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ΕFA-Rainbow supports the right of the Catalan people to decide on their future and joins the EFA campaign "Catalonia decides"

Catalonia decides



Radio Macedonian Culture

A selection of Macedonian blogs in Greece

Aegean Macedonian Culture

Anti-macedonian policy during the elections for the European Parliament against Rainbow by the Greek state and the Greek mass media

A scandal by the Parliamentary committee

Greek TV stations sabotage EFA-Raibow

Ultra-nationalists want "borders with Serbia"!

"Hellenic Post" sabbotages EFA-Rainbow Campaign

Typical example of censorship of Rainbow

Attack of the Greek Neo-nazi party

A Greek - Macedonian dictionary by Vasko Karatza printed with the support of EFA - Rainbow
 Greek   Macedonian

D. Lithoxoou
"Extracts of Letters"

Τι έλεγε κάποτε το ΚΚΕ για τους Μακεδόνες

Denying Ethnic Identity:
The Macedonians of Greece, by Human Rights Watch

Linguistics and politics II:
Macedonian Language

Greece's stance towards
its Macedonian minority
and the neighbouring
Republic of Macedonia.

Lawed Arguments
and Omitted Truths

R. Nikovski: Memorandum to the European Parliament
Facts behind the Greek politics towards Macedonia

English  Macedonian

"Proposed disciplinary measures to stamp out the Macedonian minority in Greece by the National Security Service"

Center Maurits Coppieters
European Free Alliance
Federal Union of European Nationalities
Greek Helsinki Monitor
Greek Anti–Nationalistic Movement
Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
Macedonian Human Rights of Australia
OMO Ilinden - PIRIN
The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights

Macedonian Forum for politics and history

Turk Minority Movement for Human Rights
Press Release on the Remarks by Greek M.E.P, Xarchakos in Greek

Read this page in Greek


Turkish Minority Movement
for Human and Minority Rights
5 Othonos Street
69100 Komotini, Greece
For information: A. DEDE
Fax: +3025310 37759


Komotini 29-4-03

An Off-Key Voice in the European Parliament

In a recent parliamentary question (19-3-03) put to the Committee, New Democracy MEP Stavros Xarchakos, a well-known composer, asked to be informed as to what exactly is this EBLUL (European Bureau for Lesser Used Languages). This EBLUL, he went on, which systematically advances the defamation of a member state of the EU, Greece, and is surrounded by ultra-nationalistic elements that are incited by third countries to systematically create tensions. He has ascertained that, of late, EBLUL has spearheaded an intensifying anti-Greek propaganda and questions why the EU is funding a bureau that propagandizes against one of its member-states, etc. He even asks to be apprised of the names of the members of the Greek Committee of EBLUL and their precise professions and other credentials.

According to Mr. Xarchakos, Greece is a paradise for minorities, since cultural diversity is fully protected and provided for by law. And in this context, the population of the Muslim minority is increasing and, among other things, has unimpeded reception of Turkish satellite channels. The tiny Slav-speaking community in Florina, whose political party does not hesitate to revile Greece and the Greek people, enjoys similar freedoms. What's more the notion of the existence of a so-called Macedonian language, which is spoken in Greece, is historically questionable.

Lastly, Mr. Xarchakos, being ignorant or pretending to be ignorant, advises EBLUL to concern itself with the oppressed Greek minorities, such as those in Albania and Turkey, and hence to exceed its statues and the borders of the EU, which is its exclusive sphere of involvement.

One could overlook all these picturesque excesses if they were not indicative of a mentality still endemic in Greece and if they did not come from this particular person - an unpleasant surprise, but certainly not one off. In his question, Mr. Xarchakos touches on many sensitive issues. But we will resist the provocation and confine ourselves to a summary critique.

Initially, one could truly be awestruck by all these inaccuracies, distortions, fear-mongering, anachronistic and out of place positions, the ignorance or feigned ignorance, the nationalistic complacency and egocentrism, the un- and anti-European mentality, the ideological fixation on the period of the Balkan Wars, the cold-war, and the narrow-minded perceptions of diversity and the minority phenomenon that directly leads to conflict and paves the road to racism. Which of all the anachronisms packed in Mr. Xarchakos' question does one marvel at first? His political timepiece appears to have stopped sometime in the early 20th century.

Observe the cogent, disarming argument of the breadth of the freedom enjoyed by our Turkish minority with their satellite reception of Turkish television channels. Perhaps he meant that they should be grateful that their satellites were not shot down, as one former politician threatened to do.

No one is claiming that Chinese is spoken in Greece. That indeed would be historically inaccurate. However, one of the lesser-used languages in Greece is also that of its neighboring country, called (albeit with the acronym FYROM) Macedonia. And as it happens in these cases, the language and the country are homonymous. Likewise, our own minority does not speak "Muslim," but rather Turkish, which is the language of another neighboring country.

Does Mr. Xarchakos see the European Committee as a form of Intelligence Service that monitors European citizens, recording their activities and personal data, and for this reason he could ask it to supply him with the names of the Greek committee members along with their precise professions and other credentials? Does he expect a reply on the order of "it is Mr. So-and-so, who declares himself to be a farmer, but this credential of his is false because he is really working as an agent of such-and-such country according to reports from our own agents, and his sexual preference is..."?

EBLUL is involved exclusively with the project of linguistic diversity, and advocates for the lesser-used languages of EU countries. It does not deal with minorities, under penalty of suspension of duties. More crucially, it does not stir up minority issues. This is what Mr. Xarchakos is doing with his inappropriate question. We are not criticizing him for this; we are simply noting that that it was out of order.

Mr. Xarchakos does not realize that with his stand and his words he is causing the most unsuspicious person to suspect that that the truth is probably the exact opposite of what he is claiming, attempting to deny and/or wishing to put forth himself. Malicious individuals compromise themselves when they fall into this common trap.

Greece was the last EU country to form an EBLUL commission. This delay was due to the "particular" conditions in Greece vis-a-vis the problems of expression of linguistic and all other aspects of cultural diversity. The occasion arose when these "particular" conditions indirectly led to EBLUL itself being tried before the Greek court. Sotiris Bletsas, a Vlach-speaking Greek citizen, was tried and sentenced to 15 months imprisonment for distributing an EBLUL pamphlet. The document listed the lesser-spoken languages of the EU countries, mentioning that the Vlach language (Vlachika) was spoken in Greece. He was convicted for disseminating false information.

Several months ago, the first international EBLUL congress in Greece took place in Thessaloniki. At the time, some 150 people at the request of the local media had gathered outside the hotel where the events were being held to demonstrate against the congress participants, which included many delegates from various European organizations. Fortunately, there was ample police presence and unpleasant incidents were averted. The European delegates watched the goings on outside the hotel in wide-eyed amazement. "This is the Balkans. It's no laughing matter." Stavros Xarchakos has proved this, too.


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Γιατί να ψηφίσω
την ΕΕΣ-Ουράνιο Τόξο

Click here
to read the Abecedar!

Promotion of the
Macedonian Language
Primer at the OSCE HDIM

English Greek Macedonian

Greek irredentism and expansionism officially sanctioned by the Greek Parliament
English Greek Macedonian

Letter to Carla del Ponte,
Chief Prosecutor for the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

English Greek Macedonian

The Yugoslavian Crisis
English Greek Macedonian

Document of the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs

Related to the article - The obvious linguistic particularity - Eletherotypia, 18/11/2006

English   Greek

The ten Greek myths
on the “Macedonian issue”

By IOS team – Eletherotypia, 23/10/2005

Who says there are no
minority languages in Greece?

The "secret" census
in north Greece, in 1920

Map showing the Cultures and Languages in the E.U.

Council of Europe
Framework convention for the Protection of national minorities




Συνέντευξη: Ευάγγελος Κωφός, Έλληνας ιστορικός
Δημοκρατία της Μακεδονίας - Σκόπια είναι όνομα που εκφράζει την ταυτότητά σας

Greek   Macedonian

Ο Παύλος Φιλίποβ Βοσκόπουλος απαντά στον Ευάγγελο Κωφό.
«Το Μακεδονικό ζήτημα είναι η αχίλλειος πτέρνα του ελληνικού μύθου».

Greek   Macedonian
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