The Macedonian Tendency: Greek "No!" to Macedonian Refugees Returning Home

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Greek "No!" to Macedonian Refugees Returning Home

By David Edenden,

Macedonia is finally bringing up the issue of the rights of the Macedonian "Greek Civil War" era refugees for property redress and citizen issues. (See "Begasli"). The Greek government is not amused!

The Macedonian government has its back to the wall after its membership to Nato was vetoed by Greece with the enthusiastic approval by Sarkozy, even though Bush steadfastly supported Macedonia's bid.

Macedonia's (along with Turkey's) EU bid is also slated to be vetoed by Greece. Macedonia is now merely going through the motions of applications with "zero" chance of admission to either Nato or the EU. (Where is Putin when we need him?)

Macedonia has nothing to lose and everything to gain by pushing this issue. It should press Matthew Nimetz to address this issue in public and in print so that the politicians in Washington, who have adopted the Greek position on the Macedonian question, can have their feet put to the fire!

I'm talking to you Barack Obama!

"The Guardian" on Macedonian Refugees from Greece

Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly

A London Play About Modern Macedonian Refugees from Greece (Olympia Dukakis as a Macedonian - Yikes!)

See "Refugee" Links at Maknews

FYROM pushes ‘refugee’ demands

Thursday July 3, 2008

Athens yesterday rebuffed calls by the foreign minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) for current citizens of FYROM who left Greece during the civil war to be allowed to reclaim lost property and apply for Greek citizenship.

Sources dismissed the comments by Antonio Milososki as a departure from the focus of talks between Greek and FYROM government officials which are aimed at finding a mutually acceptable name for FYROM. But Milososki said Athens was trying to address other issues. “If we follow this logic, then it would be good to close all issues that might cause misunderstandings in the future,” Milososki said. “This applies also to the restitution of properties of the refugees from Greece who are Macedonian citizens, but have grounds for receiving Greek citizenship too,” Milososki said.

Greek diplomatic sources said it was FYROM, not Greece, that has been trying to divert ongoing UN-mediated talks from the name issue. Greece has said solving the name dispute is a priority.

The same point was made in a letter sent by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to his FYROM counterpart Branko Crvenkovski. “Macedonia is fully qualified to join NATO but it should resolve the name dispute with Greece beforehand,” Sarkozy said in the letter, made public yesterday. In a speech before the Greek Parliament last month, Sarkozy had said France would stand firmly by Greece’s side in the name dispute.

In a related development, sources told Kathimerini that groups representing FYROM citizens in Greece are organizing a rally at the Niki border crossing with FYROM in which they have invited “all refugees chased out of Greece” to participate.

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