The government of Macedonia appointed former prime minister Vlado Buchkovski as the country’s third “special emissary” in the talks with Bulgaria. Jailed in 2001 for his part in the military procurement scandal ‘tank’, Buckovski wasted no time to appear on Bulgarian television in an interview where he made the same anti-Macedonian denouncements as his SDSM boss, prime minister Zoran Zaev.
Vlado Buchkovski is the third Macedonian “facilitator” alongside the country’s first post-independence Foreign Minister Denko Malevski and Ljubco Georgievski – Macedonia’s second prime minister, businessman, self proclaimed Bulgarophile and owner of a Bulgarian passport.
In his telephone interview for a Bulgarian TV channel, Buchkovski placated Bulgarians by saying that for the current administration it is an “unshakable fact” that the two nations had a common history.
He also added: “the Bulgarian nation is older than the Macedonian people” and he reiterated Sofia’s official position that the Macedonian language is a dialect of the Bulgarian language.
Buchkovski’s statements are aligned with the concessions that Bulgaria is expecting from Macedonia in order to lift the ramp that is blocking the country’s path to the EU. To do this the Macedonians are expected to agree they are brainwashed Bulgarians expunged by the Yugoslav system after WWII. To ensure the new generation learn this new history, books and learning materials would need to be amended.
This isn’t the former prime minister’s only involvement with Bulgaria. In 2001, Vlado Buchkovski had approved an unrealistic purchase of tank parts from Bulgaria in the amount of 2.5 million euro, in cooperation with personage from the Macedonian army.
The Public prosecutor for organized crime and corruption charged Buchkovski for “abuse of function” and incurring financial damages to the state budget of 2.5 million euro. The former prime minister was given a jail sentence, however, the Appellation court returned his case for a retrial on several occasions.
Subsequent hearings did not clear Buchkovski and his alleged accomplices of their charges, which resulted in the court reiterating the jail sentences.
Because the “Tank Parts” case was being moved back and forth through the different levels of the Macedonian court system over a longer period of time, that resulted in the expiration of the prescriptive period. With that, the case had expired and Buchkovski was officially relieved of charges in November, 2019.
The former prime minister Buchkovski held that position between 2004 and 2006. During his tenure, the local referendums in Kichevo and Struga against the territorial reconfiguration of municipalities were disregarded by the SDSM-led government.
In both cities more than 90% of the people expressed their will against the joining of rural municipalities to the respective city’s municipality, which tipped the political power in the hands of rural ethnic Albanians.
Both SDSM and VMRO-DPMNE members and local party branches supported the referendums and the results thereof. Vlado Buchkovski visited the SDSM branch in Struga to convince local officials to renege their support. He was subsequently closed-off in the building for six hours by a mass of protesters, which the police had dispersed with shock-grenades and rubber bullets.