Country File: Macedonia

Today’s Country File is almost certainly the one with the most controversial title we’ll ever write, because as you may have noticed in the news this summer there are literally —

— and we don’t mean “literally” in the Millenial sense of “not literally at all”, we mean “literally” in the sense of “this is actually happening” —

— thousands of people rioting in the streets against what to call this country!

See, there used to be this federal republic called Yugoslavia. Within a year of us visiting (and it’s really strange how often this kind of thing happens) it splintered into little bits, most of which were shooting at at least a couple of the other bits.

One of those bits, which was called the Socialist Republic of Macedonia under Yugoslav rule, figured it would simply strike the “Socialist” and call itself Република Македонија. And that, well, that did not go down well attempting to join the international order, as it was felt the name was a claim on the Macedonia region of Greece. So, in international organizations, it is typical to finesse this issue by referring to this country as the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, abbreviated as FYROM or FYR Macedonia.

However, that’s pretty silly, isn’t it? So negotiations have been ongoing to decide what to call this country, and in June it was announced that Republic of North Macedonia would be an acceptable one, subject to a local referendum. And that’s when the riots began! For purposes of brevity, with all due respect to Grecian nationalists and all, we’ll just call it “Macedonia” here whilst we wait for the issue to be settled to general satisfaction, shall we?

Flag of Macedonia

Macedonia joined UNESCO on 28 June 1993, making it a real country by‘s standard, and it has 1 inscribed and 3 tentative World Heritage Sites:

Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region

Archaeo-astronomical Site Kokino
Cave Slatinski Izvor
Markovi Kuli

and MTP count Macedonia as one place.


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