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Bulgaria calls upon Macedonia leaders to show maturity and solve the name-change difficulties

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Bulgaria calls upon Macedonia leaders to show maturity and solve the name-change difficulties

Photo: BNT/BTA

In a position released on Monday, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry expresses the belief that democracy has roots in society in the Republic of Macedonia. "The referendum is the highest democratic practice, with the expressed will of those who took part in it and with taking into view those who did not vote. Citizens had a free choice, and over 90 per cent of those who voted in this consultative referendum expressed in a definitive manner their wish that the country become part of the European and Euro-Atlantic community. Their vote is visible and clear; therefore, it cannot be disregarded," the position reads, referring to Sunday's referendum in Macedonia on changing the country's name to North Macedonia.
The position reads further that it is time for Macedonia's entire political elite to show maturity and find a path to solving the difficult problems. This concerns the future of the State and all its citizens. "The large majority of citizens are in favour of the country's entry in the EU and NATO. Wasting time does not benefit either the country or the region," the Foreign Ministry says.
"Bulgaria will continue its support for our brothers and sisters from the Republic of Macedonia and the country's integration in the EU and NATO," the position reads.
Sunday's referendum in Macedonia drew diverse reactions from politicians in Bulgaria. In a statement on Monday IMRO-BND, one of the parties in the power-sharing United Patriots coalition, said that the results of the referendum are a product of a decades-long wrong policy. By contrast, Volya, which has the smallest group in Parliament, hailed the results of the referendum on the deal with Greece which they say is "shameful" for Macedonia.
IMRO said: "What happened at the referendum in Macedonia yesterday is the emanation of a decades-long wrong policy. Several decades after the secession of Macedonia from former Yugoslavia and the declaration of its independence, all governments have tried to impose a new fictional national identity."
According to them, one of the factors for the referendum's failure is the rhetoric of Albanian parties which for a long time have insisted on Macedonia's federalisation and the recognition of Albanian as the second official language in the country.
Another reason for the failure is the campaign lead by the government in Skopje. "It was wrongfully led through the convenient media, highlighting theses launched by a number of western leaders. This campaign was not led person-to-person as people in Macedonia deserve, because this is their future and not the made-up reality of the liberals in Brussels."
Volya leader and National Assembly Deputy Chair Vesselin Mareshki voiced support "for the majority of Macedonian citizens who rejected a shameful agrement with Greece on the new name for their country." Mareshki said: "I hope that the politicians in Skopje will begin to heed to the Macedonian people and not go against its interest."
He further said: "I congratulate our neighbours that they managed to preserve their dignity and did not allow foreign powers to play with their destiny and influence their decisions on the country's future."
Of Sunday's referendum, GERB floor leader Tsvetan Tsvetanov said that he believed that the right way for the Western Balkans is the EU and NATO "but there are enough good scriptwriters and ways to manipulate the public into moving away from the European perspective".

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