The Political Parties believe that North Macedonia has No Place in the EU due to the Aggression towards BulgariansPolitics | July 28, 2023, Friday // 16:38| views
The political forces in the Bulgarian parliament condemned yet another instance of violence against Bulgarian citizens in North Macedonia and united around the position that the country currently has no place in the European Union.
The reason for the sharp comments today was the attack on Bulgarian football fans by citizens of North Macedonia and one of them was even stabbed with a knife. Cars of Bulgarian supporters were also attacked, and a total of 19 PFC "Levski" fans were arrested in Skopje due to various incidents before the match between the "Blues" and FC "Shkupi".
Eight of them were arrested for "violence during a sports meeting", two for physically assaulting police officers on duty and nine for aggressive behavior towards police officers.
The formations in the parliament defined what happened as unacceptable.
GERB deputy Georg Georgiev drew attention to the fact that the incident is happening at the moment when the parliament of North Macedonia is considering constitutional changes, which are the key to the country's path to the European Union. He criticized the reaction of the Macedonian authorities who, instead of helping the Bulgarian citizens, made efforts to arrest the Bulgarian fans and did not try to understand the reasons for the incident. According to him, the attack was provoked entirely by hatred.
"Hatred between people is a fact. (...) The peak point of intolerance has been reached because of the rhetoric of political representatives. I don't think that this country with the behavior that its citizens are demonstrating is ready to join the EU because it is not only a matter of politics, but also of values. What comes from Skopje does not correspond to our European values," said Georgiev. He stated that until the issue is fundamentally solved, the problems will continue.
According to GERB, Bulgaria reacted adequately, offering consular protection to the attacked Bulgarians. Georgiev expects the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to summon the ambassador of North Macedonia for a conversation or to send a note of protest.
Daniel Laurer of "We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria" also criticized the Macedonian authorities, noting that there was enough information about the event so that measures should have been taken to prevent such incidents from happening. In his words, sport is one of the ways to build bridges with "our closest neighbors", therefore it should not be turned into an arena of political confrontation.
"Hopefully this summer they will finally include the Bulgarians in the constitution, where they belong, so that the Macedonian society will begin to understand that they are equal and there is no place for any discrimination, let alone violence," said Laurer.
"Vazrazhdane" believes that because of the incident, the Macedonian ambassador should be summoned, and Bulgaria should request a suspension of the negotiation process for the accession of North Macedonia to the EU.
According to the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Kristian Vigenin from the Bulgarian Socialist Party, what happened is a natural result of the overall relations between the two countries at the moment, recalling an old thesis of the "Left" that North Macedonia is not yet ready to join the union.
"For months, hatred and intolerance towards Bulgarians has been instilled, and the Macedonian country must seriously rethink this behavior," said Vigenin, adding that the strongest political signal for this would be to adopt the changes in the constitution as quickly as possible. "I expect that this decision will start a process of improving relations between the two countries," he added.
"There Is Such a People" is also of the opinion that the political situation in North Macedonia predisposes to this type of provocation. "This country has no place in the European Union at the moment. At a sporting event that should unite, we see such ugly scenes directed at Bulgarian citizens once again", was the brief comment of Stanislav Balabanov from Slavi Trifonov's party.
The Macedonian Prime Minister defined last night's incidents in Skopje as hooligan clashes
Macedonian Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevski defined last night's incidents in Skopje as hooligan clashes, in which a Bulgarian was stabbed, and 19 other people were arrested:
"First of all, what happened yesterday was the result of the actions of hooligans on both sides. A dozen, 15-20 hooligans who fought with each other and also injured a policeman. Thanks to the doctors, he was bandaged and released for home treatment".
Interior Minister Oliver Spasovski announced that the identity of the attackers had been clarified and they were being sought by the police.
The Bulgarian citizen, who was injured before the match between PFC "Levski" - Sofia and FC "Shkupi" - Skopje last night, is in a stable condition after he was operated on at "St. Naum Ohridski" hospital yesterday evening, Channel 5 reported.
"Levski" fans detained in Skopje were released
At noon, Macedonian authorities released 11 detained supporters of PFC "Levski". They shared that the police treatment was good - they received food and water and the opportunity to contact their relatives. Some of the "Levski" fans stayed at the stadium until 3:00 a.m. demanding the release of the detained Bulgarians. They also collected funds to pay the fines.
Only a team of the Bulgarian National Television (BNT) was present at the release of those detained by the regional police department in the Macedonian capital. Some of them are already traveling to Bulgaria under police escort.
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