Greek-Americans Working to Block U.S. Aid to Macedonia

 Greek-Americans through the American Hellenic Institute are trying to block U.S. foreign assistance to Macedonia…are you going to let them succeed?

On March 26, 2009, the American Hellenic Institute Executive Director, Nick Larigakis, testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations and Related Programs regarding the Administration’s foreign aid proposals for Fiscal Year (FY 2010) urging Congress to block aid to Macedonia.  Here is the portion of his testimony concerning Macedonia:

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM):  We oppose any aid that is not tied in to FYROM’s commitment to negotiate in good faith with Greece to find a solution to the continuing unresolved issue between Greece and FYROM over the name of the latter.  This issue, if unresolved, will contribute to potential instability within the Balkans. Stability in the Balkans is not only important for overall U.S. interests, but also because it serves the interests of every country in the Balkans. It is however, FYROM, that is the intransigent party in this regard, and not Greece.  Greece is the biggest investor in FYROM and literally helps to sustain FYROM’s precarious economy and reduce its large unemployment.

Provocations against Greece have increased dramatically in recent years. Since August of 2006, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski has followed a long-term policy of extreme nationalism and provocation against Greece in conflict with European values. His actions are a breach of the U.N.-brokered Interim Accord and erode efforts to build trust and good neighborly relations.

Unfortunately, the irresponsible decision by the Bush administration in November of 2004 to recognize FYROM as the “Republic of Macedonia” has contributed greatly to FYROM’s intransigent and provocative stand. U.S. actions since 1992 regarding the FYROM name dispute has constituted an American foreign policy blunder which has damaged U.S. interests in the Western Balkans and was a disrespectful act toward a staunch NATO ally and supporter in the Balkans-Greece.

In an October 2008 campaign statement, Presidential Candidate Obama stated: “…[I] support the UN-led negotiations and believe that there can and should be an agreement between Skopje and Athens on a mutually-acceptable name that leads to greater stability in the Balkans.”

The Congress can assist in this process by persuading FYROM to negotiate in good faith with Greece to resolve this name issue and to cease immediately irredentist propaganda against Greece. Only in this way will FYROM’s aspirations to fully integrate into the EURO-Atlantic community be realized.

For the full testimony, click HERE.

Are you going to let Greek-Americans succeed?  U.S. foreign assistance is very important for Macedonia’s socio-economic improvement. 

Send a letter to your Representative and Senators today, by clicking HERE.  If you already sent a letter, did you get a response?  If not, call the offices of your Representative and Senators and inquire on the status of your letter.

Help make the Macedonian-American voice in the United States stronger today!


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