LETTER TO THE GREEK PRIME
MINISTERFROM DR. NAKRATZAS
(May 17, 2000)
Rotterdam 17 May 2000
Mr Kostas Simitis
Prime Minister of Greece
Dear Mr Simitis,
I enclose with this open letter a copy of my address to the Euro-MPs of the EFA, which represents the minorities of all the member states of the European Union. The address was delivered on 12 May 2000 in one of the parliamentary chambers of the EU building in Brussels at the invitation of the leader of the EFA.
Although I keenly support most of your policies, my address expressed my disagreement with the policy adopted by all Greek governments towards the ethnic and cultural minorities in Greece. More specifically, I disagree with the views of Greek society ¯ a society which recently made loud protests against the government of Turkey for, inter alia, forbidding the Kurds in Turkey to learn their mother tongue. One can only agree with such protests. But when Slavophone Macedonians (both those who regard themselves as ethnically Greek and those who feel that they are ethnically Macedonians) want to learn their mother tongue within the Greek education system, then this same society not only denies them the right to do so but ventures the untenable assertion that there are no ethnic Macedonians in Greece.
Mr Simitis, when a society embraces ethical double standards, it shows itself quite simply to be lacking in social ethics.
During the joint sessions of the Greens and the EFA, 48 Euro-MPs voted to make a mass appeal to you, demanding that you institute measures to safeguard the cultural rights of the Slavonic-speaking Macedonians.
Personally, I welcome the official statement by Rainbow, the political party of the ethnic Macedonians, that it does not want minority schools to be set up, arguing that separate minority schools are potential breeding-grounds for nationalism, which has absolutely no place in the European Union today.
Mr Simitis, I do hope that the protests of the 48 Euro-MPs will encourage your Ministerial Council to embark on fruitful discussions with the official representatives of the Slavic-speaking ethnically Greek Macedonians and with the Rainbow Party, which represents the ethnically Macedonians.
I remain a supporter of many of your policies.
Dr George Nakratzas