Rumen Radev on the Negotiations with the Republic of North Macedonia: Clear Guarantees are Needed that the Unity of the Bulgarian Nation and the Cultural and Historical Heritage will Never be Called into Question by External Factors
If there is anything more worrying than the virus itself, this is the Bulgarian government’s helplessness in tackling the pandemic, the President told journalists
Being a responsible EU member state, Bulgaria cannot and should not bring into the EU unresolved problems. We cannot lend a European legitimacy of the hatred towards Bulgaria. This is what Head of State Rumen Radev told journalists today, taking a question concerning the dialogue between Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia and the prospects for the European integration of our southwestern neighbor. In the President’s words, three years after the Treaty on friendship, good-neighborliness and cooperation was signed, we are still observing offensive and unacceptable words regarding Bulgaria, unfortunately.
The President noted that the Republic of North Macedonia’s EU membership is extremely important not only to our country, but to the whole region. However, “clear guarantees are needed that the unity of the Bulgarian nation and the cultural and historical heritage will never be called into question by external factors.” “We cannot mortgage our national identity,” Rumen Radev stressed.
The Head of State commented that he expects the government to ensure that chapter 35 of the Negotiating Framework for the Republic of North Macedonia’s EU accession incorporates the National Framework Position, adopted by the National Assembly more than a year ago, as clear-cut criteria which should be met throughout the negotiation process. In his words, this seems increasingly less possible and “there is only one option left – postponing the negotiations until a clear and binding bilateral agreement is reached between Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia on resolving all bilateral issues.” In Rumen Radev’s words, what the government is currently trying to save – half-hearted declarations about language and name, is only part of the problem, which is much deeper and requires a legally binding document.
Taking a question concerning the health crisis Bulgaria is facing, the Head of State noted that if there is anything more worrying than the virus itself, this is the Bulgarian government’s helplessness in tackling the pandemic.
The President recalled that he has more than once called for the resignation of the cabinet, on the clear grounds that a government, the major aim of which is its own survival, cannot lead the country through the health, social and economic crisis.
“While the government was striding along all types of highways and dairy farms, precious time for taking responsible action was wasted. A government, the aim of which is to survive day by day, is incapable of taking such measures and reality proves it,” Rumen Radev stressed. The Head of State added that results are hard to achieve by taking panic measures and demonstrating Komsomol enthusiasm.