Weekly Review of Events Involving Slovenia from 7 through 13 April

Ljubljana, 14 April - Successor states to former Yugoslavia after a decade of failed talks reached the first concrete agreement in Brussels on the division of assets kept at the Basel-based Bank for International Settlements. The meeting of Slovene and Croatian prime ministers, on the other hand, failed to bear fruit, as undetermined state border, Krsko Nuclear Power Plant and the the debt of the former subsidiary of the Slovene bank Ljubljanska banka to Croatian foreign account holders remain major open issues between the two countries. Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel in Skopje attended a meeting of foreign ministers from countries in SE Europe and their neighbours with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Andrew Winner, a prominent official of the Washington Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, pointed out during his visit to Slovenia that NATO is not likely to extend invitations to candidate countries at the Prague Summit in 2002. More discouraging news came from Brussels, as the European Commission proposed that EU member states protect their national labour markets against work force form the future members for a period of up to seven years. Senior Slovene officials believe this is inacceptable and called for differentiation among candidate countries. EU topics dominated the visit of Slovenia's Chief EU Negotiator EU Janez Potocnik in Paris and the visit by Member of European Parliament and Italian Senator Demetrio Volcic to Ljubljana.

As for events on the Slovene political scene, the government last week adopted positions for further negotiations with the Holy See, which strained the relations in the coalition, as the United List of Social Democrats (ZLSD) was outvoted in the move.

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