Bulgarian member of the European Parliament Andrey Kovatchev welcomed the statement by Stevo Pendarovski that legendary VMRO leader Goce Delcev had declared himself as Bulgarian.

Pendarovski was asked during a TV interview about the developing dispute with Bulgaria over the nationality of Goce Delcev, a hero that both countries honor and celebrate. Bulgarians insist that Macedonia accepts Delcev as a Bulgarian hero before they allow the opening of accession talks. Pendarovski said that Delcev is a red line which Macedonia “probably” won’t be able to cross, but acknowledged a key Bulgarian position, that Delcev declared himself as Bulgarian in several documents.

I congratulate the Macedonian President, Mr. Pendarovski! For the first time since 1944 we hear the truth about Goce Delcev coming from Skopje! Yes, he called himself an ethnic Bulgarian, without additional interpretation!, Kovatchev wrote in response to Pendarovski’s statement.

Macedonian historians, on the other hand, present the documents which Bulgaria points out to in their historic context of the support Bulgaria was lending for Macedonian nationhood at the time, and list the evidence that VMRO fought for an independent Macedonia.

Kovatchev goes on to portray the struggle for a Macedonian state as a Bulgarian demand for autonomy within the Ottoman Empire and names other leaders of the struggle, like Todor Aleksandrov and Vanco Mihajlov, as well as Grigor Prlicev, the Miladinovci brothers, Dame Gruev, Boris Sarafov… as Macedonian Bulgarians.