Archive for Slovenia
President Danilo Türk has signed decrees implementing the closure of four embassies, Foreign Minster Karl Erjavec announced. Foreign Ministry following Austerity Meausers Erjavec explained that the decision to close the embassy in Sweden instead of that in Denmark was based on reciprocity, as Sweden also closed its embassy in Ljubljana. He added that the embassy in Copenhagen would easily cover Slovenia’s diplomatic needs in Scandinavia. The foreign minister stressed that his ministry would strengthen the role of honorary consuls. Erjavec said he and Türk agreed that Slovenia’s strategic policy was “not to close the embassies and save money, but rather to reorganise the diplomatic network”. The ministry however plans to save some EUR 1.8m per year with this measure. While austerity also hit the Foreign Ministry, Erjavec expects to open at least one embassy in this term, most likely in central Africa, where Slovenia has great business interests. The minister would also like to open an embassy somewhere in the Gulf. Apart from the four embassies, the government decided to close two general consulates, reportedly those in Düsseldorf and New York. Slovenians living in New York have however urged the government to abandon its plans to close the consulate in the US metropolis, stressing that the move would cause irreparable economic and cultural damage, and undermine Slovenia’s reputation in the US and the world.
A Slovenian prosecutor has charged the country’s former ambassador to Spain with sexually abusing his three daughters. Slavko Ozbolt, the prosecutor in the coastal town of Koper, said Tuesday that details from the indictment could not be revealed. Peter Reberc — who faces up to eight years in prison if convicted — is charged with repeatedly abusing his daughters between 2005-2007, when two of them were under 15 years old. The report says Reberc’s wife reported him to the police. Reberc, a former politician, became ambassador to Spain in 2008, but was fired from the foreign ministry in 2010 for allegedly embezzling embassy funds.
A man threw a backpack into the U.S. Embassy compound inSloveniaon Wednesday, triggering a bomb alert, but no explosives were found. Police arrested a man from Slovenia, and said he apparently considered his action a joke. ButU.S.officials criticized police for reacting slowly at a time when security has been stepped up at U.S. and European embassies around the world after U.S. forces killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. The 29-year-old man from the eastern town of Krsko, whose name not released, could face charges of “endangering the security of persons under international protection,” said senior police official Janko Gorsek. “Although this apparently was a bad joke, such behaviour must not be allowed and that is why there could be elements of criminal action in his act,” Gorsek said. The U.S. Embassy inLjubljana,Slovenia’s capital, said in a statement that it took the incident “very seriously,” even though no explosives were found. The backpack was thrown through a metal fence containing bars that stands about 10 feet (three meters) tall. The embassy said the incident should “serve as a wake-up call that even in safeSlovenia, bad things could happen.” It criticized the police reaction as “slow,” adding that it “reminds us that we all need to raise our level of vigilance.” The area around the embassy was cordoned off for few hours early Wednesday while police searched for, then destroyed, the suspicious backpack.
The Slovenian embassy in Japan will remain in Tokyo and is not moving to Osaka as indicated on March 18. The Foreign Ministry’s assessment remains that the embassy is needed the most in Tokyo, where it can best help Slovenian nationals with information and logistics, the ministry stated.
The Swiss government reached a decision to terminate consulates in Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia from September 1. According to John T.C. McGough, member of the ASR for Switzerland and also as a member of the board of the Swiss Club of Hungary, the move is irrational and would place Swiss citizens living or working in the region in an unacceptable position. The cited motive behind the measure is the reduction of expenses. Swiss citizens are required to register with the nearest consulate when traveling abroad and these offices are also in charge of visas and the administration necessary for foreigners to travel to Switzerland. In the revised structure, taking care of whatever bureaucratic affair in the eastern part of Hungary would require traveling all the way to Vienna.
The Swedish government said it would close six Swedish embassies, including five in Europe, this year and open 10 new embassies. Embassies facing closure were based in European Union members Bulgaria, Ireland, Luxembourg, Slovakia, and Slovenia. “Within the framework of the close cooperation that exists between the EU member states, there is scope for developing new forms for maintaining bilateral contacts in future,” Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said. Meanwhile, Sweden is to upgrade its missions in Albania, Kosovo, Georgia and Moldova to embassies. The sixth embassy to be closed was in Dakar, Senegal, while section offices were to be upgraded in Senegal’s West African neighbours Burkina Faso, Liberia and Mali as well as Rwanda, Bolivia and Cambodia.