The upcoming honoring of the Goce Delcev’s birth, on February 4th, will be a high risk event, warned President Stevo Pendarovski, because of the possibility that clashes occur between Bulgarian and Macedonian groups.

Recently, a group of Bulgarian nationalists gathered in downtown Skopje to celebrate Mara Buneva, on the anniversary of the assassination she carried out over Serbian colonel Velimir Prelic in 1928. During this event, nationalist leader Angel Dzhambazhki (MEP) and Kostadin Kostadinov were declaring that Macedonia is Bulgarian land and that the Macedonian nation and history do not exist separate from the Bulgarian nation. This was followed by a severe beating of a Bulgarian activist in Ohrid, and President Pendarovski, who convened the Security Council today, was clearly concerned today that the celebration on February 4th, in Skopje’s St. Spas church where Goce Delcev is laid to rest, would lead to new incidents if both sides turn out in force.

The reason for convening this Council was not just the unfortunate event in Ohrid, which is just a small piece of the mosaic. According to available reports and analysis, we have organized activities from structures in Bulgaria, activated after the adoption of the EU negotiating framework in July of last year. These structures are mobilized with logistics and finance to support organized arrivals of people on February 4th, when we mark Goce Delcev’s birth day. According to all estimates, this will be a high security risk event, and our institutions can’t just silently observe what is going on, Pendarovski said.

Pendarovski urged the Government to declare Dzhambazhki and possibly other Bulgarian nationalists as persona non grata in Macedonia.