Bulgarian activist in Macedonia Viktor Stojanov has hinted that the software used to manage Macedonia’s census – which was produced in Bulgaria – will be used to bolster Bulgarian minority claims. Bulgarian politicians were recently dismayed when allegedly less than a hundred Macedonian citizens declared their Bulgarian ethnic origin during the census – even though Bulgaria has issued over 100,000 dual citizenships during which the country demands that the applicants declare that their family is Bulgarian in origin.

Some in Bulgaria have asked that past recipients of Bulgarian citizenship in Macedonia are stripped of their passports unless they can prove that they declared themselves as Bulgarians in the census. The head of the Macedonian DZS Statistics Bureau Apostol Simovski responded to this saying that the individual applications are confidential and that DZS will not issue declarations of ethnic origin to citizens.

Do not underestimate the Bulgarian state and the intelligence services. Remember which company produced and manages the software for the Census 2021, Stojanov told Simovski, strongly hinting that Bulgaria will get the individual census applications one way or another. The company in question is Scale Focus, based in Sofia, with foreign offices in Macedonia and D.C.

Simovski insisted that the databases are safe and will not be shared with anyone, including with the Bulgarian company that worked on the system. “Only a person with a certificate can enter the base, even I can’t do it”, Simovski assured the public ahead of the census.