STA, 6 June 2020 - Slovenia will open its border with Italy very soon, Foreign Minister Anže Logar said on Saturday as he hosted his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio in Ljubljana. Though not naming a date, Logar repeated several times that he looked forward to 15 June with optimism.
Logar said that Slovenia followed the situation in Italy on a daily basis and that it would open its border as soon as the health situation there allows it.
He said that the situation in Italy was improving very fast, infection-wise. There were, however, differences between regions, but all have made significant progress, said Logar.
He added that the opening of the border will have to be green-lighted by the National Institute for Public Health (NIJZ) before this decision is made by the government.
Minister @AnzeLog je italijanskemu kolegu @luigidimaio izrazil sožalje za vse žrtve epidemije in priznanje za učinkovite ukrepe, ki jih je #Italija uvedla za zajezitev #covid19. V času po pandemiji moramo za obnovo gospodarstva v Evropi stopiti skupaj.#StrongerTogether #EU pic.twitter.com/vJd3XTH8Tz— SLOVENIAN MFA (@MZZRS) June 6, 2020
"I'm looking forward to 15 June with optimism," he said several times during the joint statement with Di Maio.
Di Maio meanwhile thanked his host for showing optimism and underlined that the border opening for tourism was vital for the economies of both countries.
The Italian minister also said that a high level of caution will be needed in the next 10 days to prevent the number of coronavirus infections from increasing once again.
Logar said that Italy was a very important neighbouring country for Slovenia and a key economic partner, while bilateral relations are at a high level.
Turning to EU issues, Di Maio said Europe needed to become a place that unites, not divided. It has to become more united to cope with the problems ahead, both economic and health issues, he said.
The pair also discussed the forthcoming return of National Hall in Trieste to the Slovenian minority there, en event that Logar described as a landmark. "This will be an important landmark that will lift bilateral relations to a new level."
Di Maio added that as Italy changed electoral legislation, the Slovenian minority must be secured a place in parliament.
He also met Slovenian President Borut Pahor, with the latter pointing to regular contacts with his counterpart Sergio Mattarella. The presidents will attend the ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of National Hall arson by Fascists together.
Pahor's office also said in a press release that cooperation between the Italian government and local authorities will be key so that everything is ready for the return of the National Hall to the Slovenian community on 13 July.