Σάββατο, 10 Μαρτίου 2012

Propaganda about the Vlachs


Για ελληνικά: 


By Nikolaos I. Mertzos *


Recently Romania blackmailed Belgrade into recognising a “Vlach Minority” in Serbia, while Romanian propaganda continues – not least in Greece. As well known, immediately following its creation, Romania during at least 73 continuous years between 1870-1943 spent whole rivers of gold trying to convince Vlach-speaking Greeks that they “are Romanians”, but failed miserably. The few exceptions only serve to confirm the rule. Since 1960 it continuous in softer tones this effort to corrupt, offering scholarships and other advantages to any young person from the Balkans who happens to come from a Vlach-speaking family, even a mixed one. It failed in Greece, but had success in FYROM and in Albania.

In our time, however, the issue is not limited only to Romanian propaganda. These last 25 years strong foreign centres have systematically been trying to achieve international recognition for a separate “Interregional Vlach Nation” in the Balkans, with corresponding minorities in each Balkan country. The purpose is obvious: internal strife and clashes within each people, destabilisation of each Balkan state and finally further splintering of the Balkan peninsula.

The Balkan peninsula is a critical geopolitical area because it controls the shortest route from and to the fields of the Kaspian and it controls the energetic security of the European Union, because it is traversed by energy pipelines, an area of antagonism between Washington and Moscow. For this reason the foreign centres call upon the fact that today there are Vlachs in Albania, Serbia, FYROM, Bulgaria, Romania and Greece. And this is absolutely true. However incontestable state archives, imperial orders, monuments, funerary markers, palaces, commercial centres and scientific works of foreign historians, not only for the Balkans but also for Austro-Hungaria, bear intemporal witness already from the 16th century, that all these Vlachs, with no exceptions, came from the famous Vlach villages of the greater Greek area, they were proud that they were Greeks, the cultivated and transmitted Greek education, transmitted the European Enlightenment, aided in a major way the fight to liberate the Nation and financially aided small Greece as soon as it was liberated. This incontestable evidence proves the national identity of the Vlach-speaking Hellenism of this Diaspora, with names and surnames, region of origin, profession and date of these Vlachs.

Church built by the Greek community in
Budapest, which is now the Hungarian
Orthodox Cathedral. Source:
neoskosmos.com
In the countries that would later become Yugoslavia, Austria and Hungaria, the Greek Vlachs obtained mythical fortunes, enormous lands, very strong banks, rich palaces and titles of nobility from the Imperial house of the Hapsburgs. Having flourished in Venice, they dominated Rijeka and Tergeste [Trieste]. They dominated Buda, Pest and Vienna, where they constructed monumental Greek temples and enormous Caravan-Serais [Inns] for their caravans, they developed very strong businesses, they became great bankers, barons and secret advisors of the emperor. In Pest, the Greeks did not tolerate to take service in the Serbian church and ask permission to build their own one. The Greek petition “is signed by 300 Greek families, of which 2/3 are Macedonovlachs. 177 families originated in Moschopole. The collection for the temple brought in 32,454 gold florins. 26,000 were donated by Moschopolites: 40,000 franks from Alexandros Leporos, 2000 gold florins from Naoum Meska and Georgios Christodoulou”. The grand Greek temple of Pest is inaugurated in 1770 and is dedicated to the Assumption of Mary. At the same time the Greek Macedonovlachs in the Serbian town of Šabac upkeep four schools: a boys school, a girl school, a high school and a professional school.

As soon as the first free Greek state was created, the Greek Vlachs of Vienna were the first to sent the Governor their rich aid in 1830, to help the orphans of the Revolution. On 16 May 1830, the Governor Ioannis Kapodistrias wrote to the Vlach mogul Georgios S. Sina, head of the great national donators of the same name: “We received with great gratefulness the quantity of 2,007/100 “double-columns” [reals or pieces-of-eight] which you and the other compatriots of Vienna offered freely (…) May your example rouse more Greeks from abroad (…) We express to you, Sir, and to your compatriot Graeco-Vlachs much gratefulness on the part of the orphans, and from us, our extreme esteem”.

It can also be noted that Vlachs in the Modern Balkans were the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Yugoslavia Koca Popovic and the Prime-Minister of FYROM Hari Kostov. Of Vlach origin also are in Serbia the current president Boris Tadic, in Albania the head of the opposition Edi Rama and in Greece the president of N.D. [main opposition party] Antonis Samaras.

Thus it this Greek substratum of the Balkans that is now being attempted to be internationally recognised as a separate “Inter-regional Vlach Nation”! It is hard to kick against the goad. But let the guardians know.

*Mr N.I. Mertzos is president of the Society of Macedonian Studies, a journalist, author and a Vlach.


~ See also: 
The emigration of Macedonians to lands outside Greece: Greek- and Vlach-speaking
immigrants in the countries of the Northern Balkans - Α. Ε. Vacalopoulos

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