Memorandum sent by the Macedonians to the Balkan states
TO The Presidents of the Balkan's states and Ministers of foreign affairs of the states participants at the Conference in Crete - Republic of Greece in November 1997
On October 5,1997 in Bitola, Republic of Macedonia gathered accredited representatives of the Macedonian organizations on the Balkan's states as:
∑ "Vino Zito" - European movement, organization of the Macedonians from the Aegean part of Macedonia in Republic of Greece, open membership to all citizen of Greece regardless of the religion and nationality;
∑ "OMO Ilinden" - democratic movement of the Macedonians from the Pirin part of Macedonia in Bulgarian Republic, open for membership to all citizen of Bulgaria regardless of the religion or the nationality;
∑ "The association MIR" organization of the Macedonians from Gora, Gob Brdo and Tirana from the Republic of Albania;
∑ "Association Prespa" organization for protection of the rights to the Macedonians in Prespa, Vrbnik, Korca and whole Albania, these two organizations open for membership for all Albanian citizen regardless of their religion or nationality and
∑ Presidency of the "Association of the Macedonians of the Aegean part of Macedonia" with headquarters in Bitola - organization of the Macedonians expelled from Republic of Greece.
During the meeting they had discussed the situation about the national and human rights of the Macedonian minorities in Republic of Albania, Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia deciding as follows:
The Republic of Bulgaria and Greece claim that in their states live only one people belonging only to one nation without national minorities is absurd and anachronous. Without bringing up the historical past and the division of Macedonia among the Balkan's states we express our grave concern caused by the denying attitude of Republic of Greece and Republic of Bulgaria concerning the Macedonian state, Macedonian nation and Macedonian minority in these countries. The Macedonians living in Albania, Bulgaria and Greece are organized in Macedonian organizations open for membership to all citizens of the state regardless to the religion or nationality, showing that they exist in these countries and pledge for the national and human rights in the framework of the Geneva Convention about the rights of nationalities and minorities.
The rights of the Macedonians in Albania are reduced to a small reservation of people with minimal national rights. Some 4500 persons from Prespa and the village Vrbnik have the right to learn the Macedonian language as a foreign one with two hours teaching per week, in the elementary schools, while the teaching is in Albanian language only. The rest of 200.000 Macedonians from Gob Brdo, Gora and from the provinces have not any national rights and are not permitted to declare themselves as Macedonians, speaking their motherís language at home, a constant pressure is put towards their Albanization.
The Macedonians from Serbia have the right to declare themselves as Macedonians, but the Macedonians in Kosovo with Muslim religion are forbidden to declare themselves as Macedonians. All over the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia religion and education in Macedonian language is forbidden.
The Macedonians in Republic of Bulgaria who from 1946 until 1949 had complete national right and freedom, today are not recognized as a national minority they are forbidden to declare themselves as Macedonians and are not permitted to learn their mother's language., as well as to organize public meetings for celebration of the national heroes from that region, which fought for the national originality of Macedonians of the Pirin region, many false court trials have been enacted against the leaders of the Macedonian organizations, and in spite of the existence of the civil statute and the program of the Organization, they are not allowed to get legally organized. The passports of the leaders are confiscated from them and they are not permitted to go outside Bulgaria.
The Macedonians in the Republic of Greece are not recognized as a national minority, they are not allowed to speak the Macedonian language in public places and meetings and do not have the right to get education in their mother's language, the Macedonian. They are not allowed to use their original Macedonian personal and family names but only the Greek ones. The Greek authorities engaged in false court trials charging the Macedonians for threatening the Law and order because they manifest the Macedonian national feelings. Court charges are brought against Tsarknias, Sideropulos, Voskopoulos, Vasilijadis, Romas and others because they declare themselves as Macedonians by nationality and in OBSE they have spoken clearly that they are discriminated in Greece. In the town of Lerin-Florina they were asking 4 years ago legally the Court to permit them opening of a Center of the Macedonian culture where the Macedonian language, culture, customs and folklore would be nursed. The request was refused by the highest court authorities without any explanation. Applicants have directed themselves to the European Court who has recommended to Greece latest by the end of 1997 to fulfill the demand or Republic of Greece will be brought before the European Court for violating the human rights. The Macedonians who openly by legal way are asking for national recognition are so called spies of Skopje, separatists, autonomists etc.
The national minorities in Republic of Macedonia have all the national minority rights, even some more than that are required with the Geneva Convention about the national minorities. In the republic of Macedonia live a great number of Macedonians expelled by Republic of Greece and have all the national rights, but Republic of Greece has a special discriminative treatment against them and do not permit them to enter in Greece. In 1982 Republic of Greece with a Law no. 154O declared amnesty and permitted returning of the expelled emigrants who are ethnic Greeks but the Macedonians who fought equally with the Greek fighters for democratization of Greece are not allowed to return to Greece the only reason being they are not ethnic Greeks. The Macedonian organizations present at the meeting decides to fight further for the national rights by democratic ways with instruments allowed in the states where they live and the European recommendations about the rights of the national minorities.
All claims are rejected, coming from any side, that the Macedonians ask for a territorial unification f Macedonia. We stay as always loyal citzenz of the countries we belong and live in, will respect the constitutionz and the laws of that country. But we shall I ask for the opening of Schools on mother's language, Macedonian in the schools of elementary education, and in the secondary schools the Macedonian language to be learned as mother's language in the frame of the education system of Republic of Albania, Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia, the right to religion in Macedonian language, the right to communicate with the public on the State television, radio and press on mother's Macedonian language, undisturbed nurturing of the customs, folklore and the Macedonian culture. We ask for a repatriation of the former Greek citizen and their families who wish as ethnic Macedonians to return in Greece and return also of their confiscated properties.
Signatories of the Memorandum
1. "Drustvo Prespa" -
2. "Drustvo Mir" - Republic of Albania
3. †OMO Ilinden Republic of Bulgaria
4 †"Vino zito" - European
5. †Association of the Macedonians from the Aegean part of Macedonia headquartered in Bitola - Republic of Macedonia
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