Slovenia. According to
countryaah, Parliament voted in February with a large
majority for ratification of the EU Treaty on a new
constitution. Slovenia became the third EU country to
approve the treaty, but the referendum in France in May put
a stop to the process.
In May, a former security chief for genocide was
prosecuted after World War II. 86-year-old Mitja Ribićić was
charged with ordering executions of 234 people suspected of
conspiring with the Nazis. After the war, the communist
regime in what was then Yugoslavia chased people who had
cooperated with the occupying power. Ribićić became the
first to be prosecuted for this under new legislation in
On March 29, 2004, Slovenia and 6 other Eastern bloc
countries joined NATO. It was the largest alliance to date,
and now counts 26 countries.
A referendum launched by the right wing in April 2004
gave a large majority a proposal to deprive the ethnic
minorities of the country of their civil rights after
Parliament granted them these rights. The result was sharply
criticized by the international human rights organizations,
creating an embarrassing situation for the government
preparing for the country's accession to the EU.
On May 1, 2004, Slovenia, along with 9 other countries,
was admitted to the EU. Slovenia was the only country among
the former Yugoslav republics so far occupied. The country
was the second most developed among the newly admitted
countries; its incomes are at 70% of the EU average; it lies
over Greece; while unemployment, on the other hand, is lower
than in Germany and France, making the country a net
contributor to the EU.
SDS surprisingly won the parliamentary elections in
October. The center-right party gained 30% of the vote, thus
gaining 6% more than the Liberal government. New Prime
Minister Janez Jansa sought support from the smaller parties
on the right to secure parliamentary majority.
The Slovenian parliament voted by a large majority for
the EU's new constitution in May 2005. However, the
constitution was voted down by referendums in France and the
Netherlands that same month. In May 2006, the EU approved
Slovenia's entry into the Eurozone from 2007. Prior to this,
a one-year trial period was to be held during which the
country's currency was locked to the Euro. In January 2007,
Slovenia switched to Euro, becoming the first new Member
State to take this step.