Bulgarian Mayor, Greek Consul Ease Tension over Patriotic Billboards

Diplomacy | March 3, 2010, Wednesday // 16:54|  views

Plovdiv Mayor Slavcho Atanasov (left) has eased the tensions with the Greek Consul over VMRO billboards. Photo by BGNES

The controversy in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv over a patriotic billboard depicting a historic map of Bulgaria have been resolved.

Last week, the Greek Consul in Plovdiv, Nikolaos Piperigos, protested before the Plovdiv Mayor Slavcho Atanasov against billboards put around the city by the VMRO party showing a map of Bulgaria under the San Stefano Treaty of March 3, 1878, with the intention to greet the Bulgarians for the Liberation Day. The Greek Consul protested as the map showed as Bulgarian regions located today in Northern Greece.

“The reaction of the Greek Consul is a surprise to me. On March 3 Bulgaria was liberated after five-centuries of Turkish dominance through the San Stefano Peace Treaty, and this is an indisputable historic fact,” Plovdiv Mayor Atanasov stated Wednesday regarding the potential diplomatic scandal, as cited by Darik Radio.

He added that if somebody should have been offended by the billboard, it should have been the Consul of Turkey because at the time of the San Stefano Treaty all of the territories shown as Bulgarian were part of Ottoman Turkey.

Atanasov and the Greek Consul had a brief conversation during the service at the St. Mary Church commemorating March 3, Bulgaria’s Liberation Day, in which the two are reported to have agreed that there was nothing scandalous about the billboards.

The Greek Consul Piperigos has congratulated the Bulgarians with their national holiday and has said there was no place for insults on such an occasion.

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Tags: VMRO, greece, Plovdiv, March 3, 1878, Slavcho Atanasov, Plovdiv Mayor, Greek Consul, Nikolaos Piperigos


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