by Sasha Uzunov
A newly declassified official file reveals Australia’s duplicitous role in the Macedonia issue and strong support for the Greek position over the long-running dispute engineered by Greece in the first place.
With the collapse of Yugoslavia in 1991, the Republic of Macedonia declared independence and with Greece immediately opposing its existence until it changed its name.
An economic embargo was put in place to strangle Macedonia into submission. In 1995, a US/UN “brokered” Interim Accord led to land-locked Macedonia using a temporary name of FYROM – Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and changing its flag to placate Greek nationalist demands. In “return” Greece lifted its blockade. The Accord set in place “negotiations” between the two countries to find a name solution acceptable to both. In reality, Macedonia giving into Greek blackmail, which is what happened last year with the signing of the much-hated Prespa Agreement.
Australia decided to recognise Macedonia under the Interim Accord deal and in 1996 eventually allowed a Macedonian embassy to be set up in Canberra, the Australian capital. But behind the scenes, some wheeling-dealing went on which revealed the power of the Greek lobby in Australia.
– COVERING THEIR TRACKS! Wiping away the Greek Lobby fingerprints.
1996 Declassified Australian Prime Minister’s file on Australian-Macedonian relations.
A Foreign Affairs memo revealed that Prime Minister’s [John Howard] office issued a directive that the Greek community be “consulted” before a final decision made over allowing a Macedonian Embassy in Australia.
To cover its tracks of Greek influence, the memo recommended the Australian government meet with Macedonian leaders to give it a pretence of impartiality even though the Greek Community had the final say on the outcome!
DOWNER’S DIPLOMATIC HORSE TRADING – cynical self interest?
Australia’s Foreign Minister Alexander Downer allowed Macedonia to set up an Embassy in Australia in return for Macedonia supporting Australia’s bid for the UN Security Council !
The declassified file reveals that both major Australian political parties – the Liberals and the Australian Labor Party – when having turns holding federal government took the Greek side over the Macedonia name issue.
TO BE CONTINUED…