CIVIL most strongly condemns hate speech, hate crimes and violence resulting from the inability or irresponsibility to have dialogue. Regardless of the “side” they come from, destructive occurrences in society and on the political scene, regardless of whether they are politically, ethnically or religiously motivated incidents –cannot and must not be justified and kept silent. Violence and hate speech are never, under any circumstances, an appropriate response to anything!
CIVIL calls for reason, calmness and dialogue with cool heads, for politicians and all social and political actors both in Bulgaria and in North Macedonia – to focus on the European future, and not return to the past. It is necessary, in hopeless situations as well, to find the strength to talk. And the situation is far from hopeless.
This, especially because Bulgaria is a member of the EU and with its long years of blocking the Macedonian state, negative attitude towards the Macedonian language and identity, and the hate speech of certain high political representatives, is damaging the reputation both of its own country and of the Union. However, the response to such behavior must always be calm, reasoned and constructive.
Populism and nationalism lead to destruction, and discussions and dialogue to solutions.
Belligerent rhetoric is a reflection of weakness and does not benefit neither the Bulgarian, nor Macedonian society. Especially if an “argument” is the past, and not the future of the two countries.
Broadness and leadership must be shown, even under the rain of provocations coming from the “other side”. Responsible politicians do not add fire to burning issues that could cause tensions, but rather talk. It is dangerous to chase political points and build ratings on sensitive issues.
CIVIL most strongly condemns every act of violence, and particularly acts resulting from hatred towards those who are not like-minded or towards members of different communities. Hate speech and hate crime are interconnected and are a threat to human rights and freedoms, but also to the development, security and stability of a democratic society.
Having in consideration that hate speech is intensifying in both countries, the spreading and inciting of such speech has special weight, because it leads to hate crimes, that is, to inflaming nationalist passions. It is especially dangerous when such speech is used by politicians, intellectuals, journalists and other figures with greater social influence.
That has to stop! CIVIL calls: GIVE THE FUTURE A CHANCE!