Greek diplomatic sources briefed the MIA news agency about the initial three requests the country has under the Prespa treaty.
The joint expert Committee is operational even before the treaty is ratified, and under it Greece can block Macedonia’s EU accession if Macedonia doesn’t move to amend its history books, monuments and other issues Greece would find objectionable.
According to MIA, the first three demands are: a broad request that material which Greece finds irredentist and revisionist is removed from Macedonian history books, the removal of symbols from the Classical period and the removal of all maps depicting the broader region of Macedonia.
According to the Greek briefing, the Macedonian side, which in theory has the equal right to demand changes in Greek textbooks, made no demands during the first meeting.
This is understandable because, as an EU member country, it is unimaginable that any content in our books is irredentist, the Greek sources allegedly said. One concession Greece is prepared to do, the report says, is to begin listing cities in Macedonia and Bulgaria under their current names and not only under the old Hellenic names or the names Greeks current use for them. In this line, in the future Greek books would depict Bitola as Bitola (Monastiri) and Plovdiv as Plovdiv (Philipopolis).
The first demand is exceptionally broad, given that Greece considers any deviation of its understanding and view of history as “irredentism” and “revisionism”. It is also unclear how Macedonian children would be able to learn about the geographic and historic region of Macedonia and the Macedonian struggle in the 19 and 20 century without using maps which would depict the entire region which was fought over.