The meeting of the joint Macedonian – Bulgarian committee of historians concluded for today without new agreement being reached, and will resume tomorrow. The key issue now is how and to what extent will Macedonia amend its seventh grade history books, that cover the period of medieval history..
The Macedonian side made major concessions provided in the so-called French proposal. With them, key historic figures from the medieval period are being promoted as Bulgarian heroes, and Macedonia will be under pressure to adopt this reading of history in its public education system.
Dragi Gjorgjiev, the head of the Macedonian team in the commission, insisted that Macedonian national interests are being preserved during the talks.
The talks are marred by the frequent incidents surrounding the Bulgarian club that was opened in Ohrid recently. After the sign on the club was vandalized a couple of times, somebody opened fire on the window. There were no injuries in the incidents, including the previous small fire that was set at the entrance of the Bulgarian club in Bitola. The clubs are named after Tsar Boris III and Vanco Mihajlov, who are both highly controversial figures in Macedonia.
The state authorities in Macedonia and their society need to understand that their path to the European Union goes through acceptance and acknowledgement of the Macedonian Bulgarians, of our cultural and historic legacy. That is the only way, said Bulgarian President Rumen Radev, who is a hardliner in the historic dispute between the two countries. The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry summoned the ambassador of Macedonia to deliver and stern rebuke.