Bulgarian Ambassador to Macedonia Angel Angelov sent a protest note to the Government after the Bulgarian flag was burnt during the Vevcani carnival.
The ancient celebration held each year on the feast of St. Basil includes wearing of masks that date back to the pagan times, but also contemporary masks that protest and lampoon current political events. The spirit of the event is such that no country or person is spared ridicule, often in poor taste, and given that Bulgaria dominates Macedonian news after its veto, it was widely expected that many of the masks will portray Bulgarian politicians. This year the villagers were particularly revolted, after riot police tried to disperse the carnival on Wednesday, citing coronavirus restrictions, but also likely aware that neighboring countries that impose conditions on Macedonia will mocked in the procession.
After the media reports that a Bulgarian flag was torched in the village of Vevcani, I told the Bulgarian Ambassador in Skopje Angelov to express the strong condemnation of this vandal act to the Government of the Republic of (North) Macedonia. Ambassador Angelov already gave a stern verbal protest in the Foreign Affairs Ministry, said Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva.
In the past Greece also protested when its politicians and symbols would be exposed to mockery at the carnival in Vevcani. Macedonian President Stevo Pendarovski condemned the burning of the flag.