No other demands for North Macedonia except those agreed in ‘French proposal’, says Bulgarian PM
Brussels, 23 November 2023 (MIA) – I want to clearly state that currently Bulgaria has no other demands for North Macedonia except for the ones listed in last year’s EU decision, which was based on what was agreed with the so-called “French proposal”, said Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov in an address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg in a debate titled “This is Europe”.
“Our relations worsened over the years, and I don’t think Bulgaria is responsible for that. The conditions must be fulfilled by North Macedonia in order to launch the negotiations process and from that aspect, I don’t accept any criticism of our country,” said Denkov, adding that the issue is not a matter of the relations between Bulgaria and North Macedonia, but between North Macedonia and the European Union.
According to MIA’s Brussels correspondent, Denkov’s position came as a response to the remark of German MEP from Alliance 90/The Greens, Reinhard Bütikofer, who asked the Bulgarian Prime Minister what he will do in order to open the door for North Macedonia’s EU accession.
“Is there someone who can question the sincere European aspirations of North Macedonia, which even changed its name in order to open its door to Europe,” said Bütikofer.
Bütikofer noted that, at the same time, the members of the European Parliament were able to hear the hate speech of Bulgarian MEP, Angel Dzhambazki, who is a co-chairman of the nationalist VMRO – Bulgarian National Movement (VMRO-BND).
In response to Denkov’s address, Dzhambazki said the Bulgarian Prime Minister should be guided by patriotism and the Bulgarian national interests, instead of serving “foreign interests”, and should highlight and protect the interests of the Bulgarian citizens.
Dzhambazki stressed that Denkov should talk about the high prices of basic products and energy, which, according to him, are a consequence of “the EU’s green policies”, as well as about the attitude towards the Bulgarians “in North Macedonia and Serbia, whose human rights are being trampled and who are being persecuted to this day”.
At the same time, Dzhambazki accused the MEPs of the liberal Renew Europe group of not saying anything about “the repression, violence and denial of the right to self-determination” of the Bulgarians.
“In your group there are people who pretend not to see the violence against Bulgarians in the Republic of North Macedonia,” said Dzhambazki.