Greek MP asks for death penalty for Macedonians in Greece
Thursday, 05 June 2008

According to Athanassios Plevris, ethnic Macedonians committed a felony when they described "Skopje" as "Macedonia" and the language as "Macedonian".

Death penalties were demanded for the members of the "Vinozito" party of the Macedonian minority in Greece, as well as for "Greek Helsinki Watch", by Member of the Greek Parliament, Athanassios Plevris of "The People's Orthodox Rally" ("LAOS") Party.

The MP of the ultra-nationalist party Georgios Karatzaferis sent a written request to the Foreign Minister, Dora Bakoyannis and to the Minister of Justice, Sotirios Hadjigakis saying that there is a map of Europe on the VINOZHITO website showing "Skopje" as Macedonia and that "Helsinki Watch", which is financed by the Greek government, talks about the existence of a Macedonian language. "This is absolutely unacceptable" he said as he describes the Macedonian language as "Slavic".

Treason

Athanassios PlevrisFurthermore MP Plevris asked Minister Hadjigakis if he intends to start legal procedures against the two organizations following the criminal code, article 30, paragraph 1. According to Plevris the two organizations are violating article 138, to which the highest degree of penalty should be appropriately levied because it applies to violation of territorial integrity: "Which by means of threat of violence there is intent to separate territory belonging to the Hellenic Republic and join it to another country". The penalty for such a violation is death, states the article.

The last time a death penalty was executed in Greece was August 25th, 1972. Vasilis Limbersis was shot because he had killed his wife, his mother-in-law and his two children. The Greek state abolished the death penalty except for treason and serious war crimes.

Plevris asked Bakoyannis how it is possible that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs finances such organizations serving the "Pro-Skopjan propaganda". The parliament's officers forwarded the letter to the prosecutor of the highest court. This happened on April 23rd, to which Vinozito reacted on May 23rd as follows:

"We would not need to be addressing this case if the answer of the Minister of Justice had been similar to that of the Foreign Minister Bakoyannis, stating that 'Greece as a democratic country guarantees freedom of speech to all its citizens, which, of course, applies to the members of Vinozito as well." This was stated in response to the statements made under the title "Now we are awaiting maximum penalty". According to Vinozito, Plevris's request is considered justified by the Minister of Justice, so article 138 could be applied to the ethnic Macedonians living in Greece .

Accused of irredentism

"Are we now back in the Greek Civil War? We are tired of repeating over and over again that the ethnic minorities are an internal issue. Again and again we try and emphasize that we are not irredentists and provocateurs. Only provocateurs pose the question of changing borders. The television media in this country, while pretending to practice democracy, constantly distorts our views and our positions. The political system here characterizes us as irredentists by force. Are we now expected to face the highest penalty for that?" asks EFA and Vinozito in a public statement.

Panayote Dimitras, chairman of the Greek Helsinki Committee, says that both Ministers are overly hostile towards Vinozito and the Greek Helsinki Committee and are willing to take action against them. This confirms the fact that in Greece it is dangerous to say "Macedonian state", "Macedonian language" and "Macedonian minority".

Despite the multiple decrees and judgments the Council of Europe and the UN has exacted against such acts, Greece continues to violate international human rights treaties, stated Mr. Dimitras for "Dnevnik". The fact that no political party, no medium and no public organization in Greece protested against the actions of both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry for Justice, is a clear indication that the political system and society that needs to address the rights of the Macedonians, Turks and others in Greece are locked out. This shows that democracy does not work when dealing with the rights of the minorities in Greece, says Dimitras.    //AMW via Dnevnik, translated by Zlatko Nikolovski - UMD

 


  

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