Conflict between Greeks, Macedonians continues after U?s conference

By Brad Bennion and By Michael McFall, News Editor

By Michael McFall, News Editor

The U’s controversial Macedonia conference, which took place earlier this month, sparked feuds between its Greek and Macedonian attendees, and no one can agree on the outcome.

Last week, the U hosted a conference about Macedonia, a country many Greek nationals hate for allegedly rewriting its history to inaccurately come off as a saintly neighbor to Greece and usurping some of its history as its own. Greeks from the Pan-Macedonian Association arrived at the conference to argue with the academics and visiting Macedonians, and after an afternoon of debate, everyone left still not in agreement about the true history of the two countries.

On Friday, Greeks claimed victory over the Macedonian-sympathizing conference because it canceled five of its panels and suppressed its publicity by not informing the public of its existence, according to the Greek groups’ statement and8212;true to the conflict8212;the U disagrees entirely.

“There are, of course, inaccuracies in (their) report,” said Jane Hacking, chairwoman of the U department of linguistics and literature. “The ethnic Hellenes never made up anywhere close to half the audience.”

The five panels were canceled because the visiting professors who would have lead them canceled for personal reasons, not because the U was crippling under the Greek organizations’ lobbying pressure, Hacking said.

The department also promoted the conference on the department website, and U President Michael Young issued a public statement about the conference, supporting it, in response to Greek outrage.

The Greek organizations’ statement also said the academics or conference participants would never let the Greeks in attendance speak. However, both sides articulated their point of view, even though feuds did erupt.

“Those who were in attendance listened respectfully to the presentations and engaged in conversation with others during the breaks between panels,” Hacking said.

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