A move by Zoran Zaev’s SDSM party to get its allies in the European Parliament to condemn Bulgaria for its nationalist demands against Macedonia failed yesterday. An amendment supported by socialist and green members of the European Parliament that was critical of Bulgaria and praised Macedonia for its restraint was not accepted in the final version of the annual report.

The report was prepared by Bulgarian MEP Ilhan Kyuchyuk. Bulgarian right wing and nationalist parties blamed the Bulgarian socialists and liberals for the amendment submitted by their political allies in Brussels, especially given that the PES party of European socialists is led by former Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev and the amendment quickly became a political issue in the run up to the April elections in Bulgaria.

The amendment was eventually thrown out, but two other amendments proposed by right wing MEPs were adopted. They call on Macedonia to end its discrimination of people who express their Bulgarian heritage and calls on Macedonia to achieve reconciliation with Bulgaria on the bases of the shared Bulgarian history.

I regret that these two amendments proposed by the EPP group were adopted, and that the amendment proposed by Belka, Picula, Fajon and Shilder was not supported, said Macedonian Deputy Prime Minister Nikola Dimitrov, in light of the defeat he suffered in the vote.