European Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi and the Portuguese Foreign Affairs Minister Augusto Santos Silva arrived to Macedonia, after their visit to Bulgaria this morning. The two are on a mission to try and persuade Bulgaria to lift its veto, but early indications are that it is not going to work.
Varhelyi and Silva met with Bulgarian leaders, but the country has a technical Government whose only goal is to organize early elections. They also met President Radev and former Prime Minister Borisov .In Macedonia they will meet President Pendarovski and Prime Minister Zaev, who said that he will not make any more concessions to Bulgaria and demands a date to open accession talks.
Bulgarian Foreign Minister Stoev said that he does not have the authority to change the position agreed by all parties before the April elections, which produced a divided Parliament.
It is believed that Varhelyi and Silva are carrying a set of proposals to address Bulgaria’s historic and national identity claims aimed toward Macedonia. This includes an acknowledgement that the Macedonian language was codified in 1945 – Bulgaria insists that it is a Bulgarian dialect and a “newly minted language”. It would also include declarations from both sides to bind themselves again to respecting the 2017 Friendship Treaty. But former Bulgarian Foreign Minister Zaharieva said that these fall short of what Bulgaria wants to see on the table.