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Greek witness: Israeli forces killed Turkish activist to stop media broadcast June 7, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Israel, Turkey, Yunanistan.
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An activist from Greece who was on board the Freedom Flotilla which carried aid to the Gaza Strip and later became subjected to Israel’s acts of piracy, accused Israel’s naval forces of killing one Turkish citizen for broadcasting images of the attacks on the Internet.

Demetre Plionis told a left wing Greek newspaper, “A half hour after the attack, despite electronic warfare, the “Mavi Marmara” ship continued to broadcast images on the internet thanks to a sophisticated system run by a Turkish volunteer. Then, I saw him dead after he was shot in the head.”

Plionis, who was one of the Greek citizens aboard the Turkish vessel, said, “Israel’s priority was to stop scenes of the attack from being broadcasted”. He recalled that the Turkish activists spread almost a hundred cameras on the ship which transmitted images systematically. “The broadcast was discontinued when the person who was running the network was killed,” he added.

Plionis said that he resorted to the ship’s media center at the request of the Turkish captain when the attack took place, and that after the Zionist commandos took over the ship, they “beat reporters… and smashed every last camera, computer, and telephone”.

All 37 Greek nationals who participated in the aid operation spoke of the ill-treatment they experienced during the attack, and the time they spent in Israel’s custody.

Greek Myths and the Euro Tragedy May 19, 2010

Posted by Yilan in EU, European Union, Yunanistan.
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Letting someone lose money on sovereign debt is the acid test for the euro.

Last week the Greek bailout ballooned into a gargantuan 750 billion euro (nearly $1 trillion) debt stabilization fund, including a $39 billion line of credit from the International Monetary Fund. This coincided with the European Central Bank (ECB) announcement that it would immediately begin purchasing junk-rated Greek debt.

It won’t work. The problem isn’t liquidity, psychology or speculators. Germany and France simply cannot borrow or tax enough to cover Europe’s debts and looming deficits. So, barring a fiscal and growth miracle, we will either see sovereign defaults (larger and more chaotic for having been postponed) or the ECB will have to print euros to buy worthless debt, leading to widespread inflation. Since inflation lowers the value of promises to state workers and pensioners, and also is easy to blame on others, it will be an especially tempting escape.

Notice who is missing: Greek bondholders are not being asked to miss a single interest payment, reschedule a cent of debt, suffer any write-down, take a forced rollover or conversion of short to long-term debt, or any of the other messy ways insolvent sovereigns deal with empty coffers. Those who bought credit default swaps lose once again.

But why? The reasoning behind the Greek bailout is founded on several myths that need exploding:

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• Saving the euro. We’re told a Greek default would imperil the euro. The opposite is true. Allowing Greece to default, or to renegotiate with bondholders, would be the best way to save the euro. A currency union is strongest without fiscal union. Then countries are no different from companies. If they borrow and cannot pay back, investors lose money. The currency is unaffected.

The euro could become a monetary union with full fiscal union. I hate to think what EU budgets and taxes would look like if they were all run from Brussels, but at least that system might impose some discipline on national governments’ incentive to borrow, spend, and demand bailouts.

But the euro will be a disaster as a monetary union with loose fiscal controls and constant speculation about will-they-or-won’t-they (or can-they-or-can’t-they) trillion-euro bailouts and ECB financing. The Europeans have found the worst possible combination.

How did this happen? The euro’s founders wrote rules against sovereign bailouts. They almost created a perfect currency: an international standard of value and medium of exchange, with a central bank mandated only to maintain a stable price level. The euro was not to be devalued to wipe out government debts or to gain temporary (and often illusory) trade or employment advantages. In the next U.S. inflation crisis, the euro might have succeeded the dollar as the international reserve currency.

But the euro’s founders also set debt and deficit limits. The problem is not that these limits were too loose. The problem is having them at all. The mere existence of the limits says, in effect, that politicians will have a hard time resisting bailout pressure. So the markets lent at low rates and gave high bond ratings. The EU rediscovered that it’s much harder to grow a spine in the middle of a crisis.

The euro founders should have said instead, “Go ahead, use our currency if you like. Rack up any debts you want. We don’t care, because we are not going to bail you out—we’ve set it up so we can’t bail you out. Bond buyers beware.”

The euro founders never decided whether they were creating the perfect currency without fiscal union, or if they were creating a fiscal union on the way to political union. They never decided if the euro was going to be the national currency for a future United States of Europe or a gold standard for the modern age. Now they have neither.

Contagion. We’re told that a Greek default will lead to “contagion.” The only thing an investor learns about Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian finances from a Greek default is whether the EU will or won’t bail them out too. Any “contagion” here is entirely self-inflicted. If everyone knew there wouldn’t be bailouts there would be no contagion.

Systemic risk. We’re told that a Greek default will threaten the financial system. But how? Greece has no millions of complex swap contracts, no obscure derivatives, no intertwined counterparties. Greece is not a brokerage or a market-maker. There isn’t even any collateral to dispute or assets to seize. This isn’t new finance, it’s plain-vanilla sovereign debt, a game that has been going on since the Medici started lending money to Popes in the 1400s. People who lent money will lose some of it. Period.

Saving the banks. We’re told that Greece must be bailed out, or large banks will fail. Savor the outrageous irony of this claim. Apparently, two years after the great mortgage meltdown, Europe’s army of bank regulators missed the fact that large, “systemically important” banks had made firm-threatening bets on Greek debt. So much for the idea that more regulation will keep complex banks out of trouble.

If the claim is true (which I doubt), the right answer is to save the specific “systemically important” banks (or, better, their “systemically important” activities), not to bail out every Greek bondholder and the Greek government and to paper over the vast bank and regulatory failure that set up the problem.

Greece got in to trouble when it tried to sell new debt to repay its maturing short-term debt, just as Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers did. If Greece had sold long-term debt, there would be no sudden crisis. In all the talk of restructuring euro finances, nobody is talking about forcing governments to borrow long-term, nor of managing the crisis by forcing short-term debtholders to accept new long-term debt rather than cash.

Letting someone lose money on sovereign debt is the acid test for the euro. If not now, when? It won’t happen in good times, nor to a smaller country. The sooner the EU commits, and other countries and their lenders come to terms with the fact that they will not be bailed out, the better.

The current course—ever-larger and less-credible bailout promises, angry German voters who may vitiate those promises, vague additional fiscal supervision (i.e. more of what just failed miserably)—is not the answer.

The only way to solve the underlying euro-zone fiscal mess (and our own) is to slash government spending and to focus on growth. Countries only pay off debts by growing out of them. And no, growth does not come from spending, especially on generous pensions and padded government payrolls. Greece’s spending over 50% of GDP did not result in robust growth and full coffers. At least the looming worldwide sovereign debt crisis is heaving “fiscal stimulus” on the ash heap of bad ideas.

European markets fall as Greek debt crisis claims first politician’s career May 18, 2010

Posted by Yilan in EU, European Union, Yunanistan.
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Stocks and the euro fell on Monday, amid continuing worries that a $140 billion bailout for Greece won’t stave off a broader eurozone credit crisis. The first politician was ousted in response to the Greek debt crisis.


European markets tumbled on Monday, with the euro dropping to a four-year low against the dollar, amid continuing concerns that a $140 billion bailout package arranged for a heavily indebted Greek government is deferring, rather than solving, a European credit crisis.

The crisis in Greece claimed its first political victim on Monday, when a deputy minister was forced to resign over revelations that her husband had cheated the tax authorities of 5.5 million euros ($6.6 million).

Greece is scheduled to receive its first slice of the bailout cash on Tuesday – money it needs to pay about €9 billion ($10.8 billion) in government bonds that come due on Wednesday. While Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou insisted that all the money would be repaid, his government has also been hinting it won’t take full responsibility for the spending and borrowing that left Greece in this position.

Greece understated its level of debt for years before Mr. Panadreou’s government came to power and the Greek parliament is looking into whether Goldman Sachs helped a former government hide the country’s true financial condition from investors and its own people. In an interview with CNN over the weekend, Papandreou hinted that the country may sue some of its investment bankers. “In the financial sector, I hear the words fraud and lack of financial transparency… I wouldn’t rule out that [legal action] may be a recourse also,” he said.

Greek voters have been deeply unhappy with the bailout, organized by the International Monetary Fund and wealthier European nations at the cost of a sharp reduction in government spending. The general feeling among the protesters has been that average Greeks are being asked to suffer through an austerity package that was made necessary by the sins of corrupt officials and wealthy tax-dodgers.

There have been riots in Athens and a national strike has been called for this Thursday that has Greek police officials fearing more violence. The last strike, on May 5, led to widespread battles between demonstrators and riot police in front of the country’s Parliament and the deaths of three bank employees caught in a blazing office building.

That backdrop, which makes international investors doubtful that Greece will manage to both follow through on its promised spending cuts and find a way to increase domestic growth to an extent it could pay its debts, has left George Papakonstantinou with one of the toughest jobs in the country.

‘Social balancing act’

“We need to bring back consumer confidence and foreign investment but the second part is a social balancing act that we have to do,” said Mr. Papakonstantinou, Greece’s economy minister. “We need to restore a sense of justice by going after tax dodgers and conspicuous consumption that you see from people you know are not paying their full share in taxes.”

Greece’s beleaguered government has begun investigating and publicly naming and shaming high-income tax evaders.

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Fifty-seven Greek doctors from the posh Athens district of Kolonaki were outed as tax evaders in the Greek media Friday in a bid to deflate popular outrage. Unions and left-wing political parties are channeling the anger felt by public sector employees into near-daily street marches to the Greek parliament that block traffic in the center of Athens.

“Of the 250 doctors working in Kolonaki, one third declare incomes below the tax rate of €12,000,” said Papakonstantinou. “Our [tax inspectors] visit doctors’ offices and see they were cutting receipts, had lots of appointments but there were no transactions on their books. And now we’re prosecuting them.”

Not everyone is convinced the government is really committed to change. “You’re talking about some 60 corrupt people being punished but they are only a handful in a sea of corrupt individuals,” says Solon Molho, an economist and lecturer in finance. “Why is the crime of taking bribes being punished but not that of receiving them?”

“Who are the taxmen that allowed them to get away with it for so many years and why are they not in prison?”

Political investigation

The government is also investigating the wealth of members of the previous government. Former Minister of Public Order Giorgos Voulgarakis is already under investigation, with more pending for former ministers of the economy, defense and tourism. Some opposition parliamentarians are calling the scrutiny a “witch hunt” but the government has charged that the former officials appear to be far wealthier than their official salaries should have allowed for.

Corruption in Greece is not limited to the public sector. The government is also prosecuting 12 doctors in a scandal related to De Puy International, a manufacturer of orthopaedic devides that is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Aside from tax evasion, the doctors also stand accused of promoting the company’s equipment to Greek patients and hospitals, in return for large kickbacks. The company’s former vice president received a 12-month jail sentence in April for helping funnel $6 million of bribes into Greece.

Athens’ bars and cafes are nearly empty on weekdays for the first time in years. The capital’s party crowd decamped to the beaches over the unseasonally hot weekend. Those less privileged stayed at home and watched updates on a new financial scandal relating to well-known singer Tolis Voskopoulos, who didn’t pay taxes for 17 years and was found to be €5.5 million in arrears. His wife, deputy Minister of Culture Angela Gerekou, was forced to resign on Monday.

“For years I wondered how it was possible for us to be living this lifestyle where so little was being produced yet people in the streets and at work wore the latest fashions,” said Ilias Petropoulos, a television producer. “Since the crisis blew up, I realized that the cars, the clothes, the holidays, they were all on credit.”

AMHRC/MHRMI STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO MISINFORMATION REGARDING THE SO-CALLED “DECISION” TO RETURN GREEK CITIZENSHIP TO MACEDONIANS FROM GREECE May 9, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Human rights, Human rights abuses, Macedonia, Yunanistan.
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Melbourne, Australia and Toronto, Canada (30/4/2010) – The Australian Macedonian Human Rights Committee (AMHRC) and Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI) are issuing this statement in order to answer some questions that have arisen as a result of what appears to be a misinformation campaign orchestrated by Greek sources. It has been alleged that the Greek government has made a decision to return citizenship to Macedonian exiles who originate from Greece.

These false reports stemmed from an exchange of letters between the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr Thomas Hammarberg and Greece’s Deputy Minister of Interior, Decentralization and e-Governance, Ms Theodora Tzakri.
Following his 2009 visit to Greece, Mr Hammarberg wrote to Greek authorities asking:

“Moreover, I would welcome further information on the restoration of Greek nationality for those persons who lost it on the basis of former Article 19 of the Greek Nationality Code. As mentioned in our meeting, these include stateless persons living in Greece and abroad. I would be grateful for any updated information you could provide on the number of former Greek citizens presently living as stateless persons in Greece and abroad, the extent to which they have been able to have their citizenship restored and any measures envisaged to facilitate the process of restoration of their Greek nationality.”

In a response dated 13 April 2010, Ms Tzakri replied to Mr Hammarberg and wrote:

“Finally, in regards to Article 19 of the Greek Nationality Code it has ceased to exist. Based upon the new legislation of the Greek Nationality Code persons who lost their citizenship are entitled to reapply in order to restore their Greek citizenship. Currently the Greek Government is in the process of evaluating a number of applicants who based on former Article 19 lost their Greek Nationality. Therefore to this extent the Greek Government has also been working to the direction of facilitating the process of persons wishing to reapply for citizenship based on the former Article 19.”

A scanned copy of the letter sent by Ms Tzakri to Mr Hammarberg can be found here:
https://wcd.coe.int/ViewDoc.jsp?id=1610 … ged=FFC679

In relation to the above mentioned letter, it needs to be emphasised that Macedonians did not lose their citizenship on the basis of the former Article 19. The majority of victims of this former Article were ethnic Turks from Western Thrace. In any case, Tzakri’s letter to the Human Rights Commissioner made a general point about facilitation and has no commitment by the Greek government to actually restore citizenship. The letter also fails to mention that the new Greek citizenship law has a “public security” clause, which could further complicate matters for this category of people. Finally, the new law specifies that refugees may have an application for citizenship considered if they lawfully reside in Greece and of course Macedonian exiles (especially those who are prevented from returning to their place of birth because of Greece’s discriminatory 1982 laws which only permit the return of individuals that are ethnic Greeks) do not fulfill this requirement.

The AMHRC and MHRMI believe that the spreading of the misinformation is a deliberate attempt to dissuade Macedonians from taking action to restore their citizenship and property rights by giving them a false hope that the matter will soon be resolved by the Greek state. It is regrettable that these reports were naively ‘applauded’ by certain individuals and reported by some media outlets which failed to check their accuracy.

As was announced on 23 April 2010, AMHRC/MHRMI, in cooperation with the Association of the Refugee Children from Aegean Macedonia of Melbourne and Victoria, the Association of Refugee Children from Aegean Macedonia (ARCAM) in Canada and Macedonian refugee associations in the Republic of Macedonia have decided to launch a campaign for legal action against the Greek state to restore citizenship and property rights to Macedonians from Greece. All these organisations appeal once more to Macedonians from Greece who lost their citizenship to join this important action.

For more information, please click the following links to
AMHRC: http://www.macedonianhr.org.au/04news/8 … suite.html
MHRMI: http://mhrmi.org/news/2010/april23_e.asp

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Established in 1984 the Australian Macedonian Human Rights Committee (AMHRC) is a non governmental organisation that informs and advocates to governments, international institutions and broader communities about combating discrimination and promoting basic human rights. Our aspiration is to ensure that Macedonian communities and other excluded groups throughout the world are recognised, respected and afforded equitable treatment. For more information please visit http://www.macedonianhr.org.au, or contact AMHRC at macedonian_rights@hotmail.com or via +61 3 93298960.

Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI) has been active on human and national rights issues for Macedonians and other oppressed peoples since 1986. For more information, please visit http://www.mhrmi.org, or contact MHRMI at 416-850-7125, or info@mhrmi.org.

How Macedonia became Greek, Serbian and Bulgarian April 20, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia, Yunanistan.
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War and the suffering in Macedonia did not end after the failed 1903 Ilinden Macedonian National Uprising. Shortly after the Uprising was suppressed Macedonia became the apple of discord between Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria and to some extent Romania.

Unable to free itself from the Ottoman yoke, Macedonia became ripe for the plucking and whoever was able to muster enough strength and resources to drive out the Ottomans would have it in their possession. At that time Macedonia´s neighbours knew they could not possess Macedonia without the cooperation of the Macedonian people, so first they tried their luck at “convincing” the Macedonians that they were not “really” Macedonians but “Greeks”, on account of them being Orthodox Christians. Or they were “Serbians” on account of them supposedly speaking an “Old Serbian” language. Or “Bulgarians” because they supposedly spoke a dialect of the “Bulgarian” language and of course “Romanians” because many were Vlachs and spoke a dialect of “Romanian”.

Failing to convince the Macedonian people “that they were not Macedonians” by propaganda alone, the four then resorted to using violence through the application of illegal armed bands. However, in addition to serving their masters by doing their bidding and murdering those who refused their will, these bands, consisting mostly of thugs, also served themselves by robbing, raping, beating and murdering innocent civilians.

Now in addition to the dastardly deeds performed by the Ottoman army and the Bashibazuks (armed Muslim civilians), there were Greek, Serbian, Bulgarian and Romanian armed bands roaming the Macedonian countryside preying on the Macedonian people.

The Ottoman authorities knew about them and so did the international peace keeping forces stationed in Macedonia but they did nothing to help the Macedonian population.

Unable to turn the general Macedonian population into Greeks, Serbians, Bulgarians, or Romanians to their satisfaction, by severe methods the four began to open more Greek, Serbian, Bulgarian and Romanian churches and schools in Macedonia, offering Macedonian children “free education” but not in the Macedonian language. Education was offered in the Greek, Serbian, Bulgarian, or Romanian language respectively. Unfortunately, along with the so-called “free education” came a heavy dose of foreign propaganda. Along with their “free education” children and young adults were also offered a glamorous lifestyle, something their families in the village could not give them. Being “educated” and convinced that they would be more cultured and better off as Greeks, Serbians, Bulgarians, or Romanians these children were then sent back home to “convince” others and also turn them into Greeks, Serbians, Bulgarians or Romanians.

Many of these “educated children”, as young adults, became the new teachers and priests in the Macedonian village churches and schools. In addition to preaching and teaching they also unwittingly helped Macedonia´s enemies get a foothold in Macedonia. Those young adults who found their way back to who they really were or switched loyalties usually ended up dead because their benefactors could not tolerate traitors; a tradition Greeks practice to this day.

Almost the entire Macedonian population during these times, particularly in the villages, was uneducated and could not read or write. So, many people relied on the village teacher or village priest to help them with administrative matters and filling out travel forms etc. And while they were doing a public service for their illiterate, fellow villagers these teachers and priests were doing their benefactors a favour by registering the Macedonians as Greeks, Serbians, Bulgarians, or Romanians with a Greek, Serbian, Bulgarian, or Romanian sounding name depending on who was their benefactor. That is why Macedonians who traveled abroad during the late 19th century and early 20th century, before Macedonia was partitioned, had Greek, Serbian, Bulgarian, or Romanian sounding names. These names which exist to this day can be found in the United States, Canada and other places outside of Macedonia where Macedonians immigrated during Ottoman times.

Macedonians were never Greeks, Serbians, Bulgarians, Romanians, or Albanians. They were simply made to look like that for “political” reasons which became obvious after Macedonia was illegally invaded, occupied, partitioned and annexed by Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria in 1912 and 1913.

Looking at this another way, there are many Greeks, Serbians, Bulgarians, Romanians and Albanians today who not too long ago had Macedonian ancestors!

In all this there was one organization which cared for the Macedonian population and fought to correct the injustices perpetrated and that was the Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (MRO). Unfortunately because the MRO was a great threat to Greek, Serbian, Bulgarian and Romanian ambitions in Macedonia its members were hunted down and killed. In addition to killing off its members, the various factions, particularly the Bulgarians, made attempts to infiltrate the MRO and pose as patriotic Macedonians. This caused much internal strife and mistrust, which is felt to this day in modern Macedonian organizations. I must also add that even though the 19th and 20th centuries are now in the past, Macedonia´s enemies have not ceased their attempts to infiltrate Macedonian organizations. So who can blame the Macedonians for being overly suspicious?

Greek political aims in Macedonia

Greek propaganda in Macedonia began in June 1903 when Greek military officers, Pavlos Melas and Georgios Tzontas, began to hire illegal armed bands and dispatch them in Macedonia to create havoc and spread “Greater” Greek propaganda. Immediately after the August 1903 Ilinden Uprising, the secretary of the Greek consulate in Bitola, Ion Dragoumis, established a secret Greek committee to work towards the assimilation of the Macedonian people and the annexation of Macedonia to Greece. Around about the same time the Greek bishop of Kostur, Germanos Karavangelis, created an illegal armed band. In the beginning of March 1904 two Greek armed bands were created in Thessaly. Six new illegal armed Greek bands in total were created and dispatched to operate in Macedonia.

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Then in the fall of 1904 the Hellenic – Macedonian committee was formed in Athens whose job was to finance the Macedonian campaign and spread Greek propaganda in Macedonia. Most of the manpower for these illegal armed bands was hired from newly annexed Crete and manned by Greek officers.

Of all the illegal armed bands that operated in Macedonia, the Greek bands most closely cooperated with the Ottoman army and in many instances carried out missions for the Ottomans.

The goals and objectives of the Greek armed bands operating in Macedonia were regulated by a Rulebook entitled “General Instructions for the Macedonian Bands”, especially created for this purpose by the Hellenic-Macedonian Committee. The Rulebook contained three main points: 1. destroy the MRO insurgency and replace it with a Greek one; 2. eliminate all those who worked against the Greek cause; 3. convince the entire Macedonian population to join the Greek Patriarchate.

Macedonian intellectuals and leaders responded to the “Greater” Greek propaganda with appeals to the Greek population not to support the illegal armed bands in Macedonia and to oppose Hellenism, their mutual usurper.

Supported by the Sultan himself, the illegal armed Greek bands escalated their persecution of the Macedonian insurgency and of prominent intellectuals. In the eyes of the Macedonian population the entire MRO was labeled “Bulgarophile”, a false claim which is spread to this day.

According to Richard Oppenheimer, an Austrian civilian agent sent to Macedonia on April 18, 1908 who dispatched information to Aloys Aehrenthal of the Austrian-Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Greek bands in Macedonia killed 531 and wounded 175 people in the period from March 14, 1906 to March 14, 1908. According to the same information, MRO insurgents fought 12 battles with the Greek bands in the period from October 26, 1904 to June 27, 1905 in Voden Region alone. From January to October 1905, MRO insurgents fought 22 battles with the illegal Greek armed bands that had infiltrated Macedonia and 3 battles with locally hired Greek bands. Most battles took place in the Kostur, Kajlari, Drama, Lerin, Bitola and other Regions of southern Macedonia.

Greek-Ottoman cooperation contributed immensely to the Greek campaign in Macedonia and as the Greek armed bands kept growing the number of Macedonian insurgents kept dwindling.

Serbian political aims in Macedonia

Serbian propaganda activities in Macedonia began before the 1903 Ilinden Uprising. In fact the foundations for Serbia´s Macedonian campaigns were laid in 1902 when a dedicated Committee for carrying out propaganda activities in Macedonia was established in Belgrade. Illegal Serbian armed bands began to infiltrate Macedonia while the Ilinden Uprising was still going on. In 1904 the number of Serbian armed bands operating in Macedonia increased significantly, especially in Ovche Pole, Azot and Poreche.

The Serbian sponsored armed bands in Macedonia also operated according to a Rulebook which listed the Serbian goals and objectives in Macedonia. According to the Rulebook Serbia´s main goal in its campaigns in Macedonia was to minimize MRO influence on the Macedonian population by eliminating its leaders and insurgents. While doing this the Serbian armed bands were to avoid contact and conflict with the Ottoman authorities, including the army and police. These goals and objectives were regulated by Articles 17, 18 and 32 of the Rulebook.

In order to achieve their goals the Serbian armed bands, like the Greek and Bulgarian ones, used terror tactics including robbing and torturing the Macedonian population. Almost every village had agents and collaborators who supported the illegal armed bands by offering them intelligence information, food and sanctuary.

Many Macedonian intellectuals tried to persuade the Macedonians, who were recruited by these bands in various functions, not to offer the foreigners assistance and to stop fighting amongst themselves, but without much success. There were many letters written to that effect which clearly demonstrated that Macedonia´s neighbours deliberately intensified fratricidal fighting and self-extermination in Macedonia. Their goal was to create conflict among the Macedonian people, invade and partition their country and destroy the essence of the Macedonian nation, as events proved true over time.

Bulgarian political aims in Macedonia

Immediately after the 1903 Ilinden Uprising was suppressed, Bulgaria officially refused to bear responsibility for the dire events created in Macedonia. But the Macedonian Question remained a part of Bulgarian foreign policy. Besides being supported by pro-Bulgarian factions within the Macedonian Liberation Movement, at the beginning of 1905, the Bulgarian government created a second political department within its own Ministry of Foreign Affairs with a single objective; to deal with the Macedonian Question. The long term goal of this department was to overcome all factors that hindered Bulgarian influence in Macedonia and work towards giving Macedonia autonomy as a Bulgarian protectorate. Other goals included waging war against all who got in the way including those promoting foreign propaganda in Macedonia. Bulgaria´s first priority was to infiltrate the MRO, kill off its leaders, insurgents and supporters and replace them with Bulgarian agents. This was to be accomplished through the assistance of the Bulgarian Exarchate churches and schools in Macedonia, which were financed and politically supported by the Bulgarian state and its various governments of that time.

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