site.btaLjubco Georgievski: North Macedonia Is Being Serbianized, Not Bulgarianized
"There is no Bulgarianization in North Macedonia, on the contrary, the country is undergoing Serbianization," former prime minister and former VMRO-DPMNE chairman Ljubco Georgievski said in an interview on TV 24.
He called on everyone in North Macedonia who feels threatened by Bulgarianization to say where they see it.
Georgievski recalled that back in the 1990s, there was a negative attitude in North Macedonia against Slovenes, Croats and Kosovars and the positive attitude was mainly towards Serbia, but the existence of Yugoslavia "shaped this in a certain way".
"Bulgaria shares the blame for our quarrel with it because of the veto [on the start of Skopje's EU accession negotiations] and the ensuing rhetoric," the interviewee argued. "Today we are witnessing a Serbianization of the Macedonian state on an unprecedented scale."
Georgievski finds that Bulgaria's refusal to agree to the conditions for North Macedonia's negotiating framework proposed before 2022, "which is called 'veto' here, was welcome to strengthen this process".
"The fact that Bulgaria imposed a veto does not imply that we should become a subsidiary of Serbian politics. Look at it politically: we enthuse at every step taken by [Serbian President Aleksandar] Vučić. The Serbs ridicule some of his actions, which we are delighted by," the ex-PM commented.
Georgievski sees a "tragicomedy" in the fact that North Macedonia’s opinion leaders do not mind "when Serbs call our historical figures Bulgarians". "There are documentary series in which [freedom fighters] Gotse Delchev, Dame Gruev are called Bulgarians, the revolts in Macedonia against the Serbs are called Bulgarian, and no one from the Macedonian political or historical community reacts to this," the interviewee pointed out.
He reiterated that, as far as he is concerned, “the Bulgarian people and the Macedonian people have a common history, but the process of separation of the Macedonian nation cannot be limited to 1944, it lasted at least 130-140 years, starting with linguistic separatism, followed by political and national separatism".
In his words, Bulgarians themselves are to blame for all this, and "there is no reason to be resent [Serbian 19th politician] Stojan Novakovic, Stalin or Tito, but a disastrous policy towards Macedonia". This, however, does not mean that "certain common things" should be denied.
"That is why when I hear now that we will not change history under Bulgarian duress I say that we should not revise our history under Bulgarian duress but for our own sake," Georgievski said.
He is pessimistic about the adoption of the constitutional amendments despite "talk in parliament that the revisions to the Constitution will be voted through in mid-October". Georgievski regrets this “because there is nothing dramatic in the constitutional changes for the state and the nation."
"Nothing of our sovereignty and our identity that we talk so much about is being taken away from us, on the contrary, they are affirmed. And I am sorry that we have already wasted a year, and we will waste this year, too," Georgievski said.
The amendments to North Macedonia’s Constitution by which Bulgarians must be included in the basic law of the country are a condition in the negotiating framework, and unless they are adopted the second intergovernmental conference will not be scheduled so as to start opening negotiating chapters and the country’s EU integration process will be halted, as all politicians from EU Member States who visit Skopje say.