Bulgarian MEP Slams Macedonia for Misguided Nationalism

Bulgaria in EU | August 2, 2012, Thursday // 17:24|  views

Bulgarian European People's Party MEP Andrey Kovatchev. Photo by Andrey-Kovatchev.eu

Bulgarian EPP MEP Andrey Kovatchev has criticized Macedonia over what he saw as the country's continuing anti-Bulgarian policies.

Thursday the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs discussed a proposal for an EP resolution on Macedonia's progress towards EU membership.

"We must be building bridges between nations on the Balkans. Instead of that, we are witnessing growing provocations and promotion of hate speech against Bulgaria in Macedonia," stated Kovatchev.

He was referring to a recent incident, in which Bulgarian Culture Club in Skopje chair Lazar Mladenov and his family received threats after hosting a commemoration of the 109th anniversary of the Ilinden Uprising.

Days after the June 21 celebration in Skopje, Mladenov's wife was also fired from her job.

The 1903 Ilinden-Preobrazhenie Uprising is interpreted in Macedonia as having for a goal the creation of an independent Macedonian state.

"You cannot build a national identity by encroaching upon the identity, culture and history of other nations," stated Kovatchev at the EP.

The EPP MEP further criticized what he saw as increasing pressure from Macedonian authorities and public against Macedonian citizens of a Bulgarian ethnic self-determination.

In January 2013, the EP Foreign Affairs Committee will discuss again the resolution on Macedonia's progress, before a vote in plenary.

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Tags: Andrey Kovatchev, EP, European parliament, macedonia, Macedonian, Ilinden-Preobrazhenie Uprising, Lazar Mladenov, Skoje, EU membership, EU


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