Dimitras: Ethnicities or countries can not change name …

Tuesday, 21 April 2009
 Dimitras: Ethnicities or countries can not change name …

Ξανακτύπησε ο γνωστός άγνωστος Δημητρας

In the 90’s of the last century Panayotis Elias Dimitris was the leader of a leftist movement who stood up to the Greek nationalist euphoria and collaborated with “Macedonian” organizations across the border, keeping the communication, i.e. intellectual dialogue between the two countries.

The main purpose for the communication as Panayotis points out was to show the “Macedonians”
 that there are Greek intellectuals, though a minority, who disagree with the propaganda perpetrated by official Athens.

Mr. Dimitras has a doctorate in political sciences from Harvard University, is currently the head of the Greek Helsinki Monitor, and is one of the very few individuals who dares to publicly question Greek Government’s policies in regards to their ethnic minorities.

Mr. Dimitras’ courage, earned him a charge for “high treason” by the Greek Government, a charge that was swiftly accepted by the Public prosecutor who at the moment is developing his case.

The last interview Mr. Dimitras gave to a “Macedonian” newspaper, he stated that at the moment, it is virtually impossible to state the true number of “Macedonians” in Greece, because people are fearful for their safety.

“If I, as an ethnic Greek, am being prosecuted by the Government because I have publicly stated there are “Macedonians” in Greece, just imagine how do the people in Lerin (Florina), Kostur (Kastoria), Voden(Edessa)… feel”

“Macedonia” and Greece have a dispute that stretches back almost 20 years. Do you believe the name of the country is the problem or is there a hidden agenda?

Panayotis Elias Dimitras: The main dispute has nothing to do with the name of the country, rather it is your identity. Greece does not wish to accept a “Macedonian” identity, anywhere in this world, let alone on its territory. Because on our territory, Greece does not and will not accept any minority, it doesn’t matter whether it is the “Macedonians”, Turks, or others.

There are certain politicians, or groups in “Macedonia” who have no problem of settling the name dispute by changing the name. Is there such a group in Greece who have no problem with our name?
Dimitras: There is a small group of Greek intellectuals who have no issues accepting Republic of FYROMacedonia. The same group is fully aware of the “Macedonian” minority in Greece, however this group is facing unfriendly activities by the dominant majority.

Both peoples are tired of the dispute and the negotiations. Is it possible you think that soon they’ll find the strength and will to solve the problem?

– Greeks will accept the name North “Macedonia”, if both sides agree to it. However, Greece will not recognize the “Macedonian” minority nor the language. This fact makes it very difficult that a solution will be found any time soon or that cool heads will prevail.

According to you, what is a fair compromise?

– I personally don’t believe there should be a reason for an ethnicity or a country to change its name because another country is pushing for it. Perhaps North Macedonia may be a compromise if Greece accepts the “Macedonians” in Greece, but also in the neighboring country.

Greece has threatened that will block “Macedonia” from entering integrating into the EU unless it changes its name. Could this problem become potentially problem of NATO and the EU?

This happened primarily because EU and NATO allowed Greece as an ‘older’ member to impose their views on the rest of the members. The EU is tolerating Greece’s stubbornness, does not punish it when it fails for disrespecting and not following orders from the European Court of Human Rights neither heeds advice from the recommendations of all experts and institutions from the European Council and the United Nations.

Mr. Dimitras, do you believe in a quick settlement or solution between FYROMacedonia and Greece?
– I can not be an optimist on this…


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Nick Nikolas says:

Mr. DIMITRAS reminds me of the god of war (Ares) nothing to do with the godess DAMATER. The big mather. Mitra is the belt of war and because the god of war had two mitras, they called him Dimitrios meaning him who has two mitras. In harvard university they shall know all this.

Mr. Dimitras talks about a Macedonian language. If Mr, Dimitras wants to talk about languages, I advise him to leave from the department of political sciense and go to the department of linguistics in this Great University and ask them. If he does this, I am sure he will take back all this nonsence.

All old States became States of Greece because they spoke Greek. There was no other language to speak. It is well known that there were the Greeks and the languageless. You know their other name. If not, ask for it in the linguistic department of Harvard.

Greece has no problem excepting you as a state of Greece but you have to prove that you are not languageless.