Li Peng, President of the People's Republic of China, visited Slovenia this week. During his stay, he met with President Kučan, Prime Minister Andrej Bajuk, and Head of Parliament Janez Jansa. The Slovene government announced its support for the "One China" policy, but vocally advocated greater respect for human rights in the People's Republic. Cooperation in the fields of economy, science, education, culture and media was discussed, as well as the Stability Pact. Peng left Slovenia on Thursday for Croatia.
This past Thursday night, the nuclear power plant at Krško (JEK) restarted following the completion of its annual maintenance. Three days of testing and final preparations will then be followed by the JEK being returned to full activity. In bringing the JEK back up to normal capacity, electrical output will be gradually increased as the JEK is resynchronized with Slovenia's power grid. The JEK is shut down each year for about one month for routine maintenance, but this year it was shut down for 61 days for equipment upgrades.
A delegation from the Austrian Coordinational Committee of Carinthian Slovenes (CCCS) visited Ljubljana this week. The delegation met with President Kučan, Prime Minister Andrej Bajuk and Foreign Minister Lojze Peterle. The CCCS sought to bring Slovenia's government up to date concerning the situation of the Slovene minority in Austria, especially with regard to bilingual schooling, Carinthian governor Jörg Haider and cooperation among Slovenes on both sides of the Austrian-Slovene border.
The CCCS is an umbrella organization which unites the two main Slovene organizations in Austria: the National Council of Carinthian Slovenes and the Union of Slovene Organizations.
Ljubljana mayor Viktorija Potočnik met with Brussels mayor François Xavier de Donnea this week, in Brussels. The two discussed the progress made with plans concerning cooperation between the two capitals in the fields of transportation, infrastructure and ecology. Xavier de Donnea visited Ljubljana in April and advocated cooperation between EU member states and prospective member states not only on the national level but also on the local level.
Slovenia has received eight Blue Flags, an international sign of ecological soundness and excellent up-keep of public pools and beaches. Slovenia submitted eight candidates - five pools and three beaches - and all eight candidates were met with success. Blue Flags have been bestowed throughout Europe since 1987 as part of a program of the Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe.
A commemoration was held in the town of Velika Lašča this week to mark the 450th anniversary of the first Slovene translation of the Bible, by Primož Trubar. The key-note speaker was Evald Filsar, the president of the Society of Slovene Writers, who urged the government to take steps in ensuring that Slovene does not die as a literary language in the face of European integration, globalization and free-market economics among other factors.
Other participants included Minister of Education and Sports Lovro Šturm, Minister of Culture Rudi Šeligo, and Prime Minister Andrej Bajuk. The event was organized by the Primož Trubar Slovene Protestant Society, the Ministry of Culture and the city of Velika Lašča.
Mirsad Purivatra, director of the Sarajevo Film Festival, gave a presentation in Ljubljana this week about the Festival and announced this year's schedule. The sixth annual Sarajevo Film Festival will take place between 18 and 26 August. It will be the biggest so far, including more than 100 films from 25 countries. Over the course of the past five years, the Festival has become one of the region's most important cultural events.
Brian Požun, 19 June 2000