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Vasil Garvanliev to represent North Macedonia at Eurovision despite petition

Vasil Garvanliev to represent North Macedonia at Eurovision despite petition
Vasil Garvanliev says that he will continue to represent North Macedonia at this year's Eurovision despite the controversy surrounding his music video.

Vasil Garvanliev has insisted that he will continue to represent North Macedonia with his song 'Here I Stand' at this year's Eurovision Song Contest.

Over 20,000 angry North Macedonian fans of Eurovision have signed a petition calling for Garvanliev to be axed following the release of the music video for the track, which appeared to feature an artwork depicting the Bulgarian flag.

Relations between the two countries have been traditionally fraught, with the main bone of contention being Bulgaria's assertion that the Macedonian language is merely a dialect of Bulgarian and that ethnic Macedonians are accordingly a subgroup of the Bulgarian population.

Garvanliev, 36, holds a Bulgarian passport but insisted that the imagery in the music video was purely coincidental and apologised for the confusion.

North Macedonian broadcaster MRT announced last week that it would investigate the controversy, but in a post on social media, Garvanliev has now confirmed that he will continue as the country's representative in Rotterdam.

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