Bulgarian member of the European Parliament Angel Dzhambazki entered the fray over the national identity of VMRO leader Goce Delcev. Bulgarian politicians demand an acknowledgement that the VMRO legend was a Bulgarian, and President Stevo Pendarovski came close by saying that Delcev declared himself a Bulgarian on several occassions, but fought for an independent Macedonia.

And while some Bulgarian MEPs were satisfied with this statement, it is not good enough for Dzhambazki.

We can’t continue to pretend not to see these abuses, provocations and falsifications from Skopje. We opened the door for Macedonia to join NATO and now we hear talk about future EU membership. This can happen only through seeing the historic truth that a political Macedonian nation exists only after August 2nd 1944. At this date a gang of Bulgarian Bolseviks and outcasts, traitors to the nation, gathered in the basement of the Prohor Pcinski monastery under the pretext of celebrating the great Bulgarian holiday of Ilinden and on orders from Moscow and the Comintern created the so-called “Macedonian nation”, Dzhambazki said in an interview in which he declared Macedonia to be the “second Bulgarian state in the Balkans”.

Bulgarian nationalists insist that there is no Macedonian nation separate from the Bulgarian and some are using the 2017 treaty to condition the opening of EU accession talks for Macedonia with the acceptance of this position.