Bulgaria will react after the attack on the centre in Skopje and the case of the clubs in Bitola and Ohrid

Bulgaria will react after the attack on the centre in Skopje and the case of the clubs in Bitola and Ohrid

Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev will discuss with our European partners the actions of the authorities in Skopje after the attack on the Bulgarian cultural information centre in Skopje and the decisions to reject the names of the Bulgarian clubs in Bitola "Ivan Mihailov" and in Ohrid "Tsar Boris III", Vice President Iliana Iotova said on March 17.

Attack on Bulgarian cultural and information centre in Skopje

The RNM also rejected the request for coordination of the name of the association "Tsar Boris III" in Ohrid.

The Bulgarian Cultural Club "Ivan Mihailov" in Bitola should change its name

Iotova, together with caretaker Foreign Minister, Nikolai Milkov, commented that they do not believe in the Macedonian authorities' claim that the attack on the Bulgarian cultural centre in Skopje was only a criminal act.

Prosecutor's office in North Macedonia about the attack on Bulgarian centre: At the moment everything points to theft

According to the Vice President, so far all such cases have been presented by the authorities in North Macedonia as a criminal act in order not to seek a political context.

"The acceptance of the French EU Council Presidency's proposal by the Republic of North Macedonia was the last positive step in the process of accession and negotiations of the RM to the EU. From then on, all actions for me are a step backwards - from the arson of the club in Bitola to the attack on the Bulgarian cultural institution - this is an official institution of the Bulgarian state. All these actions have been left by the Macedonian authorities without consequences. There is not a single sign that the government in the RNM wants to first put an end to this language of hatred that continues to be poured in North Macedonia against everything Bulgarian, as well as concrete solutions to, as they call them - criminal acts," Iliana Iotova said.

The foreign ministry said the decisions contradicted Skopje's commitments to equal rights for all citizens.

"The situations in which Bulgarian clubs and Bulgarian organisations were attacked there are behind us. Now the Bulgarian state is also the target of such attacks. For me, the trend is obvious and this impunity gives rise to a propensity for new provocations and crimes," said Nikolai Milkov.

Earlier today, the Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Skopje's decisions on the names of Bulgarian clubs in Bitola and Ohrid. The foreign ministry pointed out that out of nearly 17 000 NGOs checked, the names of only the two Bulgarian clubs were rejected.

They also remind that in 2009 the European Court of Human Rights issued a ruling against North Macedonia for violation of Article 11 of the ECHR (right to freedom of association). The Court's decision states that the name of the Radko Association (a pseudonym of Ivan Mihailov) "could not in itself have been considered a present and imminent threat to public order".

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