Letter: Free speech and human rights for all Macedonians in Greece

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The Independent Online
Sir: The differences between Athens and Skopje over the definition of a 'Macedonian' are much wider than 'who is the rightful descendant of Alexander the Great' than your article ('Macedonian 'patriot' faces trial in Athens clampdown', 11 May) superficially implies.

For more than 1,000 years Macedonians were part and parcel of the Greek Byzantine Empire, which shaped their culture and language. Whenever barbarian hordes invaded, Macedonia was protected by the mainly Greek emperors in Constantinople, and it was from Greek patriarchs that Slavic Macedonians received their Christian Orthodoxy.

Thus the Greeks seem to be justified now in defending what to them is a cultural and political heritage of many centuries.

Yours sincerely,


London, SW3

11 May