Tensions Growing in Bay of Piran

Total Croatia News

One Croatian police ship has changed its permanent berthing location to Savudrija on the coast of the Bay of Piran.

Statements by Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar that, if necessary, Slovenian police will accompany Slovenian fishers in the disputed part of the Bay of Piran with its patrol speedboats, was not welcomed by Zagreb nor Brussels, or even by the local Slovenian fishermen in Piran, reports Večernji List on September 10, 2017.

The prevailing view of the Croatian government is that the Croatian police is doing in the Piran Bay “everything which it has been doing for the past 27 years”, and that the police is there to support the Croatian fishermen. The view is that Croatia is doing everything to avoid any close encounters between police vessels of the two countries. “That is why we have been saying from day one that we should avoid one-sided moves,” said a Croatian official.

In Brussels, diplomatic circles are concerned that unilateral moves could lead to security incidents between two EU member states, which would be the worst possible scenario in this situation. Brussels still hopes that a solution for the implementation of an arbitration dispute or a bilateral agreement could be found in the dialogue between Ljubljana and Zagreb.

In Piran, a representative of the local fishermen Zlatko Novogradec commented on Cerar’s statement by saying that “our prime minister apparently likes fairy tales.” “There are not enough police patrol boats in Slovenia which could protect our nets overnight. And the Croatian police would respond similarly,” said Novogradec and asked where was the Slovenian police when, as he says, “Croats were destroying our nets”.

Novogradec added that the Slovenian fishermen now do not dare to fish further than the halfway line between the two coasts. Prime Minister Cerar said on Thursday that Slovenia had governed the majority of the bay since the date of the arbitration decision announcement and had been taking appropriate measures against Croatian fishers who violated the line which Slovenia (and the arbitration tribunal, which Croatia does not recognise) consider to be the border between the two countries.

“For now, these are only mild measures in the form of a warning, since Slovenia does not want incidents while a dialogue with Croatia continues,” said Slovenian Prime Minister Cerar on Thursday.

But, the Croatian police is also protecting the Croatian sovereignty in its half of the bay and warns fishers and other ships as soon as they cross the line and enter the waters which Croatia still considers to be its territory.

The option for Slovenia to send its police officers to accompany Slovenian fishermen, which would certainly provoke similar reaction from the Croatian police, would probably not end well, since Slovenia, according to the available data, has just two or three police patrol boats there, while Croatia has about a dozen boats, not counting police vessels in the Kvarner area and further south in Dalmatia.

One Croatian police vessel recently changed its permanent berthing location, from Novigrad to Savudrija, which is located at the entrance to the Bay of Piran.

Translated from Večernji List.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment