Bulgaria Says No to Macedonia Becoming 'Northern Macedonia'

Politics » DIPLOMACY | June 8, 2012, Friday // 10:26| Views: 4674 | Comments: 7
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Bulgaria: Bulgaria Says No to Macedonia Becoming 'Northern Macedonia' Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria is strictly against the inclusion of a geographical term in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia's potential new name, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has declared.

Borisov believes that names like "Northern Macedonia" would be completely unacceptable, since this geographical term would include Bulgarian regions, giving rise to territorial claims.

The Bulgarian Prime Minister told the TV+ private channel that different versions of Macedonia's potential future name have been discussed with Bulgaria, including "Northern Macedonia."

"I said that we would not accept it, since tomorrow they will state that Blagoevgrad is Macedonian," Borisov pointed out, referring to a Southwestern Bulgarian city.

Macedonia is registered at international organizations as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia because of the name dispute, rather than Republic of Macedonia at Greece's insistence, which fears the name "Macedonia" might spur territorial claims for its northern regions.

Greece and international intermediaries have suggested that the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia should adopt a name such as "Republic of Northern Macedonia" or "Republic of Macedonia-Skopje", which have been rejected by the Macedonian authorities.

Commenting on Serbia's new President, Tomislav Nikolic, Borisov said he respected Serbia's choice and is ready to cooperate with him, as well as with Boris Tadic, who is expected to become Prime Minister. He reiterated that Bulgaria supports all countries from the Western Balkans in their European integration bids.

Since the early Middle Ages, all the way to the first half of the 20th century, Macedonia and its Slavic population were considered part of the Bulgarian nation not just by Bulgaria but also by its neighbors and the international community. This is why from its National Liberation in 1878 till 1944 Bulgaria waged five wars attempting to unite all of the Bulgarian-populated lands in the Balkans, including Macedonia – after the San Stefano Treaty of March 1878 providing one state for almost all Bulgarian-populated regions was revised three months later by the European Great Powers in the Treaty of Berlin leaving the regions of Thrace and Macedonia out of Bulgaria.

After both World War I and World War II, however, Serbia/Yugoslavia kept control of 40% of the territory of the geographic and historical region of Macedonia, the so called Vardar Macedonia (which in 1991 became the Republic of Macedonia), Greece retained about 50% of the region – the so called Aegean Macedonia, while only 10% of the region – the so called Pirin Macedonia – remained in Bulgaria.

The foundations of the contemporary Macedonian nation were invented in 1943-4 by Yugoslavia's  communists at a special congress that also proclaimed the creation of a Macedonian language and a Macedonian alphabet designed to differentiate the dialects spoken in the region of Macedonia from the Bulgarian language and to underline the creation of a distinct Macedonian national identity. The rationale of communist Yugoslavia and of Serbia before that for the creation of a distinct Macedonian nation being to weaken Bulgaria.

In the recent years, however, with the democratic transitions in the region, the "ethnic Macedonian" identity has been eroded, with dozens of thousands of citizens of the Republic of Macedonia receiving Bulgarian citizenship based on their Bulgarian origin.

Unlike Greece, which gets enraged by Macedonia's moves toying with the cultural heritage from the Antiquity period and is tangled with Macedonia in the notorious name dispute, Bulgaria's governments traditionally react to propaganda fits by Skopje with disregard, while the general public in Bulgaria accepts them with ridicule. To the extent that Bulgaria has made any claims towards Macedonia, those have boiled down to the refusal to allow Skopje to hijack Bulgaria's historical heritage from the Middle Ages and the 19th century Revival Period.

Bulgaria was the first sovereign nation to recognize the independence of the Republic of Macedonia in 1992.

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Tags: FYROM, greece, territorial claims, Boyko Borisov, Blagoevgrad, Northern Macedonia, macedonia, name dispute, FYROM, greece, territorial claims, Boyko Borisov, Blagoevgrad, Northern Macedonia, macedonia, name dispute, Macedonian media, Macedonian language, Berlin Treaty, San Stefano Treaty, Skopje, Bozhidar Dimitrov, name dispute, greece, Aegean Macedonia, Pirin Macedonia, Vardar Macedonia, Southwest Bulgaria, Blagoevgrad District, Georgi Dimitrov, USSR, Joseph Stalin, Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Tito, Josip Broz Tito, Bulgarian Communist Party, Communist Bulgaria, communist regime, Macedonians, macedonia, FYROM, propaganda, Omo Ilinden Pirin, Nikola Poposki, Foreign Minister, Nikolay Mladenov
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» To the forumComments (7)
#7
johnnybeograd - 20 Jun 2014 // 20:27:01

This territory belongs to Bulgaria. The people WHO Live there are not the 'ancestors' of Alexander the Great, they are just a mixture of the local populations. In the areas of todays' FYROM a dialect of Bulgarian is spoken and the people there share the same tradition as the Bulgarians. They have nothing to do with Alexander the Great and the reason is simple: he was speaking Greek and not 'macedonian'. So, I believe that Bulgaria and Greece should cooperate in order to deal with this situation. I support both of these Countries and i hope for the best in the future.
Greetings from Serbia

#6
mavro from australia - 10 Jun 2012 // 15:01:17

With the Roman Emperor Justinian and Mother Teresa from
Skoplje that's more than enough for FYROM to be proud of.
Different countries should stick to figures that existed from
their own land.

#5
sgadomsk - 9 Jun 2012 // 08:07:43

Yes, Iggi, you are right, every country should chose its name. Would Bulgaria or Greece like the name FPoOE - Former Part of Ottoman Empire? If Slavic Macedonians want to call his RECOGNIZED state Macedonia or whatever like, let it be. Greek Macedonia is a part of Greece, Bulgarian Macedonia is a part of Bulgaria.
There is a region called Silesia: Śląsk - Slezko - Schlesien, belonging to Poland and Czech Republic, earlier to Germany too. Poles, Czechs and Germans have no problem with naming it.

#4
Seedy - 8 Jun 2012 // 22:38:40

Да бе, Iggi - or whatever that is in "Macedonian"....

Oh yes, I forgot - it's the same, isn't it? ;)

#3
Iggi - 8 Jun 2012 // 19:23:47

The Balkans will never prosper until the attitudes of people change. You must accept the reality of others living beside you and having the rights you have. Being intolerant and ignorant are not progressive and not in anyone's interest. There are Macedonians who are not Bulgarians. They also have a state to the West of the Bulgarian state. No matter what the arguments are or your wishful thinking is, they exist and have been recognized as sovereign just as Bulgaria is. That means they alone will determine who they are and what their name is. I assure you it will never be anything other than Macedonia.

#2
Seedy - 8 Jun 2012 // 18:42:44

"Sovereign rights" over what? Presumably over a pretend country which never really existed, except in the rakiya-fuelled imaginations of a few deluded revisionists and pipe-dreamers.

The sooner the constituent parts of FYROM are re-absorbed into the REAL countries around it, the quicker some measure of security - and logic - will be re-established in the whole region.....

#1
Iggi - 8 Jun 2012 // 17:30:10

Bulgarian politicians should stick to the name of their own country. No territorial pretentions exist and no ambitious Macedonian agenda is possible as the country is much smaller, weaker and militarily insignificant to be any threat to Bulgaria or its interests. Kindly allow the human and sovereign rights to others in your neighbourhood.