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Janez Drnovšek

Janez Drnovšek

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Janez Drnovšek was a Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

n liberal
Liberalism
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

 politician
Politician
A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

, President of the Presidency of Yugoslavia (1989–1990), Prime Minister of Slovenia
Prime Minister of Slovenia
There have been six Prime Ministers of Slovenia since that country gained its independence in the breakup of Yugoslavia. Unlike the President of Slovenia, who is directly elected, the Prime Minister is appointed by the National Assembly, and must control a majority there in order to...

 (1992–2002) and President of Slovenia
President of Slovenia
The function of President of the Republic of Slovenia was established on 23 December 1991, when the National Assembly of Slovenia passed a new constitution as a result of independence from Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia....

 (2002–2007). He was born in Celje
Celje
Celje is a typical Central European town and the third largest town in Slovenia. It is a regional center of Lower Styria and the administrative seat of the Urban Municipality of Celje . The town of Celje is located under Upper Celje Castle at the confluence of the Savinja, Ložnica, and Voglajna...

, Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

, then the Socialist Republic of Slovenia
Socialist Republic of Slovenia
The Socialist Republic of Slovenia was a socialist state that was a constituent country of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1943 until 1990...

. He died on February 23, 2008 in Zaplana
Zaplana, Vrhnika
Zaplana is a small village in the hills to the west of Vrhnika in the Inner Carniola region of Slovenia.The Parish Church in the settlement is dedicated to Saint Ulrich and belongs to the Ljubljana Archdiocese....

.

Youth & early career


Young Janez was raised in the small town of Kisovec
Kisovec
Kisovec is a settlement in the Municipality of Zagorje ob Savi in central Slovenia. The settlement developed around the local coal mine, closed in 1952. Since 1978 a factory producing aerated autoclaved concrete has been in operation in the settlement and provided employment for local people. The...

 in the municipality of Zagorje ob Savi
Zagorje ob Savi
Zagorje ob Savi is a town and a municipality in central Slovenia. It is located in the valley of Medija Creek, a minor left-bank tributary of the Sava River, east of Ljubljana southwest of Celje, and west of Trbovlje. Traditionally the area was part of the Upper Carniola region. The entire...

, where his father Viktor was the local mine chief and his mother Silva was a homemaker. Drnovšek graduated at the University of Ljubljana
University of Ljubljana
The University of Ljubljana is the oldest and largest university in Slovenia. With 64,000 enrolled graduate and postgraduate students, it is among the largest universities in Europe.-Beginnings:...

 with a degree in economics in 1973. Meanwhile, he worked as an intern at a Le Havre
Le Havre
Le Havre is a city in the Seine-Maritime department of the Haute-Normandie region in France. It is situated in north-western France, on the right bank of the mouth of the river Seine on the English Channel. Le Havre is the most populous commune in the Haute-Normandie region, although the total...

 bank. In 1975, at the age of 25, he became chief financial officer at SGP Beton Zagorje, a construction company. Two years later he became, for one year, an economic adviser at the Yugoslav
Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

 embassy in Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

. He defended his master's thesis in 1981, and in 1986, he defended his Ph.D. dissertation in 1986 at the Faculty of Economics and Business at the University of Maribor
University of Maribor
The University of Maribor is the second university in Slovenia, established in 1975. It currently has 17 faculties.-History:The university's roots reach back to 1859, when a theological seminary was established with the encouragement of Maribor bishop and patriot Anton Martin Slomšek...

. In 1982, he became head of the local branch of Ljubljana Bank in his home region of the Central Sava Valley  in central Slovenia. In 1986 he was chosen to be a delegate at the Slovenian Republic Assembly (parliament) and also the Chamber of Republics and Provinces of the Yugoslav parliament.

Membership in the Yugoslav presidency


In 1989 Stane Dolanc
Stane Dolanc
Stane Dolanc was a Yugoslav and Slovenian communist politician, one of Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito's closest collaborators and one of the most influential people in Yugoslav federal politics in the 1970s and 1980s...

, the Slovenia
Socialist Republic of Slovenia
The Socialist Republic of Slovenia was a socialist state that was a constituent country of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1943 until 1990...

n representative to the collective presidency of Yugoslavia, retired. The Slovenian Communist Party, aware of upcoming democratisation, decided to organize elections between two candidates for the position. Drnovšek, until then rather unknown to the public, defeated Marko Bulc, the Party's preferred candidate. The Communist leaderships of other Yugoslav republics did not agree with this new way of selecting the representative to the Collective Presidency, so the Slovenian Republic Parliament had to confirm the result of the elections. Drnovšek served as chairman of the Collective Presidency from 1989 until 1990. While he was chairman of the presidency, he was also chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement
Non-Aligned Movement
The Non-Aligned Movement is a group of states considering themselves not aligned formally with or against any major power bloc. As of 2011, the movement had 120 members and 17 observer countries...

 and the commander of the Yugoslav People's Army
Yugoslav People's Army
The Yugoslav People's Army , also referred to as the Yugoslav National Army , was the military of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.-Origins:The origins of the JNA can...

. Until the collapse of the Communist regime he was an active member of the Communist Party. After the democratic changes in Slovenia, the country seceded from Yugoslavia. Following the Ten Day War, Drnovšek used his position in the Collective Presidency to help mediate the Brioni Agreement
Brioni Agreement
The Brijuni Agreement is a document signed on the Brijuni islands near Pula, Croatia, on 7 July 1991 by representatives of the Republic of Slovenia, Republic of Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia under the political sponsorship of the European Community...

 and to negotiate a peaceful withdrawal of Yugoslav army
Yugoslav People's Army
The Yugoslav People's Army , also referred to as the Yugoslav National Army , was the military of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.-Origins:The origins of the JNA can...

 from Slovenia.

Prime Minister of Slovenia


In 1992, after a Government crisis in the DEMOS coalition, which had won the first democratic elections in Slovenia in 1990 and led the country to independence, Drnovšek became the second Prime Minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

 of independent Slovenia. He was chosen as a compromise candidate and an expert in economic policy. His bi-partisan government was supported both by the left and centrist wing of the dissolved DEMOS coalition (the Social Democratic Party of Slovenia, the Democratic Party and the Greens of Slovenia
Greens of Slovenia
The Greens of Slovenia is a political party in Slovenia.At the parliamentary election in September 2008, the party won no seats.-External links:*...

) and by three parties that derived from organizations of the former Communist regime (the Liberal Democratic Party, the Party of Democratic Reform
Social Democrats (Slovenia)
The Social Democrats is a centre-left political party in Slovenia, currently led by Borut Pahor. From 1993 until 2005, the party was known as the United List of Social Democrats .-Origins:...

 and the Socialist Party of Slovenia
Socialist Party of Slovenia
The Socialist Party of Slovenia was a political party in Slovenia. It was founded in 1990, as the successor of the Socialist Union of Working People of Slovenia . The founding conference of the party was held in Ljubjana on June 9, 1990...

).

Shortly afterwards, Drnovšek was elected president of the Liberal Democratic Party (Liberalno demokratska stranka - LDS), the legal successor of the Association of Socialist Youth of Slovenia (Zveza socialistične mladine Slovenije - ZSMS), the youth fraction of the Communist Party of Slovenia.

In 1992, the Liberal Democratic Party under Drnovšek's leadership won the parliamentary elections, but due to a high fragmentation of the popular vote had to ally itself with other parties in order to form a stable government. Despite a politically turbulent mandate (in 1994, the Social Democratic Party of Slovenia left the coalition), the Party gained votes in 1996, remaining the largest party in the government. Nevertheless, Drnovšek barely secured himself a third term in office after a failed attempt to ally himself with the Slovenian National Party
Slovenian National Party
The Slovenian National Party is a extreme nationalist political party in Slovenia, led by Zmago Jelinčič Plemeniti. The party is renowned for its euroscepticism and opposes Slovenia's membership in NATO...

. In 1997, the Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
Liberal Democracy of Slovenia is a liberal political party in Slovenia. It is led by Katarina Kresal and is a member of the Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party...

 formed a coalition government with the populist Slovenian People's Party
Slovenian People's Party
The Slovenian People's Party is a rural-based conservative political party in Slovenia. Formed in 1988 under the name of Slovenian Peasant Union as the first non-Communist political organization in Yugoslavia, it merged with the Slovene Christian Democrats to form the present-day party in 2000...

 which finally enabled Drnovšek to serve a third term in office.

He headed the government until May 2000, when he stepped down due to disagreements with the Slovenian People's Party
Slovenian People's Party
The Slovenian People's Party is a rural-based conservative political party in Slovenia. Formed in 1988 under the name of Slovenian Peasant Union as the first non-Communist political organization in Yugoslavia, it merged with the Slovene Christian Democrats to form the present-day party in 2000...

. After less than six months in opposition, Drnovšek returned to power in Autumn of 2000, after his party gained a clear victory in the parliamentary elections.

Drnovšek's governments guided Slovenia's political and economic reconstruction. He successfully tackled the twin tasks of reorienting Slovenia's trade away from the wreckage of the old Yugoslavia towards the West and replacing the ineffective Communist-era business model with more market-based mechanisms.

Unlike the other five former Yugoslav republics which were run for much of the 1990s by charismatic and frequently authoritarian presidents, Slovenia under Drnovšek's premiership quickly emerged from the break-up of the federation as a functioning parliamentary democracy. Drnovšek's political strategy was concentrated on broad coalitions, transcending idological and programmatic divisions between parties.

Contrary to some other former Communist countries in Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

, the economic and social transformation in Slovenia pursued by Drnovšek's governments followed a gradualist approach.

Drnovšek was a staunch supporter of Slovenia's entry in the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 and NATO and was largely responsible for Slovenia's successful bid for membership in both of those organizations. As Prime minister, he was frequently active on foreign policy issues. On June 16, 2001, he helped to arrange the first meeting of the U.S. President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 with the Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n President Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin served as the second President of the Russian Federation and is the current Prime Minister of Russia, as well as chairman of United Russia and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Russia and Belarus. He became acting President on 31 December 1999, when...

, which was held in the Upper Carniola
Upper Carniola
Upper Carniola is a traditional region of Slovenia, the northern mountainous part of the larger Carniola region. The centre of the region is Kranj, while other urban centers include Jesenice, Tržič, Škofja Loka, Kamnik, and Domžale.- Historical background :...

n estate of Brdo pri Kranju
Brdo pri Kranju
Brdo near Kranj is an estate and a mansion in the Slovenian region of Upper Carniola in the municipality of Kranj north of Ljubljana. It is the Slovenian Government's main venue for diplomatic meetings and other Government-sponsored events....

. (Bush-Putin 2001
Bush-Putin 2001
The so called Slovenian Summit was the first meeting between the U.S. President George W. Bush and the Russian President Vladimir Putin. It took place on June 16th 2001 on the Brdo pri Kranju estate in northern Slovenia...

)

In 2002, he ran for President of Slovenia
President of Slovenia
The function of President of the Republic of Slovenia was established on 23 December 1991, when the National Assembly of Slovenia passed a new constitution as a result of independence from Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia....

, and was elected in the second round, defeating the center right candidate Barbara Brezigar
Barbara Brezigar
Barbara Brezigar is a Slovenian lawyer and politician. She currently serves as State Prosecutor General of the Republic of Slovenia.She was born in a middle class family in Ljubljana as Barbara Gregorin...

.

Drnovšek's Governments 1992–2002

Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Slovenia
There have been six Prime Ministers of Slovenia since that country gained its independence in the breakup of Yugoslavia. Unlike the President of Slovenia, who is directly elected, the Prime Minister is appointed by the National Assembly, and must control a majority there in order to...

  • Janez Drnovšek
Vice President of Government
  • (1992–1993): Jože Pučnik
    Jože Pucnik
    Jože Pučnik was a Slovenian public intellectual, sociologist and politician. During the Communist regime of Josip Broz Tito, Pučnik was one of the most outspoken Slovenian critics of dictatorship and lack of civil liberties in former Yugoslavia. He was imprisoned for a total of 7 years, and later...

     (Social Democratic Party of Slovenia) and Herman Rigelnik (Liberal Democratic Party
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia is a liberal political party in Slovenia. It is led by Katarina Kresal and is a member of the Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party...

    )
  • (1993–1997): without appoint
  • (1997–2000): Marjan Podobnik (Slovenian People's Party
    Slovenian People's Party
    The Slovenian People's Party is a rural-based conservative political party in Slovenia. Formed in 1988 under the name of Slovenian Peasant Union as the first non-Communist political organization in Yugoslavia, it merged with the Slovene Christian Democrats to form the present-day party in 2000...

    )
  • (2000–2002): without appoint
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • (1992–1993): Dimitrij Rupel
    Dimitrij Rupel
    Dimitrij Rupel is a Slovenian politician.- Biography :Rupel was born in Ljubljana, in what was then the Socialist Republic of Slovenia, into a bourgeois family of former anti-fascist political emigrants from the Julian March .After receiving a bachelor's degree in comparative literature and...

     (Democratic Party)
  • (1993–1994): Lojze Peterle
    Lojze Peterle
    Alojz "Lojze" Peterle is a Slovenian politician. He was the leader of the Slovene Christian Democrats from the founding of the party in 1990 until it merged with the Slovenian People's Party in 2000. Between 1990 and 1992, he was the president of the first freely elected Slovenian government, and...

     (Slovene Christian Democrats
    Slovene Christian Democrats
    The Slovene Christian Democrats was a Christian Democrat political party in Slovenia between 1989 and 2000.It was founded as the Slovene Christian Social Movement in March of 1989. Its first president was Peter Kovačič Peršin...

    )
  • (1995–1996): Zoran Thaler
    Zoran Thaler
    Zoran Thaler is a Slovenian politician and businessman. He is a former Slovenian Foreign Minister and a former Member of European Parliament.- Political career :...

     (Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia is a liberal political party in Slovenia. It is led by Katarina Kresal and is a member of the Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party...

    )
  • (1996–1997): Davorin Kračun (Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia is a liberal political party in Slovenia. It is led by Katarina Kresal and is a member of the Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party...

    )
  • (1997): Zoran Thaler
    Zoran Thaler
    Zoran Thaler is a Slovenian politician and businessman. He is a former Slovenian Foreign Minister and a former Member of European Parliament.- Political career :...

     (Liberal Democratic Party
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia is a liberal political party in Slovenia. It is led by Katarina Kresal and is a member of the Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party...

    )
  • (1997–2000): Boris Frlec (Independent)
  • (2000–2002): Dimitrij Rupel
    Dimitrij Rupel
    Dimitrij Rupel is a Slovenian politician.- Biography :Rupel was born in Ljubljana, in what was then the Socialist Republic of Slovenia, into a bourgeois family of former anti-fascist political emigrants from the Julian March .After receiving a bachelor's degree in comparative literature and...

     (Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia is a liberal political party in Slovenia. It is led by Katarina Kresal and is a member of the Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party...

    )
  • Minister of Justice
  • (1992–1994): Miha Kozinc (Liberal Democratic Party
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia is a liberal political party in Slovenia. It is led by Katarina Kresal and is a member of the Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party...

    )
  • (1994–1997): Meta Zupančič (Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia is a liberal political party in Slovenia. It is led by Katarina Kresal and is a member of the Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party...

    )
  • (1997–2000): Tomaž Marušič
    Tomaž Marušic
    Tomaž Marušič was a Slovenian lawyer and politician.He was born in Gorizia, Italy. His father, Franc Marušič was a renowned local physician and a staunch Slovene patriot and antifascist...

     (Slovenian People's Party
    Slovenian People's Party
    The Slovenian People's Party is a rural-based conservative political party in Slovenia. Formed in 1988 under the name of Slovenian Peasant Union as the first non-Communist political organization in Yugoslavia, it merged with the Slovene Christian Democrats to form the present-day party in 2000...

    )
  • (2000–2002): Ivo Bizjak (Slovenian People's Party
    Slovenian People's Party
    The Slovenian People's Party is a rural-based conservative political party in Slovenia. Formed in 1988 under the name of Slovenian Peasant Union as the first non-Communist political organization in Yugoslavia, it merged with the Slovene Christian Democrats to form the present-day party in 2000...

    )
  • Minister of Defence
  • (1992–1994): Janez Janša
    Janez Janša
    Janez Janša is a Slovenian politician who was Prime Minister of Slovenia from November 2004 to November 2008. He has also been President of the Slovenian Democratic Party since 1993...

     (Slovenian Social Democratic Party)
  • (1994–1997): Jelko Kacin
    Jelko Kacin
    Jelko Kacin is a Slovenian politician and Member of the European Parliament. During the Slovenian Independence War he was the Secretary of Information of Slovenia. He founded the Slovenian Press Agency on 3 June 1991 and the war started on 27 June 1991...

     (Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia is a liberal political party in Slovenia. It is led by Katarina Kresal and is a member of the Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party...

    )
  • (1997–1998): Tit Turnšek (Slovenian People's Party
    Slovenian People's Party
    The Slovenian People's Party is a rural-based conservative political party in Slovenia. Formed in 1988 under the name of Slovenian Peasant Union as the first non-Communist political organization in Yugoslavia, it merged with the Slovene Christian Democrats to form the present-day party in 2000...

    )
  • (1998–1999): Alojz Krapež (Slovenian People's Party
    Slovenian People's Party
    The Slovenian People's Party is a rural-based conservative political party in Slovenia. Formed in 1988 under the name of Slovenian Peasant Union as the first non-Communist political organization in Yugoslavia, it merged with the Slovene Christian Democrats to form the present-day party in 2000...

    )
  • (1999–2000): Franci Demšar (Slovenian People's Party
    Slovenian People's Party
    The Slovenian People's Party is a rural-based conservative political party in Slovenia. Formed in 1988 under the name of Slovenian Peasant Union as the first non-Communist political organization in Yugoslavia, it merged with the Slovene Christian Democrats to form the present-day party in 2000...

    )
  • (2000–2002): Anton Grizold (Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia is a liberal political party in Slovenia. It is led by Katarina Kresal and is a member of the Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party...

    )
  • Minister of Finance
  • (1992): Janez Kopač (Liberal Democratic Party
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia is a liberal political party in Slovenia. It is led by Katarina Kresal and is a member of the Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party...

    )
  • (1992–2000): Mitja Gaspari
    Mitja Gaspari
    Mitja Gaspari is a Slovenian economist, banker, and politician. He is currently serving as Minister for Economic Development in the centre left government of Borut Pahor....

     (Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia is a liberal political party in Slovenia. It is led by Katarina Kresal and is a member of the Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party...

    )
  • (2000–2002): Anton Rop
    Anton Rop
    Anton Rop is a Slovenian politician. He is currently a member of the National Assembly of Slovenia. He was the fourth Prime Minister of Slovenia, from 2002 to 2004. Until 2005 he was also the president of the Liberal Democratic Party , the legal successor of the Slovenian Association of Socialist...

     (Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia is a liberal political party in Slovenia. It is led by Katarina Kresal and is a member of the Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party...

    )
  • Minister of Interior
  • (1992–1993): Igor Bavčar
    Igor Bavčar
    Igor Bavčar is a Slovenian politician and manager. He rose to prominence during the Slovenian spring, when he served as chairman of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, the largest independent civil society movement in the Socialist Republic of Slovenia...

     (Democratic Party)
  • (1993–1994): Ivo Bizjak (Slovene Christian Democrats
    Slovene Christian Democrats
    The Slovene Christian Democrats was a Christian Democrat political party in Slovenia between 1989 and 2000.It was founded as the Slovene Christian Social Movement in March of 1989. Its first president was Peter Kovačič Peršin...

    )
  • (1994–1997): Andrej Šter (Slovene Christian Democrats
    Slovene Christian Democrats
    The Slovene Christian Democrats was a Christian Democrat political party in Slovenia between 1989 and 2000.It was founded as the Slovene Christian Social Movement in March of 1989. Its first president was Peter Kovačič Peršin...

    )
  • (1997–1999): Mirko Bandelj (Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia is a liberal political party in Slovenia. It is led by Katarina Kresal and is a member of the Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party...

    )
  • (1999–2000): Borut Šuklje (Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia is a liberal political party in Slovenia. It is led by Katarina Kresal and is a member of the Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party...

    )
  • (2000–2002): Rado Bohinc (United List of Social Democrats)
  • Minister of Education
  • (1992–1999): Slavko Gaber (Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia is a liberal political party in Slovenia. It is led by Katarina Kresal and is a member of the Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party...

    )
  • (1999–2000): Pavle Zgaga (Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia is a liberal political party in Slovenia. It is led by Katarina Kresal and is a member of the Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party...

    )
  • (2000–2002): Lucija Čok (Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia is a liberal political party in Slovenia. It is led by Katarina Kresal and is a member of the Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party...

    )
  • Minister of Culture
    Minister of culture
    A culture minister is a Cabinet position in some governments responsible for protecting the national heritage of a country and promoting cultural expression....

  • (1992–1993): Borut Šuklje (Socialist Party of Slovenia
    Socialist Party of Slovenia
    The Socialist Party of Slovenia was a political party in Slovenia. It was founded in 1990, as the successor of the Socialist Union of Working People of Slovenia . The founding conference of the party was held in Ljubjana on June 9, 1990...

    )
  • (1993–1996): Sergij Peljhan (United List of Social Democrats)
  • (1996–1997): Janez Dular (Slovene Christian Democrats
    Slovene Christian Democrats
    The Slovene Christian Democrats was a Christian Democrat political party in Slovenia between 1989 and 2000.It was founded as the Slovene Christian Social Movement in March of 1989. Its first president was Peter Kovačič Peršin...

    )
  • (1997–2000): Jožef Školč
    Jožef Školc
    Jožef Školč is a Slovenian left liberal politician. He is currently serving as State Secretary for the Relations with NGOs in the Cabinet of the Prime Minister of Slovenia....

     (Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia is a liberal political party in Slovenia. It is led by Katarina Kresal and is a member of the Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party...

    )
  • (2000–2002): Andreja Rihter (United List of Social Democrats)
  • Minister of Welfare
  • (1992–1994): Jožica Puhar (United List of Social Democrats)
  • (1994–1997): Rina Klinar (United List of Social Democrats)
  • (1997–2000): Anton Rop
    Anton Rop
    Anton Rop is a Slovenian politician. He is currently a member of the National Assembly of Slovenia. He was the fourth Prime Minister of Slovenia, from 2002 to 2004. Until 2005 he was also the president of the Liberal Democratic Party , the legal successor of the Slovenian Association of Socialist...

     (Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia is a liberal political party in Slovenia. It is led by Katarina Kresal and is a member of the Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party...

    )
  • (2000–2002): Vlado Dimovski (United List of Social Democrats)
  • Minister of Environment
  • (1992–1994): Miha Jazbinšek (Greens of Slovenia
    Greens of Slovenia
    The Greens of Slovenia is a political party in Slovenia.At the parliamentary election in September 2008, the party won no seats.-External links:*...

    )
  • (1994–2000): Pavle Gantar (Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia is a liberal political party in Slovenia. It is led by Katarina Kresal and is a member of the Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party...

    )
  • (2000–2002): Janez Kopač (Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia is a liberal political party in Slovenia. It is led by Katarina Kresal and is a member of the Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party...

    )

  • President of Slovenia and the change in lifestyle


    Drnovšek's presidency was highly controversial. In the first three years in office, he rarely appeared in public, save for the most important official duties. In 2006, however, a change of style became visible. He launched several campaigns in foreign policy, such as a failed humanitarian mission to Darfur
    Darfur
    Darfur is a region in western Sudan. An independent sultanate for several hundred years, it was incorporated into Sudan by Anglo-Egyptian forces in 1916. The region is divided into three federal states: West Darfur, South Darfur, and North Darfur...

     and a proposal for the solution of the political crisis in Kosovo
    Kosovo
    Kosovo is a region in southeastern Europe. Part of the Ottoman Empire for more than five centuries, later the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia...

    . On January 30, 2006, he left the Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
    Liberal Democracy of Slovenia is a liberal political party in Slovenia. It is led by Katarina Kresal and is a member of the Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party...

    . Shortly afterwards, he founded the Movement for Justice and Development
    Movement for Justice and Development
    The Movement for Justice and Development is a Slovenian voluntary association founded in 2006 by the then president of Slovenia, Janez Drnovšek....

     and became its first president. He claimed this was not meant to be a political movement, but rather a wide initiative, aiming to "raise human consciousness and make the world a better place". On June 26, 2006, he announced that he would not be running for a second term in an interview on TV Slovenia.

    Conflict with the Government


    The 2004 legislative election
    Slovenian parliamentary election, 2004
    -Delegation of Socialni demokrati [United List of Social Democrats]:-Delegation of Liberalna demokracija Slovenije [Liberal Democracy of Slovenia]:-Delegation of Nova Slovenija [New Slovenia]:...

     brought further changes and a political swing to the right. Janez Janša
    Janez Janša
    Janez Janša is a Slovenian politician who was Prime Minister of Slovenia from November 2004 to November 2008. He has also been President of the Slovenian Democratic Party since 1993...

    , the leader of a right-wing coalition, formed the new government. In Slovenia, this was the first time after 1992 that the President and the Prime Minister had represented opposing political factions for more than a few months. Between 2002 and 2004, the relationship between President Drnovšek and Janez Janša, then leader of the opposition, were considered more than good and in the first year of cohabitation, no major problems arose.

    In the beginning of his term, Drnovšek, who was ill with cancer, stayed out of public view. When he reemerged in late 2005 he had already changed his lifestyle: he had become a vegan, moved out of the capital into the countryside, and withdrew from party politics completely, ending his already frozen membership in the Liberal Democracy. Drnovšek's new approach to politics prompted one political commentator to nickname him "Slovenia's Gandhi".

    The relationship between Drnovšek and the government quickly became tense. Disagreements began with Drnovšek's initiatives in foreign politics, aimed at solving major foreign conflicts, including those in Darfur
    Darfur conflict
    The Darfur Conflict was a guerrilla conflict or civil war centered on the Darfur region of Sudan. It began in February 2003 when the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army and Justice and Equality Movement groups in Darfur took up arms, accusing the Sudanese government of oppressing non-Arab Sudanese in...

     and Kosovo
    Kosovo
    Kosovo is a region in southeastern Europe. Part of the Ottoman Empire for more than five centuries, later the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia...

    . Initially, these initiatives were initially not openly opposed by the Prime Minister, but were criticized by the foreign minister Dimitrij Rupel
    Dimitrij Rupel
    Dimitrij Rupel is a Slovenian politician.- Biography :Rupel was born in Ljubljana, in what was then the Socialist Republic of Slovenia, into a bourgeois family of former anti-fascist political emigrants from the Julian March .After receiving a bachelor's degree in comparative literature and...

    , Drnovšek's former collaborator and close political ally until 2004. A major clash between the two happened in Summer 2006, when disagreement arose over Drnovšek's attempt to intervene in the Darfur conflict. The disagreements moved from issues of domestic politics in October 2006, when Drnovšek publicly criticised the treatment of the Strojans, a Roma family whose neighborhood had forced them to relocate, which in turn had subjected them to police supervision and limitation of movement. The disagreements however escalated when the parliamentary majority repeatedly rejected President's candidates for the Governor of the Bank of Slovenia
    Bank of Slovenia
    The Bank of Slovenia is the bank of issue and the central bank of the Republic of Slovenia. Based in Ljubljana, it was established on 25 June 1991. Its primary task is to take care of the stability of the domestic currency and to ensure the liquidity of payments within the country and with...

    , beginning with the rejection of incumbent Mitja Gaspari
    Mitja Gaspari
    Mitja Gaspari is a Slovenian economist, banker, and politician. He is currently serving as Minister for Economic Development in the centre left government of Borut Pahor....

    . The friction continued over the appointment of other state official nominees, including Constitutional Court
    Constitutional Court of Slovenia
    The Constitutional Court of Slovenia is a special court established by the Slovenian Constitution. Since its inception, the Court has been located in the city of Ljubljana.-Jurisdiction:...

     judges. Although the President's political support suffered after his personal transformation, the polls nevertheless showed public backing of the President against an increasingly unpopular Government.
    The tension reached its height in May 2007, when the newly appointed director of the Slovenian Intelligence and Security Agency Matjaž Šinkovec
    Matjaž Šinkovec
    Matjaž Šinkovec is a Slovenian diplomat, politician, translator, journalist and science fiction writer. He was one of the co-founders of the Slovenian Democratic Party.- Early life and career :...

     unclassified several documents from the period before 2004, revealing, among other, that Drnovšek had used secret service funds for personal purposes between 2002 and 2004. The President reacted with a harsh criticism of the government's policies, accusing the ruling coalition of abusing its power for personal delegitimations and labeled the Prime Minister as "the leader of the negative guys"

    In the last months in office, Drnovšek continued his attacks on Prime Minister Janez Janša, who mostly remained silent on the issue. Drnovšek accused Janša of "fostering proto-totalitarian tendencies". He became a blog
    Blog
    A blog is a type of website or part of a website supposed to be updated with new content from time to time. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in...

    ger (Janez D), signing his posts as "Janez D" and expressing opinions on various issues from foreign policy, environmentalism, human relationships, religion, animal rights and personal growth. In his last months in office, he withdrew to a reclusive life again, devoting his time to the Movement for Justice and Development
    Movement for Justice and Development
    The Movement for Justice and Development is a Slovenian voluntary association founded in 2006 by the then president of Slovenia, Janez Drnovšek....

     and the popularization of his lifestyle and views.

    Lifestyle changes


    During his time in office as the President of Slovenia, he wrote and published several books in spiritual philosophy
    Spiritual philosophy
    Spiritual philosophy is a generic term for any philosophy or teaching that pertains to spirituality and spiritual realities. It may incorporate religious or esoteric themes, especially those from Theosophy or Neo-Theosophy, New Age thought, mysticism, and Eastern philosophy...

    , including Misli o življenju in zavedanju ("Thoughts on Life and Consciousness"), Zlate misli o življenju in zavedanju ("Golden Thoughts on Life and Consciousness"), Bistvo sveta ("The Essence of the World"), and his last one called Pogovori or Dialogues. According to his own accounts, it took him only two or three weeks to write each of his books, due to - in his words - "the higher consciousness" he was able to access.

    His lifestyle was a mixture of elements from various traditions, including Hindu
    Hindu
    Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

     religious thought and the non-attachment of Buddhist philosophy. He also valued the indigenous traditions of the world. For example, he was present at the inauguration of Evo Morales
    Evo Morales
    Juan Evo Morales Ayma , popularly known as Evo , is a Bolivian politician and activist, currently serving as the 80th President of Bolivia, a position that he has held since 2006. He is also the leader of both the Movement for Socialism party and the cocalero trade union...

    , the first native American president of Bolivia
    Bolivia
    Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

    , and later hosted Bolivian ethnic musicians in the Presidential Palace
    Presidential Palace, Ljubljana
    The Presidential Palace is the official residence and office of the President of Slovenia, located in Ljubljana, Slovenia.The palace was constructed from 1886 as the headquarters of local administration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After World War II, the building housed the constitutional court...

     in Ljubljana. After his diagnosis, Drnovšek became a vegan
    Veganism
    Veganism is the practice of eliminating the use of animal products. Ethical vegans reject the commodity status of animals and the use of animal products for any purpose, while dietary vegans or strict vegetarians eliminate them from their diet only...

    , and claims that this greatly improved his health.

    Because of his new lifestyle and the content of his books and blogs, he was often regarded as an adherent of the New Age
    New Age
    The New Age movement is a Western spiritual movement that developed in the second half of the 20th century. Its central precepts have been described as "drawing on both Eastern and Western spiritual and metaphysical traditions and then infusing them with influences from self-help and motivational...

     movement, although he rejected such a qualification as being too narrow.

    He revered the spirituality held within these traditions. He repeatedly claimed nature
    Nature
    Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical world, or material world. "Nature" refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general...

     was his best cure, and he spent much time at his home in Zaplana. He died there on February 23, 2008, aged 57. His body was cremated shortly afterwards. He was buried with honors in a private memorial service in his native Zagorje ob Savi, along his parents.

    Personal


    Drnovšek was fluent in six languages, Slovene, Serbo-Croatian
    Serbo-Croatian
    Serbo-Croatian or Serbo-Croat, less commonly Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian , is a South Slavic language with multiple standards and the primary language of Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro...

    , English
    English language
    English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

    , Spanish
    Spanish language
    Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

    , French
    French language
    French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

     and German
    German language
    German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

    .
    He was divorced with one son, Jaša Drnovšek, who is a translator and journalist. In 2005, he found out about the existence of a daughter, Nana Forte, otherwise a renowned composer. Drnovšek's favorite hobbies included jogging, tennis and cross country-skiing.

    Books by Drnovšek

    • Pogovori (Conversations). Mladinska knjiga, 2007
    • Bistvo sveta (Essence of the world). Mladinska knjiga, 2006
    • Misli o življenju in zavedanju (Thoughts on life and awareness). Mladinska knjiga, 2006
    • Escape from Hell (published as e-book
      E-book
      An electronic book is a book-length publication in digital form, consisting of text, images, or both, and produced on, published through, and readable on computers or other electronic devices. Sometimes the equivalent of a conventional printed book, e-books can also be born digital...

      ).
    • El laberinto de los Balcanes. Edicciones B, 1999.
    • Moja resnica : Jugoslavija 1989 - Slovenija 1991 (My truth). Mladinska knjiga, 1996.


    External links



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