Thursday, December 11, 2008

SPECIAL REPORT: VISA card offer upsets Greeks

For Immediate Release: December 10, 2008

Contact: Nikolaos Taneris, New York, Tel. 1-917-699-9935,
Ioannis Fidanakis, New Jersey, Tel. 1-973-464-0211

The Cyprus Action Network of America (CANA) and Hellenic League of America in
coalition with the STOP THE ANTI-HELLENIC LOBBY (
was informed through its grass-roots Hellenic activists that Card Partner Inc.
and that the VISA card affinity program has reportedly “pulled” and/or
“temperorarily removed ” the offensive VISA card that it designed with a “Star
of Vergina” in collaboration with the Washington DC-based lobby “United
Macedonian Diaspora UMD” Thus far, the phone conversations are not enough of a
commitment to make sure that such offensive cards are never issued again by
VISA, we demand a written statement and commitment from VISA.

We have yet to receive a written statement from Card Partner Inc. about the
offensive “Macedonian” VISA card, and we have yet to see a commitment to cancel
the card in writing. We ask that our grass-roots activists continue to ask VISA
President Mr. William M. Sheedy to call on the CardPartner Visa affinity credit
card program so it can be canceled at:

Our action alert about the “Macedonian” VISA Card, has managed to get
considerable press coverage, the Serb media outlet SERBIANNA issued a news
article on the dispute titled “VISA Card offer upsets Greeks”, December 10,
2008) , which IS reproduced below following STOP THE ANTI-HELLENIC LOBBY
activist Ioannis Fidanakis’ follow up request today for a written statement from
Card Partner Inc. on the Star of Vergina.

Please continue to visit our campaign blog for updates, action alerts , links
and reports

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wed, 10 Dec 2008 11:03 pm
Subject: UMD Violation of Copyrighted National Greek Symbol
Dear Mark Levitt

Card Partner Inc
37 West 20th Street
Suite 810
New York, NY 10011
Tele. (646)-652-7012
Fax. (212) 627-2019

I am contacting you today on the behalf of, Stop The Anti-Hellenic Lobby,
(www.stopt which is a growing grass-roots
coalition organized by Hellenic-American activist organizations such as Hellenic
League of America and Cyprus Action Network of America.

We recently spoke several days ago about a VISA affiliate credit card that your
company helped create for the ‘United Macedonian Diaspora” – the UMD. In our
conversation, I informed you that one of their card designs was in violation of
copyright infringement, as the Vergina Sun aka Star of Vergina was copyrighted
by the Greek government. I followed up our phone conversation with an email, in
which, you affirmed information on the copyrighted symbol.

Hellenic-American activists have told us that in conversations with you, that
you indicated to them that Visa has pulled this card design from the original
rotation of designs offered by the program. Is this true?

We would appreciate written clarification from you that CardPartner Inc. did or
did not "pull" the "Star of Vergina" symbol designed in collaboration with
"United Macedonian Diaspora UMD"


Ioannis Fidanakis
(973) 464-0211


VISA card offer upsets Greeks
December 10, 2008 – 8:14 pm

A VISA affinity card promoted by a group called United Macedonian Diaspora Fund
(UMD) is deeply offending ethnic Greeks because the card uses the Star of
Vergina, a Hellenic symbol from the ancient Greece.

“The United Macedonian Diaspora UMD a Washington DC-based lobby [is] promoting
false historical revisionism,” says a statement of the Cyprus Action Network of
America or CANA.

United Macedonian Diaspora UMD promoter, Denis Manevski, has failed to respond
to our inquiries. Mr. Manevski declined to answer us after he replied twice to inquiries with questions of his own.

“Star of Vergina symbol that is copyrighted exclusively in all its forms by the
Hellenic Republic, in violation of Article 6ter of the Paris Convention for the
Protection of State Emblems, and Names, Abbreviations and Emblems of
International Intergovernmental Organizations under the WIPO (World Intellectual
Property Organization),” says CANA.

A Star of Vergina as promoted by the United Macedonian Diaspora Fund was
originally used on the flag of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia but it
was subsequently modified because it is a Greek symbol.

Nikolaos Taneris, of the Cyprus Action Network of America, says that the star
used on FYROM flag is the “1995 diplomatic compromise with the Greek state which
holds the trademark to the Star of Vergina”.

In 1945, communists, led by Croatian Tito and in cooperation with the
Bulgarian-born adviser to Stalin, Georgi Dimitrov, decided to form a unique
so-called “macedonian” church and a corresponding “macedonian” nationality out
of the Byzantine recognized Serbian church parishes in today’s Macedonia, only
in order to use that creation as a pretext to attack Greece and conquer parts of

Dimitrov advised Stalin and had influence on the international communist policy
making body called Cominform. Cominform said that the Serbs are chauvinists and
that Kosovo should eventually be given to Albania. Bulgaria and Macedonia have
both recently recognized Kosovo as an independent state.

No Ecumenical Church has recognized the self-proclaimed “macedonian” church.

Bishop from Ohrid, Jovan, has been imprisoned by the Skopje authorities several
times because he has suggested that the renegade “macedonian” church should
unite back with its holy apostolic sea.

Bulgaria has recently marked it’s independence in Macedonia’s capital of Skopje
while the opposition party in Bulgaria has demanded more land from Serbia and

Many in today’s Macedonia, despite that they are Slavs, believe that they are
descendants of the Hellenic leader Alexander the Great to whom the Star of
Vergina is attributed to.

Greece is worried that such beliefs are deliberately fostered by the government
in Skopje in order to seek Greek territory and has vowed to block Skopje’s entry
into NATO and other EU institutions unless it compromises on the matter.

“Using the United Macedonian Diaspora Affinity Credit Card for everyday
purchases is an easy way for supporters to help further the Macedonian cause,”
said Denis Manevski, UMD Treasurer, on the web site.

With offices boasting to be in Washington DC, Brussels, Canberra, London,
Melbourne, New York, Paris, Stuttgart, Sydney, and Toronto, one of the United
Macedonian Diaspora Fund missions is to “Defend the Macedonian ethnic identity”.

One can support VISA Macedonia card at:

The Cyprus Action Network of America urges to “Ask VISA President Mr. William M.
Sheedy to call on the CardPartner Visa affinity credit card program” so it can
be canceled at:

December 10, 2008


Cyprus Action Network of America (CANA)

2578 Broadway #132

New York, NY 10025

New York: Tel. 917-699-9935


The Cyprus Action Network of America (CANA) is a grass-roots, not-for-profit
movement created to support genuine self-determination and human rights for the
people of Cyprus.

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