Slav-Macedonian Newspaper Sued by Greek-Australians

The hearing of the Australian Macedonian Advisory Council from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal against the Slav-Macedonian newspaper ”Australian Macedonian Weekly” took place recently in Melbourne.

The law suit is over an article containing vulgar insults aimed at Greece and Greeks.

The article entitled “Who in this celestial world gave the Greeks the right to take away the Slav-Macedonian language?” was posted May 14, 2009. It included historical falsities regarding the alleged “abduction” of the national identity, ancestral land and language of “Slav-Macedonians” by the Greeks.

The writer of the article describes the Greeks as a “thieving nation” that chose to carry out the plan of the hellenization of Macedonia through the most brutal and inhumane methods ever invented and used against other human beings”.

The writer accuses Greece of using its “fascist” army to hellenize Macedonia claiming that ” this thieving nation meticulously engaged its fascist army in destroying anything Slav-Macedonian and replacing it with Greek “.

This delirium continues with the writer accusing Greece of of “ethnic cleansing of the Slav-Macedonian people from their homes” and of other “murders perpetrated in the name of Hellenism”.

He concludes saying that “these Greek deranged bastardly monsters took the Slav- Macedonian language away from our Slav-Macedonian children”.

The Australian Macedonian Advisory Council which monitors the Slav propaganda, appealed last year to the Committee for Equal Opportunities and Human Rights of Victoria, against the newspaper for racist attack on the Greeks, in accordance with relevant laws of the state.

As the Committee had no jurisdiction to deal with such appeals, the case was referred to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal seeking the condemnation of the article as offensive, as it undermines the unity of the multicultural society of Australia and incites violence.

The treasurer of the Australian Macedonian Council John Pelekanakis stated that the language of the article forced the Council to refer the matter to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

“The language of the article is so insulting, outrageous I would say, that we are compelled to appeal against the article. As we emphasized during the hearings, the use of such language can lead to conflicts between members of two communities, Greek and Slav-Macedonian, to the detriment of the unity of a multicultural society.

In response to a question from our counsel Tom Hurley, Mr. Pelekanakis answers that if a similar article had  been published by Slav-Macedonians in a Greek newspaper, with such aggressive derogatory characterizations, it would have surely caused violent reactions from the Slav-Macedonian community.

“We believe that the condemnation of this article by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal will make the Slav propagandists realise their mistake and hope it will act as a deterrent, ” he added.

The Tribunal’s decision will be issued in a month.