Julia please explain

first_imgThe Australian Hellenic Council, Victoria branch (AHC) has written to the Prime Minister Julia Gillard expressing its concerns over a recent acknowledgement from DFAT regarding the abolition of the term “Slav – Macedonian”. The term has been in place since 1994 and the adoption of the term “Macedonian” in all formal government documents, when those refer to the community of those whose ancestry is linked to FYROM. The letter signed by Mr Peter Jasonides, State Coordinator of AHC Victoria, poses to the Prime Minister a number of questions regarding the lack of sufficient communication of the matter to the Greek – Australian community. AHC Victoria asks the Prime Minister to answer when and how the “Slav – Macedonian” administrative circular was cancelled and archived; why the Greek-Australian community wasn’t informed about such a major (operational) change, given the past liaison of this issue of past Australian governments with the community and why despite recent meetings of AHC with the Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister, there was never any mention made of the change?” A spokesman of DFAT has informed Neos Kosmos recently that “the ‘Slav – Macedonian’ administrative circular has not been operative in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for several years and as is standard practice, the document was made non-current and archived on 28 October 2008”. AHC points out that the adoption of the term “Macedonian” for those whose ancestry originates from FYROM may potentially create ethnic tensions within the Australian community, given that this decision ignores the rights of the ‘Greek Macedonians’. “The endorsement of a new term ‘Macedonians’ attributed to the ‘Slav – Macedonians’ will vilify the ethnic, historical and cultural rights of Australians of Greek heritage, including ‘Greek Macedonians’. Importantly, the adoption of this term will contravene international conventions and will oppose the decision of the United Nations; the endorsement of the term ‘Macedonians’ assigned unilaterally only to the ‘Slav-Macedonians’ and ignoring the rights of the ‘Greek-Macedonians’ will create high ethnic tensions leading to discord and schisms, as those tragically experienced during the 1990s. During the entire 20th century, the term ‘Macedonian’ functioned as a geographical term depicting all those ethnicities residing in the geographical region of Macedonia, which is now shared by Greece, FYROM and Bulgaria; hence, it had no ethnic or national denigration,” the letter says. Neos Kosmos spoke to Mr Jasonides who said that current events in Canberra may be one of the reasons that the Prime Minister did not respond as yet to AHC’s letter. Mr Jasonides added that the issue is of great importance to the Greek community and a response from the Prime Minister will be greatly appreciated. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img

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