Ex PM: Macedonia Must Strike Compromise in Name Dispute with Greece
Macedonia must find a compromise solution in its so called "name dispute" with Greece as soon as possible, according to former Macedonian PM Ljupco Georgievski.
Georgievski, who spoke at a guest lecture at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" on Thursday, was in charge of the Macedonian government in 1998-2002, including during the uprising of the ethnic Albanians in 2001, a de facto civil war which was terminated with the so called Ohrid Accord that provided a boost to minority rights the country.
"Macedonia must reach a compromise with Greece over the name issue, and to join the EU and NATO. Names such as Northern Macedonia or Upper Macedonia would not be so dramatic," Georgievski said, referring to the Greece-Macedonia dispute for the name of the latter, in which Greece is concerned that Macedonia's state name could be used to make claims on Greek districts with the same geographic name.
"Bulgaria could have declared its claims for Macedonia 20 years ago the way Greece did it, and I absolutely appreciate the fact that Bulgaria never took this road, not even for a second," Georgievski added.
In 1992, Bulgaria became the first sovereign nation to recognize the independence of the Republic of Macedonia, regardless of the fact that up until 1943-1944, when the authorities of communist Yugoslavia decided to invent a distinct Macedonian nation, its Slavic population had been considered part of the Bulgarian nation.
In his lecture in Sofia, former Macedonian PM Georgievski did emphasize that in the last few decades children in Macedonian schools have been taught constantly that Bulgaria is an enemy, while he himself believes that the people of Bulgaria and Macedonia are the closest possible historically.
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