Macedonian Association Ilinden Tirana
Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
The Macedonian minority in Albania never was and never will be Bulgarian. This was proven through history and modernity. But, something else is on display. Some individuals, driven by the desire for petty gains or "free" education in Bulgaria, are selling out and have allowed the Bulgarian envoys operating in Albania to come up with their quota of spineless Macedonians. This allows the Bulgarian state to fulfill its age-old dream to "discover" something that never existed in Albania - Bulgarians.
Bulgaria has demanded that Albania introduce this non-existent "Bulgarian minority" into the Albanian Law on Minorities and has shamelessly blackmailed the Albanian government by threatening to block its European integration in order to make this happen. The Macedonian Association Ilinden Tirana in Albania countered this action and pointed out that this shameful law which declared the existence of a Bulgarian minority in Albania is a farce. At the same time, the Association noted that Bulgarians will not stop with their "European" behavior and will abuse the catastrophic Albanian law to the full extent.
These "European" values are now on display by Bulgaria as Sofia is negotiating to dispatch Bulgarian teachers to Albania. If this happens, it would constitute violent and humiliating conduct by a European country towards the minorities in a sovereign state such as Albania.
Bulgarian intentions have been revealed by its Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva who told the Bulgarian Parliament that "the adoption of the law for protection of national minorities in the Republic of Albania is merely the first step. We look forward to the adoption of additional regulations which will detail the way in which the rights of minorities will be guaranteed. An undisputable success in our bilateral relations is the broadcasting of Bulgarian language news on the Albanian RTSh2 channel. We will soon promote the "I learn Bulgarian" module and the Education Ministry is negotiating the deployment of Bulgarian teachers in the areas where the Bulgarian minority lives".
This is a state-conducted intrusion of Bulgaria amid Macedonians living in Albania. The Macedonian state must not remain silent on this issue, now that the Macedonians in Albania are raising their voices. We call on the Helsinki Committee in Albania and demand that European representatives denounce the force deracination of the Macedonian national minority in Albania, conducted by Bulgaria with the use of threats and blackmail aimed against the progress of the Albanian state toward Europe.
Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI) has been active on human and national rights issues for Macedonians and other oppressed peoples since 1986. For more information: 1-416-850-7125, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.mhrmi.org, twitter.com/mhrmi, facebook.com/mhrmi, mhrmi.org/OurNameIsMacedonia #OurNameIsMacedonia