The Australian-Macedonian Human Rights Committee (AMHRC) and Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI) said Friday they welcome the launching of Nova Zora (New Dawn), a bilingual newspaper in Macedonian and Greek dedicated to issues concerning the Macedonian minority in Aegean Macedonia, Greece.
The first edition of the 16-page newspaper was launched yesterday and will initially be published once a month. The editorial team aspires to eventually produce a bi-monthly edition.
The newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief, Dimitri Ioannou said, “Today is a historic day for the Macedonian movement and for all Greek citizens who want a truly European and democratic Greece. Today the first mass-circulation newspaper in Greece to include articles and commentary in the Macedonian language will begin to operate.”
Many articles will be published in Greek, due to the fact that this is the language in which Macedonians born in Greece were educated. The Greek state still refuses to allow the possibility of learning the Macedonian language within the state education system.
Nova Zora will include articles on news and current affairs in Greece and beyond; a feature interview; opinion pieces and letters to the editor. The newspaper will also cater to its Macedonian audience with regular thematic articles on important Macedonian historical figures; special focuses on Macedonian villages in Aegean Macedonia, Greece and a section devoted to Macedonian women. Notably there will be a regular column designed to teach the readership an understanding of the Macedonian language.
The first edition of the newspaper featured an article on the Macedonian revolutionary figure, Goce Delcev, in light of the 107th anniversary of his death on May 4, 1903. Other articles included a report on the Macedonian speaking village of Neret/Polypotamos in the Lerin/Florina Prefecture and news on the latest activities of the Macedonian Rainbow Party/Vinozhito.
Nova Zora will be circulated for free in villages and towns in Northern Greece with an initial circulation of 20,000 copies. The newspaper is also available for free online at www.novazora.gr.
While the AMHRC and MHRMI welcome the initiative, both organisations continue to call on the international community to demand that the Greek government recognise the Macedonian language and provide for Macedonian language broadcasts on public television and radio in accordance with well established international standards.