A Storm In A Teacup

As you can see, this festive season is taking its toll on this blog as well. One of the drawbacks of a three-week workday is that one has until Wednesday what one would normally struggle to do until Friday. But we deal with the pain by consuming copious amounts of mulled wine and honey brandy.

Father Christmas under protection in Zagreb

But you’re wrong to think the world stopped. Only yesterday did Slovenia remember the 18th anniversary of the referendum of independence, which was held on 23 december 1990. The results were declared three days later (hence the Day of Statehood is celebrated on the 26th) and all this set the stage for Slovenian declaration of independence six months later, on 25 June 1991.

One of the more lasting side-effects of disintegration of Yugoslavia was the Slovene-Croat border dispute. As you probably know, Slovenia vetoed contiunation of Croatian negotiations on EU accession, citing documents which either directly claim that the maritime border between the countries lies in the middle of the Bay of Piran, or cite Croatian legislation which states the same.

Apparently no-one saw it coming and what was suppose to be a nice Christmas present from EU to Croatia is now turning into a major political disaster. Slovenia wants Croatia to sign a legaly binding document which would state that a) these documents do not prejudge the border between two countries and b) that Croatia will not use them in a possible mediation procedure. In plain-speak: after years of pussyfooting around Croatia which happily used every and all Slovenian concessions, starting in 1991 when Slovenia erected it border check-point two hundred metres to the north of the River Dragonja, Slovenia suddenly got tough. As a result, noone is taking it serioulsly. Except Croatia, which realised too late that Slovenia will indeed veto the negotiation process. Consequently the Croatian government is up to its old trick, accusing Slovenia of having teritorial aspirations and PM Ivo Sanader sounded very tough when he said that Croatia will not buy its EU membership with land.

Who’s to blame? Fuck knows. I’ll have the skinny on this some time early next year. But as of Friday noone seems to remember that we are in deep economic shit or that Croatian capital Zagreb was under siege only a month or so ago. All that matters now is that fucking little speck of land which somehow cast a spell on evey government on every government Slovenia and Croatia ever had.

So instead of a Christmas family huddle, where everyone looks smart and wears tie, we are faced with a storm in a teacup where Slovenia and Croatia are again at each other’s throats. One would think that we never shared a country. But I guess everyone needs an enemy. Even on Christmas.

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Agent provocateur and an occasional scribe.

5 thoughts on “A Storm In A Teacup”

  1. I’d like to come back to your last paragraph, in which you say “One would think we never shared a country.”I nterestingly, I saw an intriguing documentary on the Partisan vs. Ustaše part of WWII and the Bleiburg massacre last week. One thing in the docu stood out in terms of what you’re saying : the Yugoslav union worked, but in order for it to work, certain things were swept under the mat (like the Bleiburg massacre). In very much the same way, the territorial differences and disputes between the former YU member states have kept festering under the surface, as was evidenced by the seccession of Slovenia and Croatia and the ensuing wars. It would, sadly enough, be foolish to think that the buck stopped there. It may be a storm in a tea cup, but it still exists in a very real way in the minds and hearts of nationalists and without taking sides here, I feel governments on either side should do well to tread carefully in such issues to make sure this storm stays in the aforementioned tea cup and does not escalate. When governments have a dick measuring contest, it’s always their constituents who end up paying for it…

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