Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović has found herself at the centre of a scandal, after she handed out Serbian-made chocolate to a group of small children.
Ms Grabar-Kitarović distributed the chocolate, along with signed photos, at a kindergarten on 6 December for Defenders of Dubrovnik Day – marking the 25th anniversary of the Siege of Dubrovnik, in which Croatian forces defended the city of Dubrovnik against attack by the Yugoslav People’s Army. The most intense shelling of the nearly eight month-long siege took place on 6 December 1991.
Local newspaper Dubrovački dnevnik printed an angry Facebook post from an enraged parent: “I had to post this so you can see what kind of country we live in…all this on Defenders of Dubrovnik Day – bravo.”
Most of the criticism was levelled, however, not at this apparent blunder but at Ms Grabar-Kitarović‘s subsequent apology – not only did she say she was “extremely disappointed” that the chocolates were Serbian, but also promised to send Croatian products as a gift to those parents whose children were the unwitting recipients of Serbian chocolate.
“I’m more concerned that Kolinda was handing out her photo with the chocolates,” wrote one Twitter user, with another attempting to give a little perspective to the issue: “If chocolate is the biggest problem in relations between Serbia and Croatia, I’m a happy person.” Former Croatian President Ivo Josipović dubbed Ms Grabar-Kitarović‘s message “inappropriate”, as it “it sends a clear nationalist message”.
Source: Radio Liberty