Thursday, May 31, 2007

Muslims Plan Slovenia's First Mosque

The Muslim community of Slovenia is planning to build the country's first mosque and an Islamic cultural center.

"Slovenia's mufti Nedzad Grabus and Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Jankovic signed a letter of intent on the sale of land for the mosque and adjoining buildings, the Serbian B92 radio reported.

The Muslim worship center will be built on an area of 4 acres and initial plans say it will be completed in the next six years. The Islamic community of Slovenia of 40,000 Muslims will pay $8.2 million for the building site close to the center of Ljubljana, B92 said."

Source: UPI

Eastern Europe Is This Summer’s Hot Spot

According to the AAA, summer vacation bookings to Eastern Europe, including Slovenia, are skyrocketing:

"Based on travel taking place June through August this year, tour bookings to Europe, in general, are down slightly. However, travel to Eastern Europe is up by 55 percent. Travel to Croatia has increased 69 percent; Slovenia, 100 percent; Poland, 10 percent; Hungary, 76 percent; and Romania, 700 percent.

In comparison, Italy and Germany are down .7 percent and 43 percent respectively. Travel to the United Kingdom is down 1.9 percent and Ireland is down 10.4 percent. However, travel to France is up 40 percent this summer.

The data is based on AAA Travel agency bookings through May 1. Increased air services to Eastern Europe, positive media coverage and increased promotion have also boosted interest in Eastern European travel."

Source —AAA

Monday, May 21, 2007

Smart car breaks man's fall

May 17 2007 - "A Slovenian man survived a fall from the twelfth floor of a block of flats when he landed on a Smart car 120 feet below.

Darko Mirinovic, 25, is being treated in hospital in the capital Ljubljana for broken arms, legs and ribs - but doctors at the Clinical Centre Hospital said it was amazing he had survived at all.

Saso Jovanovic, who owns the Smart car which broke the man's fall, said: 'I didn't know whether to be happy or sad, he ruined my car, but it saved his life.'"


Adriatic Tourism Conference Takes Off in Ljubljana

The 1st International Adriatic Mayors' Conference, aimed at strengthening cooperation in the Adriatic area and exchanging experience between cities in the region, opened in Ljubljana on Thursday, 17 May.

The Adriatic Sea is of extreme importance for the development of tourism in the region, said Marjan Hribar, the head of the Tourism Directorate at the Economy Ministry.

However, this potential is not passing unnoticed by foreign businesses, which are increasing their investments in tourism in the region, he warned.

This piece of Europe has secured its position on the world tourist map, however, further cooperation between the countries lying along the Adriatic is needed to increase the region's importance, Hribar pointed out.

Meanwhile, Slovenia is opening to a new type of tourism - cruises. Until the end of the year, eight cruise ships are scheduled to stop at the port of Koper, bringing around 50,000 visitors to Slovenian shores, Hribar revealed.

One quarter of all overnight stays at the Slovenian coast result from tourism, a trend that is bound to continue, he said.

Source: Slovene Press Agency STA

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Slovenians Join Global Meditation Initiative

"Ljubljana, 20 May (STA) - Around 250 people gathered in Tivoli park in Ljubljana on Sunday to meditate as part of a global initiative. The organiser of the event in Slovenia, Nina Thalan, said the goal of today's meeting was 'to bring the spiritual world closer to the people'."

Source: STA

Strel Returns to Slovenia after Braving Amazon River

"The Slovenian extreme swimmer Martin Strel returned to Slovenia on Friday, a month after he completed his record-breaking swim of the Amazon. The Amazon swim was very dangerous, even life-threatening, however, the project was very successful, since it drew a lot of public attention, Strel said at a press conference at Ljubljana's Brnik airport.

Strel said he was very busy, since many media outlets from around the world have been trying to enlist his services. In America, he has also been writing a book, while a film about his adventures is being shot there as well.
After the 66-day Amazon swim, Strel was taken to a hospital due to exhaustion and high blood pressure. While his exploits received a lot of attention in America, in Slovenia it was almost overlooked.
He is unhappy about the snub: 'I'm no longer interested in Slovenia, because it did not give me what I expected,' Strel said.
He is more interested in the English speaking world: America, the UK and Australia, where he received many offers for cooperation. 'In the next years you will see who Martin Strel really is,' he said."


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Slovenian President Janez Drnovsek says Govt. trying to discredit him

"Slovenian President Janez Drnovsek has accused the government of trying to cast him in a poor light through doubtful public methods.

The conservative government of Janez Jansa was carrying out a 'systematic campaign to discredit' him, the head of state said on public television Friday night.

Drnovsek, who is ill with cancer, however, said he would not be intimidated by this. He was reacting to the findings of a special commission that the intelligence service SOVA had authorized the payment of a flight for an Indian healer to treat Drnovsek.

Drnovsek confirmed the had been treated by the healer, but denied involving the intelligence agency."

Source: DPA

World record set for simultaneous dancing

"Ljubljana - Thousands gathered on Friday in the Slovenian capital and more than 40 other cities to dance the quadrille in a bid to set a new world record in simultaneous dancing, organisers said.

Some 24,416 participants from Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Macedonia blocked city centres at noon dressed in orange and black t-shirts and carrying white umbrellas. They danced the quadrille to music from Johan Strauss' Fledermaus.

The Quadrille Dance Parade, organised by Slovenian tourist and municipal authorities, was performed this year for the seventh time in a row. Organisers said it broke the record set in 2006 when 23,600 danced simultaneously in a total of 36 cities."

-- AFP

Al Jazeera's Barnaby Phillips talks with Slovene President Janez Drnovsek

'Al Jazeera's Barnaby Phillips travels to Slovenia to meet one of Europe's more eccentric leaders - Janez Drnovsek. Once a staid and conventional politician, Drnovsek transformed his lifestyle after being diagnosed with cancer eight years ago.

Eschewing the delights of Ljubljana, Slovenia's baroque capital and the comforts that surround most statesmen, Drnovsek moved to a simple house in the mountains where he lives alone with his dog. Al Jazeera accompanied him to his home where - as the President explained - he spends much of his time preparing vegan food or in quiet contemplation.

His philosophical books, with titles such as Golden Thoughts and The Essence of the World are best sellers with the Slovenian public, among whom the President enjoys a high popularity rating.

His 'new-age' lifestyle however has angered some who think his rejection of conventional medicine is irresponsible.

He has also taken his quest for justice and peace to the world stage, proposing solutions for many of the world's most intractable problems – from the Darfur conflict to climate change.'

Source: Al Jazeera

Chinese, Slovenian, Croatian premiers hail anniversary of diplomatic ties

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao exchanged greetings with Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa and Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader respectively on the 15th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Sunday.

Wen and Jansa sent each other a congratulatory message Saturday to hail the development of ties since China and Slovenia forged diplomatic relations 15 years ago.

The premiers spoke highly of the fruitful developments in relations between China and Slovenia and between China and Croatia, vowing to work together to further bilateral ties in the interests of their peoples.

Source: Xinhua

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A compilation of news stories of interest concerning Slovenia.