104 years after the signing of the Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine, Bulgarians in Serbia are more threatened than ever by the regime in Belgrade. Over the past year, the anti-Bulgarian policy of Serbia has become more severe. Intellectuals who gathered to honor the anniversary of the tragic date raised the alarm about this, BGNES reported.
The chairman of the Bulgarian Cultural and Information Center (CIC) in Bosilegrad Ivan Nikolov warned that Serbian chauvinism has recovered and even consolidated after the momentary loss inflicted on it in the 1990s. Today, it represents a major threat to the region and Europe. The chairman of CIC listed a series of incidents over the past year that clearly show the hardening of Serbian anti-Bulgarian policy: the suspension of exhibitions, the suspension of books, the suspension of famous Bulgarians at the border, and much more.
Since the Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine, the Bulgarian minority in Serbia has decreased drastically.
From 62,000 according to the 1962 census, the Bulgarian minority has fallen to just under 13,000 according to the 2022 census, and the municipalities inhabited by Bulgarians, mostly in the towns of Bosilegrad and Tsaribrod (Dimtrovgrad), are among the most economically backward in Serbia also in the field of human rights and minorities, and in recent years also in ecology.
Nikolov recalled that a spirit of hatred towards Bulgarians was being cultivated in Serbia, and for this purpose, history was being falsified. After 2007, the strongest attack in this direction came from the Serbian Orthodox Church, a staunch ally of the regime of Aleksandar Vucic. With the canonization of the so-called Martyrs of Surdulish, the creation of the image of the Bulgarians as primordial enemies of the Serbs is pursued, and at the same time, the aim is to instill an inferiority complex among the Bulgarians from Bosilegrad and Tsaribrod.
He emphasized that the border drawn in Neuilly is an example of the conquering policy of Belgrade, which has set itself the goal of cleansing the Bulgarians. The member of the public noted with regret that the Bulgarian state has not been able to find the appropriate way to protect the population. As a result, in 100 years they have lost 9/10 of their population.
"The Bulgarian-Serbian border is the only one in Europe that passes in front of cemeteries and even graves. It passes through 23 villages. This is an inhumane border that outraged even the famous French publicist Henri Posy," said the chairman of the CIC.
Former Consul General in Nis, Edvin Sugarev, who was denied entry by the Serbian border authorities in Bosilegrad on November 8 and whose book "Elegy for the Edge - The Fate of the Bulgarians in the Western Outlands" was persecuted by the Serbian authorities in a manner similar to what the Nazis did in the 1930s, called to be careful about the Bulgarian minority, because it is in danger.
Sugarev emphasized that it is already mercilessly clear that Serbia does not want to enter the EU, but wants to be with Russia and China. This gives Belgrade the courage to behave even more arrogantly and unceremoniously with the Bulgarians. "The truth at the moment is that the attitude towards the Bulgarian minority is changing radically and in a bad direction. It is true that they are much more endangered now than before when I was consul at Nis for one simple reason. Everyone who thought and spoke in high diplomatic language always pointed out that everything will be resolved when Serbia becomes a member of the EU. It is mercilessly clear to everyone today that Serbia does not want and cannot become a member of the EU. It wants an older tradition of sitting on two chairs and drawing resources from the two opposite sources. But it is becoming mercilessly clear that this country is copying the realities in Russia," said the poet and diplomat.
According to him, we cannot expect Serbia to become a member of the EU, because in the upcoming elections, Vučić's Progressive Party is allied with Vojislav Sešel's Radical Party, in practice with war criminals. "Serbia cannot become a member of the EU if it does not clean up its relations with its neighbors, and it will not do that," Sugarev said. Journalist and human rights defender Alexander Dimitrov called on the Bulgarian authorities to take an example from the Hungarians on how to defend the rights of their own minority in Vojvodina. He recalled that Hungary, like Bulgaria, lost significant territories and population after the First World War by virtue of the Trianon Treaty, which was just as cruel as the Neuilly Treaty. "I found out from Ivan Nikolov that more than 50 Bulgarian people's representatives have been invited here. I don't see one here. And the Hungarian state, the entire parliament observes the date of this contract with a minute of silence," said Dimitrov.
"It is high time that the Bulgarian state, the Bulgarian male politicians, learn how to treat their history and the people who are not part of the Bulgarian state as a territory, but are part of it as a culture and ethnicity, as a whole, regardless of whether are in Bulgaria or not. And precisely because the Bulgarian state sleeps through this very important moment in its dignity and responsible behavior, such things as Ivan Nikolov listed happen to us. And they will continue to happen even more, because no one is standing on the opposite side, we have no point of support and no protection. The Bulgarian political elite allows itself to make fun of its compatriots," Dimitrov noted with regret.
Alexander Dimitrov awarded a plaque for "their joint worthy work" Edvin Sugarev. The event was attended by many public figures. Among them were Prof. Lozan Mitev, Dr. Valentin Yanev, Associate Professor Angel Johnev, Goran Blagoev and many others.
BGNES reminds that the Neuilly-sur-Seine is one of the most disastrous agreements in the entire Bulgarian history. The contract was signed 104 years ago - on November 27, 1919.
11,278 sq. km. territory is cut off from Bulgaria, 600 thousand Bulgarians remain outside the borders. The reparations that Bulgaria must pay to the Allies amount to 2.25 billion gold francs. According to the Treaty, Bulgaria lost Southern Dobrudja, but also Strumica and the Western Outlands. Western Thrace was occupied by French troops, and at the conference in San Remo in 1920, the Entente handed it over to Greece with the stipulation that it would provide Bulgaria with free and duty-free access to the Aegean Sea - something that never happened.
From a military point of view, Bulgarians are forbidden to own heavy weapons, to have a conscript army, and the professional army is limited to 20,000 people. Over time, local politicians managed to agree on 10,000 gendarmerie and 3,000 border troops. /BGNES