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Press Release

MHRMI Demands the Return of Original Macedonian Names in Greece

September 14, 2016



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Macedonian Signs in Greece TORONTO, Sept 14, 2016 - The Council of Europe, in its claim that it protects minority rights, guarantees "the use of ones personal name...and topographical names in the minority language." Why then, are Macedonians still forced to use Greek-imposed names, not allowed to name their children using Macedonian names, and not permitted to use the original, Macedonian names of cities and villages?

The use of dual place names has become commonplace, and encouraged, in the European Union, but not in EU member-state Greece. Macedonian Human Rights Movement International demands the return of the original Macedonian names of people and toponyms in Greece. Furthermore, we demand that the Council of Europe explain its inactivity on the issue of Greece's discrimination against Macedonians, and Greece's refusal to ratify the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities or the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. However, ratifying these conventions, as Bulgaria has, has not made any difference in protecting the Macedonian minority in Bulgaria as the Council of Europe refuses to enforce its own conventions. Note that MHRMI uses the word demand because one should not have to ask for basic human rights and the end to discrimination based on one's ethnic origin.

As an additional insult to anyone who dares to be Macedonian in the European Union, the CoE refers to the Republic of Macedonia as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Ironically, Macedonia has ratified and implements the FCNM, yet can't get recognition of its own name or minority with the European Union. Yet, the CoE continues to refer to itself as "...the continents leading human rights organisation."


Macedonian Signs in Greece
Macedonian Signs in Greece

Macedonians in Aegean Macedonia have been changing signs to include the original Macedonian names, only to have Greek authorities destroy them and change them back to the Greek-imposed village/city names. The European Union has a policy of dual place-names, but chooses not to implement it for the Macedonian minority in Greece. MHRMI demands that this change immediately. See our press release: MHRMI Demands the Return of Original Macedonian Names in Greece.

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Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI) has been active on human and national rights issues for Macedonians and other oppressed peoples since 1986. For more information:
www.mhrmi.org, twitter.com/mhrmi, facebook.com/mhrmi, info@mhrmi.org, 1-416-850-7125.

 
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