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Papaziliki of Kotzias that with the Prespa Agreement we did not hand over Macedonian ethnicity to the people of Skopje

Papaziliki of Kotzias that with the Prespa Agreement we did not hand over Macedonian ethnicity to the people of Skopje

Ioannis Ambatzoglou
23 May, 2024

On 19-7-2018, i.e. thirty-two days after the signing of the Prespa Agreement, the man who had undertaken to carry it out and unfortunately successfully completed his task, Mr. Nikolaos Kotzias, organized at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs a Scientific meeting1 regarding the legal aspects of the above agreement.

Mr. Kotzias himself spoke at the conference, regarding what the Prespa Agreement states, namely that the people of Skopje will have Macedonian "nationality" (article 1, paragraph 3b), he argued2 that based on the above term we do not recognize nationality but citizenship (citizen of a state - citizenship). Therefore, with the Prespa Agreement, Macedonian ethnicity is not handed over to the Skopians. Let's see what exactly Mr. Kotzias had said:

N. Kotzias (19-7-2018): "And I come to the subject of "nationality"... and that the "nationality" as well as German "staatsangehörigkeit” does not translate as “nationality”. In fact, German is very far, the corresponding word is German, from "nationality”, is “state citizenship”, belonging to a state. So there is no such issue... The critics of the agreement say that if you give "citizenship" it automatically means "nationality". So he says, they have an equation, they have it. You give "citizenship"nationality”, you have also given “nationality”. That these two are inescapably identified."

But three years after the signing of the Prespa Agreement, on 20-6-2021, in an interview given by Mr. Kotzias to the newspaper NATION3,4,5, admitted that the Skopians achieved their ethnogenesis as Macedonians. Therefore, through the Agreement of Prespa, they essentially received the Macedonian ethnicity as well. Here is the sentence exactly as he put it:

N. Kotzias (20-6-2021): "Macedonians in the course of history, this is how they felt, this is how they were formed, they achieved a process of ethnogenesis."

On the one hand, as foreign minister, in 2018, Mr. Kotzias tried to convince us that with the Prespa Agreement we are not handing over Macedonian ethnicity to the people of Skopje, and three years later he revealed to us that the people of Skopje they are now Macedonians in nationality6.

At this point, it is also worth mentioning the professor of history - archeology of the AUTH, Spyridon Sfetas, who is no longer alive (passed away on 21-11-2021). The specific professor participated in the above meeting of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and even spoke first. His speech is available in a video file as well as a text file on the Greek website Ministry of Foreign Affairs1,7. In that speech, among other things, he said the following:

Sp. Sfetas (19-7-2018): "I believe that the agreement is the best that could be reached... the negatives are not so painful as to pose national risks because the red lines have been covered that we had in this matter... Because for us the term Macedonian, due to its antiquity, is intertwined with Hellenism, we want the demarcation of identities, Hellenism and Slavism, and that is why we insist so much on clarifying identity issues, without recognizing "Macedonian nation" on the other side's terms. This demarcation is the spirit that pervades the entire agreement… In the final analysis, with the agreement, Greece does not recognize ethnicity, but citizenship. The word nationality here is a legal term. The term Macedonian/citizen of the Republic of North Macedonia indicates citizenship and the term "Macedonian" includes Slavs, Albanians, Turks, Vlachs, Torbesides as citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia."

I think we should congratulate Mr. Kotzias. He managed to fool even the history teacher, blessed Sfeta, who was convinced that with the Prespa Agreement "Macedonian ethnicity is not recognized", therefore "the Greek red lines are not violated" and how she "does not pose national risks". But as mentioned above, on 20-6-2021, Mr. Kotzias spoke about the ethnogenesis of the Macedonians (meaning the Skopians) and this is what remains in the end.

What anyone thinks doesn't really matter. It is significant that the Skopian Slavs managed to be recognized by the Greeks as Macedonians in nationality. Because while all the others mentioned by Sfetas (Albanians, Turks, Vlachs, Torbesides) have their own national self-identification (not "Macedonian"), the Slavs of Skopje have not had it until now. However, they acquired it thanks to the Prespa Agreement and their national identification is now "Macedonian".


See related video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpY2k34gBQI 



  1. https://www.mfa.gr/to-zetema-tou-onomatos-tes-boreias-makedonias/eidikotera-keimena/epistemonike-emerida-me-thema-tis-nomikes-ptukhes-tes-sumphonias-ton-prespon-upeks-19072018.html
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgOoxJYQABw
  3. https://youtu.be/zQCdwnrYWnw
  4. https://www.ethnos.gr/politiki/162131_kotzias-sto-ethnosgr-o-mitsotakis-afise-laska-ton-zaef-gia-tin-efarmogi-ton-prespon
  5. I. Ambatzoglou, The Prespa Agreement and the struggle for Macedonia, Volume III, Erodios ed., 2021, pp. 122-123.
  6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpY2k34gBQI
  7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZsxDPi2VeY



photo https://el.wikipedia.org/ 

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