Report: Greece Suppressed Macedonian Identity

An alleged secret Greek document, disclosing Greek plans for suppressing Macedonian identity in its territory was revealed on Wednesday, local media report.

The detailed document dating back to February 1982, is said to be issued by the then Greek National Security Service chief Dimitris Kapelaris, and was unveiled by the party of the unrecognised Macedonian minority in Greece ”Rainbow”, the local Makfax news agency reported.

According to the allegations in the document, cited by Makfax, Athens planned to set up a special team to infiltrate institutions in northern Greece, near the border of then Socialist Federation of Yugoslavia.

The team was to infiltrate all public services and to “exclude any thoughts of repatriation of the political refugees who now reside in Yugoslavia and who have been brought up with the “Macedonian idea”, the “Macedonian language and culture” and activities taken for detaching Greek territories, during the period 1946-1949,” the document states as quoted by Makfax.

The quoted plan envisaged the “wiping out the use of the idiom (as the Greeks state refers to the Macedonian language), in the regions near the borders” with the secret supervision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“In the public services and especially in the educational institutions the employees who will be in service have to be ignorant of the local idiom,” the document reportedly says.

Balkan Insight has not been able to verify whether the document is original.

There has been no official reaction by Greece.

The plan further envisaged the funding of Hellenic cultural associations in the northern region that would send their published materials to the large diaspora originating from this region.

“This will boost their national sentiment and they will be protected from the anti-Hellenic propaganda that is been practiced by Slavmacedonian organisations,’’ reads the paper.

The plan as quoted also encouraged Greek military personnel to marry “girls who speak the idiom” as well as stop all those who wished to study at Skopje University by extending their military service calls.

Last year Athens blocked Skopje’s NATO accession demanding that the country change its formal name Macedonia first as it implicates territorial claims toward Greece’s own northern province with that name. Greece officially named its northern province Macedonia during the 1980es and claims it has nothing to do with today’s Republic of Macedonia.

The long running name dispute also added more fuel to the other open issues between the two countries.While Skopje urges Greece to admit Macedonians’ rights in that country, Athens claims that there are no Macedonians except the ones with the Hellenic origin. Athens calls the Rainbow activists “a small Slavic group”.

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