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MHRMC - Press Release

Radio France Internationale Presented Two Reports About the Macedonians in Bulgaria

May 8, 2004


Radio France International, on the French language programming. Other Europe presented two revealing radio programs about the Macedonians in Bulgaria.
The reports presented the current situation of the Macedonians living in Bulgaria through interviews with human rights activists such as Ivan Kalchev, Georgi Radulov, Ivan Dragash, Kostadin Georgiev and Stefan Vlahov.

The reporter Maria Bejanovska commented on all the different types of personal and professional pressures exerted on Macedonians in Bulgaria. To that Kostadin Georgiev had the following observation:  Zhivkov's communist regime was very nationalistic. Everyone that opposed the official policies was dealt with brutally.. Today it is different, whoever declares themself as a Macedonian will have different types of problems. For example, if that person wants to have a university or political career, they will have a very small chance for success.

To the question from reporter Bejanovska,  Then, how is it possible with these ideas (about the non-recognition of Macedonians) for the Bulgarians to think that they are ready to join the European Union? , Vlahov, professor at Sofia University and president of the Association of Free Writers of Bulgaria answered that& (the) Bulgarians recognize the rights of minorities, but only under pressure, which shows a lack of maturity. I am sure that one day they will be forced to recognize the Macedonian minority in Bulgaria.
However, professor Kalchev expressed his concerns about the possibility of change vis-a-vis the Macedonians as long as Bulgaria  dreams about  Greater Bulgar ia through its educational materials in the school system where the young are taught that  Bulgaria only borders with herself .
Radulov, professor at Sofia University and ethnic Macedonian human rights activist is a pessimist regarding Bulgaria's future as an EU member:  Observing how the activities are going on in Greece, which is an EU member, when the Macedonian minority is in question, almost all things remained the same as before. I even believe that when Bulgaria becomes an EU member things will deteriorate. That is why the Bulgarian authorities do all they can so that Europeans do not have a good understanding of the situation.
The linguist Dragash said:  We have all the rights except the right to be Macedonians. That is our problem.

The programs can be heard on the following web site:
www.rfi.fr/fichiers/Magazines/emissions/europe_international/dossier_autre_europe/autre_europe_archives_tv.asp. The first report aired on April 3rd, 2004 and can be heard at La Bulgarie et les droits des minorites -1er volet while the second report aired on April 10th, 2004 and can be heard at Droits des minorites: la face cachee de la Bulgarie -2e volet.

The MHRMC commends Radio France Internationale for raising the topic of the Macedonians in Bulgaria and particularly reporter Maria Bejanovska for a concise and professional presentation. For more information on the Macedonians in Bulgaria please visit www.mhrmc.ca and www.omoilindenpirin.org.

Dragi Stojkovski, Quick Response Chairperson
Macedonian Human Rights Movement of Canada
Address: P.O. Box 44532, 2376 Eglinton Ave. East, Toronto, Canada M1K 5K3
Tel: 416-493-9555 Fax: 416-412-3385
e-mail: mail@mhrmc.ca website: www.mhrmc.ca

   
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