Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov called on EU leaders to open membership talks while negotiations with Greece continue.“If it (resolving the name dispute with Greece) is placed as a condition (for talks to start) we are being deprived of our basic right to become European,” Ivanov told journalists.
In its latest report on progress of the six Western Balkan countries, the European Commission gave a recommendation for Albania and Macedonia to start accession talks.
“And then to try and find a way to bring it back to life and give meaning to what came before.”In the Balkans, however, giving meaning to the past can be a fraught business. Slamkov, 52, has found his skills in demand as the government has poured money into excavating ancient sites with a single goal: finding connections to ancient Macedonia to add legitimacy to its claim on the name. For more than two decades, this country of just two million people has been fighting with its southern neighbor Greece over the right to have Macedonia in its name.
Now the issue has come to the fore again, as Macedonia’s government earnestly renews a push to join NATO and the European Union, hoping to alleviate the Balkan country’s poverty and isolation.
Marching with pride the Macedonia athletes carry the Olympic hope of their nation.
GEVGELIJA, Macedonia — From the time he was a high school student and made his first discovery — graves dating to the Iron Age and coins 3,000 years old — Emil Slamkov said he wanted to be an archaeologist.“For me, it is a chance to discover what the earth is hiding,” he said.