Historians who are part of the joint committee with Bulgaria are coming out against the interview Prime Minister Zoran Zaev gave to the Bulgarian BGNES news agency. Hisorian Ljubica Spaskovska spoke out publicly, and Deutsche Welle reports that at least two others have also voiced strong criticism of Zaev, calling his comments “historic revisionism.

In the interview, Zaev dismissed Bulgaria’s role as part of the Axis in much of the Second World War, referred to its occupation of Macedonia as “administration” and also gave up on the uniqueness of the Macedonian nation and language – all positions that Bulgaria demands if it is to allow the opening of EU accession talks with Macedonia.

As member of the committee, I personally want to distance myself and to condemn the comments made by the Prime Minister. I urge politicians to refrain from making statements about issues they are not familiar with, which are outside of their area of expertise. In the entire western historiography, the term occupation is generally accepted for the role of Bulgaria in the Second World War. It’s enough to say that it signed a peace treaty with the allies, including with Macedonia, as part of Yugoslavia, Spaskoska said.

The committee is under strong pressure from Zaev to accept Bulgarian demands, so that Macedonia would be allowed to open EU accession talks.