Subjective claims or perceptions of some of the above-mentioned individuals, which are not based on objective facts and criteria, that they are ethnically “Macedonians” do not establish by themselves a corresponding obligation of Greece to officially recognize this group as a «minority» and to guarantee to its members specific minority rights, additional to those guaranteed by human rights treaties. Moreover, the use on their behalf of the term “Macedonian” in order to define a distinct ethnicity creates confusion with the 2,5 million Greeks who identify themselves as Macedonians in the regional/cultural sense.
In any case, in Greece, even if a group is not recognised as a minority enjoying specific minority rights, individuals are free to declare that they belong to a distinct ethnic or cultural group, without any negative consequences resulting from such a statement. In addition, these persons enjoy fully all their civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights, which are recognized by the provisions of national and international law. Both the judiciary and the administration are obliged to implement these provisions. Persons who consider that their rights are
being violated can bring their case before the Greek courts and also have the possibility to appeal to the competent international bodies, as provided for by the relevant treaties binding Greece.
A couple of examples prove the above mentioned affirmations:
- There is a political party in Greece, which claims to represent the “Macedonian minority”. This party operates freely and participates without any impediments in the elections. One of the leading figures of the party is a civil servant, working for the Greek State, regardless of his political activities and views.
- There are regular cultural events and festivities organised by the Slav-speaking persons in the region of Florina, where everyone is free to participate, including nationals of the neighbouring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
In conclusion, all persons residing in Greece, regardless of their nationality, ethic origin, language, religious or political affiliation enjoy full protection of their human rights and liberties. Everyone is free to declare his/her origin, speak his/her language, exercise his/her religion and observe his/her particular customs and traditions.
Finally, with regard to the implementation of measures of reconciliation, the Greek State, in order to definitely heal the wounds of the Civil War, proceeded to the reinstatement of the citizenship and the return of confiscated property of persons of Greek origin who had fled the country after this traumatic historical experience. However, all individuals, irrespective of their ethic origin, have the possibility to bring before Greek courts any claims regarding property or other issues, under the general provisions of law.