sobota, avgust 07, 2004

What's a good souvenir from Slovenia? Who knows!

“Tourists have a huge problem when it comes to buying souvenirs in Slovenia because they don't know what typical and traditional items are for the country,” according to Thursday’s Finance.

A poll of foreign tourists produced a strange mix of replies to the question: “What is a typical gift from Slovenia?”

An Israeli answered with a question of his own: “Are these carved wooden things typical gifts here?”

A Dutchman simply replied: “I have no clue what a typical gift from Slovenia would be.”

As examples of good Slovene souvenirs, the paper lists painted Easter eggs (
pirhi), painted beehive panels (panjske končnice) and lace (Idrijske čipke), but adds that sales of souvenir items are falling from year to year because of a 20-percent souvenir tax which raises their price above what many tourists are willing to pay.

[Finance / 05.08.04 /
Confused Tourists Seek Souvenirs, Finance / 05.08.04 / Turisti bi kupili spominke, a ne vedo, katere].

Alpa-Adria Coastal Street Festival

Koper, Izola and Piran will host the third Alpa-Adria Coastal Street Festival (PUF) from 6 August until 6 September. On the program are 49 events presented by 24 groups and individual performers from Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, the UK and the US. Performers include puppeteers, pyrotechnic performers, musicians and actors. The complete schedule can be found at

Slovenia 4th in internet fraud?

Slovenia ranked fourth in the world for internet fraud on a list devised by the American firm VeriSign, according to a 3 August report by Finance. Nearly 92 percent of internet transactions through Slovenia are considered to be risky. Just Cameroon, Nigeria and Indonesia rated worse.

The Ministry of Information Society is seeking more specific information from VeriSign about how they arrived at this finding. The Ministry says it was not consulted by VerSign during the preparation of the report. The report also does not include any sources or methodological information which could explain Slovenia’s poor showing.

[Finance / 03.08.04 / Slovenia among World's Leading Web Cheaters, [Finance / 03.08.04 / Slovenija v svetovnem vrhu goljufij na internetu].

ponedeljek, avgust 02, 2004

International Children's Games founder honored in Cleveland

Metod Klemenc of Ljubljana was honored with a plaque at the Slovenian Cultural Garden in Cleveland, Ohio, on 29 July. In 1968, Klemenc organized the first International Children’s Games in Celje, Yugoslavia (Slovenia). In 2004, they were held in Cleveland. [Plain Dealer / 30.07.04 / Cultural Garden plaque honors Games founder].

Accepting the award,
Klemenc said, “You can observe the world – and change a child’s soul,” speaking of the impact of the games on the lives of the more than 24,000 children who have participated in the International Children’s Games in the past 36 years.

According to the 2000 US census, 49,308 Slovene-Americans live in the Cleveland area, making it the largest concentration of Slovenes outside of Slovenia. Before the founding of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Yugoslavia) in 1918, Cleveland had the third-largest

Cultural Gardens in Cleveland's University Circle neighborhood are a collection of gardens dedicated to 23 of the area’s ethnic groups, including the Slovenes. The Slovene Cultural Garden was inaugurated on 4 December 1932 – the 14th anniversary of the founding of Yugoslavia – as the Jugoslav Cultural Garden.

Interpellation motion filed vs. government

On 30 July, 11 members of the SDS and NSi delegations in parliament filed an interpellation motion against the government. The government is accused of poor governance, corruption and failure to fulfil promises. SDS leader Janez Janša was the first of the 11 to sign the motion.

According to the constitution, a group of no less than ten members of parliament can initiate interpellation hearings against the government or an individual minister. The hearings are followed by a vote of confidence; if the government or minister fails the vote, they are impeached and must be removed from office. A simple majority of 46 members of parliament would have to vote no-confidence in order for the action to pass.

However, Janša and NSi leader Andrej Bajuk told a press conference that they will not call for a confidence vote, since elections are not far off. Instead, they say they are merely looking for “a debate and evaluation of the government’s work over the past four years” [STA / 30.07.04 / Opposition wants a debate on Slovene government's work - party leaders, STA / 30.07.04 / Koalicija Slovenija vložila interpelacijo zoper vlado, 24ur / 30.07.04 / Koalicija Slovenija interpelira vlado, Večer / 31.07.04 / Obračun Koalicije Slovenija z vlado].

The government, led by Prime Minister Anton Rop, have 30 days to respond to the motion. Rop has called the motion “a pre-election stunt not seen before in democratic European history.” However, the LDS believes the debate on the interpellation can be used to the ruling coalition’s advantage in the run-up to the October parliamentary elections [STA / 31.07.04 /
Opposition's motion against government clearly "pre-election stunt" - Slovene PM, Pop TV / 31.07.04 / Odziv Ropa na interpelacijo, TOL / 02.08.04 / No Rest for the Weary].

Meanwhile, the SNS and SMS have also criticized the interpellation motion. SNS leader Zmago Jelinčič told STA that it is nothing more than an “election campaign move,” while SMS secretary Jože Vozelj said it was “simply ridiculous” [STA / 30.07.04 /
Slovene parties criticize interpellation filed by opposition]. Both the SNS and the SMS are in opposition in parliament, together with the SDS, NSi and SLS. The SLS is supporting the motion.

Strel conquors China's Yangtze

Slovene super swimmer Martin Strel swam 4600 kilometers down the Yangtze River in China, finishing on 30 July. The trip took a month and a half [UVI / 02.08.04 / Strel Swam Yangtze River].

According to the Slovene government’s Public Relations and Media Office (UVI), Strel had to defeat whirlpools, extreme temperatures, high tides and other troubles during the trek.

"The extremely hot weather is hard to grapple with, but I had to choose this season because the tides are relatively easy to swim with," Strel told the Chinese media [Muzi News / 31.07.04 /
Slovenian breaks record swimming China's Yangtze].

Strel is 49 years old and holds numerous marathon swimming records, including one for being the first person to swim the Mississippi River. Strel's most recent achievement was the Parana River in Latin America, which he conquered last December. Strel also swam 3,004 km of the Danube River in 58 days [ICE / 06.08.04 /].