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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"
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
"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:
Greece's stance towards
its Macedonian minority
and the neighbouring
Republic of Macedonia.
and Omitted Truths
R. Nikovski: Memorandum to the European Parliament
Facts behind the Greek politics towards Macedonia
"Proposed disciplinary measures to stamp out the Macedonian minority in Greece by the National Security Service"
Document of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Related to the article - The obvious linguistic particularity (Eletherotypia, 18/11/06)
November 18, 2006
"The �European Free Alliance� (EFA) activities in favor of �Rainbow� positions on the existence of a �Macedonian minority� in Northern Greece�.
A high movement has been noticed lately of the known activists of �Rainbow" Party in Macedonia that has the purpose of internationalizing their false statements on the existence of a �Macedonian minority� in our country. As a first step, in order to achieve this aim, it has aimed for the recognition of the �Macedonian� language and its official teaching in the public educational institutes in selected areas of Northern Greece.
The importance of the �Rainbow�s� propaganda campaign is more over shouldered officially by the European Parliament Party �European Free Alliance � EFA� (it constitutes a common political group with the party of the Greens and has five elected European Deputies), a delegation of which, lead by the Spanish member of the European Parliament, of Catalan origin, Bernat Joan i Mari, visited Thessaloniki and Florina on 12 and 13 October in order to examine the situation of West Macedonia's bilingual inhabitants on the ground. The following days (14-15 October) they went to Bulgaria for similar contacts with local activists of the Pirin area. During this visit, the delegation of EFA met, after the care taken by officials of the Service of International Relations (SIR) or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Thessaloniki. They were accompanied by academic specialists and in Florina, by the local deputies, representatives of the local authorities and members of the local academic community. The conclusions that came out from the examination of this visit were the following:
The real aims of the visit were the confirmation and the promotion of the EFA political agenda � and its local partner �Rainbow� � and not the information of its delegation and, moreover, the start of actions and the preparation of the ground for the future introduction of the �Macedonian� language in the public schools in Florina�s area. It appears this was the subject that was discussed widely during the meetings with the three mayors of Perasma, Amideo, and Meliti, as well as, in second place, with two Academics Mr. Vlasidi and Zaiko. The Mayor of Perasma, emphasized on the position that an eventual codification of this area's linguistic idiom will result, in practice, in the loss of the 70% of the elements that make up the particularity of it, because we have to keep in mind that it differs from region to region (�local speeches�).
The delegation insisted � often aggressively and provocatively addressing its bilingual interlocutors � that they �ought� to feel different and that they have not many common things with the rest of the region's population. The answers that they received were similar�in their content and they are summarized in the following phrases:
�We do not feel different. We do not feel minority. We do not feel any oppression�.
The discussion with the members ofFlorina�s University was focused, except the language, in the issue of the identity. Mr. Mari�s position was that the Greek State deprives the �Macedonian� minority its definition and the right to name itself as it feels. The two Academics opposed, among other arguments, that the naming of one part of the local population with the term �Makedonas Macedonian� with no other definition, would correlatively deprive the rights of another part of the population, which is bigger. A position the EFA delegation seemed to retain. However, the basic position in which the delegation was entrenched was that �if a person wishes to define him/her differently from the local majority, the State and the local authorities are obligated to provide, in practice, all of the minority rights, including the education in the minority language�.
Despite the objections, at the end, the known representatives of �Rainbow� participated in the meetings in Florina but without having the right to intervention. In the meeting with the Mayors, a representative of the Party mentioned that they are going to collect signatures from the local population for the introduction of the �Macedonian� language in the local elementary schools.
There was very little interest in the press conference in which, except the four members of the delegation and the five representatives of �Rainbow�, six local journalists participated, making it a total of 15 persons.
In the above interview, the Catalan member of the European Parliament prompted the Greek Authorities to stop denying the existence of the �Macedonian minority� and to proceed to a census of Macedonia's population , where everyone would declare freely his/hers national origin.
All the EFA members come from geographical regions (and political areas) which are friendly and supportive to real suppressed minorities. It must be mentioned that the five members of the European Parliament that EFA has today come from Scotland, Wales, Catalonia and Latvia.
Concerning the visit in the city of Sandanski (Pirin) in Bulgaria, the delegation of EFA met with members of �OMO Ilinden Pirin� who applied for full membership in this European Party and in which they participate now as observer members. The Catalan deputy pointed that Bulgaria should recognize the �Macedonian minority� and the �Macedonian language�. Furthermore, he asked the review of the article 44 of the Bulgarian Constitution which demands the collection of 5,000 signatures for the foundation of a party. He also mentioned that after the visits in Greece and Bulgaria will end, EFA intends to draw up a report which will be distributed in the European Parliament.
The visit isplaced in an order of initiatives the EFA, member of which (since 2000) is �Rainbow�, undertook during the last months, with the aim of raising the issue of the supposed oppression of the bilingual inhabitants in Northern Greece and the deprivation of their human rights.
This movement is caused by �Rainbow�s repeated activities that through and with the support received by the EP Party �European Free Alliance� (EFA), as well as by the Non-governmental organization, the �Federal Union of the European Nationalities� (FUEN), in which it is a member, and it aims to an international projection of the above claim using the favorable international environment for the recognition of minority rights as well as the funds of the European Union that are distributed for the protection and the maintenance of lesser used languages. Despite the limited political range that �Rainbow� has among the bilingual citizens, mainly in the region of Florina, as it is proved by the results that it has received in each election, it is required attention and a continuous information by the Greek side, in order to avoid unpleasant development for the Greek interests, especially as long as the issue with the FYROM�s name stays open.
The visit was preceded by:
- The visit of Mrs Z. Gieler, Vice�President of the �Federal Union of European Nationalities � FUEN� after an invitation by the EFA � Rainbow (of which is a member, since 2005), in order to be informed about the rights of the corresponding minority groups, with emphasis in the issues of lingual and cultural interest.
- The visit in Greece of the EFA Youth Coordinator, of Basque origin, Mrs. Eva Bidania (March 2006), after an invitation by the �Rainbow�, with the aim of coordinating the Rainbow and EFA activities.
- The Rainbow�s participation in the Congress with subject �System of Education for Minority � Regional Languages � Lingual Diversity�, which took place in Brussels, an initiative taken by the Committee of Education and Culture of the European Committee (April 2006).
- The �Rainbow�s� participation in the EFA General Assembly (May 2006) where the 25th anniversary of its foundation was celebrated with a festive conference in the central chamber of the European Parliament, with the presence of representatives of the European Committee, other Political Groups and Members of the European Parliament. �Rainbow� made its presence noticeable at the celebratory conference when its activists raised banners in which the �Greek apartheid� and the fact that Greece doesn�t apply the Copenhagen Criteria� were denounced. It must be mentioned that after Rainbow�s demand, the Slavomacedonian language, for the first time, was included in the works of the group as a working language.
- �Rainbow�s� visit in the Basque parliament (June 2006) in order to expose the situation that the members of their �minority have and the violations of their civil - political and linguistic rights�.
- The activities which followed the condemnatory for Greece decision (21/10/05) by the European Court for Human Rights for violation of the freedom of assembly and association regarding to �Rainbow� members. The promotion of a request to the Committee of Reports of the EP regarding the so-called problems of the �Macedonian� minority in Greece and the denunciation of our country to the Committee for issues of Racism and Xenophobia (ECRI) of the Council of Europe, for its current �racist� laws.
It has to be mentioned that Mr. Mari is the introducer of the report for the Committee of Culture and Education of the EP regarding the new strategic frame for the multilingualism which is expected to be adopted in one of the next sessions of the EP. In the report�s motives it is expected to be included a petition to �old state � members� which �today would fail to respond to the criteria of the European Union for the protection of the less used languages and ethnic minorities�.
Moreover it is worth of attention the re-edition of the known since 1925 �Abecedar�, the abecedary book for �Slavomacedonian� that was published at that time by the Greek state, conforming to its obligations according the Politi � Kalfov treaty and corresponsive to the political options that had been promoted and overset afterwards. This written work has already been circulated by the publisher Batavia with central places of distribution in Athens, Thessaloniki, Istanbul and Skopje, while has already been noticed an advertisement by Batavia that is registered in the bulletin �Biblithiki� of the paper �Eletherotypia� (13/10/06). This re-edition is obvious that it is straightly connected with an effort to promote � and with the support of EFA � the request for the introduction of the �Macedonian� language in the public schools in Florina. The aim of this is in the medium- and the long �term, through the actual publicity, of the obvious linguistic and national diversity.�
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Γιατί να ψηφίσω
την ΕΕΣ-Ουράνιο Τόξο
to read the Abecedar!
Promotion of the
Primer at the OSCE HDIM
Greek irredentism and expansionism officially sanctioned by the Greek Parliament
Letter to Carla del Ponte,
Chief Prosecutor for the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
The Yugoslavian Crisis
Document of the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs
Related to the article - The obvious linguistic particularity - Eletherotypia, 18/11/2006
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
Ο Παύλος Φιλίποβ Βοσκόπουλος απαντά στον Ευάγγελο Κωφό.
«Το Μακεδονικό ζήτημα είναι η αχίλλειος πτέρνα του ελληνικού μύθου».
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