ECRI on Macedonia

A. On 61.

The Slavic-speakers in Greek Macedonia used to call themselves Bulgarian prior to WW II. During the interwar period (1919-1941) there had been severe tension in the Bulgarian-Greek relations. It had its roots in the Bulgarian-greek struggle in Macedonia during 1900-1905. After an incident (a captain and two soldiers killed by Bulgarians) in 1926, dictator General Pangalos, an Arvanite and the grandfather of the socialist (PASOK) former Foreign Minister Pangalos, invaded Bulgaria and laid waste to the country. The League of Nations intervened and we had to come back and pay indemnities. The result was a severe tension in the Bulgarian-Greek relations. The Bulgarian (as it self-identified itself) minority was not recognised, because of Yugoslavian intervention : The Politis-Kalfof Protocol, recognising the minority as Bulgarian, was never implemented because Yugoslavia threatened war in such a case.
The net result was an indignation of the Greek people against the Bulgarians. The supressive measures against the minority (78.000 strong in 1926) were welcomed by the Greek population. During 1936-1940 the dictator Metaxas built a series of fortifications along the Greek-Bulgarian border (The «Metaxas Line»), in order to face the Bulgarian threat. The army was facing Bulgaria : -6- Divisions on the Bulgarian border, -1- on the Albanian, none on the Turkish. This fact clearly shows the fears of the Greek Governments, corroborated by heated remarks of Bulgarian politicians on Greek Macedonia. Hence the deplorable persecution of the minority by Metaxas.
In the aftermath of the WW II, the Greek Civil War took place (between Communists and Nationalists). The minority changed its name to Slavomacedonian and its members enlisted in the Communist Army. Between the aims of the Communists was the «Autonomisation» of Greek Macedonia.
So to the Greeks of Macedonia, of whom the 70% were refugees from Asia Minor, who had lost everything, including thousands of lives, just 20 years before, saw their worst nightmares come true : The «Bulgarians», or «Slavomacedonians», were going to make them refugees once more !
The result was that, when the communists eventually lost the game, the Slavic speakers (name them as you want) left Greece en masse, fearing reprisals. Many from those who remained decided to assimilate. This is the reason that only 10,500 vote for VINOZHITO today.
The people to which paragraph 61 refers, were taught in Yugoslavia to hate Greece for everything that happened to them. They were turned to Janissaries hating Greece. People of ECRI have to do their homework : Similar conditions (hate, tension etc) governed other border populations in Europe, too. I remember the Triest case, you know better, I am sure. But no people have been so brainwashed as those Slavic speakers in communist Yugoslavia. Therefore, Greece will be very reluctant to accept them : We do not need people like ILINDEN in Greece. There are exceptions in all laws. This apply to the Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights, also. And this is exactly the reason that all these facts, well known to E.U., were not obstacles for the acception of Greece in E.U.

B. On 80, 81, 83.

a. I have explained in my old posting that the moslem minority was named so after Kemal’s insistence. ECRI cannot change International Treaties as the Lausanne Treaty. Therefore, Turks technically do not exist in Greece. Only moslem people in Western Thrace do exist. Anybody who disagrees, has to blaim Kemal Ataturk !! They have their schools in Turkish, their mosques, everything. The counterpart of this moslem community in Turkey, the Greek community in Istanbul, has been brutally kicked out of Turkey during 1954-1965. There remain less than 5.000 of the once thriving Greek community, dominating the cultural and economic life in Istanbul of 1920’s. As reprisals, measures had been taken by Greece against the moslem community in W. Thrace. These have long ago been stopped. The moslem community numbers about 130.000 today ( Ethnically Turks, Pomaks and Roma ).
b. Nobody can self-identify himself as «Macedonian» prior to the solution of the name issue between FYR0M and Greece. Take into account that Bulgarians, too, do not recognize any «Macedonian» nationality. They recognized FYR0M as MACEDONIA on a pure geographical base. Any attempt to define a «macedonian» minority in Greece is an attempt to bypass the Interim Agreement between FYR0M-Greece, i.e. to fool the UNO and international community.
ECRI has to understand all that. They are not above Agreements under the auspices of UNO. Some people in ECRI think that they answer only to God, it seems !!

C. On 82.

Almost all the slavic toponyms in Greek Macedonia were changed to the ancient Greek ones. This happened in Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, also : Phlipopolis was named Plovdiv, Anghialos -Primorkso, Stenimahos -Asenovgrad etc (Bulgaria). Monastir was renamed Bitola in Yugoslavia, now part of FYR0M.
Any sovereign nation has the right to do that. Attempts by stubborn fanatics to enter Greece having on their passports as birthplace the old Slavic name are simply unacceptable : A Greek will be kicked out of Turkey if his passport has as birthplace «KONSTANTINOUPOLIS» : The city is Istanbul now. The same holds for a German attempting to enter Kaliningrad and having on his passport as birthplace «KOENIGSBERG».
So the ECRI lamentations are out of this earth. They will never be paid attention by any Greek official. ECRI people have to become realists, and respect International customs.