Croatia’s foreign minister is in the face of controversy after trying to kiss the German foreign minister. He finally had to apologize for this. This incident happened during the meeting of foreign ministers of EU member and candidate countries in Berlin last week.
Last Thursday (November 2), the ministers participating in the meeting of the European Union conference were gathering at one place to take a group photo. Standing side by side were 42-year-old German minister Annalena Bierbock and 65-year-old Croatian minister Gordan Grelic-Radman.
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In the viral video, Gordon reached out for a handshake when he first saw Annalena. Then the Croat leader leaned forward to kiss him. The German minister immediately turned away, so instead of his lips, he was kissed on the cheek by Gordon Grelic-Rodman.
Although somewhat embarrassed by this, Annalena handled the situation with a smile. But by that time the whole incident was caught on camera.
After the video went viral, there was a lot of criticism in both Germany and Croatia. German tabloid newspaper Bild referred to it as a ‘kiss-attack’. Croatian dignitaries also condemned the foreign minister’s behavior.
Prominent Croat women’s rights activist and former lawmaker Rada Borich told local media it was a completely inappropriate gesture.
He said, it seems that the minister does not know the protocol. Because ‘warm greetings’ should be with people with whom you have a relationship that allows greetings with kisses. But it is clear that there is no such relationship here.
Former Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor has also criticized Gordon Grelic-Rodman. He wrote on social media platform X, “Forcing women to kiss is also called violence, right?”
In the face of fire at home and abroad, the Croatian foreign minister finally apologized last Saturday. “We ministers always greet each other warmly,” he told local daily Vechernji List. But if anyone saw anything bad in this incident, I apologize to them.
However, Annalena Bierbock, who the Croat minister got into trouble for trying to kiss, refused to comment on the matter. The German minister was asked about the kiss when he faced reporters after a meeting with Azerbaijan’s foreign minister. In response, he said, let’s not talk about kissing today.