Press Release from the RAINBOW-Party in Greece: Impacts from the UN HR-Report on Greece

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Tue Mar 24 17:05:43 UTC 2009

Press Release from the RAINBOW-Party in Greece: Impacts from the UN
HR-Report on Greece

Mrz 24th, 2009 | von: Pavlos |


Florina / Lerin - 24 March 2009


Mrs. McDougall, U.N. Independent Expert on Minority Issues, addressed
recently her report on human rights in Greece to the Council of Human
Rights, institutional instrument of the U.N.. The same practice also
takes place with all the member states of the U.N. The report notes
the lack of democracy in Greece in terms of respect towards the rights
of national minorities, communities, and people. It also describes the
situation and the position of Greece, member state of the U.N., in
terms of human rights.

The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued an offensive and
defensive statement* for a group of Greek citizens, who are members of
national minorities. The statement accepts indirectly the refusal to
recognize the Macedonian and the Turkish minorities in Greece and it
condemns the U.N. using unacceptable terms. Specifically, Mr.
Koumoutsakos, spokeperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, claims
-among others: “our positions are crystal clear and are based on full
respect of human rights. This also exists for the minorities and it is
an achievement of Modern Greek Republic”.

However, the “full respect” of human rights presupposes for Greece the
recognition and the respect of the Macedonian and the Turkish minority
in Greece. Indeed, the preservation and the development of the
identity of national minorities is an integral part of the functioning
of modern democratic countries. This however, does not happen in our
country. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also notes that “in our
country, every Greek citizen has the indisputable right to
self-identification” and that “the care of the State to strengthen and
protect human rights is continuing and effective”.

The Turkish state recognizes the more or less 2.000 Greeks, Turkish
citizens, in İstanbul,Imvro and Tenedo. These people are respected and
recognized as a national greek minority. A few thousands of Greeks,
Albanian citizens, in South Albania, also enjoy their national
minority rights. How does the Greek state “care” and in which ways
does it enhance the protection of human rights for those people who
are self-identified as national Macedonians? How many individual “self
identifications” should we add to recognize a national minority? Do
the 2.000 Greeks in Turkey and the few thousands in Albania,
constitute a minority? Is it good to recognize national minority
rights to those few Greeks or should they be satisfied with the right
of “self-identification”, as the political status in Greece proposes
to national Macedonians?

Based on the logic of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, should there be
a policy of respect towards the “linguistic collectivities”? Is it
possible to deny the linguistic minority rights within the Greek
territory and at the same time to seek the recognition, the respect
and the development of the Greek language in other countries? The
Ministry of Foreign Affairs maintains that the policy of Greece “is
based in our firmly grounded belief that the mechanisms of protection
and empowerment of human rights must ultimately strengthen the
harmonious coexistence of the citizens of a state”.

However, which dialogue takes place between the “mechanisms” of the
greek state and the members of the national Macedonian minority for
the elimination of the discriminations which exist? The only “grounded
belief” which exists, is our belief for the absolute hypocrisy of the
greek politicians when they speak about a policy of “strengthening of
human rights”. This belief on the policy of discriminations against
national Macedonians is also shared by the decisions of international

Finally, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs declares about the
international instruments, such as the U.N. Council of Human Rights:

«These mechanisms should not be converted, either directly or
indirectly, into an opportunity or excuse for some people who seek to
exploit them in order to promote their own goals on the level of
translational relations. Moreover, these mechanisms should not become
a tool in the hands of those who for selfish purposes seek the
development of a climate of tension and discord within a society”.

Based on the above logic, the Ιinternational Organisations, such as
the European Court of Human Rights (with 2 decisions in 1998 and 2003
in favour of members of the national Macedonian minority and against
Greece), the Council of Europe (ECRI’s report in 2003, which
highlights the discriminations and seek the change of the policy on
minority rights in Greece and the recent report written by Tommas
Hammarmerg, Commissioner of Human Rights, which includes similar
findings), the UN (Gay Mc Dougall’s report -Independent Expert of the
Council of Human Rights- which founds discriminations on the ground),
should be either naïve or irrelevant or suspicious. Based on the logic
of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, how should these Organizations,
which provide excuse and promote anti-Hellenic goals in transnational
relations and compose a tool in the hands of those who seek discord
and tension in our country, be defined otherwise?

We, the national Macedonians who live in Greece, as Greek citizens,
regret and oppose this policy, a policy which is unfortunately above
all political parties, and keeps many decades. Having a high awareness
of belonging to a collectivity of citizens, we feel that such a
behavior (regardless of national, linguistic or other identities) is a
discard to the European civilization. Furthermore, we believe that
such declarations offend directly our common sense and make a mockery
of the country.

The Political Secretariat of E.F.A. - Rainbow

* see

Member of the European Free Alliance - European Political Party (E.F.A-E.P.P)
Member of the Federal Union of European Nationalities (F.U.E.N.)
Stefanou Dragoumi 11 Florina/Lerin
Τ.Κ. 53100 PO box 51 Greece Tel/fax 0030 23850 46548 e-mail: rainbow at & vinozito at

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