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Cultural Illegitimacy in Greece: The Slavo -Macedonian ‘Non-Minority’. Anastasia Karakasidou. Ceremony in the village Atrapos (formerly Krapeshtina ) in the Florina district of Greece on 10 August of 1959.
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Thessaloniki / Solun
Main Points of the Chapter
Who were the Inhabitants of Macedonia at the end of the 19th and throughout the 20th century ?Contrasting Accounts about the Same People:
“Voulgarizondes, Bulgarians, foreign speakers from another nation, Makedones”
Who were the Inhabitants of Macedonia at the end of the 19th century and throughout the 20th century?Contrasting Accounts about the Same People:
“Slavs, Slavo-Macedonians, Skopians, foreign speakers with foreign morale, Gypsies”
Role of Importers or Agents of National Consciousness: Graecoman - Imposed and Self-Perpetrated Infliction of Law and Consciousness over Rights and Identity
Official Comments of Greek Authorities on
Draft Report of European Commissioner
for Human Rights, 2008
“There is no ‘Macedonian’ minority in
Greece. In this regard, Greece
reiterates its position, that any
recommendation by UN treaty bodies
… cannot determine the existence of
a minority group or impose on States
an obligation to officially recognize a
group as a “minority.”
- Source: Report by Thomas Hammarberg, Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, Following his visit to Greece on 8-10 December 2008: Issue reviewed: Human rights of minorities,” Strasbourg, Strasbourg, 19 February 2009, pp. 15
United Nations Human Rights Council - Report of
the Independent Expert on Minority Issues, Gay
McDougall Addendum - Mission to Greece
(8-16 September 2008) :
“The Independent Expert met numerous individuals identifying as ethnic Macedonian. Some described themselves as fluent in the Macedonian language, having learned it within their families as it is not taught at school… Some described pressure not to display their Macedonian identity or speak Macedonian, previously banned in some villages. Despite their claim of the existence of distinct
Macedonian villages, they described a general fear to demonstrate their identity. Some recounted personal experiences of harassment including aggressive interrogation at borders. Another described being physically attacked allegedly due to his ethnic identity and membership of the Rainbow party. Another representative stated: “Greece does not trust the people who live here because they don’t feel Greek - they don’t speak Greek”.
Rainbow – Political Party of the Macedonians in Greece
Home of Macedonian Culture
The registration of the Home of Culture was rejected by the Court of First Instance, Florina, Greece, on the grounds that
“It considers that true object of the association is …the promotion of the idea that there is a Macedonian minority in Greece, which is contrary to the country’s national interest and consequently contrary to law.”
Source: “Case of Sidiropoulos and Others v. Greece” (57/1997/841/1047) Judgment, European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg, 10 July 1998, pp. 8
“They had affixed to the party headquarters a sign on which … the word vino-zito (rainbow) was written in Slavic language, and had thus sowed discord among the local inhabitants…”
Source: “Case of Ouranio Toxo and Others v. Greece” (Application no. 74989/01) Judgment, Strasbourg, 20 October 2005, Final 20 January 2006, European Court of Human Rights, pp. 3
“To be nobody but yourself in a world that’s doing its best to make you somebody else, is to fight the hardest battle you are ever going to fight. Never stop fighting.”- E.E. Cummings
Igor Janev: Legal Aspects of the Use of a Provisional Name for Macedonia in the UN Systemhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZxg2o7YB3g&feature=related
1. Urges the parties to continue to co-operate with the Co-Charimen of the Steering Committee of the International Conference of Former Yugoslavia in order to arrive at a speedy settlement of the difference;
2. Recommends to the General Assembly that the State whose application is contained in document s/25147 be admitted in the United Nations, this state being provisionally referred to, for all purposes within the United Nations, as the “former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,” pending settlement of the difference that has arisen over the name of the State;”