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Greece's Turks and Macedonians Deny Having Autonomist or Secessionist Claims

October 11, 1999

Statement of the Deputies Birol Akifoglu and Galip Galip

Xanthi and Komotini
11 October 1999

During our meeting in Athens, on 8 October, with the OSCE High Commissionner on National Minorities Max van der Stoel, we reiterated the minority's long-standing firm position that:
  • we demand the respect of all minority rights provided by the international documents of the UN, the OSCE and the Council of Europe
  • there has never been any claim for autonomy, self-determination or secession and we will be opposed to similar claims if they ever arise
  • minorities should not be used as a pretext to raise claims for border changes.

Birol Akifoglou
Deputy of New Democracy
Galip Galip
Deputy of PASOK

Rainbow Party Press Release

Florina - Lerin
11 October 1999

On October 8, 1999 representatives of Rainbow met in Athens OSCE's High Commissioner of National Minorities Mr. Max van der Stoul and his advisor Mr. John Packer.
In the two-hour meeting the position of the national minorities in Greece (Macedonian and Turkish) was reviewed as well as the lack of respect of the rights of these minorities by the Greek state. The Rainbow representatives stressed that this behavior by the Greek state is incomprehensible considering that Rainbow, as an organization of the Macedonian national minority, in its activities for the realization of the national rights of the Macedonians in Greece, always declared (and behaved in the same way) that it respects the territorial integrity of the Greek state and condemns all kinds of autonomist and separatist solutions. In the meeting it was underlined that not only the national rights of the Macedonians are not respected but also Rainbow's appeals to the Greek political forces for the start of a dialog on minority questions are ignored. Lack of respect for the OSCE and UN human rights standards was stressed in the meeting as well as the need for ratification of the "Convention for the Rights of the Minorities of the Council of Europe" without further limiting clauses that could restrict the rights of the national minorities in Greece during the implementation of the Convention.
Also present in the meeting were representatives of the Turkish national minority, representatives of Greek NGO's, institutions for human rights protection as well as representative of the Liberal Party (Fililefteri) and the Synaspismos Party.
Rainbow declares this to be the first meeting between representatives of the Macedonian national minority and the High Commissioner of OSCE on Greek territory. We believe that this event will finally open the road towards a realistic approach of the problems of respect of the rights of the Macedonians in Greece by the Greek Government.
Political Secretariat of Rainbow
Anastasiadis Stavros
Papadimitriou Dimitrios
Sakelarios Nikos
Konstantinou Georgios
Pavlos Voskopoulos

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