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Slovenia to block Croatian EU entry over border dispute

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Slovenia to block Croatian EU entry over border dispute

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Slovenia has vowed to block neighbouring Croatia from joining the EU because of an ongoing border dispute. Slovenian Prime Minister Borut Pahor, speaking ahead of EU-Croatia accession talks, said he would halt discussions to prevent any pre-judging of the long-running row. Croatia’s Prime Minister Ivo Sanader called on Slovenia to reconsider the move: “We expect them to reconsider their position and change the decision to block Croatia’s negotiations, but I’m not optimistic about it.”

Jurisdiction over the Piran Bay, over which both countries claim ownership, is at the centre of the ongoing feud. Under a draft agreement in 2001, Slovenia was to recieve 80 percent of the Piran Bay. The deal was never ratified and now Croatia is pushing for 50 percent. However, there is no clear border demarcation between the two former Yugoslav republics in this area, and neither has any historical base on which to claim ownership of the bay.