Slovenians Against Border Dialogue with Croatia

Total Croatia News

More than half of Slovenians don’t want the prime ministers of the two countries to meet and discuss the border dispute.

Less than half of all Slovenians support continued dialogue with Croatia about open issues, according to a poll published by the Slovenian publication Delo daily on Monday, reports Jutarnji List on November 6, 2017.

About 40 percent of respondents said they would advise their prime minister to meet with his Croatian counterpart, regardless of the differences in positions about the arbitration process and the arbitrators’ decision, according to the poll of 515 adults, which was conducted by the leading Slovenian daily newspaper last week.

As much as 52 percent of respondents said they would recommend that Prime Minister Cerar does not meet with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković “until Croatia accepts the arbitration decision.” The remaining eight percent said they had no position on the issue.

Four months after the arbitrators announced their decision, which Croatia has refused to accept due to Slovenian actions which compromised the arbitration process, the opinion of Slovenians didn’t change significantly. According to the Delo poll, 39 percent believe that the arbitration decision is favourable to Slovenia, while the same percentage considers it to be “neither good nor bad.”

Just a quarter of the respondents are satisfied with the Cerar government’s “preparations for implementation” of the arbitration decision. This is roughly the electoral support currently enjoyed by Cerar’s coalition government according to the leading Slovenian daily newspaper, it is also sign that the public expects a “more decisive” policy towards the implementation from Cerar.

Delo reports that technical discussions on the possible meeting between Cerar and the Croatian Prime Minister continue, but that they have repeatedly “agreed and then delayed” the meeting because of substantial differences in their respective positions, so it is still uncertain whether or not the meeting will take place anytime soon.

The two prime ministers last met in the second half of October in Brussels during a summit of EU leaders but failed to agree on the terms and conditions for their next official meeting. They did, however, decide to resume talks at the technical level.

The Slovenian Prime Minister said at the time that Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković had avoided providing an answer to specific proposals which Cerar had presented in his letter on possible further dialogue about the border issue, primarily on the plan to establish a joint border demarcation commission. The Croatian Prime Minister did stress that an invitation to Cerar to visit Zagreb was still open.

In September, Cerar cancelled a planned meeting with Plenković in Zagreb, after the Croatian Prime Minister’s speech at the UN General Assembly, in which he once again rejected the arbitration decision and accused Ljubljana of violating international law.

Translated from Jutarnji List.


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