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Readers give us a kick in the Balkans

Slovenia, Slovenia, wherefore art thou Slovenia?

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Well, is it or isn't it? Is Slovenia in the Balkans or is it in fact somewhere else entirely? Readers like Keith Meldrum were quick to point out our geographic and journalistic inadequacies:

On Thursday your half arsed excuse for a so-called news site published an apology to the 1896 valuable readers you have in Slovenia for the huge slur of saying it is in the Balkans, then on Friday Drew Cullen (or you, whaddasitmattayourallthebloodysametome) put 'brown trousers in the balkans' above a story about a mobile phone on a plane in Slovenia!

You people are a disgrace! You are all obviously in the pay of the alien reptiles David Icke has exclusively revealed are ruling the planet, heck you probably even do their laundry! You have the journalistic integrity of a syphilitic cockroach!

I am disgusted!

Thanks Keith - but it hardly helped solve the big question. Dr Ilias Prassas provided a bit more meat:

I was surprised by the response of your Slovenian readers to your article. I was also surprised by your answer to it, namely your list of countries that belong to the Balkans. Certainly Romania was in the Balkans 20 years ago when I was tought Geography in Greece. Slovenia was a Balkan country at the time, as part of Yugoslavia. I gather that poor Slovenians decided that they had enough of us primitive Balkans and decided to return to their western European roots (as if this means something other than a geographical description!).

One can spend a lot of time arguing about this. I just tried the online Encyclopaedia Britannica and it came up with the following (excerpt):

Balkans:

also called BALKAN PENINSULA, the easternmost of Europe's three great southern peninsulas and, collectively, the countries located there. For the purposes of this article, it comprises the states of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, and Moldova. These states, containing more than 60 million people, occupy an area of 257,400 square miles (666,700 square kilometres). The region is bordered by Italy on the northwest, Austria and Hungary on the north, Ukraine on the north and northeast, and Greece and Turkey on the south. It is washed by the Adriatic Sea in the west, the Ionian Sea in the southwest, and the Black Sea in the east. In the north, clear geographic delimitation of the Balkans becomes difficult, because the Pannonian Basin of the Great Alfold (Great Hungarian Plain) extends from central Europe into parts of Croatia, Serbia, and Romania. To the south, Greece is primarily a Mediterranean country and therefore is not discussed in this article - although its northern regions of Epirus and Macedonia can be considered parts of the Balkans.

PS Despite what the article claims I am sure that Greece is officially a Balkan country!

That's the end of that then. Slovenia - you're going to get slapped in the Balkans whether you like it or not.

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