Tensions Growing in Disputed Bay of Piran

Total Croatia News

Slovenia has announced it would start implementing the disputed border arbitration decision on Saturday morning.

Starting on Saturday, Slovenia will begin to implement the decision of the Arbitration Tribunal on the border between Croatia and Slovenia. The implementation is expected to start in the disputed Bay of Piran. Croatia does not recognise the decision of the Arbitration Tribunal, believing that it was compromised by Slovenia’s pressure on arbitrators and has withdrawn from the arbitration procedure. However, the Tribunal did not accept the Croatian position and continued with the process, ultimately making the decision that gave most of the disputed areas on the land to Croatia, but also gave most of the Bay of Piran to Slovenia, reports Index.hr on December 29, 2017.

The Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs called upon Slovenia to refrain from the unilateral implementation of measures aimed at attempting to change the situation on land and at sea, as well as to engage in a constructive dialogue on solving the border issue, the Ministry said.

Yesterday, the police told Croatian fishermen that they should go about their business as usual, but that they should not go all the way to the middle of the Bay of Piran, so as not to incite incidents. Still, one minor incident occurred on Thursday, when a Croatian police patrol ship had to position itself between the Croatian fishermen and the Slovenian police. Afterwards, all vessels withdrew to their ports.

On Friday, the spokeswoman of the Istrian police Nataša Vitasović said that the situation in the Bay of Piran was peaceful, with no incidents recorded except for this morning’s violation of the demarcation line by one Slovenian vessel.

Croatian fisherman Danilo Latin confirmed that fishermen had a meeting with the police on Thursday, where they were told they would be accompanied by the Croatian police’s patrol ships. “I believe there will be no incidents and that politicians will ultimately show wisdom and take care of their people,” said Latin.

Early this morning, Croatian fishermen went to the sea once again. One of them said that the Slovenian police came up to one of the boats and told them to leave the Slovenian sea. “The fishermen continued to fish under the escort of the Croatian police,” he explained. “We, the fishermen of this area, want the situation to stay calm and to avoid an escalation between Croatia and Slovenia. We know this is a political project by Slovenia to the detriment of Croatia,” said the fisherman.

“Whenever we are at sea, the Slovenian police immediately come to control us, telling us we are in their sea. They warn us, but they do not touch us. And our police are there as well”, said one fisherman this morning. “I don’t know how it will all end,” said another.

Translated from Index.hr.


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