According to Bulgaria, they want to imitate Greece’s attitude towards Macedonia in recent decades, setting preconditions for us to join the European Union, in order to protect the national interest, said Macedonian President Stevo Pendarovski.

In an interview with Euronews, Pendarovski said that it is necessary to talk about the real arguments and criteria that the country has met to join the Union, and not to discuss the 19th or 20th century.

Bulgarian demands are much more controversial than Greek ones. Why? Because the Greeks never questioned our ethnic origin. They never said “you are not Macedonian”. In the situation with Greece, we gave you the opportunity, if you want to identify yourself as an ethnic Macedonian, you can do it. If some people in Greece today say they are Macedonians, they have a right to do so. Bulgaria disputes the identity of the Macedonians and that is the big problem, said President Pendarovski.

According to him, Bulgaria expresses the position of Bulgarian society, as a result of the long-standing stance of Bulgarian politicians and historians, dating back to the communist era.

President Pendarovski adds that for now he sees a significant change in Bulgaria’s behavior. Despite all the developments on the European continent with the Russian invasion of Ukraine and all the geopolitical motives that call into question the concept of a united Europe, Pendarovski points out that the Bulgarian position is still difficult, and no significant changes have been observed, in anticipation of Brussels’ decision that we expect it by the end of June.

Regarding the inclusion of the Bulgarian minority in the Constitution, Pendarovski says this is one of the few things that unites the ruling and opposition parties.