Croatian President Apologizes for Giving Serbian Chocolate to Children

Total Croatia News

President meets with children and gives them chocolate – what could possibly go wrong?

A few days ago, on the occasion of the Day of Defenders of Dubrovnik, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović met with a group of children in Dubrovnik and gave them packages with presents. There was just one problem – chocolate which was included in the packages was produced in Serbia. While most people would not have a problem with that, one parent and, more importantly, the President herself, were of different opinion, reports and on December 9, 2016.

“I had to post this on social networks so that you could see what kind of country we live in. My child’s kindergarten went to see the President, and the children received from her hands a chocolate from Serbia. That is really sad – and it all happened on the Day of Defenders of Dubrovnik. Bravo!” wrote one angry parent on Facebook.

The President gave to the children the Mony chocolate with rice, which is produced by Pionir company from Subotica in Serbia. The story would probably end there if the President did not decide that she should apologize for the “mistake” and announced an investigation about who was responsible for it.

Office of the President issued an explanation that they had bought the packages from a Croatian company. The packages were prepared in Vukovar and they contained one “disputed” chocolate per package. “The package was full of Croatian products, but it happened by accident that among three hundred products there were several of the products in question”, announced Office of the President, apologizing if anyone’s feelings were hurt.

The President herself also gave a statement to reporters about the case. She said she was astonished with it and added that she did not personally check the contents of the packages. “I am extremely disappointed because I personally support the Let’s Buy Croatian campaign. The packages contained products which were not produced in Croatia, but which can be bought on the Croatian market. Croatian President must promote Croatian products, and this will not happen again. We will apologize to the parents who have received these chocolates and we will send them Croatian products”, added the President.

The owner of the Pionir company, Serbian businessman Miroljub Aleksić, said that he did not understand what the problem was and that he himself sometimes gives away sweets made in Croatia.

Serbian officials were also surprised by reaction of the Croatian President. Minister of Trade and Tourism Rasim Ljajić said that Serbian products were obviously not welcome in Croatia. “The statement by the Croatian President is non-democratic and non-European”, said Ljajić. He said that the number of Croatian companies operating in Serbia was much higher that of Serbian companies selling its products in Croatia. He asked “what kind of normalization of relations in the region can we talk about if such a level of ethnic intolerance can be caused by a single chocolate”, just because it was produced in Serbia.


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