Central Europe Review: politics,
society and culture in Central and Eastern Europe
Vol 2, No 12
27 March 2000

Slovenian News ReviewC E N T R A L   E U R O P E A N    N E W S:
News Round-up for Slovenia
News since 17 March 2000

Brian Požun

The second meeting of the Accession Committee of the European Union will concern itself with several questions related to Slovenia and the environment, jurisprudence, relations with neighboring states, the status of economic and institutional reforms and the degree of preparedness for acession of the domestic market. The Slovene delegation will be led by Minister Igor Bavčar. Jaime Gracia Lombardero, the chief negotiator for Slovene accession before the European Community, will also attend along with representatives of EU Member States. The Accession Committee holds one session annually.

Croatian President Stipe Mesić made his first state visit this week, a two-day visit to Ljubljana. Mesić met with President Milan Kučan and both agreed that all of the many still-open questions between the two states are resolvable. The major issue that must be dealt with is the deliniation of the border between the two states, especially at the Bay of Piran, where Slovenia hopes to maintain access to international waters while Croatia seeks to maintain its border with Italy. Other issues concern Ljubljanska Banka (Bank of Ljubljana) branches in Croatia and the nuclear power plant at Krško. The two also discussed economic relations - even with trade between them lessening by four times in recent years, Croatia remains the third largest trading partner of Slovenia.

The Croatian Ministry of Economy announced on Wednesday that the unresolved issues relating to the nuclear power plant at Krško (JEK) have been resolved and an agreement will be signed next week in Zagreb during a visit by the Slovene Premier Janez Drnovšek. Croatian Minister of Economy Goranko Fižulić stated that ownership of JEK had been set at a ratio of 50/50 and an advisory board would be created to resolve certain other technical problems. However, the Slovene Ministry of Economy officially announced that it knew nothing of an official resoltion to the JEK problems, and that in any case major questions concerning inequalities in financing, radioactive waste and energy consumption remained to be settled.

The Italian parliament has decided to postpone further debate on the law for the defence of the Slovene minority in Italy until after the regional elections to be held on 16 April. The reasons given were that the text of the law was insufficient and that a technical report concerning the financial implications of the law was not yet prepared.

The Third annual Portorož Festival of Slovene Film will be held from 30 March to 1 April 2000. Four new feature-length films will premier along with 21 documentaries, 11 short films and 7 animated films. Six major awards will be given, among which are an audience-choice award and the Film Critic's award. Kodak will also sponsor an award for best director of photography. A round table will be held on 1 April entitled "Actor, Director, Film."

A seven-member Slovene expedition to the North Pole will start a 100-metre trek in the beginning of April. This will not only be the largest Slovene team, but will also include the first Slovene woman to undertake the journey, 26-year old Minka Kahrič.

Brian Požun, 24 March 2000





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