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EFAY Visits EFA-Rainbow

March 22, 2006

EFA-Rainbow - Press Release

EFA-Rainbow was pleased and honored to welcome in Florina/Lerin on the 16th of March the EFA Youth Coordinator Ms Eva Bidania Ibargutxi. During her 3-day visit, the Basque minority & human rights activist met with members of EFA Rainbow Political Secretariat and Youth, EFA-EPP Political Advisor on minority issues in the Balkans Dr. Georgios Nakratzas and the President of the Greek Member State Committee of the EBLUL Mr. Athanassios Parissis.

Eva Bidania Ibargutxi had also the chance to visit towns and villages in the region and talk with their inhabitants about the severe problems the Macedonians in Greece face today.

Among others, the continuous refusal of Greece to recognize the existence of its Macedonian minority and subsequently to grant it basic educational and cultural rights. The Macedonian language is not taught in any public schools (at regions where Macedonians live), the Greek courts are refusing to register cultural associations that bare the name “Macedonian” (despite ECHR condemnatory rulings) while Greek authorities refuse the right of repatriation or even single visit to Macedonian political refugees that fled from Greece-without their own will- during the Civil War (1946-49).

Main topic of the visit, the first from a series of common activities between EFA Rainbow and its parent organization EFA-EPP, were the final details of a youth program to be presented for approval and financial subvention at the European Commission. The future actions in order to promote the Macedonian issue inside and outside Greece were also discussed.

EFA Rainbow would like to cordially thank Ms Bidania Ibargutxi for her huge and sincere interest and her continuous efforts to make the European public opinion familiar with the problems of the Macedonian minority in Greece. Problems that cover all aspects of flagrant human rights violations but still remain mostly hidden behind the “curtains” of Greece’s assimilating policies and hypocrisy.

The Press Office of EFA Rainbow

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