The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 12, 1976 · Page 31
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 31

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 12, 1976
Page 31
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Palm Beach Post-Times, Sunday, December 12, 1976 A31 Greek Refugees Find Return Home Difficult although they are highly esteemed as workers and subjected to some low-level propaganda to persuade them to stay. There are about 14,000 Greeks in the Tashkent area of Uzbekistan. Some 12,000 have applied to return; 2,500 already have, most to an emotional welcome scene at the port of Piraeus. The refugees, however, face economic, social and bureaucratic hardships upon return. They want full-scale bilateral agreements between Greece and the Eastern European countries in remain unemployed for long periods, necessitating total dependence , .qn relatives. The Greek Eastern European refugees are also seeking "adoption" and assistance from a U.N. refugee commission, and have also appealed to U.S. officials for aid. "While these issues remain unsettled those returning can only but feel refugees again, this time in their own land," says Irene Papadi-mitri, whose husband was allowed to come back to her from Romania two years ago after 25 years in exile. volved to settle their pressing problems such as pensions, recognition of social security dues based on work done abroad, employment recognition of academic and professional qualifications, compensation for confiscated property and settlement of military service commitments areas where so far only limited progress has been made. Those repatriated from Bulgaria and the Soviet Union get a part of their pension sent by authorities there. The Greek government gives only $30 to each upon arrival. Most burial. On other occasions, permission to see an ailing parent or child took so long to receive that often those concerned only made the funeral. In 1956, 50 Greeks from Poland got together and decided to walk back into Greece. They were turned back by police at the Greek-Yugoslav border. The reason behind the slow return is the government policy of individual consideration and political screening before appeal. The conservative state machinery, particularly the National Security Service which plays a key role in the decision, generally regards them suspiciously as die-hard Communists capable of political subversion. The government, pressed repeatedly, has rejected opposition pressures for blanket approval of their return, claiming it would cause economic and social upheaval and in some cases political trouble. The refugee committees reject all three counts as "poor excuses." They argue Greece had in the past been forced to absorb large minorities under much poorer circumstances, that social and economic complications prevailing will prevent a mass simultaneous return anyhow and that the generally highly regarded Greek exiles are scientists and skilled workers who would benefit, not harm, the national effort. The refugees also reject allegations that eastern European Communist governments 'themselves place obstacles to their departure, and authoritative Western sources in Moscow agree. The Soviet policy has been to allow them to return freely, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: THIS IS YOUR INVITATION TO Christian Businessmen's Fellowship SPECIAL BANQUET O ROBES ATHENS, Greece (AP) - From Tashkent in the Soviet Union, down through Eastern Europe to the Yugoslav border, Greek Communist refugees are slowly returning to their native land after 27 years of exile. On the losing side in the 1945-49 civil war, they now say they are reconciled to the new political setup in Greece. But they charge the government here is putting up obstacles to their speedy return. When the military regime was overthrown and civilian government restored in Greece two years ago, there were about 60,000 Greek Communist refugees in Eastern Europe, a third of them stripped of their Greek citizenship. They were the last of an estimated 100,000 who fled in 1949 across the northern borders before the advancing American-supplied Greek regular army. Since then, many scattered to. western Europe, Canada and Australia. A large number of them, estimated at more than 20,000, are permanently settled in Yugoslavia and no longer consider themselves refugees. In the past two years about 7,000 Communist refugees have returned and settled, according to government and refugee committee statistics, still leaving 53,000 behind. The government announced Nov. 30 that it had granted permission for an ad--ditional 10,000 to return and that more than half the refugees now in Eastern Europe have officially applied for repatriation with their families. About 20 per cent of all applicants are rejected outright - usually on "national security" grounds - and an equal proportion accepted. The remaining have been waiting for up to two years for a decision. "The deliberate delaying tactic adopted by the government is a crime not justified by any domestic or international law," says Ioannis Haratsidis, lawyer and president of the "Panhellenic Union of Repatriated Political Refugees." Adds Zoe Linardatou, secretary-general of the Central Committee for Political Refugees: "Every one of them lives with the dream of coming home. Every one of them represents a human tragedy. Split familes, parents and children who have not seen each other for years, those who only get to see their kin at their funerals and the thousands of children now born to them who only know Greece through their textbooks and parents' tales." In the past, Greek governments sometimes did not even allow families to bring back their dead for O SWEATERS O SHIRTS O UNDERWEAR O TIES O JACKETS O PAJAMAS WITH ORAL ROBERTS December 17, 7:00 P.M. Breakers Hotel, Palm Beach, Fla. Tickets $25.00 by Reservation Only Call: 659-6060 Christian Businessmen's Fellowship (jjj2 Gift Wrapping & Parking I 4 v I - tw Suite 206, 711 N. Dixie West Palm Beach, Fla. 33101 THE STORE FOR MEN 308 Clematis St. Downtown West Palm Beach SPECIAL CHRISTMAS SHOPPING HOURS: MOM. Thru SAT. 10 A.M. TO 10 P.M. SUN. 11 A.M. TO 7 P.M. 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