Lyubcho Neshkov: Macedonia will have to choose – a lie or a future

For the first time since 1945, the political elites of RN Macedonia have the opportunity to decide about their own future. They face today the "hardest" decision in their political careers: choosing between the lie about the past, or embarking, for good, on the path of the European values and future.

For the last few months, North Macedonia has been actively inspiring a tremendous media campaign full of hate, defamations, and total disinformation against Bulgaria. Yet, Bulgaria was the first one to recognize the new Republic in 1991 and to massively support it since then. Three years ago, during the Bulgarian presidency of the European Union, Sofia did literally everything to bring back the Balkans and particularly North Macedonia on the European agenda. In this frenetic anti-bulgarian campain all means are good. Politicians from all sides, academics, journalists and even artists have been involved with one single directive - explaining how bad Bulgaria and Bulgarians were, are and will always be. For that purpose, new political myths have been prefabricated: Bulgaria seeks a new treaty with the RNM; Bulgaria wants a change in the Constitution of RNM; Bulgaria does not accept the right of self-determination; Sofia wants to create a Great/San Stefano’s/Bulgaria; Bulgaria wants to change our own language. In parallel with these hazardous political "truths", should we even mention the most original of the new constructs - the one about the "Bulgarian vampired tribe". Yet, the reality is very different: Since January 2019, the Bulgarian government has repeatedly warned Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov that the Treaty of Friendship signed in 2017 was still not, even partially implemented and basically not working at all. Until October 2019, on multiple occasions, Sofia had been pointing out its increased concerns about the insufficient results of the joint historical commission, which is one of the most important instruments created by the Treaty. Instead of taking action, Skopie decided unilateraly to withdraw its experts for almost a year, with phony exuses such as the electoral campain or the Covid situation. The joint historical commission has eventually resumed its work in October 2020 but still today, the Macedonian side refuses to sign the protocols from all last year meetings! In addition, druring the last three years, the Macedonian authorities have repeatedly violated another important article of the Treaty, which is also one of basic principles of the EU - the free movement of capital. No matter how, Skopje didn’t allow to come in the country major Bulgarian investors in industry, mining, services, banking, media and telecommunications or agriculture. These investments could have strengthed the economic ties between the two countries and could have contributed for improving the living standards of the Macedonian citizens. In the same time, Greek and, of course, Serbian investrors continue to be more than welcome. - RNM has also stopped and did not allow any significant cultural projects, despite the promise of joint cultural, TV and cinema productions. - Skopje has blocked, and almost abandoned the construction of the European Corridor №8, which connects by rail and by road Macedonia to Bulgaria. Crazy enough, Skopie and Sofia are among the rare European capitals that are still not connected by train, despite a distance of only 200 kilometres. In September 2020 Skopie's government decided to reallocate the available EU funding for other projects. Question of priority. Of course, for Skopie, the explanation behind these misshappenings remains the same for the last 30 years: these are private initiatives indipendent from government authorities. True, may be. In the same way Pontius Pilate washed his handa. Still, as mentioned before, the government openly supports investors hidden behind offshore companies with sometimes criminal origins. One of these investors, connected with the pan-serbian networks and the Serbian Ortodox Church, even sponsored the creatian of newest "Bulgarian association" in the town of Kumanovo, with a clear purpose - compromising our bilateral relations. - In this campaign against Bulgaria are taking part even some government officials and nobody seems concerned or responsible for. As an exemple, the Macedonian government does not see a problem when the Mayor of Skopie - Center Sasha Bogdanovic waves the Serbian flag, neither when he denies the independence of the Macedonian national church from the Serbian ortodox patriarchy. - One should not miss the fact that in almost all macedonian media, most of them funded by the state, regularly appears mocking, humiliating and hating content not only about Bulgaria, but about the EU or the USA, as well, shown as a hostiles to the macedonian people destiny! The inconscious behavior of the government in Skopje is endangering not only his own future, but also the whole European agenda in the Western Balkans. The very idea of the European integration was to put the end of the discords and hatred from the past. Young people in Macedonia have the right to be educated in a spirit of tolerance and friendship, rather than with the historical lies from the past. The real purpose of protecting these fake historical narratives is to maintain the hatred towards the Bulgarians by representing them as invadors, fascists, occupiers and the millenia old "perfect" enemy. Without this enemy - many will lose their control over the country. The past is not some kind of perception, feeling or interpretation, but unquestionable facts! The schizophrenical rejection the historical truth by the elites of the Republic of Northern Macedonia jeopardises its own future and the future of its people. Hence, only the truth about the past, can liberate them and make them a fully independent country! The doors of Bulgaria are still, and will always be wide open for a real friendship and brotherhood. /BGNES ----- Lyubcho Neshkov, BGNES News Agency