German Chancellor went there in 2007, on the occasion of the entry of Slovenia into the euro area. She returned in 2011 to meet the Prime Minister at the time Borut Pahor, today president.
French side, we must delve into the diplomatic alcoves for dusting memories of the last visit by a head of state in the region. event in 1983 , three years after the death of Tito. François Mitterrand in Yugoslav land and visit a Renault factory in Ljubljana.
Suffice to say that on July 25, Francois Hollande will span the period ending 30 years of Elysian absence in a country that lives up to its nickname: "Little Europe".
"After a period seen as remote, France re-engaged in the region, " said his entourage. Invited by the Slovenian authorities, the head of state will meet the first three political figures in the country: the president Borut Pahor, the first socialist Alenka Bratusek Minister and President of the National Assembly Janko Veber.
In the morning, he will attend the informal summit of the Western Balkans, which falls in line right from the Brdo process to promote stabilization and settlement of disputes between these countries.
The opportunity for Francois Hollande, multiply bilateral discussions with the leaders of Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Serbia. With the latter, the accession negotiations with the EU will start in early 2014.
"The French president can measure how things are complicated" in the region, where the issues of "reconciliation, values and boundaries" should be treated "at a high political level, " says an adviser to the President of Slovenia. "By inviting the French president, we hope to stimulate the interest of major European states. "
If they are not the natural playground of France, the Balkans remain a zone of influence for Berlin. His chambers of commerce are present everywhere (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Slovenia, Croatia ...) when France has only one consular structure of its kind in Serbia. In Slovenia, the German investments have mainly benefited the automotive and pharmaceutical industries, and nearly 20% of exports are sent across the Rhine.
France, for its part, is historically in the Slovenian capital, which features a column in honor of Napoleon stood on the site of the French Revolution ... A reference to that is still perceived as the deliverer from the yoke of the Empire Austro-Hungarian creator of the Illyrian Provinces and architect of the recognition of the Slovenian language.
Question economy, tri star fades. "France is not present at its potential, " says one to the Elysee, where we invoke a "logic of reinvestment." Among the coveted areas: urban transport, water treatment, roads ... Plans for an area now considered "strategic", but no less dependent on the crisis.
Good student of the eurozone before the financial crisis, Slovenia is in a period of turbulence. The government expects 2.4% recession this year and rumor swells on a European bailout of banks. Largely public, the Slovenian institutions are riddled with bad debts.
The country has a problem of "consolidation of bank balance sheets, " says one to the Elysee, but its "structural imbalances are less deep" in Portugal, and they have "nothing to do" with Cyprus.
"Many companies are indebted, which further leads to an increase in the number of nonperforming loans. End of 2012, 23.7% of loans to companies accused of overdue by 90 days or more, "noted the European Commission published its recommendations in late May.
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