From ally to enemy: Slovenia (2)

The dispute between Croatia and Slovenia over the Bay of Piran is not been solved yet. On the contrary, the relationship between the former Yugoslav republics worsens by the day. About a month ago Slovenia blocked Croatia's advancement towards EU-membership and Slovenia hasn't budged yet. Slovenian prime minister Borut Pahor said yesterday that his country will not yield to pressure from Zagreb or Brussels.
Croatian president Mesić responded in a way that is not untypical for him. He said that if there had not been Croatian partisans the Slovenes would be looking at the sea from a twenty kilometer distance, referring to the fact that Croatian partisans liberated Istria and the Slovenian coast. Out of 60.000 soldiers of the Fourth Yugoslav Army, almost 40.000 were Croats.
Slovenian politicians were, of course, not amused with Mesić's remark. "Scandalous", is the general political opinion. One historian said that it is regrettable that Mesić destroyed the Slovenian and Croatian brotherhood that existed during the war.
That brotherhood is long gone. Almost half of the Slovenes would now vote against Croatian EU-membership in a referendum. Slovenia threatens to organize a referendum if the border issue is not resolved to its satisfaction.
The satirical show Laku noć, Hrvatska (Good night, Croatia) mocked Mesić and the partisans in one of its sketches. We see how Mesić finds a strategy to kill Italians after Tito's complaint that the partisans didn't shoot a single Italian yet. If I heard it well, Mesić says that Italians are as naive as Albanians, using the derogatory term "Shiptar" but then changes the word into "šiperica" - a flapper. But I am not quite sure about that, so help from a native speaker is appreciated.

4 reacties:

Anonymous said...

Dear Boris! I cannot restrain myself not to comment this topic. Although Im a Slovenian I ll try to be objective. After the WWI Slovenia lost Carinthia, which is today part of south Austria with strange referendum. Austrians still today do not allow to open the archives for the fear of the truth that may not show the same as it seemed 90 years ago. We lost it on belhaf of State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs. After the WWII Croats got Istria peninsula which according to all the world maps never ever in history belonged to them. It belonged to AustroHungarian monarchy and Ilirian province of which the capital was Ljubljana. At that time also north-adriatic islands of Lošinj and Cres beside Istria belonged to Ljubljana. Still in 1958 the border between Croatia and Slovenia in Istria was river Mirna (please see the map). Novigrad, Poreč, Umag, Savudrija were Slovenian. Intentional and planned inhabitation of croats and serbs started on the teritorry of South Istria soon after the end of the WWII and continued later in North Istria on the Slovenian territory from river Mirna North. The border kept moving to the north to Savudria peninsula, where the border was set on 25th of June 1991 when Slovenia got indipendant. Today we fight over the Piran bay which is far north of Savudria peninsula and doesnt match the 25th June date. Are we loosing the Piran bay also?? Oh, not to forget, on belhaf of Yugoslavia we lost the city of Trieste in so called London memorandum also. Both Croatian and Slovenian partisans were part of the Yugoslav army that liberated Trst in 1945. Not to forget, NDH (Indipendent State of Croatia) was during the WWII the closest ally of facist Italy and nacist Germany. In croatian concentration camps around 800 000 Serbs, Jews, Gipsies and around 400 Slovenians were executed. After the WWII Italy gets Trst and Croatia gets Istria. SLovenia was on the right side. What did it get? It lost. Imagine partisan and anti-nazzi Slovenia surrounded with: fascist Italy, nacist Austria and Germany, nazzi Ustaša Croatia, german ally Hungary. Where is justice in this world? There is no. Even Winston Churchil said: with every war Slovenia gets smaller. Im proud of my brave fathers that fought for the right thing and hope for the justice to to take place in north Adriatic.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your extensive and interesting comment. Unexpectedly I am out of Croatia for a few weeks. When I am in Croatia again, I'd like to get back to this topic as some things you wrote are new to me. (Sorry fot that delay). Should I forget, please remind me!

Mark said...

Sorry for my late reply, I just came back to Croatia.
I didn't know much about the interesting Carinthia issue and the strange referendum. I wonder, though, why you wrote that "we lost it on behalf of State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs." Didn't the new State do its best to keep Carinthia for the Kingdom, with the Drava as the border? And what would have become of Slovenia, with or without Carinthia, if there had not been the Kingdom?
Concerning Istria, I agree that on world maps it never belonged to Croatia but to the Austro-Hungarian empire. But that applies to the whole of Slovenia too. And I am sure you don't want to go back to the situation that prevailed during the Illyrian Provinces. At time, Slovenian towns like Maribor, Ptuj, Celje were all part of Austria.
Generally, I think that referring to borders in the past does not make much sense as each party will refer to a period in history that suits it best. Therefore, I find Mesić's comment about the liberation of the Slovenian coast not so smart, unless he wants to redraw all ex-Yugoslav republic's borders based on which nationality liberated which part.
Then the Bay of Piran, or Savudrijska vala if you want. I actually wrote: "Of course, the Slovenian veto against Croatia is petty-minded, but so is, if you ask me, Croatia's reluctance to grant Slovenia the Bay of Piran." In this I can't possibly read a plea to give the bay to Croatia. Don't ask me which solution is judicially correct, as I have no idea. All I think is that the haggling over the bay, the boycott of Slovenian products and the threat of a Slovenian veto/referendum on Croatia's accession to the EU are equally childish.

Anonymous said...

Very well said Boris! Both Slovenian and Croatian politics are behaving rather childishly concerning this issue, although I would have to give my verdict to a Croatian side, who has been much more consistent over the years of this dispute. Slovenian side keeps insisting on ridiculous arguments from the ancient past, although Slovenia itself NEVER existed before the WW II. Claiming that whole Istria ever was Slovenian is probably same as proclaiming Alaska Chinese! Sadly this dispute made the two neighboring nations wide open enemies and the feeling of mutual distrust will hinder for many decades to come.