On May 27-30 the Pan-Macedonian Association’s 64th Convention was successfully held in Chicago Illinois. Consul General in Chicago Anastasios Petrovas, former Foreign Undersecretary and now Secretary for Greeks Abroad of New Democracy Dr. Panagiotis Skandalakis, Mr. George Papastergiou Prefect of Pieria and President of the Greek Secretariat of the International Foundation of Alexander the Great, Greek-American Senator of the State of Rhodes Island Leonidas Raptakis, Secretary of World SAE Dr. Olga Sarantopoulos, Mr. Theodore Spyropoulos, Coordinator of SAE in North and South America and Mr. Christos Tomaras former SAE Coordinator of North and South America attended the Convention. They all greeted the delegates, stressing the important work of the Pan Association USA throughout the time.
Dr. Ted Galen Carpenter of CATO Institute, Dr. Chris Karatzios and Marcus A. Templar, experts in the Balkans and the problems arising from the region were the contributors of the convention’s academic panel.
Mrs. Nina Gatzoulis, the outgoing president of the organization, expressed the Association’s members concern as well as the concern of the rest of the Diaspora "that there should not be any negotiations regarding major national issues amid the current financial crisis, because right now Greece is in a weak position”. This message said Mrs. Gatzoulis “should be transferred to the Greek government”.
The Macedonians Archbishop Demetrios of North America who is also Honorary President of the Pan-Macedonian Association USA, was the keynote speaker during the banquet on May 29, expressed similar positions and stressed that there should be no negotiations on issues of national consistency, while Greece is in a weak position due to the economic crisis. The Archbishop stressed the important role that the Association had on the FYROM issue and encouraged the Macedonians to continue the struggle for the vindication of historical truth.
Chicago’s Metropolitan Iakovos also greeted the Macedonians and expressed his support to the efforts of the Pan-Macedonian Association USA. Also Dr. Ilias Tomazos President of PAIDEIA honored the convention by his presence.
The composition of the new executive committee is as follows:
Dr. Antonios Papadopoulos-Supreme President
Dr. Panagiotis Baltatzis-Supreme Vice-President
Efstathios Pilidis-President of Youth
Demetrios Chatzis-Supreme Secretary
Kostas Hatzistefanidis-Supreme Treasurer
Legal Council-Theodoros Vassilakis and Demetris Ioannidis
Mrs. Nina Gatzoulis stays as President of the Committee of World Pan-Macedonian Associations.
The attached resolutions were approved by the convention:
The Pan-Macedonian Association of the USA in a duly convened meeting at its 64th National Convention held from May 27 to 30 in Chicago, Il, decided the following:
1. We shall never accept, for the country of The FYROM, any name that will include the term Macedonia or any of its derivatives.
2. The Pan-Macedonian Association expects from the Greek Government, the Political Leadership of Greece, the United States Government, and the rest of the International Community that the final agreed upon name of the country of The FYROM, should clearly differentiate the residents of that country from us, the Macedonians.
3. The name Macedonia is unquestionably a historical and cultural heritage of Greece. The history of Macedonia and particularly its name are NOT NEGOTIABLE and as a paternal legacy cannot be ceded to third parties.
4. The permanent name of the country of The FYROM should express its multiethnic composition and thus shall permit all its inhabitants to co-exist peacefully.
5. We demand that the people of Hellenic origin residing in The FYROM be accorded all their human rights.
6. The Macedonian identity is historically and culturally Hellenic. We do not accept any concept of a “Macedonian” ethnicity and “Macedonian” language.
7. It is our sacred duty to continue our struggle for the rights of Macedonia. History demands it.
8. In the event that the final agreed upon name of the FYROM includes the term “Macedonia” or its derivatives, should be ratified by a referendum by the Greek people.
9. The final agreed upon name of the FYROM should be reflected in it is constitution.
10. We fully support the existence of a country north of Greece with the interim name of The FYROM. We support its efforts to join the EU and NATO, provided its official name does not include the term "Macedonia" or its derivatives. Further, we harbor no animosity or any ill feelings towards its citizens or its Diaspora. Furthermore we expect good neighboring relations to an additional criterion for its Euro-Atlantic integration.
The Pan-Macedonian Association of the USA in a duly convened meeting at its 64th National Convention held from May 27 to 30, 2010 at Chicago, IL declares the following:
1. We demand that the continuous irredentist propaganda emanating from The FYROM, including the falsification of the Hellenic heritage of Macedonia, stops immediately.
2. We shall never accept an Orthodox Church with the term "Macedonia" or its derivatives in its name.
3. We oppose the use of the name Republic of “Macedonia” in any legal document within the Hellenic Republic, or by Hellenic interests worldwide.
4. We condemn terrorism in all of its forms.
5. Turkey must respect the territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus, which is a full EU member. Turkey must immediately remove all its occupation troops, it must remove the illegal settlers who were brought to Cyprus from the mainland of Turkey, return all properties to the rightful owners and make all due reparations to the Cypriots.
6. We regard the continued discriminatory acts, rules, and policy of Turkey towards the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, a violation of freedom of religion which is inconsistent with that country's aspirations to become a member of the European Union. We demand the reopening of the Theological School of Halki, the restoration of the confiscated property of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the respect for the property rights of Hellenes in Constantinople. The recent decision by the Turkish Supreme Court rejecting the ecumenicity of the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople is contrary to European Union Laws.
7. We demand recognition by the U.S.A. and Turkish governments of the genocides against the Armenian, Assyrian as well as the Hellenic peoples.
8. We condemn the continuous violations of the Greek territorial space by Turkey.
9. We expect from the Republic of Bulgaria the return of the Holy Relics that were removed from the monasteries of Drama and Serres.
10. We demand the return of the Parthenon Marbles to the place of their origin.
11. The Kalash of the northern Himalayan region of the Hindu Kush Mountains of Pakistan are Hellenic descendants of the armies of Alexander the Great. The Kalash Indigenous people have sustained their ancient culture and traditions since the 4th century B.C., yet they are in danger of extinction. Being our Hellenic Macedonian brothers and sisters, we support their efforts to sustain their ethnic values and identity.
12. We support the Kalash proposal to “Bring the Glory Back” which is, to apply the rule of Law of Alexander the Great, as the guideline for the Security Council of the United Nations”.
13. The retrieval of bones of Greek soldiers, who fell in the battlefield during WWII battles in the mountains of Northern Epirus, is not an economic transaction, but a humanitarian issue and our national duty. The road of Albania to the European Union requires the RESPECT of Human, Political, Cultural, Religious and Educational Rights of the Greek minority.
14. The Albanians should cease all propaganda regarding the Chams if Albania is to proceed in its European integration.
15. We express our gratitude to the 364 University Professors for their declaration of historical truth.
16. The Greek Parliament should not ratify any agreement for the admission of the FYROM into NATO or the European Union even under any name that includes the term “Macedonia” or its derivatives.
17. We agree with the decision of the Greek Political Leaders of 1992, which excluded the name of Macedonia or any of its derivatives from any future name of “The FYROM”.