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Skopje fines and bans the entry of Bulgarians who instigated border incidents

Skopje fines and bans the entry of Bulgarians who instigated border incidents

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of North Macedonia has announced that three Bulgarian citizens, who insulted members of the Macedonian police at the Deve Bair border crossing with Bulgaria, have been fined 300 euros each and have been banned from entering Macedonia for three years. of the North.

The incident happened on Saturday, while dozens of Bulgarians were on their way to Skopje to take part in demonstrations for the 151st anniversary of the birth of Goce Dellcev - whose identity is claimed by both Macedonians and Bulgarians.

Goce Dellchev led a Macedonian-Bulgarian resistance against the Ottoman Empire in the period of 1900.

Bulgarian citizens could not enter the territory of North Macedonia due to, as it was said, "the failure of the electronic control system at all border points".

The "technical problem" lasted for more than four hours, which made entry and exit from North Macedonia impossible.

But the Minister of Internal Affairs of Bulgaria, Ivan Demerzhiev, who participated in the demonstrations for Dellchev, said that he "doubts that the technical problem was intentional" to prevent Bulgarians from going to Skopje.

He said that on Monday, the Bulgarian side will give the Macedonian authorities technical equipment so that they don't have "such problems".

Meanwhile, the organization of Macedonians in Bulgaria, "OMO Ilinden Pirin", has announced an attack on its club in the city of Blagoevgrad in Bulgaria.

"Attacks against Macedonian clubs in Bulgaria have been happening for 17 years now. Will the police finally investigate them this time and not refuse? Let's see if the Bulgarian police can find the perpetrators", says the text published on the official Facebook page of OMO Ilinden Pirin.

The club has said that it was attacked with stones and only material damage was caused.

The club opened in October last year in a tense atmosphere, as Bulgarian groups opposed its opening.

Tensions between North Macedonia and Bulgaria increased in November of last year, when members of the Bulgarian minority in North Macedonia opened Bulgarian clubs in Manastir and Ohrid with the names: "Tsar Boris the Third" and "Vancho Mijallkov", which have ruled Bulgaria during the period of the Ottoman Empire, with the aim of "uniting the Macedonian lands with Bulgaria".

The two neighboring states, North Macedonia and Bulgaria, since 2017 - when they signed an agreement on good neighborliness - have not managed to resolve their historical disputes. Among other things, the states have disagreements about the origin of many historical personalities, including Goce Dellchev, and other issues related to the Macedonian identity and language, as the Bulgarians claim that they have "Bulgarian roots". /REL

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