Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
Press Release
Condemnation of Pangalos' Statements Regarding Macedonian Minority in Greece - MHRMC

The Macedonian Human Rights Movement of Canada condemns the statements made by Greek Foreign Minister, Theodoros Pangalos during an official visit to Skopje, Macedonia on December 22, 1998.

When questioned about the treatment of the Macedonian minority in Greece, Pangalos reacted by saying, "Greece will never recognize a Slavic minority in Western Macedonia." He referred to this minority as "artificial, a product of Titoism and Stalinism." Furthermore, he described the Macedonian minority party, Rainbow, as "a coalition of Slavomacedonians, Stalinists and homosexuals that got 1,700 votes in the last elections."

He continued by saying that Rainbow "took part in the elections forming alliances with the Organization for the Reconstruction of the Communist Party of Greece (OAKKE) which is Stalinist, and the Movement for the Liberation of Homosexuals managing throughout Greece only 1,840 votes."

The Macedonian minority in Greece is internationally recognized. The Rainbow party stood alone in the 1994 European elections and received 7,300 votes. They formed a coalition during the 1996 parliamentary elections with OAKKE, not the Movement for the Liberation of Homosexuals, and received 3,500 votes.

The MHRMC finds it unacceptable that a Greek politician would make such erroneous and offensive statements regarding the Macedonian minority in Greece and calls on Minister Pangalos to publicly retract his statements.

Bill Nicholov
Macedonian Human Rights Movement of Canada
P.O. Box 44532, 2376 Eglinton Avenue East
Toronto, Canada
M1K 5K3
Tel: 416-202-8866
Fax: 416-412-3385