Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva said that Bulgaria can’t keep enduring hate speech from Macedonia and that this is the reason why it blocked the opening of EU accession talks with Macedonia. Her comment comes after an outspoken supporter of the Zaev regime, who is an official of the state run MIA news agency, used vile language against her and the previous female veto holder against Macedonia – former Greek Foreign Minister Bakoyannis.

This is the main reason why we can’t say “yes” right now. For 30 years it was not only tolerated but stimulated to have a state policy of hatred toward Bulgaria and the Bulgarian people, and you can’t expect to be ready to open EU accession taks after all that. This is not in line with our European values, Zaharieva said. She added that she doesn’t take such sexist comments personally, but that she can’t allow such remarks to be aimed at Bulgarian women in general.

The Macedonian Government is now moving to fire Zoran Ivanov as head of the Supervisory Board of the MIA news agency, but Zaharieva said that Bulgaria has long asked for action in similar cases, and none was taken. The 2017 Zaev – Borisov treaty includes a requirement that the countries will discourage even private individuals from stating comments that can be seen as unfriendly to the other country.