An advisory body set up by the Government voted against allowing a Bulgarian organization to open a club named after Tsar Ferdinand. The body was quickly set up after Bulgarian groups opened clubs named after Vanco Mihajlov and Tsar Boris III in Bitola and Ohrid, respectively. Mihajlov worked closely with the Croatian Nazi leader Ante Pavelic, while Boris III led Bulgaria into the Axis and helped carry out the Holocaust in Macedonia and Thrace.

The Tsar Ferdinand club was supposed to be opened in Bogdanci. The Macedonian Government was uncertain how to proceed with the issue – the law allows citizens to set up organizations and there was no procedure in place to determine whether the name or purpose of the organization are allowed, while at the same time hate speech laws and other regulation can be used to prevent the promotion of fascism.

Tsar Ferdinand’s rule preceded the rise of fascism, but still the commission determined that “he is not a positive figure in the minds of Macedonians” because Bulgaria went to war three times during his reign to try to conquer Macedonia.

Bulgaria is currently with just an interim Government, but it’s likely that its politicians will reach strongly against the curtailing of activities of Bulgarians in Macedonia, especially after Bulgaria allowed Macedonians to open a cultural center in Blagoevgrad on Sunday.