The World: The Macedonian Fuse

If the Balkans are still the powder keg of Europe, Macedonia may well be the fuse. The issue that could provide the spark is a century-old controversy over whether the Macedonians are a distinct strain of southern Slavs entitled to an autonomous republic within Yugoslavia, or whether they are Bulgars and should be part of Bulgaria. Bulgaria pressed its claim that the Macedonians are really Bulgars until last year, when Soviet Party Chief Leonid Brezhnev visited Sofia. After that, the Bulgarians suddenly softened their propaganda attacks against Yugoslavia over the issue.

Many Yugoslavs believe that Brezhnev, with an eye toward his pet...

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