Minorities in Greece

Minorities in Greece

Indigenous minorities in Greece are small in size compared to regional standards.[1] The country is largely ethnically homogeneous. This is mainly due to the population exchanges between Greece and neighboring Turkey (Treaty of Lausanne) and Bulgaria (Treaty of Neuilly), which removed most Muslims (with the exception of the Muslims of Thrace) and those Christian Slavs who did not identify as Greeks, from Greek territory; the treaty also provided for the resettlement of ethnic Greeks from those countries, later to be followed by refugees (see Greek genocide, Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922) and Istanbul Pogrom). The 2001 census reported a population of 10,964,020 people.[2]

The main officially recognized "minority" (μειονότητα, meionótita) is the Muslim minority (μουσουλμανική μειονότητα, mousoulmanikí meionótita) in Thrace, which numbered 97,604 people or 0.95% of the total population according to the 1991 census,[3] and mainly consists of Turks, Pomaks and Roma. Other recognized minority groups are the Armenians numbering approximately 35,000,[4] and the Jews (Sephardim and Romaniotes) numbering approximately 5,500.[5]


Religious minorities

The Greek constitution defines the Eastern Orthodox Church as the "prevailing religion" in Greece, and over 95% of the population claim membership in it. Any other religion not explicitly defined by law (e.g. unlike Islam and Judaism, which are explicitly recognized) may acquire the status of a "known religion", a status which allows the religion's adherents to worship freely, and to have constitutional recognition. After a court ruling, the criteria for acquiring the status of a "known religion", were defined as being, a "religion or a dogma whose doctrine is open and not secret, is taught publicly and its rites of worship are also open to the public, irrespective of whether its adherents have religious authorities; such a religion or dogma needs not to be recognized or approved by an act of the State or Church". This covers most religious minorities such as Roman Catholics, Evangelicals, Pentecostals, Seventh-day Adventists, Methodists, and Jehovah's Witnesses. All known religions to be considered by the Greek state legal entities under private law must establish an association, or foundation, or charitable fund-raising committee pursuant to the Civil Code. The Roman Catholic Church refuses to be considered a legal person under private or public law and has requested recognition by its own canon law. In July 1999, following a parliamentary amendment, the legal entity status of all institutions of the Roman Catholic Church established before 1946 was reconfirmed. There is no formal mechanism that exists to gain recognition as a "known religion". There are also around two thousand Greeks who adhere to a reconstruction of the ancient Greek Religion.[6][7] A place of worship has been recognized as such by court.[8]


There is a Muslim minority who are Greek citizens living in Thrace, concentrated in the Rhodope and Xanthi Prefectures. According to the 1991 census, there were 98,000 Muslims in western Thrace, 50% of them of Turkish ethnic origin, with 35% Pomaks and the remaining 15% Roma.[9][10] Other sources estimate the size of the Muslim minority at 0.95% of the population, or approximately 110,00.[11] Aside from the indigenous Muslim minority in Greece, the Muslim immigrant population in the rest of the country was estimated at 200,000 to 300,000, though these are recent migrants and generally not considered a minority.[12][not in citation given] Under Greek administration, the Muslim minority of Greece has adopted a moderate, non-political form of Islam.[13] The Lausanne Treaty, and as a result the Greek government, defines the rights of the Muslim communities in Western Thrace, both Turkish and Pomak, on the basis of religion instead of ethnicity.


A Turkish community currently live in Western Thrace, in the north-eastern part of Greece. According to the 1991 census, there were approximately 50,000 Turks, out of the approximately 98,000 Muslim minority of Greece[10] Other sources estimate the size of the minority between 120,000 and 130,000.[14][15] The Turks of Thrace descend from Turkish populations living in the area during the Ottoman period. Like the Greeks of Istanbul, Imbros and Tenedos, they were exempted from the 1923 population exchange.[16]

The Greek government continues to deliver Turkish-language public education, and there are two Islamic theological seminaries, one in Komotini and one in Echinos. The Turkish community of Greece enjoys full equality under the law, adopting Turkish names, publishing numerous Turkish-language newspapers, operating Turkish-language radio stations, converse freely in Turkish and use Turkish in Greek courts.[13] They are allowed to maintain their own Turkish-language schools, which catered to about 8,000 students in the 1999-2000 school year.[13] Since 1920, members of the Turkish minority participate in elections, electing representatives to Parliament.[13] The great majority of Turkic Muslims in Thrace espouse moderate political views and are ready to work and prosper as citizens of the Greek state, with the exception of a relatively small group of ethnocentric activists.[13]

In 1922, Turks owned 84% of the land in Western Thrace, but now the minority estimates this figure to be between 20–40%. This stems from various practices of the Greek administration whereby ethnic Greeks are encouraged to purchase Turkish land with soft loans granted by the state.[17][18] The Greek government refers to the Turkish community as Greek Muslims or Hellenic Muslims, and does not recognise a Turkish minority in Western Thrace.[14] Greek courts have also outlawed the use of the word 'Turkish' to describe the Turkish community.[19][20] In 1988, the Greek High Court affirmed a 1986 decision of the Court of Appeals of Thrace in which the Union of Turkish Associations of Western Thrace was ordered closed. The court held that the use of the word 'Turkish' referred to citizens of Turkey, and could not be used to describe citizens of Greece; the use of the word 'Turkish' to describe 'Greek Muslims' was held to endanger public order.[21] Greece continued this stance in the beginning 21st century when Greek courts ruled to dissolve or prohibit formation of Turkish associations.[22] [19][23][unreliable source?]

Apart from Thrace, a small minority of Turks exists in the Dodecanese islands of Rhodes and Kos. They were not included in the 1923 population exchange as the Dodecanese were annexed from Italy in 1947 after World War II. After annexation of islands, their Muslim inhabitants, Greek and Turkish speakers, were granted Greek citizenship. Today, about 5,000 Turks[24] live in the Dodecanese islands of Rhodes numbering 3,000 and Kos numbering 2,000 and use Turkish in every day life. In Rhodes and Kos, the teaching of the Turkish language was de facto abolished in the early 1970s.[25]


The Muslim Bulgarian-speaking minority are known as Pomaks (Greek: Πομάκοι, Pomakoi, Bulgarian: Помаци, Pomatsi), they reside mainly in villages in the Rhodope Mountains in Thrace, in Evros, Xanthi and Rhodope prefectures of Greece. According to the 2001 Greek census it is estimated that in total there are 36,000 Pomaks, of whom, 23,000 live in Xanthi prefecture, 11,000 live in Rhodope prefecture and 2,000 live in Evros prefecture.[26]

The language they speak is generally classified as a dialect of Bulgarian, and more specifically is the "Central Rhodope dialect" or Smolyan dialect.[27] Despite their mother language, many Pomaks also self-identify themselves as Turks[28] This Turkification has a number of reasons, including the fact that Turks and Pomaks were part of the same millet during the years when their homeland was part of the Ottoman Empire.

Under Greek law, the Muslim minority (including the Pomaks) has a right to education in its own language. In practice however, only Turkish is used.[28] This is due to the Turkish self-identification of the Pomaks, and the fact that this trend was promoted until recently by the Greek authorities (who from 1968 until the 1980s even officially recognized the Pomaks as Turks)[29] in order to distance them from the Bulgarians.[28] There have been Greek-Pomak dictionaries published and a language primer in the Bulgarian language (in Greek script) has been published for use in Pomak schools.[30] Recently, news have begun to be broadcast in the native language of the Pomaks.[31]

Most Pomaks are fluent in their Pomak dialects (spoken amongst themselves), Turkish (their language of education, and the main language of the Muslim minority), Greek (the official language of the Greek state), and may know some Arabic (the language of the Qur'an).[28]

Other minorities


There are approximately 35,000 Armenians in Greece[4] out of which approximately 20,000 can speak the Armenian language.[32] The community's main political representative is the Armenian National Committee of Greece; its headquarters are in Athens with branches all over Greece. The community also manages its own educational institutions. Approximately 95% of Armenians in Greece are Armenian Orthodox, with the rest being Armenian Catholics or Evangelicals.[4]


Population of Thessaloniki[33]

Year Total Pop. Jewish Pop. Jewish %
1842 70,000 36,000 51%
1870 90,000 50,000 56%
1882/84 85,000 48,000 56%
1902 126,000 62,000 49%
1913 157,889 61,439 39%
1943 53,000
2001 363,987[34] 1,000 0.003%

The interaction between Greece and the Jews dates back to ancient times. Alexander the Great reached ancient Judea and was welcomed by the Jews. Following his death, war erupted between the Hellenized Jews and Greeks and the Jewish conservatives Maccabees that embittered relations between Greeks and Jews for centuries.

Until the Holocaust during World War II Greece had always had a significant, localized and active Jewish community with a long and rich cultural heritage. Jews practiced Judaism and over the centuries developed a variety of Greek-Judaic dialects, such as the Yevanic language and a distinct Graecojewish culture. The Romaniotes are a Jewish population who have lived in the territory of today's Greece and neighboring areas with large Greek populations for more than 2,000 years. Their language is Greek and they derive their name from the old name for the Greek people, Rhomaioi. The Romaniotes are historically distinct from the Sephardim, who settled in Thessalonica after the 1492 expulsion of the Jews from Spain.

During the Holocaust 86% of the Greek Jews, especially those in the areas occupied by Nazi Germany and Bulgaria, were killed despite efforts by the Greek Orthodox Church hierarchy, the EAM resistance movement and individual Greeks (both Christian and Communist) to shelter Jews. These efforts were most successful in Zakynthos, where absolutely every local Jew was saved from the Holocaust.

Linguistic and cultural communities

In addition to the above minorities, there are various ethnolinguistic communities in Greece with a distinct ethnic identity and language, but whose members largely identify nationally as Greeks and do not consider themselves a "minority".

Regions with a traditional presence of languages other than Greek. Greek is today spoken as the dominant language throughout the country.[35]


Albanian economic migrants are not to be confused with the Greek Orthodox Arvanites, a group who traditionally speak a form of Tosk Albanian in addition to Greek and self-identify as Greeks,[36] having played a significant role in the Greek War of Independence and Greek culture in general.

The Chams were an ethnic Albanian community that formerly inhabited the area of Thesprotia, part of the Greek province of Epirus. Most of them fled to Albania at the end of World War II after a large part of them collaborated with the Nazi occupation forces.[37][38][39][40]

There are other Albanian speaking communities found across other regions of Greece. In the Florina region Albanian speakers can be found in the villages of Flampouro, Drosopigi, Idroussa and Tripotamos. [41] Furthermore, an estimated 39 homogenous and mixed Albanian speaking villages can be found in Western Thrace and Central Macedonia.[42]

After 1991, with the collapse of communism in Albania a number of immigrants live and work in Greece. In the 2001 census, 274,390 ethnic Albanians are residing in Greece,[43][44] mostly economic migrants.


In Greece, the Aromanians are called Vlachs (Greek: Βλάχοι, Vlahoi). There are numerous festivals celebrating Aromanian culture all over Greece. Their language, Aromanian, is in danger of extinction and mostly spoken by the elderly. There are, however, small numbers of Aromanians in Greece who call for greater recognition of the Aromanian language, such as Sotiris Bletsas. It is hypothesized that these Vlachs originated from the Roman colonisation of the Balkans and are the descendants of Latinised native peoples and Roman legionaries who had settled in the Balkans.[45][46][47] German researcher Thede Kahl claims to have also documented some cases of assimilation of the Aromanian population in regions which are now largely Greek-speaking.[48] The Panhellenic Federation of Cultural Associations of Vlachs (Πανελλήνια Ομοσπονδία Πολιτιστικών Συλλόγων Βλάχων) has publicly stated that they do not want Aromanian recognized as a minority language nor do they want it inserted into the education system,[49] and the same organization also protested,[50] when Thede Kahl discussed in a paper if they could be designated a "minority".[45] Greek Aromanians, and Greeks in general, believe that the aromanian-speaking population spoke Latin from the 5th century already, but went under a process of Romanian propaganda from 1860 that achieved changing their idiom but completely failed in developing the sentiment of Romanian ethnicity.[51]


Map of Megleno-Romanians settlements in Greece and Republic of Macedonia

Megleno-Romanians are concentrated in the Moglena region of Greek Macedonia. They speak the Megleno-Romanian language which is known as Vlăheşte by its speakers. An estimated 4,000 speakers can be found in the region spanning the Pella and Kilkis prefectures of Central Macedonia. The largest Megleno-Romanian settlement is Notia.[52]


The history of Roma in Greece goes back over 600 years to the 15th century. The name Gypsy sometimes used for the Roma people was first given to them by the Greeks who supposed them to be Egyptian in origin. Due to their nomadic nature, they are not concentrated in a specific geographical area, but are dispersed all over the country. The majority of the Greek Roma are Orthodox Christians who speak the 'Vlachoura-Roma' language in addition to Greek. Most of the Roma who live in Western Thrace are Muslims and speak a dialect of the same language.[53]

The Roma in Greece live scattered on the whole territory of the country, but a large concentration in the bigger cities, mainly in Athens and Thessalonica. Notable centres of Roma life in Greece are Agia Varvara which has a very successful Roma community and Ano Liosia where conditions are bad. Roma largely maintain their own customs and traditions. Although a large number of Roma has adopted a sedentary and urban way of living, there are still settlements in some areas. The nomads at the settlements often differentiate themselves from the rest of the population. They number 200,000 according to the Greek government. According to the National Commission for Human Rights that number is closer to 250,000 and according to the Greek Helsinki Watch group to 300,000.[53]

As a result of neglect by the state, among other factors, the Roma communities in Greece face several problems including high instances of child labour and abuse, low school attendance, police discrimination and drug trafficking. The most serious issue is the housing problem since many Roma in Greece still live in tents, on properties they do not own, making them subject to eviction. In the past decade these issues have received wider attention and some state funding.[53]


Slavic languages have been spoken in the region of Macedonia alongside Greek and others since the invasions of the Slavs in the 6th and 7th centuries AD.[54] In parts of northern Greece, in the regions of Macedonia (Μακεδονία) and Thrace (Θράκη), Slavonic languages continue to be spoken by people with a wide range of self-identifications. The actual linguistic classification of these dialects is unclear, although most linguists will classify them as either Bulgarian or Macedonian Slavic taking into account numerous factors, including the resemblance and mutual intelligibility of each dialect to the standard languages (abstand), and the self-identification of the speakers themselves. As however the vast majority of these people don't have a Bulgarian or Macedonian Slav national identity, linguists will make their decisions based on abstand alone. Now, this people mainly identify themselves as ethnic Greek.[55][56] The Slavic-speaking minority of northern Greece can be divided in to two main groups: Christians and Muslims (see below).

Christian Orthodox Slavophones

The Christian portion of Greece's Slavic-speaking minority are commonly referred to as Slavophones (from the Greek Σλαβόφωνοι Slavophōnoi - lit. Slavic-speakers) or Dopii, which means "locals" in Greek. The vast majority of them espouse a Greek national identity and are bilingual in Greek. They live mostly in the Periphery of Western Macedonia and adhere to the Greek Orthodox Church. The fact that the majority of these people self-identify as Greeks makes their numbers uncertain. The second group is made up of those who seem to reject any national identity (Greek or Slav Macedonian) but have distinct ethnic identity, which they may call “indigenous” -dopia-, Slavomacedonian, or Macedonian. The smallest group is made up of those who have a clear Macedonian national identity and consider themselves as part of the same nation with the dominant one in the neighboring Republic of Macedonia.[57][58] A crucial element of that controversy is the very name Macedonian, as it is also used by a much more numerous group of people with a Greek national identity to indicate their regional identity. Slavic speakers also use the term "Macedonians" or "Slavomacedonians", though in a regional rather than an ethnic sense. Until and including the 1951 census the question of mother tongue was asked throughout Greece, so this gives a rough idea as to the size of this group, and later estimates are usually based on this figure.

The national identity of this community has frequently been loaded with political implications. The Politis-Kalfov Protocol signed on September 29, 1925 purported to recognize the Slav-speakers of Greek Macedonia as Bulgarians, but this protocol was never ratified. A short lived agreement was signed August 1926, which recognized them as a Serbian minority.[59]

In the 1951 census, 41,017 people claimed to speak the Slavic language.

According to a report issued by the Greek Helsinki Monitor, there are about 10,000-30,000 ethnic Slav Macedonians living in Greece,[60] but because of the absence of an official census it is impossible to determine the exact number. This group has received some attention in recent years due to claims from the neighboring Republic of Macedonia that these people form an ethnic Slav Macedonian minority in Greece. A political party promoting this line and claiming rights of what they describe as the "Macedonian minority in Greece" - the Rainbow (Виножито) - was founded around 1994-95. In the 2009 European Parliament election, Rainbow tallied a countrywide total of 4,530 votes, or 0.09% percentage.[61] The official position of the Greek government is that there is no ethnic Macedonian or Bulgarian minority in Greece.

See also


Further reading

  • Anagnostou, Dia (March 2005). "Deepening Democracy or Defending the Nation? The Europeanisation of Minority Rights and Greek Citizenship". West European Politics 28 (2): 335–357. doi:10.1080/01402380500059785. 
  • Divani, Lena (1999) (in Greek). Greece and Minorities The international protection system of the League of Nations. ISBN 978-960-03-2491-4. 


  1. ^ Richard Clogg Concise History of Greece (Second edition) Chap.7 page 238 Cambridge 2002, for the Greek edition Katoptro ISBN 960-7778-61-8
  2. ^ Ελληνική Επιτροπή για τη διαχείρηση των υδατικών πόρων: Στοιχεία από την πρόσφατη απογραφή του πληθυσμού
  3. ^ Υπουργείο Εξωτερικών, Υπηρεσία Ενημέρωσης: Μουσουλμάνικη μειονότητα Θράκης
  4. ^ a b c www.armenians.gr
  5. ^ Κεντρικό Ισραηλίτικο Συμβούλιο Ελλάδος: Οι Εβραίοι της Ελλάδος
  6. ^ BBC NewsAncient Greek gods' new believers
  7. ^ YSEE in the media (See Video 2)
  8. ^ The Guardian Greek gods prepare for comeback
  9. ^ Greek Helsinki Monitor: Religious freedom in Greece
  10. ^ a b Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Muslim minority in Thrace
  11. ^ "Demographics of Greece". European Union National Languages. http://www.eurfedling.org/Greece.htm. Retrieved 19 December 2010. 
  12. ^ (English) US Department of State - Religious Freedom, Greece
  13. ^ a b c d e Alexis Alexandris, "The Identity Issue of The Minorities In Greece An Turkey", in Hirschon, Renée (ed.), Crossing the Aegean: An Appraisal of the 1923 Compulsory Population Exchange Between Greece and Turkey, Berghahn Books, 2003, p. 124
  14. ^ a b Whitman 1990, i.
  15. ^ Levinson 1998, 41.
  16. ^ University of Leiden page
  17. ^ Whitman 1990, 2
  18. ^ Hirschon 2003, 106
  19. ^ a b Once again Xanthi Turkish Union not restored by Greek courts despite ECtHR judgement [1]
  20. ^ Whitman 1990, 16.
  21. ^ Whitman 1990, 16.
  22. ^ Greece / European Court of Human Rights - 26698/05 and 34144/05 [2]
  23. ^ Parallel Report by Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe on the 2010 Human Rights Report: Greece 8 April 2011 [3]
  24. ^ Clogg 2002, 84.
  25. ^ Mercator Education, The Turkish language in Education in Greece, 2003
  26. ^ Θεοφάνης Μαλκίδης. "Οι Πομάκοι στη Θράκη"
  27. ^ S Stojkov, Rodopian dialect
  28. ^ a b c d Report on the Pomaks, by the Greek Helsinki Monitor
  29. ^ Religious Freedom in Greece, by the Greek Helsinki Monitor, September 2002
  30. ^ Migration, tradition and transition among the Pomaks in Xanthi (Western Thrace)
  31. ^ Greek Television emits Pomak News
  32. ^ http://www.ethnologue.com/show_country.asp?name=Greece
  33. ^ Molho, Rena.The Jerusalem of the Balkans: Salonica 1856-1919 The Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki. URL accessed July 10, 2006.
  34. ^ "(875 KB) 2001 Census" (in Greek) (PDF). National Statistical Service of Greece (ΕΣΥΕ). www.statistics.gr. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. http://web.archive.org/web/20070929131320/http://www.statistics.gr/gr_tables/S1101_SAP_1_TB_DC_01_03_Y.pdf. Retrieved 2007-10-30. 
  35. ^ See Ethnologue ([4]); Euromosaic, Le (slavo)macédonien / bulgare en Grèce, L'arvanite / albanais en Grèce, Le valaque/aromoune-aroumane en Grèce, and Mercator-Education: European Network for Regional or Minority Languages and Education, The Turkish language in education in Greece. cf. also P. Trudgill, "Greece and European Turkey: From Religious to Linguistic Identity", in S Barbour, C Carmichael (eds.), Language and nationalism in Europe, Oxford University Press 2000.
  36. ^ Greek Helsinki Monitor, The Arvanites.
  37. ^ M. Mazower (ed.), After The War Was Over: Reconstructing the Family, Nation and State in Greece, 1943-1960, p. 25
  38. ^ Miranda Vickers, The Cham Issue - Albanian National & Property Claims in Greece, paper prepared for the British MoD, Defence Academy, 2002
  39. ^ Russell King, Nicola Mai, Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers,The New Albanian Migration, p.67, and 87
  40. ^ M. Mazower, Inside Hitler's Greece
  41. ^ Riki Van Boeschoten. "Usage des langues minoritaires dans les départements de Florina et d’Aridea (Macédoine)"
  42. ^ Euromosaic (1996): "L'arvanite / albanais en Grèce". Report published by the Institut de Sociolingüística Catalana.
  43. ^ Migrants in Greece Online Observatory [http://www.migrantsingreece.org/transpartner/Tables.pdf
  44. ^ Migration and Migration Policy in Greece. Critical Review and Policy Recommendations. Anna Triandafyllidou. Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP). Data taken from Greek ministry of Interiors. p. 5 "the total number of Albanian citizens residing in Greece, including 185,000 co-ethnics holding special identity cards"
  45. ^ a b Thede Kahl - "Minorities in Greece. Historical Issues and New Perspectives". "Jahrbücher für Geschichte un Kultur Südeuropas" Vol. 5, 2004, p. 205-219"
  46. ^ Max D. Peyfuss - "Die Aromunische Frage. Ihre Entwicklung von der Ursprüngen bis zum Frieden von Bukarest (1913) und die Haltung Österreich-Ungarns. Wiener Archiv für Geschichte des Slawentums und Osteuropas, Wien 1974
  47. ^ Gustav Weigand - "Die Aromunen. Ethnographisch-philologisch-historische Untersuchungen über das Volk der sogennanten Makedo-Romanen oder Zinzaren". Vol 1. "Land und Leute", 2. "Volksliteratur der Aromunen", Leipzig 1894 (vol.2), 1895 (vol.1)
  48. ^ Thede Kahl - "Gustav Weigand in Griechenland: Von den Shwierigkeiten einer Rezeption", in Südost/Forschungen 61, München 2003, p. 101-113."
  49. ^ http://vlahos.xan.duth.gr/nea/180304.htm
  50. ^ http://www.tamos.gr/popsb_reply_en.htm
  51. ^ Spyros Ergolabos, "The Zagori villages in the beginning of the 20th century: 2 precious documents", Epirus Publications, Ioannina 1993
  52. ^ Steven Franks, "A linguist's linguist: studies in South Slavic linguistics in honor of E. Wayles Browne", University of Michigan Press, 2009
  53. ^ a b c Hellenic Republic: National Commission for Human Rights: The state of Roma in Greece
  54. ^ Macedonia. (2006). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved June 16, 2006, from Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service: [5]
  55. ^ Minorities in Greece: aspects of a plural society, Richard Clogg, C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2002, ISBN 1850657068, p.142,
  56. ^ The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World, Loring M. Danforth, Princeton University Press, 1997, ISBN 0691043566, p. 116.
  57. ^ ... See: Greek Helsinki Monitor, Report about Compliance with the Principles of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (along guidelines for state reports according to Article 25.1 of the Convention), 18 September 1999, Part I, [6]
  58. ^ Macedonia: the politics of identity and difference, Jane K. Cowan, Pluto Press, 2000, ISBN 0745315895, pp. 102-102.
  59. ^ Iakovos D. Michailidis Minority Rights and Educational Problems in Greek Interwar Macedonia: The Case of the Primer "Abecedar"
  60. ^ GREEK HELSINKI MONITOR (GHM) & MINORITY RIGHTS GROUP – GREECE (MRG-G) - In the report it is stated that: “...those with a Slav Macedonian national identity can be estimated to between 10,000-30,000. Indeed, the political party “Rainbow” which was created in 1994 and has campaigned for the recognition of a national Slav Macedonian minority, received 7,300 votes in 1994 and 5,000 in 1999, two elections it contested alone: these figures correspond to some 7,000-10,000 citizens of all (not just voting) ages. One can estimate that besides this “hard core” there may be other citizens voting for mainstream parties that also espouse this identity, hence the above estimate.“
  61. ^ Ministry of the Interior official election returns

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