Wednesday, March 31, 2010

FYROM - Albania

FYROM President Reacts to Greek Racist Chants

Sinisa Jakov Marusic

Georgi Ivanov
Georgi Ivanov

Greece should change its general attitude towards its neighbours to prove its good intentions, FYROM President Georgi Ivanov said on Tuesday, reacting to the recent racist chants heard at a Greek military parade. “Unfortunately this is not the first time that Greek security forces practice hate speech in front of state leadership. We are concerned that this time both FYROM and Albanians were hurt,” Ivanov told media.

He noted that suspension of the officer in charge of the parade was not sufficient and that the general attitude that Greek officials have toward their neighbors should shift.

Ivanov had a telephone conversation with his Albanian counterpart Bamir Topi and they both expressed concern over the recent happening, the president said.

Albania and FYROM officially protested to Greece after a video footage taken on Thursday in Athens at the military parade appeared on the internet. The video showed members of the Greek security forces shouting racist slogans against Greece’s neighbours: Albanians and sllavo Macedonians.

“They are Skopians, they are Albanians, we will make new clothes out of their skins,” and “You do not become a Greek, you are born one,” and “We’re going to spill your blood, Albanian pig” were some of the chants that could be heard from the footage.

Athens apologized for the incident, saying that it was an isolated case that did not reflect the opinion of the Greeks. The authorities said that they are probing the case to determine who is responsible for the chanting.

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