Sunday, May 18, 2008
You know you've got an international dispute of some seriousness on your hands when even the lyrics of a novelty pop song form part of the battlefield. Ireland's Eurovision entry Dustin the Turkey has been forced to drop all mention of what I can only describe as 'a certain country in the Balkans', because he inexcusably referred to it as Macedonia, a name Greece does not recognise. Dustin tried to smoothe things over by pointing out that geography wasn't his strong point, and that he hadn't set out to offend any "Greeks or Macedonians". But surely the sensibilities of any right-thinking Greek will have been even more outraged by this calculated insult disguised as an apology? He singularly failed to say he didn't mean to offend any "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonians".