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Antonovski for BGNES: Let’s invest in bringing Bulgaria, North Macedonia closer

We need to invest into what brings Bulgaria and North Macedonia closer instead of creating distance between us, MIA director Dragan Antonovski said in an interview with the Bulgarian agency BGNES.

Skopje, 22 October 2021 (MIA) — We need to invest into what brings Bulgaria and North Macedonia closer instead of creating distance between us, MIA director Dragan Antonovski said in an interview with the Bulgarian agency BGNES.

“Relations between the two countries need to be built. We are currently in a phase of their disintegration, or better said, stagnation. We need to invest into what brings us closer rather than into what tears us apart,” Antonovski said.

According to him, all open issues between the two countries can be resolved, but the question is whether it will happen at this point in time.

“Politics is one thing, and citizens are another, feelings are another. There are many elements here, but the current situation prevents us from building good relations,” Antonovski added.

Speaking about the local elections in the country, Antonovski said the low turnout should send a message to all parties.

“In the Macedonian context, it is easier to be the opposition than in power,” Antonovski noted, adding that in North Macedonia it was more common to vote ‘against’ than ‘in favor of’ someone.

“I think the opposition was also surprised by such a [low] number of votes. In the previous elections, the success of SDSM was the result of the tsunami against Nikola Gruevski and the previous government of VMRO-DPMNE. But this didn’t necessarily mean full support for the party that came to power,” Antonovski said.

Asked if there was such a tsunami at the moment, he said he didn’t think so. What has been surprising, he pointed out, was the rise of independent candidates, in “resistance against both the current and the previous government.”

Regarding the possibility of an early parliamentary election in the country, Antonovski said it was too early to talk about it – and that it would be best to wait for the results from the runoff races.

In response to a question whether the Macedonian political scene was “generally leftist, without an authentic right,” Antonovski said there was neither a typical right wing nor a typical left wing in the country.

“Yes, political parties declare themselves as left-wing, right-wing or centrist, but I’m not convinced they seriously represent those values,” Antonovski told BGNES. mr/

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