Inflammatory Comments Against Ethnic Macedonians

Mr. Rann,

We have been made aware of your attendance last year at the 31st Annual "Dimitria Greek Festival" (29/11/09) in South Australia. Upon listening to the speech you delivered to the Greek community at this event, we came to the conclusion that it was inflammatory, bigoted and offensive.

To begin with, you referred to the current President of the Republic of Macedonia as someone who is "stirring up trouble in the most dangerous way". Your justification for this is that he and the Macedonian government are utilising the symbol of Alexander the Great, in a variety of public projects. We very much doubt that any objectively minded person could agree that this is a "dangerous stirring up of trouble".

However, this was not enough for you Mr. Premier; you then moved on to raise the level of vilification against ethnic Macedonians by making the following assertion to your ethnic Greek audience at the festival:

"People sometimes say to me, but why is this important? It is important because no one is entitled to steal another nation's history or culture; that's why it's important".

Premier, you have implied that ethnic Macedonians are thieves and thereby you have provided succour to bigots by vilifying ethnic Macedonians in general.

We shall make use of relevant legislation to ensure that you are held to account for spreading this type of hatred.

Sincerely yours,

George Vlahov
Australian Macedonian Human Rights Committee Inc.

The original document can be viewed here.

Premier Rann's speech can be seen on YouTube.