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Bulgarian Interior Minister Expects Skopje to Mirror Sofia's Actions

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Following the arrest of four persons for the February 4 attack on the Macedonian Cultural Club in the southwestern town of Blagoevgrad, Interior Minister Ivan Demerdzhiev said he expected North Macedonia to mirror Bulgaria’s actions. He said he had prepared a list of nearly 200 Bulgarian citizens who were stopped on no grounds at all from going to Skopje to pay homage at the grave of revolutionary Gotse Delchev on February 4. "We have found the perpetrators, I would say without delay, and we have the list of [Bulgarian] citizens the authorities in Skopje asked for," he said.
The perpetrators who are subject to pre-trial proceedings are from Blagoevgrad. Theirs was a spontaneous, impulsive reaction, Demerdzhiev said, referring to the incident in which the club’s window was broken with stones.
The Nikola Vaptsarov Macedonian Cultural Club in Blagoevgrad was unveiled in October 2022 as part of a private initiative.
Demerdzhiev also said he was confident that the government in Skopje would shortly address the January 19 assault in Ohrid on Hristian Pendikov, Secretary of the King Boris III Bulgarian Cultural Club in that town, all the attacks on Bulgarian Cultural Clubs in the Republic of North Macedonia, and the measures which prevented Bulgarian citizens from commemorating Gotse Delchev.
In 2022, the King Boris III Bulgarian Cultural Club in Ohrid had its window and sign broken in two attacks and fire was set to the Ivan Mihailov Cultural Centre in Bitola.
Demerdzhiev is in Pleven for the annual report of the Regional Directorate of the Interior.

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