Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bulgaria Wants Guarantees over Macedonia's New Name

Bulgaria’s President Georgi Parvanov has declared that the adoption of a new name by FYROM must entail guarantees against territorial claims.

Parvanov met Friday with the Plovdiv Mayor Slavcho Atanasov and Petko Atanasov, leader of the newly set up political party VMRO-NIE, to discuss Bulgaria’s position on the Greece-Macedonia name dispute after Greece recently suggested that it approved “Northern Macedonia” as the new name for FYROM.

Petko Atanasov has demanded from the Bulgarian President to define clearly the position of the Bulgarian state with respect to the new name of Macedonia, and to clarify the conditions under which Bulgaria will support Macedonia for its accession to NATO and the EU.

The VMRO-NIE leader has stressed that the Macedonian media and institutions should give up using hate language with respect to Bulgaria, and should stop “falsifying Bulgaria’s history.”

Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov has declared that Bulgaria will welcome the settlement of the 20-year dispute between Greece and FYROM over the name of the latter.

However, he has stated explicitly that the issue has to be settled through a mechanism that did not allow Macedonia to raise subsequent claims for the Bulgarian state.

Parvanov made it clear that he has notified the Greek PM George Papandreou and the Macedonian President George Ivanov about the Bulgarian position that the new name of Macedonia, which is connected with a geographical region, needs to include explicit guarantees for the Bulgarian state.

Both the President and the VMRO-NIE party have expressed their position against the rise of any

radical nationalist movements in Bulgaria.

The Bulgarian party VMRO-BND is considered a descendant of the Internal Macedonian-Adrianople Organization that fought for the liberation of the regions of Macedonia and Thrace from the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the 20th century. The VMRO-NIE party was set up in March after a large number of the VMRO-BND members left it, and went ahead for the new structure.

The cause of the rift was a dispute VMRO-BND party congress in October when the Plovdiv Mayor Slavcho Atanasov was beaten for the leadership post by the incumbent Krasimir Karakachanov.

Slavcho Atanasov is believed to become the new leader of the VMRO-NIE party.

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