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OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting
19 September 30 September 2005, Warsaw


Brief Dialog Between the Representative of Rainbow
and the Greek Ambassador at the OSCE during the HDIM in Warsaw



Source: Greek Helsinki Monitor
www.greekhelsinki.gr

At the recent HDIM (Human Dimension Implementation meeting) of the OSCE in Warsaw (25-30 September, 2005) dedicated mainly to human rights and minority issues, Rainbow has been participating as an organization of the Macedonian minority in Greece.

During the meeting representatives of NGOs are able to expose their views and facts before the State delegates regarding the violations of minority and human rights.

State and NGO delegates are speaking in the same place at the same time under equal conditions. State delegates have just one more right which is the right to reply.

In these circumstances a specific dialog is taking place among all the delegates of the meeting.

In this framework the representative of Rainbow was able to expose the present situation of the Macedonian minority in Greece as well as a general view about the issue of human and minority rights in Greece.

The representative of the Greek state has once again stated the well known views of the Greek government, arguing about the so-called non-existent Macedonian minority in Greece; referring to a small number of people speaking a "Slavic idiom" in Northern Greece.

The speeches of the representative of Rainbow can be seen on www.florina.org

Besides the official program of the meeting, the representative of Rainbow, Mr. Pavlos Voskopoulos, had the opportunity to discuss briefly with the Greek Ambassador to the OSCE, Mr. Lyssandros Miliaresis-Fokas, who was participating at this event.

This short discussion is the following text:

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Voskopoulos: Good afternoon Mr. Ambassador. It was a tough day for all of us, don't you think so?

Ambassador: How much money are you getting paid Mister for saying all of this here?

Voskopoulos: I am surprised Mr. Ambassador. As I know you are officially paid well enough for being here, representing our country. We are financially supported by ourselves at such a meeting.

May I ask you, Mr. Ambassador, if the representative of the Greek minority in Turkey who spoke yesterday defending the rights of the Greek minority in Turkey is also paid by somebody?

Furthermore, what about the Greek minority in Albania? Have they also been paid by somebody in their struggle for human rights in Albania?

Ambassador: What I know is that Greece is the most democratic country...

Voskopoulos: Of course it is a democratic country, but regarding minority rights there is a deficit of democracy. Shall we work all together to overcome these problems?

Ambassador: There are no minorities in Greece Sir, there is just a Muslim minority living in Greece under very good conditions.

Voskopoulos: But Mr. Ambassador, how is it possible that Greece is the only state with no national minorities when all the other Balkan states are full of them? As there are Greeks in Turkey or Albania there are also minorities inside the Greek state.

Ambassador: In Greece we have a large minority which is the minority of the economical immigrants traveling and staying in our country which is a real heaven for them...

Voskopoulos: Mr. Ambassador all these immigrants are suffering in their countries and in some of them, Sudan for instance, there is an armed conflict so it's logical that they are coming to Greece for a better future as well as to other European countries. It's not because Greece is heaven that they are coming in our country... By the way, when we are talking about immigrants, don't you think that it's time for our country to make a step forward and give Macedonian political refugees who participated the [Greek] Civil War the right to be repatriated. It's more a humanitarian gesture to at least allow these people to die in their birthplaces.

Ambassador: What are you talking about Mister? You mean to let them enter our country as the "Trojan horse"?

Voskopoulos: Mr. Ambassador I am surprised with your answer...Those people are mostly old men and women around seventy years old... Don't you really feel bad that you are representing our country in the OSCE with such extreme views... May I ask you why you did not give the same answers during the conference when the issue was presented by myself?

Ambassador: Listen to me Mister. Greece has shed rivers of blood for its glory, for being where it is today!

Voskopoulos: Mr. Ambassador I am once again surprised. In the present situation when we are all trying to build a United Europe, when we are fighting for peace in the early beginning of the 21st century you are talking about rivers of blood? You should know that we the Macedonians in Greece care very, very much about peace and democracy in our country and obviously you cannot even imagine this...

Ambassador: Well, if you don't like it you can leave Greece!

Voskopoulos: Mr. Ambassador I am now really shocked by what you said. Mr. Ambassador we belong to different worlds...

Ambassador: Thanks God we belong to different worlds...

Voskopoulos: I hope the younger generation of Greek diplomats will not agree with your way of country thinking... for the benefit of all of us... Your opinion is a shame to our country...

Good afternoon Mr. Ambassador I am leaving really shocked after what I've heard from you...

     
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