Weekly Review of Events Involving Slovenia from 2 to 8 March

Ljubljana, 9 March - Slovenia's relations with Croatia once again topped the headlines this week, as high expectations accompanied the visit of Croatian Foreign Minister Tonino Picula to Slovenia. Nevertheless no final solution to Croatia's controversial regulations on the road transport of oil have been found. In addition, the Slovene-Croatian commission supervising the implementation on the agreement on border co-operation convened, determining that the accord would be implemented as of 18 March, while a group of 176 savings-account holders from Croatia launched a procedure against the Slovene bank NLB in Trieste. Negotiations with EU also made it to the front pages, as negotiators from the Luxembourg group of EU candidates failed to adopt a joint statement on the proposed financial strategy for enlargement. The meeting only confirmed that interests of the respective candidates were to different. Meanwhile, pollsters recorded plummeting support for both EU and NATO membership, with the support for EU accession sliding below 50 percent for the first time in almost a year. Quite surprisingly, the home front was dominated by the Health Ministry. Amidst continuing controversy over the scandal surrounding operations of the Slovene Red Cross, the ministry also launched an investigation in Slovene hospitals suspected of prescribing the drug Eritropoetin for other purposes besides dialysis treatment, possibly doping, and started negotiations with the trade union of doctors and dentists, who announced they would go on strike in mid-March due to deteriorating working conditions.

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