Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ex-Slovenian President Dies at 57

"Former President Janez Drnovsek, who helped lead Slovenia to independence from Yugoslavia and later enthralled many of his countrymen by adopting a New Age lifestyle, died Saturday, his office said. He was 57.

Mild-mannered but resolute, Drnovsek became a political icon in part for working to keep violence at a minimum when Slovenia gained independence in 1991. He later led the country to European Union and NATO membership.

In recent years, as he battled cancer, he made a radical transformation to a holistic lifestyle and wrote several New Age-influenced books. His office said he died overnight at his home but gave no specific cause.

Drnovsek was the Slovenian representative the Yugoslav federation's collective presidency when his region declared its independence. Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic sent tanks to Slovenian borders, triggering a brief war. But Drnovsek used his position to push for negotiations, eventually orchestrating a deal for the peaceful withdrawal of the Yugoslav army and sparing Slovenia from bloodshed that later engulfed Croatia and Bosnia.

Drnovsek was Slovenia's prime minister for a decade before being elected president in 2002. He did not run for a second presidential term in elections late last year and was replaced by Danilo Turk in December."

Source: The Associated Press

Monday, February 11, 2008

Slovenia worried Serbia bomb linked to EU role

"Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel expressed concern Saturday over a bomb blast at a Slovenian-run shopping mall in Serbia, saying he feared it was tied to his country's EU leadership.

'Yesterday there was some bomb explosion in Belgrade in front of Slovenian stores,' Rupel said during a speech to an international security conference in Germany on the issue of the crisis between Serbia and breakaway Kosovo.

'I'm a little worried about that because it may be connected to the role Slovenia's playing at the head of the European Union,' he said.

Slovenia currently holds the rotating presidency of the 27-nation EU"