The mainstay of our identity is our language, after that, history, our shared history with our compatriots, President Stevo Pendarovski told EU observer in an interview, adding that language and identity cannot be negotiated.
“It’s not a secret that we codified the Macedonian language in 1945, but it’s a separate language, very close to Bulgarian, but it is not, and has not been, a Bulgarian language,” he said.
But “the Bulgarians are saying that all of our history up to 1945 was Bulgarian. That everything from the 10th century up till then has been Bulgarian,” Pendarovski noted.
“They’re saying ethnic Macedonians do exist … but that all of a sudden we woke up one morning in 1944 and said: ‘Aha! We’re really ethnic Macedonians now, but yesterday, we were ethnic Bulgarians’,” Pendarovski added.
“So, that’s absolute historical nonsense,” he said.
It might not matter what Bulgaria thought, if Sofia was not now blocking Skopje’s EU accession talks unless North Macedonia formally accepted its views, EUobserver writes.
In regard to Bulgaria’s stance that “a ‘Macedonian language’ or ethnicity did not exist until 2 September 1944 and that their creation was part of the overall building of a separate non-Bulgarian identity [by Yugoslavia], aimed at cutting the ties between the population of the … [region] and Bulgaria, Pendarovski told EUobserver “We cannot accept a discussion on this topic … it’s crazy.”
And, when North Macedonia joined the EU, any use or mention of the “Macedonian language” in EU documents should be asterisked to say such a language existed only “according to the constitution of the Republic of North Macedonia”, Sofia said.
“The enlargement process must not legitimize the ethnic and linguistic engineering that has taken place under former authoritarian regimes,” Sofia also said,EUobserver reads.