Balkan spat o' the week
As everybody knows, PA school textbooks annoy the Israelis and Japanese school textbooks annoy the Chinese and the Koreans. And so, fresh from irritating the Greeks on a daily basis, the Macedonians have decided to irk the Albanians, via the medium of, what else, an encyclopaedia:
"After a wave of criticism, the Macedonian Academy of Arts and Sciences (MANU) will cease distribution of its "Macedonian Encyclopedia", and will correct several sections in the two-volume publication. The decision was issued earlier this month after bitter reactions were voiced over "incorrect" statements in the books.... The encyclopedia describes Albanians as "mountain people" and says the nation descended in Macedonia together with the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century. The ASC says these views are nationalist, and called on their Macedonian colleagues to reconsider the publication for the sake of "truth in history and good neighbourhood relations".
And since no Balkan spat is ever complete without a bit of gratuitous offence giving:
Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha fiercely criticised the publication at a press conference late last month, saying the encyclopedia was "absurd and unacceptable". "They [Macedonians] are in search of an identity, while Albanians are not. Albanians have been living here for ages; they have suffered a lot, but never for not having their identity," Berisha said.
Anyway, "The sections on Albanian-Macedonian relations, Albanians in Macedonia, Ali Ahmeti, aggression over Macedonia, the National Liberation Army and Gonxhe Agnesë Bojaxhiu (That's Mother Theresa , folks) will be revised".
As one of my mates has been known to put it, some people elevate taking an offence to an art form.