Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
Parliament adopts resolution on Aegean refugees

Aegean Macedonians Source: MIA

The Parliament of Macedonia adopted Wednesday unanimously by acclamation a Resolution on the Refugees from Military Actions in the Republic of Greece during the Civil and Second World War. It envisages the Government to support the legal struggle of the Aegeans with regard to returning the seized properties during Greece's Civil War and to inform the Parliament on the course of the procedure every six months.

A group of legislators from all parliamentary parties put forward the Resolution on the Refugees from Military Actions in the Republic of Greece During the Civil and Second World War.

Civil associations of refugee children and other citizens exiled following 1949 and the end of the civil war in Greece, referred to the Parliament's Standing Inquiry Committee for Protection of Civil Freedoms and Rights with a petition in 2004. In the past few years, the committee reviewed the petition exhaustively as well as the request, voiced by the associations, the Parliament to take and declare appropriate positions before the local and international public.

As a result of the unified positions, the Standing Inquiry Committee and 11 MPs from all parties filed the Resolution on the Refugees from Military Actions in the Republic of Greece During the Civil and Second World War to Parliament's President on 14 Dec. 2007.

According to historians and data obtained by international organisations for human rights protection, a bulk of the hundreds of thousands of people that fled Greece during the civil war were Macedonians, most of them children.

In an attempt to raise the issues of the Macedonians in Greece and exiled civilians after the civil war, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and Speaker Trajko Veljanoski sent letters to their colleagues, international representatives and organisations.

The discrimination of Macedonian refugees from Greece's civil war was the topic of discussion last October in the Council of Europe. Back then, a group of members of the CoE Parliamentary Assembly urged Greece to amend the 1982 Amnesty Law and the Law on Return on Properties from 1985, because they discriminate those who are not of Greek origin. The Greek Government recognizes only ethnic Greeks, whereas the others, including the Macedonians, are deprived of the rights ensured by these two laws - return of citizenship and properties belonging to the civil war refugees.

On Friday (Aug. 22) the chairman of the refugee association, Gjorgi Donevski met with Parliament Speaker Trajko Veljanovski, who said that the association's long-term demand for MPs to review those problems was met.

- I expect for the resolution to clearly notify what the Parliament, Government, ministries and other institutions shall do for regaining our rights. For sixty years the Aegean Macedonians have been wandering across many European countries, Australia, Canada, US, deprived of their rights to visit own birthplaces in Aegean Macedonia, to take care for their properties. I believe that by Europe's, and above all the help of the Republic of Macedonia, we shall realize our rights, Donevski said.