Greek Court orders closure of pro-Skopjan NGO in Serres

The NGO claimed effectively that there were so-called “Macedonians”, distinct from Greeks living in Serres

A Greek court has ordered the shutting down of a pro-Skopje NGO operating in the region of Serres, Macedonia for violating the terms of the Prespa Agreement.

The NGO, called”Fraternity of Indigenous Serreans Cyril and Methodius”, was founded in March 2018, and the First Instance Court of Serres ruled that it had to cease its operation as it was judged to have been intentionally disseminating misinformation about the region of Serres the ethnicity of its local population.

The Court ruled in its judgment that according to common experience, a native living in Serres who spoke the local language was exclusively Greek Macedonian who was born and resided in the Serres area, which belongs to the geographical division of Greece called Macedonia and the speaks the Greek Macedonian.

The court reasoning went on to clarify that the Greek language had been spoken in the wider area of ​​Macedonia and Serres for thousands of years as evidenced by the findings of archaeological excavations, the language of historical texts and the language of worship texts that were repeatedly used by locals.

“In particular”, the court decision said, “the city of Serres is one of the few ancient cities in the Greek mainland that managed to maintain its Greek linguistic identity uninterrupted despite the fact that its strategic location on the land of Macedonia made it a passage for countless armies and peoples to pass through since the dawn of history”.

Another excerpt in the court’s reasoning makes reference to the “surreptitious” alteration of the designation of “native” by the NGO via the usurpation of the concepts native “Serreans and” native “language”, which are included in its articles of association deliberately misrepresenting the history and anthropogeography of the region in its efforts to draw a historical claim for the positions of its members, aiming directly at creating and expanding a distinct linguistic and cultural community in a systematic way.

The reasoning says such claims are unfounded as the people in Serres actually speak the Greek language and possess a purely Greek national conscience, while the NGO attempts to introduce a so-called idiom, present in other national languages ​​spoken by States bordering the Greek territory, into the Greek region not recognised by the Greek state.

The case was brought before a court when a lawsuit was filed by the Panhellenic Federation of Cultural Associations of Macedonia in which it argued that the NGO in question, claimed that the native Macedonians in Serres, as well as throughout northern Greece, are not Greeks but … Skopjans. The lawsuit said the NGO was effectively propagating the notion that the alleged “Macedonia” minority continued to live in the northern part of Greece called Macedonia.