The signing of the state treaty between Macedonia and Bulgaria was a risky move for both parties. On one hand, the treaty can contribute to improving the relations between the two countries, which only the completely naive or uninformed consider them to be or have been good, and on the other hand, it can contribute that the centuries-long fragile relations that usually ended with bloody wars and thousands of casualties on each side, to end up worse. The latter is possible because the treaty, on the principle that if there is no consent for something, then a committee is formed, it seeks to open issues which, if they had the opportunity to solve them without tension, then they would not have been open for centuries.
Namely, the negotiations on the so-called open historical issues between the two countries are precisely what is now turning into something that exacerbates relations between Macedonia and Bulgaria, and which pretends to put the whole treaty on the backburner. There is one serious reason for this. The Bulgarians became verbally aggressive and their own aggression from inside, which in Bulgaria lasted for a century and a half due to fraudulent policies, the constant defeats in wars and the choice of historically wrong allies, is now trying to turn it into an external one and impose its national frustrations to their neighbors. In particular, some of the neighbors. What is the reason for this?
Bulgaria is now at the apex of its southern Balkan adrenaline rapture. For the first time in the history of its independence, which, by the way, it received as a result of Russian military intervention in that part of the Balkans in the 19th century, Bulgaria managed not to make a mistake in the choice of its strategic partners and goals, that is, it finally managed to adhering to alliance with NATO, and later with the EU. But habits do not seem to change them. On one occasion, former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer declared that Germany did not know from the beginning of its modern state from the time of Bismarck until the end of the Second World War to properly carry out its sovereignty and constantly made many major mistakes. Finally, it pushed that country on the sidelines of world politics after 1945, out of the position to participate in major decisions and to participate in their implementation, from which to date it cannot be dealt with. Its diplomatic, military and strategic role in the world has been completely suppressed by the misuse of its sovereignty in the past. Bulgaria now has a similar problem. It does not know how to handle its new sovereignty and the role given by NATO and EU membership. It believes that now is the time to try to heal its wounds and frustrations from the past using the possible veto power, threats and blackmail in the mentioned organizations towards Macedonia (identical to Greece’s behavior), possibly hoping that the same, if it succeeds, can be done to Serbia, Albania or Kosovo in the future. The motive for this is to protect its alleged history and future, according to which Bulgaria has national interests in all of Macedonia, in southern and eastern Serbia and in eastern Albania. Of course, out of fear, it is not saying whether it has interests in the area of Aegean Macedonia where, according to their understanding, are Bulgarian residents. According to the country, the Macedonians in Macedonia are a “Stalinist-Comintern-Tito” fictional nation that needs to be reminded that it is in fact a Western-Bulgarian nation, but somehow we do not see the power nor the will to say it to the Greeks regarding the Macedonian population living in Greece. Are you silent about this and do not ask anything from the Greeks right? All right. It looks like the Bulgarian position from the time before and after the two world wars and the time of their living in the Soviet era. Be kind to the slightly more powerful and be aggressive towards the slightly weaker.
Such a position of Bulgaria today is close to its inability to bear with its newly emerging sovereign power that the country received within NATO and especially within the EU. It shows strength and arrogance, forgetting that only in the course of the 20th century it fired back two or three times.
The way they now speak within those meetings on historical issues, and especially the way their top state officials declare themselves Macedonians and Macedonia is not just shameful, but it’s also risky for them. They only deepen the crisis between the two peoples and encourage intolerance. Probably they are aware of what they are doing and what consequences they will cause. Macedonians in Macedonia do not see their attitudes with disagreement, but with contempt and disgust. Why our official bodies and state officials are silent about such open attacks is a separate issue for another debate.
Today, almost everyone in Macedonia watched that embarrassing and immature interview given for their Bulgarian television by their foreign minister. Arrogant, uninformed, nationalistic, so let’s use its vocabulary – a fake statement. She openly said: “How do you make compromises with the truth? Of course you can’t. “But what is her and their truth? One, for instance, is that “Their whole idea of a nation was created at the base of the branch with Bulgaria”. And so that there are no dilemmas – every historical trace in Bulgaria for the opposite is foreseen that it is not valid with a simple saying: “This is one of the biggest betrayals committed by the Bulgarian communist party.” So everything that is not in their benefit is a “betrayal” by their own people? I want to ask – Is the minister actually publicly telling us that the recognition of the existence of Macedonians in Bulgaria after World War II is an internal “betrayal”, but that the former non-recognition by the pro-fascist royal and the further non-recognition by the Zhivkov post-communist-bourgeois government is a bright tradition in their Bulgaria? Where did Bulgaria go? It gives up its small, bright pages of history and leans towards its darker past? The antifascist Georgi Dimitrov is the traitor, and Tsar Boris, who sent his army to fight against the freedom-loving and anti-fascist nations in Europe, and Todor Zhivkov appointed by Stalin are the bright moments in their history? An interesting historical choice.
No, Minister. It is not a “betrayal” of Bulgaria’s attempt after 1944 to enlist itself in the order of the literate and righteous countries and which should certainly pay its bills for the aggression and occupation it has committed to Macedonia and parts of Serbia during the Second World War, but “betrayal” is its return to the dark roots of tsarism and the Zhivkov-era that the present generations have committed.
And finally, in the interview, the following was also said: “Stalin and Tito who did not want a great Balkan country such as Bulgaria…” Is this serious? What “Balkan country were Stalin and Tito supposed to want? To keep the defeated collaborationist Bulgaria within the boundaries they formed in 1941 with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy and held under their control until the capitulation of Bulgaria on 9 September 1944??? There is something very problematic about how current Bulgarian politicians understand the history and lessons of it. It seems like they would be happy to continue the old way… until someone hits them in the nose yet again.
Views expressed in this article are personal views of the author and do not represent the editorial policy of Nezavisen Vesnik