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The New York Times, May 2, 1897, p. 18:


A Predominant Subject of Interest
to the Diplomatists of Austria.


A Country with No Individual People
for Which Every Nation Is Longing.

    VIENNA, April 18.— The crisis at the Macedonian frontier has brought the question of Macedonia's future more than ever to the front, and here in Vienna it is the predominating subject of interest to Austrian diplomacy. Of all the problems in the vexed Eastern question it is by far the most difficult to solve.
    The Roumanian problem received a satisfactory solution because there exists a Roumanian people, and the Bulgarisn question was likewise solved because there has always existed a Bulgarian people...
    Crete, Cyprus, and all the islands of the archipelago are unquestionably Greek and must come back to Greece in the future partition of Turkey... But there exists no Macedonian people, and it is impossible to pretend that any single nationality has a right to claim possession of Macedonia.

    Macedonia, which under Alexander the Great acquired a title to immortality in history, is a country the central portion of which is formed by the Valley of Varder, bounded on the north and south by Greece, Montenegro, and Bulgaria; on the east by the Mitza Valley; on the west by the Pind chain of mountains.
    There did formerly exist a Macedonian people who played a great role in the world under Philip, Alexander, and his lieutenants. But this Greek people has disappeared, worn out by long and bloody wars, and was finally submerged by foreign invasions. Macedonia has become the home of many races and the coveted possession of many nations.
    The Greeks rely upon their historical right to claim as their own the patrimony of Philip, of Alexander, and Constantine. Unfortunately for them, since Alexander conquerors from the north have overrun Macedonia, drawn hence by the country's fertile plains, fruitful valleys, and smiling hillsides bathed by the sea. Invasions followed invasions until the Greeks were pushed back to the seacoast, and to-day there only remain of the former Greek Macedonians a small number along the Mitza coast, around Xznthus and Kavala, Vardar, Stronma, Salonica and Vodena. Behind this seacoast zone the inhabitants of Macedonia are Slavs.

    There exists, therefore, no Macedonian people. But, instead, the fertile plains of this Turkish province are inhabited by ten different races, living side by side, but rendered antagonistic by the difference of race, language, and religion. The truth is that Macedonia has always been a battleground of rival races and religions, though no race or religion has ever been able to establish its predominance...
    Salonica, where the Jews exiled from Spain formerly took refuge, is a Jewish city. In the interior of the province the Servian and Bulgarian groups are so intermingled that it is often impossible to distinguish them one from another. The Turks are concentrated in and around a few large towns. The Albanians have spread chiefly over the large plain of Kossovo. The Slavo-Wallachian Empire of the eleventh century left a population of Koutso-Wallachians in the valleys which lie between Ochrida and Trikkala...

    The Turkish domination is fast crumbling away, and an unpaid army is not sufficient ot maintain the province under Ottoman rule...
    Neither Greece, Servia, nor Bulgaria is powerful enough to put hands on Macedonia. A fair division of the spoils is out of the question. Austria does not spare money to convince the population of Macedonia that it is to their best interests to be governed from Vienna, in the same manner as Bosnia and Herzegovina. But Russia also has her crafty emissaries in Macedonia, all working in the interests of the great white Czar at St. Petersburg...

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  Macedonia News

    International recognition of Macedonia's independence from Yugoslavia in 1991 was delayed by Greece's objection to the new state's use of what it considered a Hellenic name and symbols. Greece finally lifted its trade blockade in 1995 and the two countries agreed to normalize relations.
    Macedonia's large Albanian minority, an ethnic Albanian armed insurgency in Macedonia in 2001, and the status of neighboring Kosovo continue to be sources of ethnic tension.
    CIA World Factbook: Macedonia

Area of Macedonia: 25,333 sq km slightly larger than Vermont

Population of Macedonia: 2,071,210 July 2004 estimate

Languages of Macedonia:
Macedonian 68%, Albanian 25%, Turkish 3%, Serbo-Croatian 2%, other 2%

Macedonia Capital: Skopje

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