Macedonia’s Tatar neighbors are not pleased with Zaev.
Krasimir Karakacanov, leader of the Bulgarian VMRO-BND party who is Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister in Boyko Borisov’s Government, told Zoran Zaev that he needs to stop mentioning the existence of a Macedonian language, unless he wants to lose any chance of having Macedonia join EU and NATO. Bulgaria doesn’t recognize the Macedonian people and language as separate from the Bulgarian, adding Macedonia held already signed an agreement that will completely review and rewrite Macedonian history books as a condition to allow further EU and NATO accession.
– Macedonian langauge is not recognized anywhere as an official language. It’s only considered legitimate at the territory of North Macedonia. Zaev could demand this Bulgarian dialect to be declared as an official foreign language in Bulgaria, which is unacceptable and a provocation, Karakacanov said.
The nationalist Bulgarian politician reacted after Zaev’s statement which also caused anger in Greece. Zaev said that after the Prespa treaty is implemented, Macedonian living in the Aegean Macedonia region in Greece will finally be able to educate their children in Macedonian. This caused fury of reactions from Athens who in all fairness explained that they understand Zaev’s statements mean nothing both home and outside, but still should be careful what he says.
Karakacanov also condemned what was done so far by the joint Macedonian – Bulgarian commission of historians, which was formed under the treaty the two countries signed at the start of the year.
– Macedonian representatives in this commission seek validity for a false version of history. Macedonian lands are Bulgarian and that is a historic fact. I will not allow people with unclear positions and a reverse interpretation of history to be allowed to join EU and NATO on Bulgaria’s expense, and then secretly introduce the Macedonian language there, Karakacanov said. Zaev also insisted that, once Macedonia joins the EU, the Macedonian language will be one of the official languages in the Union.
Karakacanov spoke a day after Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva compared Macedonian national identity with brain washing.
– I don’t think it (the recognition of Macedonia under that name) was a mistake, but a sign of good neighborly and friendly relationship. It will take time before we erase all trace of the brain washing done by former Yugoslavia, when it insisted that Macedonians exist, Zaharieva said.
And this is how a tatar turkish tribe calling itself “Bulgaria”, is writing our history books. But, understandably, Macedonians have no desire to protest because the name of the country is not the same as gas prices, which are way more important. In addition, yellow vests are not readily accessible.