Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
Rainbow-Vinozhito Denounces Continuing Denaturalization of the Ethnic Macedonians of Greece

Rainbow/Vinozhito - Press Release

The Greek government continues to denaturalize members of its Macedonian minority who as economic immigrants reside mainly in transoceanic countries. This discriminatory practice has been taking place for the last several decades.

Greek Authorities selectively implement law 3370, article 20 par. 1G (Greek law of Citizenship), targeting ethnic Macedonians (economic immigrants) who are active as members of Macedonian associations abroad and who dare express their Macedonian cultural, linguistic and national identity. Something they are not permitted to do in Greece.

Ethnic Macedonians from Greece are informed about their denaturalization only when they try to enter Greece temporarily or for repatriation. Denaturalized individuals are at the same time declared undesirable in Greece (persona non grata) and no entrance to the country of their birth is allowed, even for humanitarian reasons.

Recently (May 7th, 2005) Mr. George Mishalis tried to enter Greece in order to attend his father's funeral in his native village Meliti (Voshtarani) in Florina (Lerin). For the last several years, Mr Mishalis has been living and working in Melbourne, Australia.

Greek border authorities prohibited his entry, according to the above-mentioned decision.

It is truly unfortunate that in the year 2005 and in a so-called modern European country like Greece an ethnic Macedonian born in Greece still cannot attend a relative's funeral unless they falsify their identity and declare themselves as "Greeks by birth".

EFA-Rainbow was also recently informed about the denaturalization of another Macedonian. Mr. Chris Gagatsis was declared "undesirable" in Greece according to the same law (3370 article 20 par. 1G). Mr. Gagatsis' place of birth is the village of Akrita (Bouf) in the Florina (Lerin) region.

Over the past several decades successive Greek Governments have refused to give any data on the number of denaturalized Macedonians. The victims of this policy are simply notified about it upon their arrival at the Greek border, exactly as it happened in the two cases mentioned above.

This is an inhuman and racially discriminatory policy against George Mishalis and Chris Gagatsis and all other Macedonian economic immigrants. This same policy is also applied to the thousands of Macedonian political refugees who fled their villages as children during the Greek Civil War (1946-1949**).

Greece's continuous refusal to acknowledge its Macedonian minority and its systemic discrimination in terms of their ethnic, cultural and linguistic rights again highlight the serious democratic deficit in Greece.

According to Greek authorities there is no such thing as an ethnic Macedonian minority in the country. If this is the case then we can only wonder who the target of these racist measures is?

EFA-Rainbow denounces Greece's continuous racist and inhuman mistreatment of its ethnic Macedonian minority and intends to make the above incidents known to the international organizations involved in the protection of Human Rights.

EFA-Rainbow also calls upon all Greek democrats to support our efforts to establish a truly democratic and European Greece.

The Political Secretariat



Code for Greek Citizenship
Law 3370/1955, Chapter G, Article 20


One can lose his/her Greek Citizenship:
When-while residing abroad-he/she acted in benefit of another State, in ways that do not comply to the Greek citizen status and against Greece's interests.



Common Decision of the Ministers of Internal Affairs and Public Order of Greece.

Athens 29.12.1982

Subject: Free repatriation and return of the Greek citizenship to the political refugees.

Taking under consideration:

The provisions of the Law 400/76 "For Ministerial Council and Ministries" as it was modified by the law N. 1266/1982 and within the framework of the Government's policy for national reconciliation and unanimity,

We decide that:
All Greeks by genus [birth] who during the Civil War 1946-1949 and because of it fled abroad as political refugees can return to Greece even if they had been deprived of their Greek citizenship.

The ministers of
Internal Affairs Public Order
G. Gennimatas, G. Skoularikis