North "Macedonian" identity crisis deepens: "Are we Bulgarian or not?"

"Macedonians" and Bulgarians

"Macedonians" and Bulgarians

In the past two weeks, it has become quite clear that "North Macedonia's" European integration is facing a major obstacle. The demands from Bulgaria have thrown a spanner in the works as it puts strict conditions for the country's path to the EU.

The document was hidden from the public in order for no one to know about it, said Aleksandar Nikoloski, Vice President of the ultra-nationalist VMRO-DPMNE Party, according to Lider.

So what did Bulgaria do exactly?

Bulgaria, as reported by Greek City Times, told "North Macedonia" that if it wants to become an EU member, it must drop the claim that a "Macedonian" minority exists in Bulgaria, as well as acknowledge that there is no Macedonian language and rather that they speak a Bulgarian dialect.

"What is most frightening is that we have silence from the Government, from [Prime Minister Zoran] Zaev and direct protection from [President] Stevo Pendarovski," said Nikoloski about the Bulgarian document that made the demands.

"First, Zoran Zaev is silent about the whole scandal. It just disappeared from the public eye! He is nowhere to be found! The fact is that he is the most influential person in power. As chairman of the ruling party, he has had the greatest influence on the government, so it remains unclear why he disappeared from the public eye and did not comment," he said.

Nikoloski's frenzy is seen with his calls to know whether the Prime Minister agrees with the Bulgarian demands or not.

"The people want and must know whether Zaev agrees that we speak a non-Macedonian language. Zaev should say whether he agrees with the erasure of the Macedonian people and Macedonian history. He should also say whether he agrees with these blackmails that are being imposed on [North] Macedonia, the most important thing is to say what he will do to prevent this. Because right now the whole government is with him. The whole thing," he said with fear that the Macedonian myth is crumbling around him.

"If the government, Zaev and Pendarovski, reject our proposal, it means that something much bigger and deeper is hidden in the background. If you don't react now, you will miss precious time, and I'm afraid it will be too late," he continued.

Nikoloski continued saying that "the waiver of the Macedonian language, history, and the people who are the most important features of our identity is set as a condition."

"We need to build a consensus on the most important issue related to [North] Macedonia. Only in this way will we be able to overcome this obstacle and preserve our dignity and national identity. Unfortunately, our time is short because the deadline is June. If something is not done for June, I am afraid that it will be too late and the consequences will last for the next 10 to 15 years and they will not be fixed. That is why the time to react is today and now and that is why we call for reason, that is why we call for a single national position regarding these conditions so that it is not too late later," Nikoloski concluded.

Although it took nearly three decades for the people of "North Macedonia" to finally acknowledge that the Ancient Macedonians are a part of "Hellenic civilisation, history, culture and heritage," as confirmed by Article 7 of the Prespa Agreement.

If this was not a big blow to "North Macedonian" historical revisionism, Bulgaria are now on the offensive to create a new awakening to reverse half a century of Yugoslav indoctrination and propaganda.

Pendarovski has already said that "If the price is not to be Macedonians and the language I speak, not to be Macedonian, then we do not need the EU."

However this may not be the will of the people, with many highly-esteemed and notable people in "North Macedonia" admitting to the fact that they are Bulgarians.

Last week, the first ever Foreign Affairs Minister of the Former Yugoslavia Republic of “Macedonia” (now known as “North Macedonia”) after the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991, Denko Maleski, said “We are past the time when Macedonian history was protected by the powerful Yugoslav federation and could, without pressure, selectively choose the building blocks of the Macedonian nation, and could cross out mentions of ‘Bulgarian’ and write ‘Macedonian’ instead.”

“You can now go to the New York Times and read their archives from 1903, where they write about the rebellion of the Bulgarian population in Krusevo during Ilinden. We have to adapt to a historic truth that in the past we were part of a same people,” he said.