April 9, 2010

News from the Old Country

So Greece is promoting the idea of resolving the Macedonian name dispute by calling the FYROM "Northern Macedonia," and the EU and the UN are putting pressure on both the Greeks and the Macedonians to come to some sort of resolution. The newest wrinkle is a proposal to have the Macedonians adopt a "dual use" name: They can call themselves "Northern Macedonia" for the purposes of international relations, but save "Macedonia" for internal use. Unfortunately, the Greeks aren't buying:
"We are very clear: a name with a geographical qualifier, for use in relation to everyone. A geographical qualifier that makes clear the reality of the situation, and for use in relation to everyone, so that the hide-and-seek can stop and a definitive solution can be found. 'Northern Macedonia' fits within the framework for the solution that I am describing," [Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitiris] Droutsas stated.
Meanwhile, the new rights law in Macedonia bans discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, and ethnicity, but not sexual orientation.

UPDATE: Then again, perhaps the easiest way to solve the name dispute would be for Greece to sell the rights to the name "Macedonia," which would give the Greeks a much-needed infusion of cash. But can you copyright the name of a country or a region? If so, there are a lot of places -- Lebanon, Kentucky, for example, or Newark, New Jersey -- that would be in big trouble.

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