Slovenia


Slovenia
/sloh vee"nee euh, -veen"yeuh/, n.
a republic in SE Europe: formerly part of Yugoslavia. 1,945,998; 7819 sq. mi. (20,250 sq. km). Cap.: Ljubljana.

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Slovenia

Introduction Slovenia -
Background: The Slovene lands were part of the Holy Roman Empire and Austria until 1918 when the Slovenes joined the Serbs and Croats in forming a new nation, renamed Yugoslavia in 1929. After World War II, Slovenia became a republic of the renewed Yugoslavia, which though Communist, distanced itself from Moscow's rule. Dissatisfied with the exercise of power of the majority Serbs, the Slovenes succeeded in establishing their independence in 1991. Historical ties to Western Europe, a strong economy, and a stable democracy make Slovenia a leading candidate for future membership in the EU and NATO. Geography Slovenia
Location: Central Europe, eastern Alps bordering the Adriatic Sea, between Austria and Croatia
Geographic coordinates: 46 07 N, 14 49 E
Map references: Europe
Area: total: 20,273 sq km water: 122 sq km land: 20,151 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than New Jersey
Land boundaries: total: 1,334 km border countries: Austria 330 km, Croatia 670 km, Italy 232 km, Hungary 102 km
Coastline: 46.6 km
Maritime claims: NA
Climate: Mediterranean climate on the coast, continental climate with mild to hot summers and cold winters in the plateaus and valleys to the east
Terrain: a short coastal strip on the Adriatic, an alpine mountain region adjacent to Italy and Austria, mixed mountain and valleys with numerous rivers to the east
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Adriatic Sea 0 m highest point: Triglav 2,864 m
Natural resources: lignite coal, lead, zinc, mercury, uranium, silver, hydropower, forests
Land use: arable land: 11.48% permanent crops: 2.68% other: 85.83% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land: 20 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: flooding and earthquakes Environment - current issues: Sava River polluted with domestic and industrial waste; pollution of coastal waters with heavy metals and toxic chemicals; forest damage near Koper from air pollution (originating at metallurgical and chemical plants) and resulting acid rain Environment - international party to: Air Pollution, Air
agreements: Pollution-Sulphur 94, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note: despite its small size, this eastern Alpine country controls some of Europe's major transit routes People Slovenia -
Population: 1,932,917 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 15.7% (male 155,989; female 147,707) 15-64 years: 69.8% (male 684,354; female 663,884) 65 years and over: 14.5% (male 103,790; female 177,193) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.14% (2002 est.)
Birth rate: 9.27 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate: 10.07 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate: 2.24 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.59 male(s)/ female total population: 0.96 male(s)/ female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 4.47 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.) Life expectancy at birth: total population: 75.29 years female: 79.37 years (2002 est.) male: 71.42 years
Total fertility rate: 1.28 children born/woman (2002 est.) HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.02% (1999 est.) HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ 200 (1999 est.)
AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths: less than 100 (1999 est.)
Nationality: noun: Slovene(s) adjective: Slovenian
Ethnic groups: Slovene 88%, Croat 3%, Serb 2%, Bosniak 1%, Yugoslav 0.6%, Hungarian 0.4%, other 5% (1991)
Religions: Roman Catholic (Uniate 2%) 70.8%, Lutheran 1%, Muslim 1%, atheist 4.3%, other 22.9%
Languages: Slovenian 91%, Serbo-Croatian 6%, other 3%
Literacy: definition: NA total population: 99% male: NA% female: NA% Government Slovenia -
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Slovenia conventional short form: Slovenia local short form: Slovenija local long form: Republika Slovenija
Government type: parliamentary democratic republic
Capital: Ljubljana Administrative divisions: 136 municipalities (obcine, singular - obcina) and 11 urban municipalities* (mestne obcine , singular - mestna obcina ) Ajdovscina, Beltinci, Bled, Bohinj, Borovnica, Bovec, Brda, Brezice, Brezovica, Cankova-Tisina, Celje*, Cerklje na Gorenjskem, Cerknica, Cerkno, Crensovci, Crna na Koroskem, Crnomelj, Destrnik-Trnovska Vas, Divaca, Dobrepolje, Dobrova-Horjul- Polhov Gradec, Dol pri Ljubljani, Domzale, Dornava, Dravograd, Duplek, Gorenja Vas-Poljane, Gorisnica, Gornja Radgona, Gornji Grad, Gornji Petrovci, Grosuplje, Hodos Salovci, Hrastnik, Hrpelje-Kozina, Idrija, Ig, Ilirska Bistrica, Ivancna Gorica, Izola, Jesenice, Jursinci, Kamnik, Kanal, Kidricevo, Kobarid, Kobilje, Kocevje, Komen, Koper*, Kozje, Kranj*, Kranjska Gora, Krsko, Kungota, Kuzma, Lasko, Lenart, Lendava, Litija, Ljubljana*, Ljubno, Ljutomer, Logatec, Loska Dolina, Loski Potok, Luce, Lukovica, Majsperk, Maribor*, Medvode, Menges, Metlika, Mezica, Miren-Kostanjevica, Mislinja, Moravce, Moravske Toplice, Mozirje, Murska Sobota*, Muta, Naklo, Nazarje, Nova Gorica*, Novo Mesto*, Odranci, Ormoz, Osilnica, Pesnica, Piran, Pivka, Podcetrtek, Podvelka-Ribnica, Postojna, Preddvor, Ptuj*, Puconci, Race-Fram, Radece, Radenci, Radlje ob Dravi, Radovljica, Ravne-Prevalje, Ribnica, Rogasevci, Rogaska Slatina, Rogatec, Ruse, Semic, Sencur, Sentilj, Sentjernej, Sentjur pri Celju, Sevnica, Sezana, Skocjan, Skofja Loka, Skofljica, Slovenj Gradec*, Slovenska Bistrica, Slovenske Konjice, Smarje pri Jelsah, Smartno ob Paki, Sostanj, Starse, Store, Sveti Jurij, Tolmin, Trbovlje, Trebnje, Trzic, Turnisce, Velenje*, Velike Lasce, Videm, Vipava, Vitanje, Vodice, Vojnik, Vrhnika, Vuzenica, Zagorje ob Savi, Zalec, Zavrc, Zelezniki, Ziri, Zrece note: there may be 45 more municipalities
Independence: 25 June 1991 (from Yugoslavia)
National holiday: Independence Day/Statehood Day, 25 June (1991)
Constitution: adopted 23 December 1991, effective 23 December 1991
Legal system: based on civil law system
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal (16 years of age, if employed)
Executive branch: chief of state: President Milan KUCAN (since 22 April 1990) head of government: Prime Minister Janez DRNOVSEK (since 15 October 2000) cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the prime minister and elected by the National Assembly election results: Milan KUCAN elected president; percent of vote - Milan KUCAN 56.3%, Janez PODOBNIK 18%; Janez DRNOVSEK elected prime minister; percent of National Assembly vote - NA% elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 24 November 1997 (next to be held in the fall of 2002); following National Assembly elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of a majority coalition is usually nominated to become prime minister by the president and elected by the National Assembly; election last held 15 October 2000 (next to be held NA October 2004)
Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Drzavni Zbor (90 seats, 40 are directly elected and 50 are selected on a proportional basis; note - the numbers of directly elected and proportionally elected seats varies with each election; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) election results: percent of vote by party - LDS 36%, SDS 16%, ZLSD 12%, SLS/SKD 10%, NSi 9%, SMS 4%, SNS 4%, DeSUS 5%, other 4%; seats by party - LDS 34, SDS 14, ZLDS 11, SLS/SKD 9, NSi 8, SMS 4, SNS 4, DeSUS 4, other 2 note: the National Council or Drzavni Svet is an advisory body with limited legislative powers; it may propose laws and ask to review any National Assembly decisions; in the election of November 1997, 40 members were elected to represent local, professional, and socioeconomic interests (next election to be held in the fall of 2002) elections: National Assembly - last held 15 October 2000 (next to be held NA October 2004)
Judicial branch: Supreme Court (judges are elected by the National Assembly on the recommendation of the Judicial Council); Constitutional Court (judges elected for nine-year terms by the National Assembly and nominated by the president) Political parties and leaders: Democratic Party of Retired (Persons) of Slovenia or DeSUS [Janko KUSAR]; Liberal Democratic or LDS [Janez DRNOVSEK, chairman]; New Slovenia or NSi [Andrej BAJUK, chairman]; Slovene National Party or SNS [Zmago JELINCIC, chairman]; Slovene People's Party or SLS (Slovenian People's Party or SLS and Slovenian Christian Democrats or SKD merged in April 2000) [Franc ZAGOZEN, chairman]; Slovene Youth Party or SMS [Peter LEVIC]; Social Democratic Party of Slovenia or SDS [Janez JANSA, chairman]; United List of Social Democrats (former Communists and allies) or ZLSD [Borut PAHOR, chairman] Political pressure groups and NA
leaders: International organization ABEDA, ACCT (observer), BIS, CCC,
participation: CE, CEI, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EU (applicant), FAO, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM (guest), NSG, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIK, UNTSO, UPU, WEU (associate partner), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Davorin KRACUN FAX: [1] (202) 667-4563 consulate(s) general: New York and Cleveland telephone: [1] (202) 667-5363 chancery: 1525 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036 Diplomatic representation from the chief of mission: Ambassador Johnny
US: YOUNG embassy: Presernova 31, SI-1000 Ljubljana mailing address: P. O. Box 254, Presernova 31, 1000 Ljubljana; American Embassy Ljubljana, Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-7140 telephone: [386] (1) 200-5500 FAX: [386] (1) 200-5555
Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of white (top), blue, and red, with the Slovenian seal (a shield with the image of Triglav, Slovenia's highest peak, in white against a blue background at the center; beneath it are two wavy blue lines depicting seas and rivers, and above it are three six-pointed stars arranged in an inverted triangle which are taken from the coat of arms of the Counts of Celje, the great Slovene dynastic house of the late 14th and early 15th centuries); the seal is located in the upper hoist side of the flag centered in the white and blue bands Economy Slovenia
Economy - overview: Although Slovenia enjoys a GDP per capita substantially higher than that of the other transitioning economies of Central Europe, it needs to speed up the privatization process and the dismantling of restrictions on foreign investment. About 45% of the economy remains in state hands, and the level of foreign direct investment inflows as a percent of GDP is the lowest in the region. Despite the global slowdown in 2001, the economy turned in an excellent record on exports, which grew 5%. Inflation dropped slightly but at 8.4% remains a matter of concern.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $31 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 4% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $16,000 (2001 est.) GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 4% industry: 35% services: 61% (2001 est.) Population below poverty line: NA% Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: 3.9%
percentage share: highest 10%: 23% (1998) Distribution of family income - Gini 28.4 (1998)
index: Inflation rate (consumer prices): 8.4% (2001 est.)
Labor force: 857,400 Labor force - by occupation: agriculture NA%, industry NA%, services NA%
Unemployment rate: 11.5% (2001 est.)
Budget: revenues: $8.11 billion expenditures: $8.32 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1997 est.)
Industries: ferrous metallurgy and rolling mill products, aluminum reduction and rolled products, lead and zinc smelting, electronics (including military electronics), trucks, electric power equipment, wood products, textiles, chemicals, machine tools Industrial production growth rate: 3.3% (2001) Electricity - production: 12.816 billion kWh (2000) Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 34.93% hydro: 29.42% other: 0.23% (2000) nuclear: 35.42% Electricity - consumption: 10.619 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports: 2 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports: 700 million kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products: potatoes, hops, wheat, sugar beets, corn, grapes; cattle, sheep, poultry
Exports: $9.2 billion (f.o.b., 2001)
Exports - commodities: manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, food
Exports - partners: Germany 27.2%, Italy 13.6%, Croatia 7.9%, Austria 7.5%, France 7.1% (2000)
Imports: $9.9 billion (f.o.b., 2001)
Imports - commodities: machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, chemicals, fuels and lubricants, food
Imports - partners: Germany 19.0%, Italy 17.4%, France 10.3%, Austria 8.2%, Croatia 4.4%, Hungary, Russia (2000)
Debt - external: $6.6 billion (2001) Economic aid - recipient: ODA, $5 million (1993)
Currency: tolar (SIT)
Currency code: SIT
Exchange rates: tolars per US dollar - 251.40 (January 2002), 242.75 (2001), 222.66 (2000), 181.77 (1999), 166.13 (1998), 159.69 (1997)
Fiscal year: calendar year Communications Slovenia - Telephones - main lines in use: 722,000 (1997) Telephones - mobile cellular: 1 million (2000)
Telephone system: general assessment: NA domestic: 100% digital (2000) international: NA
Radio broadcast stations: AM 17, FM 160, shortwave 0 (1998)
Radios: 805,000 (1997) Television broadcast stations: 48 (2001)
Televisions: 710,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .si Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 11 (2000)
Internet users: 600,000 (2001) Transportation Slovenia -
Railways: total: 1,201 km standard gauge: 1,201 km 1.435- m gauge (489 km electrified) (2001)
Highways: total: 19,586 km paved: 17,745 km (including 249 km of expressways) unpaved: 1,841 km (1998 est.)
Waterways: NA
Pipelines: crude oil 290 km; natural gas 305 km
Ports and harbors: Izola, Koper, Piran
Airports: 14 (2001) Airports - with paved runways: total: 6 over 3,047 m: 1 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 914 to 1,523 m: 2 under 914 m: 1 (2001) Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 8 1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 914 to 1,523 m: 2 under 914 m: 4 (2001) Military Slovenia -
Military branches: Slovenian Army (includes Air and Naval Forces) Military manpower - military age: 19 years of age (2002 est.) Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 521,881 (2002 est.) Military manpower - fit for military males age 15-49: 414,878 (2002 est.)
service: Military manpower - reaching males: 14,513 (2002 est.)
military age annually: Military expenditures - dollar $370 million (FY00)
figure: Military expenditures - percent of 1.7% (FY00)
GDP: Transnational Issues Slovenia - Disputes - international: Slovenia and Croatia have not obtained parliamentary ratification of 2001 land and marine boundary treaty, which cedes villages on the Dragonja River and Sveta Gera (Trdinov Peak) to Croatia, and most of Pirin Bay to Slovenia but restricts Slovenian access to the open sea; Austria has minor dispute with Slovenia over nuclear power plants and post-World War II treatment of German-speaking minorities
Illicit drugs: minor transit point for cocaine and Southwest Asian heroin bound for Western Europe, and for precursor chemicals

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officially Republic of Slovenia

Country, northwestern Balkans, southern Europe.

Area: 7,827 sq mi (20,273 sq km). Population (2002 est.): 1,948,000. Capital: Ljubljana. The vast majority of the population is Slovene. Language: Slovene (official). Religion: Roman Catholicism. Currency: Slovene tolar. Slovenia is predominantly mountainous and wooded, with deep, fertile valleys and numerous rivers. It is one of the more prosperous regions of the Balkans; its economy is based largely on manufacturing. Coal, lead, and zinc are mined; forestry, livestock, and crops, including potatoes, grains, and fruits, are also important. Slovenia is a republic with two legislative houses; its head of state is the president, and the head of government is the prime minister. The Slovenes settled the region in the 6th century AD. In the 8th century it was incorporated into the Frankish empire of Charlemagne, and in the 10th century it came under Germany as part of the medieval empire (later to become the Holy Roman Empire). Except for the period from 1809 to 1813, when Napoleon ruled the area, most of the lands belonged to Austria, until the formation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes in 1918. Slovenia became a constituent republic of Yugoslavia in 1946 and received a section of the former Italian Adriatic coastline in 1947. In 1990 Slovenia held the first contested multiparty elections in Yugoslavia since before World War II. In 1991 Slovenia seceded from Yugoslavia; its independence was internationally recognized in 1992.

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▪ 2009

Area:
20,273 sq km (7,827 sq mi)
Population
(2008 est.): 2,029,000
Capital:
Ljubljana
Chief of state:
President Danilo Turk
Head of government:
Prime Ministers Janez Jansa and, from November 21, Borut Pahor

      Slovenia presided over the Council of the European Union (EU) during the first half of 2008; it was the first postcommunist country to hold the EU presidency. During its tenure Slovenia led efforts to ratify the Lisbon Treaty, which would streamline the workings of the EU; to renew the Lisbon Strategy, an EU economic development plan; and to establish the Ljubljana Process, which would accelerate cooperation between European research institutions. Slovenia cochaired several EU summits during its presidency, including one with the United States on June 10 in Brdo pri Kranju. The meeting addressed climate change, trade, terrorism, and the diversification of energy sources.

      Relations with neighbouring states were generally positive. On March 5 the Slovenian parliament recognized the independence of Kosovo. Slovenia's border disputes with Croatia remained unresolved, however.

      The centre-left Social Democrats (SD) narrowly won the September 21 parliamentary elections, edging out Prime Minister Janez Jansa's Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) 30.45% to 29.26%. The centre-right government had been weakened by the economic downturn and an inflation rate of 6%, as well as by reports from the Finnish Broadcasting Company that Jansa and other officials had taken bribes before approving the purchase of armoured vehicles from Finnish defense contractor Patria Oyj in 2006. (The Jansa government rejected the allegations, and the reports were under investigation in Finland and Slovenia.) The SD eventually formed a four-party coalition government, and SD leader Borut Pahor was named prime minister.

      The global financial crisis dominated economic news, with the Slovenian stock-exchange index SBI 20 plunging about 67% during the year. In June the Vienna Stock Exchange acquired an 81% stake in the Ljubljana Stock Exchange. Agricultural production suffered as severe summer storms damaged an estimated 20% of farmland across Slovenia.

      The year saw several developments in higher education. The Euro-Mediterranean University, an international network of universities, was founded in Portoroz on June 9. On September 11 the Slovenian Bishops' Conference inaugurated the Catholic Institute, expected to evolve into Slovenia's first Roman Catholic university. The New University, a private institution based in Nova Gorica and Brdo pri Kranju, was established on September 29.

      In other news, at the Summer Olympics in Beijing, Primoz Kozmus earned a gold medal in the men's hammer throw competition. It was Slovenia's first Olympic gold in a track-and-field event.

Joseph Valencic

▪ 2008

Area:
20,273 sq km (7,827 sq mi)
Population
(2007 est.): 2,011,000
Capital:
Ljubljana
Chief of state:
Presidents Janez Drnovsek and, from December 22, Danilo Turk
Head of government:
Prime Minister Janez Jansa

      Slovenia began 2007 by becoming the 13th country in the 27-member European Union to adopt the euro as its currency. The transition from the tolar to the euro was prepared carefully and implemented smoothly.

 The government and the parliament used 2007 to prepare for the presidency of the European Union during the first half of 2008. Thus, Slovenia, the first of the 10 states that joined the EU in 2004 to adopt the euro, was also the first of that group to accede to the EU rotating presidency. A third major step as an EU member came on December 21, when extension of the Schengen Agreement abolished Slovenia's border controls with fellow members Italy, Austria, and Hungary. This step also made Slovenia's border with non-EU member Croatia the external border of the EU.

      On October 21 Slovenia held a presidential election. Incumbent Pres. Janez Drnovsek chose not to seek reelection to another five-year term. Seven candidates competed, but because none gained a majority of the votes cast, a runoff election was held on November 11 between the two candidates with the most votes. The victor was former UN ambassador Danilo Turk, who captured 68% of the vote. He defeated Lojze Peterle, Slovenia's prime minister at the time of independence in 1991. Turk was supported by the centre-left, while Peterle was the candidate of the centre-right, including the parties constituting Slovenia's coalition government under Prime Minister Janez Jansa. Turk took office on December 22.

      Slovenia's government remained stable during the year, although there were several ministerial changes. The strong leftist showing in the presidential election underscored the vulnerability of the Jansa coalition leading up to the parliamentary elections due in the fall of 2008. The collapse of the once-dominant Liberal Democrat party was coupled with the appearance of a new centre-left party known as Zares (For Real), whose leaders emanated primarily from the Liberal Democrats. Its popularity remained unclear, however, and the strongest leader on the left continued to be Borut Pahor, head of the Social Democrats, who declined an anticipated presidential run in order to prepare for the 2008 parliamentary vote.

Rudolph M. Susel

▪ 2007

Area:
20,273 sq km (7,827 sq mi)
Population
(2006 est.): 2,006,000
Capital:
Ljubljana
Chief of state:
President Janez Drnovsek
Head of government:
Prime Minister Janez Jansa

      Slovenia's effort to join the European currency union and adopt the euro succeeded in May 2006 when the European Commission agreed that the country had met the requirements. On Jan. 1, 2007, Slovenia would become the first of the 10 countries that joined the European Union in 2004 to adopt the euro and the 13th overall. The government continued preparing to hold the presidency of the EU in the first half of 2008. Slovenia would be the first of the 2004 group of new member countries to hold the rotating presidency.

      Prime Minister Janez Jansa, leader of a four-party coalition centre-right government, continued a series of economic and tax reforms that began to have a positive effect by the end of 2006. The country's unemployment rate dropped to the lowest level since independence in 1991. On October 22 Slovenia held quadrennial local elections in all 210 urban and rural districts in the country; 58% of the electorate participated. The results were similar to those of parliamentary elections in 2004, with the centre-right parties that made up the national government gaining mayors and council members at the expense of the centre-left.

      In May, Jansa visited Russia, where talks focused on economic cooperation and especially Russian gas supplies to Slovenia. In early July, Jansa visited the United States, where talks with Pres. George W. Bush focused on Slovenia's role in NATO's peacekeeping efforts. In November the prime minister traveled to several Middle Eastern countries to promote economic ties. His itinerary included a brief stop in Iraq, where Slovenia led a training program for Iraqi police.

      Archbishop Franc Rode, leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Slovenia from 1997 to 2004, was elevated to cardinal on March 24, the first in the country's history (although the third of Slovenian ancestry). On April 7 three new dioceses were established in Slovenia by the Vatican, with their seats in the cities of Novo Mesto, Celje, and Murska Sobota. Slovenia's second city, Maribor, was raised to the status of archbishopric, and its bishop, Franc Kramberger, was elevated to archbishop.

Rudolph M. Susel

▪ 2006

Area:
20,273 sq km (7,827 sq mi)
Population
(2005 est.): 1,999,000
Capital:
Ljubljana
Chief of state:
President Janez Drnovsek
Head of government:
Prime Minister Janez Jansa

      In October 2005 the centre-right coalition government led by Prime Minister Janez Jansa of the Slovenian Democrat Party proposed an extensive reform of the country's tax and social-welfare system. The goal was to make taxation fairer, ease the tax burden on business, and reduce the level of state control of the economy by promoting privatization. Of those Eastern European countries that had joined the EU in 2004, Slovenia had the highest percentage (45%) of state ownership of the economy.

      The reform program generated intense opposition from the left-centre political parties as well as most organized-labour and retiree groups. They accused the government of trying to dismantle key aspects of the social-welfare system established during the communist era (1945–90) and largely maintained by the primarily centre-left governments of postindependence Slovenia.

      On September 25, voters in a national referendum confirmed (by a 50.2% majority) a law enacted by the parliament designed to provide a more representative leadership for the national radio and television network, including a separate channel to transmit sessions of the parliament. This was seen as a way of pluralizing the media, which in the eyes of the government and its supporters retained a strong leftist bias in reporting the news.

      In foreign affairs Slovenia and neighbouring Croatia remained unable to reach agreement on defining their common border, and it became clear that international mediation was the only feasible solution. Despite these difficulties, Slovenia continued strongly to support Croatia's candidacy for membership in the European Union. Slovenia ratified the EU's proposed new constitution in February, when the parliament voted 79–4 in favour of the measure. That month the government introduced a plan to take the steps necessary for Slovenia to adopt the euro on Jan. 1, 2007. In November the central bank of Slovenia revealed the design of Slovenia's euro coins.

      Church-state relations improved during the year. Most Slovenes belonged to the Roman Catholic Church, and the Jansa government was favourably inclined toward it. In addition, the new Roman Catholic archbishop, Alojz Uran, adopted a less-confrontational manner than that of his predecessor, Franc Rode. In October the Slovene Bishop's Conference asked the Vatican for permission to establish three new dioceses in the cities of Celje, Murska Sobota, and Novo Mesto. The action was taken after several years of discussion, and there were indications that the Vatican would approve the request.

Rudolph M. Susel

▪ 2005

Area:
20,273 sq km (7,827 sq mi)
Population
(2004 est.): 1,997,000
Capital:
Ljubljana
Chief of state:
President Janez Drnovsek
Head of government:
Prime Ministers Anton Rop and, from November 9, Janez Jansa

      The year 2004 was a significant one for Slovenia. It became a member of NATO on March 29 and of the European Union on May 1. Full membership in both organizations was the primary foreign-policy goal and was supported by all major political parties. Slovenia was to host the meeting of NATO members scheduled for the spring of 2005 and would hold the presidency of the EU for the first half of 2008.

      On June 13 Slovenia took part for the first time in EU-wide parliamentary elections. Turnout was low—only about 28% of voters went to the polls. Of the seven deputies that the country was entitled to send to the European Parliament, four were from conservative opposition parties, a harbinger of the results in the October 3 quadrennial parliamentary election. The major victor in that election was the Slovenian Democrat Party, which won 29 of the 90 seats. The party's leader, Janez Jansa, who had served as defense minister during the country's brief war for independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, became prime minister in November and formed a four-party centre-right coalition government in December. This ended a 12-year period of centre-left governments (except for six months in 2000) that were dominated by the leftist Liberal Democrat Party.

      A predominantly Roman Catholic country, Slovenia markedly improved its relations with the Vatican during the year. In January the parliament ratified an agreement with the Vatican—negotiated in 2001—that delineated the legal status of the church in Slovenia. In February, Archbishop Franc Rode of Ljubljana, who had led the church in Slovenia since 1997 and had spoken out often and in strong terms in defense of its rights, was appointed to a major post in the Vatican. His successor, Alojz Uran, appointed on October 25, was seen as both a less-controversial and a more popular leader than Rode.

      Slovenia's relations with Croatia, its southern neighbour, remained strained, owing primarily to the still-unresolved demarcation of the sea and land border between them. Several conflicts over fishing rights occurred, and it seemed likely that only some form of international arbitration could settle the issues.

      The country's economy remained stable during the year. Unemployment and inflation declined. Slovenia declared its intention to adopt the euro as soon as feasible, by 2008 at the latest, and to make the reforms necessary to achieve this goal. (See European Union: Sidebar (Criteria for Joining the Euro Zone ), above.)

Rudolph M. Susel

▪ 2004

Area:
20,273 sq km (7,827 sq mi)
Population
(2003 est.): 1,971,000
Capital:
Ljubljana
Chief of state:
President Janez Drnovsek
Head of government:
Prime Minister Anton Rop

      Slovenia began 2003 with a new president, Janez Drnovsek, who was elected Dec. 1, 2002, to a five-year term. Drnovsek had served as prime minister for most of Slovenia's 12 years as an independent country. Anton Rop was chosen to succeed Drnovsek as prime minister and head of a four-party centre-left coalition. Rop also succeeded Drnovsek as president of Liberal Democracy of Slovenia, the country's largest party. The change in leadership did not result in any basic internal or foreign-policy changes during the year.

      On March 23 a national referendum asked voters to confirm Slovenia's acceptance of invitations to join the European Union and NATO. Formal accession to both was slated for May 2004. With 60% participation, the vote in favour of EU membership was 89.6%, while NATO membership received a 66% favourable vote.

      Slovenia declined to support or participate in the U.S.-led war in Iraq. The government asserted that a specific United Nations Security Council resolution authorizing such a conflict was lacking. By year's end, with a unanimously adopted Security Council resolution authorizing assistance in reconstruction efforts in Iraq, Slovenia's government was considering how to participate. In another unsettled region, Afghanistan, Slovenia sent a 17-member military unit to assist in peacekeeping efforts.

      Slovenia was one of the founding members of the new International Criminal Court. It declined a request by the U.S. to sign a separate agreement that would preclude the extradition by Slovenia of American citizens to the jurisdiction of this court.

      Slovenia's Supreme Court continued to hold in abeyance a ruling on the constitutionality of an agreement signed in 2001 between Slovenia and the Vatican delineating the legal status of the Roman Catholic Church. Church leaders frequently criticized the slowness of the denationalization process involving seized church property and especially the failure to reach agreement allowing religious instruction in public schools.

      Slovenia's relations with its neighbours remained uneventful, except for Croatia, which angered Slovenia by declaring an exclusive economic zone in the Adriatic Sea. The sea and land border between Slovenia and Croatia remained unresolved, with the main issues for Slovenia being independent access to the open sea and fishing rights. Efforts to negotiate an agreement failed.

      As part of a basic reform of its military system, Slovenia abolished compulsory military service. In October the last class of draftees returned to civilian life.

Rudolph M. Susel

▪ 2003

Area:
20,273 sq km (7,827 sq mi)
Population
(2002 est.): 1,948,000
Capital:
Ljubljana
Chief of state:
Presidents Milan Kucan and, from December 23, Janez Drnovsek
Head of government:
Prime Ministers Janez Drnovsek and, from December 11, Anton Rop

      Janez Drnovsek, Slovenia's prime minister for most of its 11 years of independence, was elected the country's president on December 1. Drnovsek, leader of the Liberal Democrat Party, Slovenia's largest, began his five-year term on December 23. He succeeded Milan Kucan, the former head of Slovenia's Communist Party, who was limited by the constitution to two consecutive five-year terms. With his election as president, Drnovsek resigned both as prime minister and as president of the Liberal Democrats.

      The four parties constituting the country's left-of-centre coalition government chose Anton Rop, also a Liberal Democrat, who had served as minister of finance under Drnovsek, to form a new government. The legislature confirmed Rop's election by a two-thirds vote, indicating no substantive changes in policy until Slovenia's next parliamentary elections in the fall of 2004.

      Slovenia achieved a long-sought foreign policy objective on November 21 when it was among seven Central and Eastern European countries invited to become a member of NATO in 2004. Slovenia's government pledged to do everything necessary to fulfill the remaining membership requirements, a decision supported by all the country's major political parties. Public opinion polls reflected strong skepticism toward NATO membership, however, with opposition totals in the 40% range. This attitude led to consensus among the parties represented in legislature for a binding national referendum on the issue, to be held most likely in the first three months of 2003.

      On December 13 Slovenia achieved a second key foreign and economic policy goal, an invitation to join the European Union. While it had long expected to be among the 10 countries receiving an invitation to join, there remained some issues open in the negotiations between Slovene and EU representatives, particularly in agriculture. Slovenia's membership would mean that its southern border would also become the EU's border. This would impose special financial and security obligations on the small country, and it remained a concern for Slovenia and for the EU. It was complicated by the inability—despite continuing negotiations during 2002—of Slovenia and its southern neighbour, Croatia, to reach a definitive settlement of the land and sea border between them. Slovenia's political parties agreed to hold in 2003 the required national referendum on joining the EU, but polls showed the public strongly in favour of membership.

      At the close of 2002, Slovenia was chosen to preside over the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in 2005.

Rudolph M. Susel

▪ 2002

Area:
20,273 sq km (7,827 sq mi)
Population
(2001 est.): 1,991,000
Capital:
Ljubljana
Chief of state:
President Milan Kucan
Head of government:
Prime Minister Janez Drnovsek

      On June 16, 2001, Slovenia played host to the first meeting between U.S. Pres. George W. Bush and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. The two met at Brdo, a government-owned guest house northwest of Ljubljana.

      The left-centre coalition government formed by Prime Minister Janez Drnovsek of the Liberal Democracy of Slovenia—by far the largest party in the parliament following the Oct. 15, 2000, election—was stable during 2001. In October the 51-year-old Drnovsek confirmed the possible return of the cancer for which he had undergone successful surgery in 1999. Drnovsek said he planned to run for president in late 2002, health permitting.

      Slovenia devoted much attention to improving relations with its immediate neighbours. On February 14 Italy's Parliament approved a law protecting its Slovene minority, alleviating a decades-long source of tension. On July 23 Drnovsek and Croatian Prime Minister Ivica Racan signed an agreement defining the sea and land border between the two countries, but opposition arose in Croatia, and by year's end it was clear that Croatia would not ratify the agreement. The impasse was likely to require international arbitration, which Slovenia opposed. On September 17 Slovenia opened an embassy in Belgrade and thus normalized relations with Yugoslavia; the latter reciprocated on November 2. Relations with Austria remained touchy, however, in large part because of Slovenia's concerns about treatment of the Slovene minority in the Austrian province of Kärnten.

      Slow implementation of the nearly 10-year-old law on denationalization caused problems for Slovenia in its relations with the European Union (EU) and the United States. Government-approved decisions to return large tracts of land and major properties to the Catholic Church led to court appeals delaying the transfers, while Archbishop Franc Rode, head of the Slovene Church, spoke out against what he viewed as the antireligious attitude of the predominantly leftist political establishment and mass media. Slovenia continued its effort to meet the conditions for membership in the EU and seemed to make progress in a number of areas. A similar effort continued with respect to gaining an invitation to join NATO in 2002, with less-obvious results. Slovenia's government strongly condemned the terrorist attacks in the U.S. on September 11 and pledged to join in the international effort to combat terrorism.

Rudolf M. Susel

▪ 2001

Area:
20,273 sq km (7,827 sq mi)
Population
(2000 est.): 1,963,000
Capital:
Ljubljana
Chief of state:
President Milan Kucan
Head of government:
Prime Ministers Janez Drnovsek, Andrej Bajuk from May 3, and, from November 17, Janez Drnovsek

      Events in Slovenia in 2000 were dominated by preparations for the regular quadrennial parliamentary elections held October 15. Two conservative parties that appealed to the same voter base, the Slovene People's Party (SLS) and the Slovene Christian Democrats (SKD), united into one at a joint congress held April 15. The new party took the name SLS+SKD Slovene People's Party. In anticipation of the unification, the SLS, which had been part of a three-party coalition government led by Prime Minister Janez Drnovsek, head of the Liberal Democracy of Slovenia, announced that it would leave the government on the day that the SLS and SKD combined. Drnovsek did not wait for this event but asked for a vote of confidence from the parliament on a plan to replace the 10 SLS members of his government with 8 independent ministers. The parliament rejected this plan, and the Drnovsek government resigned on April 8.

      The SLS+SKD and the Social Democratic Party of Slovenia (SDS, despite its name a very conservative and nationalist party) proposed that Andrej Bajuk, a recent returnee to Slovenia, head a conservative-centre government. The parliament confirmed the Bajuk government on June 7 by a 46–44 vote.

      Complications soon developed. In July the parliament adopted a revised election law for the October 15 election. It reduced slightly the amount of proportional representation in the parliament in favour of more seats for candidates who won a full majority of the vote. The conservative parties, especially the SDS, strongly supported the full-majority proposal, yet the two-thirds majority required for the law to pass was provided by the SLS+SKD. Prime Minister Bajuk and his foreign minister, Lojze Peterle, so opposed this decision of their party that they resigned from the SLS+SKD and formed a party they named New Slovenia. Both remained in office, however, and the government continued to function.

      The October 15 elections were won by the centre-left parties, as they gained nearly two-thirds of the 90 seats in the parliament. After several weeks of negotiations Drnovsek was able to form a coalition left-centre government consisting of his own LDS, the United List (former communist) party, SLS+SKD, the DeSUS party (whose members are primarily retirees), and the Slovene Young People's Party. Parliament approved the government on November 30, and it took office immediately.

Rudolf M. Susel

▪ 2000

Area:
20,273 sq km (7,827 sq mi)
Population
(1999 est.): 1,997,000
Capital:
Ljubljana
Chief of state:
President Milan Kucan
Head of government:
Prime Minister Janez Drnovsek

      Slovenia was host to two world leaders—a president and a pope—in 1999. On June 21 Bill Clinton became the first American president to visit independent Slovenia. Clinton praised Slovenia as a Balkan success story and expressed support for its effort to join NATO and the European Union. Prime Minister Janez Drnovsek visited the United States in October to address the UN General Assembly and also met with government officials in Washington, D.C. Slovenia completed a two-year term as a nonpermanent member of the UN Security Council in December.

      On September 19 Pope John Paul II made his second visit to predominantly Roman Catholic Slovenia in three years. At a ceremony attended by 100,000 people near Maribor, Slovenia's second largest city, the pope beatified Anton Martin Slomsek (1800–62), the city's first bishop and a major figure in the development of Slovene national consciousness in the mid-19th century. Slomsek was the first Slovene to be beatified by the Roman Catholic Church. Church-state relations in Slovenia remained unsettled, however, primarily because of the delay in returning church properties nationalized after World War II but also because of unresolved issues such as religious instruction in public schools.

      The government and the legislative assembly continued negotiations with the European Union designed to achieve EU membership. The assembly adopted new legislation and amended many existing laws to bring Slovenia into compliance with requirements set by the EU. All major Slovene leaders remained committed to eventual membership in the EU and in NATO as well. The country continued its participation in the Partnership for Peace program, and its military took part in joint exercises with NATO units.

      On the domestic political front, efforts to amend the constitution to provide for direct election of deputies to the assembly and to reduce or eliminate the current system of proportional representation failed because proponents were unable to achieve the two-thirds majority required. The issue was acute because legislative elections had to be held by November 2000 and the Supreme Court had ruled that the assembly was required to enact suitable legislation. There were some unsuccessful efforts by various political parties to merge, notably the Slovenian People's Party and the Slovenian Christian Democrats, both of which appealed to conservative, religious, and rural interests.

      Economic stability prevailed. The rate of inflation was about 8%—a figure similar to that for 1998—while the number of unemployed declined slightly from the previous year.

Rudolph M. Susel

▪ 1999

      Area: 20,256 sq km (7,821 sq mi)

      Population (1998 est.): 1,985,000

      Capital: Ljubljana

      Chief of state: President Milan Kucan

      Head of government: Prime Minister Janez Drnovsek

      On Jan. 1, 1998, Slovenia began a two-year term as a nonpermanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Slovenia's ambassador to the UN, Danilo Turk, served as Security Council president in August.

      Slovenia joined five other countries invited to participate in negotiations intended to lead to full membership in the European Union. Membership would require Slovenia to change many laws and regulations to come into compliance with EU standards. The country's largest political parties were united in supporting EU membership, but many of the changes that would be required (in agricultural policy, for example) were certain to prove painful.

      In November Prime Minister Janez Drnovsek made his first official visit to the U.S., and in meetings with U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton and other government officials, he reiterated Slovenia's strong desire for eventual full membership in NATO. Slovenia continued its participation in NATO's "Partnership for Peace" program, and the largest Partnership for Peace military exercise in 1998 took place in southern Slovenia in November. A small Slovene military unit continued its participation in the peacekeeping force in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and another small unit joined a similar entity on Cyprus.

      A strong earthquake on April 12 caused considerable property damage in lightly populated northwestern Slovenia. Heavy rains on November 4-5 caused widespread flooding across much of the country. Damages were estimated to exceed $200 million.

      Church-state relations remained unsettled. Matters of dispute included the role of the church in the country's educational system, the return to the church of all properties nationalized by the previous communist government, and the financing of church activities. On June 3 the Vatican beatified the first bishop of the Maribor diocese, Anton M. Slomsek (1800-62), the first Slovene to attain this status.

      Slovenia continued to sustain a moderate rate of economic growth, at 4%. The rate of inflation was 8%, and unemployment totaled 13%.

RUDOLPH M. SUSEL

▪ 1998

      Area: 20,256 sq km (7,821 sq mi)

      Population (1997 est.): 1,955,000

      Capital: Ljubljana

      Chief of state: President Milan Kucan

      Head of government: Prime Minister Janez Drnovsek

      On Feb. 27, 1997, Slovenia's legislature finally broke a deadlock and approved a new coalition government, again led by Janez Drnovsek, prime minister since 1992. Legislative elections in November 1996 had given Drnovsek's centre-left Liberal Democracy of Slovenia 25 of 90 seats, which made it the largest party. After prolonged negotiations the right-wing Slovenian People's Party (19 seats) agreed to enter the government, and its leader, Marjan Podobnik, became deputy prime minister. The centre-left DeSUS Party (5 seats), primarily representing retirees, also joined the coalition. Government policies remained unchanged.

      Milan Kucan, president since 1990, was elected in November to a second five-year term. The former head of Slovenia's Communist Party, Kucan ran as a nonparty candidate and received 56% of the vote. His nearest competitor in the eight-candidate field won 18%.

      Slovenia's economic growth rate remained moderate at 3.5%. The rate of inflation was 9.5%, and unemployment stood at 14%. At the end of October, the country had $4,185,000,000 of foreign exchange reserves and a foreign debt of $4,060,000,000.

      On March 5 Msgr. Franc Rode was appointed archbishop and titular head of the Roman Catholic Church in Slovenia, replacing Archbishop Alojzij Sustar, who retired. He proved more forceful than his predecessor in defending the church's interests, particularly in the still-delayed return of forest land and other property confiscated by the communist government after World War II.

      Although disappointed by the decision of NATO members in July to exclude Slovenia in the first round of expansion, Slovenia's government pledged to work toward the country's inclusion in the projected second round and in the meantime to continue participation in the NATO-sponsored Partnership for Peace. A small Slovene military unit joined the SFOR peacekeeping force in Bosnia and Herzegovina in November. On July 16 the European Union formally invited Slovenia to join in negotiations aimed at eventual membership. In October the UN General Assembly elected Slovenia to serve a two-year term (1998-99) as a nonpermanent member of the Security Council, replacing Poland.

RUDOLPH M. SUSEL

      This article updates Slovenia, history of (Slovenia).

▪ 1997

      A republic at the northeastern head of the Adriatic Sea, Slovenia borders Austria to the north, Hungary to the east, Croatia to the southeast and south, the Adriatic to the southwest, and Italy to the west. Area: 20,255 sq km (7,820 sq mi). Pop. (1996 est.): 1,959,000. Cap.: Ljubljana. Monetary unit: tolar, with (Oct. 11, 1996) a free rate of 139.19 tolarji to U.S. $1 (219.26 tolarji = £1 sterling). President in 1996, Milan Kucan; prime minister, Janez Drnovsek.

      On June 10, 1996, Slovenia signed an agreement of associate membership with the European Union (EU). The country's ultimate goal was full EU membership, with 2001 as the target date. Slovenia moved closer to membership when its legislature agreed to support changes in the nation's constitution to permit noncitizens to own property. This demand had been pressed strongly by Italy, which thereupon removed its veto against Slovenia. During the year Slovenia continued its efforts to be included in the first group of nations (Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic) to be invited to join in the expansion of NATO, winning important support for this in the U.S. Congress.

      Pope John Paul II visited Slovenia May 17-19, the first pope ever to have visited the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic country. He was received enthusiastically despite major problems between the church and state authorities over the slow return of church properties seized during the communist regime. The Vatican, in late 1991, had been the first international entity to recognize the independence of Slovenia.

      Quadrennial legislative elections held November 10 produced an even split between left-of-centre and right-of-centre parties. The centre-left Liberal Democracy of Slovenia won 25 of the 90 seats, followed by three more conservative parties: the Slovenian People's Party (19 seats), the Social Democratic Party (16), and the Slovenian Christian Democrats (10). In fifth place was the United List of Social Democrats, the reformed Communist Party. On December 8 a national referendum was held, with voters deciding whether to approve a change in the election law toward a majority system and away from proportional representation. In the referendum the voters rejected the proposed change.

      Slovenia experienced a 3% increase in gross domestic product in 1996. The inflation rate was 10%. (RUDOLPH M. SUSEL)

      This article updates Slovenia, history of (Slovenia).

▪ 1996

      A republic of the extreme northwestern Balkans, Slovenia borders Austria to the north, Hungary to the east, Croatia to the southeast and south, the Adriatic Sea to the southwest, and Italy to the west. Area: 20,255 sq km (7,820 sq mi). Pop. (1995 est.): 1,971,000. Cap.: Ljubljana. Monetary unit: tolar, with (Oct. 6, 1995) a free rate of 122.93 tolarji to U.S. $1 (194.34 tolarji = £ 1 sterling). President in 1995, Milan Kucan; prime minister, Janez Drnovsek.

      Although Slovenia's aspirations to join the European Union (EU) continued to be frustrated in 1995 by Italy's opposition, the country maintained a steady rate of economic progress. There was hope for progress on EU membership in March, after Italy lifted its veto on talks, and on May 19 the European Commission approved the terms of Slovenia's associate membership. Then Italy called for further changes to the 1975 Osimo Treaty and the 1983 Rome Agreement between Italy and Yugoslavia (of which Slovenia was then a part) and insisted on material compensation for Italians displaced in the 1945 border adjustments as preconditions for agreeing to further EU talks. Italy further demanded that Italian citizens have the right to buy property in Slovenia. Pres. Milan Kucan visited Brussels on November 30, but Italy continued to insist on its preconditions, and talks on Slovenia's association with the EU made no further progress. On December 6 Prime Minister Janez Drnovsek acknowledged that the talks had reached an impasse. Nonetheless, Slovenia was voted a full member of the Central European Free Trade Agreement in September, and relations with NATO continued to develop within the Partnership for Peace program. U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry visited Slovenia on September 16.

      In June Slovenia agreed with a consortium of nearly 300 banks to assume responsibility for 18% of the total debt of $4.7 billion owed to the banks by former Yugoslavia. Relations with Croatia remained tense mainly because of the continuing dispute over the territorial waters of the Bay of Piran. On November 30 Slovenia recognized Yugoslavia.

      Relations between the government and the country's Roman Catholic Church deteriorated sharply in 1995. The church demanded the return of property nationalized under the communist regime.

      Slovenia registered 5% growth in gross domestic product in 1995. The annual inflation rate was 11%. Its exports, at $6,180,000,000 for the January-September 1995 period increased by 26.1% over the corresponding period in 1994. In the same period, Slovene imports, at $7 billion, were 35.2% higher than in 1994. For January-September Slovenia's trade deficit was $804 million, compared with $266 million in the first nine months of 1994. The tolar became fully convertible on Sept. 1, 1995. (K.F. CVIIC)

      This updates the article Slovenia, history of (Slovenia).

▪ 1995

      A republic of the extreme northwestern Balkans, Slovenia borders Austria to the north, Hungary to the east, Croatia to the southeast and south, the Adriatic Sea to the southwest, and Italy to the west. Area: 20,256 sq km (7,821 sq mi). Pop. (1994 est.): 2,001,000. Cap.: Ljubljana. Monetary unit: tolar, with (Oct. 7, 1994) a free rate of 121.82 tolarji to U.S. $1 (193.75 tolarji = £ 1 sterling). President in 1994, Milan Kucan; prime minister, Janez Drnovsek.

      Slovenia continued its economic and political advance on a broad front while maintaining its drive for membership in all important world institutions. On September 29 it became a full member of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which on Jan. 1, 1995, would be replaced by the World Trade Organization. Also in September, Slovenia's prime minister, Janez Drnovsek, was elected one of the vice presidents of the Liberal International at its meeting in Reykjavík, Iceland. Slovenia's main goal of joining the European Union (EU), however, came no closer to being realized in 1994.

      Italy obstructed Slovenia's attempt to obtain the EU's associate membership, demanding that Slovenia make concessions regarding the property of 160,000 former Italian citizens who left or were expelled from Slovenia after 1945. According to official Italian calculations, nearly 7,000 ha (17,300 ac) of land, 300 building plots, 21 companies, and 7,172 buildings belonging to Italians were nationalized between 1945 and 1972 by the Slovene authorities. An attempt to negotiate a compromise made by Slovenia's foreign minister, Lojze Peterle, and his Italian counterpart, Antonio Martino, in Aquilea, Italy, in October went awry when the government in Ljubljana repudiated its own foreign minister. Peterle, a Christian Democrat whose party was a coalition partner of the prime minister's Liberal Party, resigned. He had not been replaced by the end of 1994, and his ministry was temporarily taken over by the prime minister himself.

      Relations with Croatia deteriorated during 1994. No solution was found in disputes over territorial rights in the Bay of Piran and sovereignty over certain inland villages. On October 3 the lower house of the Slovene National Assembly approved the assigning of disputed territory to a Slovene municipality. There was also no resolution of the dispute over savings deposited by Croats with the biggest Slovene bank, Ljubljanska Banka, before the breakup of former Yugoslavia.

      Local elections held in December showed a swing toward the Christian Democrats, but that party maintained its coalition with the Liberals. In the first nine months of 1994, Slovenia reported a $250.5 million trade deficit. Its exports in that period increased by 8.1%, and imports grew by the same amount. About 60% of Slovene exports went to EU countries, and 5.7% of its imports came from there. Annual inflation was 19.9%. Privatization was slow, with 26,000 firms accounting for 77% of total output still in the public sector at the end of 1994. (K.F. CVIIC)

      This updates the article Slovenia, history of (Slovenia).

▪ 1994

      A republic of the extreme northwestern Balkans, Slovenia borders Austria to the north, Hungary to the east, Croatia to the southeast and south, the Adriatic Sea to the southwest, and Italy to the west. Area: 20,256 sq km (7,821 sq mi). Pop. (1993 est.): 1,997,000. Cap.: Ljubljana. Monetary unit: tolar, with (Oct. 4, 1993) a free rate of 115.48 tolarji to U.S. $1 (174.95 tolarji = £ 1 sterling). President in 1993, Milan Kucan; prime minister, Janez Drnovsek.

       Slovenia strengthened its domestic political and economic stability in 1993 while continuing its opening to the West, in particular by forging new links with the European Community (EC), NATO, and Germany. On January 25 the Slovene National Assembly voted 60-25 to confirm a new coalition government made up of the Liberal Democrats, the strongest party in the Dec. 6, 1992, election, and the Christian Democrats, the second largest party. Janez Drnovsek, leader of the Liberal Democrats; was reconfirmed as prime minister; Lojze Peterle, leader of the Christian Democrats, became foreign minister.

      The relative domestic political calm was upset by the seizure of a 120-ton consignment of arms at the airport in Maribor in July under the terms of the UN arms embargo covering the entire area of former Yugoslavia. An investigation was ordered by the government, which led to the arrest of seven persons. On September 24 the Ministry of Interior Affairs announced that the arms, in a deal of which the former minister of interior affairs was cognizant, had been destined for the Muslim-led government in Bosnia and Herzegovina. On October 2 the office of the president denied allegations that he had known about arms sales to Bosnia. On October 7 the head of the intelligence service resigned in connection with the affair.

      In October it was officially revealed that Slovenia was looking after 29,000 refugees from former Yugoslavia, not 70,000 as had been previously claimed. On November 23 the National Assembly adopted tighter regulations on naturalization, requiring, among other things, a 10-year residence period (5 years of that time continuous).

      In April in Luxembourg, Slovenia signed a so-called asymmetrical agreement with the EC under which Slovenia's exports would gain virtually unlimited access to EC markets while exports from the EC to Slovenia would remain subject to certain restrictions. Slovenia's relations with Croatia became tense in December when Slovenia announced the closure, "sometime in 1994," of the jointly financed and operated Krsko nuclear station because of Croatia's alleged failure to fulfill its financial obligations.

      Slovenia's main trading partners in 1993 were Germany, Italy, France, and Austria. Its gross domestic product grew by 1% compared with 1992. Total exports were 4.8% lower than in 1992; imports in 1993 grew by 10.8% compared with 1992. About 55% of Slovenia's total foreign trade was with the countries of the EC. The inflation rate in 1993 was 33%. Industrial production in the January-November 1993 period was 3.4% lower than in the first 11 months of 1992. Unemployment in the January-October 1993 period was 14.9%, higher than in the first 10 months of 1992.

      (K.F. CVIIC)

      This updates the article Slovenia, history of (Slovenia).

* * *

Introduction
Slovenia, flag of   country in central Europe that was part of Yugoslavia for most of the 20th century. Slovenia is a small but topographically diverse country made up of portions of four major European geographic landscapes—the European Alps (Alps), the karstic Dinaric Alps, the Pannonian and Danubian lowlands and hills, and the Mediterranean coast. Easily accessible mountain passes (now superseded by tunnels) through Slovenia's present-day territory have long served as routes for those crossing the Mediterranean and transalpine regions of Europe.

      The Slovenes are a western Slavic people with a unique dialect and grammar. For most of its history, Slovenia was split between the Holy Roman Empire, Venice, Austria, and Hungary. As part of Yugoslavia it came under communist rule for the bulk of the post-World War II period. With the dissolution of the Yugoslav federation in 1991, a multiparty democratic political system emerged. Slovenia's economic prosperity in the late 20th century attracted hundreds of thousands of migrants from elsewhere in the Balkans. In the early 21st century, Slovenia integrated economically and politically with western Europe, joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as well as the European Union in 2004. Slovenia's capital and most important city is Ljubljana.

Land
 Slovenia is bordered by Austria to the north and Hungary to the far northeast. To the east, southeast, and south, Slovenia shares a 416-mile- (670-km-) long border with Croatia. To the southwest Slovenia is adjacent to the Italian port city of Trieste and occupies a portion of the Istrian Peninsula, where it has an important coastline along the Gulf of Venice (Venice, Gulf of). Italy's Friuli-Venezia Giulia (Friuli–Venezia Giulia) region is situated to the west.

       Slovenia is mostly elevated. Outside the coastal area, its terrain consists largely of karstic plateaus and ridges, magnificently precipitous Alpine peaks, and (between the elevated areas) valleys, basins, and arable or pastorally useful karstic poljes. The only major flat area is in the northeast. Tectonic fault lines cross the country, and Ljubljana suffered a devastating earthquake in 1895.

Relief
      In Slovenia four main physiographic regions can be distinguished. The first is the Alpine region, which takes up about two-fifths of Slovenia's surface area. In the north and northwest, along the borders with Italy and Austria, are the High Alps, comprising the Kamnik and Savinja, the Karavanke ( Karawanken), and the Julian Alps; the latter includes Slovenia's highest peak, Mount Triglav, at 9,396 feet (2,864 metres). In a vale beneath Triglav lie idyllic Lake Bohinj and Lake Bled (Bled, Lake). Slightly lower than the High Alps is the subalpine “ridge-and-valley” terrain. The main subalpine range is the Pohorje, located south of the Drava River. The historical name for the central Alpine lands is Gorenjska (Upper Carniola), a name that Slovenes still use. Slovenes refer to the Mea and Mislinja river valleys as Koroška (Carinthia). On Gorenjska's southern edge is the spacious Ljubljana basin, which contains the capital as well as the industrial city of Kranj.

      Slovenia's second major physiographic region, the Kras (Karst), a spur of the lengthy Dinaric Alps in the southwestern part of the country, is dotted with caves and underground rivers, the characteristic features of karst topography (whose term is derived from the name of the region). Although it constitutes one-fourth of Slovenia's area, the Kras region has only a fraction of the country's population, which is concentrated between the wooded limestone ridges in dry and blind valleys, hollows, and poljes. Water is scarce in this region. The Suha Krajina is a karstified plateau; the Bela Krajina is a transitional belt that contains plains and points toward the Subpannonia (Pannonian Plain). Most of the region is known to Slovenes by its historical names: Dolenjska (Lower Carniola) and Notranjska (Inner Carniola). Scientific study of karst terrain is a Slovene specialty, research having begun during the 18th century in Habsburg Carniola.

      The next largest physiographic region (occupying one-fifth of the country) is the fertile Subpannonia; it is located in eastern and northeastern Slovenia and includes the valleys of the Sava (Sava River), Drava (Drava River), and Mura rivers. Its basins contain the cities of Maribor (on the Drava) and Celje (on the Savinja River, a tributary of the Sava). Subpannonia corresponds in part to the lower part of the old Austrian duchy of Styria; Slovenes call their portion Štajerska and share some traits with their Austrian neighbours. Beyond a saddle of hills known as the Slovenske Gorice is Prekmurje, a wheat-growing region drained by the Mura River in the extreme northeast of the country. It was ruled by Hungary until 1918; its main town is Murska Sobota.

      The fourth principal region (occupying barely one-twelfth of Slovenia's surface) is Primorska, or the Slovene Littoral. It overlaps what were the Habsburg regions of Trieste and Gorizia and is made up of Slovenia's portion of the Istrian (Istria) Peninsula, the Adriatic hinterland, and the Soča and Vipava river valleys. The 29-mile (47-km) strip of coast makes up Slovenia's riviera. The city of Koper (just south of Trieste) is Slovenia's major port.

Drainage
      Most of Slovenia's intricate fluvial network is directed toward the Danube River. The Sava (Sava River) originates in the Julian Alps and flows past Ljubljana toward Croatia; its narrow valley serves as a rail conduit to Zagreb, Croatia's capital, and farther to Belgrade, Serbia's capital. The Drava (Drava River) enters Slovenia from the Austrian state of Kärnten, and the Mura emerges from the Austrian state of Steiermark; they meet in Croatia and, like the Sava, ultimately reach the Danube. In the west the Soča originates beneath Mount Triglav and, after a precipitous course, reaches the Gulf of Venice in Italian territory.

      The relatively steep gradients of Slovenia's topography create fast runoff, which in turn ensures most of Slovenia copious water and hydroelectric resources. On the other hand, it also washes away valuable soil nutrients. Pollution of the rivers remains a problem.

Soils
      Slovenia's complex geology has created a pedological mosaic. The small, thick Pleistocene cover is acidic and viscid. Permeable thin brown podzols—cambisols and fluvisols—are productive if fertilized, but they cover only about one-tenth of its surface, chiefly to the northeast. The carbonate bedrock underlying much of the country produces thin lithosols suited to forest growth. There are many good alluvial soils (particularly in Subpannonia) as well as bog varieties. Karstic sinkholes and poljes are famous for having terra rossa, a red soil produced by the degradation of the underlying limestone.

Climate
      Slovenia may be divided into three climatic zones. Conditions in Istria indicate a transition from the Mediterranean climate of the Dalmatian coast to a moderate continental climate. In the moderate zone the highest monthly precipitation (up to 15 inches [381 mm]) occurs in spring and autumn, and the highest temperatures (often rising above 80 °F [27 °C]) occur in June and July. Winter temperatures rarely drop below 50 °F (10 °C), but this mildness is sometimes interrupted by the strong bora, a cold northerly wind.

      Central and northern Slovenia have a continental “cool summer” climate; the eastern third of the country also falls into the continental category but has warm summers. Monthly summer rainfall in the cool belt is more than 3 inches (80 mm), and high temperatures average in the upper 60s F (about 20 °C), although there are uncomfortable hot spells. The east and northeast have much less overall precipitation, and midsummer highs reach well past 70 °F (21 °C). From November to February, temperature readings below freezing occur frequently, but snow cover has become less frequent and usually melts rapidly.

Plant and animal life
      Slovenia's flora reflects the country's physiographic diversity, especially its varying elevations. At the highest elevations below the tree line, junipers alternate with high meadowland. Lower is a central belt of coniferous and deciduous trees (birch and beech) mixed with pasturage and arable lands, and, still lower, deciduous growth including karstic heath and maquis (good for rough grazing) is found. At sea level along the Slovene Littoral is a typically Mediterranean cover of brushwood, including maquis. Fruit and vegetable areas are scattered about the country, and forests, which are noted for their mushrooms, cover about three-fifths of the terrain.

      Several animal species have been given protected status. Along with others of direct economic importance, they include the reintroduced (though still rare) ibex, the European brown bear, the chamois, the wild boar, and red, fallow, and roe deer as well as standard varieties of small game. The lynx has reappeared. The Subpannonian habitat suits migratory fowl and upland birds, and the trout and grayling found in the Soča River are renowned among sport anglers. The Adriatic waters off Slovenia's coast are not an especially favourable environment for fish.

People

Ethnic groups
      About nine-tenths of Slovenia's (Slovenia) people are ethnically Slovene. They are descendants of settlers who arrived in the 6th century CE. Historians differ on the exact origin of the settlers, but they do agree that most of them were Slavs who migrated westward from the vast Russian Plain, probably from a locale in between the Black Sea and the Carpathian Mountains. Italians and Hungarians (Hungarian) are Slovenia's two main ethnic minority groups, though neither community is large. Italians live mainly in Primorska (southwestern Istria) and Hungarians principally in the northeastern Prekmurje region. Communities of Roma (Rom) (Gypsies) are also autochthonous to Slovenia and are found mostly in northeastern Slovenia or scattered throughout southern Slovenia near the border with Croatia.

      The disintegration of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1991 took many immigrants to Slovenia from other former Yugoslav republics (mainly from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo). Despite linguistic kinship with people from the Balkan Peninsula (Balkans), the Slovenes are culturally an Alpine folk who have more in common with northern Italians, southern Germans, and the Swiss.

Languages
      Slovene (Slovene language), the official language of Slovenia, is a South Slavic language, but it also has affinities to West Slavic Czech (Czech language) and to Slovak (Slovak language). Eastern Slovene dialects blend with Kajkavian forms of Serbo-Croatian (Serbo-Croatian language), but literary Slovene is remote from its Croatian counterparts, and it borrows words from the German and Italian languages, which are still spoken by older generations of Slovenians. In addition, there are marked differences between the eastern Slovene dialects and the standard Slovene spoken in most of the country. Slovene is one of the few languages to have preserved the dual grammatical number (used to refer to exactly two persons or things in addition to singular and plural forms) of Proto-Indo-European. Italian and Hungarian are the other major languages spoken in Slovenia, mainly in the regions where these two ethnic communities reside.

Religion
 Christianity was accepted by the Slavic tribes in the 8th century CE. The authority of a once-powerful Roman Catholic Church (Roman Catholicism) hierarchy was broken by the flight of conservative Catholics (including many clerics) in 1945, and religious practice was further vitiated by communism and the acceleration of industrialization and consumerism. In the early 21st century about three-fifths of Slovenes adhered to Roman Catholicism, down from four-fifths in the 1990s. An influx of Muslim (Islāmic world) and Orthodox Christian (Eastern Orthodoxy) immigrants to Slovenia in the 1970s and, later, in the 1990s further altered the religious composition of the country. Many Orthodox churches are in Ljubljana and southeastern Slovenia. Most of Slovenia's Muslim population (the second largest religious group in the country at the beginning of the 21st century) live in the capital. After much prolonged pressure from the Muslim community, the Slovenian government in 2004 approved the construction of the country's first mosque, a decision that was met with much opposition. There are a few Protestant communities in northeastern Slovenia, and Buddhism and other faiths are practiced in some urban centres. About one-fourth of Slovenians did not specify their religion in the country's 2002 census; many considered religion to be a sensitive issue.

Settlement patterns
      Slovenia was incorporated into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, Kingdom of) (called Yugoslavia beginning in 1929) after World War I, and it entered a period of agricultural decline and rapid industrialization that induced people to settle at lower elevations or simply to emigrate—a process that accelerated after World War II. The expulsion of ethnic Germans following World War II, and later the collectivization of land during communist rule, also affected settlement patterns in Slovenia. Several villages were abandoned and essentially became ghost towns. (Some of the vacant dwellings from these deserted farms and villages now serve as second homes for urbanites.)

      A second major change in settlement patterns occurred in the 1960s when the communist government began establishing industry in urban centres and, beginning in the 1970s, in towns as well. In cities and larger towns this shift was evident in the proliferation of high-rise housing. But though more housing was constructed, cities continued to suffer from a shortage of apartments (most of which were offered to unskilled migrant labourers from the southern republics of the Yugoslav federation). Under communist rule, efficient rail and bus systems were developed, and the majority of Slovenes who worked in cities commuted daily from the suburbs and outlying rural areas. Throughout the 1980s, when industry became more decentralized, the bulk of Slovenes still commuted to work. In general, commuting was part of the daily routine for much of the population.

      At the beginning of the 21st century, Slovenia's population remained overdispersed. Three-fourths of the country's population centres were hamlets with fewer than 200 residents, and only about half of the population lived in urban areas. Commuting to urban jobs remained common.

Demographic trends
      A comparison of 20th-century census data with Slovenia's first official census (1857) reveals that the population of what is present-day Slovenia increased by only about 500,000 people from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century. This was partly due to emigration, which was highest in the decades prior to World War I, when about one-third of the population left Slovenia for overseas countries. Italy occupied Slovenian territory at the conclusion of World War I, and the threat of fascism drove out more Slovenians, mainly to western Europe. Accelerated economic growth during the second and third decades of the 20th century helped to stanch emigration, however; but after World War II the communist regime, coupled with a depressed economy, caused another mass migration (human migration) from Slovenia. About 100,000 Slovenes left for Argentina, Canada, the United States, and Australia from 1945 to 1970.

      By the second half of the 20th century, Slovenia had undergone an intense transformation from a rural to a nonagrarian society. Population growth, however, was not as great as elsewhere in Europe, owing to emigration and, until the 1970s, the absence of immigration. However, a flow of migrants from the Balkan Peninsula to the highly industrialized regions of central and western Slovenia maintained the country's population levels. The disintegration of the Yugoslav federation in 1991 further increased the number of immigrants entering Slovenia. Moreover, the conflicts in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo brought an influx of about 70,000 refugees and asylum seekers to Slovenia. By the early 21st century, migration flows in and out of Slovenia had nearly balanced each other out, and the population of Slovenia was roughly the same as it had been in 1991. Also, about one-sixth of non-Slovenes had become Slovenian citizens.

      Like much of central and eastern Europe, Slovenia has an aging population, and its birth rate is among the lowest in Europe. Life expectancy compares favourably with former communist countries in eastern and central Europe, standing at about 75 years for men and 80 for women.

      At the beginning of the 21st century, the largest concentrations of Slovenes outside Slovenia resided in the Italian region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia (Friuli–Venezia Giulia), in the Austrian states of Kärnten and Steiermark, and in the Hungarian counties of Vas and Zala. There are also smaller groups in Croatian towns and other urban centres of the former Yugoslav federation.

Economy
      Drawing upon a long tradition of crafts, Slovenes began the modernization and diversification of their economy in the early 20th century. Owing in part to this head start, Slovenia made great progress under Yugoslavia's market-oriented “self-management” form of socialism (communism). For most of the period of federation, Slovenes made up less than 10 percent of Yugoslavia's population, yet they produced 20 percent of the country's wealth and 30 percent of its exports. By the 1980s, however, the Yugoslav economic system had succumbed to debt and stagnation, and resentment over the Belgrade central government's policy of distributing subsidies from the more prosperous northern republics to the less-affluent and often corrupt southern republics was probably the principal catalyst of Slovene independence. Yugoslavia's breakup, however, deprived Slovenia of a secure market and caused economic dislocation as Slovene enterprises were forced to compete for business in a broader market at a time of worldwide recession. Intrinsic weaknesses of “socially owned” enterprises were exposed, including featherbedding, limited professional skills, poor competitiveness, undercapitalization, outmoded production methods, and resistance to innovation. Positive features included the modern infrastructure and Slovenia's traditionally strong social discipline.

      In the early 21st century the Slovene economy was based primarily on services and trade. The shift to a market economy has improved the standard of living in rural localities despite only modest changes in the traditional smallholding pattern of landownership. It also produced a small group of newly wealthy individuals, tajkuni (“tycoons”). Most of the economy has been privatized, and a significant source of income comes from the manufacture of automotive parts, pharmaceuticals, and electrical appliances.

Agriculture and forestry
      Archaic Slovene farming methods began to change in the late 1700s with the introduction of modern crop rotation and new plants such as potatoes, corn (maize), beans, and alfalfa, which helped to end a cycle of famine. By the mid-20th century, dairy and meat products dominated agriculture, and cereals had been largely abandoned. Under communist rule, private plots were limited to 25 acres (10 hectares), and expropriated lands were turned over to collective and state farms. The resulting 250 “social” enterprises (collectives and state farms) were linked to food processing. They proved efficient, especially in raising poultry and cattle, but operated at high cost.

      By the early 21st century, agriculture was making a relatively small contribution to Slovenia's gross domestic product (GDP) and employing less than one-tenth of the country's workforce. Since Slovenia produces about four-fifths of its food requirements, it is not wholly self-sufficient; however, progress in the agrarian sector has been immense. Leading agricultural crops include wheat, corn (maize), sugar beets, barley, potatoes, apples, and pears. There is also some viticulture. Formerly state-owned farms have been privatized. The majority of Slovenia's farms are family owned. Livestock raising (especially pigs, cattle, and sheep) is an important agricultural activity. Horse breeding, particularly at Lipica—the original home of Vienna's celebrated Lipizzaner horses—also contributes to the economy.

      Timber remains crucial to the Slovene industry, but wood is often imported. Slovenia is heavily forested, with more than three-fifths of its land covered with trees. However, forests have been damaged by factory and motor-vehicle emissions, and the bark beetle has reduced the quality of wood in older forests.

Resources and power
      Although limestone, which is quarried and used in construction, is abundant, mining has declined in importance in Slovenia, as resources have been exhausted and environmental restrictions have been applied. In the process many Slovene mines, including mercury, uranium, lead, zinc, and brown coal mines, have been closed, though the Velenje lignite mine is still important.

      Because Slovene coal reserves have become meagre and are of declining quality, natural gas (through a pipeline from Russia) and oil have grown in relative importance as sources of energy. Fossil fuel-fired thermoelectricity provides about two-fifths of Slovenia's power. A number of hydroelectric plants on the Drava, Soča, and Sava rivers generate about another one-fourth of the country's total power. Nuclear power (nuclear energy), produced at a plant in Krško (near the Croatian border), is also important, contributing about one-third of Slovenia's power. Slovenia shares the power generated at Krško with Croatia.

Manufacturing
      Slovenia's modern industrial history began in the 19th century with the injection of capital from major cities (e.g., Vienna, Prague, and Graz) and areas under the rule of the Habsburg monarchy. By 1910 one-tenth of workers were employed in industry. The post-1918 Yugoslav market especially benefited from the Slovene manufacture of textiles and iron and other metals, the mining of coal, and the production of wood products. Small industries evolved because of good transportation, electrification, and a skilled, highly motivated labour force, so that by 1939 the number of industrial employees had doubled. Under communist rule, industry was virtually force-fed. The manufacture of metals and engines received top priority; textiles came second; and electrical machinery, a new branch, followed.

      In the immediate aftermath of the collapse of communism, about half of Slovenia's workforce was employed in the manufacturing sector, while employment in agriculture shrank to less than one-fifth. Because production had been oriented toward Yugoslavia's needs, not all Slovene industry could compete in more-developed markets. Nevertheless, Slovenia had a well-balanced manufacturing base that included metal products, automotive parts, furniture, paper, shoes, sporting goods, electronic equipment, and textiles. By the early 21st century, Slovenia had begun to manufacture pharmaceuticals for export and specialized electronics as well. Foreign investment in Slovenia increased, evidenced by a proliferation of internationally owned vehicle assembly plants. Manufacturing contributed about one-fifth to GDP and employed about one-fourth of the labour force.

Finance
      The Bank of Slovenia is the country's central bank. It issues Slovenia's currency, the euro, which replaced the Slovene toler in 2007. Capital controls were fully lifted upon Slovenia's entry into the European Union (EU). Austria, Germany, France, Switzerland, and Italy are Slovenia's leading foreign investors. There is a stock exchange in Ljubljana.

Trade
 With the loss of the Yugoslav market, Slovenia's trade goal became integration with its new main partner, the EU (European Union), and the majority of the country's trade is with other EU members—particularly Germany, Italy, France, and Austria—as well as with Croatia. At the beginning of the 21st century, Slovenia's trade with other former Yugoslav republics also had increased. Chief imports include machinery and transport equipment, chemical products, mineral fuels, and metals. Slovenia's exports include automobiles and vehicle parts, electric machinery, pharmaceuticals and other chemical products, and furniture. A significant amount of Slovenia's exports pass through the country's Adriatic port of Koper.

Services
   The service sector is the largest component of Slovenia's economy. Tourism has greatly increased in importance since the early 1990s. Foreign visitors—many of whom simply used to pass through Slovenia on their way to the eastern Mediterranean—now take advantage of recreational opportunities such as skiing, hiking, boating, fishing, and hunting, which are plentiful as a result of Slovenia's diverse topography. A particularly notable attraction is the system of limestone caves at Škocjan, which was designated a World Heritage site in 1986. Another draw for tourists is Triglav National Park, featuring Mount Triglav. Hot-springs and mineral-water resorts have gained popularity; one such spa, Rogaška Slatina, is housed in a Neoclassical building from the Habsburg era. Other prominent resorts include Portoro-Portorose on the Adriatic Sea and those in the Alpine towns of Bled, Bohinj, Bovec, and Kranjska Gora, which are favourite destinations for skiers, hikers, and mountain climbers. Dozens of surviving medieval structures are found in Slovenia; one of the most imposing is the Castle of Ljubljana (Ljubljanski Grad), built in 1144 on a hilltop overlooking Ljubljana. The capital city is also home to many excellent examples of Baroque architecture, including an Ursuline church and a Franciscan monastery. Visitors to Slovenia are largely from Europe (notably Germany, Italy, Austria, Croatia, and the United Kingdom).

Labour and taxation
      Labour unions began to emerge in Slovenia only following the collapse of communism. About two-thirds of the labour force belongs to unions. The two largest labour unions are the Association of Independent Trade Unions of Slovenia and Independence, Confederation of New Trade Unions of Slovenia. Strikes are not common.

      The central government receives a major portion of its income from a value-added tax and a progressive income tax, whereas local governments derive most of their revenue from a flat-rate income tax and property levies. On all products a unified value-added tax was introduced in the 1990s. In general, tax evasion has been considered a widespread problem in Slovenia.

Transportation and telecommunications
      Slovenia's eastern Alpine location and easily accessible transit routes have been crucial since antiquity. Vestiges of the Roman road and settlement network are still visible. During the 1840s the Habsburg government in Vienna built the monumental Southern Railroad, which passed through Slovenia on its way from the Austrian capital to Trieste.

      Two major highway-rail corridors cross present-day Slovenia, one running from Iran to northwestern Europe and the other from Spain to Russia. Avtocestas (expressways) are the nexus of road travel to Italy, Austria, and Hungary. Routes leading into Croatia have been improved. In 2000 a railway line was built to directly connect Slovenia and Hungary. The Karavanke Tunnel, nearly 5 miles (8 km) long, opened in 1991 and connects Slovenia with Austria. Despite efforts to improve its highways, Slovenia suffers traffic congestion, particularly near Ljubljana and Maribor. Many of Slovenia's rail cars have been modernized, and high-speed intercity service has been introduced, linking the cities of Maribor, Celje, and Ljubljana; however, much of the system's track remains outdated, limiting the performance of the equipment.

      The country's principal international airport is located about 12 miles (20 km) north of Ljubljana at Brnik, and there are other airports at Maribor and Portorož. Adria Airways, the national airline, provides direct service to most major European cities.

      Although Slovenia's telecommunications market had been fully privatized by 2001, only a few companies dominate the sector. The number of Internet users in Slovenia is among the highest in Europe. Virtually all households in Slovenia have access to fixed-line telephone service, and cellular phones are prevalent.

Government and society

Constitutional framework
      Slovenia's constitution, which was adopted in 1991, established a parliamentary form of government. A president, whose role is largely ceremonial, serves as head of state; presidents are popularly elected for a five-year term and can serve two consecutive terms. The head of government is the prime minister, who is normally the leader of the majority party in the National Assembly (lower house of the parliament), with which most legislative authority rests. Of its 90 members, 88 are elected by proportional representation to four-year terms, with the remaining two seats reserved for one representative each from the Italian- and Hungarian-speaking communities. The nonpartisan National Council, which represents economic and local interests, principally performs an advisory role, but it has the authority to propose new laws, to request the Constitutional Court to review legislative acts, and to initiate national referenda.

Local government
      The občina (municipality) is Slovenia's local administrative unit. The country is divided into hundreds of municipalities, about a dozen of which have the status of urban municipality. A popularly elected mayor, municipal council, and supervisory committee govern each municipality. Local government in Slovenia is chiefly responsible for municipal services, primary education, and the administration of social and cultural programs.

Justice
      Slovenia's judiciary consists of a Supreme Court and a system of lower courts, the district and regional courts, which hear both civil and criminal cases. The High Labour and Social Court deals with individual and collective labour issues and social disputes. The Constitutional Court is the highest body of judicial authority and upholds the constitutionality and legality of the legislative acts.

      Judges are elected by the National Assembly after nomination by the 11-member Judicial Council. Every six years the National Assembly also elects an ombudsman, who is charged with protecting the public's human rights and fundamental freedoms. The Constitutional Court is composed of nine judges who are elected for a term of nine years.

Political process
      All Slovene citizens age 18 and older are eligible to vote. The first free and democratic elections in Slovenia were held in April 1990. Until that time the only authorized political party was the Communist Party. Following the introduction of a multiparty system, the centre-left Liberal Democratic Party dominated the parliament at the head of various coalitions until 2004, when the centre-right Slovenian Democratic Party gained a majority in the 2004 elections and formed a coalition with the New Slovenia–Christian People's Party, the Slovenian Democratic Party of Pensioners, and the Slovenian People's Party. In the 2008 parliamentary elections the centre-left Social Democrats narrowly edged out the Slovenian Democratic Party.

Security
      The Slovenian Armed Forces (Slovenska Vojska; SV) consist of an army, a navy, and an air force. Slovenes become eligible to serve in the country's voluntary military forces at age 17. Conscription was abolished in 2003, the year before Slovenia became a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Slovenia's specialized capabilities within NATO include mountain warfare, demining, policing, special operations, and field medicine. Slovenian troops have taken part in many United Nations peacekeeping missions, including those in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s and in Afghanistan and the Middle East in the early 2000s.

Health and welfare
      The state provides most medical services, and Slovenia's public health system is one of the best developed in central and eastern Europe, though there is a lack of physicians in some remote areas of the country and in certain specialized fields of medicine. Social services provided by the government include unemployment, disability, and pension insurance, as well as family and dependant allowances. Both the pension system and social service programs have faced problems owing to the country's aging population and shrinking workforce. In 2000 Slovenia's pension system was reformed to raise the retirement age and to introduce special circumstances that would allow some people to qualify for an earlier retirement. Pensioners accounted for about one-fourth of the population in the middle of the first decade of the 21st century.

      The Slovene state started several social housing programs in 1996. By the early 2000s, several thousand one- and two-bedroom apartments had been built for low-income families. In general, real-estate prices in Slovenia are comparable to those in most European countries. Property is generally more expensive in the capital and along the Adriatic coast.

Education
      Virtually all Slovenes age 15 and older are literate. Primary schooling is compulsory and free for all children between ages 6 and 15. Secondary schools are either vocational or academic. A diploma from a secondary school is the main requirement for admission to one of Slovenia's three chief universities—those of Ljubljana, Maribor, and Koper (University of Primorska). The University of Ljubljana, founded in 1595 and reopened in 1919, has divisions that include the natural sciences, the social sciences, the humanities and arts, education, theology, law, medicine, and engineering. The University of Maribor, founded in 1975, is vocationally oriented. There are also several independent technical and vocational schools. In the ethnically mixed regions of Istria and Prekmurje, classes are taught in Italian and Hungarian along with Slovene.

      The Slovene government finances research institutes, especially in the natural sciences and technology. A Slovene scholarly tradition dates back to the 17th-century, when the Carniolan polymath Johann Weichard Freiherr von Valvasor provided some of the first written and pictorial descriptions of the Slovene landscape, in his encyclopaedic volumes Die Ehre des Herzogtums Krain (1689; “Glory of the Duchy of Carniola”). The premier centres of research include the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (1938) and the Joef Stefan Institute (1949), the latter for scientific research.

Cultural life
      Slovenes enjoy a wide-ranging cultural life, dominated by literature, art, and music. Little of the Slovene culture is known outside the country, however, for few Slovene artists have attained international recognition. Slovenes are proud of their country's artistic accomplishments. Many European performers and tourists go to Maribor and Ljubljana to participate in and attend many musical galas.

Daily life and social customs
      Easter and Christmas are major holidays in Slovenia. Easter is a weeklong observance and involves feasting, processions, and caroling. Kurentovanje, a pre-Lenten festival marking the beginning of spring and grounded in fertility rites, is celebrated in most towns. Its name is derived from the Kurent, a mythical figure who was believed to have the power to chase away winter and usher in spring. Groups of people dressed as Kurents (Kurenti) wear sheepskin, don masks and fur caps, and travel through town chasing away winter and “evil spirits.”

      Summer in general is a festive time in Slovenia; the Ljubljana Summer Festival in July and August draws large crowds to its music, theatre, and dance performances, and the Kravji Bal (“Cows' Ball”) in September celebrates the return of the bovines to the valleys. Folkloric festivals are held in the towns of Kamnik and Škofja Loka.

      Traditional Slovene dishes include different type of sausages, among them are krvavice (blood sausages). Other mainstays are pršut (cured ham), cheeses, and desserts such as the gibanica, a layered pastry made with various fillings. Mushroom dishes of all kinds are popular.

The arts
      Austrian archduchess Maria Theresa's educational reforms of the 18th century produced a highly literate public. Slovene literature flourished in the late 18th and early 19th century—particularly the work of Slovenia's national poet, France Prešeren (Prešeren, France) (1800–49). The luminaries of the Modern school—novelist and playwright Ivan Cankar (Cankar, Ivan) and the poet Oton Župančič—were the first of a long list of politically influential writers. Among the key figures between World Wars I and II were the realistic novelist Prežihov Voranc and the avant-gardist Srečko Kosovel. Poet Edvard Kocbek was prominent during and after World War II; an antifascist, he suffered at the hands of former comrades.

      Slovenes' great pride in their country's musical accomplishments rests partly on the fact that Ludwig van Beethoven (Beethoven, Ludwig van) conducted the first performance of his Sixth (Pastoral) Symphony for the Philharmonic Society (now the Slovene Philharmonic Orchestra) in Ljubljana. Jakob Petelin Gallus-Carniolus, more commonly known as Jacob Handl (Handl, Jacob), was one of Slovenia's most renowned Renaissance composers. In the second half of the 20th century, the traditional music of Slovene brothers Slavko and Vilko Avsenik became popular worldwide. Their accordion-dominated folk music continues to be a model for other Slovene bands.

      Slovene visual arts became internationally recognized through the works of 20th-century Impressionist painters such as Anton Ažbe (who established a private art school in Munich), Ivan Grohar, Matija Jama, Matej Sternen, and Rihard Jakopič. Early visual art in Slovenia is represented through the dozens of frescoes, carvings, and sculptures in churches and monasteries throughout the country, many dating from as early as the 12th and 13th centuries. The International Biennial of Graphic Arts is held annually in Ljubljana.

      Slovene theatre also became more recognized worldwide in the late 20th century, though its origins date from Dec. 28, 1789, when dramatist Anton Tomaž Linhart translated and adapted Joseph Richter's German comedy Die Feldmühle (“The Country Mill”) into Slovene as upanova Micka (“Micka, the Mayor's Daughter”). In 1867 the Slovene Dramatic Society was founded in Ljubljana. The capital remains the focus of Slovene theatre; however, there are a smattering of professional theatres throughout the country, including puppet theatres and youth theatres. A small but influential film industry emerged in Slovenia after World War II.

      Architecture plays a special role in Slovenia's cultural heritage as well. Particularly renowned is architect Jože Plečnik, some of whose most impressive works are visible on the banks of the Ljubljanica River. One of the best known of these is the National and University Library, in Ljubljana. Also in the capital are his impressive Three Bridges and Central Market.

Cultural institutions
      Ljubljana is the cultural capital of Slovenia. Most of the country's cultural institutions are located there, including the Slovenian Philharmonic Building (1891), the National Gallery of Slovenia (1918), the Slovene National Theatre for Opera and Ballet (1892), the Slovene National Theatre for Drama (1992; born from the Slovene Dramatic Society), and the National Museum of Slovenia (1921). The National and University Library (1941) holds the largest collection of reference materials in the country. Cankarjev Dom (1982), a cultural and exhibition centre, hosts major concerts and international congresses. Bled Castle, located near the capital on a cliff over Lake Bled (Bled, Lake), was awarded to the bishops of Brixen in the 11th century; today it is part of the National Museum of Slovenia. The Slovenian Literary Society (1919) was established after World War I to support and foster the Slovene identity.

Sports and recreation
      Like most Europeans, Slovenes have a passion for football (soccer), and there are several leagues at all levels throughout the country. Despite its short tenure—a result of the country's relatively recent independence—the Slovene national team has had more than a little success in European and World Cup competition (it qualified for the European Cup in 2000 and its first World Cup in 2002). During the last decades of the 20th century, basketball and hockey also became popular. The national basketball and hockey teams participated in several world championships.

      Slovenia has well-developed winter sports centres at Kranjska Gora and Planica, where World Cup skiing events for men are traditionally held, and at Maribor, where the women's competitions are hosted. Summer sports are also well represented, with numerous hiking trails, dozens of Olympic-quality swimming centres, and equestrian rings, which are centred on the village of Lipica.

      The 1992 Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, France, were the first in which the country's team participated under the flag of an independent Slovenia. Previously, Slovene athletes had competed for the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes and for Yugoslavia. One of Slovenia's most famous athletes, gymnast Leon Štukelj (1898–1999), won six Olympic medals, three of which were gold.

Media and publishing
      Slovenia's independent daily newspapers include Delo (“Work”), Slovenske Novice (“Slovene News”), and Dnevnik (“Journal”), which are published in Ljubljana, and Večer (“Evening”), which is published in Maribor. The weekly journals Mladina and Mag are politically oriented. The monthly scholarly and literary journal Nova revija (“New Review”) was influential in Slovenia's political transition. Perhaps its most famous issue was No. 57, released in 1987 with an article titled Contributions to a Slovenian National Programme, in which Slovenian intellectuals called for independence and a democratic republic. The Nova Revija publishing house was established in 1990 and produces works in the humanities and social sciences.

      Following the abolition of a state radio and television monopoly in the early 1990s, dozens of privately owned radio and television stations were established. The Slovenian Radio-Television national broadcasting service (RTV Slovenija), established in the 1920s, offers programming in Slovene, Hungarian, and Italian.

Thomas M. Barker Anton Gosar

History

The Slovene lands to 1918
The Alpine Slavs
      During the 6th century AD, ancestors of the Slovenes, now referred to by historians as Alpine Slavs or proto-Slovenes, pushed up the Sava, Drava, and Mura river valleys into the Eastern Alps and the Karst. There they absorbed the existing Romano-Celtic-Illyrian cultures. At that time the Slavs owed allegiance to the Avar khans. After the defeat of the Avars by the Byzantine emperor Heraclius, a Slavic kingdom emerged under Samo (reigned 623–658) that extended from the Sava valley northward as far as Leipzig. It came under Frankish (Frank) rule in 748. Over the next two centuries, Alpine Slavs living in present-day Austria and western Hungary were absorbed by waves of Bavarian and Magyar invaders, so that the Slovene linguistic boundaries contracted southward. Nevertheless, a Slovene tribal duchy, centred in Austria's Klagenfurt basin, managed to survive for some 200 years. Though it is still imperfectly understood, ancient Carantania (or Carinthia) serves as a symbol of nationhood for contemporary Slovenes.

The Middle Ages
      In the 10th century, after the partitioning of the Frankish empire, the lands in which Slovene speakers lived were assigned to the German kingdom. As part of the defense of that kingdom against Magyar invaders, they were divided among the marks, or border marches, of Carinthia, Carniola, and Styria. German lay and clerical lords arrived, along with dependent peasants, and enserfed the Slovenes, whom they called Wends or Winds. Over the next three centuries, the marches came under the tenuous authority of several territorial dynasts. In the 13th century they fell to Otakar II of Bohemia, who, like Samo, tried to establish a Slavic empire. Following the defeat of Otakar in 1278, Styria was acquired by the Habsburg (Habsburg, House of) family. Carinthia and Carniola fell into Habsburg hands in 1335, Istria in 1374, and the city of Trieste in 1382. Habsburg rule was based on a bureaucracy that shared power with local noble-run estates. One of these was run by the counts of Celje, who were powerful in the Middle Ages but whose lineage died out in 1456.

      Modern Slovenes tend to view the coming of German rule as a national calamity, as it subjected the Alpine Slavs to steady pressure to Germanize. Nonetheless, it was from this time that they were included in the Western, or Roman Catholic (Roman Catholicism), church. German episcopal and monastic foundations, along with local diocesan establishments, enriched and fructified the native Slavic culture with western European civilization. Indeed, the first missionaries to the area, arriving from Ireland in the 8th century, taught the Alpine Slavs to pray in their own tongue. The Freising Manuscripts, a collection of confessions and sermons dating from about AD 1000, are the earliest known document in what eventually became the Slovene language.

Early modern times
      Along with the rest of the Habsburg empire, Slovene-inhabited lands experienced fully the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. The area was left firmly Roman Catholic, but in fact Slovene national development was assisted by such Protestant scholars as Primož Trubar and Jurij Dalmatin, who in the 16th century propagated the gospel in the vernacular and even printed a Slovene translation of the Bible.

      The Slovenes never lived under Ottoman rule, although Turkish invaders were only partially deflected by the Habsburg's Military Frontier, established in Croatian lands to the south. Turkish raids occasionally penetrated even Carinthia. The failure of the Ottoman siege of Vienna in 1683 and Habsburg victories in Hungary ended the Turkish menace. Baroque civilization was free to permeate all of Austria, including Slovene-inhabited lands.

      Economically, the Slovene lands had been incorporated fully into the system of German feudal (feudalism) tenure. The topography of the region militated against the development of large-scale agriculture, and the larger feudal estates typically contained substantial areas of forest. Cultivation was confined in the main to peasant holdings. Peasant rights were at times defended only with difficulty. There are records of several uprisings by both German and Slovene peasants against onerous seignorial exactions, including substantial Slovene participation in a Croatian revolt in 1573. Generally speaking, however, direct attachment to the crown meant that the Slovene lands escaped much of the economic and political upheaval that affected life among other South Slavs living under Habsburg rule. As a consequence of this and of their greater proximity to the major urban and economic centres of the Habsburg empire, the Slovenes reached relatively high levels of both literacy and technical development and achieved an early integration into a market economy. The reforms decreed by Empress Maria Theresa and her son Joseph II in the 18th century particularly improved the lot of the peasantry.

The later Habsburg era
      From 1809 to 1814 a large part of the Slovene lands was included in the Illyrian Provinces of Napoleon I's French Empire, along with Dalmatia, Trieste, and parts of Croatia. French occupation had a profound impact on the politics and culture of the area. The French encouraged local initiative and favoured the use of Slovene as an official language. Many of the changes did not survive the return to Habsburg rule, but the period contributed greatly to the national self-awareness of both the Croats and the Slovenes and aroused in some intellectuals an “Illyrian” ideal that stressed the common political and cultural interests of the South Slavs.

      Moved by this ideal, the poet and philologist Jernej Kopitar published the first grammar of the Slovene language in 1808. In his position as imperial censor, Kopitar made the acquaintance of the great Serb linguistic reformer Vuk Karadžić, and he tried to apply Karadžić's ideas concerning the standardization of Slavonic orthography to Slovene by eliminating its many Germanic accretions and stressing its South Slav origins. Kopitar's ideas bore fruit in 1843 with the publication of the first Slovene-language newspaper in Ljubljana (or Laibach, as it was known to its German-speaking population).

      The revolutionary upheavals that swept many parts of Europe in 1848 had their counterpart in Slovenia, with the formulation of the first Slovene national program: this demanded a unified Slovene province within the Austrian Empire. Vienna stifled this program, as it did rebellion everywhere, but Slovenia, like Europe, had changed. As the relics of manorialism vanished and plowmen became freeholders, Austrian nobles such as the Auerspergs lost their ancient grip. German remained the normal language for merchants and the tiny educated elite, but a Slavic bourgeoisie was growing and gradually becoming enfranchised. Change was most evident in Carniola, where by 1900 Ljubljana became truly Slovene.

      In the 1890s political parties were formed, including the Progressive (Liberal) Party, the Socialist Party, and the Slovene People's Party. The Slovene People's Party had close links to the Roman Catholic church, which had also been instrumental in establishing large-scale cooperative movements earlier in the century. By providing credit, marketing, and other facilities to peasants and artisans, the cooperatives enabled both rural and urban Slovenes to break free from German institutions.

      During World War I, Slovenes fighting in the Austrian army suffered huge losses against the Italians in incessant battles of attrition along the Soča (Italian: Isonzo) front. In May 1917, as the war turned against the Central Powers, the Slovene Anton Korošec (Korošec, Anton) and other South Slav deputies in the Austrian Reichsrat put forward a declaration in favour of “the unification of all territories of the monarchy inhabited by South Slavs in one independent political body, under the sceptre of the Habsburg dynasty.” Known as Trialism, this ideal of a partnership between South Slavs, Austrians, and Hungarians fell victim to the collapse of Austria-Hungary in October 1918. The next best choice seemed to be a federation of South Slav states, and Slovene political leaders collaborated in the hasty formation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. (Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, Kingdom of)

Slovenia since 1918
      At the Paris Peace Conference after the war, the Allies awarded Italy all the coastal areas that had given Slovenes access to the sea—including Gorizia (Gorica), Trieste, and Istria. The Yugoslav kingdom was given the Prekmurje region and southern Styria but only a small part of southern Carinthia. Yugoslav troops occupied much of the Klagenfurt basin, but the Allies insisted that a plebiscite be held in two zones to decide the fate of the rest of southern Carinthia. In October 1920 the more southerly zone chose Austria, so that no plebiscite was held in the northern zone around Klagenfurt; both zones were left to Austria. Almost one-third of Europe's Slovene speakers were thus left outside the boundaries of Slovenia. Slovene speakers in Italy and Austria continued to be subject to discrimination and political pressure by the dominant majorities—as were Slovenia's Germans between 1918 and 1941.

      Incorporation into the Yugoslav kingdom also proved disappointing. Anton Korošec reached high positions in the government, but Slovene politicians overall had minimal influence in Belgrade. Strong central control—in effect, Serbian hegemony—was imposed over the kingdom in an effort to discipline its hybrid citizenry. As a “province” of Yugoslavia, Slovenia found its autonomy restricted mainly to cultural affairs. Its economy, which had already industrialized more than the rest of the kingdom, benefited somewhat from greater commercial contact with Belgrade, but progress was limited by the detachment of Slovene producers from the economically vital Habsburg centres of Klagenfurt and Trieste. Also, as one of the kingdom's wealthiest areas, Slovenia was taxed more heavily than other regions. By the late 1930s Slovene politics was riven by political factions, including ardently Catholic conservatives, anticlerical liberals, and ever-more-militant leftists.

      After the German invasion of Yugoslavia in 1941, Slovenia was partitioned. Italy took the southwest, including Ljubljana; Germany annexed the north directly into the Reich; and Hungary recovered Prekmurje. Although the Slovenes had been deemed racially salvageable by the Nazis, the mainly Austrian rulers of the Carinthian and Styrian regions commenced a brutal campaign to destroy them as a nation. resistance groups sprang up; after Germany invaded the Soviet Union, they came under the domination of the communist-led Slovene National Liberation Front. From its principal base in the forests near Kočevje, the Front combined operations against the occupiers and their Slovene collaborators in the White Guard with a ruthless struggle against potential rivals, such as members of the Slovene People's Party. In November 1943 the Front joined Josip Broz Tito (Tito, Josip Broz)'s Partisans (Partisan) in proclaiming a new Yugoslavia, and in May 1945 Ljubljana was liberated. After the armistice the British repatriated more than 10,000 Slovene collaborators who had attempted to retreat with the Germans, and Tito had most of them massacred at the infamous “Pits of Kočevje.”

The communist (communism) era
      Having occupied Trieste in May 1945, the Partisans hoped that its possession was assured, but the Allies forced the establishment of a Free Territory of Trieste, consisting of an Italian-administered zone in and around the city and a Yugoslav zone on the Istrian Peninsula. In 1954 Tito agreed to allow the return of Trieste to Italy. The Yugoslav zone was incorporated into Slovenia; this gave the Slovenes access to the sea and left fewer Slovene speakers outside Yugoslavia, but it also brought a small Italian minority into the republic.

      As a constituent of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia, Slovenia underwent a complete restructuring of its economy, politics, and society along Stalinist lines. Following the rupture between Tito and Stalin in 1948, however, conditions improved. Over the next two decades, Slovenia managed to achieve greater prosperity than the southern Yugoslav republics under the unique economic system known as “socialist self-management”—designed largely by Tito's chief ideologue, the Slovene Edvard Kardelj (Kardelj, Edvard). By the 1970s, liberalization had spurred the development of a number of local autonomy movements, especially in Croatia and Slovenia, obliging the League of Communists of Yugoslavia to reassert party control throughout the federation. Through the 1980s, as the Yugoslav economy succumbed to inflation and debt, even Slovene communists steadily lost patience with what they perceived to be profound cultural differences between them and the southern Yugoslav peoples. In May 1990 Slovenia held free, multiparty elections in which Milan Kučan, a former communist official, was elected president, and in December a referendum calling for a sovereign, independent Slovenia was endorsed by more than 90 percent of the voters. The Belgrade government—by then dominated by Serbia's nationalist strongman, Slobodan Milošević, and by the Serb-led Yugoslav People's Army (YPA)—began an economic blockade of Slovenia and expropriated Ljubljana's bank assets. Slovene and Croatian proposals for a looser Yugoslav confederation were rejected by Serbia, and on June 25, 1991, Slovenia seceded from Yugoslavia.

      Two days later the YPA attacked border posts that had been taken over by Slovenia. In what became known to the Slovenes as the Ten-Day War, Slovene militiamen, adopting tactics originally intended to defend Yugoslavia against invading Soviet tanks, defeated the ineptly commanded, disintegrating YPA units with minimal loss of life. The last Yugoslav soldier left Slovenia on October 25, 1991.

Karl Lavrencic John B. Allcock Thomas M. Barker

The postcommunist era
      With independence secured, Slovenia adopted a democratic constitution on December 23, 1991. The following year Kučan became independent Slovenia's first democratically elected president. Slovenia reoriented its politics and economy toward western Europe and forged closer bonds with the countries of the European Union (EU). Over the next decade the economy grew quickly, and Slovenia enjoyed political stability. Kučan was reelected in 1997, and from 1992 to 2002 (except for a brief period) the government was headed by Prime Minister Janez Drnovšek, who succeeded Kučan as president in 2002. For part of the period Slovenia had tense relations with two of its neighbours—confronting Croatia over territorial rights in the Bay of Piran and sovereignty over certain inland villages and at odds with Italy regarding that country's pursuit of concessions for some 160,000 Italians who were expelled from Slovenia after 1945. There were also disputes with the Roman Catholic church involving the church's role in Slovenia's educational system and the return of church properties that had been nationalized by the communist government. Throughout the 1990s Slovenia, with the support of all major political parties, pursued membership in both the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the EU. In 2003, following invitations to join from both organizations, Slovenes overwhelmingly endorsed membership, and Slovenia became a full member of both organizations in 2004.

      Slovenia adopted the euro in 2007 and during the first half of 2008 was the first postcommunist country to hold the EU presidency. In September 2008 the centre-left Social Democrats narrowly won parliamentary elections, thereby ending four years of government by the centre-right Slovenian Democratic Party.

Ed.

Additional Reading

General works
J. Fridl et al. (eds.), National Atlas of Slovenia (2001), is a general atlas. James Stewart, Slovenia (2006), is a tourist guidebook. Anton Gosar and Matjaz Jeršič, Slovenia—the Tourist Guide (1999), provides a detailed description of the country. Mirko Pak, Slovenia: Geographic Aspects of a New Independent European Nation (1992), is a brief collection of essays that reflect the Slovene school of geography. David Robertson and Sarah Stewart, Landscapes of Slovenia, 2nd ed. (2005), is a guidebook on Slovenian regions and towns.Louis Adamic, The Native's Return: An American Immigrant Visits Yugoslavia and Discovers His Old Country (1934, reprinted 1975), underlines the importance of Slovene immigration to the United States. Steve Fallon, Slovenia, 3rd ed. (2001), provides an excellent description of the country's landscape, people, and cultural heritage. James Gow and Cathie Carmichael, Slovenia and the Slovenes: A Small State and the New Europe (2000), examines the social, economic, and political aspects of the country and its people. Rado L. Lencek, Slovenes, the Eastern Alpine Slavs, and Their Cultural Heritage (1989), is a brief interdisciplinary synthesis. Simona Pavlič Možina (ed.), Facts About Slovenia, 8th ed. (2005), discusses the data retrieved from various state institutions of Slovenia.

History
Janko Prunk, A Brief History of Slovenia, 2nd rev. ed. (2000; originally published in Slovenian, 1998), treats thehistory of Slovenes and Slovenia as a nation-state. Leopoldina Plut-Pregelj and Carole Rogel, Historical Dictionary of Slovenia, 2nd ed. (2007), is a useful source. Thomas M. Barker, The Slovene Minority of Carinthia, 2nd ed. (1979, reissued 1984), provides general information about Slovene history from the early Middle Ages to the 20th century, and Social Revolutionaries and Secret Agents: The Carinthian Slovene Partisans and Britain's Special Operations Executive (1990), contains general data about Slovenia during World War II. Carole Rogel, The Slovenes and Yugoslavism, 1890–1914 (1977), discusses this important period, and “Slovenia's Independence: A Reversal of History,” Problems of Communism, 40(4):31–40 (July–August 1991), addresses more recent events. Danica Fink-Hafner and John R. Robbins (eds.), Making a New Nation: The Formation of Slovenia (1997), looks at the events that led to Slovenia's independence. This topic is also analyzed in Jill Benderly and Evan Kraft (eds.), Independent Slovenia: Origins, Movements, Prospects (1994, reissued 1996). Slovene Studies (semiannual) contains significant though often highly specialized studies.Anton Gosar

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Universalium. 2010.

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