The recent provocations by members of the Skopjean community in Melbourne have rightly outraged the peaceful Greek community of Melbourne and constitute a vicious attack to our harmonious multicultural coexistence.
Last week the Hellenic-Australian Memorial was vandalised with a poster depicting a map of “Greater Macedonia”, which includes Greek territory, the hellenic symbol known as The Vergina Sun and the slogan “Macedonia for Macedonians”.
Last Sunday, during their “celebrations” for the commemoration of their Independence Day, at a protest outside their country’s Consulate, they removed the official flag of their state from the flag pole and replaced it with a flag depicting the Vergina Sun on a red background. They then burnt the Greek flag and posted a video of their “achievements” on social media.
Following these events the Pan Macedonian Association of Melbourne and Victoria sent a letter to the Hon. Prime Minister of Australia Mr Scott Morrison as well as to the Department of Veteran Affairs, the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services & Multicultural Affairs, the Office of Premier of Victoria, the Victorian Multicultural Committee, the Speaker of the House in Canberra, the Lord Mayor of Melbourne and the Pan Macedonian Federation of Australia.
Below we are publishing the above mentioned letter, signed by the Organisation’s President, Mr Andrew Ballis and secretary Mr. Dimitris Vrontsos, in its entirety.
“Attention: The Honorary Prime minister, Mr Scott Morrison
Dear Prime Minister
The Prespes Agreement was an agreement made between the Hellenic Republic & FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia)which was ratified in December 2018 by both countries. On 14th February 2019, Australia officially recognised this agreement and all instruments of our country were altered to include the new agree name FYROM as North Macedonia.
As part of the above agreement, particularly in articles 3 & 7, it was agreed that North Macedonia would officially comply with certain undertakings which are offensive to the citizens of the Hellenic Republic as well as Australians of Greek origin & other people of Greek origins around the world. One contentious issue in particular is the use of the Sun of Vergina, an ancient Greek symbol which the citizens of North Macedonia have attempted to monopolise since 1991. This symbol is currently being removed from all facades, plaques & statues erected in North Macedonia by their previous irredentist government, This action is almost complete.
Another provocative action by the Australian of North Macedonian origins is a constant use of flags showing the northern part of Greece annexed to their country. When the use of the Sun of Vergina symbol & the above mentioned maps are displayed as propaganda at festivals, at university open days, at sporting events, etc, it intimidates & causes hatred between the two communities.
This matter reached its zenith several days ago when members of the North Macedonian community desecrated the Australian Hellenic Memorial at the Shrine in Melbourne. This memorial was erected in honour of the Australian soldiers who fought side by side with the Greek army to rid the world of fascism & communism. This is a sacred site and the actions by the North Macedonian community were disrespectful, un-Australian & disgusting. This kind of action is not acceptable in our country and should not be tolerated.
Even as late as today, the North Macedonian community in Melbourne celebrated their national day. At this celebration, Greek, Albanian & Bulgarian flags were burnt. This is not a one off event, Greek flags were burnt in front of the Victorian State Parliament building last year. This flag burning seems to be an ongoing occurrence and must be terminated.
We ask that our government please formally condemn these actions, find and prosecute the perpetrators & take discriminatory action from reoccurring in the future. The North Macedonian community should be banned from using the Sun of Vergina symbol and the defamatory flag making it illegal for them to be displayed in any public forum or event including the electronic media such as facebook, twitter, etc. We have also noted the use of the symbol ans map as well as using the term “Macedonia” instead of North Macedonia which is the current agreed term. As these organizations are official government run institutions, we ask that vetting of future programs be undertaken to assure that the symbol and flag are not displayed.
If you require any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us accordingly.”