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FUEN Asks the Greek Prime Minister to Ensure the Safety of Macedonian Minority Congress

May 22, 2004

To the Prime Minister of Greece
Mr. Konstandinos Karamanlis
Megaro Maximou

Dear Mr. Karamanlis,

The Federal Union of European Nationalities is an independent union of the organisations of national minorities in Europe, which was established in 1949 - at the time when the Council of Europe was set up in Versailles, France.

According to its statutes, the Federal Union of European Nationalities serves the autochthonous groups in Europe and pursues the goal of preserving their language, culture and the history of national minorities. This objective is pursued only by peaceful means. It decisively takes a stand against separatism and the violent moving of national borders, and works towards a neighbourly, peaceful coexistence of majority and minority in one state or region.

In recognition of its efforts towards attaining protection for European minorities, the FUEN obtained consultative status to the Council of Europe in 1989 and a consultative status to the United Nations (UN) in 1995. It is also represented at OSCE (the former CSCE) conferences concerning national minorities and ethnic groups.

Today, FUEN numbers 76 member organisations from 32 states (as of 2004-05-21). About half of its members come from Central and Eastern Europe. Among this large number of members also the Macedonian minority in Greece is represented by RAINBOW-OURANIO TOXO.

On behalf of the president of the FUEN, Mr. Romedi Arquint, I take the opportunity to ask you whether it would be possible for you to take security measures in the context of the first Congress of the Rainbow-Vinozhito party to be held in Thessaloniki (Solun) on May 30.

Mr. Bela TONKOVIC - Vice-President of FUEN will represent FUEN.

Last November the Rainbow-Vinozhito congress, which was to be held in Edessa (Voden), had to be cancelled twice due to intimidation from Greek Neo-Nazi and ultra right extremist groups such as Golden Dawn and Greek Patriotic Front - Elliniko Patriotioko Metopo.

Bearing in mind that you are elected in March I wish you all the best in your governmental obligation and we hope that your implemented policy will cause positive results for all Greek citizens.

Within the framework of your policy we hope that you also will include all political initiatives for the improvement of the protection of minority rights in Greece.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours respectfully,

Frank Nickelsen
FUEN-Secretary General

Romedi Arquint

Chapella / Susauna
CH - 7526 Cinuos-chel

Schiffbrucke 41
D-24939 Flensburg
Tel: 0049-461-12855
Fax: 0049-461-180709

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