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Old 03-17-2012, 04:54 AM   #761
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Macedonian Refugees and World Refugee Day

by Metodija Koloski

June 20, 2004


Today, June 20th, we mark World Refugee Day.

"World Refugee Day is a salute to the indomitable spirit and courage of the world's refugees, and as such it should be a real celebration."1 June 20th is a day in which we think about the 28,000 Macedonian children refugees (Detsa Begaltsi) who left their homes during the Greek Civil War, and extend to them our encouragement, support and respect. I salute and commemorate those who have died without returning to their homes and praise those who are alive and continue to fight for their return.

I selected a passage from "The Plight of the Macedonian Refugee Children" by Risto Stefov

http://maknews.com/html/articles/stefov/stefov12.html

which I highly recommend reading in order to see how tragic the situation was for those children:

"It was a dreary spring day on March 25th, 1948 when it all began. It was a day filled with high emotions, tears and heartbreak for the mothers and children of western Aegean Macedonia. It was the day the Detsa Begaltsi (Refugee Children) left, and for most it was the last time that they would ever see their beloved family and home."

"Mothers prepared luggage, a change of clothing, food and eating utensils before escorting their little ones to the designated meeting places. With eyes tearing mothers said goodbye to their loved ones before sending them into the hands of destiny. Their cries could be heard for a long time as they disappeared into the distance. It didn't take too long before the emptiness was felt and many mothers could not stop crying and contemplating the fate of their little ones."

To learn more about the recent struggles of the Detsa Begaltsi, please visit:

http://www.maknews.com/html/articles..._mainpage.html

Also, here is the website of the United Nation's High Commission for Refugees' World Refugee Day (the intro flashpoint presentation is POWERFUL):

www.usaforunhcr.org/worldrefday

Metodija A. Koloski may be reached at: mkoloski@hotmail.com
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Old 03-17-2012, 04:54 AM   #762
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Letter to the Voice of America in Response to Their Use of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

By Metodija A. Koloski

March, 2004



Dear Sir or Madam:

I recently read your article “Ethnic Albanians Boycott Macedonian Elections Marred by Reports of Voting Irregularities,” and I am disturbed that you make reference to Macedonia within your opening paragraph as the “former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia.”

According to the State Department briefing on November 4th, 2004, Mr. Boucher stated that the United States “have now decided to refer to Macedonia officially as the Republic of Macedonia. By recognizing Macedonia's chosen constitutional name, we wish to underscore the U.S. commitment to a permanent, multiethnic, democratic Macedonian state within its existing borders.”

The Voice of America is an American news agency and should respect the decision of the United States. It is not necessary to state that Macedonia was once a former Yugoslav republic. My question to you is why in your reporting regarding Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, or Serbia you do not state the former Yugoslav republic of Bosnia, etc…? What is so special about Macedonia? Macedonia’s constitutional name is the Republic of Macedonia and the world must and should respect this.

I ask you kindly to remove this reference within your reporting.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing back from you.

Sincerely,
Meto Koloski

Metodija A. Koloski may be reached at: meto.koloski@gmail.com

-----
Contact VOA here: http://www.voanews.com/english/contact.cfm
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Old 03-17-2012, 04:55 AM   #763
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

NOVEMBER 1st, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C. - - The United Macedonian Diaspora sends letter on November 1, 2005 to the President of the Hellenic Republic, His Excellency, President Karolos Papoulias regarding his recent "invitation to all those disputing the Hellenic character of Macedonia to visit the findings unearthed by archaeological excavations in Vergina." News article regarding President Papoulias’ invitation may be found at http://www.mpa.gr/article.html?doc_id=551808

His Excellency, President Karolos Papoulias
c/o His Excellency, Ambassador Alexandros P. Mallias
Hellenic Republic
Embassy of Greece
2221 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
VIA FACSIMILE: (202) 939-1324

Your Excellency,

We are writing in reference to your recent "invitation to all those disputing the Hellenic character of Macedonia to visit the findings unearthed by archaeological excavations in Vergina." The United Macedonian Diaspora is not disputing the authenticity of the archeological excavations in Vergina. But can you explain to us what they have to do with modern state sponsored racial, national origin, and religious discrimination in modern Greece? Are you implying that because the ancient Macedonians shared a similar architecture with the ancient city-states that the Macedonians were Greek? Are you implying that because the ancient Macedonian royal court utilized the international ancient Koine language with the city-states that the Macedonians were Greek?

What exactly did you mean when you said you are issuing an "invitation to all those disputing the Hellenic character of Macedonia to visit the findings unearthed by archaeological excavations in Vergina?" This does not justify racism or ethnic discrimination by your government.

Your Excellency, you can find buildings with Athenian architecture in the United States today. However, this does not mean all Americans are Greek. You will also find Latin inscriptions on those same buildings. This does not mean all Americans are Romans.

If the ancient Macedonians shared some common elements with the neighboring ancient city-states, then this does not automatically make them kin. In fact, there is evidence reinforcing the notion that the ancient Greeks and the ancient Macedonians were two separate cultures and nations. Therefore, we respectfully ask, how are these ancient excavations, at all, germane to the modern inequities of the current Greek government?

It is well known, Your Excellency, that modern Greece was created for the first time in 1829. It is also public knowledge that modern Greece invaded, occupied and, with its partners Serbia and Bulgaria, partitioned Macedonia circa 1912-1913. The fact is, Your Excellency, that Macedonia was never Greek before the 1912-1913 invasion and occupation.

The United Macedonian Diaspora invites you to explain the Hellenic character of Macedonia and what it has to do with contemporary Greek state sponsored racial, ethnic, and religious discrimination today?

Specifically, how do you justify the current Greek Government’s state sponsored racial, national origin, and religious discrimination against Greek citizens of Macedonian national origin; especially, as a member state to the European Union and the Council of Europe? The express bold faced discrimination by your government was recently acknowledged by the European Court of Human Rights in their decisions holding that: 1) there is a Macedonian minority in Greece, and 2) that the Macedonian people are the continuous victims of Greek and Bulgarian state sponsored discrimination. The findings of the Court are consistent with findings of the United Nations, of the United States Department of State, and of various independent human rights agencies worldwide.

Your Excellency, do you not believe that it is time for the Greek Government to face reality and recognize that the ancient Macedonian heritage belongs to the Macedonians? This Macedonian heritage also belongs to the same tortured and discriminated Macedonians who today live in Greece without even the most basic human rights, especially the right to speak their own Macedonian language.

As you are well aware, Your Excellency, after the Balkan Wars in 1913 Greece annexed a large portion of Macedonia. Nonetheless, the Republic of Macedonia has never demanded border changes, nor does it object to the use of the name "Makedonia" to designate the Northern Province in Greece. With that said, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever for Greece to maintain it has the exclusive rights to the Macedonian name. Greece is Greece and Macedonia is Macedonia.

Your Excellency, we anticipate you will exhibit wisdom, courage and good will in recognizing, without delay, the Macedonian minority in your country. We urge you to stop interfering in the affairs of the Republic of Macedonia, and recognize our country by its constitutional name. We urge you to grant full and equal rights for all citizens born in Greece, despite their race, ethnicity, or religion.

Your Excellency, this is the 21st century and we need to think progressively toward the future. Let us bury the past and continue to build long standing relations between these two neighboring countries that share common interests in economic prosperity, religion, and peace in the region.

Sincerely,

United Macedonian Diaspora

For more information about United Macedonian Diaspora the public is invited to contact the D.C. office at (202) 294-3400, or e-mail at umdiaspora@gmail.com
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Old 03-17-2012, 04:56 AM   #764
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United Macedonian Diaspora Attends Briefing
on Macedonian Name in U.S. House of Representatives

WASHINGTON , D.C. – United Macedonian Diaspora attended a briefing in the U.S. House of Representatives on March 9th, 2006 organized by the Embassy of the Republic of Macedonia with the help and support of the Office of Congressman Mark Souder (R-IN). In his last Ambassadorial efforts to solidify U.S.-Macedonian relations, His Excellency, Ambassador Nikola Dimitrov briefed various Congressional staffers, members of the media, and Greek and Macedonian émigré organizations, respectively on the topic of The right to an identity: Republic of Macedonia and Resolutions H. Res. 521 and H. Con. Res. 306.

Ambassador Dimitrov started his elaboration by providing a brief overview on the contemporary history of Macedonia from the time of the Balkan Wars to present day. Prior to the Balkan Wars Macedonia was a large governing unit under the former Ottoman Empire, however through the Treaty of Bucharest, which ended the Balkan Wars, Macedonia was divided and split into four parts amongst Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Albania. The part of Macedonia that was awarded to Serbia gained peaceful independence in 1991, shortly upon the breakup of Yugoslavia . It is known today as the sovereign country, Republic of Macedonia. From the turn of the 19 th century to present day, Macedonians have been subject to many negations and challenges; particularly, their name, their identity, and discrimination against their ethnic origin.

According to the Ambassador, Greece referred to its northern province as "Northern Greece " for 50 years until the 1980s when it changed its position. Macedonia 's foreign policy for the last 15 years has been to maintain good relations with its neighbors. "In an unprecedented manner," after a three year trade embargo imposed by Greece against Macedonia, "in 1995 Macedonia made an effort to accommodate Greece by changing its national flag and by reinforcing the no-change of borders provision of the Constitution adding that it "has no territorial claims against neighboring states'."

Ambassador Dimitrov highlighted how Greece's position underlying, H. Res. 521 and H. Con. Res. 306, was unfounded and discriminatory, because it is virtually impossible for a small country of two million people with a fledgling economy, such as Macedonia , to be an adversarial threat to Greece, or any other country in the region. Specifically, Macedonia has received over 850 million euros of Greek investment capital, which in turn created over 20,000 jobs in Macedonia according to the Greek Deputy Foreign Minister during his recent visit to Macedonia. Thus, when posed with the question of whether Macedonia was really a threat to Greece, the answer was clear; why would so many Greek investors invest their money in Macedonia if there was any real threat of any kind? His Excellency's quote, "they do not invest because of politics, but because of profit" seems to shed light on the issue, as Macedonia, with a fledgling economy, clearly has no territorial aspirations upon its larger and economically developed neighbor, Greece. To argue that Macedonia 's name is a threat to anyone, seems to be a mere failed attempt of unfounded racially prejudicial regimentation by the Greek government against it's neighboring country, Macedonia.

As a result of the national origin discrimination against people of Macedonian ethnicity, today Macedonia is the only country in the world which is still forced to use the name Yugoslavia; not even Serbia , who was Yugoslavia's successor, uses this name any longer. Macedonia 's request is simple and elementary, "let us be as we are," Macedonian! In response to a question from a representative of the American Hellenic Institute who asked "how can Macedonians claim they are Macedonians when they are not..," the Ambassador stated that he does not understand this Greek position "you are not this, you are this." The Ambassador made it simple as he said, "I am Nikola Dimitrov and I am a Macedonian." How hard can this be to understand? One does not choose his identity. Imposition of the ethnically derogatory designation, "FYROM" or Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia , is insulting to all Macedonians as it is an artificially created racial epithet intended to be defamatory. According to the Ambassador, it is both very hard to understand and to explain to his country's citizens why Congressional representatives would use the discriminatory designation and epithet, especially after the United States recognized Macedonia in November 2004 by its constitutional name.

"The objection of our neighbor Greece to our name since our independence in 1991," says Ambassador Dimitrov, "is a serious interference to Macedonia's right to exist." Every country has the right to self-determination, and Macedonia has the right to its name. Macedonia does not hold a trademark or "exclusive rights to the name Macedonia in geographic, cultural, historic and commercial terms." Furthermore, Ambassador Dimitrov stated that Macedonia "does not demand change, nor does it object to the use of the name Macedonia to designate the Greek Northern province. However, Greece does not have such exclusive rights either."

Ambassador Dimitrov expressed his belief that the U.S. House of Representatives – one of the greatest champions of freedom throughout history – will not interfere with the right, of a friendly nation of two million people, to have an independent national identity and to be called who they ethnically are. As such, it was overwhelmingly important to present evidence of the race-based discriminatory purpose behind Resolutions 521 and 306. To further clarify the Ambassador's points, the participants were provided two documents regarding the facts and arguments about the two Resolutions and their contents, which are enclosed along with this Press Release.

Ambassador Dimitrov concluded his presentation by quoting the great American Woodrow Wilson, a champion of human rights by stating "Just what is it that America stands for? If she stands for one thing more than another it is for the sovereignty of self-governing people."

The United Macedonian Diaspora commends Ambassador Dimitrov in his successful efforts while undertaking a four year mandate of representing the Republic of Macedonia in the United States . The United Macedonian Diaspora was proud to collaborate with such a noble individual, and our organization wishes Ambassador Dimitrov prosperity in all future endeavors.

Founded in 2004, United Macedonian Diaspora is an international membership organization based in Washington , D.C. addressing the interests and needs of Macedonians and Macedonian communities throughout the world.

For more information about United Macedonian Diaspora the public is invited to contact the D.C. office at (202) 294-3400, or e-mail at info@umdiaspora.org

--
United Macedonian Diaspora
P.O. Box 19028
Washington, D.C. 20036
Phone: (202) 294-3400
E-mail: info@umdiaspora.org
Website: http://www.umdiaspora.org
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Old 03-17-2012, 04:57 AM   #765
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Embassy of the Republic of Macedonia

Washington D.C.

Resolutions H.Res.521 and H.Res.306

Resolutions H.Res.521 and H.Con.Res.306 in the United States House of Representatives deal with an issue of paramount importance for the Republic of Macedonia – its name.

Regrettably, the reference “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” is used as a name for the country in both resolutions, even though in November 2004 the United States - as 119 countries already did - recognized it under its constitutional name - the Republic of Macedonia.

Both resolutions are based on inaccurate premises. As regards to the provisions of the HR Resolution 521, there is neither negative and nationalist propaganda, including in school text books, nor the students are being taught that parts of Greece belong to the Republic of Macedonia. Furthermore, it has to be underlined that even during the most difficult years of trade embargo imposed by Greece, Macedonians have never harbored hostile sentiments towards its neighbor. In an unprecedented manner, in 1995 Macedonia made an effort to accommodate Greece by changing its national flag and by reinforcing the no-change of borders provision of the Constitution adding that it “has no territorial claims against neighboring states”.

This is a rather unique dispute in the history of international relations when one free democratic country requests from another free democratic country – their neighbor – to change its name. The Republic of Macedonia has always emphasized that it does not hold exclusive rights over the name Macedonia in geographic, cultural, historic or commercial terms. It does not demand change, nor does it object to the use of the name Macedonia to designate the Greek Northern province. However, Greece does not have such exclusive rights either.

Macedonia fully observes its obligations under the 1995 Interim Accord with Greece. It remains committed to promote good relations with Greece and is determined to “resolve the differences over the name” as stipulated in the UN Security Council Resolution 817 in 1993. In spite of the controversy and the political risk involved, the Government of the Republic of Macedonia accepted the latest proposal to resolve the name differences, put forward by the UN mediator Mr. Nimetz on October 7, 2005, described by him as a basis that “meets the minimum requirements of both sides, and thus should be the basis of an honorable and acceptable solution”. Regrettably, it was Greece that immediately rejected this proposal.

The continuous challenge of its name since the independence of the Republic of Macedonia in 1991 has indeed become a security issue for the country. This denial has sent the wrong message to a nation of 2 million people focused on consolidating their multiethnic democracy in the heart of the Balkans in turbulent times: that the future of their country is not certain. At the same time it encourages and excuses radicals to work towards its disintegration because “the country is not fully recognized by the international community”.

By pursuing a constructive policy and by undertaking concrete steps, the Republic of Macedonia has become a steadfast partner and ally of the United States and a factor of stability in the Balkans and beyond:

- It has acquired its independence without armed conflicts;

- It respected the UN sanctions towards Serbia and Montenegro in conditions of several year- embargo imposed by Greece, suffering huge economic damage;

- Facing enormous risks for its economy and the delicate ethnic balance, in the course of the 1999 NATO intervention, it accepted more than 360.000 refugees from Kosovo, or 18% of the total population of the country;

- It resolved the 2001 crisis in Macedonia by applying political means and implemented the Ohrid Framework Agreement;

- It successfully develops multiethnic democracy in an extremely complex environment;

- It has an active role and contributes to the efforts of the international community for democratization and stabilization of other countries and regions.

The people of the Republic of Macedonia are tolerant and peace loving people. As President Bush said in October, they “…have showed the world that it's possible for people of different backgrounds to live together in peace”. Once its internal stability was consolidated, the Republic of Macedonia was among the first countries to send troops to both Iraq and Afghanistan, contributing to their historic fight for freedom. However, the readiness for a compromise on the name issue cannot include its freedom; freedom for its citizens to say who they are and freedom to expect respect from other free nations.

It is very difficult for the people of Macedonia to comprehend that in a time when Macedonian and American young men and women are in harms way, fighting shoulder to shoulder in Iraq and Afghanistan, some members of the US House of Representatives are engaged in sponsoring one sided resolutions that do not correspond with current developments in the UN talks.

Therefore, we believe that the esteemed members of the US House of Representatives should take these arguments into consideration, if and when they deliberate upon these resolutions.
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Old 03-17-2012, 04:58 AM   #766
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Macedonian History Books: Facts and Arguments

In regard to the contents of resolution H. RES 521 introduced in the US House of Representatives on October 27, 2005 and the paper entitled “Propaganda and Irredentism: The Republic of Macedonia – present trends”, being distributed prior to the introduction of the Resolution, the following facts and arguments should be presented in view of clarifying this issue:

- The history textbooks mentioned in both documents impartially present historical facts that correspond with the findings and archive materials collected in several European capitals, by European scholars and historians.

- The maps in these textbooks, showing where Macedonians lived throughout history, are also drawn by non-Macedonian authors -- and in general, they are older than the Republic of Macedonia itself. All of them are entitled as "ethnic maps" and there is no any implication that the present borders are "temporary", or that they can, or should be changed.

- Having in mind that the borders all over Europe were so frequently changed during the last few centuries, and large ethnics groups wound up living within different states, numerous examples can be presented to illustrate the irrationality of the objection on the use of such historical ethnic maps. These shifts of population and changes of the borders are historical facts that neither can be changed, nor should be hidden from the view of history and students.

-- A review of history textbooks for grades 5-8 indicates that there are no maps or texts claiming that any Macedonian territory is now under Greek control, nor that Greek territory should be ceded or returned to Macedonia. Also, there are no texts suggesting the existence of a "Greater Macedonia", or texts that could be considered nationalist or hostile toward Greece.

- On the other hand, there is not a single case in any history book in the Republic of Macedonia, where neighboring people and nations are presented in a hostile way, or existence of any negative stereotype with present implications. On the contrary, throughout the entire educational system, the good-neighborly policy and cooperation are presented as one of the basic principles and values of the Republic of Macedonia.

- The example often used by Greek analysts is the Balkan wars of 1912 and 1913. In the Macedonian textbooks these events are presented in a very unbiased and simple manner - they did happen; they did end with a change of existing borders; and the population of Macedonian ethnic origin did end up living in different countries. As for the feeling of injustice done by the Balkan wars, it is to a much greater extent stimulated in the educational system of other Balkan countries involved in these wars.

- The terms assimilation, propaganda, etc., are used only to describe the fact that the population of Macedonian ethnic origin, was and still is, forbidden to express its ethnic identity in Greece. These facts are confirmed in numerous Governmental and NGO’s reports (such as State Department Annual Human Rights Reports, Council of Europe reports, Human Rights Watch Reports, Amnesty International Reports, etc.) and regional court’s rulings (European Court of Human Rights).

- The implied “irredentist attitude and propaganda” does not exist in any textbook, unless the expectation for recognition and respect of the rights of the Macedonian minority in Greece and other neighbouring countries is considered as such.

- Having in mind that the analyses and accusations in the paper are based on the persistent denial of the existence of the Macedonian nation and respectively, of Macedonian ethnic minority, it is not surprising that the Macedonian textbooks will be called unacceptable.

- The facts about the existence of ethnic Macedonians in Greece can never be presented differently in the Macedonian history books. The expectance for the respect of European standards about minority rights can not be treated as irredentism. Based on these relevant standards and related documents, all European countries are obliged to uphold and improve the rights of their ethnic minorities.

- Greece remains one of the few countries in Europe that have not yet ratified the Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities, although Greece signed it 9 years ago.

Furthermore:

-- The Republic of Macedonia's signature on the 1995 interim agreement (Article 4) and the Government of Macedonia's subsequent amendment of the Constitution (Amendment 1 to Article 3 - "The Republic of Macedonia has no territorial pretensions towards neighbouring states"), rule out changes of borders or irredentist claims toward Greece.

-- The Government of the Republic of Macedonia has never made any official statements suggesting irredentist claims toward Greece, nor has it taken action to instil in the population hostile attitudes toward that country. On the contrary, the Macedonian government has repeatedly emphasized its will to further the friendly relations with Greece.

-- The Republic of Macedonia has strong trade relations with Greece. Greek companies are among the most prominent investors in Macedonia. Greece is a favoured tourist destination for Macedonians, and many Greeks vacation in southern Macedonia.

-- Even though the mentioned textbooks do not include any of the alleged nationalist propaganda, it has to be known that they are no longer in use, since a new history curriculum was developed for all grades in 2003.

-- The new curriculum was drafted in accordance with guidelines of the Council of Europe's EUROCLIO, an association of European instructors of history, which emphasize the use of historically accurate maps to illustrate political, ethnic and other developments during the specific historical period.

Therefore,

- Since the claim that the name - Republic of Macedonia - is a threat to Greece can not be justified, the arguments contained in the aforementioned paper are just another attempt to raise a non-existent issue of Macedonian school textbooks, in order to support an unsupportable cause – to demand from a sovereign country and its people to change their name.

- This kind of initiative only hinders the efforts of both Governments, helped by the United Nations and supported by the US, for a just and timely resolution of the name issue that will further strengthen the stability and security in the Balkan region.
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Old 03-17-2012, 04:58 AM   #767
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Address by Athanasios Parisis
to the first International EBLUL Conference

November 15, 2002

See Related Articles:
• Minority Languages, Plea For More Recognition
• Minutes on Linguistic Diversity in Greece
• Macedonians of Greece (MSWord .doc)

Welcoming Address by the President of the Greek branch of the European Bureau for Lesser Used Languages (EBLUL), Mr. Athanasios Parisis to the first International EBLUL Conference Thessaloniki, 15 November, 2002

Subject of conference: Promotion of the lesser used languages in Greece

Mr. President, Bojan Brezigar, Honoured guests,

On behalf of the Greek EBLUL Committee I take great pleasure in welcoming you to the first EBLUL international conference dedicated to the various linguistic groups in Greece.

Across the European Union, no fewer than forty million people speak languages in their everyday lives, which are different from the official language of the state in which they are living. At present this figure represents 10% of the total European population, but shortly, with the expansion of the Union, the number of people speaking a different language from the official language of their state will be much, much greater. Greece, too, is no exception; however vigorously the state may deny it, the facts tell their own story. A by no means negligible section of the Greek population is bilingual. It is not possible to provide precise figures, since none of the censuses carried out to date has included a question on language. The one exception was the census of 1920, yet the figures it yielded for the northern regions of the country were never published.

Moreover, the long-standing policy of marginalisation and suppression has succeeded, naturally enough, in reducing the actual number of those speaking the non-official languages. This hostile treatment of heteroglossy in Greece had its beginnings in the early days of the modern Greek state, 170 years ago. In those areas of the country where Arvanitika was prevalent, every effort was made to discourage its use. There was perhaps some justification for this in the desperate efforts being made to unite the regional populations into a single Greek state, using as a means to this end a policy of homogenisation of the various populations.

At the beginning of the 20th century, when new territories were annexed by the Greek state, the process of displacing alternative languages and forcing their speakers to assimilate the Greek language and Greek national ideology - one state, one nation, one language, one religion - assumed new dimensions. The state resorted to violence, persecution, exchanges of populations and the mass 'cleansing' of villages, which refused to submit. Later, in the course of the Civil War, many tens of thousands of individuals, among them whole villages, were forced to flee as political refugees to eastern Europe. Some of the children of these refugees are still living in exile, a situation almost incomprehensible in the context of the modern Europe.

Those of us who remained in Greece were subjected to special schooling, kept in the classroom all day to minimise our contact with our family environment - the environment where our native tongue was spoken. It is worth mentioning that the 1961 census lists just ten child day care centres for the region of Messenia, whereas in the area of Florina no fewer than 48 such centres were in operation. The numbers are, of course, inversely proportional to the size of population in each region actually in need of these centres. The selective policy of the Queen Frederika Foundation, which was accompanied by the movement of 'poor children' - the actual phrase used - to isolated schools in southern Greece, was intended to encourage the children to change their language and thereby further the process of national integration.

In the years which followed the tactics of psychological violence, the undermining of the dignity of the child and the intimidation of the parent - all produced the results the state desired, the 'persuasion' of individuals to deny their own identity, their tradition, their language. And this in a Europe, which claims to respect the ideal, among others, of respect for human rights and the linguistic and cultural disparity of its peoples.

As President of the Greek branch of EBLUL I should like to stress the need to introduce our languages into the Greek educational system. We also seek access for the linguistic communities of our country to the mass media, radio and television.

We very much hope that in this endeavour we shall enjoy the support of the Brussels office, the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Council of Europe and all the other agencies of the European Union with an interest in these issues.

Athanasios Parisis

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Old 03-17-2012, 04:59 AM   #768
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Greek Acts against the Macedonians

(1912 – 1994)

By Peter Medichkov

The following chronicles the methods employed by Greece in its effort to eradicate the centuries old Macedonian ethnic presence in Aegean Macedonia (Greek Macedonia) in the name of Greek territorial expansion. Specific laws and decrees are presented against the backdrop of relevant historical events affecting Macedonians in Aegean Macedonia.

The chronology begins in 1912 when Greece, for the first time ever, came into possession of Macedonian territory and this by force of arms, almost a decade after the 1903 Ilinden (St. Iliya Day) Uprising lead by the IMRO (Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization) in a failed effort to free Macedonia from the Ottoman yoke.

The ominous prophecy of Harilaos Trikoupis, Greek Prime Minister from 1882 to 1895, foretold what the neighboring Greek state had in mind for Macedonia and its people:

"When the Great War comes, Macedonia will become Greek or Bulgarian, according to who wins. If it is taken by the Bulgarians, they will make the population Slavs. If we take it, we will make all of them Greeks".

1912 Balkan Wars

Irredentist Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria and Montenegro drive a crumbling Ottoman Empire out of the Balkans and pursue territorial expansion into Macedonia. Greek army enters Aegean Macedonia ostensibly to "liberate" Macedonia from the Ottoman.

1913

The Greek, Serbian, Bulgarian alliance breaks down over competing claims for Macedonia. Bulgaria miscalculates and attacks Serbia and Greek armies. Ottoman forces rejoin the war against Bulgaria. Bulgaria defeated, loses territorial gains in Macedonia.

From "liberation to tyranny", Greek army commences savage and bloody "ethnic cleansing" of the towns of Kukush, Doiran, Demir-Hisar and Serres in the Aegean Macedonia.

160 Macedonian villages burned, and atrocities committed. Mass exodus of refugees.

Treaty of Bucharest (Aug. 10, 1913), ends the War and partitions Macedonia.

Greece refers to conquered Macedonian lands as the "new territories" under "military administration". Not yet officially incorporated into the Kingdom of Greece.

Military occupation augmented by influx of administrators, educators; police brought from Greece.

Professor R.A. Reiss reports to the Greek government: "Those whom you would call Bulgarian speakers I would simply call Macedonians...Macedonian is not the language they speak in Sofia...I repeat the mass of inhabitants there (Macedonia) remain simply Macedonians."

1917

LAW 1051 Greece inaugurates new administrative jurisdictions for governing newly acquired lands in Aegean Macedonia.

1919 Treaty of Versailles (Paris)

England and France ratify the principles of the Bucharest Treaty and endorse the partition of Macedonia.

Greece pursues the forced expulsion and denationalization of Macedonians and begins colonization by transfering “Greeks” into Aegean Macedonia.

Article 51 of Treaty of Versailles espouses equality of civil rights, education, language, and religion for all national minorities which Greece violates and ignores.

Neuilly Convention and forced exchange of populations. About 70,000 Macedonians expelled from Aegean Macedonia to Bulgaria and 25,000 Greeks transfered from Bulgaria to Aegean Macedonia.

Greek Commission on Toponyms issues instructions for choosing Hellenized names for Macedonian places in Aegean Macedonia.

1920

Greek Ministry of Internal Affairs publishes booklet: "Advice on the change of the names of municipalities and villages" in Aegean Macedonia.

1925

76 names of Macedonian villages and towns in Aegean Macedonia Hellenized since 1918 by Greek authorities.

League of Nations pressures on Greece to extend rights to Macedonian minority.

ABECEDAR Primer printed in Athens for use by Macedonian school children in Aegean Macedonia. Written in Latin alphabet and reflects the Macedonian language spoken in Bitola-Lerin (Florina) district in Western Aegean Macedonia.

Serbs and Bulgarians protest to League of Nations. Primer undermines their claim that Macedonians are Serbs and Bulgarians respectively.

Greece counters with last minute cable to League: "the population.....knows neither the Serbian nor the Bulgarian language and speaks nothing but a Slav-Macedonian idiom."

Greece "retreats" so as to preserve Balkan alliances. Primer is destroyed after League of Nations delegates leave Salonika (Solun).

Thereafter, Greece denies existence of Macedonians. Refers to Macedonians as "Slavophone Greeks", "Old Bulgarians" and many other appellations but not as Macedonians.

1926

Legislative Orders in Government Gazette #331 orders Macedonian names of towns, villages, mountains changed to Greek names.

1927

Cyrillic inscriptions in churches, tombstones and icons rewritten or destroyed. Church services in the Macedonian language are outlawed.

Macedonians ordered to abandon personal names and under Duress adopt Greek names assigned to them by the Greek state.

1928

1, 497 Macedonian place names in Aegean Macedonia Hellenized since 1926.

English Journalist V. Hild reveals, "The Greeks do not only persecute living Slavs (Macedonians)..., but they even persecute dead ones. They do not leave them in peace even in the graves. They erase the Slavonic inscriptions on the headstones, remove the bones and burn them."

1929

Greek Government enacts law where any demands for national rights for Macedonians are regarded as high treason.

LAW 4096 directive on renaming Macedonian place names.

1936

Reign of terror by fascist dictator General Metaxas, (1936-40). Macedonians suffer state terrorism and pogroms.

Thousands of Macedonians jailed, sent to internal exile (EXORIA) on arid, inhospitable Greek islands, where many perish. Their crime? Being ethnic Macedonian by birth.

LAW 6429 reinforces Law 4096 on Hellenization of toponyms (place names).

DECREE 87 accelerates denationalization of Macedonians.

Greek Ministry of Education sends "Specially trained" instructors to accelerate conversion to Greek language.

1938

LAW 23666 bans the use of the Macedonian language and strives to erase every trace of the Macedonian identity.

Macedonians fined, beaten or jailed for speaking Macedonian. Adults and school children further humiliated by being forced to drink castor oil when caught speaking Macedonian.

LAW 1418 reinforces previous laws on renaming.

1940

39 more place-names Hellenized since 1929.

1945

LAW 697 more regulations on renaming toponyms in Aegean Macedonia.

1947

LAW L-2 citizens suspected of opposing Greek government in Civil War stripped of their citizenship, including relatives, arbitrarily and without due process.

1948

LAW M properties confiscated from citizens who fought against government and those accused of assisting.

28,000 child refugees, mostly Macedonians, from areas of heavy fighting evacuated to Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania. Greece denies their right of return to this day.

RESOLUTION 193C (III) United Nations Resolution calls for repatriation to Greece of child refugees.

U.N. UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS ARTICLE 19: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive an impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

DECREE 504 continues property confiscations of exiles and colonization of Aegean Macedonia with people from Turkey, Egypt and other parts of Greece. Parcels of land given to the colonists along with financial incentives.

1959

LAW 3958 allows confiscation of property of those who left Greece and did not return within five years.

Several villages in Aegean Macedonia forced to swear "Language Oaths" to speak only Greek and renounce their mother Macedonian tongue.

1962

DECREE 4234 reinforces past laws regarding confiscated properties of political exiles and denies them right to return.

1968

EUROPEAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS accuses Greece of human rights abuses.

1969

Council of Europe declares Greece "undemocratic, illiberal, authoritarian, and oppressive". Greece forced to resign from Council of Europe under threat of expulsion.

Military Junta continues the policy of colonizing the confiscated lands in Aegean Macedonia. Land handled over to persons with a "proven patriotism" for Greece.

European Convention For the Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms signed by Greece states: ARTICLE 10(1) “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers”.

1976

DECREE 233 suspends about 150 past decrees, government decisions and laws since 1913. Regulations for the confiscation of properties belonging to Macedonian political exiles not affected.

1979

135 places renamed in Aegean Macedonia since 1940. The Greek vigil regarding names is an indicator of the Macedonian ethnic identity in Aegean Macedonia.

1982

Greek internal security police urges intensive campaign to wipe out remaining Macedonian language and consciousness in Aegean Macedonia.

LAW 106841 political exiles who fled during the Civil War and were stripped of their citizenship are allowed to return providing they are "Greek by ethnic origin". The same rights are denied to Macedonian political exiles born in the Aegean Macedonia.

U.N. UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS ARTICLE 17, “No one can be deprived of his own property against his will”.

1985

DECREE 1540, Political exiles who fled during Civil War allowed to reclaim confiscated lands provided they are "Greeks by ethnic origin". Same rights denied to Macedonian exiles born in Aegean Macedonia.

U.N. UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS ARTICLE 13, “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, as well as to return to his own country”.

1986

International writers' organization, PEN, condemns Greece's denial of the existence of Macedonians and their language.

Greece escalates climate of fear in Aegean Macedonia.

Greece officially calls the Republic of Macedonia as the “Republic of Skopje", after the name of its capital city; and Macedonians are called "Skopjans".

The term "Skopjans" used to label Greek citizens who declare themselves as ethnic Macedonians. "Skopjans" laced with hatred, and racism. It connotes a traitor to Hellenism.

1990

CSCE COPENHAGEN CONFERENCE ON THE HUMAN DIMENSION, to which Greece is a signatory, states in ARTICLE 32: "Persons belonging to national minorities have the right freely to express, preserve, and develop their ethnic, cultural, linguistic, or religious identity and to maintain and develop their culture in all its aspects, free of any attempts as assimilation against their will". ARTICLE 33: "Participating states will protest the ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity of national minorities...and create conditions for the promotion of that identity".

GREEK HIGH COURT DECISION 19 refuses registration of "CENTER FOR MACEDONIAN CULTURE" in Florina (Lerin). Appeal is turned down by High Appeals Court in Salonika. Further appeal dismissed by Supreme Administrative Council of Greece in Athens.

1991

CSCE MEETING ON NATIONAL MINORITIES IN GENEVA, in which Greece participated states: "Issues concerning national minorities...are matters of legitimate international concern and consequently do not constitute exclusively an internal affair of the respective State...Participating States reaffirm, and will not hinder the exercise of, the right of persons belonging to national minorities to establish and maintain their own educational, cultural and religious institutions, organizations and associations".

Belligerent anti-Macedonian propaganda incites Greek population into a state of chauvinistic hysteria.

Translation from Greek: "Hang the Skopje Gypsies"

1992

Greece and Serbia conspire to overthrow and partition the Republic of Macedonia.

1993

Macedonian human rights activists Hristos Sidiropoulos and Tasos Boulis were prosecuted under Greek Panel Code: Article 36, Para 191; disseminating false information; Para 192; inciting citizens to disturb the peace. Their crime? Declaring themselves as Macedonians in an interview for Greek magazine ENA.

Macedonian human rights activist and priest Nikodimos Tsarknias derobed and expelled by Greek Orthodox Church because of his human rights activities. Tsarknias refused a Greek bribe which would have elevated him to bishop in 1989. He received death threats.

1994

Extremists of Australia's Greek Community burn two Macedonian churches, after Australian recognition of Macedonia.

Greece continues to deny the existence of Macedonians in Aegean Macedonia despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Greece continues repressive and unrelenting policies against Macedonians in Aegean Macedonia despite objections by international human rights organizations.
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Old 03-17-2012, 05:01 AM   #769
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Open Letter to the Greek Prime Minister
on the Matter of Greek Racial Profiling

by Dr. George Nakratzas

February 25, 2003

E-mail: info@nakratzas.com
www.nakratzas.com

To the Right Honourable
Konstantinos Simitis
Prime Minister of Greece
Athens

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

It was reported by the Macedonian Human Rights Movement of Canada that last year three Canadian nationals of Macedonian descent had been denied entry to Greece.

This latest incident took place on 30th May 2002: entry to Greece was refused to Mr. Mendo Petrovski, a Canadian national of Macedonian descent.

When representations were made by the Canadian Embassy in Athens, the Greek authorities responded that nothing could be done because Mr. Petrovski had no relevant documents from the Niki border post, and did not know the name of the border official concerned in the decision.

If this accusation is true, then the official response of our government to the Canadian Embassy in Athens does little credit to our country - the country currently holding the Presidency of the European Union.

The Greek authorities must be perfectly well aware of the identity of the official on duty at the Niki border post on 30th May 2002.

The fact that this Canadian national had no document explaining why he was regarded as persona non grata in Greece, is entirely due to the failings of our own authorities. In all such cases, as in the case in question, the necessary stamp should have been placed in the Canadian passport.

Sir, no country with any self-respect can insult a tourist on the grounds that he has a suspect record without offering evidence to this effect, or at the very least communicating these grounds to the individual in question.

The truth is, however, that the facts of the matter are somewhat different.

It is well known that the border posts of the EU countries keep a list of individuals whose entry is deemed undesirable. However, this list contains the names of persons known for their criminal activities.

It is claimed - although I admit I have no certain knowledge of this - that our border posts also keep a second, unofficial list of names of individuals whose entry to our country is forbidden for purely political reasons. More specifically, this list contains the names only of those individuals who declare that they are ethnic Macedonians.

A similar incident in the relatively recent past involved a Mr. Karatzas, a 78-year-old resident of the Republic of Macedonia, who was refused entry to Greece. After international protests, and only following your own wise intervention, this old man, a veteran of the Democratic Army, was allowed to visit for the last time his village near Kastoria, the village where he spent his childhood. I learned of this visit - with great relief - from the man himself.

Do you not think that it is now time for this alleged second, unofficial list to be abolished - the list which names ethnic Macedonians as personae non gratae.

I ask you to imagine how we ourselves would react if we were to be refused entry at the borders of neighbouring countries, simply because we described ourselves as ethnic Greeks?

Yours faithfully,

Dr. George Nakratzas

P.S. I beg to inform you that copies of this letter, translated into English, will be forwarded to the 600 Members of the European Parliament, as well as other interested individuals.
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Old 03-17-2012, 05:03 AM   #770
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Speech by Prof. Nestor Oginar
Hyatt Regency-Reston Hotel, Washington D.C.
Schiller Institute Annual Congress

September 1-3, 2001


The Balkans-Southeast Europe, has been, historically, one of the most crucial areas in the world. It has been, in the literal sense of the word, the landbridge between Europe and Asia. It is a crossroads of different cultures, nations, religions and ethnic groups. It is also a strategically crucial area between North-Central Europe and the South, the Middle East, Africa, Asia: It is the key bridge, the connecting point between east and west.

This area, for the last one hundred years at least, could have been arguably one of the most economically developed areas in the world. Unfortunately, those world powers who want to prevent an economic and mutually beneficial collaboration and prosperity of the Balkan peoples have an interest to set it on fire, which is happening right now! It has been their way to maintain the oligarchical control of the world, at any cost, even if it involves destruction of entire countries, nations, cultures, and societies - which is nothing but a genocide, a bloody crime against humanity.

So, we have had this history of war and suffering in the Balkans for generations and generations. Ask my beloved, my suffering Macedonian people and they will tell you. Look at them now, as they are today, hopeless, humiliated, homeless, displaced, ethnically cleansed, economically impoverished, under military aggression, under military occupation, wounded in body and soul, bleeding and dying, attacked by the wild Albanian terrorist hoards, and their puppetmasters, disguised as NATO and the
"International Community," all in the name of peacekeeping, war-preventing, and human rights. What a sham, what a shame, what a theater of the absurd!

Let me stress this point again: Macedonia is being destroyed, dismantled, completely annihilated from the map of the world, as a country, as a nation-state, as a society, as a constitutional democracy, as a peaceful member state of the United Nations. Astonishingly, all this is happening on the world stage before the wide open eyes of an apathetic audience.

But I cannot, we cannot blame only the mercenary KLA, which are but a proxy, or better yet the puppets of greater and more insidious forces, whose commands they obey. We have to look at these forces, the real puppet-masters more closely, because what is at stake is not just the very existence of Macedonia, because what we are defending isn't just one small, proud, ancient, biblical land - Macedonia. We are defending, ladies and gentlemen, an idea, an ideal; above all we are defending a principle: the principle that Macedonia, like every other country in the community of mankind, has the fundamental, the inalienable right to its own national sovereignty, to its own self-determination, to its own national independence, and national dignity. The right of the people to be free of violence, of foreign interference and war mongering, from political and economic blackmail and coercion. The right of a people to organize its own democratic, economic and cultural development.

And I contend before you that this is the reason why we the Macedonians have a moral obligation, and a right to ask for the help of any individual, any institution, any country of goodwill, include this illustrious Institute. Because we are convinced that in defending Macedonia on principle, we are defending a universal principle.

I am convinced as I stand here before you now, that Macedonia must take and will take the lead on the international stage in the universal struggle of humanity against this New-World Globalized Order, piloted and manipulated by the predatory oligarchs, hiding in their headquarters in London, Washington, Brussels, or Wall Street. Just as in the manner in which my ancient and glorious king, Alexander of Macedonia, defeated the old oligarchs of the Persian empire, 2,330 years ago, just like Apostle Paul responded to the pleading voice of the biblical Macedonian man to come and help, we the Macedonia people, drawing on our rich, long history, that has survived many invasions, must stand up and fight an honorable and great battle of ideas, and give our contribution in the changing of the world system of injustice and looting to a more just and humane one.

We call upon you, all of you, to join us the Macedonians in our fight against those who in the Balkans and elsewhere have drawn the georacist designs of maps, to join us in our struggle to fight the Zbybniew Brezynskis of the world, the Henry Kissingers of the world, the Lord Ownens of the world, the Lord Robertsons, the Javier Solanas, the James Wolfensons of the world, and he list goes on and on, ad-infinitum.

We have a moral obligation to recognize that there is a monstrous design, a monstrous racism behind the policies and ideologies of these people and their likes, and we must do everything together to thwart them.

Ladies and gentlemen, need I remind you that we live in some of the most tragic, dangerous, and trying times of our era, which test the very fiber of our souls and consciousness' as member of different nations of the civilized world, at the threshold of the twenty first century. I can stand proudly here before you and state clearly that as a Macedonian, and as an intellectual, I feel that Macedonia is not defected, the Macedonian people are not defeated, the people who know, love and cherish the common welfare of mankind are not defeated. So long as our spirit is untouched, we are not defeated, so long as our pride and dignity survive, we are not conquered.

From this platform, I appeal to all of my fellow Macedonians, to all of my fellow Americans, to all of my fellows present here at this esteemed gathering, to all of mankind, we must resist the evil, dark forces that threaten to destabilize the world. We must resist the very same forces that like hungry vultures have descended upon the innocent living organism of Macedonia. In order to do that, we must recognize, I repeat, we must recognize that we are all drifting in a vast, dark sea of crisis,
pilotless and starless.

I am reminded here of a profound thought, expressed by Mr. Lyndon Larouche and published in the August 20th issue of the "New Federalist." Let me quote it for you: "Two things are required. First thing: people have to recognize how bad the crisis is. They also have to recognize how elementary in nature the solution is. And only when that perception of crisis occurs do we have the possibility, politically, of doing what we must do."

For me, personally, as a Macedonian, but also as a human being, the biggest enemy with which we all are confronted in our time is not the Albanian terrorist organization KLA, it is not their mentors and puppet-masters embodied in NATO, EU and the "International Community." The biggest enemy of us all is the one that dwells and lurks within ourselves. Within the dark recesses of our detached and immobilized minds. The enemy is in our demoralization, in our apathy, in our resignation, in our moral capitulation, in our complacency and our readiness to accept the reality, the Hegelian reality, as it is thrust at us, on a daily basis.

But I tell you, ladies and gentlemen, in case you didn't know, that we the Macedonians have it in us, in our blood, in our veins, all the strength of our striving humanity, our national and cultural heritage, to strive, to overcome, to vanquish and never to yield, to all of our enemies from within or without.

Countless generations of our proud Macedonian ancestors have bestowed on us a priceless heritage and tradition of resistance, of fight and never yielding to the forces of evil, no matter how powerful they may be.Our resistance must spring forth from the generosity of our hearts, from the clarity of our minds, and from the nobility of our spirit. We owe these values to our children, and all new generations.

When we succeed to extricate ourselves from the double psychological trap of imposed fear and induced impotence, when we begin to realize that we are embarked on a mission of grandiose and epic proportions, only then will we be able to understand that we are not alone, isolated, abandoned and helpless sheep surrounded with the army of enemies, and we can summon strength to fight and to resist.

Only then will we be able to realize that a small band of petty oligarchs, plutocrats, speculators and usurers masked behind the metaphors of the international community, the international monetary Fund, the World Bank, NATO and others, have subjected virtually the entire world to destruction, and that my beloved and proud Macedonia is only another victim in the vast gallery of horror.

The only advantage of this evil is their ability, by way of brutal force and deception, to carry out the policy of "Divide et Impera," divide and conquer, to project the image of omnipotence, omniscience and invincibility, and to bully, frighten, degrade and humiliate, morally and psychologically, the countries which they choose to victimize in their pathological laboratories.

I must say, over and over, so that I may be understood, that our allegedly invincible enemy is not nearly so powerful as they like to be perceived.

I tell you that right now, as I speak, they are shivering in their offices, wherever they are, at the very notion that tiny Macedonia and its people will rise on mass, by the millions and say, "It is enough!" Stop this unjust invasion! Stop this military occupation! We do not accept this framework agreement being imposed on our pathetic, corrupt, inexperienced and cowardly government by way of military force, and political and economic blackmail. We refuse to accept it because it is in contradiction with the
universal principles of democracy, with the constitution of Macedonia as a nation state, with the democratic processes as they are practiced all over the world, and with international law and order as we know it.

Like the Nazi-Fascist apparatus of World War II, NATO, the International Community and its pathetic proxies, have overestimated their real strength, and we know that they are beginning to rot and collapse from within, as does the financial system that spawned them.

So, you see, ladies and gentlemen, that there is no reason, no room for pessimism. We can win! As indeed we must! The real war, the factor that determines the final outcome is not a military war, it is a battle of ideas. It is a war of principles to be fought and played out, ultimately, in the theater of civilized humanity. The historical situation we encounter today requires from all of us, in the paraphrase of the great German poet and humanist, Friederich Schiller, that we become bigger than ourselves, so that a great historical moment does not find us again - small people.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Let me conclude by reiterating the thought that we must not remain the mere spectator at what is happening. That no man is an island, an entity onto himself. If Macedonia is destroyed, can Europe ever be the same? Will she not be diminished, dishonored and humiliated? And, for that matter, can the world ever be the same after the demise of Macedonia?

That's why it is crucial that we organize and unite in our struggle to save and preserve Macedonia, not only as a country, a nation state, a constitutional Democracy, but an idea, and an ideal founded on the inalienable universal principles of liberty, equality, justice and dignity of the common man!

Macedonia is our one, only and last remaining hope and we must save her!


Thank You
Prof. Nestor Oginar
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