Greece in UK

Greece’s Ambassador denounced BBC story on “Greece’s Invisible Minority – the Macedonian Slavs”



Greece’s Ambassador to London Dimitris Caramitsos-Tziras denounced a BBC story in a letter to the broadcaster on Monday, after the online publication of “Greece’s Invisible Minority – the Macedonian Slavs”. 

The Ambassador slammed the BBC for “significant historical inaccuracies” and for distorting “facts at the expense of Greece,” he said in his letter.

The full letter follows:

Letter by the Ambassador,
Mr. Dimitris Caramitsos-Tziras, to the BBC, concerning the article “Greece’s Invisible Minority”

Embassy of Greece in London – Embassy News

Monday, 25 February 2019

“It was to my great surprise and dismay that I read yesterday, Sunday February 24, on the BBC’s website, the article entitled “Greece’s Invisible Minority”. This article contains significant historical inaccuracies, distorts facts at the expense of Greece and, importantly, does not do justice to the Prespa Agreement: a historic agreement, which resolved a decades-long dispute, reinforcing stability in the Balkan region and offering a paradigm for the settlement of differences on the basis of dialogue and mutual respect.

There is only one minority in Greece, as recognized by international treaties, namely the Muslim minority. Nevertheless, the article attempts to raise a non-existing issue by distorting the Prespa Agreement, while its writer has opted to not quote even its relevant provisions.

The article postulates that “by ratifying an agreement with the newly renamed Republic of North Macedonia, Greece has implicitly recognized the existence of a Macedonian language and ethnicity”.

As regards the issue of language, the Agreement refers (Art. 1, par. 3(c)) to the “Macedonian language” in a very specific way: i.e. exclusively as the official language of North Macedonia. Moreover, it explicitly clarifies (Art. 7, par. 4) that it falls within the group of South Slavic languages and, most importantly, that it is not related to the history, culture, and heritage of Greek Macedonia, from antiquity to date.

As regards the fallacious presumption that there is an implicit recognition of “Macedonian ethnicity” supposedly emanating from the Prespa Agreement, allow me to point out a very basic principle of international law: states recognize states, not ethnic groups. The ethnicity of citizens cannot be determined by inter-state agreements. Hence, Greece retains the right to refer to the citizens that comprise the ethnic majority in our neighbouring country with the terms used to date, whereas they retain the right to self-identification.

The Prespa Agreement does not refer to ethnicity, but to “nationality (citizenship)” (Article 1), which is the legal bond between the state and the citizen. North Macedonia has amended its constitution accordingly (Article 23), underlining that nationality (citizenship), as agreed in the Prespa Agreement, “does not define or pre-determine ethnic affiliation/ethnicity”.

It is therefore plainly obvious that the Prespa Agreement in no way leads to the “implicit recognition” of any minority in our country, as the writer incorrectly and arbitrarily holds. On the contrary, the Prespa Agreement sets out clearly, inter alia, that nothing in its constitution, as it is in force or will be amended in the future, can or should be interpreted as constituting or will ever constitute the basis for interference with the internal affairs of the other Party in any form and for any reason (Art. 4, par. 3).

It is in this very context that North Macedonia amended Art. 49 of its Constitution, so as to refer exclusively to the support of its citizens and Diaspora, and deleted references such as “support of the Macedonian people… in neighbouring countries”.

The various allegations in the article seem to echo the views of “Ouranio Toxo”, the only political party that claims to represent a so-called “Macedonian minority”. Let me add that in all national or European elections in which it participated, the electoral support this party received was always minimal, while it has always run as part of multi-party coalitions.

I would ask you to kindly publish this letter in order to restore facts and set the record straight. I remain hopeful that these insights will be taken into account in future reports of your esteemed public service broadcaster on the subject.”

Source: mfa


Register Your Business

Flash News

Brexit News Live | Theresa May promises parliamentary vote on second referendum in desperate bid to force through exit plan

News

Monday's Google Honours Georgios Papanikolaou

Greece in the News

What is Europe Day and is anyone celebrating?

History & Culture

Που θα ψηφίσουμε στις Eυρωεκλογές

Life in the UK

Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris is on fire

News

West London shooting

News

Brexit | UK and EU agree delay to 31 October

News

Ο James Bond στο «Σταύρος Νιάρχος»

Greece in the News

Πρόγραμμα εγκατάστασης πολιτών ΕΕ τώρα και στα Ελληνικά!

Life in the UK

Η τρίτη ήττα της Μέι σηματοδοτεί εκλογές;

News

Η UNESCO απαντά στον Ερντογάν για την Αγία Σοφία

Greece in the News

Έξοδος και τέλος εποχής για την Τερέζα Μέι

News

Καταργείται η Αλλαγή Ώρας

News

Theresa May Opens Door for Second Referendum?

News

More than 4 million sign Brexit petition to revoke article 50

News

Papa’s got a brand new face

News

BREAKING NEWS: Brussels says no to Theresa May's June delay

News

Ryanair to Launch 12 New Routes from Greece for Winter 2019

News

Η κυβέρνηση θα ζητήσει την αναβολή του Brexit

News

BREXIT - What Happens Now?

News

Brexit Delayed..???

News

Brexit: MPs reject Theresa May's deal by 149 votes

News

Job Add | Full Stack Web Developer

News

Greek Music and The Silver Screen

Things to do

Giannis Antetokounmpo stars in Aegean Airlines' New Safety Video [VIDEO]

News

Where Europe Would Be Hurt Most by a No-Deal Brexit

Business Matters

Stavros Niarchos Foundation in support of Strengthening Greece’s Arsenal in the Battle against Cancer

News

Looking for the Non-Smoking venues in Greece? This platform will be your friend...

News

HAPPENING NOW @GreeksConnect