Bulgaria Communist Dictator Zhivkov Impresses Greece over Macedonia IssueDiplomacy | April 30, 2009, Thursday // 18:13| views
"The Macedonian Question and Bulgaria - Secret Documents 1950-1967" by the Greek Professor, Spiridon Sfetas. Photo by GRReporter
Greek scholars and foreign policy experts have been impressed with the way the Bulgarian Communist leader, Todor Zhivkov, handled the "Macedonian Question".
This becomes clear from the book "The Macedonian Question and Bulgaria - Secret Documents 1950-1967" by the Greek Professor, Spiridon Sfetas, which was presented personally by the Greek Foreign Minister, Dora Bakoyanni in Athens, the Greek English-language publication GRReporter informs.
For the first time, the book makes public 21 secret documents of the Bulgarian Communist Party on the so called Macedonian Question - i.e. dedicated to the Bulgarian politics in relation to Macedonia in 1950-1967.
The book is a joint publication of the Greek Society for Macedonian Studies and the Bulgarian State Archive.
The conclusions of the Greek Professor Sfetas are that in the 1950s the Bulgarian position on Macedonia depended closely on the relationship tides between the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia of Josip Broz Tito.
This dependence continued until Todor Zhivkov, who practically ruled Bulgaria for almost 35 years (1954-1989) finally came to the fore in 1962 (between 1954 and 1962 Zhivkov held only party positions, and after that combined them with state positions).
According to Spiridon Sfetas, Zhivkov, an "uneducated but extremely smart villager" was the first one to see that Bulgarian politics in relation to Macedonian should not be influenced by the relationship between Yugoslavia and the USSR.
In his report to the Bulgarian Communist Party plenum on March 11 and 12, 1963, Zhivkov outlined the principles which Bulgaria needs to defend when it comes down to Macedonia: 1) the Macedonian country exists and this is a fact; 2) as a historic community, the Macedonian nation never existed; 3) we cannot agree that there is a Macedonian minority in Bulgaria.
"This is why Bulgaria was the first country in the world to recognize the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name but even until today, it does not recognize the existence of the Macedonian nation and minority on its territory," concludes Spiridon Sfetas.
Sfetas's book has been described by the Greek Foreign Minister, Dora Bakoyanni, as a very important publication, and an example that Bulgaria and Greece had left behind the concepts and problems from the past and would cooperate in any field as partners in the European Union and NATO.
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