Slovenia. According to
COUNTRYAAH, the bourgeois opposition considered that an
agreement with Croatia to resolve a border dispute through
international mediation constituted "capitulation" and
called for a binding referendum on the issue. Although Prime
Minister Borut Pahor signed an agreement on mediation with
his Croatian colleague, and Parliament approved the
agreement, the government agreed in March. The outcome was
uncertain to the last before the referendum held in June.
But a close majority of voters, just over 51 percent,
approved the deal. Thus a sigh of relief was drawn in
Croatia; the conflict over the border crossing into the sea
was an obstacle to the country's entry into the EU.
Slovenia, which became an EU member in 2004, had long
blocked the membership negotiations.
In 1993, Slovenia defined itself as a European country, not
belonging to the Balkans. Trade relations with the EU and
the openness of the Slovenian authorities opened up the
possibilities for accession to the EU. The increase in
tourism and the dollar exchange rate stabilization led to an
increase in exports and in GDP.
Italy opposed Slovenia's accession to the EU. The Italian
authorities demanded compensation for the expropriation of
150,000 Italians' property during the period 1945-1972. The
Catholic Church also demanded the restoration of the
possessions that had been nationalized under the former
In May 1995, the European Commission welcomed the
application of the Slovenes, but the Italians maintained
their demands. During the year, Croatia and Slovenia
continued the discussion on the conclusion of an agreement
on the Piran coast and on the Croatian deposits in
Ljubljanska Banka, the country's largest bank since the
dissolution of the former Yugoslavia.
In June 1996, Slovenia signed an Association Agreement
with the EU, as a first step towards its inclusion as a
regular member, to take place in 2001. One of the EU's
requirements - perhaps especially the Italians - to achieve
this agreement was an addition to the Constitution, whereby
foreigners should be able to acquire property in Slovenia.
Economic policy took into account the new requirements of
the EU, especially as regards finance law.
In the November general election, the center-party, the
Liberal Democratic Party, led by Drnovsek, succeeded in
conquering a modest majority - 25 of the parliament's 90
seats. After lengthy negotiations, the Conservative People's
Party, which had gained 19 seats, agreed to join a new
government, led by the outgoing prime minister.