The Macedonian association Ilinden from Albania strongly condemned the visit of Bulgarian Vice President Iliyana Yotova, who is working to have as many Macedonians in Albania as possible register as Bulgarians in the coming census.

Yotova opened a Bulgarian language school in Elbasan, and it is widely assumed that Bulgarian agents are offering EU passports to poor Macedonians who decide to register as Bulgarians.

Macedonians in Albania were often pressured to register as Bulgarians but have always refused to do so. We clearly declare our Macedonian identity. Bulgaria’s ugly intent is to dupe the world public that the Macedonians in Albania are in fact Bulgarians. Their assimilation campaign is absolutely unacceptable, especially given that it comes from a country that is part of a democratic union, the Ilinden association said.