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Slovenia Weekly

Culture as the basis of national identity


France Prešeren's statue. Photo: STA
Slovenia celebrated Culture Day on Monday, a public holiday dedicated to the memory of France Prešeren (1800-1849), considered the nation's greatest poet, the author of our anthem, Zdravljica (A Toast). Numerous events were held around the country, including the Prešeren Prize awards ceremony. The main celebration took place in front of Prešeren's birthplace in the tiny village of Vrba. President Borut Pahor, who addressed the gathering at the ceremony, called for a culture of dialogue and mutual understanding. "Slovenians are the only nation to celebrate culture with a public holiday," Pahor stressed. "It may be a day when we celebrate culture not only the in the strictest of senses, when it is not only a matter of language, poetry and art, but also about us as people and the relationships between us - cultural relations in the broadest possible sense."

Slovenians believe that their national identity developed and was preserved through culture and arts. Culture and everything within it that relates to the Slovenian nation and Slovenian language as the foundation of our being and creativity have always been a unifying force of the Slovenian nation. By paying particular attention to the cultural wealth of the nation, we can progress as individuals, co-creators of our common cultural tomorrow, and as a country with our own, internationally recognised cultural identity.

Researchers at the University of Ljubljana and UKC Ljubljana hospital have proved a strong link between the Zika virus and microcephaly in foetuses after finding the virus inside the abnormally small brain of an aborted foetus. The Slovenian team confirmed that Zika can be passed from an infected mother to the brain of the foetus, causing permanent damage. Their findings are published in the 10 February issue of New England Journal of Medicine and are considered exceptionally important, as the link between Zika and microcephaly has been suspected but not confirmed. The Minister of Health, Milojka Kolar Celarc, highlighted that this important contribution confirms that Slovenian science is among the best in the world.

On Tuesday, the Slovenian capital officially took over the title of the European Green Capital from the UK city of Bristol at a ceremony in Brussels. Slovenia's capital will be an ambassador of sustainable development this year, focusing on a green topic each month. The European Commission stressed that the Green Capital title put its recipients in an elite club. Ljubljana is the seventh European city to hold the prestigious title.

SFRY succession: achievements in 2015 and plans for 2016

At yesterday’s session, the government discussed the 2015 report of Slovenia's High Representative for Succession Issues Ana Petrič. The implementation of the agreement is a priority of Slovenia’s foreign policy. The comprehensive solutions in the agreement and resolution of open succession issues were highlighted as priorities in the Declaration of the Foreign Policy of the Republic of Slovenia adopted by the National Assembly on 10 June 2015. more...

Slovenia fully controls the influx of migrants and the security situation

At Wednesday's press conference on the current situation regarding the arrival of refugees and migrants, the State Secretary at the interior ministry, Boštjan Šefic, said that we can be satisfied with the approach to managing the influx of migrants. This is also evident from the security situation in Slovenia, which is stable and has not changed since before the influx of migrants. This is also due to the fact that work in reception centres is well organised, security checks are good, and refugees are registered appropriately. more...

Slovenia announces the candidature of Danilo Türk for UN Secretary General

On Monday, 8 February 2016, Andrej Logar, Slovenian Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, handed a letter from Minister of Foreign Affairs Karl Erjavec announcing the candidature of Danilo Türk, former President of the Republic of Slovenia, for UN Secretary General for the 2017-2021 term with the United Nations to Mogens Lykketoft, President of the UN General Assembly, and to Rafael Darío Ramírez Carreño, President of the UN Security Council and Permanent Representative of Venezuela. Türk’s candidacy is the first official bid by a Slovene for the top post at the UN. more...

Slovenian researchers are first to demonstrate link between Zika virus and foetal brain damage

On 10 February, the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine published an article about a Slovenian study that provided the first proof that the Zika virus can be passed on to the foetal brain from an infected mother, leading to permanent brain damage and microcephaly. The researchers confirmed that congenital damage to the central nervous system associated with Zika virus infection during pregnancy was the result of the virus multiplying in the foetal brain. more...

Green Slovenia set to feature in Belgrade in the coming days

A press conference is being held in Belgrade to announce the 38th IFT International Fair of Tourism in Belgrade, which will take place between 18 and 21 February. After 2010, Slovenia will again be featured at the fair as a partner country, a fact which was highlighted at the press conference also by Eva Štravs Podlogar, Acting Director General of Tourism and Internationalisation Directorate. more...

Ljubljana – European Green Capital 2016

On Tuesday, 9 February 2016, Ljubljana received the title of European Green Capital from Bristol. The title is very significant for Ljubljana, as it puts it on the European and world map. Ljubljana’s mayor, Zoran Janković, expects that the award, which he believes is one of the most significant a city can receive, will promote tourism and investment. more...

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Every friday the Slovenian Weekly Newsletter brings you the latest updates on the work of the Slovenian Government.