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.