VMRO-DPMNE strongly condemned the statement from the newly elected Deputy Prime Minister for EU affairs Bojan Maricic, who said that Macedonia has no right to claim that there is a Macedonian minority in Bulgaria or elsewhere. The issue was raised after new Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov strongly denied that such a minority exists, even as he demands minority rights for ethnic Bulgarians in Macedonia.

Maricic says that he can’t interfere in the Bulgarian internal affairs. We ask, who other than Macedonia will show interest in the rights of the Macedonians in Bulgaria? Does his statement also mean that Maricic will ask Bulgaria not to interfere in minority rights issues in Macedonia? This is a shameful and undignified behavior from the Deputy Prime Minister of a Government that intends to continue along the shameful policies of Zaevism, VMRO-DPMNE said in a statement.

Under the 2017 Zaev – Borisov treaty, both countries said that they will not pursue their respective minority rights. But Bulgaria secured a clause that allows the countries to protect the rights of citizens. This gives Bulgaria a free hand, since it has issued over 100,000 dual citizenships to Macedonians, who are often eager to use them to tap the EU labour market. The number of dual citizens who live in Bulgaria, on the other hand, is very low.