Slovenia. According to countryaah, Ljubljana is the capital and one of the major cities within the country of Slovenia. 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 Slovenia.
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.