The Slovenia Times

President presents state orders of merit


Žekš received the prestigious decoration for his scientific and research work as well as his contribution to promoting Slovenia. His research is mainly rooted in theoretical physics and biophysics.

His accomplishments have further revealed properties of hydrogen-bonded ferroelectric crystals and he has also introduced a theoretical model for determining ferroelectric and antiferroelectric liquid crystals as well as explained the causes for the shape and behaviour of red blood cells, according to the justification of Pahor's office.

Žekš was at the helm of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts for two terms and is also a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts.

In his address, Žekš said that everything is possible if one tries hard enough. He added that Slovenians were often afraid of going abroad.

Meanwhile, Podrecca received the Golder Order of Merit for his outstanding architectural achievements abroad. He is considered Slovenia's most prominent and internationally acclaimed contemporary architect.

His projects include an urban harp at the remains of the Berlin Wall, revamping Venice and Millennium Tower, the then highest skyscraper in Austria.

"Podrecca is an original artist, but he does not overlook the heritage he is about to explore. He is convinced that architecture stems from tradition, not as an imitation but as a constant creative dialogue with the past," said the office.

Podrecca described the honour as a further motivation and a ray of light in a dark room in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

Last but not least, Šter was decorated with the Order of Merit for helping Slovenian citizens around the world, most notably for his repatriation efforts during the Covid-19 epidemic.

The head of the consular service played a key role in the ministry's efforts to help stranded Slovenians return back home after air travel restrictions were imposed due to the coronavirus outbreaks worldwide.

The ministry has helped out almost 3,000 Slovenians so far. Šter also assisted with opening a special bank account to help cover repatriation costs. More than EUR 700,000 has been raised in a very short time, a figure which is almost double the cost.

Šter sees the decoration as a recognition of efforts by the entire state administration, an authority which is often cast in a bad light. He highlighted that a bad opinion affected staff performance.

Commenting on summer holiday plans, Šter said he would expect Slovenians to discover nearby destinations and opt for more distant travels when it would be certain they could return safely by themselves. In the post-epidemic times, the consular service should primarily raise awareness about relevant risks of travel, he said.


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