Bulgaria’s nationalist Deputy PM throws spanner in works about N Macedonia’s EU hopes

A Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and leader of a nationalist party, Krassimir Karakachanov, has thrown cold water on support for the Republic of North Macedonia’s hopes of EU accession.

Statements by Karakachanov, leader of the nationalist VMRO party, came in response to reported comments by the President of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski, about historical figure Gotse Delchev.

Delchev is a sticking point in attempts by Bulgaria and North Macedonia to reach consensus on the shared history of the two neighbouring countries. A joint commission on historical issues has not reached agreement on how to place Delchev in their common historical narrative.

Karakachanov, responding to a reported statement by Pendarovski that the joint commission has no deadline to decide on Delchev, was in turn reported to have said that Bulgaria need not rush to greenlight EU negotiations on accession to the bloc of the former Yugoslav republic “until all falsifications of history have been cleared up”.

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