Anti-Macedonian Legal Acts in Greece

Macedonians in Greece | 0 comments

In order to justify their shameful and inhumane practices, the Greek authorities have issued a number of legal Acts infringing the identity of the Macedonian nation. It should be noticed that all the Acts run counter to the decisions of the agreement of August 10, 1920 and to the international legal Acts binding in this respect. Despite this, they are still in force.

Here are some of these inhumane Acts which give clear evidence of disregard for not only the Macedonian nation but also for world public opinion at large. They portray the cynicism of successive Greek governments.

* November 1926: a legal Act was issued on the charge of Macedonian geographic names into the Greek version. The news was published in the governments daily Efimeris tis Kivernisoes No. 332 of November 21, 1926. The same newspaper in its No. 346 published the new, official, Greek names. The names of the people were changed too. First names as well as family names were changed to Greek versions. These are still officially binding to this day. (text provides ref. to enclosures 2 and 3).

* 1929: during the rule of Eleatarios Venizelos a legal Act was issued “On the protection of public order”. In line with this Act each demand for nationality rights is regarded as high treason. (Please compare this with his statement of November 11, 1930 above.) This law is still in force.

* On December 18, 1936 Metaksas’ dictatorial government issued a legal Act “On the activity against state security” on the strength of which thousands of Macedonians were arrested, imprisoned or expelled.

* On September 7, 1938 the legal Act No. 2366 was issued which banned the use of the Macedonian language. All Macedonian localities were flooded with posters: “Speak Greek”. Evening schools were opened in which adult Macedonians were taught Greek. Not a single Macedonian school functioned at that time.

* In 1947, during the Greek Civil War, the legal Act L-2 was issued on the strength of which all who left Greece without consent of the Greek government were stripped of Greek citizenship and banned from returning to the country (see enclosure 10). This included Greeks and Macedonians. In its modernized version the Act is still binding for Macedonians.

* On January 20, 1948 the legal Act called M was issued on the strength of which the property of those who were stripped of their citizenship was confiscated. The law was updated in 1985, but it is still binding on Macedonians.

* On August 23, 1953 the legal Act No. 2536 was issued, on the strength of which all those who left Greece and who did not return within three years time could be deprived of their property.

A decision on the resettlement of Macedonians was taken. A wide-flung campaign was launched in the mass media to induce the Macedonians to leave their native areas voluntarily and to settle in the south of the country and on the islands. The Greek authorities intended to create a 60 kilometre-wide belt along the border with Yugoslavia where “the faithful sons of the Greek nation” were to be settled.

In the first point of this Act it is stated that the resettlement was necessary owing to the humanitarian aspect of the matter as the living standard of the Macedonians would improve. The actual intention was to separate Macedonians living in Greece from the Republic of Macedonia, then part of Yugoslavia. Due to a firm reaction from Yugoslavia the realization of the shameful plan was cancelled.

* 1959: the legal Act No. 3958 was issued, on the strength of which the land of those who left Greece and did not return within five years time was confiscated. The law was amended in 1985, but it is still binding on Macedonians.

Acts from the years 1948, 1953 and 1959 concerning property confiscation are a consequence of the 1947 ban on returning.

* 1962: the legal Act No. 4234 was issued, on the strength of which persons who were stripped of their Greek citizenship were banned from returning to Greece. The ban on crossing the Greek border also extends to spouses and children! It is still in force for Macedonians, even those who left Greece as children.

* 1969: a legal Act was issued on the strength of which the settlement of the unoccupied Macedonian farms by Greeks by origin was permitted.

Currently it is planned to locate on this territory over one hundred thousand immigrants of Greek origin from the ex-Soviet Union. In the future this will be a source of new national tensions.

* On December 29, 1982 during the rule of Andreas Papandreou the legal Act No. 106841 was issued. On the strength of that Act only Greeks by origin had the right to Greek citizenship and the right to return to Greece restored. Macedonians born in Greece and their families have been excluded. They were and are doomed to live in exile. Heads of various rungs of the state administration received the right to make free use of the property left in Greece by Macedonian refugees.

The Greek authorities refer to that hostile Act whenever they reject Macedonian demands for the recovery of Greek citizenship taken away by default. They refer to that “law” even in their explanations to the Centre for Human Rights in Geneva! (text provides ref. to enclosures 10 and 11).

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights – Paris, December 1948:

Art. XIII, Point 2: “Everyone has the right to leave every country, including one’s own, and to return to his own country.”

Art. XV, Point 1: “Each man has the right to have a citizenship.”

Art. XV, Point 2: “No one can be freely dispossessed of his citizenship.”

* In April 1985 during the rule of Andreas Papandreou the next hostile Act, No. 1540, was issued. This amended the previously issued Acts regulating the property relations so as to make it absolutely impossible for Macedonians to return. This Act permits the recovery of illegally seized property to “Greeks by origin only”. The Macedonian refugees from Greece are excluded.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights – Paris, December 1948:

Art. XVII, Point 2: “Nobody can be deprived of his property freely.”

* On August 30, 1989 a legal Act rehabilitating the participants in the Greek Civil War of 1946-49 was issued. These participants had hitherto been recognized as bandits.

The Act granted damages and disability pensions to fighters in the civil war who now have Greek citizenship. By the same toke, the Macedonian fighters living in exile – who earlier had been stripped of their citizenship – were eliminated.

What Europe Had Forgotten: The Struggle of the Aegean Macedonians. A Report by the Association of Macedonians in Poland.

Published by POLITECON PUBLICATIONS PO Box 57, Asquith NSW 2077, Australia.

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