Bulgaria Raises Objection To North Macedonia Entering The EU And Says It Must Accept That It Is Linguistically And Historically Part Of Bulgaria

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Bulgaria Raises Objection To North Macedonia Entering The EU And Says It Must Accept That It Is Linguistically And Historically Part Of Bulgaria

The Bulgarian government has raised an objection to North Macedonia's accession to the European Union. It comes after years of wrangling between North Macedonia and their other neighbours, notably Greece, primarily regarding issues surrounding North Macedonia's culture and identity.

In the objection raised by the Bulgarian government, it is demanded that the North Macedonian government in Skopje acknowledges that the nation is linguistically and historically part of Bulgaria.

Worryingly the Bulgarian government are also demanding that the North Macedonian state stops referring to the occupation of Macedonia by Bulgaria during World War II as 'a fascist occupation'. Bulgaria was allied with Nazi Germany during World War II and occupied much of the Balkans, including Northern Greece. Under their command, hundreds of thousands of Jews were sent to death camps alongside many other war-crimes.

The Bulgarian state refers to this period as a liberation of Macedonia by Bulgarian forces and believes that North Macedonia had a false, non-Bulgarian historical and linguistic identity forced upon them by the post-war Yugoslavian state under Tito. The Bulgarian claims are clearly not believed by the North Macedonians who, decades after the end of Yugoslavia, still maintain themselves as having an independent non-Bulgarian identity.

The fascist takeover of the area now known as Northern Macedonia by Bulgaria is even referred to by Bulgarians as a liberation of our brothers', quite clearly North Macedonia nor the Macedonian people regard this as a 'liberation'.

In the document from the Bulgarian government it is stated:

"The process of accession of North Macedonia offers a real opportunity for its leadership to break the ties with the ideological heritage and practices of communist Yugoslavia." Nikola Dimitrov, Vice President of North Macedonia, made the point in a statement that basing nationhood on language or culture was archaic and not worthy of the 21st century, saying:

"Language is not a criterion for recognition or non-recognition in the 21st century, the right to self-determination cannot be eliminated."

North Macedonia was for years blocked by Greece from entering the EU and NATO on the basis that the name 'Macedonia' itself inferred historic ownership over what is regarded as Greek history. This is because the northern region of Greece has been known as Macedonia since ancient times and was the birthplace of Alexander the Great. The Greek state felt that by Macedonia adopting the name after independence from Yugoslavia in the 1990s, it was adopting a history and culture it had no legitimate right to. Indeed, Macedonia went as far as naming their national airport 'Alexander the Great airport', despite him never having lived there.

After an agreement was struck in 2018, Greece accepted Macedonia's accession to the EU and NATO on the basis that it changed its name to 'North Macedonia'. The current intervention by Bulgaria is just the latest hurdle in a long-fought battle for independent recognition within international bodies that will advance the economic prospects of the country which remains deeply poor by European standards.

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Thinking Humanity: Bulgaria Raises Objection To North Macedonia Entering The EU And Says It Must Accept That It Is Linguistically And Historically Part Of Bulgaria
Bulgaria Raises Objection To North Macedonia Entering The EU And Says It Must Accept That It Is Linguistically And Historically Part Of Bulgaria
The Bulgarian government has raised an objection to North Macedonia’s accession to the European Union.
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