ITB Berlin Exhibition: Greek Foreign Ministry removed North Macedonia’s inappropriate posters

A serious diplomatic incident occurred within the context of the 2019 ITB Berlin Exhibition. The leading exhibition for international tourism opened its doors to the public on Thursday 6 March and will last until Sunday 10 March.

The incident is related to the presentation of inappropriate names within the kiosk of Northern Macedonia. The Greek Embassy in Berlin requested from the exhibition organiser to unravel any visual posters and signposts labelled Macedonia from the tourism kiosk of Northern Macedonia. The kiosk was decorated with posters which wrote ‘Timeless Macedonia.’ There were also pamphlets which transcribed ‘Macedonia your next destination,’ with smaller and less discernible fonts. All posters were signposted by the Northern Macedonia Tourism Organisation.

The Greek diplomatic authorities swiftly intervened while the issue was also disseminated across social media platforms. The Greek Foreign Ministry in coordination with the Embassy in Berlin issued an official request, instructing the exhibition authorities to remove any posters which violate the spirit and letter of the Prespes Agreement. The German hosts adhered to Greek requests and removed posters which did not incorporate the mutually agreed name of Republic of North Macedonia. For its part, North Macedonia’s spokesman, Mile Bosnjakovski framed the incident as an undeliberate mistake which was immediately fixed.

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