Opposition wins Slovenia vote, defeating right-wing populist
Early official results of Sunday's parliamentary election in Slovenia show that an opposition liberal party convincingly won, in a major defeat for populist Prime Minister Janez Jansa, who was accused of pushing the small European Union country to the right while in office.
Slovenia to hold election amid divisions over populist path
When he visited Ukraine last month with two other European leaders, Prime Minister Janez Jansa of Slovenia hoped to show solidarity with the war-stricken nation and to attract support at home ahead of what is expected to be a close parliamentary election.
Putin's demand for ruble payments? No way! say EU nations
President Vladimir Putin's threat to have “unfriendly” countries pay for Russian natural gas exports only in rubles from now on got the not-so-friendly treatment from European Union nations Thursday. If others put it less bluntly, it came down to the same — from German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, who as former chief of the European Central Bank, knows something about currencies. Early this week, Putin launched the idea that because of Western sanctions targeting the Kremlin and freezing Russian assets, they were "effectively drawing a line over reliability of their currencies, undermining the trust for those currencies.”news.yahoo.com
3 EU prime ministers visit Kyiv as Russian attacks intensify
The prime ministers of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia traveled to the embattled Ukrainian capital of Kyiv and met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday in a show of support for Ukraine even as bombardment by the Russian military edged closer to the center of the city. The three leaders went ahead with the hours-long train trip despite worries within the European Union about the security risks of traveling within a war zone.news.yahoo.com
China condemns plans by Slovenia to upgrade Taiwan ties
China on Wednesday condemned plans by Slovenia to upgrade relations with self-governing Taiwan, a move likely to spark diplomatic and economic retaliation against the tiny Central European country. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said China was “shocked by this and strongly opposed to it,” but gave no immediate details on how Beijing would respond. “It is a dangerous statement made by the Slovenian leader that overtly challenges the one-China principle and supports Taiwan independence," Zhao told reporters at a daily briefing, referring to comments Monday by Slovenia’s Prime Minister Janez Jansa.news.yahoo.com
Slovenia water law referendum seen as test for government
Slovenians were voting Sunday in a referendum on changes to the country's water management law, in a test for the government of right-wing Prime Minister Janez Jansa. Jansa's government approved the amendments in March but ecologists have pushed through the referendum, saying the changes threaten the environment and water quality. The issue has sparked a heated debate in the small European Union nation of 2 million people known for stunningly beautiful Alpine scenery and as nature-lovers.news.yahoo.com
Central European leaders worry over Afghan migration 'wave'
Central European leaders on Friday voiced concern over what they said was a potential migration rush from Afghanistan as U.S. and NATO forces pull out from that country. Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki Morawiecki said a NATO troop withdrawal from Afghanistan could trigger a migration influx into Europe, on top of a steady stream of migrant arrivals from Africa.news.yahoo.com
Slovenia's term raises specter of EU's threat from within
Tiny Slovenia took charge of the world’s largest trading bloc this week, and immediately shone a harsh spotlight on one of the European Union’s most vexing problems: How to accommodate increasingly vocal member countries with very different visions of Europe’s future. Already, nationalist governments in Hungary and Poland are worrying their more politically mainstream partners in the 27-nation EU. Then on Thursday, Slovenia’s return to the European stage — it took over the EU’s rotating presidency for six months — was marked by concerns about the right-wing government’s record on media freedoms and its failure to nominate legal experts to the fraud-busting European Public Prosecutor’s Office.news.yahoo.com
Meet Europe’s ‘mini-Trump’: the Tweet-happy populist taking over the EU presidency
Slovenia’s prime minister, a nationalist dubbed "mini-Trump", takes charge of the European Union’s rotating presidency on Thursday amid fears he will pour petrol on the flames of the EU’s culture war over LGBT rights. Janez Jansa, a communist turned Right-wing populist after the collapse of Yugoslavia, could further exacerbate divides between EU member states in the east and more liberal countries in the west. Slovenia takes on the six-month presidency on July 1, which means its officials will onews.yahoo.com
EU chair Slovenia to stay on liberal course, president says
Slovenia’s president Borut Pahor has rejected in an interview with the AP that the increasingly autocratic policies of the country’s government could hurt its upcoming European Union presidency, saying the small Alpine state will stay on its traditional liberal course.
European Union braces for Slovenia's unorthodox presidency
Slovenia takes over the European Union presidency with its prime minister in the focus because of his squabbles with Brussels, close alliance with populist Hungarian leader Viktor Orban and increasingly autocratic policies which cast doubt on the small country’s credibility to lead the 27-nation bloc. Although the rotating six-month EU Council presidency, which Slovenia assumes from Portugal on Thursday, is mostly a bureaucratic task, it comes amid the bloc’s painful post-COVID-19 recovery, the stalled EU enlargement process and concerns that the leadership role could be used by the government to further obstruct media freedoms in Slovenia and elsewhere in Europe. In May, Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa narrowly survived an impeachment motion in the Slovenian parliament filed by opposition parties which accused him of clamping down on the press and mismanaging the pandemic by failing to provide enough vaccines for the picturesque Alpine state of about 2 million people.news.yahoo.com
Hungary sticks to veto of EU budget over rule-of-law issue
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Poland are currently using their EU vetos to stop a 1.8 trillion euro ($2.1 trillion) EU budget and coronavirus recovery package from taking effect. They say they will continue doing so as long as other EU nations maintain their commitment to including the rule of law mechanism in the budget — and they got strong backing from Slovenia on Wednesday. The issue is set to become a major dispute at Thursday's EU video summit of the leaders of the 27 member nations. All EU nations badly need the money as coronavirus infections and deaths surge around Europe and economies are ravaged by both increased health care demands and lockdowns to slow the pace of contamination. Orban claimed Wednesday that the dispute was linked to his restrictive views on immigration, which are unpopular in some EU circles.
World leaders hope for fresh start after Biden win
Other leaders who supported Trump, including President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, congratulated Biden, indicating they rejected Trump’s claim the election wasn’t over. Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia told reporters he looked forward to a “great partnership” with Washington. Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan said he looked forward to working together to end illegal tax havens and on peacemaking in Afghanistan. Others expressed hope Biden will help to heal divisions in American society and global politics. Prime Minister Janez Jansa was the only leader who congratulated Trump even before all votes were counted and showed support after Biden’s win was announced.
Slovenian premier endorses Trump's reelection, joins others
LJUBLJANA – Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa endorsed U.S. President Donald Trump’s reelection on Friday, saying Joe Biden would be a weak leader. With a tweet, Jansa added his name to a list of regional leaders who have openly supported Trump during the election campaign. Go, win, Donald Trump,” Jansa said. Also Friday, the Serb member of Bosnia's three-member presidency, Milorad Dodik, urged Serbs living in the U.S. to vote for Trump. Right-wing conservatives in Eastern and Central Europe, like Orban, Vucic and Jansa, have sometimes copied Trump’s style of leadership.
The Latest: Ireland sets new virus restrictions for 6 weeks
(AP Photo/Anupam Nath)LONDON — Ireland’s government is putting the country at its highest level of coronavirus restrictions for six weeks in a bid to combat a rise in infections. The board members hail from top California top universities and medical providers, along with state and local public health officials. ___AUSTIN, Texas -- Health officials in Texas have reported 4,319 COVID-19 hospital patients, the most since Aug. 28. Khan’s remarks come amid a slight increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths in recent weeks. Pakistan also reported 440 new confirmed cases, raising its total cases to 323,452 since February when Pakistan reported its first case.
Pompeo, in Slovenia, pushes 5G security, warns about China
Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa, right, shakes hands with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ahead of their meeting in Bled, Slovenia, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020. Pompeo is on a five-day visit to central Europe with a hefty agenda including China's role in 5G network construction. On the second leg of a four-nation tour of central and eastern Europe, Pompeo was meeting Slovenian officials in the mountain lake town of Bled on Thursday. He is to sign a joint declaration on 5G Clean Network Security that aims to keep untrusted telecoms vendors out. Besides the 5G declaration, Pompeo will be discussing energy security with Slovenia's president and prime minister.
Serbia sends mixed signals on virus lockdown after clashes
Sebian police officers disperse protesters in front of Serbian parliament building in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Opponents blame the autocratic Serbian leader of contributing to the spike in deaths and new cases after he lifted the previous lockdown measures. On Wednesday, Vucic appeared to backtrack on his new lockdown plans that were to take effect during the coming weekend. Kon said the protest on Tuesday evening showed how people feel about the possibility of total lockdown in Belgrade during the weekend. He said the virus' spread has to be curbed and lockdown is the easiest way.