Greece Covered Up Macedonians

Greece Covered Up Macedonian Minority

Greece Covered Up Macedonian Minority


By Dusan Sinadinoski

In a recently declassified confidential report from June of 1974, released by United States Department of State on June 30, 2005 (USUN N 02160 142224Z), Emmanuel Megalokonomonos, permanent member of Greek United Nation Mission, has called Mr. Schaufele, the United States ambassador to United Nations, on June 14th to inform him of Greek concern that the Yugoslavs may intend to use the impending United Nation seminar on human rights to embarrass Greeks of their treatment of the Macedonian minority in Greece. This seminar was held in Ohrid from June 25 to July 8, 1974 under the sponsorship of the United Nation and it was intended to promote and protect the rights of national, ethnic and other minorities. Yugoslavia didn’t invite Greece to attend this seminar.

According to this document, the Greeks objected this seminar be held in Ohrid because 1) “Yugoslavs have chosen Ohrid in Yugoslav part of Macedonia near to Greek border for site for seminar despite Greek view that it (Ohrid) lacks adequate facilities, 2) Articles that have appeared in Yugoslav Macedonia press, 3) Statement of mayor of Skopje, 4) Greece has not been invited to attend.” In addition, Mr. Megalokonomonos had really hoped that “US was not attending” but he was informed that the US has already committed to participate.

Once Megalokonopolos realized that US wouldn’t cancel their participation in the Ohrid seminar on human rights, he than proceeded to secure a commitment from US ambassador that US would protect Greece’s interests. The report also states that “he (Megalokonomonos) than told Ambassador Schaufele that he knew Greece could count on US if issue arose. Ambassador Schaufele replied only that US would do what it could and asked for documentation which Megalokomonos promised to provide.” Moreover, Mr. Schaufele had to point out to the Greek UN representative that the Yugoslavs have not misused their role as a host to similar seminars in the past.

What is important to Macedonian cause is that subject report assessed the Greece’s concern as unfounded. The report states that “Greek government could be overreacting, but if Greek fears materialized, US participants could be placed in position of either taking sides or of appearing by their silence to acquiesce in Yugoslav charges.” Finally, the report concludes that attempt be made to “ascertain Yugoslav intentions and provide guidance for US participants accordingly.” Apparently, the ambassador Schaufele was very worried because Yugoslavia could have caused difficulties and embarrassment to United States if US supported Greece which would have undermined US role in the world on issue of human rights.

This report raises a question that begs to be asked is why was Greece so concerned over Macedonian minority in Greece if there was no Macedonian minority in Greece. All Mr. Megalokonomos had to do, since Ohrid was so near the border, is to invite US ambassador Schaufele and the participants of the Ohrid seminars to visit Voden, Kostur, Lerin, Buff and other surrounding cities and witness for themselves the status of Macedonian minority in Greece. Could the Greeks have been so shortsighted and not realized that telling the truth is always simpler than covering it up?

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