Angel Dimitrov about FYROM: Hate language is part of the hate culture fostered after 1944

Angel Dimitrov, former Bulgarian ambassador to Skopje (1994 – 2001) and former Consul General of Bulgaria in Skopje (1992 – 1994) in an interview with FOCUS News Agency.

FOCUS : Mr Dimitrov, was the decision to postpone the setting of a starting date for Macedonia’s EU accession talks for March expected?
Angel Dimitrov: Quite expected, I would say as recent months and years showed that the ‘Republic of Macedonia’ is incapable of taking measures with regard to resolving disputes with neighbouring countries, especially with those that are part of the EU [..]

[..]FOCUS : The Swedish presidency over the EU is expected to come up with a particular message that in March 2010 the EU will consider the level of compliance with the requirements for commencement of accession talks. Is there anything unusual about the Greek position lately?
Angel Dimitrov: There is nothing unusual about the Greek position – it has been staunch ever since the very establishment of the ‘Republic of Macedonia’. The smoothing out of some of the deepest disagreements from the middle of the 1990s allowed for the setting up of a diplomatic mission that still is not considered a Greek Embassy and showed that a way out of the situation is being sought. However the problem with the key symbols, one of which is the name – the core of the dispute between Greece and the Republic of Macedonia – has not yet been resolved. It would be naïve to expect Greece to make any other concession. As they have accepted (which was not so in the early 1990s) that the name Macedonia may be part of the name of the country together with some specification.

[…]FOCUS : Is it true that the more we talk about putting an end to the hate language and the anti-Bulgarian campaign, the more fierce it is becoming?
Angel Dimitrov: First of all the hate language is just a single element of the hate culture fostered in the Republic of Macedonia ever since 1944 (since the setting up of the Macedonian republic as a federal component of the Yugoslavian Communist Federation). The ‘Republic of Macedonia’ was possibly the single part of the Federation that was allowed to exhibit a sort of nationalism that was employed to handle the internal opponents to the new regime and its ideological postulates. The doctrine of Macedonism was supplementary to the doctrine of the Communist ideology and was imposed with the same means. On the other hand the nationalism was employed against Bulgaria or the outside adversaries as they called them. Thus Bulgaria has for over 60 years been subject of incessant propaganda. Periodically counteraction and toning down have occurred and now that we have to draw a common future within the European Union all these issues need to be settled. I couldn’t say – to be put an end to – as the keepers of myths and the inspirers of campaigns are still holding key positions in the ‘Republic of Macedonia’. Just to illustrate what I’m saying I have to mention the recently published bulky Macedonian encyclopedia, which has deeply embarrassed me as a historian with regard to the extent in which politics has ventured to reshape the historical approach of representing the past. It is sheer outrage.

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