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Slovenia Weekly

Celebrating 25

24.12.2015

Slovenia is 25 years old. While this may not seem long in the life of a country, looking back reveals the intensity of past and present events.

23 December 1990 was a Sunday when the plebiscite on independence took place all across Slovenia. In the early hours of the morning voters took to the polling stations and overwhelmingly supported independence – more than 88 per cent of those eligible to vote were in favour of the independence. The state celebration last night was the first in the year of activities in Slovenia and abroad that will take place until 23 December 2016, the 25th anniversary of Slovenia’s constitution. The culmination of the events will be the celebration of Statehood Day (25 June 2016).

These anniversaries are not only an opportunity to celebrate and rejoice, but also to reflect upon where were are and where we are going. One can quite often hear these days that the present is happening with similar intensity as 1990 was. While the economic crisis between 2008 and 2013 did hurt the previously successfully Slovenian economy, we can look into the next year with optimism. The Eurobarometer poll published yesterday also reveals that optimism is returning among Slovenians, as it shows that while the share of those believing that economic situation in the country is good is lower than in other EU member states, it is higher by nine percentage points to what it was in spring.

What affected the passing year the most? Definitely migrations. According to Eurobarometer, as many as 74 per cent of respondents in Slovenia believe that immigration is the most significant issues currently faced by the EU (and its members), followed by economic situation (19%) and terrorism (17%).

Since September, over 350,000 people have crossed Slovenia, mostly from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. We wish that their life settles down a bit in the festive season and that they find reasons for joy.

Happy holidays.

PS. The next Slovenia Weekly will be published on 8 January 2016.

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