The Portuguese proposal relies on the draft-negotiating framework proposed by the European Commission, the paragraph on the Macedonian language to remain as it is – Macedonian language alongside unilateral statement on Bulgaria’s position regarding the matter, Deputy Prime Minister Nikola Dimitrov said on Wednesday.

Regarding the statement of Portugal’s Secretary of State for European Affairs, Ana Paula Zacarias, Dimitrov said that yesterday they had many contacts with Lisbon and with representatives of Portugal, ie the Portuguese presidency, and that they pointed out to, as he said, “this extreme inadequacy” and that they assured that the statement absolutely did not reflect Lisbon’s position, which remains in line with the Portuguese proposal and expressed regret in this regard.

The issue of the Macedonian language is a key issue for us. We have a mandate to even think about negotiating. We will enter Europe only as Macedonians who speak Macedonian and we reserve the right to defend it with dignity no matter what statements we come across, today or in the future. For me personally, this was a rather unfortunate statement, said Dimitrov.