Monday, February 08, 2010

Rann's speech outrages Macedonians

PREMIER Mike Rann has sparked an international diplomatic furore by accusing Macedonia of stealing Greek culture and its leader, Gjorge Ivanov, of "stirring up trouble in the most dangerous way".

A videotape of a speech given by the Premier at a the Dimitria Greek festival in the western suburbs in November has sparked outrage across the globe.

Washington-based United Macedonian Diaspora president Metodija Koloski flew to Adelaide for a confidential meeting with Multicultural Affairs Minister Michael Atkinson yesterday and delivered a protest letter addressed to Mr Rann.

In the controversial speech, Mr Rann affirms his commitment to Adelaide's Greek voters and promises his Government will "remain firm and unswerving in our support for your cause".

"It is important because no one is entitled to steal another nation's history or culture," Mr Rann said.

"We have a leader in Mr Ivanov who is stirring up trouble in the most dangerous way."

Mr Koloski yesterday told The Advertiser that his people had been "slandered" and demanded an unconditional apology.

Yesterday, Mr Rann said he would not be "silenced or muzzled" and would "continue to speak out on issues I believe in".

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