A day after his ominous warnings that Macedonia faces pressure to accept major new concessions to Bulgaria that will undermine the Macedonian national identity, outgoing Deputy Prime Minister Nikola Dimitrov appeared in the Parliament, before the National Council for European Integration, to discuss the coming French Presidency.

In slightly more diplomatic tones, Dimitrov said that the “Macedonian case is the most drastic test of credibility for the EU policy toward the region”.

If we succeed, the success of the EU will be good for the region, for Macedonia and for Bulgaria. The failure will also be a defeat for all the states in the region, and for the EU itself. The stakes are enormous, and I hope that the announced summit near the end of the French Presidency in June will be in the context of knowing that another defeat will be too costly, for all of us involved in this process, Dimitrov said.

Yesterday, Dimitrov advised for a cooling off period in the negotiations with Bulgaria, saying that a bad deal now would be worse than a rushed deal that would endanger Macedonian national identity. He accused the DUI party and especially Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani, who is expected to keep his post under the next Government led by Dimitar Kovacevski, of being willing to accept far too many of the Bulgarian demands.