The Definitive Guide to the Arbitration Agreement Between Slovenia and Croatia, pt. 5

T- 4 days and counting. Supporters of referendum held their final rally in downtown Ljubljana, while opponents will to the same on Friday.

Ninamedia’s poll shows the gap between “yes” and “no” vote closing (source)

The Poll

Pollster Ninamedia is running a longitudal poll on behalf of Mladina magazine which is returning mighty interesting results. First of all, the turnout is projected to be positively huge as far as Slovene referendums are concerned. As much as 70 percent of people polled will surely or likely vote. In a country where anything above 30 percent turnout in a referendum vote is considered a lot, this is massive. As for preferences, data show that opponents of the Agreement are closing the gap. At this point those in favour of the Agreement hold a lead somewhere between 4 and 9 percent, but this is apparently fading away. This will go down to the wire and every vote will count.

The Bomb (or the lack thereof)

The last week of the campaign was uneventful in terms of “important new developments”. There were some powerful echoes (Twitter included) of Janez Janša’s statement on Sunday about hhow Slovenia should demand territory around Savudrija as to ensure integrity of the Bay of Piran, but that was more or less it. Word on the street had it that Janša was preparing some sort of document release, but rumours are always thick on the ground in times like this. At any rate, it is too late to orchestrate a massive shift in voting preferences. Both sides are more concerned with getting out the vote. At least, they should be 🙂

The Vote

Pengovsky already voted (fuck it, I’m emigrating over the weekend, just in case) and there are no prizes for guessing how :mrgreen: . But there are ample reasons why it would be a good thing if Arbitration Agreement were approved by the people.

-It paves a way for a solution both Slovenia and Croatia can live with. It is specific on goals and vague on way of achieving them. Which is precisely what we need at this point. Direct Slovenian access to high seas is specified as a goal and it is up to the court to concoct a way to make it happen.

-It nullifies any and all unilateral actions either side (mostly Croatia) took after 25 June 1991 and starts afresh. This includes the mishap over Slovene checkpoint at Dragonja border crossing

-It basically resurrects the famed Drnovšek-Račan Agreement, which was the closest two countries ever came to a deal on their own. This deal was never ratified by Croatia and it was discarded by Slovenia during Janša’s rule when he unwisely made a deal with Ivo Sanader about solving the dispute in front of International Court in The Hague. Having Drnovšek-Račan back on the table is incredibly helpful to Slovenia’s cause.

-This is the last, best chance for a viable solution. Both Slovenia and Croatia are in the middle of a deep economic and possibly social crisis. If this remains unsolved (and favourably, at that!) it is inevitable that certain people on both sides of the border will use the dispute to advance their own political agenda. If a deal is not reached soon, expect further incidents, provocations, police stand-offs and sooner or later someone will lose his or her nerves and people will die.

The End

This concludes the Guide. Sure, the campaign continues tomorrow, but tomorrow is Friday and you know what happens on Fridays 😈 Sunday evening should be interesting, though…

P.S.: for the complete Guide click here

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Agent provocateur and an occasional scribe.

4 thoughts on “The Definitive Guide to the Arbitration Agreement Between Slovenia and Croatia, pt. 5”

  1. Thanks

    Interesting, informative, entertaining. Everything good journalism should be (but rarely is)

  2. This is not a guide to the Agreement but a heavily opinionated op-ed mostly about the politics and other ramblings around the agreement. It is plain old shameless fear mongering in the paragraph stating that “people will die”.

    In my view a Guide should read something like:

  3. @Les: Thanks 😉

    @Žiga Turk: Your text is every bit as subjective as mine, so we can call it even 🙂 As far as I’m concerned, everything written in the Guide stands. But hey, it’s just my opinion, as you correctly point out. I would like to think that it is well argued.

    As for fear mongering: People very nearly did die. Remember the disturbed Croatian gentleman with hand grenades which went live? We were all very lucky back then. If this is thing is not solved, saner people will be doing crazy stuff.

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