ATHENS – Angry after a stunt on Mt. Olympus in which an official from FYROM planted a Vergina flag, a group of 24 New Democracy lawmakers say they want a statue of Alexander the Great, completed 21 years ago, put up in the capital’s center.
FYROM claims Alexander the Great as their its ancestor, put up a statue to him and named its airport for the conqueror, iring Greeks. FYROM and Greece have been locked in a two-decade feud over what the official name for the former Yugoslav Republic should be, as Greece has blocked its neighbor’s entrance into the European Union and NATO over the battle.
The Conservative lawmakers submitted a joint appeal in Parliament calling for a bronze statue that was sculpted by Yiannis Pappas and bought by the Culture Ministry in 1993 and given to City Hall to finally be erected.
In their appeal, the lawmakers complained of “intentional foot-dragging… even as the nationalist zealotry of Skopje continues to grow and the appropriation of Greek history and Greek symbols continues.” There was no information on why the statue hasn’t been put up and if Greece has bowed to international pressure not to do so.
FYROM’s Parliament speaker Antonio Milososki published a picture of himself and members of a group of climbers from Greece’s neighboring country on Mount Olympus, holding a flag bearing the Vergina Sun, an ancient Greek symbol used by the real Macedonia – which is in Greece.