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Macedonian cultural association de-registered by Greek Authorities after one day

The Greek Ministry of Culture deleted the “Macedonian Movement for the Promotion of the Mother Tongue” from the Register of Cultural Institutions only one day after its registration was approved.

The association’s aim was set to promote and preserves the ancestral language of Macedonians in Greece.

Macedonia Times confirmed yesterday with the organization AMKE Krste Misirkov from the region of Voden (Edessa) that the Ministry of Culture document was indeed true (photo).

A Facebook profile for a movement that publishes the Abecedar blog of the Macedonian national minority of Greece shared a scan of the document along with its own remarks.

“We hope there won’t be any retreat on the part of the ministry” was part of the celebratory comment on the page, however this is exactly what had happened on May 13.

The Greek Ministry of Culture quickly reversed its decision based on three conclusions:

1. The person who requested the registration of the AMKE Krste Misirkov association has been present in the Greek court system on numerous occasions.

2. The organization doesn’t provide privileges to any potential beneficiaries.

3. The organization has never applied for a government grant from the Ministry of Culture.

Macedonian language in Greece

The conclusions offered by the Ministry is a view into the perpetual Kafkaesque cycle of the Macedonian struggle for civil rights and recognition in Greece.

1. Cultural associations are impossible to register with the State unless there is an individual whose name formally appears on documents – thereby that name is inevitably part of court documents.

2. Macedonians in Greece have lived in a climate of fear generated by the Greek state, its military and paramilitary organizations for more than 150 years.

Entire villages have suffered violence and persecution because of their ethnic origin and the language they speak.

One example of state intimidation came from the Golden Dawn party whose members barged in on an event for the promotion of a Macedonian-Greek dictionary. In all cases, attackers act with impunity.

Greek fascist party Golden Dawn threatens violence during the promotion of Macedonian – Greek dictionary.

Ethnic Macedonians avoid being associated with a Macedonian organization out of fear of repercussions.

Individuals may lose their job, lose business, government agricultural and other subsidies and so on.

This climate of fear can be relaxed and possibly reversed if the Greek state gives recognition to the fact. Recognizing the Macedonian language would have been one step in that direction.

3. The Krste Misirkov organization could not have applied for a government grant because it is not a formal entity.

The statement attached to the official document of the cancellation decision reads:

“The Ministry of Culture and Sports informs that the Civil Non-Profit Company “Macedonian Movement for the Promotion of the Mother Tongue” with registration number 5/2018 in the company books of the Edessa Court of First Instance, has been deleted from the Register of Cultural Institutions of the Ministry of Culture, as it has found that the person appearing as the administrator and legal representative of the said AMKE is said to have repeatedly occupied the Greek justice, a fact that raises serious questions regarding the possibility of his inclusion in the Register of Cultural Institutions of the Ministry of Culture.”

(Translation by Google Translate)

The Krste Misirkov Association sent a letter recently underscoring the legal obligation of the Greek state in enabling minority groups to exercise cultural autonomy without fearing repercussions.

The letter points out that Greece is in violation of two international agreements because it denies ethnic Macedonians the right to learn the Macedonian language and enjoy their human and civic rights through associations that represent this cause.

Martin Anastasovski
Martin Anastasovski
Martin Anastasovski is a writer, researcher and publicist. He writes articles for Macedonia Times in the fields of Macedonian news and politics, history, culture and travel. His opinion pieces have been published on Macedonian news portals. He has a university degree in political science.
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