Minister: Border dispute with Slovenia must not be to detriment of fishermen

NEWS 17.11.2020 19:41
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Source: Antonio Zavada

Croatian Agriculture Minister Marija Vuckovic said on Tuesday at a meeting of local associations of tradesmen and fishermen in Savudrija Bay that fishermen must not suffer any consequences of the border dispute with Slovenia, particularly no financial consequences.

“As far as the dispute in Savudrija Bay is concerned, Croatia stands firm that the ruling is not recognised because it was delivered during a contaminated process. We will, as always until now, continue informing international bodies and tribunals of our position based on international law. We believe in a positive outcome as the patient and legally-founded approach has paid off until now and so I hope it will in the future,” said Vuckovic after the meeting in the northern coastal town of Umag.

Claiming that it is not easy for fishermen to work under such pressure and in those circumstances, Vuckovic underlined that the ministries of justice, foreign and interior affairs as well as the agriculture ministry, each in their own way, are endeavouring to relieve that situation.

“We are succeeding in that for now. Croatia has engaged legal aid for fishermen and they are not suffering any financial or operational hardships in that regard. The entire process is being conducted by the Ministry of Justice which has engaged legal assistance from abroad,” said Vuckovic.

Slovenia keeps sending fines to Croatia fishermen

The fishermen warned that they were still receiving fines from Slovenia virtually every day due to alleged violation of the border line.

“We do not recognise those fines as they are our waters and our fishermen are fishing there as usual in their boats. They have full support from the Interior Ministry and other ministries. We have engaged a Slovenian attorney who has been representing them for some time and we are handling all the costs while he is using all the legal remedies required by Slovenia,” Assistant Justice Minister Ivan Crncec explained.

Speaking on behalf of the fishermen Diego Makovac said that fishermen are escorted by Croatian police which has become routine.

He informed that fines from Slovenia were continuing to arrive and that he has accumulated about a thousand of them already each worth €400 to €800.

Vuckovic informed them of a future regulation that will regulate EU schemes for fisheries and horticulture sectors.

She recalled that advance direct payments for 2021 had started yesterday amounting to HRK 1.56 billion, which is HRK 200 million more than for 2020.

“We keep providing additional support. Last night we set up an electronic counselling programme which will assist farmers in cattle and pig farming as well as fruit and vegetable production,” she said.