Greece on crisis/embargo over name ‘Macedonia’ (1994)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset , Queen's University Belfast (available online at http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/CentrefortheStudyofEthnicConflict/TeachingResearch/Datasets/Greek-TurkishNegotiationsandCrises1983-2003/#d.en.173636)

Case Summary:

G-Macenbarg94 examines Greek crisis behavior over the Macedonian issue in 1994.  Greece fails in its efforts to convince the Macedonian Republic and the rest of the world of its own position over the issue. Following the US recognition of Macedonia in February 1994, Greece hardens its policies by introducing a blockade against the landlocked republic. Lexis/Nexis provides 63 results for the terms “Greece,” “Macedonia,” and “crisis” for the period 16/2/1994 to 16/3/1994 (full text search under European News Sources).

Case Study Features

Effectiveness of Offensive Policies: 0

The embargo is a high risk policy. Greece might have diplomatic, military, and economic advantages over the issue, but it cannot face the reaction of the international community over the issue, particularly if the EU commission proves the embargo is illegal.

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 0

Greece argues that it introduces the embargo to defend its own security, but the policy receives no positive reactions from abroad and is being criticized by Greek intellectuals and activists. Moreover, it becomes clear that US recognition has to do with the need of stability in Macedonia itself rather than deliberately harming Greek interests.

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries: 1

Rivalries result from the bitter wars over Macedonia in the 20th century and the Greek civil war (1946-1949).

Domestic Challenges: 1

There is fear of imminent elections, due to the weak health of both PM Andreas Papandreou and President Karamanlis. Both are hospitalized, and if either dies, new party or national elections will have to take place. [i]

Confrontational Policies (dependent variable): 1

Greece introduces a frontier embargo against the Macedonian Republic on February 16, 1994 (Greek embargo excludes food and medicine). The international community condemns this move and criticizes Greece harshly. The European Commission threatens to take Greece before the European Court of Justice on the matter. [ii]


[i] Philip Jacobson, “Is Mimi the woman now running Europe? As the Greek socialist government prepares to take over the presidency of an increasingly fragile EC,” Daily Mail,  January 3, 1994, p.8; Kerin Hope, “Fear in Athens for health of the nation: Illness has become an obstacle to government”,  Financial Times, March 4, 1994,  p.2.

[ii] , “Greece pushes ahead with trade embargo against Macedonia” Agence France Presse March 02, 1994.