"Petition in Thessaloniki Cites Irredentist Propaganda, Calls on Athens to Block FYROM's Euro-Atlantic Course"

Athens News Agency 1147 GMT 20 Nov 07

A petition signed by some 1,250 well-known Thessaloniki residents calls on the Greek government to exercise right and veto the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia's (FYROM -- The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) EU and NATO accession course, accusing the leadership of the neighboring state of violating international treaties and engaging in wholesale irredentist propaganda against Greece.

The petition, signed by various academics, local government officials, Church leaders, heads of organizations, retired military officers, journalists, professionals and business people, among others, charges that the multiethnic one-time Yugoslav republic to Greece's immediate north has "systematically violated the interim agreement signed in 1995 ... ignores all UN Security Council and European Union resolutions and decisions and attempts to monopolize the name 'Macedonia' for expansionist purposes."

"Greece and the Greek people, the Greek Macedonians, in particular, are watching EU bodies, our cultural heritage, our right to preserve our identity and self-determination, being unscrupulously jeopardized with the FYROM 'name issue' used as a pretext," the petition reads.

The roughly 1,250 signatories, all from the Thessaloniki-area, the biggest metropolis in Greece's large Macedonia province, also conveyed the petition to international organizations and countries that have recognized FYROM with its constitutional name, while clarifying that the name, in itself, would not have been the essence of the problem if it did not constitute "an irredentist vehicle against Greece".




(Posting date 29 November 2007)

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