site.btaOrganizations of Bulgarians in North Macedonia Condemn Hate Speech at National Teams’ Football Match
Representatives of ten associations of citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia, who identify themselves of Bulgarian origin, condemned in a letter what happened at the football match between the national teams of Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia on September 26 in Skopje, and called on "the president, the government, the parliament, the Commission for Prevention and Protection against Discrimination, the ombudsman and the NGO sector in the country to denounce the desecration of the Bulgarian anthem and the hate speech against Bulgaria and Bulgarians," as the North Macedonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs did, which is appreciated as a positive fact.
At the same time, they also stress that the 'political elite' in the country is victim of its own 'success' in creating an atmosphere of intolerance towards the people with Bulgarian identity in the Republic of North Macedonia, and Bulgaria as a whole," says the letter, also calling on EU representatives, as well as embassies of EU member states, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and international partners to pay attention to "the demonstration of hate speech against a EU member state that North Macedonia declares it wants to join".
"We hope that the events of the football match between the Republic of North Macedonia and Bulgaria will finally help international partners to understand the life we and our ancestors had every day after 1944,” says the letter, which is addressed to the presidents and prime ministers of Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia, the ambassadors of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, the United States and France in the country, the Commission for the Prevention and Protection against Discrimination there, the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights and the political parties Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM), VMRO-DPMNE and The Left.
It is concerning that representatives of the younger generation of North Macedonia were among the loudest fans, which according to the signatories of the letter "once again shows the need to change the curricula of the Republic of North Macedonia related to the subject of history, based on the recommendations of the Joint Commission on Historical and Educational Issues and, of course, based on historical facts and historical sources and documents," says the letter.