One of the many politically ground-shaking elements in the interview Zoran Zaev gave to the Bulgarian BGNES agency is his qualification that President Stevo Pendarovski is inexperienced and doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
The comment comes as the journalist pressed on a statement from Pendarovski – that Bulgaria is under the influence of its communist era dictator Todor Zivkov. Zivkov reversed the policy of recognizing the Macedonian nation, that was pursued by his predecessor Georgi Dimitrov. Pendarovski made the statement in a tit-for-tat move after Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva accused Macedonia of still being in thrall to Yugoslav communist dictator Josip Broz – Tito.
Trust me that President Pendarovski is a friend of Bulgaria. He is just not as experienced as Zoran Zaev, Zaev said, speaking about himself in third person. “Sometimes even I, not just him, are not careful enough with our words, but I guarantee you that with his soul and mind he is fully dedicated to this great friendship we are having”.
Pendarovski was an adviser to Presidents Trajkovski and Crvenkovski and for Zaev to practically say that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about is a heavy lift. Pendarovski already made a storm in Bulgaria when early in the dispute he came out and accepted the position of Bulgarian historians that legendary VMRO leader Goce Delcev declared himself as an ethnic Bulgarian in some of his statements. But then Pendarovski drew the ire of Bulgarian politicians when he said that Delcev was dishonest about it and was said so merely because he wanted to be admitted to the Sofia military academy.