The Macedonian Tendency: July 2005

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Greek Runs for Governor of California

If anyone knows a prominent Macedonian living in California, it would be a good idea to help them forward information on the Greek government's treatment of ethnic Macedonians living in Greece to the campaign of Arnold Schwarzenegger in his fight against his challenger Angelides.

This could help with their "opposition research and embarrass Angelides. Either he has to support the Greek position and lose credibility with the California voters, or support the rights of Macedonians in Greece and thereby undermines the Greek position. Let's not let him get away with "I support negotiations". It is about human rights for Macedonians in Greece an there is nothing to negotiate. Get Reality Macedonian to interview him. The Macedonian cause, allied with the dirty politcs of American electioneering ... a winning combination!

I assume Angelides has supported the Greek lobby's efforts in the past with regard to the name dispute with Macedonia. Lets find out.

This is an ideal time to use whatever small leverage we have to gain national media attention. Possible headlines include:

"Angelides supports cultural genocide of ethnic Macedonians in Greece."

"Angelides wants Macedonians to change the name of their Macedonian language, Macedonian Orthodox Church, Macedonian country!"

"No rights for Macedonians in Greece, no problem for Angelides".


Wednesday, July 13, 2005

They live by the sword and they died by the sword.

Former Albanian rebel commanders killed in Kosovo, Macedonia

Macedonia Needs more Foreign Investment

Macedonia Last in SEE in Terms of Foreign Investment

21 Congressmen Adopt the Greek Position!

News from the Greek lobby, Hellenic News. Looks like the Greek lobby is gearing up for a fight. My bet is that a majority of the congressmen have never talked to a Macedonian to hear about our side. On the other hand, it may not do any good since, I assume, they come from districts that have large Greek populations who tend to give political donations. As they say, MONEY TALKS, BULLSHIT WALKS!

Reps. Maloney, Bilirakis, and 21 Members of Congress Send Letters to President Bush

Monday, July 11, 2005

Balkan Soldiers to Iraq

One of the many things that the Macedonian government did, which I disagreed with, but turned out to be right, was to send soldiers to Iraq. It was a crucial element in the recognition of Macedonian's name by the Bush administration. Looks like other countries are playing the same game. Greeks are now kicking themsleves for passing on the Iraq adventure.

New Contingent of Macedonian Soldiers Leaves for Iraq

BiH Soldiers Depart for Iraq Mission

Albania to Boost its Contribution to Iraq Peacekeeping

Philip II of Macedon is Still resting in Peace

For those of you who are interested in these issues, it had been thought that the tomb of Philip II, also known as the father of Alexander the Great, was discovered. It turns out they we wrong.

Not Philip II of Macedon

Fleeing Albanians in the Summer with Winter Clothing

Don't have time to look into this story. I doubt it is true because it has not been reported in other media. Just part of the anti-Macedonian propaganda campaign. The actual story of the police raid is not bad but the picture of people fleeing is most probably a stock picture from the Kosovo war.


More Greek Pressure on Textbook Issue

In the US Congress, there is something called a "Greek Issues Caucus", which is a club of politicians who click their heels when the Greek lobby gives an order. They will not discuss the plight of Macedonians in Greece, lack of human rights or religious freedom. These people will support the most extreme positions of the Greek lobby. It looks like they marching orders are coming fast on the issue of Macedonian textbooks. Keep in touch.

Gov't: Time has come for FYROM to offer convincing answers to irredentist maps, texts

With Russia, we are 145 million!

This is great news! Although I have no alternative to the current policy of the Macedonian government, which is pro-Nato and pro-EU, I think that Macedonia should go out of its way to develop closer ties to Russia. This is a good step. Invite Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn to Ohrid. Give his free hotel for a week. Invite him to Kiril and Metodi University.

RIA Novosti - Culture - Macedonia to host Russian church music concerts

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Wahabism in Balkans gaining more attention

Looks like the growth of Wahabism in Macedonia has gained the attention of the US military with this article in SEEUROPE.NET.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Dymocks Booksellers

Only Fools and Hearses is a warts and all account of three loveable Australian lads and a hearse, affectionately called the Big Girl, travelling the world. From partying and hangovers at all the must-see European tourist destinations, to being thrown into a Macedonian gaol under suspicion of spying, It will be released in August. They should be interviewed by Macedonian journalists in Austrialia.

Dymocks Booksellers: "Only Fools and Hearses "

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Radicalization of Muslims in Macedonia

We need more information about this trend. I am not sure what this story is saying with regard to the relations between Albanian and Macedonian Muslims.

Makfax novinska agencija: "Schism deepens among radical and traditional Islam in Macedonia Skopje, 12:33"

Can a Journalist in Skopje Ask the British Ambassador and Albright This Question:

By definition, since Greece is a member of the EU and NATO, Greece's values regarding minority rights of ethnic Macedonians represent EU and NATO values. Anyone adopting the Greek position on minority rights would be allowed into the EU and NATO, no questions asked.

Yahoo! Groups : Macedonian_News_Service Messages : Message 6538 of 6538: "UNITED KINGDOM USES MACEDONIA'S CONSTITUTIONAL NAME IN BILATERAL COMMUNICATION"

If only this was our most pressing problem ...

Maybe someone at the BBC can explain why this story made the news, while the plight of ethnic Macedonians in Grece is ignored.

BBC NEWS | Wales | Embassy row over folk group visas

Gerald Zarr is a racist.

When journalists, consultants and politicians refer to the Macedonian people as "Orthodox Slavs", instead of just plain Macedonians, it is not a mistake. It is a deliberate and conscious decision to denigrate the identity of the Macedonian people in support of the "Greek position" that ethnic Macedonians have no language, history or culture. Heh! It sound like he is calling Macedonians "a bunch of "N-words".

Macedonia pulls back from the edge - Editorials & Commentary - International Herald Tribune: "Macedonia pulls back from the edge

Gerald Zarr International Herald Tribune


SKOPJE, Macedonia Five years ago the mood in Macedonia was grim. The war in neighboring Kosovo had pushed 370,000 Kosovar Albanian refugees across the border, threatening Macedonia's delicate ethnic balance between Orthodox Slavs and Muslim Albanians."

Gerald Zarr is a consultant on international development and a freelance writer.

Gligorov the Optimist

A nice small interview with former President Kiro Gligorov. It would greatly help the Macedonian cause of his thoughts on the various western personalities that passed through the Balkans would be published in English. It would not be a great project. One article a week. What did he think of Albright, Mitterand, Major etc. How did they respond when he mentioned that Albanians in Kosovo had few rights while the Macedonians in Greece have no rights.


Making my Blog more readable.

Starting today, I will be posting my comments and a link to the news story. I hope that it will make this blog more readable. In rare cases, where a quote is important, it will be included.

Will Carla del Ponte Respond to This Letter?

Good for Vinozhito. Keep these letters flying. I doubt that Carla will even respond to this letter, but it puts on the public record that Macedonians are still kicking in Greece.

2005 Letter to Carla del Ponte Chief Prosecutor for the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia:

"In the past, the Macedonian minority in Greece was also a victim of genocidal practices and chauvinistic Balkan policies. For example, the Greek army carried out massacres against Macedonian populations and burned villages in the region of Kilkis/Kukush at the beginning of the last century, according to the Carnegie Commission report (1913). This fact obliges us to treat similar problems with particular seriousness and sensitivity within the framework of our political activity.

In Greece, during the war in Bosnia and Kosovo, most politicians, the majority of the intellectual and cultural world, the Greek Orthodox Church and the greater portion of the mass media did not simply openly support even those being sought today for crimes against humanity: Karadjic and Mladic. They moreover reproached those European peoples and governments for their opposing position, thus systematically creating an anti-European and generally anti-western political current in Greek society. Characteristically, the current President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias as Foreign Affairs Minister claimed in a Greek radio interview (March 2001) that the only reason for the NATO military presence in the region was to wipe Serbia off the map, politically and militarily, so as to deprive Russia of its only European ally."

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

EU Commission Lays Down the Law on Gas not Human Rights!

If the EU Commission can take Greece to court "for failing to adopt EU laws to open up gas and electricity markets", then why cannot not take Greece to court for denying basic human rights to its ethnic Macedonian minority? News | EU commission takes five nations to court: "July 5, 2005

The European Union's head office decided Tuesday to take legal action against Spain, Greece, Estonia, Ireland and Luxembourg for failing to adopt EU laws to open up gas and electricity markets.

The European Commission also sent a warning to Portugal for delays in adopting the legislation.


Good for OMO-Ilinden

OMO_Ilinden has the potential of making life difficult for Bulgaria as it nears membership in the EU. Should it capture the attention of the main stream media, it could postpone the date of joining the EU.

News: "Macedonian minority in Bulgaria launch EU campaign

Georgios N.Papadakis, Florina/Lerin 6/30/2005 , by Georgios N.Papadakis

OMO Pirin, a political organization of the Macedonians in Bulgaria, is planning to launch an information “offensive” aimed at European and international institutions in an attempt to achieve recognition for the large Macedonian minority before the country’s entry into the European Union, scheduled for 2007.

The campaign was decided on during a two day meeting between representatives of various minority associations of Macedonians, held in the town of Petrich in the Pirin region of south Bulgaria.

An official letter of protest will be sent to the European Union, European Parliament, Council of Europe, OSCE and the UN. The letter will focus on the fact that although Bulgaria is on the threshold of joining the EU, Bulgaria is still refusing to implement the Copenhagen Criteria regarding national and linguistic minorities.

Last month OMO Pirin also applied for membership of European Free Alliance, a European political party allied with the Greens in Brussels. Addressing the EFA General Assembly in Rennes, OMO Pirin co-chairman Stojan Georgiev painted a dark picture of the way Macedonians in Bulgaria live . Fear, discrimination and lack of basic human rights are all part of everday life for Macedonian speakers, according to Georgiev.

Georgiev, as a minority activist, knows the situation only too well having spent four years in total in prison because he publicly spoke Macedonian and insisted that there is a Macedonian minority living in the country. Courts decided that these acts were “anti-Bulgarian” and convicted him several times. (Eurolang � 2005)"

Monday, July 04, 2005

United Macedonian Diaspora Lobbies Rice

We have to have more of these high profile communications with the White House and the State Department.

Letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice - Steve Gligorov: "Letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

July 1, 2005

Steve Gligorov
United Macedonian Diaspora
P.O. Box 19028
Washington, D.C. 20036
Phone: (202) 294-3400

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20520

To The Esteemed Secretary, Ms. Condoleezza Rice:

The purpose of this letter is: a) to underscore state sponsored discrimination against minorities because of their race, skin color, creed, national origin, or respective religion by the Greek government; and, b) to encourage the United States to remain firm on its policy decision recognizing the country of Macedonia, under Macedonia's constitutional name, 'Republic of Macedonia.'"

The morally correct decision to recognize the Republic of Macedonia, by the Bush Administration, stirred much controversy from the country of Greece, and it stirred much controversy from many Greek-Americans, such as Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME). The primary problem, as the Greek government presents it, is that The Republic of Macedonia has nothing to do with the "cultural heritage of ancient Macedonia."

Conversely, the real problem with recognizing Macedonia (as presented by oppressed Greek citizens, as presented by the U.S. Department of State 2004 Country Report on Human Rights Practices, and according to the United Nations Human Rights Committee) is the systematic state sponsored civil rights discrimination by the Greek government and the specific "unwillingness of the [Greek] government to allow any private groups or associations to use associational names that include the appellation ...Macedonian, based upon the state party's assertion that there are no ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities in Greece..." who are in fact of Macedonian national origin or ethnicity.

Moreover, "[t]he [U.N.] committee notes that individuals belonging to such minorities have a right under the Covenant (the U.N. International Covenant on Civil and Political Human Rights, article 27) to the enjoyment of their own culture, the profession and practice of their own religion, and the use of their own language in community with other members of their group."

In the United States, all Americans, despite the color of their skin, creed, national origin, or their religion, are generally free from unconstitutional state sponsored discrimination. Equally, it is important that minorities of Macedonian national origin living in Greece be free from unconstitutional discrimination because of their creed, religion, or national origin. We live in a day and age where state sponsored hatred based on ethnic discrimination is absolutely intolerable. Civil rights discrimination, including Anti-Semitic or religious discrimination by Greece is not consistent with American foreign and domestic policy; moreover, the United States should not acquiesce to any government that uses such horrid and detestable tools of societal oppression.

The following excerpts and attestations are directly from an April 26, 2005 letter drafted by Greek citizens who are being discriminated against because of their Macedonian ethnicity, national origin, or their Macedonian religion. The letter was delivered to the President of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, to the Commissioner on EU Enlargement, and to the 25 Ministers of the EU countries, as well.

As Greek and European citizens we are obliged to point out that today the key to this so-called "Macedonian issue" lies elsewhere, and not in the conceptual and linguistic objections of the Greek government. The problem that the Greek government diligently conceals is its (as well as Bulgaria's) refusal to recognize the existence and to respect the rights of the Macedonian nation. This of course also entails the refusal to recognize the existence and the rights of the Macedonian minority in Greece. The problem as the Greek government presents it has nothing to do with the so called "cultural heritage of ancient Macedonia", or that a portion of the Greek territory bears the administrative name of the District of Macedonia and the neighbor state calls itself also Macedonia or the Republic of Macedonia.

What the Greek government stubbornly refuses to admit is that it does not agree with the ethnic use of the terms "Macedonia," or "Macedonian" because of the existence of the Macedonian minority in Greece. Greek politicians maintain that the Macedonian minority in Greece is likely in the future to rise up with separatist demands. This - and not the name of the Republic of Macedonia - is the real and diachronic problem for every Greek government. However, if the Greek government admits this, then it must also proceed with corresponding measures to recognize and respect the rights of the minority - which, unfortunately, it does not currently do. We believe that it is precisely the contrary policy - i.e. the repression and violation of a minority's rights - that leads to unrest and disturbances of the peace. The former Yugoslavia taught us this lesson not very long ago.

To quote the famous American civil rights activist, Dr. Martin Luther King, "[i]njustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." The injustice against minorities by the Greek government cannot and should not continue. On June 23 2005 President George Bush forwarded a letter to Congress noting his concern as to "acts obstructing the Ohrid Framework Agreement of 2001 in the Republic of Macedonia" and "[t]he crisis constituted by the actions of person engaged in, or assisting, sponsoring, or supporting (i) extremist violence in the Republic of Macedonia, and elsewhere in the Western Balkans region..." To this end, the extremist acts of the Greek government (as documented by Greek citizens, by the United Nations, and by the U.S. Department of State) require international oversight, international investigation, and international intervention.

The Bush Administration and the Republic of Macedonia both deserve praise in their partnership to eliminate ethnic discrimination in the Balkans. Moreover, former United States Ambassador to the Republic of Macedonia, the esteemed Lawrence Butler, has stated numerous times how America views Macedonia, the Macedonian government, and the Macedonian people. "Today it [Macedonia] stands out as the Balkans only multiethnic, multicultural society. It has [a] truly multicultural, multiethnic government," says Ambassador Butler. Accordingly, the Greek government should learn by example from its neighbor, the Republic of Macedonia. Thus, any attempts by the Greek government to detract attention from their documented state sponsored violations of civil and human rights against minorities cannot and should not go unnoticed; specifically, it is these civil rights violations by Greece that are at the heart of the Macedonia name issue.

Bipartisan support underscoring the need to end oppression against minorities by the Greek government is strongly urged. Any talks relating to the Macedonia name issue must incorporate, and focus on, the discrimination of the Macedonian minority in Greece, as well. At the end of the day, a country's official name generally poses very little harm to ordinary people, but the harm posed by turning a blind eye to bigotry, prejudice, and fanaticism allows discrimination to thrive. Please help stop the discrimination by supporting the Republic of Macedonia and all affected minorities in Greece and the greater Balkans.

Steve Gligorov, Esq.
Civil Rights Advocate
United Macedonian Diaspora

Enclosures: 1. Letter By Greek Citizens to EU Council of Foreign Ministers (26 April 2005), 2. Letter from President of the United States to Congress (23 June 2005), 3. U.S. Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices (2004), 4. Concluding Observations of the United Nations Human Rights Committee (Eighty-third Session 31 March 2005), 5. Greek Helsinki Monitor-Minority Rights Group Press Release (18 April 2005), 6. United Nations Information Services-Human Rights Committee Concludes Review of Report by Greece (24 March 2005).

1. (President Bush Letter)

2. (United Nations Information Service)

3. (Letter by Greek Citizens of Macedonian ethnicity)

4. (U.S. Department of State Country Report: Greece)

5/6. (United Nations recommendations on Greek discrimination)

First Click on:

Next Click on:

Web site of Macedonian Human Rights Committee of Melbourne and Victoria Inc

This is a good site for human rights information.

News Update - Macedonian Human Rights Committee of Melbourne and Victoria Inc

ICG = CIA: You be the Judge

Dear Nicholas Whyte,
Europe Program Director
International Crisis Group

When I mentioned in my post to The Macedonian News Service, that your group, The International Crisis Group was a front for the CIA, you obviously took it in a negative light. Nothing could be further from the truth. The CIA is merely an instrument of American foreign policy that purses “the US national interest” without regard to human rights, war or peace, or collateral damage on other countries. I have encouraged the government of Macedonia to develop close ties with the CIA as you can see from the posts below. Lets face it, when someone has got you by the "yatse", you don't have much room to maneuver.

CIA Spy Spills the Beans on Macedonian Adventure
Macedonia Strengthen ties to CIA
Investigation: Macedonia Implicated in “Abduction” Case
CIA Kidnapping With Macedonian Help Gets the Times Treatment
On Lindsay Moran, CIA Spy, From A Macedonian Who Knew Her.
Pseudo-Human Rights : Freedom House on Macedonia

NGO's covering the Balkans that address the issue of Macedonians in Greece or the Kurds of Turkey are "human rights groups". These include Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and The US State Department on Human Rights (with input -- and no irony -- from the CIA).

NGO's that ignore the Macedonians and Kurds are what I have come to call "semi-official pseudo human rights groups" groups. These include, The International Crisis Group, Radio Free Europe, and Freedom House (in the case of Macedonians in Greece). I have just searched for any reference in the ICG web site to the plight of Macedonians in Greece ... and what a surprise ... I found none. I searched for compelling analysis of the plight of Kurds in Turkey and found this article, “Iraq: Allaying Turkey's Fears Over Kurdish Ambitions”. You may think that this is your finest hour, I do not.

Every barber, every hairdresser, every taxicab driver and every other member is the chattering classes in the Balkans thinks that The International Crisis Group is a front for the CIA and so do I. (not that there’s anything wrong with it!)

Sunday, July 03, 2005

This Article is an Example of Why RFE is Anti-Macedonian

I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that Robert Alagjozovski has written an excellent article for "Transitions (Radio Free Europe)". Robert, keep up the good work and keep writing for Transitions. The bad news is that the assignment given to Robert by the editors of "Transition" was basically anti-Macedonian because it did not include a survey of the use of symbols in other Balkan countries.

I know at least one village in Greece elected a Macedonian mayor from Vinoshito and there are numerous mayors of Turkish speaking villages in Thrace. Are they allowed to fly Macedonian and Turkish flags. How about the Turks in Bulgaria? How about the Kurds of Turkey? How about the Greeks of Albania? By focusing on the deficiencies of Macedonia, without including the context of other Balkan countries, RFE adds to a European drum beat for Macedonia to live up to so-called European standards. Meanwhile, Greece, a member is good standing of both Nato and the EU denies basic human rights to ethnic Macedonians. By definition, Greece's values regarding minority rights are EU values.

Transitions Online: Flagging the Issue: "Flagging the Issue
by Robert Alagjozovski
27 June 2005

A debate on symbols for Macedonia’s minorities exposes rifts within the country – and the ruling coalition.

SKOPJE, Macedonia | Before taking its summer recess, the Macedonian parliament is trying to pass legislation that would fully implement the Ohrid Framework Agreement, which ended the country’s brief civil war of 2001. Any further delay could dampen hopes of the country becoming a candidate for European Union membership by the end of this year.

Macedonia to EU This Year?

I will believe it when I see it. Europe: "Macedonia Expects EU Candidate Status This Year (Update1)

July 1 (Bloomberg) -- The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia expects the European Union to grant it candidate status as early as this year, 14 years after independence, said Economy Minister Fatmir Besimi.

The nation of 2 million people located between Greece and Bulgaria applied for EU membership in March 2004. It also seeks to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 2006, Besimi said in an interview on June 24 during a conference in Monaco.

``We have been very active in the EU integration processes,'' said Besimi, 29. ``We expect to have candidate status at the end of this year or early next year and this will have a very positive impact on economic growth and investments because it will be a very strong signal we are moving in the right direction.''

Macedonia's $5.4 billion economy may grow 3.8 percent this year, Besimi forecast, from 2.9 percent in 2004, led by higher industrial output and foreign investment. The nation's bid for membership follows the EU's biggest expansion last year, when 10 mostly eastern European countries joined. Since then, French and Dutch voters have rejected the EU constitution, raising concern about political integration and further expansion."

Friday, July 01, 2005

More Information Needed on Albanian Election

Many Macedonian news sources are content just to repeat what has been reported by foreign agencies without adding a Macedonian perspective. The Albanian elections are a case in point. Are observers from Macedonia going. Are ethnic Macedonians running for election? Are ethnic Macedonians free to express their concerns? If I were asked by an English language journalist about these issues, I would not know where to sent him to find the information.

Makfax novinska agencija: "Some 400 foreign observers dispatched in Albania

Tirana, 13:22

Some 400 foreign observers, mainly from the United States, have arrived in Tirana to monitor the parliamentary elections slated for July 3rd, Makfax news agency says.

'Parliamentary elections will be monitored by 400 foreign observers,' said Erton Sinani, spokesman of the State Election Commission.

Among the foreign observers, 73 are from the United States, 47 from Great Britain, 42 from Germany, 20 from France, and the rest are from other countries.
The US Ambassador to Albania, Marcie Ryes, said the importance of Sunday's elections is the main reason for the increased presence of US observers.

The Albania elections are very important in terms of demonstration of country's preparedness to meet the Euro-Atlantic integration standards, US Ambassador said.

Local analysts say the race will be centered on two main rivals - the ruling Socialist Party and the opposition Democratic Party."