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Where Have Macedonians in Bulgaria Vanished: 187,000 in 1953, Only 1,000 Today

 

CIA has recently published documents on the ethnic groups in Bulgaria showing the government's approach towards minorities. The most affected was the Macedonian minority which was forced to give up of its national identity and vanish from official documents within a period of 50 years.

According to CIA's documents, in 1956, as many as 187,000 Macedonians lived in Bulgaria which was a 2.5 percent of the total population.

"The majority of the Macedonian population lives in the southwest of the country along the rivers Struma and in the Pirin Mountains. Bulgarians regard Macedonians a geographical, rather than ethnic minority who speak a dialect of the Bulgarian language," the report says.

Stefan Vlahov-Micov, who is an expert in Macedonian-Bulgarian relations, states that Bulgarian politics has not altered since then, and Bulgarian authorities still react strongly to any mentioning of the words "Macedonians" and "Macedonian minority".

"It is obvious that the number of Macedonians in Bulgaria has reduced substantially. In the 1956 census, there were 187,000 Macedonians in Bulgaria; in 1963, there were only 8,000: whereas in 1975, there was neither one Macedonian in Bulgaria, according to official data. This was a result of Todor Zhivkov's politics towards Macedonians in Bulgaria. According to the previous census conducted in 2011, there were only 1,654 Macedonians in Bulgaria," Micov has told Telegraf.mk.

Bulgarian censuses do not include a separate "Macedonian" graph, so people who want to declare themselves as Macedonians have to write down their ethnicity in the "Others" graph.

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