Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Slovenia gives Britain's queen a Lipizzaner horse

"Slovenia gave Britain's queen a prized Lipizzaner stallion during her visit to this Alpine nation Wednesday — but she won't be taking the horse home to meet the rest of the royal menagerie.

The 16-year-old horse, 085 Favory Canissa XXII, is so precious to the identity of this tiny nation of 2 million that Queen Elizabeth II decided to leave him in the care of the Lipica stud farm in western Slovenia. The meticulously trained horses are known for being able to perform highly stylized prancing, jumps and other moves.

'He's a real stallion: Sometimes, he cannot concentrate on training because he thinks about mares all the time,' said the horse's chief trainer, Igor Maver.

The symbolic gift becomes another addition to a tradition of feathered, furry or four-legged presents. In the past, the royals have been given sloths, tortoises, pygmy hippopotami — among other creatures.

Most end up in zoos and sanctuaries — so it seems fitting the latest addition will remain back at the stud farm for horses so ingrained in the national culture their image is stamped on coins."

Source: Associated Press

Queen thanks Slovenia for support

The Queen has thanked Slovenia for the support the nation has given to British troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

She spoke while at a state banquet, held in her honour, at the 16th century Brdo Castle near the capital Ljubljana.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are on a two-day state visit to the country at the behest of president Danilo Turk.

It is the first time they have been to Slovenia since its independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991 and entry into the European Union in 2004.

Speaking to an audience of 80 guest, the monarch congratulated Slovenia, one of Europe's youngest countries, on its transformation since independence.

She said: 'This achievement has been all the more striking when we recall that it is only 17 years since you first emerged as an independent European nation."

Source: BBC

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

British monarch pays first state visit to Slovenia

"Queen Elizabeth II of Britain and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, paid their first state visit to Slovenia on Tuesday at the invitation of Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk.

The 82-year-old monarch and the Duke were welcomed at the Joze Pucnik airport in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana by British ambassador Tim Simmons and several Slovenian officials, Slovenian news agency STA reported.

The royal couple then traveled in a motorcade to the nearby Brdo Castle, to be met by President Tuerk and First Lady Barbara Miklic Tuerk with full state honors.

After the talks, the Queen and her host exchanged state honors and gifts. President Tuerk decorated the Queen with the Order for Exceptional Services of the Republic of Slovenia, while he received the Most Honorable Order of the Bath."

Source: Xinhua

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Commission warns Slovenia over 'unfair' road tax

"A letter of formal notice was sent yesterday ( 2 October), the Commission announced, adding that this was but the first formal step in an infringement procedure that could see Slovenia referred to the European Court of Justice unless it amends its law.

At issue is the fact that all passenger cars and motorcycles wishing to use the Slovenian motorway network must buy a special vignette, which is only available on an annual or half-yearly basis.

This means foreign nationals or foreign residents who only use the country’s motorways occasionally face a 'disproportionate charge' compared to nationals and Slovenian residents, stresses the Commission. Its move follows complaints from EU tourist organisations in Germany and Austria."


Slovenia: The official election winner announced

"Last Friday, the Electoral Commission adopted the report on the results of the Slovenian parliamentary elections. Preliminary data have thus become official and the respective number of seats in Parliament won by each party remained unchanged.

63.10 percent of all voters cast their vote in the elections. The official winner is the party SD, run by Borut Pahor, which received 30.45 percent of the votes cast. 29.26 of voters voted for SDS, which is followed by Zares with 9.37 percent, za DeSUS with 7,45 percent, SNS with 5.4 percent, SLS and SMS with 5.21 percent, and LDS with 5.21 percent of the votes cast."

Source: Emportal