GREECE - THE ONLY EUROPEAN COUNTRY
WHICH STILL HAS POLITICAL REFUGEES
The policy of discrimination is also implemented against Macedonian political refugees. These individuals are not permitted to return to Greece to visit their places of birth. Many such people currently reside in Eastern European countries as well as in the United States, Australia and Canada.
During the Greek Civil War (1946-1949) thousands of Greeks and about 60,000 ethnic Macedonians (of which 30,000 were children) were forced to leave Greece. The Greek State stripped all of them of their Greek citizenship. Until 1981 Greek policy prohibited political refugees from returning or even visiting Greece.
In 1981, according to the so-called policy of National Reconciliation, the Greek government permitted refugees who left Greece during the Greek Civil War to return Greece. The joint decision (106841 / 29.12.1982 - L. 1266/1982) of the Ministries of Internal Affairs and Public Order states:
"...all Greeks by genus* who left Greece as a result of the Civil War 1946-1949 and went abroad as political refugees may return to Greece even if they have lost their Greek citizenship..."
* The meaning of the word "genus" (genos) is synonymous with race or ethnicity.
The [Karadza] document [English translation] shows how Greece uses a list of "undesirables" to target members of the Macedonian national minority who left Greece as political refugees.
Mr. Karadza left Greece in 1949, during the Greek Civil War. Macedonians who left Greece at that time were stripped of their citizenship. Many have subsequently been placed on a list of undesirables as persona non grata and cannot even visit their relatives and birthplaces in Greece.
Compare this treatment with that afforded those political refugees who declare themselves as ethnically Greek (in conjunction with decision of 1981). The ethnically Greek group of political refugees is allowed to return to Greece, is repatriated and has their Greek citizenship reinstated. Furthermore, political refugees who declare as ethnically Greek receive special employment benefits for themselves and their families. In practice, the Greek government decision of 1981 is used to discriminate against those political refugees who are not (or will not falsely declare themselves as) ethnically Greek.
Why does Greece exclude ethnic Macedonians from the right to repatriation?
Why does Greece prohibit its former citizens from visiting their family homes and places of birth merely because their ethnic identity is politically undesirable to the Greek government?
Why is such a policy of Apartheid still in practice to this day in a European country and member of the European Union?