The New York Times (sigh… yes, again!) reported under headline “For Dream Jobs in Europe, the Line Forms in Bulgaria”
The NYT says, “Bulgaria, which is larger than Macedonia, is willing to grant citizenship to Macedonians who prove Bulgarian ethnicity. Doing so requires providing their family name and birth certificate, and completing complex paperwork. Under Bulgaria’s rules, perhaps two-thirds of Macedonia’s population of two million could be eligible for citizenship. Tens of thousands have applied, and at least 7,000 have already been approved.”
Here’s what is hiding behind all this:
The newspaper points, “The European Union asked Bulgaria to tighten the rules, and Bulgaria recently agreed. Its vice president, Angel Marin, said only 6,000 passports would be given annually to applicants outside the country.”
And also, “The matter of the passports is touchy. Macedonia is committed to joining the European Union, although it has no clear timetable, at a point where its fragile identity is under attack from several directions. Greece disputes Macedonia’s name — it says the only area that should be rightfully known as Macedonia lies in northern Greece — and so since gaining independence from Yugoslavia in 1991 Macedonia has agreed to use the awkward formal name the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, or Fyrom, in its international dealings. The Orthodox Church in Serbia disputes the authority of Macedonia’s church. Five years ago, ethnic Albanians rebelled in the north in the hopes of carving out a breakaway state, in a dispute patched up in an internationally brokered agreement.”
Here’s some history, so that the readers of the NYT can understand what this is about.
Macedonia has not existed before the end of the WWII. Until 1912 it was part of the Turkish Empire. From 1912 until 1941 it was part of Serbia, and later – the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, which as we all know today, seased to exist a few weeks ago, when Montenegro (Crna Gora) took away from Serbia in a peaceful referendum.
Between 1941 and 1944 current Macedonia was administered by the Bulgarian Kingdom, under an agreement with Germany (the Third Reich). Everyone, who has been born in Macedonia in that time, has received a Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Church birth certificate. My mother, who was born in Gevgelija (at the Greek border) has such a certificate.
The Law for the Bulgarian Citizenship until October 1968 said that every person whose both parents are Bulgarian by origin, is also a Bulgarian by origin. The Law for the Bulgarian Citizenship from October 1968 on says that every citizen is a Bulgarian, if at least one of his parents is a Bulgarian by origin.
Simple, isn’t it? That means that every Macedonian citizen today, who is born either between 1941 and 1944, or every Macedonian, born before October 1968, whose both parents are born 1941-1944, or at least one of them is born then, and the other is born in Bulgaria… is a Bulgarian citizen by birth. Same is for every Macedonian, with at least one parent born between 1941 and 1944, or at least one parent Bulgarian by birth, is also a Bulgarian citizen by birth.
The whole history started to become popular in the last few weeks, when the former Macedonian primer minister and current Member of Parliament Mr. Lyubcho Georgievski has received Bulgarian citizenship, based on origin. The Macedonian Consitution allows dual citizenship holders to be in politics.
Simple, but politicians tend to make it complex.
Hope that helps the readers.