Slovenian Diplomats Angry about Croatian Holiday Presents

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Croatian Embassy in Slovenia gave chocolate boxes with map of Croatia which Slovenian diplomats consider to be a provocation.

Popular chocolate boxes produced by Croatian company Kraš, which were given by the Croatian Embassy in Slovenia as holiday presents to employees of the Slovenian Foreign Ministry and other state institutions, have caused quite a stir in Slovenia, reports Večernji List on December 20, 2016.

According to Slovenian media, the chocolate box in question is called “Greetings from Croatia”, and on the box there is a map of Croatia. At issue is the disputed border with Slovenia, which is on the map drawn down the middle of the Piran Bay, which Croatia considers to be part of its territory, while Slovenia thinks otherwise.

Unnamed Slovenian sources have called the gift “an unacceptable provocation” and the Slovenian Foreign Ministry has returned the chocolate boxes to the Croatian Embassy, ​​in bags with the inscription “I Feel Slovenia”. Still, Slovenian diplomats do not intend to send a diplomatic note because they do not want to escalate the situation.

“I have personally chosen the gifts, and it did not even cross my mind that this gift would send a political message, much less be considered a provocation”, said Croatian Ambassador in Ljubljana Vesna Terzić, speaking about the Christmas gift given by the Embassy to colleagues in Slovenia.

“In diplomacy, it is customary to send small, modest gifts to people you regularly collaborate and communicate with. This year, we have sent appropriate gifts, some people received Croatian wines, some people got chocolates, and some people got both. I have personally decided what will be given and this was actually my message of good wishes. I did not think that this was some sort of political message, much less provocation”, said Ambassador Terzić. She confirmed that some gifts had been returned in bags with the local tourism slogan. The chocolate boxes were not sent to Prime Minister Miro Cerar or President Borut Pahor, but to employees in their cabinets with whom Croatian Embassy cooperates.

Slovenian Foreign Ministry confirmed that it was true that some of their employees had received gifts with a map on which the border between the two states passes through the middle of the Piran Bay. “Given the fact that the border between Croatia and Slovenia has not been determined and is a subject of arbitration proceedings, the Ministry has returned the gifts to the Croatian Embassy”, said the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


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