Home Page
 
news 03 Oct 12

Alleged Murder Sparks Anti-Greek Sentiment in Macedonia

Unconfirmed reports of the murder of a young ethnic Macedonian in Greece have raised tensions in Macedonia.

BIRN
Skopje

Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic

The Macedonian government has called for restraint and condemned “all attempts to manipulate this sensitive and serious issue,” following unconfirmed reports in Macedonia’s media that a young ethnic Macedonian has been killed in Greece.

The National Broadcasting Council and the Journalist’s Association in their reactions on Tuesday urged media that published the news to step up their professional standards.

On Sunday, several prominent Macedonian media, including the public broadcasting service, MRTV, carried a report about the alleged murder of a young ethnic Macedonian man named Aleksandar Samardziev in Thessaloniki.

According to those reports, the Greek citizen of Macedonian descent was allegedly beaten to death by members of the notorious Greek ultra nationalist movement, Golden Dawn, after he refused to change his surname to a Greek one.

The Macedonian government insists that it has no confirmation of such reports, and the Greek government also denied the murder had taken place.

The media originally cited claims published on Facebook by an alleged relative of the victim, also an ethnic Macedonian who lives in Greece.

A statement by Todor Petrov, the head of a pan-Macedonian NGO, the World Macedonian Congress, in which he said that “for the Macedonians, the death of Aleksandar Samardziev is a provocation for war”, has additionally stirred up tensions.

Petrov’s statement was aired on several TV stations.

Although it is not officially linked to the ruling centre-right VMRO DPMNE party, his NGO is seen as close to the government.

“Death to all Greeks” and “revenge for Aleksandar” were just some posts on social networks and forums.

Skopje based communications expert Marko Trosanovski warns that the media's search for sensationalism can spell out trouble.

“Those [media] that did this, some of them pretty relevant and influential… are risking fuelling much deeper ethnic and national tensions and conflicts by waging a totally irresponsible editorial policy driven by sensationalism”, Trosanovski told Radio Free Europe.

Macedonian police said it increased security around the Greek embasy in Skopje.

Tensions between Greece and Macedonia are fuelled by the long-standing dispute over Macedonia's name.

Greece insists that use of the term "Macedonia" implies a territorial claim to its own northern province of the same name. Citing the unresolved issue, Greece has repeatedly blocked Macedonia’s progress towards both EU and NATO membership.

UN-brokered talks to overcome the long standing dispute have failed to result in a solution. 

 

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Headlines:

obscure-croatian-ngo-announces-ustasa-commander-plaque-06-26-2017
26 Jun 17

Far-Right Croatian NGO to Honour Ustasa Commander

A marginal far-right NGO announced it will put up a plaque honouring Jure Francetic, the commander of a Croatian World War II fascist Ustasa unit responsible for large-scale crimes against Serbs and Jews.

26 Jun 17

The Balkans Today: 26th June - 30th June 2017

26 Jun 17

Macedonia in Line for Busy Political Week

25 Jun 17

Albania Awaits General Elections Results

25 Jun 17

LIVE: Albanian General Elections 2017

Premium Selection

bosnia-s-ex-refugees-use-language-skills-in-call-centres-06-25-2017
26 Jun 17

Bosnia’s Ex-Refugees Use Language Skills in Call Centres

When German-speaking clients get through to a call centre, there is a good chance that the operator on the other end of the line is a Bosnian who found refuge in Germany during the 1992-5 war.

serbia-s-new-pm-likely-to-stay-in-vucic-s-shadow-06-26-2017
26 Jun 17

Serbia’s New PM Likely to Stay in Vucic’s Shadow

While Ana Brnabic awaits confirmation in parliament as Serbia’s new Prime Minister, experts say the real decisions will continue to be taken by her patron, President Aleksandar Vucic.

23 Jun 17

Albania Enjoys Calmest Ever Election Campaign

23 Jun 17

Romanian Top Filmmakers Fight for Reform

Latest News from the Balkans

26 Jun 17

Macedonia in Line for Busy Political Week

25 Jun 17

Albania Awaits General Elections Results