Bulgaria could change its policy towards passports issued to Macedonians. Now.

I’ve read in the Thursday edition of the Sega daily an article by a colleague – Krassimir Karakachanov, leader of the VMRO political party. The headline is “How long are we going to support the anti-Bulgarian elit in Macedonia?” I wrote the newspaper the following letter (published in the issue from Saturday, Dec. 16, and translated with some edits below):

According to Krassi, there’s an anti-Bulgarian campaign, that has started with the attempts to register OMO-ilinden-pirin (another political party). But isn’t it logical that the people, registering the OMO-party, actually don’t want it to exist? Is it really so difficult to find 500 people to sign in declarations for establishment of a party? It’s not difficult, of course. But if a party is registered, and exists, it has to participate in elections, and when it loses them, that will be its end. That’s why it seems more important for this party not to be registered, to stay with some irregularities, which will hardly be fixed. The interests not to register OMO-ilinden, are not the Bulgarian state’s interests. To say that the court rejects the application because the party was of the so-called Macedonian minority (wheter it exists or not, is a different question), is just silly. But the Skopie media do the same like their colleagues in Bulgaria – they make stupid noise. What could you sell better to a country like Macedonia with serious economic problem and 40 % unemployment, but nationalism?
The history should be left for discssions to the historians. The great friend of my Grandpa – prof. Dimitar Gotsev – already had the opportunity to discuss the history with his colleagues from Skopie. Let them sit down and discuss as much as they wish who was stealing history from whom.

The young generation has to be more pragmatic. Bulgaria, and esp. the Bulgarian business have to aim at opening new job positions in Macedonia, export business and services (including outsourcing) to Macedonia. People there [speak] understand Bulgarian, and they can provide customer support for clients in Bulgaria via VoIP. It’s good that there are Bulgarian companies that enter Macedonia with their businesses. Big number of personal computers in Maceonia has been provided by Bulgarian partners. There’s one simple thing: 8-million market with less 10 % unemployment is not in percents but in times bigger thatn 2-million with 40 36 % unemployment. And while the Greece continues to argue with Macedonia about the name of the FYROM, we could very fast move common projects (or even execute them on our own) – the transport corridors, the rail roads, the oil pipeline Bourgas – Vlore (check this, search for vlore). Transporting kaspian oil over US pipeline to Western Europe will make the connection between Bulgaria and Macedonia so strong and profitable, that the Skopie newspapers will not even think about anti-Bulgaian campaigns.

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Anti-Bulgarian media campaign will happen in the future again. Same way as there are anti-US, anti-Russian, anti-French, anti-Iranian, anti-Macedonian. If we take this seriously, and not make any more gestures to Macedonia, than we are not worth it. We help the Macedonians not for them to be thankful to us, but because we can help. And because we can, they come to study in Bulgaria, to do business with Bulgaria, to have vacation at the Black Sea, and… to take their Bulgarian passports. The rule is that if you are against something, you will be against something else, as well. Today they are against the Bulgarians, tomorrow – against the Albanians, then – against the gypsies. Then against the jews. This direction of the Macedonian media is dangerous, becase the distance between anti-Bulgarian propaganda, hatred towards Albanians, and anti-semitism is not very distinctive.

Macedonia is a young country – only 60 years old, and one should not forget they are still in search of the so-called “national identity”. Whether this will ever happen, will be a problem that will be solved by the citizens of Macedonia, not by the politicans in Skopie or Sofia. The Macedonians don’t aim at Bulgaria not joining the EU (even for the practical reason that they will not be able to use their passports without visas*). In support of this are the long lines of Macedonians in front of the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice (dealing with Bulgarian citizenship). Macedonians politicans and media, regardless what they say, can not stop Bulgaria to be where it belongs – among the EU members. When Macedonia forgets the anti-thesis, it will also deserve to be an EU member.

I believe that the policy of Bulgaria towards the citizenship for Macedonians need to be changed. Immediately.
People who are born on the territory of today’s Macedonia between 1941-1944, and their children, are Bulgarians by origin. They should not be given citizenship, of which they are entitled by birth. They should not go through the procedure with the Ministry of Justice, long lines, years of waiting.

But it’s equally unfair to say that the people who don’t wish to obtain Bulgarian citizenship, as well as the ones who do not fulfil the requirements of the law, are Bulgarians. They are not. In Macedonia there will always be citizens who will say that they are Macedonians, not Bulgarians. There will be Albanians, and not Macedonians or Bulgarians. And Serbs, not Macedonians, Albanians or Bulgarians. And there will always be stealing history of Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia, Albania, Turkey…

But stealing is not always bad. Goran Bregovic, the geniuous plagiarism and auto-plagiarism, steals from Bulgarian, Macedonian, Serbian, Greek, Turkish, whatever, music, and creates songs. His songs, performed by the wonderful Weddings and Funerals Orchestra were able to bring more than 3000 people at the Avory Fisher Hall in New York last july. All these 3000 people were singing together with the Bulgarian singers (and sisters) Lydmila and Daniela Radkovi. I don’t believe anyone in the public was thinking at this moment if he or she is a Bulgarian, Macedonia, Serb, Croat… muslim, christian, or atheist…

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* - Macedonian passports are good for entry without visa only in 17 countries world-wide, including 5 of the former Yugoslav Republics, Turkey and Albania. From January 1st, 2007, Macedonian citizens visiting Bulgaria, will need a visa. The Bulgarian government, in a gesture of good will, decided to pay the tax for issuing the visas by its own budget. In order for them to get a visa for Estonia, for example, they need to go to the Estonian Embassy in Budapest (Hungary), but they need a visa for Hungary, too.

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One Response to Bulgaria could change its policy towards passports issued to Macedonians. Now.

  1. A clarification: the Bulgarian laws say that one is a Bulgarian citizen by birth, if any of their parents has been a Bulgarian citizen. For all Macedonians, born between 1941 and 1944, they have birth certificates, issued by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, which makes them Bulgarians by birth, and therefore their children are eligible for citizenship today.

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