Anti-Macedonian Hysteria in Bulgaria

Source: Macedonian daily newspaper Dnevnik

Translated by UMDiaspora Staff

The European Commission ought to watch closely the situation in Bulgaria and help the Macedonian party OMO Ilinden PIRIN to be registered as a political party, the European Free Alliance (EFA) has requested.

“The anti- Macedonian hysteria in Bulgaria must stop and the party of the Macedonians OMO Ilinden PIRIN should be promptly recognized, as well as the Macedonian minority on a national level,” recommends the European Free Alliance. EFA expressed these demands in a letter that was sent to senior members of the Bulgarian administration, as well as to EU Foreign Ministers’ Committee Chairman Elmar Brock and Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn.

The EFA letter reads that OMO Ilinden PIRIN held a constitutive assembly and elected a new leadership in the Bulgarian town of Gotse Delchev on June 25th 2006 in order to be able to register the party.

This caused hysteria in the media, while some government officials found it necessary to issue threats to the Macedonians in Bulgaria, using the term “ethnic group.” Varna Municipality Council member Veselin Danov said that “they [OMO Ilinden Macedonians] should be shot on the street.” Members of Parliament Boris Lachev and Krasimir Karakachanov said that “they must be sent to prison immediately.” Blagoevgrad Mayor Lazar Prichkapov demanded that “all Macedonians be banished from Bulgaria.”

EFA, a party that advocates the respect for ethnic minorities’ rights, points out to the fact that some parties have been refusing the OMO’s registration, even though the highest European Court of Human Right in Strasbourg has already ruled twice in favor of this party’s right to that. “We feel that hatred is unproductive for either party and we therefore believe that the speedy recognition of the party can result in a greater mutual respect for the Bulgarian state,” EFA says.

“We therefore ask the European Commission to monitor the situation in the coming weeks, which would be conducive to the OMO Ilinden PIRIN party’s registration,” the EFA letter reads.

The EFA members include Vinozito, the party of Macedonians in Greece. Recently, OMO Ilinden PIRIN obtained an observer status.

Macedonia Must Not Interfere in Our History

Building good neighborly relations and non-interference in the Bulgarian history and nation are preconditions for our support of Macedonia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations, Makfaks cites Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ivaylo Kalfin as saying at a meeting in Sofia with the heads of the country’s diplomatic-consular missions abroad.

“Bulgaria supports Macedonia and Turkey, but this support will not be unconditional. We will insist on both sides’ respect for the principles of neighborliness and will be particularly alert to make sure that Macedonia does not demonstrate aggression over the Bulgarian history and nation,” Kalfin said.

“Such views run contrary to the principles of neighborliness,” the Macedonian Foreign Ministry has told MIA regarding Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ivaylo Kalfin’s statement.

Macedonian Ambassador to Sofia Abdurrahman Aliti has already asked for a meeting with the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry to get a first-hand explanation of the Bulgarian foreign minister’s statement.

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