Prime Minister Meets with Fishermen on Border with Slovenia

Total Croatia News

The maritime border controversy between Croatia and Slovenia is causing problems for local fishermen.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković met with the fishermen in Savudrija near the border with Slovenia and said it was the government’s policy and the position of Croatia that talks with Slovenia about border issues on land and at sea should continue, reports Večernji List on August 24, 2017.

“Croatia does not believe that the arbitration decision is binding, nor does it accept it due to the well-known reasons, This position is unequivocal and firm. We are also open to dialogue because Slovenia is a neighbouring and friendly country and we want to find a solution that will be sustainable and acceptable for both countries,” said Plenković.

He added that he expected the continuation of fishing operation in the disputed Bay of Savudrija, and that “the Croatian state will be able to protect the interests of the Republic of Croatia, as well as the normal operations of Croatian fishermen. Of course, we will avoid incidents, and we will also try to discuss the open borders issues with Slovenia,” said Plenković, confirming that his Slovenian counterpart Cerar will visit Zagreb in September.

During the conversation with the fishermen, Plenković repeated that they should do their job as they had always done it. “You should do everything and act on the sea as you have done it so far. The arbitration decision for Croatia is not valid, the government does not accept it, and we have a clear position of the Parliament as well. The border issue is open, and the agreement is that there will be no unilateral moves and incidents. We have to act responsibly,” said Plenković to the fishermen. He added that the Croatian state and Croatian institutions were with them and were following what they are doing.

Talking about the status of the fishing industry in general, he pointed out that it was an industry with significant opportunities for growth. “We have quite a lot of funds available, more than 350 million euros from the European Union. For now, we have withdrawn maybe a third of the funds, and the competent department at the Agriculture Ministry has the duty to publish a public competition which will additional help the Croatian fishermen,” said Plenković.

Danilo Latin, a fisherman from Savudrija, presented to the Prime Minister a map of the Bay of Savudrija from 1947. “As the bay looked then, with the boundary line in the middle of the bay, that is how it should look now,” Latin said. He was joined by other Istrian fishermen who reiterated that for them the only acceptable solution was a border in the middle of the bay.

Before meeting with fishermen, the Prime Minister met with mayors of Umag and Poreč. He talked with Poreč Mayor Loris Peršurić about the excellent results of this tourist season, about the low number of unemployed persons in Poreč, and about the lack of available workforce in the hospitality and tourism industry.

Translated from Večernji List.


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