Skopje, over 40 police officers injured in protests

Protesters threw objects at police officers during a rally outside a government building in Skopje against a French proposal aimed at solving North Macedonia`s dispute with Bulgaria.

Protesters threw objects at police officers during a rally outside a government building in Skopje against a French proposal aimed at solving North Macedonia's dispute with Bulgaria.

The officers were guarding parliament when the projectiles were being hurled.

Over 40 police officers have been injured and several protesters have been arrested in the protests which started on Saturday.

Violent protests erupted in the North Macedonian capital after French President Emmanuel Macron announced the proposal — which many in the small Balkan country find controversial — last week.

The dispute that's at the center of the protest has been blocking North Macedonia's membership talks with the European Union.

EU member Bulgaria has insisted that North Macedonia formally recognize that its language has Bulgarian roots.

It also wants it to acknowledge a Bulgarian minority in its constitution and quash "hate speech" against Bulgaria.

The country's government has said the French proposal, which hasn't been detailed by President Emmanuel Macron, is a "solid base" but the main opposition center-right VMRO-DPMNE party rejects it.

The VMRO-DPMNE party argues that it favors Bulgarian demands that dispute the country's history, language, identity, culture, and inheritance.

Autor: AP