BESA party leader Bilal Kasami, who is the newly minted SDSM coalition partner, opened the prospect of changing the Macedonian national anthem.

In an interview, Kasami said that “I don’t feel comfortable when I hear the Macedonian anthem, which in no way reflects my identity”.

The anthem is about the struggle of the Macedonian people for nationhood and names a number of Macedonian historic figures. As neighboring countries continue to pile on with requests aimed at the Macedonian national identity, the anthem was famously edited during the July 4 celebration in the US Embassy, in what the Embassy and the performer Tamara Todevska called a mistake.

Macedonia was also forced by Greece to change its flag in 1995, while the coat of arms remains largely unchanged from the Communist era and has little in it that would distinguish it from the symbol of any other country that has lakes and mountains or grows tobacco and opium poppies. Last year Zaev, joined by Kasami and other Albanian leaders, and supported by a number of Western countries, enthusiastically took to the task to rename the country and impose the name “North Macedonia”, along with numerous concessions that erode the Macedonian national character.