UMD Greece Representative and Co-Founder of the Educative and Cultural Movement of Edessa (Voden) (ECME), Eugenia Natsoulidou participated at the Network to Promote Linguistic Diversity’s General Assembly (NPLD GA), in Corsica, France, on October 4, 2012 to promote the status of the Macedonian language in Greece.
ECME was elected during the General Assembly as an Associate Member, the first step towards full participation in Steering Meetings and the General Assembly next year. NPLD is a pan-European network, which encompasses constitutional, regional and smaller-state languages to promote linguistic diversity in the context of a multilingual Europe. NPLD believes that further cooperation between official bodies that promote the use of minority languages is vital for the development of a coherent strategy for the future survival of these languages.
“Approximately 50 million EU citizens speak a regional language, but respect for those languages varies widely. Compared to language rights for Catalan, Corsican or Welsh in Spain, France and Great Britain, the status of the Macedonian language in Greece is truly disgraceful and tragic. By coordinating our efforts with UMD, we are sending a strong message to Athens that the time of Metaxas is long gone, and we, the Macedonians of Aegean Macedonia, demand that our human rights and our cultural heritage be respected,” said Natsoulidou.
“Another important benefit of the ECME’s election as a NPLD Associate Member is that young Macedonians will be able to participate in cultural seminars and festivals around Europe, thus promoting and preserving our Macedonian culture, and pioneering the next generation of human rights activism in Aegean Macedonia (Northern Greece),” concluded Natsoulidou.
“The cultural oppression of the indigenous Macedonian population in Aegean Macedonia is an international embarrassment for Greece and to the European Union, and it is the root cause of Greece’s hostility towards the Republic of Macedonia. UMD’s advocacy this month in Corsica was a vital step towards exposing the Greek government’s illegal and immoral treatment of its own citizens to the highest levels of power in Brussels. We intend to dramatically raise the profile of this issue on the world stage,” said UMD Canada Director Jim Daikos.