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Macedonian Academy of Arts and Sciences says NO to “North”

On Thursday afternoon, the Academy’s president, Ljupco Kocarev confirmed its members are refusing to include “North Macedonia” in the institution’s name.

Members of the Academy had learned that the Government recently submitted a proposal to Parliament for the inclusion of the phrase “North Macedonia” as part of the institution’s name. According to its President, Ljupco Kocarev, all but one of MANU’s members had signed an official letter addressed to the Government and Parliament in which they request the Law proposal to be withdrawn. Much to his and his colleague’s surprise, Parliament abided.

In a statement for Alfa TV, Kocarev said, “We are under the impression that many institutions and citizens are facing an ugly, unpleasant, repulsive and fearsome environment because they choose to use the name Macedonia and adjectives related to it. What else do we have? I hope that we are not going to allow the bible to be censured in 21 century. Not only that, I strive for a dignified future for all, including for the Macedonians.”

The decision by MANU doesn’t come as a surprise. Harsh criticism of the bilateral negotiations with Bulgaria and the Prespa Agreement with Greece indicate that this could be the only national institution that isn’t under the direct influence of the increasingly corrupt government. The head of MANU, Ljubcho Kocarev has called the Prepa Agreement a factor of regional destabilization and the agreements with Bulgaria and Greece “demeaning” to Macedonians.

Prior to their signing the Academy didn’t object or make any remarks against them, however its members began raising their voice and took to challenging the acts as soon as it became obvious that Macedonia is the subject of further blackmail.

The initial announcement of MANU’s refutal of the Government’s request was made by Solza Grcheva and came only a few hours following a Facebook post by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev who praised the Academy in commemoration of the day of its founding – February 23, 1967.

Zaev wrote that the Academy had given its contribution in including the Macedonian science and art as part of the modern European and international scientific developments. Zaev also underscored that MANU has been constantly caring and promoting the Macedonian artistic and cultural heritage which has been very important for the overall development of “Republic of North Macedonia.”

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