Balkan chocolate wars spreads: Slovenia finds Croatia’s chocolates not very sweet


BELGRADE – Earlier this month, the Croatian Embassy in Slovenia sent leading Slovenian officials — including officials in the offices of the prime minister and the president — boxes of chocolates with labels reading “Greetings from Croatia.”

But the Christmas gift wasn’t appreciated.

The recipients’ attention was drawn to a map on the box that showed an area disputed by the two countries as part of Croatia. Both Zagreb and Ljubljana claim the Gulf of Piran, or Piran Bay, in the northern reaches of the Adriatic Sea. Although Slovenia claims the entire bay, the Croatian chocolate box showed the border running right through its middle.

The two countries agreed to international arbitration of the dispute in 2009 as part of Croatia’s bid to enter the European Union. But in July 2015, Croatia withdrew from the arbitration process, alleging improper contacts between an arbitration judge and Slovenian officials.

According to a Croatian news portal, the Slovenian Foreign Ministry sent all the chocolate boxes back to the Croatian Embassy in bags inscribed with the message “I feel Slovenia.”

The gift spat is the Balkans’ second unfortunate, chocolate-related incident this month.

The regional “chocolate war” started when Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic apologized after handing out Serbian-made chocolate to kindergarteners to mark Defenders of Dubrovnik Day on December 6.

During the 1990s Balkans war, that coastal city was besieged for seven months and severely shelled by Serbian and Montenegrin forces.


  1. Yet none of Dubrovnik’s famous walls were damaged. The town was very lightly damaged – and much of that was from Croatian forces – 1,000 admitted at the ICTY – shelling certain parts.
    The Croats were shelling at the Yugoslav navy to bait them, and the commander was an ethnic Slovene Stane Brovets (sp?). Croats were burning tires or oil fires around the coast and these were (camera) shot at a distance making Dubrovnik seem on fire, yet Dubrovnik is all stone and would not burn.
    Also, you have people remarking on how “perfectly” and authentic looking the “repairs” are – when in fact they are looking at the original which was not damaged.
    And it was a PR company which ran the roof tile campaign – I believe the same one which ran the “Iraqi soldiers bayoneting the incubator babies in Kuwait” lying propaganda. They were replacing roofs which were not war damaged, just usual wear and tear and age.