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Macedonian National Minority Party, Vinozhito-Rainbow, Reschedules Congress

April 29, 2004

Almost six months after the double cancellation of its first congress, the Vinozhito-Rainbow (V-R) political party of the Macedonian minority in Greece has decided to re-schedule it for May 30th-31st in Thessaloniki/Solun.

The decision was taken by V-R Political Secretariat and no further details are yet known. The party will extend invitations to major EU and international organizations to attend the congress, hoping that this time everything will go as planned.

Last November, the V-R Congress, initially scheduled to take place in Edessa/Voden, had to be postponed twice due to threats and verbal attacks from people belonging to the neo-fascist groups “Ethniko Metopo” (National Front) and “Hrissi Avgi” (Golden Dawn).

These events made the mayor of the city who at first offered a municipal hall for the congress to be hosted in, to withdraw his support. Talking to members of the party, he claimed that public order in Edessa/Voden would have been jeopardized if the congress took place.

The precedent Greek government also never responded to the letters of protest from European Free Alliance (EFA) Group in the European Parliament and other NGO’s.

Members of the minority fear that with the new conservative government that came to power after the elections last March, the situation could stagnate, or even worsen, for several unresolved issues such as language, education, media presence, and the preservation of culture.

The VR Party will also be standing in the forthcoming European elections. (Eurolang)

Related links: (EFA’s web page) (Federal Union of European Nationalities) (United Nations Human Rights Website)

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