During J. B. Tito’s rule (1945−1980), Macedonian nationalism had always been controlled by the central government but after his death in 1980 the control was gradually loosened and Macedonian nationalism started to flourish as all other nationalist sentiments within the whole country. A new independent Balkan state as a neighbor to Greece from the very beginning provoked hostile political and economic sanctions by Athens from 1991 to 1993.
The Yugoslav post-1945 policy of the recognition of Slavo-Macedonians as a separate ethnolinguistic entity was extremely important for the creation of the separate political unit of Macedonia within the Yugoslav federation. After 1945 Yugoslav authorities claimed that the Macedonian diaspora living outside of Yugoslavia has to be incorporated into the “motherland” – a Yugoslav Macedonia.
The present-day Macedonians are the Slavs who to a certain degree assimilated pre-Slavic population of Macedonia but borrowed the ancient name of the settled land Macedonia as their new national one.