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Has Melbourne been the financial center of activities for advocates of annexing Greek Macedonia to FYROM?
Let’s put it this way. And for the purposes of this answer, I’m going to assert that there is indeed a distinct Makedonski minority in Greece, rather than refer to FYROM overtly.
If you were an ethnic Macedonian living in Florina/Lerin or Kastoria/Kostur, you had the option of embracing a Greek identity and rejecting a Makedonski identity, or of asserting a Makedonski identity.
If you did the former, your motivation to leave Greece for other pastures would be no greater than for any ethnic Greek living in Northern Greece.
If you publicly asserted a Makedonski identity in Greek Macedonia, which included at minimum speaking Macedonian in public, and at maximum advocating the union of your territory with FYROM, your life would be made uncomfortable, to greater or lesser extents. And you would have greater motivation to leave Greece for other pastures.
So a lot of ethnic Macedonians from Greece with a Makedonski national conscience ended up in Australia.
So did a lot of ethnic Macedonians from Greece with a Greek national conscience.
It was not pretty. There were violent disputes within families. The anthropologist Loring Danforth wrote the account of what went down in Melbourne (The Macedonian Conflict), and it’s terrifying. In the ’90s, there was literal bomb throwing on both sides.
The crucial point here is, if you’re an ethnic Macedonian from Greece with a Makedonski national conscience, you are far likelier to be vocal about that in Australia than you are in Greece. You’re also far likelier to spend your money, to support any activities supporting the assertion of a Makedonski national conscience in Greece.
That’s not a conspiracy theory, that’s not even an accusation of anything. That’s just fact.
At the time of the bomb throwing, the Australian media was full of third parties snarling that these people should fuck off back to their own country and fight their stupid battle there. At least one commentator (I wish I remember who it was; it might even have been Danforth) pointed out that there is no battle within Greece: it’s because they were in Australia that they felt free to wage a battle.
Oh, and the “Slavomacedonians” of Australia are my fellow citizens, and I have no beef with them. Even though the beef did prevent me dating one…
Full Disclosure: Victor Friedman, advocate for the Macedonian language and well known bugbear of Greek nationalists, has treated me to absinth in his flat while working in Melbourne. In the eyes of some, that might recuse my testimonial…
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