Bulgaria’s President: Apparently it will take Time until North Macedonia Stands among the Democratic States
"Apparently, it will take time for North Macedonia to stand among democratic states. The leadership of North Macedonia must convince its citizens that it is building a democratic state in which there are no shootings and burning of Bulgarian clubs, in which Bulgarians are not subjected to systematic harassment, physical violence and staged trials."
This was stated by President Rumen Radev, who opened today the 16th annual conference of defense chiefs from the Balkan countries, dedicated to regional military connectivity and mobility.
"The leadership of North Macedonia can claim to be building a modern multi-ethnic society, but when it finds the strength to include Gotse Delchev's compatriots in its constitution," the president added.
According to him, already in 2021, for the first time, he raised the issue of the rights of the Bulgarians in North Macedonia before all European partners.
"You hold this process for a year, it was vetoed twice, until the European institutions convinced themselves that this is not a bilateral problem, but a European one, because it concerns the Copenhagen criteria for membership - the non-admission of discrimination. This is a process planted for decades - a whole doctrine , based on anti-Bulgarian ideology," Rumen Radev also pointed out.
On the occasion of Dimitar Kovachevski's words that Bulgaria treats Macedonia as Russia treats Ukraine, the president stated:
"Are there people in Bulgaria who identify themselves as Macedonians? There are, but they have the same rights as all Bulgarian citizens. They are not persecuted, there are no staged trials against them, there are no burnings, shootings, beatings. They can work in the administration at all levels and can hold all elected positions in our country. And the Bulgarians in Macedonia are subjected to systematic harassment".
Radev also commented on the statement of the chief prosecutor Ivan Geshev from Monday, in which Geshev stated that he had spoken with politicians whom he "considered friends". The head of state indicated that it is not normal for magistrates to call politicians.
"We see what I have been saying for years - that there is political interference in the work of the prosecutor's office," said Radev.
In his words, the SJC is much more important than Geshev's personality - the body that staffs and makes decisions. "I hope that everything that has come to light - the interventions, the susceptibility of the members of the SJC, will show independence and following of the law," he commented.
Radev explained that the issue of expired mandates in the SJC should have been resolved a long time ago by the National Assembly, but it abdicated and asked if someone from parliament was not aware of everything that was happening.
The President also commented on the idea of "Democratic Bulgaria" co-chairman Hristo Ivanov to review the responsibilities of the caretaker government and make it responsible only for holding elections.
According to Radev, there is no problem, as long as the regular government does its job and does not bequeath serious crises, as well as having the competence to write laws - on the Recovery and Resilience Plan or the judicial reform, for example.
"To be able to make the opening report for the OECD, because again the caretaker government did it for them. To help organize fair and transparent gas auctions. The caretaker government contracted both slots and capacity for decades to come. No problem - as long as the regular governments work. The caretaker government agreed with Lukoil to pay taxes in Bulgaria," said Radev and described the proposal as absolute hypocrisy.
The President also commented on the procedure for drawing up mandates, pointing out that he strictly follows the constitutional procedure.
"The regular government must follow clear principles and have priorities and a program. The dialogue in recent days between magistrates and parties casts a shadow over the principles of a future coalition and deepens mistrust," he believes.
President Radev: The security architecture built in Europe is falling apart
Regional connectivity, military mobility and potential threats to the region are the topics that will be discussed at a forum in Sofia by the defense chiefs of the Central European countries.
In his speech at the opening of the conference, President Rumen Radev emphasized the need to strengthen security and transform the defense model.
President Rumen Radev said that the region needs attention to security issues and a new attitude that sees defense not as an expense, but as an investment in this security.
Radev pointed out that the security architecture built in Europe is in disintegration and that is why the war in Ukraine contributed. Therefore, he emphasized that the forum should broadcast a message that the Balkans are a zone of security and stability.
The president added that efforts are being made for energy security and connectivity, transport connectivity, even cyber security.
The Chief of Defense, Emil Eftimov, expressed the attitude of the participants and the concern about the consequences of the war in Ukraine on the Balkan region. Therefore, Emil Eftimov called for "ceasing the violence and finding peaceful solutions".
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