Macedonian Language Centre opens in Greece courtesy of Prespa Agreement (!)

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The Macedonian language will now be taught in Greece as a minority language with the establishment of a Macedonian Language Centre in Florina reports Balkan Insight.

The opening of the centre comes after the two countries signed the landmark “Prespa” agreement in June 2018, which saw the Republic of Macedonia agree to change its name to Republic of North Macedonia and Greece drop its veto on its neighbour’s Euro-Atlantic integration.

Former North Macedonia PM Zoran Zaev, on Facebook,thankedGreek PM Kyriakos Mitstotakis and former Greek PM Alexis Tsipras, underlying the importance of this development.

"Here are the fruits of Prespa, they bring joy to all of us who speak Macedonian, to all Macedonians. Congratulations to the founders of the Center for Macedonian Language in Greece and to all the citizens of Northern Macedonia and Greece who rejoice in this fine act which is particularly important as another confirmation of the close relations between the two countries.

"I thank both former and present Prime Ministers, Tsipras and Mitsotakis, for their faith and commitment in building sincere friendship and good neighbourliness."posted Zaev.

According to the news report, the centre will advocate for recognition of the Macedonian language as a minority language by the Greek government and campaign for the rights of Macedonian speakers in Greece to use their language, including the use of traditional place names in northern Greece, alongside today’s place names.

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'It will also focus on documenting local dialects of the Macedonian language, creating a digital database of places in Greece where the Macedonian language is spoken today, and track human rights violations and hate speech by authorities against Macedonian speakers.'

According to areport from Ethnos newspaper local courts validated the foundation of the centre at the beginning of November after the application was approved by the Court of First Instance of Florina on July 28, 2022, and the decision was announced in the Bulletin of Judicial Publications on November 7, 2022.