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Macedonians Win European Court Case Against Greece

July 10, 1998

Hristo Sideropoulos, along with several other founders of the Macedonian Cultural Centre in Lerin, took the Greek government to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg on Tuesday, March 24, 1998. A decision was reached on July 10, 1998. The Greek government refused the Macedonians the right to register this association on grounds that they were "suspected of undermining the country’s territorial integrity" simply by opening a Macedonian cultural centre. Greece must now allow the Macedonians to register their association with its proper name, the Home of Macedonian Civilization.

According to the European Convention Article 11:
  • "Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and join trade unions for his interests."
10 July 1998

  1. Dismisses the (Greek) Government’s preliminary objections;
  2. Holds that there has been a violation of Article 11 of the Convention;
  3. Holds that it is unnecessary to rule on the complaints under Articles 6 § 1, 9, 10 and 14 of the Convention;
  4. Holds that the present judgment constitutes in itself sufficient just satisfaction for the non-pecuniary damage sustained by the applicants;
  5. Holds:
    • that the respondent State is to pay the applicants, within three months, 4,000,000 (four million) drachmas for costs and expenses;
    • that simple interest at an annual rate of 6% shall be payable from the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement;
  6. Dismisses the remainder of the claim for just satisfaction.
And according to the French News Agency:

Fri, 10 Jul 98 - 15:55 GMT

Greece condemned for discriminating against Macedonian minority

STRASBOURG, July 10 (AFP) - The European Court of Human Rights on Friday condemned Greece for having banned an association called 'The House of Macedonian Civilisation.'

Four people brought the case on behalf of a group of about 50 people who said they were of ethnic Macedonian origin and had a 'Macedonian national consciousness.'

The Court ruled that Greece had violated the applicants' right to liberty of association.

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