The Macedonian Tendency: Some Details on Macedonian Rights Struggle in Bulgaria

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Some Details on Macedonian Rights Struggle in Bulgaria

Dear Nicoleta,

You have written a good article, which I think accurately represents the struggle in Bulgaria between Macedonians and and the Bulgarian govenrment for humand rights, and within the Macedonian community in Bulgaria, as to just what it means to be a Macedonian.

However, I think that this is just one half of the article. Where is the other half?. You know, the one where the Eruopean Union allowed Bulgaria to apply, even though it does not legally recognize the Macedonian language or ethnicity. The one where the diplomats of the EU said to the Bulgarians not to bring up the question of the rights of Macedonians and Bulgarians in Greece (if they know what's good for them!). I'm sure you must remmber it. It also includes an interview with the powers that be at Radio Free Europe, as to why Greece's human rights record is off limits.That's the one. when you find it, please send a copy to me. Thanks.

Elective History

by Nikoleta Popkostadinova
Transitions On Line
Radio Free Europe

15 August 2006

New tensions arise between Sofia and Skopje over identity and history.

SOFIA, Bulgaria | Nikola has little patience for what appears to be a diplomatic conflict between Bulgaria and Macedonia. "One history, one land, but too many dullards on both sides of the stupid border," he says as he contemplates the latest escalation in tension.

The 72-year-old man is quiet for a while as he stares at the green crowns of the trees below his balcony in downtown Sofia.

The pensioner was born in a village in Pirin, Macedonia, in the province of Blagoevgrad in Bulgaria, where he has lived most of his life. But Nikola says he is a Bitolan since his ancestors came from the town that today lies in the independent state of Macedonia. He admits that he has never visited Bitola, which lies about 200 kilometers from the border between the two countries. But he claims to be a Macedonian, as well as a patriotic Bulgarian citizen.

To Nikola, Macedonia is simply an unfortunate land split among four countries.

"No one will ever let her go, right?" Nikola asks, not really seeking an answer. "The great powers, the Balkan countries, the EU, and who knows what other acronyms will always mess with her, I know."

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