Macedonia (Greece)

From Academic Kids

Macedonia (Greek: Μακεδονία, IPA /maceðo'nia/) is the largest and second most populous region of Greece, comprising the northwest of that country. Together with the Greek region of Thrace, it forms Northern Greece. It is part of a larger Balkan region also known in modern times as Macedonia. The Greek region of Macedonia comprises just over half of that larger region, the rest lying in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria.

The official Greek position is that the name Macedonia is Greek and should properly apply only to the region of the historical kingdom of Macedon, which is almost entirely contained within Greece. Thus, Greece uses the term Μακεδονία or Macedonia to refer to that specific part of its northern region; other countries, particularly Bulgaria and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, instead refer to the region as Aegean Macedonia or Greek Macedonia, reflecting their alternate position that the Greek region comprises only a portion of Macedonia, not its totality.


Local government

Macedonia is divided into three peripheries comprising 13 prefectures or nomoí. The prefectures are further divided into dēmoi (municipalities) or koinótētes (roughly equivalent to British or Australian shires). Macedonia also includes the male-only autonomous monastic republic of Mount Athos, which lies outside the jurisdiction of most Greek and European laws, most notably those regarding the equality of the sexes.

The three Macedonian peripheries are:

These are overseen by the national government's Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace (known as the Ministry of Northern Greece until August 1988).


Though mostly mountainous, the region also encompasses the valleys of the Aliákmon, Axiós, Nestos, and Strymon rivers, all of which drain into the Aegean Sea. Macedonia has a population of approximately 2,450,000, and its capital and largest city is Thessaloniki, with a population of around 1,350,000. Other Macedonian cities include Drama, Edessa, Florina, Grevena, Kastoria, Katerini, Kavala, Kilkis, Kozani, Polygyros, Serres and Veria.


The region is home to a number of small but established linguistic communities, including speakers of Armenian, Aromanian, Arvanitic, Ladino, Meglenitic, Romany and Slavic languages. After the arrival of large numbers of ethnic Greek refugees from modern-day Turkey in the early twentieth century, it also became home to Greece's largest concentration of speakers of the Pontic dialect of Greek.

Before World War II, the number of Slav-speakers was higher, but many fled to Bulgaria and Yugoslavia during the war and the ensuing Greek Civil War, which ended in 1949. Human Rights Watch released a report in 1994 alleging the denial of rights to Macedonian Slavs by the Greek government. However, Greece recognises its entire citizenry only as Έλληνες Πολίτες (Greek Citizens) and deliberately refuses to recognise any ethnic divisions within its borders. Speaking a language other than Greek is generally regarded a private matter of no concern to the state. Greek is the only official language and the language of public life and education in Macedonia.

The term Macedonian (Greek: Μακεδόνας, IPA /mace'ðonas/) is commonly used in Greece in a geographical (and to a lesser extent historical) sense to refer to Greeks originating from or living in Macedonia. This is one of the main reasons cited by Greeks to explain their objection to the use of the term to describe a specific ethnonation that excludes them, as is controversially the case in the neighbouring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

See also

External links

de:Makedonien (griechische Provinz) pt:Macedónia (Grécia) sv:Makedonien (Grekland)


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