Readers of this blog may recall an earlier blog entry called Macedonian Flag Waving. The article can be found here.
It appears that the whole affair was an elaborate hoax, proportedly set up by the Greek Secret Service. MINA reported this:
We haven’t been screwed this well since Greek NATO helicopters airlifted Ali Ahmeti (6 times) to safety. How does a Greek citizen become a hero, over night, in the eyes of the Macedonian public?
Keep in mind this is happening at a time when Macedonia is about to get the most positive EU report to date. The scenario may go something like this.
An individual named Stiljan Samardziev (Stilijanos Samrdzis) shows up in the public eye out of nowhere, puts up a Macedonian flag at a police station in Solun. Every Macedonian applauded and bought the move and said “Good on you, Son”. But here comes the tragic part. “Our” Stiljan Samardziev (Greek citizen) was jailed for 13 days for his deed and released. An actual Macedonian would have never seen the light of day for putting a Macedonian flag at a police station in Thessaloniki. The Bait was Set!
Every single Macedonian news outlet with no exception (we fell for it as well) reported the story.
This Macedonian “patriot” in meantime creates a Facebook profile and sends friend requests to over 50 Macedonian journalists, few politicians and people working in the cultural/media/arts sector in the country.
Once again, no one stopped to ask how did Samardziev, our phantom patriot have this compiled list of people to befriend. After 2-3 weeks from the sensational news of putting the Macedonian flag on a police station in Solun, Stiljanos Samardzis goes on to report (on Facebook) that his cousin was beaten by Golden Dawn members. The poor kid named “Aleksandar” died from his injuries at a local hospital.
The ‘news’ spread like fire as many Macedonian journalists once again swallowed the bait. Sadly, even we fell for this, although to be fair to our MINA correspondent, he simply stated the report came from Macedonian media (Dnevnik, Kurir, Vecer…).
The bait was floated perfectly, Macedonian killed in Greece… so by default it’s the Macedonians turn to do something!
The goals of the director and producer of this scenario almost came true… the Macedonians were suppose to have entered casinos in Gevgelija and crack several Greek heads as well as burn the Greek Communication office in Skopje.
It was the Macedonian Government who once again outsmarted the rest of the Macedonian public especially the media. After pressure by the public for the Macedonian Government to “react”, the MoFA simply stated “We know nothing of this case, the information came from GREEK citizen Stilijanos S.”
That means the Macedonian Government was already aware that the Greek Secret Service for few euros used Samardzis and had been manipulating everyone involved by installing a supposed ethnic Macedonian in this fantastic theatrical play.
Even EU Commissioner Stefan File fell in the trap. He announced on his Twitter profile that he was concerned by what is happening in Soluniki.
Tomorrow File is traveling to Athens to tell the Government there that Macedonia will get an exceptionally positive EU Report and yes the report will have the people living there named as Macedonians and their language as Macedonian and will ask them not to make too much noise and fuss about it.
The Greek Government on the other hand will speak of the ‘latest provocations’ from Skopje and laugh at Stefan File telling him that he was manipulated about a non existing incident “hey brother, the skopianos are messing with you”. The Greek MoFA had already drafted a deceptive statement which states they were shocked by the lowly provocation from Skopje, even though the Macedonian Government did just the opposite – its spokespman Aleksandar Georgiev stated “We have no information on the case”.
The Greek Secret Service has released numerous baits in the past few months. First it was daily Katimerini (funded by official Athens) who stated Macedonia would enter NATO by December under the name “Upper Macedonia”. This was completely ignored by everyone in Macedonia. The second bait came with the phantom patriot Stiljanos Samardzis.
Greece has been under great deal of pressure due to its constant state of bankruptcy and losing legal battles to Macedonia in regards to the name dispute.
Although it failed to receive the reaction they certainly looked for, the Samardzis case was a nice PR win for Greece and their Secret Service.
I thought I smelt a rat in the first instance, and sure enough there was one! However, I’m still not certain where the truth actually lies, but I am certain that the Greek government, as hopeless as it is, will go to any means to prolong the naming dispute, and denigrate Macedonia’s standing in the wider international community.