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A glance at Slovenia today

"The 10th anniversary of an independent Slovenia is not a very high anniversary, yet it is very important to us. Ten years that have passed namely confirm that our decision in 1990 was correct," underlines the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Milan Kucan, who has been Slovenia's most popular political and public figure ever since 1989. Milan Kucan also enjoys high confidence from the citizenry as President of the Republic. According to the criterion of credibility, it is precisely the institution of President of the Republic that ranks highest among all public and state institutions in Slovenian public opinion polls.

"To a person with realistic insight these ten years were undoubtedly successful, even very successful," Milan Kucan estimates.

"We created a state of Slovenia that is equal to all others. Alongside all the transitional processes Slovenia also had to create its own state with the entire defence, security and diplomatic structure of a state, with a whole range of institutions, such as customs, police, army, diplomacy, monetary institutions, etc. We defended our path towards the future in war, we did away with the consequences of war and compensated the loss of important markets. Compared to other transition states, which also had to implement profound reforms, Slovenia had to make a 'step further'. This 'step further' is the reason why we are very proud of our achievements," states President Kucan.

"All the efforts and endeavours also contributed to the internal solidity of the Slovenian society. We Slovenians have not denied the heritage of our political spring nor have we denied ourselves. Slovenia brought along a very fine tuned sense of justice from the period of its 'political spring', very high sensitivity to human dignity, to the right to be different, a strong desire for participation as well as highly developed innovativeness of the individual. Our achievements are also recognised by others."

"We are firmly knocking on the doors of the EU and NATO. I expect the door to NATO to open in 2002 at the Prague summit."

In President Kucan's opinion, the European Union has no other sound developmental alternative than a gradual enlargement over all of Europe, including Slovenia, which is successfully striving to meet the requirements to fulfil its goal and thus giving itself the opportunity to actively participate in the building of a common European future.

"We expect to elect our own Members of the European Parliament in 2004," President Kucan expresses Slovenia's expectations.