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Weekly Review of Events Involving Slovenia from 16 to 22 June

Ljubljana, 23 June - A decade of independent Slovene foreign policy was crowned on Saturday by a successfully organised summit meeting between the U.S. and Russian Presidents, George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin. Important news came from Sweden's Gothenburg, where EU heads of state set the year 2004 as the target date of accession of the best prepared candidate countries. Irish President Mary McAleese, who visited Ljubljana, dispelled the fears about EU enlargement as she reassured Slovene officials that the Irish no vote to the Nice Treaty does not reject enlargement. As for bilateral relations, Prime Minister Drnovsek and his Croatian counterpart Ivica Racan held a meeting in a bid to discuss open issues. It was agreed that the next meeting should be held in July. Defence Minister Anton Grizold paid a visit to the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The Slovene political scene was dominated by referendums, as the voters on Sunday rejected changes to the act on infertility treatment which would allow in-vitro fertilisation to healthy single women. Another referendum looms ahead as the Constitutional Court ruled that the act on the transformation of duty-free shops was not passed in line with the Constitution, which is why it did not and should not come into force. This gave the non-parliamentary New Party a green light to start collecting the necessary 40,000 signatures for a referendum on the act.

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