|Ουράνιο Τόξο Ouránio Tóxo
|Leader||Collective Leadership (political Secretariat)|
|Headquarters||Stephanou Dragoumi 11, 53100, Florina, Greece|
|Political position||Macedonian minority rights
|European affiliation||European Free Alliance|
|Politics of Greece
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
The Rainbow (Greek: Ουράνιο Τόξο Ouránio Tóxo, Macedonian: Виножито Vinožito) is a political party in Greece, and a member of the European Free Alliance. It is known for its activism amongst what it regards as the Ethnic Macedonian minority in Greece and their descendants abroad. The Rainbow states that it sees the acceptance of the Republic of Macedonia in the European Union with a positive regard.
In the past, it had an alliance with the Organization for the Reconstruction of the Communist Party of Greece (OAKKE). The two formed a coalition in the Parliamentary elections in 1996. Members of the party retain Greek names and surnames. This is both due to bureaucratic barriers for name-changing and due to their wishing not to alienate their target electorate.
In 2005, the European Court of Human Rights found the Greek government guilty of violating the European Convention on Human Rights by restricting party members' freedom of assembly and failing to provide due process within reasonable time. The Greek government was ordered to pay 35,000 euros in compensation.
- 1 Electoral results
- 1.1 1994 European Parliament election
- 1.2 1999 European Parliament Election
- 1.3 2002 Greek local elections
- 1.4 2004 Greek Parliament Election
- 1.5 2004 European Parliament Election
- 1.6 2006 Greek local elections
- 1.7 2007 Greek Parliament Election
- 1.8 2009 European Parliament Election
- 1.9 2010 Greek local elections
- 2 Political agenda
- 3 Controversy
- 4 See also
- 5 Notes
- 6 External links
(year links to election page)
|Year||Type of Election||Votes||%||Mandates|
1 Participated with OAKKE
In the June 1994 Euroelections, a Rainbow list was presented by the Macedonian Movement for Balkan Prosperity (MAKIVE), in cooperation with the Rainbow group of the European Parliament (which included the minority and regionalist MEPs between 1989–1994). The list was immediately strongly attacked and slandered by the state news agency and some media; then the country’s Supreme Court invalidated its candidacy, on the grounds that it had not declared it was not aiming at overthrowing the regime, a declaration not used since 1974. Following the outcry, the Rainbow and two other leftist lists, which were initially excluded were reinstated. The Rainbow list was the only one not to get any air time on state television during the campaign and was not able to distribute ballots in most Southern Greek electoral districts; also, on election day, GHM and MRG-Greece received reliable information that the Rainbow ballot was not given to the voters in many Greater Athens voting places. Despite all those problems, Rainbow received 7,263 votes or 0.1% of the total electorate. Its relative share of the vote was significant in three districts where it received more than half its votes: 5.7% in Florina, 1.3% in Pella, and 0.9% in Kastoria. In the October 1994 more polarized district elections, the Rainbow list in Florina received 3.5%.
Petros Dimtsis, a Rainbow Party member, was elected prefecture counselor in the Florina prefecture on a local list also supported by the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), as was the case that same year and at the next elections in 2006 for the candidate of the Turkish minority's Party of Friendship, Equality and Peace, Achmet Chatziosman, elected on a local list supported by PASOK and Synaspismós in the Rhodope Prefecture. So far, he was the only member of the party ever to have been elected to any office.
They decided not to take part in the 2004 parliamentary elections, citing shortage of funds as the reason.
Rainbow took part in the 2004 elections, obtaining 6,176 votes (0.098%). Their best return was in the Florina prefecture, where they managed to tally 1,203 votes out of 39,532 cast, failing to elect anyone. Out of the 6,176 votes Rainbow Party received, less than half (2,955) were cast in the region of Macedonia itself. Because parties stand for election across the entire length and breadth of the country, the pro-ethnic Macedonian Rainbow Party polled better in such distant regions as Crete and the Peloponnese than it did in many Macedonian prefectures.
In the 2009 European Parliament election, which resulted in a record low voter turnout, Rainbow tallied a countrywide total of 4,530 votes (out of over 5.25 million cast), a 0.09% percentage result, and failed to gain a seat in the European Parliament. Their best return was in the Florina prefecture, with 1,195 votes (a 0.57% increase from the 2004 elections). Votes tallied in other prefectures were mostly in the two-digit ballpark.
Panayotis Anastasiadis (Pando Ashlakov), an active member of the party's leadership, was elected president of the village of Meliti/Ovchareni, but on a broader list, as for the local elections in Greece national parties are forbidden to take part, only local lists compete, usually with the support of several parties.
The Rainbow Party is interested in achieving political recognition of what they regard as an ethnic Macedonian minority in Greece, and preserving its culture, language, and customs. Greece officially recognizes the party but not the ethnic group due to the existence of their own regional group also named Macedonians, their own historical association with ancient Macedonians and concerns of irredentism on behalf of the Republic of Macedonia. This issue is currently subject to a naming dispute mediated by the United Nations.
An issue very important to the Party's agenda is the reestablishment back to Greece of the former ELAS and Democratic Army of Greece partisans expelled during the Greek Civil War from Macedonia (Greece). During the Greek Civil War (1944–1949), many of them took refuge in parts of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (particularly the Socialist Republic of Macedonia), under the protection of the Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito. When PASOK was elected for the first time, they allowed all Greek communist refugees, located in many communist states, to return to Greece. However, the refugees now living in the Republic of Macedonia were never re-granted their citizenship.
The party offices of the Rainbow party were opened in Florina on 6 September 1995. On 7 September the offices had been broken into and had been ransacked. A sign hanging outside the office which had clearly written on it 'ВИНОЖИТО, ΟΥΡΑΝΙΟ ΤΟΞΟ, ЛЕРИНСКИ КОМИТЕТ' (Vinožito, Ouránio Tóxo, Lerinski Komitet). This sign had words "Rainbow Party, Florina Committee" written in both Greek and Macedonian Slavic. This sign was then stolen during the raid.
The sign was replaced but on 12 September priests from the Florina region called on people to join a "demonstration to protest against the enemies of Greece who arbitrarily display signs with anti-Hellenic inscriptions". The statement also called for the “deportation” of those responsible. Early in the morning of 13 September the offices of the party were attacked by a number of people, including the mayor of Florina. They broke into the premises, assaulted those inside and confiscated the sign. During the course of the night equipment and furniture on the premises were thrown out the window and set alight.
On 13 September four leaders of the party Pavlos Voskopoulos, Petros Vasiliadis, Vasilis Romas and Costas Tasopoulos were charged with "causing and inciting mutual hatred among the citizens" under Article 192 of the Greek Penal Code.
- INTRODUCTION TO THE RAINBOW PARTY
- Country Report on Human Rights Practices in Greece
- Greek Helsinki Monitor
- Results of the 2004 parliamentary elections
- Press release of Rainbow
- Ministry of the Interior official election returns
- The Political Secretariat of Vinozhito/EFA Rainbow, Press release, 18 November 2010
- Kallikratis law Greece Ministry of Interior
- POLITICAL MANIFESTO OF THE RAINBOW PARTY
- Greek Helsinki Monitor & Minority Rights Group- Greece; Greece against its Macedonian minority
- Amnesty International will adopt members of ‘Rainbow’ party as prisoners of conscience in case of imprisonment
- European Court of Human Rights - Chamber judgment - Ouranio toxo and others v. Greece
- Parallel Report on Greece’s compliance with the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, March 2000
- Amnesty International; Greece: Charges against members of the "Rainbow" party should be dropped
- Official Website
- Greek election results, via the Greek Ministry of Internal Affairs
- Press Releases, via the Greek Helsinki Committee for Human Rights