• Why does Greece expect support from the USA?
  • Was Parthenon in London or Athens?
  • What’s going on between Bulgaria and Macedonia?
  • How does Balkans deal with Covid-19?

BIDEN AND HAGIA SOPHIA


Greece will most certainly expect from THE new Biden administration to support its international strategy to put pressure upon Turkish leader Erdogan and his decision to make Hagia Sophia a mosque. Biden will become the next president of the United States, and he did give Greece a reason to believe in his efforts. “The Trump administration must pressure Turkey to refrain from further provocative actions in the region against Greece, including threats of violence, to pave the way for the success of diplomacy. I also call on Turkish President Erdoğan to reverse his recent decision to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque and return this treasure to its former location as a museum, ensuring equal access for all, including Orthodox believers”, said Biden earlier during his campaign.

Greek primeminister Mitsotakis and American president-elect Biden, Photo: Eurokinissi, Greek City Times


(Source: Greek City Times)


PARTHENON MARBLES AND BRITISH NATIONAL MUSEUM


The Matter of Elgin Marbles is some of the most pressing issues among western Allies since Greece is longing for its recovery for decades. Some consider the Elgin Marbles synonym for greatest theft of the modern world since they’ve been taken in 1821. to the British Museum by the Seventh Earl of Elgin, Thomas Bruce. Those remarkable pieces of the Parthenon are representing the symbol of European classical heritage en general.


Group of US Congressmen tell Boris Johnson to hand Elgin Marbles back to Greece by next year amid fears the ‘special relationship’ with Washington and even post-Brexit trade deals could be in jeopardy if he doesn’t
The group of US congressmen contained both Republicans and Democrats and included the chair of the foreign affairs subcommittee covering Europe and the chairs of the oversight and rules committees.
They want to see the sculptures returned by 2021 – the 200th anniversary of the modern Greek state’s founding.
The letter adds: ‘We remain appreciative of your efforts and goodwill in support of the historic special relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States, and look forward to strengthening that relationship through the accomplishment of matters such as this.’
Dating back almost 2,500 years to the 5th Century BC the Elgin Marbles are seen as some of the finest examples of marble sculpture the world over.

Photo: Art News


(Source: Daily Mail)

DO YOU SPEAK BULGARIAN WHEN SPEAKING MACEDONIAN?


Once more, the battle of identities in the Balkans has proven to have nothing with steady, scientific, and historical arguments. U leaders gave the green light for North Macedonia and Albania to begin formal talks to join the bloc in March.
But another hurdle has crept up, this time from the country’s eastern neighbor, Bulgaria.


Sofia, currently engulfed in long-running anti-government protests, has objected to membership talks getting underway, saying it is unhappy with the “current negotiating framework”.


Bulgaria’s foreign ministry did not give specific reasons for its dissatisfaction, simply saying the current framework “does not provide the legal guarantees sought by Bulgaria”. It insists its “demands” are formally added to the negotiating documents.
Macedonian or Bulgarian?


Just like with Athens, Sofia’s issue is one of name, this time about language.

Photo: Bloomberg


“Bulgaria’s objections over North Macedonia’s accession bid have to do with history and identity. Particularly, Bulgaria wants North Macedonia to acknowledge that the language spoken by the Slav Macedonian majority in North Macedonia is not “Macedonian” but Bulgarian —or a dialect thereof,” Angelos Chryssogelos, Associate Fellow of the Europe Programme at Chatham House, told Euronews.


“They also want Skopje to recognize the “Bulgarian origins of the “Macedonian” nation” and to give up any claims they may have that there is a separate “Macedonian” minority in Bulgaria, which Sofia does not recognize as it considers all those who call themselves “Macedonians” as Bulgarians,” he added.


If one looks carefully at this pseudo-linguistic equation, he’ll notice the loud silence of the Serbian public. Serb heritage in North Macedonia is large, especially concerning the church, language, and other landmarks. Not involving Serbia in such matters will only postpone such issues to be resolved in some other times in the future, and no one can guarantee that the future obstacles and opportunities would be preferable over the current situation.


Besides all this, Al Jazeera Balkans reports that Macedonians would massively choose to cherish their tradition and language over entering the EU.


(Sources: EuroNews, AlJazeera Balkans)

SERBIA & SRPSKA & MONTENEGRO

While the unofficial leader of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik, moans over the losing of Banja Luka to young Serb politician Draško Stanivuković, crucial changes are happening in the Serbian capital as well. Belgrade is gaining after decades of expectation a colossal monument to one of the greatest people of Serbian history and founder of the Nemanjić dynasty: Stefan Nemanja. It will be poor comfort since Serbian people are currently desperately fighting the ongoing pandemic, with few weeks of delay after the monstrous numbers of diseased of Covid-19 appeared throughout the „Region“. Still, what the Serbian public is very aware of is an ongoing case against so-called Kosovo officials Hashim Taci and others in front of the Hague’s special court for war crimes. We’re reminding that Mr. Taci resigned from all his positions to appear in front of the court. Meanwhile, Montenegro is struggling both against the Covid pandemic and for getting a government, even three months after opposition with help of the Serbian Orthodox Church tore down the notorious regime of the last communist dictator, Milo Djukanović.

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Featured image: Stefan Nemanja Monument in Belgrade (photo by: Politika, Anđelko Vasiljević)