Slovenia. Slovenia, the most prosperous of the former Yugoslav republics, stood last summer in the long queue of countries wanting to join the EU. Prime Minister Janez Drnovšek filed the application on June 10 while signing a new cooperation agreement with the EU’s foreign ministers. Slovenia is the tenth eastern state to have a so-called Europe agreement with the EU. In addition to a gradual reduction in tariffs and promises of aid, there is also a promise of future membership. Gross domestic product has increased by almost 4% per year over the past three years, and Slovenia expects that the average income for citizens will soon be greater than in Greece, Portugal and Ireland.
Slovenia’s cooperation agreement with the EU was delayed by more than a year due to the conflict with Italy over the right to property owned by Italians who left the country in the context of the Second World War. However, the issue was resolved when the Slovenian government promised to change the legislation within four years to enable foreigners to own property in the country.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG: What does SI stand for? In the field of geography, this two letter acronym means Slovenia. Check this to see its other meanings in English and other 35 languages.
A further approach to the EU’s regulatory system took place when Slovenia introduced visa waivers for Bosnian and Herzegovina citizens in June. It angered the Sarajevo government, which introduced the corresponding rule the month after. Bosnian Prime Minister Hasan Muratović threatened to find suppliers other than the Slovenes, who sell hundreds of millions of dollars worth of goods to the internationally financed reconstruction of the war-torn country.
The November 10 parliamentary elections resulted in Prime Minister Janez Drnovšek’s Liberal Democrats, Liberalna Demokracija Slovenije (LDS), gaining 25 of Parliament’s 90 seats. The Conservative Slovenian People’s Party (Slovenska Ljudska Stranka, SDS), led by Marjan Podobnik, increased its mandate share from 12 to 19. The newly formed pensioner party, the Democratic Party Stranka Upokojencev Slovenije (Desus), received five seats. The turnout was 74% against 85% in 1992. Just before the turn of the year, President Milan Kučan commissioned Drnovšek to form a government.
At the December 8 referendum on a new electoral law, only 35% of voters went to the polls. The issue therefore returned to Parliament.
According to Countryaah.com, the population of Slovenia in 1996 was 1,991,020, ranking number 142 in the world. The population growth rate was -0.150% yearly, and the population density was 98.8645 people per km2.
The economic conditions vary greatly with the areas: the farmer of the fertile Styrian hills derives good income from the cultivation of the vine, but the shepherd of the Karst region leads to poor existence, attracted by the bottoms of the sinkholes. However, only 4.5% of the land is unproductive: 43.4% is covered by woods and the rest is used with fields, meadows and pastures. The main crops are those of wheat, maize, rye, oats, barley, with a yield per hectare that is still very low. The cultivation of vines and fruit is also important. The farm has about half a million head of cattle, mainly cattle. Butter and poultry are exported, and the hives produce honey in abundance. The local labor is employed in woodworking, in the extraction of minerals, in distilleries, in textile industry; steel processing, which was based on Styrian iron, is now in decline. The railway network is 1037 km long.
In 1931 Slovenia had 1,144,298 residents, with an average density of 72.2 per sq km. The population increase in the last decade was 7.9%, much lower than the state average (16.3%). The population is for the most part of Slovenian nationality, of tall stature and brown type, brisk and thrifty, fairly well educated (14% illiterate). A minority of some importance, but now very much in decline, is the German one (40,000 residents), Which also has a compact islet in the area of Kočevje (Gottschee). In 1931, 6,730 Italian subjects were also counted in Slovenia. Outside the Yugoslav territory, Slovenian minorities live in Italy (over 300,000), Austria (91,600) and Hungary (6500). It is estimated that the area occupied by Slovenes extends over 20-22 thousand square kilometers. and their total number (including those residing in the United States) is around one and a half million. As a confession, the Slovenes are mostly Catholics (only 2.1% Lutherans and 0.6% Orthodox). The population density increases from west to east with the lowering of the region and while it has rather low values in the limestone reliefs, it thickens in correspondence with the arenaceous and marly soils of the tertiary hills and near alluvial and lake deposits (Ljubljana basins, Celje, Marburg and Ljutomer); the maximum values (355 residents per sq. km.) are found in the mining district of Zagorje-Trbovlie-Hrastnik from where 40% of Yugoslav fuel production is extracted (2.5 million tons of hard coal and lignite). Among the mines in the region we should also mention those of lead and zinc (Litija, Mezica: 80 thousand tons), of antimony (Trojana) and pyrite (Železno). The main city of Slovenia is Ljubljana (v.); in second place comes Marburg (Maribor; v.). Among the numerous health resorts we mention Dobrna, at 353 meters above sea level and 18 km. by Celie; Rogaška Slatina (228 msm); Toplice Laško (231 masl) and, most important of all, Bled.