Macedonian minority party to go to court over Greek allegations

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Tue Dec 13 22:25:16 UTC 2005

Macedonian minority party to go to court over Greek allegations

Florina - Lerin, Tuesday, 06 December 2005 by Georgios N. Papadakis
EFA-Rainbow, the Macedonian minority party in Greece is planning to
register a complaint in the Greek courts against a Greek diplomat and his
superiors (Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs) for libel. In a press
release issued yesterday, the party states that it can no longer tolerate
continuous, unsubstantiated and defamatory allegations from Greek
officials, claiming that EFA-Rainbows main goal is secession from Greece
and that there is a close co-operation with the Republic of Macedonia to
achieve it. According to EFA-Rainbow, it is an excuse from Greece seeking
to justify the countrys counterproductive attitude towards its Macedonian

The allegations against EFA-Rainbow were made in Paris by a Greek diplomat
to the Legal Affairs and Human Rights Parliamentary Committee of the
Council of Europe. Facing tough criticism, the diplomat stated that the
few slavophones who live today in Greece have the right to speak their own
language and teach it in private schools. However, to date not a single
private school in Greece offers courses in Macedonian, while all
governments have so far refused to introduce the language into public
elementary and secondary education in the regions where Macedonians live.
In addition, Greece has not ratified the Council of Europe Framework
Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, although it
initially signed it in 1997.

In order to avoid any kind of dialogue regarding the issue of the
Macedonian minority Greek officials both inside and outside the country
have refused to meet with EFA-Rainbow representatives or other minority
members. After EFA-Rainbow was excluded from the scheduled meeting between
its affiliate organization FUEN and representatives of the Greek Ministry
of Education, the same happened in late November in Brussels. The
President of EFA Mrs Nelly Maes and EFA-Rainbow requested a joint meeting
with the Greek Ambassador in Belgium. The embassy agreed to a meeting with
another Greek diplomat under the pre-condition that only Mrs Maes would be
present. (Eurolang 2005)

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