Macedonian Bulgarians call on Sofia to be firm with Skopje

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev has urged Skopje to sign a new agreement with six specific commitments related to the rights of Bulgarians in the country, common history and hate speech. [EPA-EFE / JOHANNA GERON]

Macedonian Bulgarian organisations have called on Bulgaria not to give up its strong stance on North Macedonia and allow it to start EU accession talks once equality, language and history issues have been resolved.

“This position must be understood with dignity by all EU countries, for some of which enlargement policy patterns still prevent them from seeing the obvious,” stated the Bulgarian organisations in North Macedonia in an open letter to Bulgarian authorities on Wednesday.

“The hate speech against Bulgarians in the Republic of North Macedonia has a greater impact on Macedonian Bulgarians than it has for the people in Bulgaria”, the Bulgarians said.

“We, no less than our compatriots in Bulgaria, stick to the truth about our history because we are among the living bearers of this history. Therefore, we expect this reasoned and clear position of Bulgaria to be firmly and categorically defended,” the letter said.

They also stated that they no longer want to be treated as “second category” citizens and that they are fighting for basic things,”that our children can be called Bulgarians, that we can, like all other citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia, work fully and equally for its state, for its economic, political and social rise “.

“We expect this reasoned and clear position of Bulgaria to be firmly and categorically defended. It is important to support our request for the registration of Bulgarians as an equal part of the people in the Constitution of Republic of North Macedonia, for our proper census, because we are much more than 120,000 of us who have the honour to be citizens of Bulgaria,” the letter reads.

The letter was signed by more than six organisations of Macedonian Bulgarians and the Macedonian political party Civic Democratic Union (GDS).

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev has urged Skopje to sign a new agreement with six specific commitments related to the rights of Bulgarians in the country, shared history and hate speech.

(Krassen Nikolov | EURACTIV.bg)

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