Anyone who has been in favor of or against the Agreement will be judged by History, Metropolitan Stefanos of Philippi, Neapolis and Thassos commended on the Prespes Agreement, under which we must now all call our neighbouring country “Northern Macedonia”, instead of Skopje or FYROM.
Speaking at ALPHA Radio 88.6, he stressed that no one asked him whether he agreed to the concession of the name and that no one could compel him to call that country “Macedonia”.
He stressed that there are legal issues too, since the pre-agreement was not signed by the President of the Republic of the neighbouring country, as defined in the agreement, but, instead, it came for ratification in the Greek Parliament.
For the fact that the Greek side must also call the neighbouring country “Northern Macedonia”, he commented that “History and later generations will judge the Greek Parliament, which, with a very small majority, decided to give the name ‘Northern Macedonia’ to our neighbouring country. Everyone will write down their name in History with their own letters.”
Commenting on the recent statement by Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus that he will continue to refer to the northern neighbours as FYROM, he agreed with him and said: “Some of us, who said that we do not agree to conceding this name to the neighbouring country, are now expecting from us to call this country ‘Northern Macedonia’? And how am I going to call our Greek Macedonia? Unless they think it’s not ours.”
He also noted that he believes that the Greek government agrees that the residents of FYROM are not Macedonians. “All Greece agrees to this. Do you consider them to be Macedonians? Who, in Greece, believes that these people are Macedonians? Geographically, Macedonia is part of Bulgaria, Serbia, FYROM and Greece. No one is disputing that ancient Macedonia was part of those countries where we place it today. So, in that case, we could also claim the parts of Macedonia that belong to these countries. No such issue has emerged though. But for someone to treat a name that is historically indissolubly linked to Greece for their statehood and structure, this can not happen.”