In Skopje, they are waiting to see which political entities will take over the new government in Sofia, hoping that with some new Bulgarian government they will pass their stubborn tricks, start negotiations for membership in the European Union, without clearing their own education system of chauvinistic attitudes towards Bulgarians and historical falsifications. This was commented in an interview for Dir.bg by Viktor Kanzurov on the topic of Macedonia for the elections in Bulgaria and where the negotiations between Skopje and Sofia are going against the background of the latest scandals.
According to him, the lack of strategic thinking in Bulgaria gives Zaev hope that he can screw her over again. According to him, such propaganda, as the Republic of Northern Macedonia has and ordered against Bulgaria, befits the propaganda that exists during wars.
Viktor Kanzurov was born on November 2nd, 1971 in Skopje. His family comes from the Lerin villages – Popadia by paternal and Setina by maternal line, which are located in Aegean Macedonia. Since 1999 he has been working as a journalist in Macedonian magazines and newspapers: “Makedonsko delo”, “Vecer”, “Start”, “Nova Makedonija” and the online edition “Tribuna”. He then worked as a freelancer in 2008 and 2010.
Viktor Kanzurov is part of the Initiative Committee for Celebrating the Personalities and Deeds of the Last Two Leaders of the Historical IMRO, participating in one of the first more visible public events of the Bulgarians in the Republic of Macedonia, which ended with the erection of busts of Todor Alexandrov and Vancho Mihailov in the yard of Dragi Karov’s house in Veles.
In recent years, Viktor Kanzurov’s name has become popular alongside his participation in various Macedonian TV shows, where he defended the thesis that in the past the ancestors of most today’s Macedonians and Bulgarians were one people and that a huge number of RSU revivalists and revolutionaries Macedonia, from the end of the 18th, the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, had a Bulgarian ethnic identity. Viktor Kanzurov has been living in Sofia for a year and several months.
– The options for the government of Bulgaria to date are many – from a government with the mandate of “There is such a people”, through an expert cabinet to an official of Rumen Radev and new elections. How does Skopje interpret the different options in terms of the Republic of Northern Macedonia’s interest in joining the EU?
In Skopje they are waiting for which political subjects will take over the new government in Sofia, hoping that with some new Bulgarian government they will pass their stubborn tricks, start negotiations for membership in the European Union, without clearing their own education system of chauvinistic attitudes towards Bulgarians and from historical falsifications.
The interest of official Skopje is for a naive “pro-Western” government to come to power in Sofia, to which, as a cunning but corrupt market trader sells fermented and tasteless fruits to a naive buyer, ostensibly at a cozy price and on promotion, so the old trader from markets and markets of the former Yugoslavia, Zoran Zaev, through his lobbyists from the Bulgarian public space, will want to try again to sell Bulgaria the tale of the need to start negotiations between North Macedonia and the EU in order to reduce the influence of Moscow and Belgrade in his country, while he and the authorities of the so-called SDSM in Bulgaria’s southwestern neighbor, under his leadership, are pursuing Yugoslav, South Communist and anti-Bulgarian policies, as if we were living in the 1960s and 1970s.
At the same time, the main opposition political force in the Republic of Northern Macedonia, Hristian Mickoski’s DPMNE-Valjevo and former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, an alternative to Zaev and the so-called SDSM, is even more anti-Bulgarian than the Skopje government. DPMNE-Valyaevo has almost no program other than anti-Bulgarianism and proposes to start any negotiations, Bulgaria to apologize to Macedonia for all imaginary and real transgressions in the past, as the chauvinists of this party conceive.
What are the main comments in the Macedonian media about the vote in Bulgaria?
There is joy that the political party of the former Minister of Defense Krassimir Karakachanov has not entered the Bulgarian Parliament, at the same time disappointment with the many votes for “There is such a people” by Slavi Trifonov, whom they consider a possible successor to, as they call it, ” the hard “policy towards PCM.
Prime Minister Zaev was quoted as saying that he “expects the resumption of negotiations to overcome differences with Bulgaria after the formation of a new government in Sofia”, which is a continuation of the refusal to accept reality and postponement of the commitment to remove metaphysics and surrealism in interpretations. of history in the Republic of Northern Macedonia, which still shows symptoms of falling in love with the most harmful countries of its southern communist heritage.
The days, weeks and months before the Bulgarian elections in the public space of RSM were marked by the self-delusion of commentators and ruling politicians that Bulgaria’s “firm” position was a consequence of the pre-election situation in the neighboring country. He avoided the fact that the “Macedonian” topic was quite marginal in the election race in Bulgaria.
IMRO is the winner of the vote of the Bulgarians in Northern Macedonia, but Karakachanov’s party does not enter parliament. What are the attitudes of the Bulgarians there towards the big winner in these elections – the party “There is such a people”?
The winner of the vote of the Bulgarians in Macedonia is the same as the winner of the vote of the citizens in the Republic of Bulgaria itself and among the Bulgarian diaspora, and this is the political party of the abstainers.
Bulgarians from the Republic of Northern Macedonia predominantly do not recognize themselves in any political entity or coalition in the Bulgarian state, because apart from attempts to be used, it is clear to us that there is a real, human interest in us and our problems by Bulgarian citizens, but not by the current political class, by the current parties, as well as by all authorities in the (People’s) Republic of Bulgaria during the last 77 years.
As far as we know, Slavi Trifonov does not intend to allow pre-accession negotiations of the anti-Bulgarian Republic of Northern Macedonia with the European Union, without removing the historical falsifications in the former Yugoslav republic.
Certain concerns about the sequence of “There is such a people” have emerged these days, because on April 11, a short excerpt from the “Show of Fame” on “7/8” TV was aired on Skopje’s Sitel TV, in which the host Ivo Siromahov said that “soon things will change in favor of Macedonia joining the European Union, to finally understand each other, after so many years of imaginary conflicts, because these are completely imaginary and created conflicts. And this will happen happy end “.
In this spirit were the words of Siromahov’s guest, former Deputy Minister of Economy and Foreign Affairs Milen Keremedchiev, who rightly criticized the anti-Macedonian speech in Bulgaria and a pre-election video with: “last remarks of an MEP (Angel Djambazki from VMRO BND), who made the sharpest remarks possible at the last moment “(followed by a protest note from the RSM authorities). But it seems that Keremidchiev also got lost in the general talk he was throwing, expressing an unfounded hope that: “this vicious circle of mutual accusations and remarks will fall, because we as Bulgarians will show that we are more mature.”
The vicious circle is a consequence of the historical falsifications that are present in the ruling historical narrative in PCM. It is too naive to think that “this vicious circle” can be overcome without clarifying historical issues.
It is a shame in the third decade of the 21st century not to recognize the right to self-determination of a number of historical figures from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries in Macedonia. It is dangerous to trust a state that still cannot comprehend the harm it inflicts on itself with its own stubbornness and selective interpretation of historical facts. With such a member of the EU, Bulgaria will waste time and resources to deal with hostile propaganda.
Prime Minister Zaev was among the first to congratulate Borissov on the election victory and expressed expectations that by June Skopje and Sofia will overcome the differences in the dispute, I quote, “in a spirit of friendship.” In your opinion, as an observer of the processes in RSMacedonia, to what extent is Skopje ready to start negotiations to date?
Skopje is not ready to start negotiations to date, but simply hopes that once it has lied to Bulgaria, this can happen again. The anti-Bulgarian speech in the PCM is just one clear example of this unpreparedness.
Bulgaria has set the integration of the Western Balkans as a major topic in its 2019 EU presidency. Bulgaria insisted then on accelerating the process of PCM’s accession to the EU, given that the country itself, whose prime minister was Zoran Zaev, was not ready for this? With the support of Zoran Zaev since 2015 – when the current prime minister of RSM was an opposition leader, and against the background of the then great political crisis in the neighboring country – the power of GERB in Bulgaria and especially Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, wanted to show how much European policy?
Once you organize a EU presidency with a special promotional package for the anti-Bulgarian state PCM, and a year later you stop the same candidate for EU membership from receiving a date for the start of pre-accession negotiations, you explain how you failed and how no other country should take you. seriously.
The lack of real assessment of the public mood in RSM, the acceptance of what is desired as real, as well as the lack of strategic thinking in Bulgaria, give Zaev hopes that he can screw over Bulgaria again.
After the vote in Bulgaria, Zaev expressed confidence that the problem of history can be solved in an elegant way to show that in a period we really had a common history as nations and states. In your opinion, can Skopje take the guidelines in the negotiations with Sofia, proposed by Lyubcho Georgievski?
The power in North Macedonia itself differed from the proposals of Lyubcho Georgievski. At the same time, it did not seem to be understood in Bulgaria that Georgievski’s proposals, despite being radically different from the Yugoslav communist doctrine, had more of a pretext for criticizing Bulgaria and were an attempt at a joke with some of the demands of the Bulgarian authorities and society between Sofia and Skopje.
Georgievski’s irony stems from his underestimation or deliberate neglect of the real dangers of the aggressive historical narrative of the Republic of Northern Macedonia, which is in love with Tito’s Yugoslavia. This aggression of the PCM can (continue) be manifested, for example, by different types of claims against Pirin Macedonia and the ethnocultural differentiation of its population in the past.
It is clear that RSM has no potential or arguments to seriously change anything in Pirin Macedonia, but it can directly or indirectly create problems and tensions, and with its almost consensual (in its own society) understanding of historical processes, in the sense that the predominant population in today’s Southwestern Bulgaria is not autochthonous Bulgarian, will incite its citizens to aggressive rhetoric, which every normal person wants to avoid, even in Internet forums and social networks, not to mention live communication.
As for Zaev himself, he said that Macedonians and Bulgarians have always been two different peoples. If so, let him canonize as a spiritual basis the statehood of the Republic of Northern Macedonia and the ethnic continuity of today’s Macedonians (by nationality), historical figures with Macedonian and not Bulgarian self-consciousness. And not to maintain the current status quo in the interpretations of history in the RSM: both Macedonians and Bulgarians have always been different peoples, and the spiritual foundation of this country are many Revivalists and revolutionaries from geographical Macedonia, with Bulgarian identity, to whom Skopje officially falsifies or conceals their identity. Instead introducing them in a schizophrenic way into the pantheon of the relatively new nation.
What does the position of the Macedonian government on the latest scandal with the propaganda of the International Institute for Middle East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) from Ljubljana suggest? His analysis says that our authorities provide unreliable data that Macedonians are of Bulgarian origin, and insist that North Macedonia must issue an official declaration that the Macedonian language and identity have Bulgarian roots. Skopje denies the institute has anything to do with North Macedonia, but Sofia explained that former or current advisers to Prime Minister Zoran Zaev are behind the publications.
The connection of the authorities in Skopje with the so-called International Institute for Middle East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) in Ljubljana is more than obvious. Until recently, Zaev’s advisers are the founders of the Racketeering Institute in Ljubljana, which operates on the principle of jukeboxes. Whatever music you pay for and play a token, you get one (article). It is a scandal that has hardly existed so far in the relations between the Yugoslav and later only the Republic of (Northern) Macedonia and Bulgaria.
Such propaganda, as the Republic of North Macedonia, has against and ordered against Bulgaria, befits the propaganda that exists during wars. The Republic of North Macedonia is in an undeclared war against Bulgaria. I’m not even sure if this war has been declared and if it has ever stopped since the Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was founded in 1944.
You have been monitoring the processes in North Macedonia for years. What is your forecast for the best possible scenario for the negotiations between Skopje and Sofia?
I am not optimistic. I do not see a solution in the foreseeable future. The most likely scenario is that we will have a long period of frozen conflict between the two countries. Without objectifying the historical narrative in the Republic of Northern Macedonia, simply in this country the educational system, the media and the radiation from the political speech will create new and new anti-Bulgarians.