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COUNCIL OF EUROPE TO DISCUSS MACEDONIANS' STATUS IN GREECE


National.

A motion for a resolution stating violation of human rights of the Macedonians living in northern Greece has been initiated in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) by 15 PACE members, including the former President, Lord Russell-Johnston.

The draft-resolution, signed by representatives of nine countries and all political groups in PACE, led by the Dutch Erik Jurgens, calls for elaborating a report on violation of human rights of the Macedonian ethnic minority in northern Greece and providing opportunity to its representatives to give testimonies before PACE.

The explanation of the initiative says "the Greek state refuses to recognize the existence of the Macedonian ethnic and minority and its language within country's borders", Radio Deutsche Welle reported.

The document underlines that the Greek authorities are continuing with systematical exclusion of Macedonians from the political life, refusing even to reply to the letters sent by this minority.

The Greek state does not recognize the Macedonian language either, thus depriving Macedonians to attend classes on their mother-tongue within the Greek educational system, the draft-resolution says.

The signatories also raised concerns about the fact that even ten years after positive ruling of the European Court of Human Rights, the Macedonian Culture Home in Lerin (Florina) has not been registered yet.

The same goes for the bill providing for return of Greek citizenship and property to the refugees of Macedonian ethnic origin from the Greek Civil War.

PACE members pointed out at Greece's refusal to ratify the framework convention on protection of national minorities, reminding that Athens is bound to respect the obligations stemming from CE conventions, but also the binding documents of UN and OSCE.

The PACE Bureau is responsible for approving the decision on elaborating a report on the situation of the Macedonian minority in Greece, Deutsche Welle reported.

MD: It's about time, and let's hope something can be done to improve their status!

[MakFax]

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February 27 2010:
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