The Slovenia Times

Janša to Visit Italian PM


Janša will be accompanied by Finance Minister Janez Šušteršič, who will meet Europe Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi.

The aim of the visit is to exchange views on current European affairs, in particular measures to balance public finances and kick-start growth, Janša's office has said.

The talks are likely to touch on at least two issues that have dominated bilateral economic ties for years, Italy's plans to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in the Trieste Gulf and links of northern Adriatic ports to pan-European transport corridors.

Slovenia wants to link its Port of Koper to the 5th pan-European transport route via a second rail track between Koper and the Divača hub. Italy, on the other hand, has sought to link up Koper with Trieste by rail.

Infrastructure Ministry State Secretary Igor Šalamun said after a recent EU meeting that Slovenia had once again rejected Italy's idea, as its priority is the the Koper-Divača link.

The two sides have also been at loggerheads in the recent years over Italy's plans for LNG terminals. The issue has been on the back burner for a while now as construction plans seem to have been put on hold, but it may resurface again.

Egged on by green groups from both sides of the border, Slovenia has mentioned the option of suing Italy at the EU Court to stop it from building the terminals, but no formal steps have been taken yet.

Janša's will be the second high-level meeting with Italian officials in just months after Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec was in Rome in late March for talks with counterpart Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata.

Italy is a key trading partner for Slovenia, second only to Germany. Last year Slovenia's exports there topped EUR 2.5bn, up 11% year-on-year, while imports rose 13% to EUR 4bn.


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