North Macedonia's Capital Bombarded by Protests
Protestors took to the street in opposition to the proposed compromise deal between Bulgaria and North Macedonia...
Today, streets in Skopje, Macedonia, were brought to a standstill as protests against a compromise deal with Bulgaria to allow the country to start EU membership talks. Hundreds of people made of the protests. They parked their cars around the government buildings in central Skopje as well on other regional roads throughout the country. Protests of this kind have been ongoing for nearly a week now in Macedonia and some have even gone as far as to become violent.
North Macedonia has been an EU membership candidate for the last 17 years but the approval has been blocked by Greece and now Bulgaria. In a 2017 agreement, the country changed its name from Macedonia to North Macedonia ending the dispute between Greece and creating what seemed to be a clear path to membership.
It was then when Bulgaria sent through a veto in 2020 over history and language issues, which North Macedonians say attacked their nation's identity. France then drafted a proposal for the two countries which would have the Macedonia constitution recognize a Bulgarian minority.
The veto against Macedonia was lifted last month and this too caused unrest in the country which led to a no-confidence vote, ultimately toppling the government. Macedonia’s parliament is expected to host a debate concerning the proposal next week.
"We will never, never accept this treaty because it is contrary to our national interest and it is contrary to our identity.”
Hristijan Mickoski, leader of the largest party supporting the protests, said.