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SLOVENIA


 

 

Key Economic Data 
 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
GDP
Millions of US $ 26,284 21,108 18,800 63
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 11,830 9,810 9,760 51
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on Slovenia



 
Update No: 123 - (31/08/07)

Slovenia the solvent
Slovenia is an unusual country. It has always been able to be an asset, rather than a liability to whatever larger comity or conglomerate of nations it belonged. It even uniquely more or less made a success of communism; it is doing much better out of capitalism, as practised by a people who are highly educated with a sense of communal purpose, both attributes inherited from communism, as it so happens, yet also from its small size in population in a compact, yet mountainous, territory, with abundant fertile valleys. 

It is a sort of Switzerland on the loose, not as sure of itself as the centuries-old congeries of cantons, who have no desire for confederation with others. Unlike the Swiss, the Slovenes were delighted to be admitted to the EU, which they were in January, 2004. They are, indeed, to hold the EU presidency come next January for six months. 

The presiding genius of Europe
Europe's political game of musical chairs has entered an intriguing new phase. The next time the music stops, Slovenia - an Alpine country of 2m people - will be in the hot seat, running the presidency of the EU, a bloc of almost 500m people.
"It's a little bit like taxiing a 747 with a bicycle," one Western diplomat observed. But for the former communist country, the first of the EU's 2004 intake of new members to assume the rotating presidency, it is a sign and a test of Slovenia's growing maturity.

The Croat-Slovene issues to be resolved
Slovenian premier Janez Jansa as a consequence has "an ideal opportunity" to move forward on the solution of open issues with its vital neighbour, Croatia. But he does not have a lot of time for that, and the current initiative of the Slovenian government is linked to the coming Slovenian chairmanship of the European Union, which wants to keep a neutral stance in the dispute. So says the commentary of August 18's issue of the Ljubljana newspaper "Dnevnik", mentioning the dialogue between Slovenia and Croatia, and Jansa's request of a consensus with Slovenian political parties.

"Jansa has a unique opportunity to move on Slovenian-Croatian relations, but must hurry in order to preserve their credibility and reputation. The meeting with political parties at which he received the declarative support as far as synchronising their approach is concerned, would not mean added problems in seeking a agree upon arbitration, a court solution to the dispute, or an agreement about the problem", it says in the commentary by Franco Juri, in the newspaper "Dnevnik".

"Jansa knows that synergy and a positive mood is required for a neutral European Union, so that the Slovenian chairmanship of the European Union would be as successful as possible. Jansa knows that Sanader must at least partially dismiss the awkward consequences of the doubt that Ropov's allegations about pre-election incidents in 2004 were founded", said Juri.

He added that the presidents of the Slovenian Social Democrats (SD) Borut Pahur, and the president of the Croatian SDP (Social Democratic Party) Zoran Milanovic, made a "great move" by holding a meeting in Mokrice, at which, according to Juri, in-between the lines, they announced that they will not use bilateral issues in their pre-election campaigns (SDP and SD next year) to raise their party ratings, and that they will avoid incidents.

"Jansa's Cabinet will have one year to place the conditions for further solving the disputes in the dialogue with the Croatian premier Ivo Sanader, who is probably leaving, and Zoran Milanovic is probably coming. This is a long term operation which requires mature and realistic behaviour. Good relations with an important neighbouring country, Croatia, can only be a national project, and not the domain of any party or coalition", said Juri. He added that this is probably clear to Jansa as the president of the Cabinet, as well as to the president of SD, Borut Pahor, who is expecting a win in the parliamentary elections next year.

"We should hope that the new spirit of the times have been perceived by the other parties, and of course, that Croatian politics also realises this. The described chances are not only Jansa's, but Sanader's as well, with the only difference being that Sanader has only three months", said Juri in his comment in the Ljubljana newspaper "Dnevnik".

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