the Balkans (mainly with moves in Kosovo).
These developments are extremely dangerous for the Greek people and all the people of the region, as we are in the middle of two of the most important fronts of inter-imperialist conflicts (Balkans, Middle East / Southern East Mediterranean).
It is an agreement that acts violently, extortionately, "from above" (as the imperialists always do) to supposedly control nationalisms in a temporary manner, only to feed them back or revive them later. Issues like that are never solved by the guarantees of the imperialists, but only by developing solidarity and trust between peoples. If at the moment the US and the two governments choose to "curb" these nationalisms, this should not be misleading. The peoples and workers of the region, especially in the former Yugoslavia, have a bitter experience of how the imperialists support one and then another nationalism, according what serves their short term interests. Besides, the SYRIZA / ANEL government takes advantage of the nationalist rallies to disorientate workers from their real problems, to sell the fairy tale of "exiting the memorandums", to play political games by sneakily fueling the far-right and the reactionary trying to appear as the "left" a guaranty of democracy. But all the "opposition" (ND, etc.), too, makes it clear that it does not oppose the plans of the American and European imperialists but only “rejects” the agreement in terms of temporary electoral benefits.
The agreement contains several humiliating terms for the neighboring people of Macedonia: forced change of the constitutional name, revision of the constitution, change of public documents etc. This, on the one hand, seriously hurts the two peoples' relations. The workers movement in Greece must stand against any such imposition, recognizing the right of self-determination to the neighboring people as a prerequisite for developing the solidarity and common struggle of the two peoples. On the other hand, it is clear that the imperialists do not hesitate to impose such conditions on "allied" countries. That is why the workers in Greece must have nothing in common with those who celebrate the upgraded relations with USA (mainly in competition with Turkey).
The interests of the two working classes and the peoples of the region as a whole identify with the rejection of the agreement by the people of Macedonia (but also the Greek one). For a “No” that apparently has nothing in common with none of the dangerous nationalists on either side, nor of the Gruevski type (in Macedonia) nor the late "Macedonian fighters" ones (in Greece). A “No” of a class, internationalist, anti-imperialist, anti-war character. To pave the way for the transformation of our region from being the base of the imperialist hawks to the cradle of labor struggles against poverty, misery, memorandums, war.
- NATO and its bases out from the Balkans. Greece, out of NATO and the EU.
- Common struggle of the peoples in the Balkans and Europe against poverty, racism, repression, war. Going forward for a workers' Europe, democratic, radical, socialist.
- Recognition of the right of self-determination to the people of Macedonia.