Ljubljana – Slovenian President Borut Pahor has congratulated his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella on being re-elected for another term in office, saying he was looking forward to their continued constructive cooperation for the benefit of the two countries.
President Pahor “welcomed with great joy the news of re-election of [his] friend Sergio Mattarella for Italian president,” the president’s office said.
“On this occasion he is sending him his sincere congratulations and is looking forward to an equally fruitful cooperation for the benefit of the relationship between the two nations in the European spirit,” the release added.
Pahor and Mattarella have developed a close relationship. During their visit to the border cities of Nova Gorica and Gorizia, Pahor honoured Mattarella with the Order of Merit for Distinguished Service, Slovenia’s top state decoration.
Marking the centenary since National Hall, the hub of the Slovenian community in Trieste, was torched by the Fascists, the two presidents in July 2020 attended the signing of a document to return the building to the Slovenian minority.
Holding hands, the two presidents also laid wreaths at the memorial to the Basovizza heroes, Slovenians considered to be the first victims of Fascism, and the memorial to Italian victims of Communism at the Basovizza Foiba.
Mattarella’s re-election was also hailed by Tatjana Rojc, the Italian senator who is a member of the Slovenian ethnic community. She said Mattarella had been her first choice from the start, having demonstrated his political wisdom in challenging times.
She described Mattarella as an old-school politician who always puts the common good before an individual’s. “He has demonstrated this once again by accepting the challenge of a second term, thus showing his exceptional sense of responsibility,” the senator was quoted as saying by Primorski Dnevnik, the Trieste-based Slovenian newspaper.