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Acting Premier of NSW expresses support for 'Republic of Macedonia'

Deputy Premier John Barilaro called on the Federal Government to "come to its senses"

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The Acting Premier of NSW John Barilaro MP, second from left, during the event, sitting between the Secretary of the Queanbeyan "Macedonian" Community, Anthony Zakoski and the FYROM Ambassador Vele Trpevski. (Photo from Facebook)

15 January 2018

As Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are preparing to once again start discussions to resolve their ongoing dispute, an Australian politician decided to offer an opinion and urge the Federal Government to sanction the appropriation of a historical name. 

Speaking at a Queanbeyan 'Macedonian' Community event to celebrate the Orthodox Christmas, to an audience that included FYROM's Ambassador to Australia, Vele Trpevski  Acting Premier of New South Wales and member for Monaro John Barilaro called on the Australian Government to recognise the Republic of Macedonia. 

The Deputy Premier of NSW began by a reference to Australia Day as a celebration of the country's multicultural nature and praised the "Macedonian Community" for its contribution to the state. "Of course, I'm the son of Italian migrants and I understand the story of migration and immigration the great story of culture, religion and faith," he said. "What I have always loved about the Macedonian community in Queanbeyan is how tight you have remained tight, how you have remained proud of who you are and you raise your children to be proud that they are, of course, the sons and daughters of the immigrants who chose Australia to be their home."

Addressing an audience  that included the FYROM's ambassador to Australia, Vele Trpevski,  the Acting Premier went on to state that he "will always acknowledge the Republic of Macedonia" and called for the federal government to do the same: "I hope 2019 - and I know that the Ambassador is very strong on this - is the year that the world comes to its senses, that Australia as a nation, the Federal government comes to its senses and acknowledges as the only rightful name the Republic of Macedonia", he said. 

Deputy Premier Barilaro finished his speech by offering a present to the community, a NSW Government grant of $150,000 for the "Macedonian" Community Centre. The whole incident was captured on video and circulated through social media, much to the dismay and anger of the Greek-Australian community of NSW. 

Given that these comments were made while John Barilaro was Acting Premier of NSW, this attempt to weigh in on a matter of Australian Foreign Policy, raises questions. Neos Kosmos tried to contact the Deputy Premier, as well as premier Gladys Berejiklian, requesting an official statement. "This Government has always been a proud supporter of Greece and the Greek community," a spokesperson to the Premier stated. "Mr Barilaro's comments do not in any way reflect the NSW Government's position on this issue."

The Deputy Premier has yet to offer a response. 

 

Watch the video here:

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Comments

Barilaro clearly has an agenda and something personal against Greeks. No politician goes out of their way to express such support for FYROM and make sure their position on the matter is made known to the public through (social) media unless they really hate the Greek side and want to stick it to us. Another example is the former Liberal state MP in Western Australia (an Anglo-Saxon whose name I haven't bothered remembering) who was in bed with the FYROM community there and made every effort to regularly make ridiculous remarks against the Greeks. Back to Barilaro. I would assume Italian descent and normally think Greeks and Italians would support each other considering we share a bit in common. The South Slavs are a unique group and share nothing whatsoever culturally with any Mediterranean people, whether Hellenic or Latin.
Dont understand where all this pressure on Greece to solve this has come from? Everyone needs to stand firm on this, the clock is ticking for the other side. Also why hasnt neoskosmos advertised the march thats on tomorrow in Melbourne to the Greek embassy, to remind the Greek 'politicians' on this.
This low level pseudo politician must tell us where did he study history and answer where else other than the Greek history he learned about Macedonia and Alexander the Great. He is so completely ignorant and illiterate to the point that he doesn't even know that history is written with real acts that actually took place, including wars, heroism and the pages are written with blood which can't be teared off and patched with modified pages painted with graffiti, slogans and freshly fabricated stone or metallic statutes. Even the citizens of FYROM have no other source to learn about the ancient Macedonians that they are trying self baptized into except the Greek History Books. The Greek people including the educated world community must unite their voices and say loudly that the thousands years old most respected world history cannot be allowed to be cannibalized by a group of Slavic people who after 2500 years they remembered that they are Macedonians. Therefore No to the Cannibalizing of History, No to the sale of the Macedonian name.
First, this miserable excuse for a so called politician openly demands that the elected Prime Minister stand down and to be replaced. By whom? Tony the Abbott? Peter the dud Dutton? Then he comes out ignoring the long standing policy of the United Nations AND of his own political party regarding the naming of FYROM. Yet, at the very same time, the leaders of FYROM are openly talking about dropping the word Macedonia all together. So why is this clot and federal Liberal Craig Kelly, so keen to spread fuel on a fire between Hellenes and Skpjians? What is in it for them?

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