Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski addressed the nation in a video-message in relation to the new Bulgarian culture centre Vancho Mihailov in Bitola on Saturday, the opening of which was attended by high-profile Bulgarian state officials and politicians. “Ever since I assumed the office of PM, I stated that I will pledge for dialogue between North Macedonia and Bulgaria, conducted with dignity and in the spirit of European values. We have so far made certain progress and realised rather good results, but unfortunately, the recent visit of the Bulgarian delegation to Bitola has woken up the spirits of our dark past which reignited hate speech we tried so hard to reduce, henceforth I completely understand, and I feel, the anger of the citizens of our country over the past few days. The antifascist determination of our citizens is part of our national identity, for our state has been established upon the victory over fascism after World War II. North Macedonia is a sovereign state with strategic goal for accession in the EU, but with dignity and national pride and uniqueness. We want to proceed the negotiations in order to overcome our bilateral disputes, but in order to reach success, none of the parties involved in this process should make regressive steps,” Kovacevski said.