More than 65K people from North Macedonia have become Bulgarians over a decade

Macedonians mostly apply for Bulgarian citizenship on the basis of origin and interest in Bulgarian citizenship is mostly triggered by the opportunity to travel to the EU without having to take out a visa. [Shutterstock/NINA IMAGES]

Of the 77,000 citizens from North Macedonia who applied for Bulgarian citizenship in the past 10 years, more than 65,000 citizens have acquired it, Bulgaria’s Justice Minister Desislava Ahladova reported in parliament on Friday.

Macedonians mostly apply for Bulgarian citizenship on the basis of origin and interest in Bulgarian citizenship is mostly triggered by the opportunity for visa-free travel to the EU. The statistics did not reveal the number of Macedonians who remained in Bulgaria after they had obtained citizenship.

“We don’t mind that you have decided you are a separate nation. But there are people on your territory who continue to call themselves Bulgarians and their language – Bulgarian, where are their rights?”, said Deputy PM Krassimir Karakachanov in an address to North Macedonia on Bulgarian National TV.

Karakachanov went on to say that the politicians in Skopje believe they can join the EU and ‘impose their norms on us’ from the position of the EU.

“Their idea of ​​the EU is quite simplistic. They imagine it as the USSR or Yugoslavia. Some countries are fighting, in the end, they go to Tito or Brezhnev and the Secretary-General solves the problems,” Karakachanov said. (Krassen Nikolov | EURACTIV.bg)

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