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.
Veni, first of all greetings to you and your family!
I just recently found your web-page looking for info about your grandfather Venko Markovski. What you explain is simple, I agree, although I think, looking through the history of your family you’ll agree that nothing is simple in the Balkans. I guess, I don’t really have a comment except maybe a question, or a proposal for critical thinking for you. As you probably know all of the people born in Macedonia (members of my family too) between the 2 world wars and even before then, went and studied and educated themselves in Belgrade and Sofia, some in Thessalonica (Solun), do you ask yourself sometimes what if the “real” (here I mean people born in Macedonia) Macedonians were allowed to form their own state without the interference of any communist party or any other state, what would be the history of all of us today? Would we glorify their achievements and deeds of honor? Do papers of any kind or, proclamations given under questionable circumstances make us what we are? Does the forced change of surnames for my grandfather in the “Serbian” times make him a Serb? Do you think that the Greeks can hide the facts from the world, by proclaiming the territories where the villages of the Macedonians stood for centuries were claimed to be “National Parks” with the original villages (with changed names into Greek) moved from the hills to the valleys, so that the “papers” of ownership don’t apply?
From all the history books that I have read, written in Macedonia and what the world has written about us (of course I can’t say I’ve read all, but I’ve read a lot of Bulgarian press and history) my conclusion is that everyone of us should trust their oldest relatives i.e. grand-grandfathers and grand-grandmothers. And mine are from Galicnik and from The Aegean part of Macedonia, their only word for me was that I am a grandchild of the most tormented and disputed nation in this part of the world, simply Macedonians. The question to you my friend is, from all that you know, if you can strip down all the bias and daily politics and propaganda, how do you feel, about yourself and about your esteemed grandfather?
Hm.. I wrote a respond, but forgot to press “submit comment” 🙁
I feel at home in Bulgaria. I feel at home in Macedonia. I feel at home in New York, Washington, London, Prague or Wellington. I love Bulgaria, and I love Macedonia. Almost all my relatives are in Macedonia. My children are Bulgarian. I am a Bulgarian by birth, but many people in Macedonia believe I am a Macedonian.
I’d say – it’s not important what nationality you are from, but what kind of person you are [trying to be].
The Balkans have suffered enough in the last years since 1878, and it has been a field of different wars, arguments, etc.
Take as an example what happened in the long run with Serbia – after 130 years, it’s back where it started, and even worse. We are all the same, which the wheel of history has split; we’d be better off if we forget the arguments about which nation is older, whose kingdom was greater.
And, of course, we should all start to study history from the facts. I’ve had the chance to read “??стория на македонскиот народ” (history of the Macedonian people), published in 1968 in Skopie. It needs a lot of work, trust me on that. The sooner this work is being done, the better. And the Bulgarians have to forget “Bulgaria at 3 seas”, the Serbs should also try to stop humiliating the Bulgarian car drivers on their roads, etc., etc. We can continue endlessly here.
Thank you for your answer!
Here is a man who really understands how and why we need history (especially in the Balkans): To bring us all together!
For, aren’t we all human beings first, and then Macedonian, Bulgarian, Serb, American etc. I agree with the essence of your comment. It’s very, VERY important what kind of person we all are, and what kind of person we are trying to be. Nationality is like religion, it is a private matter, and everyone should be allowed to express how they feel.
Thank you Veni, continue to spread the good vibes and god speed (I’m not religious, but this seems appropriate here) to you and your family!
Pozdrav od sonceva i bratska Makedonija!
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i am looking for a quick way to get bg citizenship. anyone got solutions? email me nicksinif at hotmail.com
The persistance of so many Skopians to aquire the Bg citizenship is the simplest proof of the thruth, which is that skopians are not a distinct nation but part of the bulgarian. The oldest and the only true macedonians in the macedonia are the greeks. In the real world there are 2 different kinds of history: the history which is manufactured by the centres of power to serve given needs and the history of historians, the history of the people. Now, if you believe that Alexander the Great spoke slavic and that the bulgarians of macedonia can create from nothing national identity in less than 60 years…