Rainbow Party Press Release on the Comments of
Greek M.E.P. Xarchakos
in the European Commission
March 19, 2003
this page in Greek
WRITTEN QUESTION E-1140/03
From Stavros Xarchakos (PPE-DE) to the European Commission
(19 March 2003)
Subject: EBLUL and the systematic defamation of an EU Member State
It is a known fact that in Greece democratic freedoms and cultural diversity
are fully protected and safeguarded. Accordingly, the growing Muslim
minority in the Greek region of Thrace enjoys comprehensive media access
(newspapers, radio stations, unimpeded reception of Turkish satellite
stations, many of which constantly vilify Greece, etc.). It is represented
by elected Muslim deputies in the Greek parliament, and has numerous
places of worship, built and restored with Greek government funding.
All other minority groups, however small, enjoy similar freedoms. For
example, the tiny Slav-speaking community in Florina has created its
own political party (it has offices and newspapers; it openly propagandizes
its ideas that never fail to vilify Greece and the Greeks) that enters
a negligible contingent in all Greek electoral contests. Of late, anti-Greek
propaganda has been stepped up, spearheaded by the European Bureau for
Lesser-Used Languages (EBLUL). Recently, a book (co-funded by the Commission
as stated on p. 2) full of "advice" and "recommendations" (p.
6 and elsewhere) on Greece was distributed to MEPs. Page 5 contains a
reference to "Macedonian" speakers in Greece, while EBLUL President
Brezigar recommends (p. 12) that "Greeks should learn English as
well as Macedonian (!)."
Does the Commission (which is apparently providing funding for the Bureau's
activities) share Mr. Brezigar's historically questionable views regarding
the existence of a "Macedonian" language? Exactly what funding
(itemized amounts) has the Bureau received from the European Union, and
for which years? Why is funding being provided to a Bureau, which disseminates
propaganda against a member-state? What action is the Bureau taking in
countries where minority cultures are being oppressed - such as in the
Greek communities in Albania and Turkey? Does the Commission know whether
or not EBLUL Committees in member-states of the EU contain extreme nationalistic
elements, which are being systematically incited by third countries to
create tensions in specific regions of the EU? What are the names of
the members of the Greek EBLUL Committee, and what are their precise
professions and credentials?
Concerning the parliamentary question by the New Democracy MEP and composer
Stavros Xarchakos on the subject "The European Bureau of Lesser-Used
Languages and the systematic defamation of an EU member state," which
was tabled to the Commission on 19 March 2003, we wish to point out the
Mr. Xarchakos states at the beginning of his question, "It is a
known fact that in Greece democratic freedoms and cultural diversity
are fully protected and safeguarded."
Could the worthy composer please cite the legislature that safeguards
cultural diversity in Greece and what protective measures the state takes?
Is he aware that Greek citizens who have gone abroad to work have had
their citizenship revoked because they identify themselves as ethnic
Macedonians (Article 20, Paragraph 1g of the Law on Citizenship of the
Republic of Greece)? Is he also aware that Macedonian political refugees
who left Greece during the Greek Civil War have been prohibited from
returning because, according to legislation, "they are not Greeks
by genus" (Law 1266/1982)?
Is he aware that Greece still has not ratified the Framework Convention
of the Council of Europe on National Minorities, and that it still has
not signed the Charter for the Protection of Minorities and Regional
In reference to the freedoms enjoyed, according to his accounts, by
the "Muslim minority," he claims that "all other minority
groups, however small, enjoy similar freedoms. For example, the tiny
Slav-speaking community in Florina has created its own political party
(it has offices and newspapers; it openly propagandizes its ideas that
never fail to vilify Greece and the Greeks) that enters a negligible
contingent in all Greek electoral contests."
We first of all welcome his statement that Greece has other minority
groups. This is a democratic position and one contrary to the fixed position
of all Greek governments to date that the only minority in Greece is
the Muslim minority of Thrace.
Is Mr. Xarchakos aware of the judicial prosecution in the recent past
of members of the Macedonian minority for the public use of their mother
Is he aware that the Greek court deems that it unnecessary to prosecute
the "vandals" who destroyed the Rainbow offices, despite the
suit brought against them by party members?
Can he cite any text or vilifying statement made by Rainbow against
the Greeks or our country? If he cannot, is he willing to make a public
apology for his libel?
Perhaps the worthy composer sees as a vilification of our
country Rainbow's views concerning the respect for the rights of the
Macedonian minority in Greece?
Is Mr. Xarchakos aware that the number of votes that a party has does
not determine the number of members in a minority? Is he aware that the
number of members in a minority is determined by census, which Greece
systematically refuses to carry out on this level?
Why doesn't he propose to our government to take a census containing
questions about the mother tongue, the national consciousness, or the
cultural diversity of the inhabitants of Greece?
Is Mr. Xarchakos aware that the "official" number of votes
received by the Rainbow party in elections is triple that of the number
of members of the Greek minority in Istanbul, the rights of whom he is
so worried about in his question to the Commission?
Finally, does Mr. Xarchakos agree that those rights that the Greek minority
in Istanbul or southern Albania enjoy or should enjoy are
the same rights that the Macedonian minority in Greece should enjoy?
he willing to table a question with similar content to
The Political Secretariat