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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
The Hellenic tail must not wag the European dog
Article by Marko Attila Hoare, 31st December, 2007

January 18, 2008

Source: The Henry Jackson Society project for Democratic Geopolitics


1.Greece and Cyprus are, over Macedonia, Serbia and Kosovo, pursuing policies motivated by nationalist concerns that are out of keeping with democratic values andcounter toEU interests.

2.Greece and Cyprus have since the early 1990s consistently pursued destructive policies in South East Europe that have proved highly damaging vis-a-vis both Turkey and the former Yugoslavia.

3.For the sake of regional stability, and to set an example for how new EU member-states should behave, it is time for the Western alliance to cease to tolerate Greek and Cypriot mischief-making.


The ideal of the European Union presupposes that member-states will pursue national policiesthat take into accountthe interests of the union as a whole. This means theyshould not tryto drag the EU behind policies thatare wholly against its interests, and that merely reflect the exclusive nationalism of the member-states in question.Yet this is precisely what the EUs two most south-easterly member-states, first Greece and then Cyprus,havetried todo repeatedlysince the early 1990s. In several spheres,Greece andCyprusare pursuing policies that are wholly determined by nationalist motives, that have nothing to do with EU or Western interestsor valuesand that are potentially highly damaging and dangerous.This cannot be allowed to continue if we are to maintain stability in South East Europe.

Greece threatens to veto the entry of Macedonia into NATO unless Macedonia changes its name. This represents the continuation of one of the mostfarcicalepisodes in the history of national chauvinism in Europein the last two decades:Greeces attempt since the early 1990s to prevent Macedoniausing its name.Greeces justification for this, if that word can be used in this context, is that the historic land of Macedonia was solely Greek, that the ancient Macedonian conqueror Alexander the Great was Greek, and that therefore Greece has an exclusive right to the use of the name Macedonia, rather like a corporations exclusive right to its logo.

It should not be necessary to engage in the childish debate about whether Alexanderor ancient Macedon really was Greek or not - every undergraduate student of nationalism knows that one cannot simply transpose modern national identities back onto ancient historical figures and lands; still less can ancient history be allowed to determine modern geopolitics. The very fact that contemporary Greek politicians and intellectuals attempt to do just this is evidence that Greece has not yet made the transition to genuinely post-nationalist,twenty-first-century politics. The background toGreeces bizarre hang-up over the Macedonian nameis the conquest of part of the Ottoman territory of Macedonia by the Greek state in 1912-13 -apart that was less than 50% Greek in ethnic terms at the time - andthesubsequent brutal Hellenisation of this territory through the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Muslims and Slavs,the settling on it of Orthodox Greek refugees and the forced assimilation of the remaining non-Greeks through the suppression oftheir language and identity - something that reached its peak under the fascist dictatorship of Ioannis Metaxas in the late 1930s and after the Greek Civil War of the 1940s.

Greeces policy of denying the existence of a Macedonian nation while asserting the exclusively Greek character of historic Macedonia thus represents the last dregs of a nationalist policy of forced homogenisation. It isequivalent to Turkeys attempt forcibly to assimilateits ethnicKurds on the grounds that they are really Turks and its continued denial of the Armenian Genocide, or to Serbias claim to Kosovo as a Serb land on the grounds that there are a handful of medieval Serbian monasteries there. If the EU is to have any meaning at all, it has to have a zero-tolerance approach to exclusivist national ideologiesof this type. The Turkish Kurds can call themselves Kurds and speak, write and be educated in Kurdish if they want to; the people of Kosovo candecide for themselvesif they want to be part of Serbia or not; and the Macedonians and the Greeks both have the same right to use the Macedonian name. End of discussion.

Yet it is not solely for the sake of our values, but also for the sake of our geopolitical interests that we must take a hard line in opposing Greece over Macedonia. The embargo imposed by Greece on Macedonia after the latter seceded from Yugoslavia in 1991-92 andthe bullying that forced Macedonia tochange its flag, and to enter the UN under theclumsy acronym FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia)dangerously contributed to the destabilisation of this fragile and strategically sensitive state. Western policy-makers have long been aware that Macedonia could not be allowed to collapse - unlike Bosnia, its collapse could lead to two NATO states, Greece and Turkey, coming into conflict with one another. Hence the US made it clear to Slobodan Milosevic, right from the start in the early 1990s, that Serbia would not be permitted to extend the war into Macedonia; hence Macedonias peaceful secession from Yugoslavia; hence NATOs intervention in Kosovo in 1999, as Milosevics ethnic-cleansing of the Kosovo Albanians threatened to upset Macedonias own delicate ethnic balance betweenethnic Macedoniansand Albanians. In recent weeks, Turkey and Greece have rebuked each other over the issue of Macedonias name. Although Turkey is wrong about a lot of things (including Cyprus and Iraqi Kurdistan), on this issue it is entirely in the right and playing a constructive role. For the sake of its own fragile stability and the equally fragile stability of South East Europe, Macedonias rapid entry into NATO is imperative.

Greeces obstructionism over Macedonia is not an isolated quirk, but forms part of a wider regional policy guided by nationalist concerns that hassignificantly damaged Western interests since the early 1990s - although, to be fair, it was not entirely out of keeping with the narrow-minded Western policy toward the Balkans of the first half of the 1990s.Greece supported Milosevics Serbia more wholeheartedly than did any other state; Milosevic was more popular in Greece than he ever was in Serbia itself; Greek fascist paramilitaries participated in the Serb conquest of Srebrenica in 1995. TheGreekjournalist Takis Michas has described the virulence of Greeksupport, both at the elite and at the popular level,for Serbian imperialism and ethnic-cleansingin his brilliant but shocking book, Unholy Alliance: Greece and Milosevics Serbia (Texas A&M University Press, 2002).Kostas SimitissPASOKgovernment half-heartedly acquiesced in NATOs intervention against Milosevic in Kosovo in the face of almost total public opposition and an outpouring of anti-American and anti-Western bile that found murderous expression in the assassination in June 2000 of the British defence attache in Athens, Brigadier Stephen Saunders, by the terrorist group "November 17", supposedly in revenge for the Kosovo war. More recently, in January of this year left-wing terrorists launched an anti-tank grenade at the US embassy in Athens. In Greece, as in Serbia and Russia, the extremes of left and right find common ground in hatred of the US and the West. This red-brown current tends to agitate for more extreme nationalistic and anti-Western policies than those actually pursued by Greek governments themselves, which is another reason why such policies should be opposed on principle.

Greeceremains Serbias most loyal ally in the EU,and is currently attempting to lead a Balkan bloc, made up of Romania and a more lukewarm Bulgaria, that favours Serbias rapid entry into the EU, irrespective ofSerbias behaviourover Kosovo and over the arrest of war-criminals. This is damaging to Western efforts to resolve the issue of Kosovo and the war-criminals, and toestablish a united diplomatic front vis-a-vis Russia. Ironically, Greeces behaviour shows why we should not allow countries such as Serbia and Turkey into the EU unless they are prepared to abandon national chauvinism and small-mindedness; we want them in, butasresponsible democracies, not as nationalistic trouble-makers.

It is not only in the Balkans where Greece has pursued a selfish and destructive policy at the expense of EU interests. Earlier this decade, indicating just how far it was prepared to jeopardise the entire EU project for its own ends,Greece threatened to veto the EUs expansion into Eastern Europe unless Cyprus were included in the expansion.There were verysound reasons why a divided Cyprus should not have been allowed to join the EU, and these immediately became clear. In a referendum in 2004, the Greek Cypriot electorate, under the guidance ofCypruss crude nationalist president, Tassos Papadopoulos, overwhelmingly rejected the Annan Plan for Cypruss reunification. With EU membership already safely in the bag, Papadopoulos judged that Cyprus as an EU member would be in a strong position to extract a betterdeal from Turkey. Greeces New Democracy governmentunder Kostas Karamanlis, for its part,refused unambiguously to endorse the Annan Plan, something that might have encouraged the Greek Cypriots to vote in favour; Greece thus studiously failed to help clear up the mess it had made.

Had EU membership been made conditional upon acceptance of the Annan Plan by the Greek Cypriot electorate,the latterwould almost certainly have voted in favour, and this old wound in theflank of the Western alliance would finally have been healed. As things stand, a settlement is now less likely than ever. There is every reason to believe that Papadopoulos andother Greek Cypriot politicians prefer the status quo in Cyprus to any reasonable compromise settlement, and are entirely ready in principle to veto TurkishEU membership indefinitely, pendingthetotal Turkishcapitulation that will never happen.Paradoxically, of course, the Cypriots do not wish to see Turkey driven away from the EU entirely, as then their veto loses all coercive power; Papadopouloss strategy is a contradictory and self-defeating one.However wrong Turkeys policy toward Cyprus was and remains, over the Annan Plan it showed itself to be the more reasonable and flexible side. Greeces pursuit of its own nationalist agenda has introduced the Cyprus dispute, like a foreign disease, into the very heart of the EU; last autumn, the EU suspended eight ofthe negotiating chapters of Turkeys accession talksin retaliation for Turkeys refusal to open its ports and airports to Cypriot ships and planes. Cyprus is now in a position to pursueindefinitelyits ownselfish and self-defeating nationalist agenda at the expense of EU-Turkish relations. The Hellenic tail has wagged the European dog.

One of the smallest and newest EU member-states, Cyprus is also the most hard-line in its outright opposition to Kosovos independence. So far as the Papadopoulos regime is concerned, EU unity, Western interests and regional stability count for nothing: all that matters is that Kosovos independence should be opposed, lest it set a precedent for the international recognition of Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus. That there are no indications whatsoever that Western states or anyone else will follow up the recognition of Kosovo by recognising northern Cyprus is deemed irrelevant. The Papadopoulos regime, pursuing its own policy of indefinite obstructionism, is no doubt disconcerted by the fact that Serbias similar obstructionism over Kosovo is going to be definitely punished by the US and the EU. The so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is simply a creation of the illegitimate Turkish occupation, therefore not equivalent to Kosovo, which was a recognised member of the former Yugoslav Federation. Still, it will do Cyprus no harm if it learns from the Serbian example that the principle of inviolable territorial integrity is not a trump card thatbloody-minded states can play indefinitely.

For too long, we have allowed Greek nationalism to poison Western policy. To some extent, this is the result of our own policy errors toward the people of Greece and Cyprus over the last sixty years or more. In one of the sorrier episodes of the early Cold War, we allowed a short-sighted anti-Communist agenda to lead us to support the motley alliance of chauvinist and ultra-reactionary elements, many of them former Nazicollaborators,which made up the anti-Communist side in the Greek Civil War,againsta Greek left that had led one of the most impressive anti-Nazi resistance movements in all occupied Europe. It isa moot pointwhether the anti-Communistvictory in Greece served our interests any better than the Communist victory in Yugoslavia;Titos Yugoslavia proved more than adept at resisting Soviet domination, while the brutal anti-Communist victory in Greece laid down a repressive and chauvinistic legacy forthe countrythat found its most extreme expression in the Colonelsdictatorship of 1967-74, and from which Greece has still not entirely recovered. The extreme anti-Communist and former Nazi-collaborator, Georgios Grivas, repaid our support to his side in the Greek Civil War by launching an uprising against British rule in Cyprus in 1955 through the EOKA movement; Grivassattacks onTurkish Cypriot civilians sowed the seeds of Cypruss future tragedy. Our misguided responseto theGreek Cypriot national movement for union with Greecewasto play Turkey off against Greece over Cyprus; this policy of divide-and-rule, coupled with the suicidal ultra-nationalist policy of first Grivas and then the Greek Colonels,paved the way in 1974 for the Turkish occupation of Cyprus, something that remains a thorn in the side of the Western alliance to this day.

It is time to turn our back on this long and undistinguished tradition of a modus vivendi between the Western alliance and Greek nationalism, one that has proved consistently damaging to all concerned. There must be zero tolerance of Greek and Cypriot obstruction over Macedonia, Turkey and Kosovo (to be fair, Greece itself has bravely come out in support of Turkish EU membership, in defiance of popular Greek opinion, indicating an enlightenedstance on this issue at least).Every time the Greeks or Cypriots try to undermine EU policy or drag it behind them for the sake of their own retrograde nationalism, we should pursue a determined effort to isolate them.Such an effort will pay dividends: not only will it put an end to a persistant policy of trouble-making, but it will set an example for how other new EU member-states should behave.

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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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