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North Macedonia: If EU allows the Macedonian language to be an obstacle, then it does not deserve to be called European

If the European Union allows the Macedonian language to be an obstacle in some way, then it will not deserve to be called “European”, said Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Nikola Dimitrov from Prilep, where he led the government delegation on the occasion of October 11, of the National Uprising Day.

“It is not European for the Macedonian language to become an obstacle to the European future and our integration. If the European Union somehow allows the Macedonian language to be an obstacle to our integration, then the adjective “European” will not be worthy of its name and I do not know if we can believe in such a European Union.

“There is no friendship without mutual respect. Anyone who wants to see the Macedonian people close and friendly, must accept us in who we are and what kind of language we speak; we are Macedonians and we speak Macedonian”, Dimitrov said.

According to him, “no country in the world, neither neighbouring, nor distant, nor international organization, has the right to interfere in our right to self-determination”.

“The issues will be resolved in accordance with European principles. In the era of the 21st century, the right of all peoples to self-determination, including the Macedonian people, is unquestionable. The process we started with Bulgaria in talking about the narratives of the common past that bind us must have an acceptance of reality. We can not change history, we can present the present, we can secure a better future. He wants wisdom from both sides”, Dimitrov said.

Asked by a journalist who the fascist occupiers were, Dimitrov said it was wrong to associate an evil with an entire nation.

“It is very bad if we associate evil with a nation. In every nation, sometimes we are on the good side of history, sometimes on the bad side. I think we must condemn evil, but without leaving a mark on an entire nation. This is true of Germany, one of the nations that has faced its history with the utmost sincerity and openness. There is probably no other nation in the world that has faced fascism so directly and with open eyes, the black page in the history of mankind. I think we would be wrong if our neighbours, the question concerns Bulgaria, if we put this stain on an entire nation. That way we will be left behind. It has been said that history should be our teacher and not a prison. If we blacken the whole nation, history will become our prison and we will have no choice but to face ourselves. That is why I believe the struggle was against fascism, but this label should not be stuck on an entire nation”, Dimitrov said.

He reminded that a committee for history has been set up where there are historians from both sides who should discuss these issues of history.

When politics uses history too much, it usually cannot work and cannot move today and tomorrow, now and in the future. We must leave these questions to the committee, to the historians. These did not come during the Second World War and we must try to take steps for the future we want to have tomorrow, both in relationships and in friendship. If we take action on what happened in the 20th, 19th and earlier, I’m not sure we will get where we want to go, said Nikola Dimitrov, Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs, during the commemoration in Prilep.

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