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The EU Circus: Greece, France, Macedonia and Turkey
January 27, 2010
Discussion regarding the accession of Macedonia into the European Union was postponed until June 2010. Two countries have delayed this process, the first of course being Greece which cannot accept Macedonia being a member of the EU. Neither can it accept the name 'Macedonia' nor the Macedonian idenity or language. In other words, everything that has any connotation to 'Macedonia' and 'Macedonian' is unacceptable to Greece.
The other country that opposes Macedonia by supporting Greece in this endeavour is France.
Why is France doing this?
Perhaps because Greece has signed a contract to purchase military supplies from France or perhaps because, similar to Greece, France does not recognize minorities in its own territory.
What about indigenous minorities like the Alsatians, Basques, Bretons, Catalans, Corsicans and Occitans (Provencals) who today exist in France? Unfortunately all of these national minorities, and the languages they speak, are not formally recognized by France.
France, like Greece, has "specialized" in signing but not ratifying resolutions for the protection of minorities and their languages. If there is any doubt as to the existance of minority languages in France, let me remind you that all manifestos written just before and after the great French Revolution of 1789-1799 were written in these so-called local languages.
After the Revolution was over authorities withdrew from this linguistic pluralism and took advantage of a single obligatory language and that was 'French'. The methods used to discourage the use of local languages was to make fun of adults and young children who spoke them, a similar method was used by Greece against the Macedonians.
Greek State-Promoted Terror and Persecutions
In addition to making fun of people, Greek authorities also employed terror tacticts, beatings, imprisonment and expulsion to prevent Macedonians from speaking their native language even on their own native Macedonian territories.
This is why these two so-called 'democratic' countries allied themselves to block Macedonia's accession into the European Union. Thus the paradox; if other countries are willing to accept Macedonia into the Union they cannot because current EU law allows any single member country to veto and block the other 26. This shows how fragile and abnormal the foundation of this Union is.
Can this be called democracy? No, definitely not!
This is a dictate of one, or in this case, of two countries dictating to the rest. Also there is little logic in this. In this situation we cannot say all countries are treated equally.
This is nothing more than a European circus.
The European Union, which does not hesitate to mentor and teach others about democracy and human rights, harbours two countries which care nothing about human rights or democracy, worse, they can't even be punished for this. New countries with aspirations of joining the European Union and have fulfilled all requirements put before them, for 'some reason' are being blocked while 'old' European Union countries, like France and Greece, which have broken every minority law, are not only allowed in, but are treated like the proverbial 'holy cows'.
Macedonia, the only ex-Yugoslav country in the Balkans able to meet all European standards since 1991, has not been allowed entry into the EU. Macedonia comparing to other Western Balkan's countries is ahead of reforms . Even today, attempt after attempt to gain entry has been obstructed by Greece and all obstructions have been accepted without question by the EU.
Where have we ever seen or heard of a situation where a paranoid country like Greece 'forcibly imposed' a name on a normal country like Macedonia? How is it possible for the majority of democratic European countries to accept and come to terms with such dictates from a small economically and morally bankrupt country like Greece?
The Merciless Persecution of Macedonians in Greece
A country which after its unlawful seizure of Macedonian territories in 1913 has issued a number of racist laws against its own citizens. A country which after its Civil War in 1949 exiled both Greeks and Macedonians and in 1982 and 1985 allowed only Greeks by birth to return. How long will the EU allow Greece, which does not recognize the 250 thousand strong Macedonian minority living on its territory, a minority already recognized by international organizations, to break European and international laws? When will the fools of Brussels move their heavy bottom and go to Northern Greece and see and hear for themselves the Macedonians living there?
When will decision-makers from the EU understand that it is not Macedonia but Greece that is a destabilizing factor in the Balkans? It is not Macedonian but Greek nationalism and the Greek Orthodox Church that inflames other Balkan nationalisms.
Fake "Greek History"
Another idiotic idea that inflames hatred and nationalism is Greece's claims of having 4000 years of cultural continuity and being ethnically pure, which are nothing more than a myth. The Greek nation is an artificial creation invented in the XIX century by the Philhellenic English and German fans of Classical Greece. The Greek language is also an artificial creation which survived only because it was a language of Eastern Christianity and not the langauge spoken by the Greek people.
In the XIX century the language spoken in Athens, a small Ottoman village, was Albanian, called Arnautian or Arvanitika. The Greek language was revived by academics and taught in schools and in this way it became the official language of the Greek state. These facts are not taught in school.
The so-called 'Greek studies' offered to students are no more than fictional concepts promoting an invented continuity and an invented language. It is enough to read the 19 century memoirs of scientists and travelers in order to learn that they were not able to communicate with the people of Greece in Greek. Macedonia was incorporated into Greece in 1913 against the will of the Macedonian nation which dwelt in these territories from times immemorial.
EU support to Turkey's Kurds - but not to Greece's Macedonians
Turkey is constantly being accused by the EU for not respecting minority rights, particularly those of the Kurdish people.
Why has no one in the EU accused Greece of doing the same with regards to the Turkish and Macedonian minorities living there?
Why isn't criticism directed at Greece?
Why this anti-Turkish obsession, not justified by the way, because racism is present in the EU and nobody in Brussels is asking questions about that?
There are more liberties for minorities in Turkey than in Greece.
It is a result of the very nature of Turkey which was an empire and was comprised of many nations and religions. While Turkey left all Christian Churches intact in its territory, Greece on the other hand after 1915 destroyed all Turkish minarets in the Greek territory.
Do Turks from Thrace have guaranteed rights as a minority? No, they, as well as the Macedonians have no minority rights and are discriminated against to no end in Greece. But do you see anyone writing about this, particularly in Europe? No, not at all! And why is Turkey presented in such bad light and not Greece?
Greeks living in Istanbul enjoy full religious freedom but not Turks living in Thrace.
These people are called Muslims because Greece forbids them to call themselves Turks. This says a lot about how the EU operates and how much member nations like Greece respect the rights of their citizens who cannot call themselves what they are but need to be called as deigned by governments!
If we are to speak frankly, Turkey, not Greece, is a stabilizing factor in the Balkans even though a small part of Turkey exists in the Balkans.
It seems that political correctness has taken European politicians away from common sense. They look at one thing and call it something else. The EU has taken a dogmatic approach to things like an aparatchik and preposterously dictates instead of using sound logic and reasoning. In theory a EU is a sound idea but it does not practice what it preaches. Instead of being a union governed by citizens, the EU is a union run by nonchalant bureaucrats.
Accepting countries like France and Greece which have committed serious human rights violations and imposing unjust conditions on countries like Macedonia will cause that the EU sooner or later, will get the hiccups which it deserves. It is not a union of equal nations. It seems that some are more equal than others in the EU and that is not right.
Ireneusz A. Slupkov graduated from Szczecin University and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Poznan University, both in Poland. Ireneusz is the the author of a book "The Communist Party of Greece and the Macedonian national problem 1918-1940" which analyzed the Macedonian problem.
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