On Friday in Sofia was held an expert hearing on Where is the Republic of Macedonia Going To, Macedonian Utrinski Vesnik daily writes today, referring to FOCUS News Agency . The publication points out that the forum was organized after the statements of Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov that Bulgaria is against the name Northern Macedonia.
"Let’s show Macedonia a yellow card and put conditions for EU membership. This is the message that came out of the round table in Sofia,” Utrinksi Vesnik writes. "When you steal history, it is almost the same as stealing territory," Dr. Lyubomir Ivanov, President of the Manfred Wörner Foundation said. National identity is not only situated in the territorial space but in time, Dr. Ivanov said. He suggested the Bulgarian national interest to be protected as Bulgaria put two specific conditions before the membership of Macedonia in the EU. First - textbooks in Macedonian schools to explicitly state the nationality of the Bulgarian Tsar Samuil, of Gotse Delchev, of all prominent persons in our common history, who identified themselves as Bulgarians.
The second condition, according to Dr. Ivanov, should be - to stop discrimination against the Bulgarians in Macedonia from the Macedonian Constitution.
These two conditions, according to Ivanov should become Bulgarian red lines until they have not been met there to be Bulgarian veto on the opening of negotiations for EU membership, saying that without these conditions, the Republic of Macedonia does not fulfill the criteria for good neighborly relations.
"They must cease to wash the brains of younger generations through falsification of history. This leads to a historical diagnosis - to be Macedonian in nationality. They are divided. Every morning they wake up and say to themselves in the mirror - I am Macedonian. I hate Bulgaria," Academician Georgi Markov said.
Tito created a nation under the Comintern prescription on anti-Bulgarian basis, Academician Markov said.
"They should not throw EUR 80 million when they have 30% unemployment and the country hardly breathes. Only one monument should be erected – of Marshall Tito. He is the father of the Macedonian nation," Markov said. According to him, Macedonia needs to change the history books.
"Tsar Samuil, Cyril and Methodius, Gotse Delchev, Miladinovtsi brothers, Saint Paisius of Hilendar - these are Macedonian Bulgarians. They are identified as Bulgarians, and if someone in Skopje today defines himself as Macedonian is his own problem," Markov said.
Deputy Chairman of Bulgarian Parliament Georgi Pirinski proposed to initiate a joint session of parliamentary committees on European Affairs and Foreign Policy of both countries to address the question of relations between Bulgaria and Macedonia.
BNT correspondent for many years in Skopje Kosta Filipov, in his turn, argues that in Macedonia there is media darkness in respect of matters relating to Bulgaria and that the recommendations of the European Parliament to respect the Bulgarians and Bulgarian history are not known in Macedonia. However, it is necessary to help Macedonia overcome their problems so that both peoples to move forward. According to some participants if they allow Macedonia to join the EU it will become three times more bold and brutal than now. Leader of VMRO-BND Krasimir Karakachanov believes that it is useless to speak on the topic if the Bulgarian political elite do not define a few very simple things.
We have to answer the question do we have interest in Macedonia to be debulgarized (i.e. to become depopulated by Bulgarians) Albanizied and Serbianized (i.e. inhabited by Albanians and Serbians). Do we have interest after 40 years our neighbor at our border to be Albanian population? Albanians have a very clear strategy, speak very clearly with no illusions for one people, one country - Great Albania," Karakachanov said.
"If you open the website of the Foreign Ministry, will see the themes of Myanmar, Syria and all sorts of other nonsense that at least we are interested in, but you will not see any problem with the Bulgarian, who was crushed in Macedonia. We do conferences and talking crap, "he said.
"Bulgaria, which first recognized the Republic of Macedonia, is treated no better than Greece, and in some cases even worse," MEP Evgeni Kirilov said. "Our brothers live next to us [Bulgaria]. We all ask the question “Where is the Republic of Macedonia going to” all our citizens ask that question. We must answer many questions. Not only related to the past, and to give a basis to create in view of our behavior, in view of the future of relations with Macedonia," Kirilov said.
"The bitter conclusion is that Skopje does not understand well-meaning words. Well, let’s not be like the Greeks as giving them a red card, but it is high time to bring out a yellow card to warn them that this behavior is not European," Academician Georgi Markov said. According to Academician Markov - Macedonians can rely on support from Bulgaria for their EU membership, but this support should not be unconditional, because this support is being abused.
"12 years ago an Ambassador Georgi Spasov, who entered in my director's office and shook his finger and told me: Professor, I am Macedonian. I have the right to self-determination. The I said - well, you have the right to self-determination as a Macedonian, but it does mean that your grandfather was not Bulgarian. This historical diagnosis splits them and so they go to extremes to convince themselves that they have a new national identity and only went in antiquity and built such monuments for EUR 80 million and Arc de Triomphe. But the history there became a great policy," academician Markov said.
The publication states that some participants were more moderate.