Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
Greece shocked by UN Visit, closes Macedonia Border

Border CrowdThe Greek Government showed their displeasure at the UN announced visit to Greece by closing the Macedonian - Greek border earlier today.

During the past two months, several Macedonian and Foreign Officials had sent letters to the UN as well as EU Organization regarding the plight of Macedonian and other minorities in Greece.

The European Commission responded that it is not competent to review the situation of minorities.

The United Nations on the other hand, decided to dispatch an expert to verify Athens claim of 99.9% Greeks with zero minorities.

Greece showed their dismay by the UN Visit when Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis announced she will personally meet with the UN expert Gay McDougall where it is expected for Athens to exert pressure on the UN representative.

Athens blames the UN visit squarely on Macedonian Officials for their letters, even though previously had mocked them.

As a 'punishment' Athens shut down the border, at all three border crossings (Evzoni, Medzitlija, Dojran) since early morning today, blocking Macedonian Vacationers from going to Greece. Foreign visitors going to Greece through Macedonia were allowed to cross the border.

The official story out of Athens for the blockade is "The Greek Customs are on Strike at the Macedonia Greece Border”. People most likely to be hurt here are Greek Hoteliers who have had by all accounts a dismal Tourism Season, as for the Macedonians, they can spend their vacation and shopping money in Macedonia, as they should have done in the first place.

Why is Athens so upset at the UN visit looking into the minorities?

According to Jane's Defense Magazine and the Human Rights Watch, Greece has 500,000 Macedonians in Aegean Macedonia, with further 250,000 to 400,000 Macedonians (economic migrants) to the south, mainly in Athens.

HRW also adds the presence of 500,000 Roma population, 1.7 million Albanians of which 1 million are not citizens. The ethnic Turks and Pomaks in Trace number 400,000, and the Vlachs add additional 300,000. Greece also has registered 1 million legal immigrants from the Middle East and Africa, with further 500,000 illegal immigrants, mainly from Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan.

Why does every name in Greece sound "Greek” hence stoking up Athens claims of "purity”?

Very simply, it is illegal in Greece to name your children with names other than "Greek”.

Athens, via the Greek Orthodox Church which acts as a de facto second Government forces citizens to adopt only a "Greek” name for their children.

A foreign or ethnic sounding name isn't allowed by the Greek Church, and any new born will not be registered by the State, this way the myth of 'Greek purity' goes on.

As an example, the grandfather of Macedonian PM who was born in Aegean Macedonia (presently Greece), had his first and last name changed by the Greek Government from Nikola Gruevski to "Nikos Grujos”.

This is done to all ethnicities, not just the Macedonian one.

The results of UN Expert Gay McDougall to her "Greece's Minorities" mission will be made available to the world in March of 2009. She will investigate Aegean Macedonia, Thrace and other regions.

Originally published by: MINA Breaking News