STA, 6 January 2020 - US First Lady Melania Trump remains the most influential Slovenian, according to a list compiled by the right-leaning magazine Reporter, ahead of PM Marjan Šarec and UEFA boss Aleksander Čeferin.
The Reporter Top 100 list takes into account formal influence associated with the person's post or job, as well as their informal influence.
Reporter says that there is no doubt about Melania Trump being by far the most influential Slovenia, and that she will stay so as long as she remains in the White House.
All our stories on Melania Trump are here
PM Marjan Šarec this year replaced Aleksander Čeferin in second spot, with Reporter commenting that along with the powers associated with the executive post, Šarec has also gained informal influence.
Čeferin, who the magazine says as EUFA boss has access to both the Pope and Russian President Vladimir Putin, is followed by Slovenian President Borut Pahor and parliamentary Speaker Dejan Židan.
The most influential aides of Šarec, according to the magazine, are Finance Minister Andrej Bertoncelj in 6th spot, and Šarec's national security adviser Damir Črnčec in 8th place.
Janez Lenarčič, the European crisis management commissioner, ranks 7th.
Rounding off the top ten are Janez Janša, the leader of the opposition Democratic Party (SDS), and the man widely perceived as his nemesis, Milan Kučan, Slovenia's first president.
Silvester Šurla, the Reporter editor-in-chief, writes that Kučan, who slipped from 6th place a year ago, wields the biggest informal power of all people on the list, along with Gregor Golobič, the former long serving secretary general of Liberal Democracy (LDS), the party that ruled Slovenia for more than a decade until 2004. Golobič ranks 11th on the list.
On the opposite side of the political spectrum, "the main uncle working in the open and behind the scenes", as Šurla writes, is Janez Janša, his formal and informal power being greater than Kučan's.
"Janša has managed to politically subjugate virtually all of the right bloc, from [Marjan] Podobnik's SLS [People's Party] and [Matej] Tonin's NSi [New Slovenia] to a number of civil society organisations in the right ideological pole.
"As a former prime minister he still has a network of loyal people at state institutions and enterprises with millions of euro flowing in regularly from Orban's Hungary allowing him to manage his propaganda machinery, packed into (party) media," writes Šurla about Janša.
All our stories on Janez Janša are here
After Melania, the second highest ranked woman on the list is former PM Alenka Bratušek in 12th spot.
She is followed in 13th by Zmago Jelinčič, the leader of the National Party (SNS), whose influence increased now that his party secures majority to the Šarec minority government.
The politician whose influence declined the most is Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković, while the NBA superstar Luka Dončić climbed 50 spots to rank 50th in the biggest leap on the list since last year.
The list includes 22 new names, including Andrej Šiško, the leader of the paramilitary Štajeska guard, in 100th spot.