Weekly Review of Events Involving Slovenia from 17 to 23 February
Ljubljana, 24 February - Negotiations on succession to the former Yugoslavia stole the week's headlines, despite no major agreement being reached at the three-day meeting. International mediator Sir Arthur Watts labelled talks as productive as negotiators from the five former Yugoslav countries nearly reached consensus on several issues. Slovenia's Prime Minister Janez Drnovsek visited Italy at a time the relations between the two countries reached a high, following the milestone passing of the comprehensive protection bill for the Slovene minority living in Italy. On a different theme, Slovenia's parliament elected a new ombudsman in its third attempt; this is Slovenia's second ever protector of human rights. Matjaz Hanzek promised to protect human rights, and if the need arises to be a "pain in the neck" to the state. On the day of Hanzek's election, around 1,000 protestors gathered to show solidarity for illegal immigrants living in Slovenia and to protest against xenophobia and other forms of intolerance.
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