Recognition of Macedonian language a ‘grave mistake,’ says prominent linguist


Greece committed a “grave mistake” in recognizing the existence of a Macedonian language, prominent linguist and former education minister Georgios Babiniotis said, adding that the clause in the Prespes accord signed between Athens and Skopje could encourage minority claims in the future.

In comments made on Skai radio on Saturday, Babiniotis said that the language spoken in North Macedonia is in fact a “serbianized” Bulgarian dialect introduced by the Josip Tito regime which uses a variation of the Cyrillic alphabet and which has no affiliation to the Greek language.

He said that the language in question should more appropriately be referred to as Bulgarian-Serbian or Slavic-Macedonian.

The Prespes deal clarifies that the language belongs to the group of South Slavic languages.

Babiniotis said that although the deal clarifies that there is no such thing as a Macedonian minority in Greece, the recognition of a Macedonian language could be used as a stepping stone by scientific circles wishing to push minority claims.