Date: Mon, 19 Apr 1999 11:51:30 +0100
Sender: Macedonian Discussion List <MAKEDON@LISTSERV.ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU>
From: Vassil Karloukovski <E.Karloukovski@UEA.AC.UK>
Subject: Albania prepares for a common border with Bulgaria (PARI newspaper)
Besides the standard western papers on Kosovo, Macedonia usually forwarded to MAKEDON, I would like to present to the subsribers the views of one Bulgarian historian. The original paper is at http://www.news.pari.bg/cgi-pari/pari.news.cgi?WIN,1999,89,4,6-1 only the translation is mine.
Regards, Vassil Karloukovski
"ALABANIA PREPARES FOR A COMMON BORDER WITH BULGARIA" (PARI newspaper)
"OUR NATIONAL INTERESTS REQUIRE FOR THE INTEGRITY OF MACEDONIA TO BE PRESERVED", says the historian Bozhidar Dimitrov for the newspaper "PARI"
- D-r Dimitrov, several weeks ago the Albanian national doctrine, named "A platform for the solution of the Albanian national question", was released. What does this document contain? - The platform was produced by scholars of the Albanian academy of sciences, in the same way as the Bulgarian national doctrine, but in contrast to it, the Albanian document was silently adopted as a programme for action of the Albanian political elite.
- Does it endanger the peace and the stability of the Balkans? - Formally - not. It advocates for moderate actions towards a progressive development of the Albanian people and state. The hidden danger is only when they talk about the Albanian minorities abroad. Besides the natural request for human rights, the programme asks for a political autonomy in the regions where the Albanians are majority - Kosovo and north-western Macedonia. And if these rights, or even only some of them, are not given, it advocates for an armed struggle for severing these lands with Albanian majority from the correspondent state.
The next steps would be the formation of a separate state, or the joining of the Albanian state. Of course, such demands wouldn't been aired, hadn't it been for the political and military assistance of the single great power, governing the modern world.
- It appears that Macedonia will be the next victim of the Albanian national doctrine.
- Not of this document as much as of the ideas held by significant portions of the Albanian society in Albania, Macedonia, Serbia. And they are: all Albanians in a single state. These are ideas from the XIX and the first half of this century, which have nothing in common with the modern ideas in Europe, but when it comes to the Balkans, they are peculiarly supported by Europe and the USA. The moderate Rugova even said in an interview only a week ago that immediately after the successful end of the struggle for an independent Kosovo, the struggle for an independent republic of Tetovo, that is - for Western Macedonia, must begin. The Macedonian police regularly uncovers ammunition dumps and training camps, and the relations between Macedonians and Albanians are not less tense than the relations between Serbians and Albanians at the wake of the war.
- What is the role given to us (Bulgaria) in the doctrine?
- The Albanian society expects a clash with Bulgaria and is uneasy of that, that is why they willingly propose a deal for the partitioning of Macedonia. They are completely aware that there is no Macedonian nation, that the Macedonians are pure Bulgarians. There is even a whole mythology surrounding this question many Albanians believe in. According to their stories, I hear seven years already, as early as at the beginning of this century our royal house agreed for the boundary between Bulgaria and Albania to pass along the Pchinja-Vardar line. In fact, as we know, the ambitions of our royal house were much greater, much more to the west.
THE COAT OF A BULGARIA OFFICER FROM 1918 STILL PRESERVED AT THE BANKS OF PCHINJA
- Don't they understand that now Bulgaria - even leaving everything else aside, is too weak to contemplate any territorial claims?
- They answer in this way: Oh, yeah, we remember how once Bulgaria was also very weak, but after that she returned after twenty years and beat us. The latest Albanian legend, I heard only one week ago, appalled me with its naive belief in the power of Bulgaria. Replying to my question why, indeed, even a single Albanian family hasn't settled/moved to the east of Pchinja, one Albanian teacher from Kumanovo said:
" When your army retreated from Macedonia in 1918, the last officer from the rear-guard took his overcoat off, laid it down at the banks of Pchinja, and said: "I will come back to take it in several years time." In 1941 he came and took it." And in 1944, when you were leaving Macedonia, he again left his coat and said: "If not me, my son or grandson will come after several years to take it." People say the old Bulgarian overcoat still lay preserved there, below the willows of Pchinja."
- It explains why Holbrooke hinted about the same scenario an year ago, which shocked the public opinion in Bulgaria.
- Obviously, these (Albanian) theories have been related to their American friends and, naturally, they are quoted from time to time.
- Wouldn't this eventual partitioning be supported by some forces at home?
- We shouldn't allow such things to be even discussed. Our national interest requires for Macedonia to be a free and independent country, in its present borders, as well as the whole Balkans. The canonization, the multiplication of new states are ideas from the XIX century. The German plan of Schroeder envisaged a solution appropriate for the XXI c. It is not a coincidence that the USA rejected it - a strong Europe is not in their interest.
LET US REMEMBER 6 APRIL, 1941
- In the West, some people believe that we, the dark Balkan subjects, have not grown up to the XXI century. Direct racist remarks are aired that we are savages by nature.
- This is complete nonsense. The Christian peoples of the peninsula have always fought in a much more civilized way than the western Europeans. During our troubled history and conflicts with the Serbians, we have slaughtered each other less that the French and the Germans did for Alsace and Lotaringia. Besides, we have bridged the old hatred. Until recently, when a Serbian and Bulgarian met, they sat together, drunk rakija and listened to chalga.