Bulgaria is pressing its full, maximalist demands in the on-going negotiations with Dimitar Kovacevski, Republika has learnt. According to our sources, the two sides are negotiating about the Macedonian language and national identity, contrary to frequent denials from the Kovacevski Government. The Bulgarian demands, which Kovacevski has allegedly accepted, are that the Macedonian nation is declared as a recognized nation since its entry into the Yugoslav Federation in 1945, and the Macedonians prior to that will be considered to have been ethnic Bulgarians. The treaty will not specify what language was spoken in Macedonia prior to 1991 – laying stake for another Bulgarian claim – that the Macedonian language is at most a dialect of the Bulgarian.

Bulgaria also maintains its demand that Macedonia amends its Constitution and adds the Bulgarian minority in its Preamble. Even though Kovacevski has asked for more time on this, given that he doesn’t have the votes in Parliament to amend the Constitution, Bulgaria continues to press for a quick decision on this matter. Kovacevski has apparently offered that Macedonia and Bulgaria submit a statement to the European Commission, committing Macedonia to make this amendment before it can join the EU. This will amount to Macedonia agreeing that at least one of the Bulgarian demands is made a condition of the EU accession process and its implementation would be demanded by the entire EU.

VMRO-DPMNE, which is the largest party in Parliament and can block changes to the Constitution, demands guarantees from the European Union that if this change is made, it will be the last bilateral issue that will block Macedonia’s EU accession.