Tonino Pitsula for "Free Press": Bulgaria uses EU membership to put pressure on North Macedonia

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Bulgaria is clearly using its position as a member state to exert both formal and informal pressure on North Macedonia on its way to the EU. After the removal of the veto, now other procedures are clearly in order, but with the same goal, the Croatian MEP assesses Tonino Picula in an interview with "Sloboden Press".

According to him, an additional problem with the Bulgarian pressures is the existence of a temporary government, i.e. the duration of a constant political crisis in Sofia with no end in sight.

- In such a constellation of forces, it is more difficult to expect a bolder step on the part of Sofia, because such a thing by the right and the nationalists would immediately be declared as concession and betrayal - a situation that does not favor Severnsa Macedonia, says Pitsula.

The current tensions in the relations between Bulgaria and Macedonia, as he adds, are definitely not good for either Macedonian or Bulgarian society, but it is obvious that there are irresponsible and radical political options that "parasitize" on nationalist and very emotional topics.

His message to Macedonia is to concentrate on the well-known priorities from the European Commission's report, especially the fight against corruption and reform of the judiciary, but he says it would be optimal if the French proposal, which also provides for constitutional changes, would be respected.

The entire interview with MEP Tonino Pizzula will be published in tomorrow's print edition of "Sloboden Pechat".

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