VP: Bulgarian Minority is Bridge between Bulgaria, Serbia

Diplomacy | April 16, 2012, Monday // 16:15|  views

Bulgarian vice-president Margarita Popova at the opening of the Bosilegrad Children's Easter Festival. Photo by President.bg

Unity is vital for the preservation of the cultural roots and traditions of Bulgarians in Serbia, stated Bulgarian VP Margarita Popova Monday

Sunday and Monday Popova is on a visit to the town Bosilegrad in Eastern Serbia, the region where the country's ethnic Bulgarian minority is concentrated.

"The Bulgarian community in Serbia must be united, for it is a bridge between the two countries," stated Popova, stressing that more efforts are needed to address the community's problems.

Among them she singled out problems with ensuring quality medical service and education, especially in Bulgarians' mother language, as well as obstruction to business and trade, both with other regions in Serbia, and with neighboring Bulgarian regions.

Sunday Popova had made an unusually sharp statement, setting the solution of those problems with the Bulgarian minority as a condition for the future EU membership of Serbia.

Sunday Popova opened the 19th International Children's Easter Festival in Bosilegrad, featuring participants from Serbia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Moldova.

Monday she met with Bosilegrad's mayor Vladimir Zahariev and cultural center director Ivan Ivanov.

Recently the two institutions had entered into a conflict, with representatives from the cultural centers arguing that the town hall, under influence from Serbia's central government, is interfering with their work.

Monday those frictions did not surface during Popova's visit. The representatives of the Bulgarian community in Serbia thanked for the attention offered by Bulgaria's presidency.

They expressed their hopes that the presidential institutions could help establish formal educational ties of their community with Bulgaria, especially in the field of higher education.

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Tags: Margarita Popova, Bulgarian minority, Bosilegrad, Serbia, EU, education


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