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 time of Macedonization of Macedonia by the creation of Macedonian regional feelings, which after the WWII became transformed into the ethnonational consciousness, was also the time of the struggle over Macedonia between Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia.
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 territory of geographical-historical Macedonia has been for the last 150 years one of the focal apples of discord in South-East Europe. A stable prosperous country of Macedonia, however, can serve in the future as a bridge between all of her four neighbors under one condition: to relinquish its territorial irredentism.
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.
It is quite remarkable that a dispute between the FYROM and Greece on Macedonia’s official state-name after 1991, which looks probably quite trivial on the first sight, can have so large political and other implications with unpredictable consequences in the future.