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Free Speech in Greece

August 29 2008 at 5:24 AM
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Viktor  (Login Wiktor20)

 
Free Speech in Greece
By Lance Selfa

In response to Bosnia and the Balkans: An Exchange (October 8, 1992)

To the Editors:

To borrow a phrase from Greek embassy official Theodossis C. Demetracopoulos' letter on Macedonia [NYR, October 8], "Absurdity has triumphed over reason." But the site of this "triumph" is not Skopje in Macedonia, but Athens in Greece.

On January 26, 1993, the Athens Public Prosecutor is launching a trial against five Greek socialists, members of the Organization for Socialist Revolution (OSE). The five are accused of "disturbing relations with foreign states," of "spreading false information" and "inciting citizens to discord."

The Greek socialists face these charges of treason—which carry a penalty of as many as 15 years in prison—simply for publishing and attempting to distribute a pamphlet called "The Crisis in the Balkans: The Macedonian Question and the Working Class."

This trial is one of a series which has taken place in Greece this year. In January, six socialists, members of the Committee for the Reconstruction of the KKE (Communist Party), were each sentenced to six months in prison for pasting up posters reading "Recognize Independent Slav Macedonia."

In May, four students received 19-month sentences for distributing leaflets in Athens whose heading read: "The neighboring peoples are not our enemies."

The prosecutions of Greeks who criticize their government's position of non-recognition of Macedonia—a position which Misha Glenny is correct to characterize as "cavalier"—stem from geopolitics, not 3,000-year-old historical claims.

Certainly, the Greek government's blatant disregard for free speech and civil liberties in these cases makes a mockery of Mr. Demetracopoulos' invocation of the "verdict of the world's leading democracies" to justify his government's position of non-recognition of Macedonia.

The government's Macedonia policy has real impact on people today. Greece does not recognize university credit for Greek students who study in Skopje. The reason? Because studies are conducted in the Macedonian language, a language which "does not exist" according to the Greek government.

It is distressing enough that the US and the European Community have acceded to the denial of Macedonians' basic democratic right to choose their own government and nation. But the US and EC are also complicit in the denial of Greek citizens' basic civil liberties.

Fortunately, the Greek government's actions have not gone unchallenged. The international Committee to Defend Greek Socialists has won strong support for its demands that the Greek government stop all prosecutions of Greek citizens for simply exercising their basic right of free speech.

The Executive Committee of the General Confederation of Workers in Greece, the country's main trade union federation, has called on the government to stop the trial. To date, five members of the Greek parliament, trade unions, student organizations and well-known academics and journalists have called for a halt to the trial.

The Committee to Defend Greek Socialists (US) invites NYR readers to endorse its statement of protest to the Greek Ambassador in Washington, DC:

"We the undersigned, wish to express our serious concern about civil liberties and the right of free speech in Greece.

"We have in mind the recent action of the Athens Public Prosecutor in committing five persons to trial on January 23, 1993, for writing and distributing a booklet opposing the policy of the Greek government of non-recognition of Yugoslav Macedonia. Some of the charges derive from the treason section of the Penal Code. The legislation employed dates from the period of the pre-war Metaxas dictatorship as well as from the repressive years immediately after the civil war. Witnesses for the prosecution include a prominent extreme right-wing supporter of the military regime of 1967–1974. In two similar trials in January and May this year, the defendants received heavy prison sentences for writing and disseminating material contrary to the official line on Yugoslav Macedonia.

"We protest strongly against these infringements of the right of free speech. Without necessarily agreeing with the views of the defendants, we find it unacceptable that such serious charges have been levelled and prison sentences imposed for the mere expression of opinion. This is a clear case of violation of basic democratic rights, and as such is incompatible with the liberal democratic values of the countries of the European Community.

"Freedom of public debate and the free expression of opinions, even if these are contrary to official policy, are a necessary precondition for preventing the spread of the Yugoslav disaster to the other areas of the Balkans. It is our hope that the democratic tradition within Greek political life will not allow this breach of civil liberties to go unchallenged. We offer our wholehearted support to those in Greece prepared to defend the right of free speech."

Among the nearly 200 endorsers of this statement internationally are: Prof. Benedict Anderson, Cornell University[*] ; John Baglow, Vice President, Ontario Federation of Labour; Deborah Bourque, Vice President, Canadian Union of Postal Workers; Pete Camarata, co-chair, Teamsters for a Democratic Union; Robin Blackburn, editor, New Left Review; Prof. Noam Chomsky, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Prof. Samuel Farber, Brooklyn College; Prof. Fred Halliday, London School of Economics; Phyllis and Julius Jacobson, co-editors, New Politics; Prof. George Katsiaficas, Wentworth Institute of Technology; Erwin Knoll, editor, The Progressive; Joanne Landy, Campaign for Peace and Democracy; Harry Magdoff and Paul Sweezy, editors, Monthly Review; Ralph Miliband, editor, Socialist Register; Prof. James Petras, SUNY-Binghamton; Jerry Tucker, Movement for New Directions, United Auto Workers. The campaign also counts among its supporters British Labour MPs Tony Benn, Bernie Grant, Jeremy Corbyn and George Galloway and the fire brigades and coal oven-men's unions.

If you would like to add your name to the list of endorsers and to find out more about the campaign to defend free speech in Greece, please write the Committee.

Lance Selfa
Secretary
Committee to Defend Greek Socialists
PO Box 16085
Chicago, Illinois 60616

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2717

 
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Arxileas
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Re: Free Speech in Greece

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August 29 2008, 1:30 PM 

I'll keep it short on this one.

Firstly how democratic are the socialists or the communists or even the Facists to you ?

Secondly which other nation allows organisations such a political party as Fyroms ouranio toxo within their borders, this is like having a Cuban communist political party in American soil. So before you people bark with human rights violations, better learn what real free speech really is and democracy for that matter.

I mean the human rights Fyrom abuses on her minorities are a disgrace, Greeks and Bulgarians discriminated against because of their ethnic back ground. Fyrom has for many years been trying to rid her Bulgarinism past by ethnic cleansing and murdering, despite this fact your heroes are still Bulgarians to the core.

Also Fyrom has the most draconian laws with the Balkans such as;

Article 179
"The one who with intent to mock shall publicly expose to ridicule the Macedonian people and the nationalities, shall be punished with prison from three months to three years."


^ One of many....

Traitors have no rights in any democratic country, ask the Turks as well and they'll tell you. To hell with traitors, you people make me laugh so hard that you have been allowing your Governments to use you like a condom when it's suits them, as you know a condom once used is then expendable.


As for learning Macedonian, they are already doing that IN GREECE learning GREEK, and it’s called the Greek language. If they want to learn Bulgarian or Serbian they can stay in Fyrom or go to they the other two countries which Fyrom has historical links with and language is so similar to which is almost mistaken as Bulgarian.


You know what the Macedonians speak right ? Same as the Athenians and the Spartans who spoke GREEK.


The letter above seems to be addressed on the behalf of the Committee to Defend Greek Socialists for treason charges. And is addressing the Slav Macedonians, well that is fine with us because these people do exist, they are Slavs who are from Geographical region called Macedonia BUT your Governments wanted to use the historically Greek name for sole usage and deny everyone else. There is no welcome matt for traitors and they shall stay OUT. AND THIS INCLUDES GREEK TRAITORS. BELIEVE ME I HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO MAKE THIS STATEMENT. A COUPLE OF MY RELATIVES WERE SHOT AS COMMUNIST TRAITORS BACK THEN. Hell awaits traitors

Some were given an Amnesty, who refused is too late as far as we know. I don't think the children should be ex-communicated due to their parents past wrong doings, but if they insist on this anti Greek then stay where you are.

There is NO MACEDONIAN ethnicity.

MOLON LAVE.



    
This message has been edited by Arxileas on Aug 29, 2008 2:23 PM


 
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Arxileas
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Re: Free Speech in Greece

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August 29 2008, 2:14 PM 

Fyroms human rights abuses what the Goverment of Skopjia isn't telling you about.


Take a look;




God knows what else goes on in there as your Goverment is sooo secretive.



 
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Viktor
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Re: Free Speech in Greece

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August 29 2008, 8:50 PM 

First of all i don't bark, those was not my words and you know it.
And yes, the bad treatment of Bulgarians in my country must stop and it has to a certain level. I disprove such treatment of our citizen that express themselves as Bulgarians. But, human rights of the Bulgarians after the fall of the communist regime are far less endangered that the human rights of the minority in Greece that has not the right to claim it is such a minority. You are smart enough you get my point. And from now on I will not run into debates with you since it is useless I will only present documents.

 
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paoki
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Re: Free Speech in Greece

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August 29 2008, 10:41 PM 

ÐÅÓ ÔÁ ÁÑ×ÉËÅÁ ÁÃÏÑÉ ÌÏÕ!

As you see people, arxileas has given you a very nice responce, and a nice clip too.

As Arxileas also says: THERE IS NEITHER A MACEDONIAN ETHNICITY, NOR A MACEDONIAN STATE. It's all an American and Tito (i hope you know who tito was) propaganda with a huge financial backround, which, by the way, still works on...


 
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Arxileas
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Re: Free Speech in Greece

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August 30 2008, 1:27 AM 

And let's not forget what the Bulgarians "KOMITZIS" even earlier did to the Greeks, Serbs “and to the GreekSlavs who fought for Greece in the Macedonia struggle” civil wars and waring with neighbours. It's a vicious cycle controlled by politics Victor.

Victor this is being done by the Fyromian governments in peacetime and is against international laws and is known as ethnic cleansing or genocide

There is NO MACEDONIAN ETHNICITY.


You are smart enough you get my point. And from now on I will not run into debates with you since it is useless I will only present documents.

You are smart enough to realise we as a world are not as gullible as you people are led to believe. Debate as you wish but don't think you'll be fooling anyone other then your self's lad and you're beginning to sound like someone Mmmm.

P.s

On the video at 3.21 minutes he states on Fyrom.

It’s an artificial nation. And all that’s artificial falls apart. Yugoslavia was also artificial and fell apart.

^ I have said this a few times my self. It’s only a matter of time, only a matter of time.


There is NO MACEDONIAN ETHNICITY.



 
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Viktor
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Re: Free Speech in Greece

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August 30 2008, 7:18 PM 

"and you're beginning to sound like someone"- Don't get it
As I said I do not approve the treatment of the Bulgarians in my country. It has to change. Second you are the one living in denial. Since the world already acknowledged the existence of the Macedonian nation. It is not up to governments or organizations to decide if a certain nationality exists or doesn't exist. It is up to the people it self. No one can take that away from us. Just like no one can take those people's right to be Bulgarians. And I acknowledge them as Bulgarians.

 
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Smarts
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Re: Free Speech in Greece

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August 31 2008, 11:45 PM 

Defend Free Speech in Greece?

This statement really sounds strange

Greece is one of the least Big Brother nations in the world. In most countries the people are frightened of the government but in Greece its the government thats terrified of the people when you consider the structure of the media, political, and social organization.


Since Greece tolerates organizations such as Vinozhito which is openly anti-Greece and is affiliated with abroad nationalistic groups that spread propaganda against Greece.

articles like this are from Parties such as the KKE and its numerous broken chapters and affiliations and are just excuses and cover ups for their own corruption and attempts to get further into the political spotlight. This is from 1992 after the USSR fell and the massive financial and supportive connections between communist groups and the USSR was discovered. This violated Greek party laws that forbid foreign contributions and the USSR was an enemy of Greece and these small organizations acted as informants and passed information to the KGB. Naturally they were to be arrested for treason as it would be done in any country.

 
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Niklianos
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Re: Free Speech in Greece

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September 3 2008, 7:44 PM 

That was a strange article considering it is confusing Socialist with Communist. If those were socialist then they would not be trying to rebuild the Communist Party of Greece. 2nd of all Viktor you are attempting to discuss civil liberties by posting an article which is more than 15 years old. Comparing a country for what it is today to 15 years ago is like comparing apples to mangos.


Next, all Greek citizens have a right to express their opinions and vote for who they want. There is a reason why there is the Ouranio Toxo party in Greece! There is also a Turkish party in Greece. For those Greeks who feel that they are slavic and originate in the region of Macedonia they have their party. But to make a mountain out of a mole hill is far fetched considering there is a party for those in Greece who feel connected to your people and which never gets more than 3000 or so votes every election.

So the party is there for their voices to be heard, but yet there is virtually no one voting for them. So that would mean that the vast majority of the Slavophones in Greece do not feel 'Macedonian' in the sense people in your country do.

As Arxileas already mentioned and you acknowledged the people in your country who accept their Bulgarian origin have all had their parties disbanded and denied any kind of representation. So I would suggest for your country to reach the standards of Democracy with Greece before throwing around accusations that are very difficult to back up.

 
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Viktor
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Re: Free Speech in Greece

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September 4 2008, 2:45 AM 

Difficult to back up???
I do not think so. And when we talk about Greece you always start talking about my country. The people on the video had been molested during the communist Yugoslavia, now the situation is much better, although I adimt there is ill-treatment of Bulgarians in my country, but that is committed by individuals and it is not a state policy. The Prime minister Gruevski apologised to the Bulgarians for the ill-treatment in the past and promised that he will to his best for the discrimination against them to be stopped and the responsible to be punished. I have never heard such thing from your officials. Instead you do war marches accompanied with Greek priests in Florina in order to petrify the non- Greek population there.

 
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Niklianos
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Re: Free Speech in Greece

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September 5 2008, 3:29 AM 

Viktor,

do the pro-Mak people in Greece have a party? They do. So does that not give them rights? Anyways ALL Greek citizens irrelevant of ethnic origin has the same rights as the ethnic Greeks.

Now is it not true that Pro-Bulgarian parties in your country have been banned, even today?

Of course I will turn it onto your country because you are attacking mine. What do you expect from us? Have you heard the old saying 'The pot calling the kettle black.'??

Take care of your own home before criticizing others. It is very interested how your post corresponds to Gruevski and his antics towards Greece. Gruevski is obviously only focusing on the so called 3000+ 'Ethnic Macedonian' minorities in Greece trying to make it seem as if there are 100's of 1000's, instead of focusing on coming to an agreement on the name issue to get your country into the E.U and the U.N. Without that your country is doomed to failure and dismemberment. Instead of instigating he should be focusing on real issues.

 
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Viktor
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Re: Free Speech in Greece

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September 6 2008, 6:45 AM 

First of all my friend I do not stand for my government, for my country or anybody else. i am an individual my interests don't have to be the same as my country's interests are. Gruesvki is not my friend, nor have voted for him, so stop mentioning him every time. And those are not pro-Mako people, what is that formulation. And else the Bulgarians did not tried to form a party in our country. The situation with Bulgarians is reciprocity. I hope both countries soon will accept each other's minorities and that will be the end of the problem. While a person has no problems declaring he is Greek in my country, the opposite is quite a problem. Let me tell you that every other foreign language school in my city, Skopje, has courses in Greek language. Is that the case with at least ONE school in Thessaloníki or Athens. Don't think so. And I have posted topics about the rights of the Bulgarians in """FYROM""" where they belonged. Here I post about the rights of the """FYROMians""" in Greece.
P.S. I now you will censor the use of the national name (you know what) for my people, but it was impossible to avoid it.




===============================================

Edit;
Yep you knew it, because we've told you and proved
that there is no such ethnicity as a Macedonian ever
existed nor exists. The name you people are using as
a constitutional one is a self declared one stolen from
Greece and without the Greek Macedonians permission, so
don't come forcing your propagandas on the Greeks on here
which is not only an insult but also a lie.

Next time there will be no warning when you use this none
existant name on here as a none Greek, it'll be deleted all
together. Propagandas are not welcomed here






    
This message has been edited by Arxileas on Sep 6, 2008 6:57 AM


 
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Niklianos
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Re: Free Speech in Greece

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September 6 2008, 7:01 AM 

"First of all my friend I do not stand for my government, for my country or anybody else. i am an individual my interests don't have to be the same as my country's interests are. Gruesvki is not my friend, nor have voted for him, so stop mentioning him every time. And those are not pro-Mako people, what is that formulation. And else the Bulgarians did not tried to form a party in our country. The situation with Bulgarians is reciprocity. I hope both countries soon will accept each other's minorities and that will be the end of the problem. While a person has no problems declaring he is Greek in my country, the opposite is quite a problem. Let me tell you that every other foreign language school in my city, Skopje, has courses in Greek language. Is that the case with at least ONE school in Thessaloníki or Athens. Don't think so. And I have posted topics about the rights of the Bulgarians in Macedonia where they belonged. Here I post about the rights of the Macedonians in Greece.
P.S. I now you will censor the use of the national name (you know what) for my people, but it was impossible to avoid it."

Let me first say this is the only time I have ever mentioned Gruevski with a response to you. Second, the 'formulation' of Pro-Mak people is just that. Those people who claim to be 'Ethnic Macedonians' who are Greek citizens. Third, I am not discussing Bulgarians of Bulgaria forming parties in your country I am discussing those who are from your country forming parties claiming that your people are Bulgarians of the Region of Macedonia. I had the source listed quite a while ago in the Mak forum but someone has deleted all the post a while ago dating back for close to 3 years so I must find it again. Maybe Arxileas has the sources?

Finally, there is a perfectly good reason why Greek is being taught in so many schools in Skopje, it is because Greece is the number one investor, and I believe employer of people, in your country. The schools in teaching Greek in your country has absolutely nothing to do with a minority Greek population. We all know that there are Greeks in your country but they are self-proclaimed something else and not Greek. This is due to their families having fled Greece after the Civil War in 1949 and they have become the biggest anti-Greeks in your country. Now on the other hand the number of people claiming to be 'Ethnic Macedonians' in Greece is around 3000+ people and that is spread out throughout several villages in Northern Greece. Does that constitute enough of a minority to create schools? The Turks in Thrace number in the 100,000 range and they have their own schools.




 
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Viktor
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Re: Free Speech in Greece

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September 6 2008, 7:21 PM 

"Finally, there is a perfectly good reason why Greek is being taught in so many schools in Skopje, it is because Greece is the number one investor, and I believe employer of people, in your country." - It has nothing to do with that, those companies operate in English. And Greek companies are coming in my country to earn money not to help us. Politics is politics, business is business. I have stated that there are school which give courses in Greek here, just to prove that we have no antagonism toward your people, unlike some, a very large number of you, I believe. And I am sorry if I overreacted when you mentioned Gruevski, it was not my point, I know you haven't been mentioning him, Nikilianos, but most of the people here do, so it was more addressed to them.
"Third, I am not discussing Bulgarians of Bulgaria forming parties in your country I am discussing those who are from your country forming parties claiming that your people are Bulgarians of the Region of Macedonia." - They can be claiming that THEY are Bulgarians, they cannot claim what the other people in the country our. I personally have nothing against somebody claiming that HE is Bulgarian, or anything else.
"Those people who claim to be 'Ethnic Macedonians' who are Greek citizens."- Exactly and not only that they don't have the right to express themselves as such, they are being molested without any reason.
"We all know that there are Greeks in your country but they are self-proclaimed something else and not Greek."- How many times do I have to say- Somebody is what he claims to be. How come that you never had a problem with Vlachs, or those people that you call Slavophone Greeks, which linguistically and historically are not Greeks, but in fact they are. There is a census and on that census you declare your nationality and that's it.

Arxileas I don't have intention to argue with you. I will only say this: Every nation is self declared first, and than accepted by others. The fact that you don't accept me is more your problem than mine. I am happy with myself, my feelings my identity, and yes, by being accepted from the rest of the world. So your non-acceptance is more of an exception than a rule.

 
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Arxileas
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Re: Free Speech in Greece

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September 7 2008, 3:58 AM 

Don't worry Victor no one can take away your Bulgar / Slavic identity away. BIG differences btw you and me pal.


GFY




 
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amerinako
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Re: Free Speech in Greece

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September 7 2008, 5:32 AM 

No Victor the only thing they can take away is our post. They can never have what they really want!

Can you democratic wanna-be Greeks please tell me why you erased my post??? Also remember it is a Slavic OWNED board you are on tool!

 
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amerinako
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HOW IRONIC

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September 7 2008, 5:35 AM 

The thread is called "Free Speech in Greece" and yet they DELETE EVERYTHING anyone that does not agree with their silly ritualistic believes!

 
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Arxileas
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Re: Free Speech in Greece

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September 7 2008, 5:37 AM 

^

06) Insulting participants in the discussion. If participants are replying to an insulting text, they take a chance of having their response removed as well. Instead, it is suggested to urge the moderators to remove the texts containing insults, or the texts violating these rules by other means.





    
This message has been edited by Arxileas on Sep 7, 2008 5:38 AM


 
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amerinako
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Re: Free Speech in Greece

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September 7 2008, 5:52 AM 

Arx you are so full of crap, and I have you by the tail and guarantee you will be removed as a mod. You wanna-be Greeks cannot pick and choose who you will target. You MUST be fair and none of you are! Check your post above to Victor, you insult him by calling him a bulgar??? How do you think you can get away with this? Your days are done, all has been saved and all will be turned over to the SLAV that OWNS the board!

 
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Arxileas
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Re: Free Speech in Greece

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September 7 2008, 5:57 AM 

Well I am afraid amerinako you are a big insulter of members mothers and you are a big genitalal / homo etc; talk which is unacceptable on any civilised forums. As I understand you've been banned before for similar offences.

The poor me or the victim card doesn't work well here.

Locked as far as we are concerened.



 
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