The Macedonian Tendency: October 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Robert Goulet, Actor, Dies at 73 - New York Times

By David Edenden,

Robert Goulet's wife and manager of 25 years , Vera Chochorovska, was born in Macedonia. Our condolences.
Robert Goulet, Actor, Dies at 73 - New York Times:

"In September, Mr. Goulet received a diagnosis of interstitial pulmonary fibrosis, a rapidly progressive, potentially fatal condition, his wife, Vera, said in a statement released on Oct. 25 on Mr. Goulet’s website. On Oct. 13, he was transferred from a hospital in Las Vegas, where he lived, to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles to await the transplant."

New York Times (1993)

The story Mrs. Goulet tells of her own life is also sad. She says she was born in Macedonia, where her father escaped the Communists. "He was supposed to send for my mother and me but his letters were confiscated," she says. "He went to Greece, then South America, then we lost contact."

She says she was imprisoned twice as a child for trying to escape with her mother. "We finally did, to Italy, and spent a year and half in refugee camps there before we were sent to England. I was 12 then. My mother washed dishes in a hotel and eventually she remarried, more to give me a future and a home than for love. But," she adds, "it didn't work out. I started taking care of my mother. I did public relations work and ran an antiques store, before I moved to L.A. in 1980. Where I am today is a fairy tale compared to what those people in Yugoslavia are going through now."

Monday, October 29, 2007

Chuck Sudetic on the "Real Macedonian Issue" Circa 1994

By David Edenden

Chuck, it's about human rights, not real estate.

It is painful to read this 1994 article on the Macedonians in Greece by New York Times journalist Chuck Sudetic, who is of Croatian ancestry, and should know better since he could easily communicate with the Macedonians in Greece.

When the Serbs were trying to ethnically cleanse Bosnia, they were using Greece's treatment of ethnic Macedonians as a model. Too bad Sudetic did not realize this at the time. He might have written more sympathetically about Macedonians. Did it even occur to him to ask why 50,000 Macedonians in Greece were not aggressively pursuing their rights? Why didn't they have any rights to begin with?Did it ever occur to him that, Greece's values regarding Macedonian rights were Nato values. Maybe he could have bought a clue and use that to report on why Nato failed in Bosnia.

Later on he wrote Blood And Vengeance about his war time experiences in Yugoslavia. I wonder if a more hard headed analysis of Greek minority rights policy, instead of this puff piece, would have made a difference.

I really don't know.
Real 'Macedonia' Issue Is Real Estate -
Edessa Journal;
New York Times:

Published: March 12, 1994

To the rest of the world, the fight between Greece and its neighboring former Yugoslav republic over the name Macedonia may make little sense. But to Metropolitan Chrysostomos, who lives on one side of the border, and to Risto Yatchev, who lives on the other side, it comes down to a battle for land.

When Yugoslavia's southernmost republic declared itself the independent state of Macedonia in September 1991, Greece slapped a trade blockade on it. Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Greece to protest the use of the name.

Contending that the former Yugoslav republic's leaders have pilfered part of the essentially Greek legacy of the Macedon of Alexander the Great, including his sun symbol on their flag, Greeks have whipped up their nationalist passions to a frenzy.

Outsiders ask why a name or a 2,300-year-old symbol on a flag could make a difference, and what threat a rundown, landlocked country with three rusty tanks could pose to Greece, a member of NATO and the European Union.

For northern Greeks, however, the Macedonian Republic's actions represent a threat to their land. Over a million of them belong to families that were torn from their homes in Turkey and Bulgaria between the two world wars and ended up resettling here. 'A Question of Property'

And for thousands of Macedonian Slavs driven from Greece into the Yugoslav republic 45 years ago, the real issue is also real estate: the return of land Athens confiscated from them during the 1946-49 Greek civil war.

"It isn't just a question of the name or the flag," said Mr. Yatchev, a Macedonian Slav writer who was born in Greece but now lives in Skopje, capital of the Macedonian republic. "It's a question of the property."

"I had a house, 14 fields, a couple of vineyards and a chestnut grove," Mr. Yatchev said, referring to land just outside Edessa that the Greek Government confiscated because his family members fought with the defeated Communist forces in the civil war. "It was my family's property for 300 years, and I want it back."

"It belongs to future generations," he said, expressing the almost mystical link to ancestral lands that is felt strongly by both Greeks and Slavs.

Western analysts fear that Macedonia could produce the next chapter in the long and bloody history of demographic shifts in the Balkans.

Macedonia is a mostly mountainous region divided among Greece, Bulgaria and the Macedonian Republic. The population of the new country is mostly Macedonian-speaking Slavs, with Albanian, Greek, Turkish, Serbo-Croatian-speaking Slavic, Romanian-speaking Vlah and Gypsy minorities. On the Greek side of the border, the United States State Department estimates, there are anywhere from 10,000 to 50,000 Slavs, a few of whom are fighting for official recognition as Macedonian Slavs.

Greeks have denied for decades that Slavs are Macedonians.

The Skopje Government asserts that Greece is conspiring with Serbia to spark unrest that could lead to civil war and partitioning of the new country among Serbia, Albania and perhaps even Bulgaria.

But Greece says the Skopje Government's choice of a name and a flag reveals territorial pretensions on the richest of the region's land.

"All this history, all these wars, all these exchanges of population have taught the Greeks here to fear that these threats to our territory are real," said Metropolitan Chrysostomos, the Greek Orthodox prelate in Edessa, whose parents were among the Greek refugees from Turkey who moved into the homes of Turks driven from here seven decades ago. "So many Greeks here have in their personal memory the loss of their homes in Asia Minor." Wave of Greek Settlers

After 500 years of Ottoman rule, which ended in 1912, Greeks were a minority in Greece's swath of Macedonia. The influx of Greek refugees from Turkey in the 1920's altered the ethnic makeup, and by 1928, censuses say, almost half of Macedonia's residents were resettled Greek refugees.

Drawn by promises of autonomy, Slavic Macedonians constituted about 40 percent of the Communist-led insurgency during the closing stages of the Greek civil war.

During and after the war, about 200,000 people, Greeks and Slavs alike, fled to Yugoslavia and elsewhere in the Soviet bloc. Greeks loyal to Athens were rewarded with the property of those who fled.

"This land is ours," said Nikolaos Karamanavis, a Greek journalist. "When they steal our name, it is a clear sign that they want to steal our land."

Macedonian Slavs ridicule the idea that they could be any threat to Greece. But some concede that Greek recognition of the Macedonian Republic would constitute recognition of the Slavic minority in Greece as well as property rights of the Slavs whose land was confiscated.

In 1982, the Greek Government decreed that all ethnic Greeks who fled after the civil war could return, and a 1985 decree permitted them to claim compensation for their property. Macedonian Slavs who fled were not allowed to return or to reclaim property.

Kole Mangov, a Skopje-based lawyer, said Macedonia's Government already had the names of some 5,000 Macedonian Slavs who have appealed for the return of land in Greece.

"You can't ethnically cleanse property rights," said Slobodan Casule, one the new country's journalists. "Imagine all the businesses over there that have been operating on land to which the owners do not really hold clear title. And imagine that one day, all of a sudden, the real title-holder shows up."

Athanasios Parisis, a Macedonian Slav living in Greece, says he sees the conflict getting worse. "Our Macedonian Slavs tell the Greeks to go back to Turkey," he said. "The Greeks tell us that there is only room for Greeks here. I am afraid this place will become a little Bosnia -- again."

Christopher Hitchens - Debauched

By David Edenden
Like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football held by Lucy, I naively expected a hard hitting account of Turkey's repression of its Kurdish minority. Not to be measured with the suffering of Armenians during the First World War, but quite bad, none the less.
Instead we have a lone limp wristed comment that the Turkey should be nicer to its Kurdish minority.

What about Nato? Turkish minority rights values are Nato values, by definition since Turkey is a Nato member. Where is the condemnation of Nato.
The Kurds, like the Macedonians in Greece (see Human Rights Watch) have been subject to systematic cultural genocide since both Turkey and Greece entered Nato. A subject, at least regarding the Macedonians of Greece that Hitchens remains silent, notwithstanding the many opportunities he has had to include it in his reporting in the Balkans.

Before Nato bombed Kosovo, Albanians enjoyed far more rights than the Kurds of Turkey and the Macedonians of Greece. Maybe Nato should also have bombed Athens and Ankara to secure their rights. We would now be talking about independence for Turkish Kurdistan as well as Kosovo. Why not?

Hitchens has always taken the opportunity to take a swipe against Macedonians, but has never discussed their mistreatment as a minority in Greece, all the while droning on and on about Cyprus. Maybe its was part of the divorce settlement with his ex-wife (a Greek Cypriot) that he should urinate, in public on, Macedonian ethnic identity.

Hitchens has adopted the "realist position" of US foreign policy by deciding who gets the elevator and who gets the shaft.

Christopher Hitchens

Hitchens has always reminded me of being the Oliver Reed of journalism. My wife and I were in England watching "the tele" a few years ago, before Reed's death. Reed came on the TV looking puffed, disheveled and glassy-eyed, praising the merits of some liquor or wine. I turned to my wife and said there is only one word that can adequately describe him ... debauched.

Divide and Conquer: The United States should be squeezing Turkey, not the other way around.

So, let us be clear on a few things. The European Union, to which Turkey has applied for membership with warm American support, has insisted on recognition of Kurdish language rights and political rights within Turkey. We can hardly ask for less.

If the Turks wish to continue lying officially about what happened to the Armenians, then we cannot be expected to oblige them by doing the same (and should certainly resent and repudiate any threats against ourselves or our allies that would ensue from our Congress affirming the truth).

Then there remains the question of Cyprus, where Turkey maintains an occupation force that has repeatedly been condemned by a thesaurus of U.N. resolutions ever since 1974. It is not our conduct that should be modified by Turkey's arrogance; we do a favor to the democratization and modernization of that country by insisting that it get its troops out of Cyprus, pull its forces back from the border with Iraq, face the historic truth about Armenia, and in other ways cease to act as if the Ottoman system were still in operation.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Armenian Resolution, The Holocaust and Anti-Macedonianism

By David Edenden:

This is a very good article on the "Armenian Genocide Resolution". Here are some of my thoughts on the politics of this problem.

I just wanted to point out that one of the sponsors of this resolution is Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, who is, coincidentally, one of the leading members of the "Greek Issues Caucus" which backing Greece's attempt to wipe Macedonia off the map in addition to the small ethnic Macedonian minority in Greece.
Rep. Adam B.Schiff, Democrat of California

If truth be told, I expect Adam Schiff to dance on the graves of ethnic Macedonians in Greece, if it will get him the Greek vote in his constituency. What I am continually surprised at is that journalists like NEELA BANERJEE (see below) do not see this dance as newsworthy.

There's the rub!

Armenian Issue Presents a Dilemma for U.S. Jews
New York Times:

Published: October 19, 2007

The next day at his home, Mr. Mehr, the son of a Holocaust survivor, voiced the anger many Jews and Armenians feel toward Abraham H. Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League’s national director. “Abe Foxman, like George W. Bush, is mumbling that it may not have been genocide,” Mr. Mehr said. “Foxman talks about commissions of scholars who should study this. That, to me, rang exactly like Ahmadinejad saying, ‘Let’s have a committee to study the Holocaust.’ Give me a break.”
Jewish leaders have long sought to focus attention on the killings of Armenians, starting with the American ambassador to Turkey in 1915, Henry Morgenthau Sr., who wrote in a cable that the Turkish violence against Armenians was “an effort to exterminate the race.” Several members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee who voted for the resolution, including a key sponsor, Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, are Jewish.

Greece fears vote in UN on Macedonia's name

Makfax vesnik:

Athens /25/10/ 13:57 Greece is putting efforts into preventing a fresh wave of recognition of the Macedonia's constitutional name, which might enable Macedonia to work out a vote at UN for canceling of the reference FYR Macedonia, Greek daily Eleftherotypia said in today's edition.

The paper says that Athens and Skopje are currently engaged in intensive lobbying battle on the name, making the final calculations.

The article further says that it wasn't by chance that Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis informed the MPs about Macedonia's efforts to reach the limit of 150 countries that would have recognized its constitutional name.

While Athens claims that 117 countries have made such a move thus far, Skopje says the actual number is 123.

In the Macedonia's claiming is true, than the country needs recognition of as little as five more countries in order to submit a motion to the UN General Assembly for voting on revoking of the decision on the reference the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, adopted by the Security Council in 1993, says Eleftherotypia.

According to the paper, the countries which are likely to recognize Macedonia's constitutional name soon, include EU members Sweden and Denmark, NATO member Norway, South Korea and New Zealand.

"Four out of five permanent members of the UN Security Council - USA, Russia, China and Great Britain have already recognized the constitutional name of Macedonia, and according to diplomatic sources, it is unrealistic to expect that France would impose a veto," the Greek daily says.

"Greece is alarmed and Bakoyannis would surely be in constant touch with its counterparts to prevent any embarrassing development for Greece regarding the name differences," Eleftherotypia concludes.

The South Slav Language Question

By David Edenden : Good article on the Slavic languages of the former Yugoslavia. (Could include Bulgaria, I guess).
Balkan Baby:

"What language do we speak when we are in the countries that once made up Yugoslavia? In Slovenia and Macedonia the answer is quite simple since these two countries both had their own languages which were recognized by the Yugoslav Government. For Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia the answer is maybe not quite so clear. Some people will say Serbo-Croat, whilst others will instead answer with Serbian or Croatian and more recently Bosnian and Montenegrin. Is there a right answer to this this question?"

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

One Policeman Killed, at Macedonia's Kosovo Border

Makfax vesnik:

Skopje /24/10/ 16:30

One policeman was killed and two injured in today's armed attack on a border police patrol, which took place at the northern border of Macedonia.

The police officers were on board of a four-wheel vehicle en route Kodra Fura - Brest and Malino Malo, situated at the Macedonia-Kosovo border, police sources announced.

The shooting that took place at about 12:50 hrs, caused the vehicle to swerve off the road.

One policeman died on the way to the hospital, while the other two are in critical condition.

It's still unclear who carried out the attack or where did the armed group come from, as no-one has claimed responsibility yet.

Xhezair Shaqiri, the ex-MP and ex-commander of illegal Albanian paramilitary formations like
KLA/NLA, who lives in Tanusevci, denied that anyone from that village took part in the incident or knows anything about it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Macedonian - Austrailian Playwrite

In the Shade of the Pear Tree -
The Age, Arts Reviews - Arts - Entertainment:

"FRINGE FESTIVAL REVIEW 3 stars In the Shade of the Pear Tree is another piece with a Slavic connection.

It's a tribute to Amelia Christo's grandmother, a migrant from Macedonia, and is told with great warmth. Switching between herself and the role of her elderly relative, she relates the major events of her baba's life, from being threatened by armed soldiers as a girl, to having a nervous breakdown from her adult cares in her new country.

The narrative is interspersed with footage of her grandmother talking about her past, spliced neatly into the story. The intimate venue, the simple set with its domestic motif, and Christo's undeniable stage presence combine to create a gently entertaining generational tale."

In The Shade of the Pear Tree: 3.9.2007

SBS chats with Amelia Christo about her performance in 'In The Shade of the Pear Tree', which opens on 28Sept,07 as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival this year. The piece centres around Amelia's grandmother Tsila, who has braved conscription, refugeehood and migration. Amelia attempts to bridge the gap and hold on to the fading story that defines her grandmother and herself.

Nimetz Schedules Talks for Nov 1, 2007

By David Edenden:

It seems that Matthew Nimetz is alive (again!). I can only hope that he has included the rights of ethnic Macedonians in Greece on his agenda.

It appears that there are rumors, in the Greek press, that Macedonia will go to the UN to remove the temporary name "FYROM" when 150 countries recognize it with it constitutional name. ( 123 and counting).

The article below is relatively true, although our good friend, US Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried, probably had a few good words to say to the Greek side.

With negotiations regarding Kosovo (with implications for Republica Srpska) reaching a climax, Daniel and friends want to clear the decks with at least one problem in the Balkans solved. Next on the agenda Cyprus, Kurdistan, Iraq, Iran ... so many countries, so little time!
UN heralds FYROM talks: |

UN heralds FYROM talks
First bilateral meeting set for November 1 in NYC despite current deadlock

The United Nations envoy charged with mediating in a dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) over the latter’s official name yesterday heralded the launch of a new round of bilateral talks to solve the 15-year-old spat.

The talks, which will start at the ambassadorial level but may be continued by foreign ministers, are scheduled to begin on November 1 in New York.

UN envoy Matthew Nimetz said he looked forward to “more intense discussion that will lead to a mutually satisfactory solution.”

Athens is disheartened by Skopje’s increasingly intransigent stance, as was evident in stern comments made by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis over the weekend. But Foreign Ministry spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos was careful yesterday to strike a positive note ahead of fresh talks. “Greece is participating, and will continue to participate, essentially and productively in negotiations on the name issue,” he said.

A comment by Skopje’s deputy foreign minister, Zoran Petrov, published in a FYROM newspaper, has caused irritation. “Next year we are joining NATO and it is likely that an EU accession date will be set... so if some people want to keep complaining about the same thing for the next two millenia, that’s their problem,” Petrov is quoted as saying. Petrov also insisted on the right of Greece’s Slav-Macedonian minority to “pursue the legitimate struggle for their legal rights.”

US Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried has called on Skopje to “work fairly and constructively with Greece for a solution before the NATO summit,” due in April 2008.

The UN’s envoy, Nimetz, retained a neutral stance, noting, “Both sides have shown a real desire to reach a settlement.”

In a bid to make up for the poor impression he made with his recent disparaging comments regarding the ancient Greek warrior Alexander the Great, Nimetz said he “took back” earlier remarks and “emphasized the permanent influence and deep significance of Alexander the Great on world history.” Nimetz’s original comments had been in reaction to Greece’s objection to Skopje naming its airport after Alexander the Great.

Greek Helsinki Monitor: On Macedonians in Greece

By David Edenden

The people at the Greek Helsinki Monitor are on the side of the angels. The devil lives here, here, here, and here!
Macedonians in Greece

Greece: New radio licensing law restricts minority media, says OSCE media freedom watchdog
Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM)
29 July 2007

Greece: Dimitras interview to Macedonian daily 'Dnevnik' on human rights in Greece
Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM)
23 April 2007

Restructuring of the Balkan and Greek Human Rights Lists and Web Pages from February 2007
Greek Heslinki Monitor
February 2007

Macedonia urges Bulgaria to positively resolve Macedonian minority issue
28 December 2006

Bulgaria: OMO Ilinden PIRIN open letter to the President of Bulgaria on massive member intimidation
OMO “Ilinden”-PIRIN
18 December 2006

Greece: Program and abstracts from KEMO conference on minority and migration phenomena
8 December 2006

Bulgaria/Macedonia: Developments following Macedonian minority party ban
7 December 2006

Bulgaria: Police pressures Macedonian party "OMO Ilinden Pirin" members
6 December 2006

Bulgaria: EFA-Rainbow urges European Union to end discrimination of Macedonians in Bulgaria
5 December 2006

Bulgaria/Croatia/Cyprus/Greece/Macedonia/Romania/Slovenia/Turkey: On ECHR judgments' execution
Council of Europe
5 December 2006

Bulgaria: OMO Ilinden PIRIN condemns human rights violations against Macedonian minority
4 December 2006

Bulgaria: European Parliament rejects amendment on rights of Macedonians in Bulgaria
1 December 2006

Bulgaria: Right to self-determination - Only Macedonians can define themselves as minority
European Free Alliance (EFA)
29 November 2006

Bulgaria: Helsinki Committees denounce anti-minority rhetoric and discrimination in Bulgaria
International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF)
21 November 2006

Greece: Harassment of rights defenders, minorities, HR Commissioner and judges upholding Roma rights
Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM)
16 November 2006

Bulgaria rejects charges of discrimination against Macedonian party
16 November 2006

Greece: Macedonian primer promoted in Thessaloniki
15 November 2006

Bulgaria: European Parliament Greens condemn non-registration of Macedonian party
15 November 2006

Greece: Harassment and prosecution of human rights defenders – institutions – judges
Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM)
13 November 2006

Greece: Promotion of Macedonian language primer in Athens
8 November 2006

Albania to publish election information in Macedonian
6 November 2006

Bulgaria insists on non-registration of Macedonian party 'OMO Ilinden Pirin'
6 November 2006

Bulgaria rejects registration of Macedonian party 'OMO Ilinden Pirin'
1 November 2006

Bulgaria: Sofia City Court refuses to register Macedonian political party OMO Ilinden ­ Pirin
FOCUS News Agency
31 October 2006

Macedonia's Foreign Ministry answer to Bulgaria and Greece: Minorities are not only internal issues
31 October 2006

Bulgaria/Greece: EU fails national minorities in Bulgaria and Greece
Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
30 October 2006

Greek news agency and media distort State Department position on Macedonian language and ethnicity
Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM)
23 October 2006

Bulgaria: Appeal to international community to intervene on behalf of oppressed Macedonian minority
Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
22 October 2006

Greece & Bulgaria fail to comply on minority rights says Catalan MEP on Macedonian minorities
European Free Alliance/Eurolang
20 September 2006

Bulgarian media sets new low for publicly sanctioned racism against Macedonians
Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
19 September 2006

Bulgaria: MHRMI condemns defamation of ethnic Macedonians by Bulgarian media
Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
14 September 2006

Balkans: New book on media and minorities in South East Europe
South East Europe Media Organisation
6 September 2006

Bulgaria: Bulgarian authorities must respect freedom of assembly for Macedonian commemoration
Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
21 July 2006

Greece/Macedonia/Australia: Makedonska Iskra project well advanced
Pollitecon Publications
4 July 2006

Bulgaria: MHRMI condemns Bulgaria's racist coverage of Macedonian party congress
Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
28 June 2006

Bulgaria: Macedonian party holds inaugural meeting
26 June 2006

Greece: President denies existence of Macedonian minority in Greece
Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
21 May 2006

Greece/Macedonia: Presidents Papoulias and Crvenkovski on Macedonina minority in Greece
19 May 2006

Greece/Bulgaria: EFA - Rainbow participated in the 25th Anniversary of European Free Alliance
European Free Alliance - Rainbow
15 May 2006

Europe: Internet Bibliography on National Minorities (prepared by CoE FCNM Secretariat)
Secretariat of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities
21 April 2006

Bulgaria: UMO “Ilinden” PIRIN protests harassment of Macedonians
UMO “Ilinden” PIRIN
19 April 2006

Bulgaria/Macedonia: Macedonians' rights in Bulgaria violated for a considerable period of time
19 April 2006

Bulgaria/Macedonia: Tensions in Sadanski's grave - Macedonians stopped by Bulgarian nationalists
17 April 2006

Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, and Croatia IHF 2006 Annual Report chapters posted
International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF)
7 April 2006

Bulgaria: Committee of Minister resolution on FCNM implementation
Council of Europe
5 April 2006

Bulgaria: Bulgarian Helsinki Committee Annual Report for 2005
Bulgarian Helsinki Committee
5 April 2006

Greece: The Macedonian minority in Greece - MHRMI 2006 annual report
Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI)
2 April 2006

Greece: Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner report on human rights in Greece
Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM)
30 March 2006

Greece: Human Rights Commissioner report on Greece
Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights
29 March 2006

Greece: Human rights defenders’ harassment in 2005 – The Observatory report
Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) - Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
28 March 2006

Greece: European Free Alliance Youth Coordinator visits EFA-RAINBOW
European Free Alliance - Rainbow
22 March 2006

Greece: Regarding the recent US State Department Report on Human Rights Practices in Greece
European Free Alliance - Rainbow
16 March 2006

Greece: US State Department continues to misrepresent the Macedonian minority in Greece
Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI)
10 March 2006

Greece: Macedonian minority party EFA-Rainbow brings Greek Foreign Ministry slanderers to justice
European Free Alliance- Rainbow
21 February 2006

Greece's Macedonians ask Macedonian governments not to interfere in defense of minority rights
1 February 2006

Macedonia/Greece: Macedonia must back banished Macedonians from Greece
24 January 2006

Macedonia/Greece: US legislative bodies on Macedonia's name and culture
26 December 2005

Greece: New Articles on web site on Macedonians
Pollitecon Publications
18 December 2005

Macedonia/Greece: Relations between Macedonian and Greek Orthodox Church get warmer?
16 December 2005

Greece/Turkey: There should be no allowance for Reciprocity in Greek-Turkish minorities
Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe (ABTTF)
13 December 2005

Macedonia/Greece: Greek ambassador walks out when EU representative uses the 'M' word
12 December 2005

Greece: Macedonian party to file complaint against Greek officials for distorting its positions
European Free Alliance - Rainbow
5 December 2005

Greece/Macedonia: Another act in the theater of the absurd
2 December 2005

Greece: Macedonian minority party in UN conference & excluded from meeting with Greek diplomat
European Free Alliance- Rainbow
2 December 2005

Greek-Turkish entente against minority rights – Greece attacks CoE CM, FCNM, and NGOs
Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM)/Minority Rights Group-Greece (MRG-G)
28 November 2005

Balkans: US State Department 2005 report on religious freedom
US Department of State
10 November 2005

Greece: Ministry refuses to meet Macedonian minority at linguistic diversity meeting
9 November 2005

Bulgaria/Greece: Landmark ECHR judgments on freedom of association and assembly of Macedonians
Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM)/Minority Rights Group-Greece (MRG-G)
23 October 2005

Greece: Brief dialog between Macedonian minority representative and Greek ambassador at OSCE
21 October 2005

Greece/Bulgaria: ECHR to publish judgments on applications by Macedonians on 20 October 2005
European Court of Human Rights
14 October 2005

Greece: Rainbow's presentations in the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting of the OSCE
European Free Alliance - Rainbow
7 October 2005

Greece: Human rights of foreigners and minorities violated on the margins of society
Amnesty International
5 October 2005

Greece: Statements to OSCE meeting on minorities in Greece
Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe (ABTTF)
1 October 2005

Greece: National Minorities - Greek NGO statement to the OSCE HDIM 2005 meeting
Greek Helsinki Monitor/Minority Rights Group-Greece
28 September 2005

Serbia: Obstruction to new Macedonian and Montenegrin Orthodox churches
Forum 18
15 September 2005

Greece: Condemnation of Greece's continued blacklisting of ethnic Macedonians
Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI)
2 September 2005

Greece/Hungary: Exhibition on life of Greek children refugees in Hungary during Greek civil war
Office for National and Ethnic Minorities
30 August 2005

Greece: Reactions to censorship of article on Macedonian minority & language by daily «Makedonia»
Greek Helsinki Monitor
30 August 2005

Greece: Greek EBLUL on censorship by Greek daily of article on Macedonian minority and language
Greek Member State Committee of the European Bureau for Lesser Used Languages
17 August 2005

Greece: Newspaper censors article on Macedonian minority and language
IFEX/Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM)
15 August 2005

Greece/Macedonia: Greece-born Macedonians allowed to visit birthplace in Florina (Lerin) area
15 August 2005

Serbia/Macedonia: Condemnation of Minister's statement on construction of Macedonian churches
Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
13 August 2005

Greece: NGO-state exchange on Turkish and Macedonian minorities in Greece at the UN
Western Thrace Minority University Graduates Association/Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs
30 May 2005 (posted 9 July 2005)

Bulgaria: Macedonian minority in Bulgaria launch EU campaign
30 June 2005

Albania: Helsinki Committee comments on the ECRI report on Albania
Albanian Helsinki Committee (AHC)
15 June 2005

Albania/Croatia/Poland/Sweden/United Kingdom: ECRI releases reports
Council of Europe
14 June 2005

Greece: Macedonian TV journalists refused accreditation to film in northern Greece
IFEX/Reporters sans frontières (RSF)
9 June 2005

Greek authorities refuse to issue visas to three Macedonian journalists
IFEX/International Press Institute (IPI)
6 June 2005

Macedonian diaspora leaders met UN envoy Matthew Nimetz
Macedonian Human Rights Movement of Canada
20 May 2005

Albania/Bosnia/Denmark: Opinions and conclusions on minority rights by Council of Europe
Council of Europe
11 May 2005 (posted 19 May 2005)

Greece: On Prime Minister Karamanlis statement on minority rights and respect of ECHR rulings
Greek Member State Committee of EBLUL
17 May 2005

Greece: Inhuman refusal of entry and denaturalization of ethnic Macedonians in Greece
European Free Alliance - Rainbow
16 May 2005

Greece: 50th FUEN-Congress of Nationalities on Macedonian minority
European Free Alliance - Rainbow
9 May 2005

Greece: UN recommendations on discrimination towards minorities and concerns on forms of violence
Greek Helsinki Monitor/Minority Rights Group-Greece
18 April 2005 (posted 7 May 2005)

Albania: Macedonians formed political party
4 May 2005

Greece/Macedonia/Australia: AMHRC calls on Australian PM to clarify pro-Greek statement
Australian Macedonian Human Rights Committee (AMHRC)
28 April 2005

Bulgarian authorities interfere with Macedonian commemoration
Macedonian Human Rights Movement of Canada
27 April 2005

Bulgaria: Report on the Macedonian minority
Macedonian Human Rights Movement of Canada (MHRMC)
14 April 2005

Albania: Report on the Macedonian minority
Macedonian Human Rights Movement of Canada (MHRMC)
14 April 2005

Bulgarian authorities hinder upcoming Macedonian commemoration
Macedonian Human Rights Movement of Canada
8 April 2005

Greek state TV airs previously banned program exposing persecution of Macedonian minority
EBLUL-Greece (with GHM & MRG-G note)
28 March 2005

Greece: UN HRC list of issues taken up during consideration of Greek state initial report
UN Human Rights Committee
December 2004 (posted 28 March 2005)

Greece: Initial state report to the UN Human Rights Committee
UN Human Rights Committee (Greek state submission)
April 2004 (posted 28 March 2005)

Greece: Note to the UN HRC on developments on previously censored state TV program
Greek Helsinki Monitor/Minority Rights Group-Greece
28 March 2005

Greece: UN HRC, in reviewing report by Greece, voices concerns over rights of minorities, foreigners
United Nations
22 & 23 March 2005

Greek state television bans program that exposes persecution of Macedonian minority
Greek Member State Committee of EBLUL
23 March 2005

IPI World Press Freedom Review on Greece 1998 - 2004
International Press Institute (IPI)
22 March 2005

Greece: Note to UN HRC on EBLUL-Greece statement on Greek state TV censorship
EBLUL-Greece (distributed to UN HRC by Greek Helsinki Monitor/Minority Rights Group-Greece)
23 March 2005

Greece: Presentation to the UN HRC on Greece’s compliance with the ICCPR
Greek Helsinki Monitor/Minority Rights Group-Greece
22 March 2005

Greece: Alternative NGO Report to the UN Human Rights Comittee
Greek Helsinki Monitor/Minority Rights Group-Greece
February 2005 (posted 15 March 2005)

Greece/Macedonia: Rainbow letter to EU Council of Foreign Ministers on Macedonian minority
European Free Alliance - Rainbow
26 April 2005

EBLUL-Greece on the Nimitz proposal on the name of the Republic of Macedonia
Greek Member State Committee of EBLUL
17 April 2005

Greece: Report on the Macedonian minority
Macedonian Human Rights Movement of Canada (MHRMC)
14 April 2005

Monday, October 22, 2007

All Matthew Nimetz, All the Time

By David Edenden

The are new negotiations going to be held in early November at the UN with Matthew Nimetz as host. As part of the history of our friend Nimetz, I have collected 12 relevant posts from my old site and added them here.

More on the negotiations in a few days.

Matthew Nimetz, What's in a Name?

Note: Transferred from old site: The Macedonian Tendency (
By David Edenden

From: David Edenden
To: Mathew (?) Matthew (?) Niemitz (?) Nimetz (?) Nimitz (?)

How do you spell your name? Inquiring minds want to know.

, The International Herald Tribune, The BBC and Wikipedia spell it Nimitz.

The New York Tmes, and The Council on Foreign Relations spell it Nimetz.

The UN (1) (2) and The US State Department (1) (2) spell it both ways.

As an ethnic Macedonian, I am not one to besmirch anyone's identity so I really would like to spell you name correctly.

You recently issued a press release saying that you would continue as negotiator, after a number of years, in the Macedonian-Greek dispute. I would like to make the case that you should quit the role of negotiator, and issue a press release denouncing the US, EU and the UN for ignoring the plight of ethnic Macedonians in Greece in this negotiating process between Macedonian and Greece. Also, please write your memoirs on how this issue inflamed the Balkan wars in the 1990's since no one in the Balkans can trust the US, EU or the UN to come to defend their human rights.

On a personal level you should accept responsibility for for participating in a process, which after all is akin to cultural genocide, because you, Matthew Nimetz, have studiously avoided any discussion of the plight of ethnic Macedonians in Greece, even though the US State Department report on Human Rights documented abuses. 1995 2006. It may be because of how your mandate was structured, but you could have responded to the Macedonian media by saying that Greece was wrong to suppress its Macedonian minority.

It is important to record your role, the role of the Greek Issues Caucus, the role of the US State Department, and the role of the UN in siding with the Greek government in it's demand that Macedonians change the name of their country, The Republic of Macedonia, their religion, the Macedonian Orthodox Church, and their language, Macedonian and finally their national anthem Denes Nad Makedonija -Today Above Macedonia. Your memoir can help the US reform their foreign policy process to really support democracy and human rights around the world.

Thank you and God bless.

Matthew Nimetz is Still Alive

Note: Transferred from old site: The Macedonian Tendency (

By David Edenden

Matthew Nimetz, negotiator-for-life-in-the-Macedonian-name-dispute, is briefing the UN's Ban Ki-Moon. I hope he has a good powerpoint presentation on what he has been doing for the last 15 years. I hope he has a good pension. I hope he has been working on his memoirs on his mission to humiliate the Macedonian people. It should be fun reading.

Here's last year's article.

"Nimitz briefed Ki-moon on Skopje, Athens positions regarding name dispute issue
Macedonian_News_Service : Message: Daily Bulletin:

New York, March 17, 2007 (MIA) - UN mediator on the name dispute issue, Matthew Nimetz met late Friday with Organization's Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in UN Headquarters in New York in order to present the Macedonian and Greek position on the matter.

UN official told journalist that 'there's no new direction of events' considering the issue.
The meeting took place before forthcoming talks between Greece's FM Dora Bakoyannis and Ki-moon, which are scheduled on March 20."

Interview Burns vs Konstandaras, 2005

Note: Transferred from old site: The Macedonian Tendency (

By David Edenden

This is an interview from 2005 so it does not shed any light on US thinking today. One thing I can say is that Under Secretary Burns must be a hockey player, because he shows a great deal of skill as a stick handler.

I did not know that the US was so outspoken on Macedonian matters at the OSCE. I wish someone would tell me these things. Hey!, Burns, don't be a stranger!

Interview With Nikos Konstandaras of Kathimerini (Greece):
October 22, 2005

QUESTION: On the Macedonia issue, which is fresh...

UNDER SECRETARY BURNS: Yes, I know…what I said…I saw the newspaper articles extracted a lot of commentary.

QUESTION: There was a kind of change in the nuance of what you said, but the meaning was clear, that the United States would object to Greece objecting to a country called Macedonia joining NATO. I am sure you are aware that this is a very passionate issue in Greece and Greece has these diplomatic tools that it can use. How could anyone suggest that it not use diplomatic tools at its disposal?

UNDER SECRETARY BURNS: I think that, unfortunately some of the Greek newspapers misquoted what I said and changed the meaning of what I said. I never said that it would be “shameful.” I never said anything of the sort. I was talking to a Macedonian reporter, and she simply asked me what would happen if Greece and Macedonia were unable to work out their problems and Macedonia’s entry was blocked. And I think it’s clear that the Greek government does not want to block Macedonia’s entry into NATO or the European Union. The argument is not over the entry in NATO or the European Union; the argument is over the name of the country.

And when I said it would be a “shame,” I meant it would be a shame if these problems were not resolved at some point in the future. We believe they can be resolved. Both sides are responsible for resolving them. The United States is neutral in this regard. We have told both the Macedonians and the Greeks that we think the problem should be worked out through the UN special negotiator, Ambassador Nimetz, and we don’t have any influence over his proposals. We have not sought any influence over his proposals. He writes his own proposals. They are not manufactured in Washington, D.C. and by our government. We take no position as to which is the right outcome. We think Greece and Macedonia can determine that.

QUESTION: Well, you did take a position. And the fact that President Bush was very quick after his reelection to recognize our neighbor as the Republic of Macedonia made very clear where the United States stands on the issue. I wonder if you have found that to be an obstacle in your dealings with Athens and Skopje?

UNDER SECRETARY BURNS: No, I don’t think so. That was a national decision that the United States took and we have to stand by that decision, obviously. What I was referring to was the UN negotiation, that Ambassador Nimetz has been running for a number of years. In that particular process, where Greece and Macedonia are involved together in these discussions with Ambassador Nimetz, it is there that we have said we don’t believe it is appropriate for the United States to prescribe what we think is the right outcome. We think that both sides should work with Ambassador Nimetz and try to have a compromise solution. I think we’ve been neutral in that respect. I think we should be neutral. And I’m sorry that some of the Greek newspapers did not translate my words in the correct way.

QUESTION: There was also some tension over the last couple of weeks over statements made at the OSCE by your country’s ambassador, regarding Greece’s treatment of what the envoy termed minorities in Greece. Athens protested to Ambassador Ries here. Is it now U.S. policy to recognize an “Albanian minority” in Greece, as well as the others mentioned?

UNDER SECRETARY BURNS: There’s really no major change in U.S. policy. We’ve had a longstanding practice of recognizing that there are minorities in Greece. This is nothing new. I remember the previous Greek government did not appreciate this fact. We simply have to stick to our own opinion. But it’s not a crisis in our relationship. It should not be a crisis. There are more important issues that we should be discussing.

New Name for Macedonian Airport

Note: Transferred from old site: The Macedonian Tendency (

By David Edenden

I have never read a report from a Macedonian journalist in which a member of the US/EU diplomatic parade through Skopje is asked a question about ethnic rights for Macedonians in Greece.

This is just another case in point. Mirceski is probably a nice guy, but the story misses the whole point of the Macedonian-Greek conflict .. that is human rights for Macedonians in Greece!

If they exist, I wish someone could take the stories and quotes from these diplomats and put them on the web!

"Macedonian Airport Lifts Name Dispute to New Heights
BIRN:18 01 2007

Decision to rename terminal after Alexander the Great marks new phase in tug of war with Athens.

By Vladimir Mirceski in Skopje (Balkan Insight, 18 Jan 07)

The UN mediator for resolving the dispute between Greece and Macedonia flew into trouble last weekend - literally - after touching down at an airport whose new name has brought the conflict to new heights.

Matthew Nimetz landed at Skopje airport just as the Macedonians were about to formally rename it after Alexander the Great, the 4th century BC warrior whom Greeks see as the epitome of classical Greek heroism.

Although the airport still bore the old name Airport Petrovec when he landed, as Nimetz drove towards the Macedonian parliament he could hardly miss the sight of new road signs to the airport proclaiming the name of the mighty conqueror whose empire stretched practically all the way to the Punjab.

Nimetz brought an angry message from Greek foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis, complaining that the move violated the Interim Agreement regulating relations between the two countries.

After a two-hour meeting in Skopje, Nimitz maintained the move was “not a major event here”, adding, however, that the issue was “between two neighboring countries and has to be dealt with great sensitivity”. Has Athens Lost "FYROM" Name Fight?

Note: Transferred from old site: The Macedonian Tendency (

By David Edenden

Whatever happened to Mathew Nimetz? I have not heard from him recently. Did he die of shame for trying to get Macedonians to change the name of their country... The Republic of Macedonia, their church ... The Macedonian Orthodox Church, their language ... Macedonian.

This is a year old article from a Greek newspaper asking whether Greece has lost the "name game". I think it did. Greece just has to decide when it will stop this nonsense and admit to the world its crimes against its Macedonian minority. I suggest contacting Desmond Tutu so he can chair a "truth and reconciliation" committee between Greece and its Macedonian minority.
Has Athens lost FYROM name fight?: (2005)

The latest proposal by UN special envoy Matthew Nimetz to resolve the longstanding name dispute with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, or FYROM, dealt a severe blow to Greek expectations. Last spring, officials at Greece’s Foreign Ministry deemed that, after a long period of inaction, they had finally managed to pressure the government in Skopje into abandoning its intransigent stand on the issue. It was strongly believed that Washington saw Greece as its main ally in the Balkan region and for that reason it would push the Slav-Macedonian establishment into a compromise with Athens.

The Greek hopes were dashed. It now seems that the US recognition of Greece’s northern neighbor as “Macedonia” last November was underestimated here. Skopje did not yield an inch. It wants the name “Republic of Macedonia” to be used internationally, except in relations with Athens, where it accepts the name “Republic of Macedonia-Skopje.” Their intransigence paid off, as Nimetz proposed their demand as a compromise settlement.

Skopje officials will continue to reject any compromise as long as they are given the room to do so. They will only enter serious negotiations if they are forced to — and the best way to do so is to attach a political"

VINOZHITO’s Position on the Name Issue

Note: Transferred from old site: The Macedonian Tendency (

By David Edenden

It is great that we have an organization like Vinozihto working for the Macedonian cause. It would be great if they could publish correspondence from institutions like the the EU, UN, and Mathew Nimetz. We always hear that they are meeting "so and so" but we very rarely have a report of what exactly happened at the meeting.

For example, has Nimetz ever publicly discussed the status of Macedonians in Greece? We don't know.

VINOZHTO’s Position on the Name Issue:
June 11, 2005

Taken (in part) from an interview with Pavle Voskopoulos from the political party VINOZHITO which aired Saturday morning June 11, 2005, on CHKT 1430 on the United Macedonia, Macedonian radio program.

Q. In the last few weeks the Macedonian Government was in talks with Greece about Greece adopting the name “Republika Makedonija-Skopje” for our country in bilateral agreements with the Greeks while world organizations use the name “Republic of Macedonia”.

What is your position as a political party with regards to this issue?

Pavle. With regards to this question and within our means we have taken steps to intervene and inform all relevant official institutions.

VINIZHITO is a member of the European Free Alliance and through this party we have taken steps to protect the interests of the Macedonian minority in Greece.

The solution to this problem lies strictly within the political structures of the Republic of Macedonia. They are the elected representative body of the Macedonian people responsible for solving the problem which Greece created.

VINOZHITO does not want to interfere in Macedonia’s affairs, we are not citizens of that state and we cannot be directly responsible for making decisions regarding this problem. When, however, there are talks about the Macedonian question, specifically about the identity of the Macedonian people and the name, we are obligated to voice our concerns.

VINOZHITO’s position is that every person, every individual, every people collectively has the absolute right to self-determination in accordance with international law and human rights conventions. It is the same for people collectively as it is for individuals. How and what Macedonians call themselves is their absolute right and nobody, no others have the right by force or otherwise to impose their own interests on them.

VINOZHITO’s position has been to inform our partners in the European Parliament, in the European Union Committee for External Affairs, in the European Union Commission for External Affairs, in the United Nations, including Matthew Nimetz and other official bodies.

The heart of the problem in this issue is not about the name. The name is only a superficial problem created by the Greek side. The real problem is about the existence of the Macedonian minority inside Greece, which at the moment is not recognized and has no minority rights.

If Greece was sincere about the name they would have said, “We don’t want this country to be called Macedonia because there is already a Macedonian minority living inside Greece and we are afraid that tomorrow or at some later time, this minority will exhibit separatist desires or some other desires.”

If Greece admitted to having a Macedonian minority living inside its borders, then it would be obligated to recognize it with full rights and privileges in accordance with agreements it has signed. This is why Greece is not being sincere but instead is carrying on with superficial concerns like “the name is Greek”, “history is Greek” and that people will get confused with the Republic of Macedonia and Macedonia and other superficial nonsense..

Our (VINOZHITO’s) position is clear and to the point and we have informed everyone we could within our sphere of influence."