Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
Vinozhito/Rainbow Member Petse Dimtsis Elected to Office in Lerin

Vinozhito/Rainbow Press Release After the Greek Municipal Elections

In MEGA television's broadcast, "The Hour of the Ballot Box," October 10, 2002, the media representative of the New Democracy party, Mr. Rousopoulos, attempted to justify the defeat of the departing prefect, Mr. Altini, who was supported by New Democracy in Florina.

Mr. Rousopoulos claimed that PASOK won the prefecture of Florina because it aligned with RAINBOW whom he accused of supporting the autonomy of Macedonia and whose members have separatist views and want to change the borders. He specifically mentioned Mr. Petros Dimtsis, vice-president of RAINBOW. Mr. Dimtsis was one of RAINBOW's candidates who were successfully elected within a coalition.

In the broadcast Mr. Rousopoulos "forgot" to mention that RAINBOW had agreed to run in a coalition with New Democracy but were turned down.

But what can we say of the "Sherlock Holmes" of the Greek press who in an "exclusive" report for the benefit of a private television station (Antenna, June, 1993) claimed to have "discovered" the secret heroin production laboratory of former Macedonian president, Gligorov, in Skopje?

With behaviour that reminds us of the political Middle Ages Mr. Rousopoulos is a modern day inquisitor waiving papers in his hand but avoiding deliberately to read what is written on them. His intent being to tarnish and slander Mr. Dimtsis and the RAINBOW party so as to justify the defeat of the New democracy coalition in Florina.

To contradict the political immorality of Mr. Rousopoulos and others who attempt to distort the ideology of our party we present below a relevant section of our political Manifesto:
RAINBOW considers that the struggle for peace requires the respecting of existing borders - independent of past historical injustice. The battle for civic equality and social justice should be headed by progressive forces within the boundaries - a Balkan region without confrontations and wars - where nations will live in brotherhood and shared well-being.

Since its inception in June 1994, RAINBOW has never expressed a separatist view. Both our political ideology and actions move in the opposite direction to what Mr. Rousopoulos alleges. As a characteristic example we cite below from our speech to the parliamentary assembly of the European Free Alliance, of which RAINBOW is a member, in the European Parliament (12 05 2000):
We, the ethnic Macedonian citizens of Greece and the European Union understand the sensitivities that exist in Greece and other Balkan countries among the majority populations when there is mention of minority rights. We believe that ethnic minorities, especially in the Balkans, must through their behaviour calm the majority and guarantee that by exercising their rights they are not seen to be disrupting the peace or promoting the changing of existing political borders. Especially in the Balkans, such perceptions lead to Great Ideas and military conflicts.

RAINBOW further denounces the television station MEGA, the responsible parties of whom lack any journalistic ethics and refused to accept our telephone calls when we tried to correct misrepresentations in regard to a broadcast by Ana Panagiotarea during the central news bulletin of Tuesday, October 22, 2002. During this broadcast MEGA kept repeating the same accusation - that RAINBOW is an organization of separatists.

Finally, and on a more positive note, RAINBOW would like to congratulate all its members who were elected to the prefectures and municipal councils and hopes they will actively participate in them.

Political Secretariat