President of North Macedonia: Bulgaria offers us a Hitlerite and a Nazi for RapprochementPolitics | April 18, 2022, Monday // 10:03| views
Bulgarian revolutionary Ivan Mihailov (left) and North Macedonia's President Stevo Pendarovski (right)
North Macedonian President Stevo Pendarovski has personally joined the campaign against Bulgaria after the opening of the Ivan Mihailov Cultural Center in Bitola, BGNES reported.
“The opening of cultural centers throughout the democratic world leads to the rapprochement of peoples and their cultures, but to name a cultural site on a person who is a proven collaborator of the fascist regime of World War II does not serve this noble cause,” Pendarovski said, on the occasion of yesterday's ceremony in Bitola, which was attended by many Bulgarian politicians from all parties.
“I do not dispute the good intentions of Prime Minister Petkov, but yesterday the Bulgarian delegation included representatives of the previous government in Sofia, who were the most vocal opponents of Macedonia's path to Europe. Their presence and statements minimized the messages of good neighborliness and cooperation from the Bulgarian Prime Minister”, Pendarovski said and added:
“In 2017, the idea of forming a historical commission was aimed at finding a compromise on historical events and personalities that should be celebrated together by both the Macedonian and Bulgarian people. Unfortunately, yesterday in Bitola an attempt was made to prove a collaborator of the Nazi regime to be presented as a bridge for rapprochement between the two countries.”
“I am convinced that neither the Macedonian nor the Bulgarian people believe that the personality and the work of Ivan Mihailov can contribute in this direction” Stevo Pendarovski added.
Ivan (also known as Vanche and Vancho) Mihailov, was the person-point in the connection between the post-liberation history of Bulgaria and modern times. Born on August 26, 1896 in Novo Selo, Stip region, he reminds us that the most turbulent and mythologized times in our history are actually very close to us.
Mihailov is one of the most prominent figures in the struggle for the liberation of Macedonia. He became a factor in changing the history of the whole of Europe. He had numerous international connections, from those with the Croatian Ustase and the Kosovo Committee to Hitler's Germany. In other words, anyone with an interest in Macedonia had to comply with the IMRO and its leader.
Kovachevski wants cultural centers for Macedonians in Bulgaria
Macedonian Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevski has called on Bulgarian authorities to allow the opening of a cultural center for Macedonians in Bulgaria.
According to Kovachevski, Ivan Mihailov is a controversial historical figure who is perceived differently in the RNM by different people. However, as it is a citizens' initiative under the European Convention on Human Rights, it is not subject to state control.
“In the RNM, every citizen has the right to freely express their ethnic, religious, ideological affiliation,” Kovachevski said on the occasion of the opening of the Bulgarian Cultural Center "Ivan Mihailov" yesterday in Bitola.
He stressed that “his government will continue to follow this approach because it is their principle both as a state and as a society.”
“At the same time, the government of the RNM, as well as the public, is waiting for the day when the time will come for our neighbors and for the citizens who have Macedonian self-consciousness to be able to express their beliefs in such a free way,” Kovachevski said.
BGNES reports from Skopje that in the last 48 hours there is not a single media outlet in the RNM that does not have anti-Bulgarian writings with definitions in which our country is called "neo-Nazi".
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