Georgi Pashkulev: Greece and the "Bulgarian Srebrenica" on the island of Trikeri

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on the genocide in Srebrenica, where the Serbs slaughtered some 9,000 Muslim men and boys in July 1995. It was adopted by 84 votes to 19, with 68 abstentions. Remarkably, all but two Balkan states supported the document, of which Sofia was one of the initiators for its adoption. For understandable reasons, Serbia voted against and Greece abstained.
The day before the vote, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, who was propaganda minister for Yugoslav dictator Milosevic and said in those tragic July days of 1995 "that for every Serb killed, 100 Bosnians should be killed", addressed the "Greek brothers": "I believe in our Greek brothers and in many other countries that they will show by their vote how much they respect their Serbian friends. I urge them to abstain". And the Greeks responded positively, proving in deed that there is indeed a "strategic partnership" between Athens and Belgrade, as was proclaimed after Kyriakos Mitsotakis' visit to Serbia in February this year. Although Athens is a member of the European Union, and Belgrade is Russia and China's staunchest ally in the Balkans.

Athens' position on the genocide in Srebrenica should not surprise us. The reasons are rooted in history, which, although today some would like to deny and neglect, once again plays a very important role in international relations... and whoever does not know it is in danger of suffering serious losses.
At the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, Greece committed the first genocide, which was directed against the Orthodox Bulgarians living in Aegean Macedonia and Aegean Thrace. The daily life of the local Bulgarian population was extremely hard in the area of the towns of Voden, Lerin, Kostur and other places, you could literally be slaughtered on the road by the Greek Andartes. The most famous massacre of this period took place on 25 March 1905 in the village of Zagorichani, known as "Little Sofia" for its Bulgarian spirit. The Greek Andartes with the patronage of the Greek Orthodox Church massacred innocent civilians, mostly elderly people, women and children, because they considered themselves Bulgarians in the same way as their "Serbian brothers" massacred innocent Muslims 90 years later.

The height of the policy of genocide was at the time of the Second Balkan War (1913), when Venizelos, the uncle of the present Prime Minister Mitsotakis, was at the head of the Greek government, and the Greek army led by King Constantine passed like a tornado through the towns and villages north of Солун (Salonika), where Bulgarians lived in compact numbers. An entire town of Kukush, from which Gotse Delchev and the Stanishev family originated, was wiped out and later rebuilt.
During the war the captured Bulgarian soldiers, as well as many Bulgarians from Aegean Macedonia, were taken to the island of Trikeri in the bay of Volos. Out of a total of about 7,000 people, only 1,800 survived. Trikeri was the "Bulgarian Srebrenica" organized by our Greek "allies".
All of these atrocities - Zagoriciani, during the Secons Balkan War, and Trikeri - have been documented by independent foreign observers, including in the Carnegie Inquiry and the investigation by Czech war correspondent Vladimir Sis. Then, alas, there was no international organization like the UN to take a stand.

The Bulgarian society and political elite tend to gloss over and exalt Serbia and Greece, starting from the domestic level of cuisine and music to more serious things. But we should be more careful and remember that Greece has always pursued essentially anti-Bulgarian goals even when it has taken it as a partner, as in the recent case of the energy and transport connectivity projects. In doing so, it has prevented Bulgaria from connecting with the countries of the Western Balkans - North Macedonia and Albania and from having its own transport "breath of air" other than the Greek perspective.

The Greek policy to abstain from voting on Srebrenica is logical. Athens has always supported its strategic ally against Bulgaria. So it was in 1991, when Prime Minister Konstantinos Mitsotakis, father of the current one, and Yugoslav dictator Slobodan Milosevic, the spiritual father of the current Serbian leader Vucic, tried to negotiate a partition of Macedonia to prevent the young country from having normal relations with Sofia. So it is today, when the signatory of the Prespa Agreement, Nikos Kodzias, claims in the pages of Kathimerini that with this treaty he has prevented the creation of a 'Greater Bulgaria'.
Greece often accuses Turkey of supporting terrorist organisations, but the truth is that Greece's ally in Belgrade is much more dangerous than the terrorists./BGNES
Georgi Pashkulev, editor-in-chief of BGNES News Agency, whose roots in the town of Voden in Aegean Macedonia have been completely erased.