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Greek State Television Bans Program
That Exposes Persecution Against Macedonian Minority

March 22, 2005

Greek Member State Committee of EBLUL
Parisis Athanasios
Telefon: ++306972844412

The Greek Member State Committee of European Bureau for Less Used Languages is deeply concerned about an incident that took place at the Greek State Television (ERT) and constitutes a flagrant abuse to the core principles of respect to diversity and multiculturalism.

GMSC was informed that NET, the 2nd channel of ERT, indefinitely postponed the broadcast of Sunday’s (21.3.2005) “Taxidevontas stin Ellada” (Traveling in Greece), dedicated to Florina region of W. Macedonia.

According to the presenter of the show, the official justification for this decision was that in the edited (ready-to-air) version some inhabitants of villages in the region said on camera that their mother tongue was Macedonian and was completely banned from the Greek state for decades. The ERT directors obviously concluded that such public statements could found claims for existence of a linguistic minority that Greece does not officially recognize and decided to ban the broadcast.

GMSC of EBLUL wishes to condemn such acts with the most categorical way. Especially when they come from an E.U. member state that only a few months ago hosted the Olympic Games under the motto “Celebrating cultures, celebrating diversity”. Not only that but the above incident happened during the European Week Against Racism.

Seems that for yet another time, Greece chooses not to respect the basic right of its own citizens to freely express their opinion and continues the policy of extremely limited and absolutely selective presentation of cultural and linguistic diversity at the state-owned media.

Athanasios Parisis
President of GMSC of EBLUL

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