The Mayor of Kumanovo Maksim Dimitrievski, who is involved in an on-going argument with the Government and his own SDSM party over the mishandling of the coronavirus epidemic in his city, wrote an emotional comment in protest against the removal of the Star of Kutles/Vergina in the near-by Kriva Palanka. Dimitrievski wrote how he served in the Macedonian Army under the ancient symbol which Greece claims as its exclusive property, and warned his party that it will not be able to erase it from the Macedonian cultural heritage.

We can tear everything down and rebuild it again, but we mustn’t touch our history and identity. That is ours, of all who have lived and who will live. Vergina was part of our history and you can’t scrape it away. You either have it or you don’t, it is either part of your feelings, or never was, Dimitrievski wrote on his social media accounts.

The Mayor also condemned the deep divisions among Macedonians, calling this a time of “plunder, divisions, intrigues, the Devil is in us”. He named family members from the opposite side, active in the VMRO-DPMNE party, who cried when he was discharged from hospital after the coronavirus scare he endured as a symbol how we should move forward from this crisis. Dimitrievski also condemned the pressures from Bulgaria to declare the legendary VMRO leader Goce Delcev to be a Bulgarian. His comment was immediately widely shared, interestingly among people from both sides of the political divide, confirming his status as a rising political star.