From Sun Nov  8 03:00:17 1998


Web Posted: 15:27 GMT+2

_Vienna, 07/11/1998 (MPA)_ Strong concerns over the rise of nationalism
in FYROM are expressed by the Austrian newspaper "Die Presse" which, in
an article under the headline "A new unclarified nationalism causes
confusion in the Balkans", points out that in bookstores and newsstands
in Skopje are being sold all kinds of geographic maps according to
which FYROM's borders do not coincide with its state borders but with
the borders of the "geographical Macedonia" made up namely by FYROM,
territories in Bulgaria and Greece that extend up to the city of

The election victory of the nationalist VMRO party has caused concern to
the neighboring countries, mentions the newspaper.

The causes of the confusion from which the nationalists gain benefits
are traced back to the history of Macedonia. In the first session of
Tito's "Anti-fascist Council for the liberation of Yugoslavia" the
region which was named southern Serbia before the war was declared a
confederate republic and its population was constitutionally

Contrary to the rest Balkan peoples the "Macedonians" were less against
the Turkish domination and more against the movements organized by the
Greeks and the Serbs. The "Macedonians", who set national targets for
the first time in 1880, were a mixture of Bulgarians, Vlachs, Serbs and
Albanians.  Their slogan "Macedonia for the Macedonians" does not come
from a Macedonian people for the simple reason that no such people ever
existed.  Macedonia is multi-ethnic, underlines the Austrian newspaper
and adds that after the Balkan Wars in 1912-13, Macedonia was shared
among Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece. Its western part had already become
Bulgarized while the south had assimilated into Greece.

The "Macedonian" nationalists were protesting against the division and
argued that the "Aegean" and the "Macedonia of Pirin" would soon be
populated only by Greeks and Bulgarians.

The Austrian newspaper writes that the  "Macedonians" "discovered"
their ties with Alexander the Great and the ancient people of the
Macedons just after World War II and declared them as the historical
predecessors of the Slav-Macedonians to the Greeks indignation.

However, now the new nationalist voices are turned against the
Albanians of FYROM to whom future prime minister Ljubico Georgievski
has suggested either to be baptized or to leave the country.