Bulgaria Issue: PM not Ready to Sacrifice Macedonian Identity and Language

The next days are key for Skopje’s road to start of EU membership negotiations. PM Zoran Zaev believes that if the dialogue with Bulgaria is successful, the intergovernmental conference may be held as early as 23 June or the chances of that happening in August or September may be improved. Zaev is ready to beg for a solution in Sofia. However, he’s not prepared to sacrifice the Macedonian identity and language. The PM expects an invitation from Bulgaria’s caretaker PM Stefan Yanev and adherence to the European manners. In his view, the Portuguese proposal is a good basis. The issue of enlargement was also discussed in Sofia too, during Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa’s visit on Wednesday. His host and counterpart, Rumen Radev, told him that he could help a constructive approach be found and that it was most important to restore the dialogue between Skopje and Sofia. However, the Bulgarian President added that there was a need for guarantees. Portugal’s President stated that he admired the efforts to establish dialogue, nonetheless adding that he knew history was a sensitive topic in the Balkans.