Vice President: North Macedonia's Hate Speech against Bulgaria Is European Issue

2023-11-13 13:39:00

Iliana Iotova was a guest at the celebration of the centenary of the Macedonian Scientific Institute

Politicians in Skopje show neither willingness nor consensus for creation and cooperation. North Macedonia gives no sign to stop the hate speech against Bulgaria. It is unacceptable, it is unworthy, the malice towards everything Bulgarian that is growing and stands unpunished, has ceased to be a bilateral issue. The hate speech of the Republic of North Macedonia against Bulgaria is now a European issue. This is what Vice President Iliana Iotova said at St Kliment Ohridski Sofia University during the celebration of the centenary of the establishment of the Macedonian Scientific Institute. She recalled a number of cases of hatred and resentment towards the Macedonian Bulgarians. It is unacceptable for Bulgaria, as a European country of the 21st century, to tolerate systematic criminal acts and violence against the Bulgarians in North Macedonia, Iotova stressed.

Under the same dome of the Sofia University, a century ago, eminent scholars and public figures gathered to found the Macedonian Scientific Institute to study the history, geography, ethnography and economic life of Macedonia, to collect historical materials on the liberation struggles of the Macedonian Bulgarians, preparing a systematic and detailed history of these struggles, the Vice President said in her address, pointing out that in its hundred years of experience the institute has repeatedly concluded that it is wrong to build a Macedonian identity on an anti-Bulgarian basis. Let us encourage the leadership and the collaborators of the institute to continue to seek their supporters in North Macedonia, because only together can we eradicate the language of hatred, only in this way can we help our neighbours on their path towards European membership. As a modern state, Bulgaria welcomes the break with the reputation of the Balkans as a place of homophobic and fratricidal enmities, Iotova said.

The Vice President recalled that Head of State Rumen Radev imposed in the dialogue with North Macedonia the thesis of an imperative change in the constitution of our western neighbour to guarantee the rights of Bulgarians. However, there is no political will in North Macedonia for the changes to move forward. I am pessimistic that there will be developments by the end of the year, Iotova said.

The Vice President also highlighted the recent recommendations of the European Commission on the European integration of the Republic of North Macedonia. "Brussels does not accept the behind-the-scenes attempts of the government in Skopje to circumvent the commitment to include the Bulgarians as a state-building people in the North Macedonian Constitution," Iliana Iotova said.

In her speech, the Vice President also recalled North Macedonia's attempt to have the so-called Macedonian nation recognised by a proclamation on Macedonian-American cultural heritage in the US State of Michigan. The Diasporas of Bulgarians, Greeks and Albanians reacted to the claim that over half a million Americans of Macedonian origin lived in the United States. The proclamation was stopped, Iotova said.

Property and matter are divided, albeit with difficulty, but history is not a rug, it cannot be cut into 'your' and 'our' pieces and periods. Tragicomic are the attempts to divide historical personalities. Or, as Gotse Delchev himself used to say, "What can we do when we are Bulgarians!", the Vice President said. She was adamant that those called to govern Bulgaria are expected to know history in depth, to know what is good, to lend a hand to their neighbours, but to be firm and uncompromising when it comes to defending identity.



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