Pahor discusses cooperation with Lombardy president in Milan

Milan – President Borut Pahor met Attilio Fontana, the president of Lombardy, in Milan on Monday for what his office said were talks about cooperation, in particularly economic ties, and opportunities to develop and enhance bilateral relations.

At the meeting, which was also attended by Letizia Moratti, the vice-president of the Italian region, Pahor called for a versatile deepening of the ties between Slovenia and Lombardy. He thus invited Fontana to visit Slovenia with a business delegation, which invitation the president of Lombardy accepted.

Pahor said the relationship between Slovenia and Italy had never been better, describing Italy as a leading foreign policy partner to Slovenia. The bulk of bilateral trade is with Lombardy, so Pahor said it was especially important to boost ties with the region.

Pahor and Fontana also talked about experiences in coping with the Covid-19 pandemic. The Slovenian president expressed hope that the funds from the EU recovery and resilience mechanism would pave the way for a breakthrough in sustainable development.

Pahor also spoke of Lombardy’s future prospects, including with respect to the preparations for the 2026 Winter Olympic Games in Italy. He also noted the 2023 Nordic World Ski Championships to be hosted by Slovenia and the 2025 European Capital of Culture to be co-hosted by Nova Gorica in Slovenia and its Italian counterpart Gorizia, all of which will provide opportunities to boost cooperation.

“We are ready for improving relations between Slovenia and the region of Lombardy. I’ll be happy if you open your heart for cooperation as well,” Pahor was quoted as saying by his office.

The president also met representatives of the Slovenian community in Milan yesterday. The meeting featured members of the Slovenians in Milan Association, the Slovenian Business Club, the consul general in Milan and representatives of the Slovenian Tourist Board (STO) in Italy.

Pahor has been in Italy since Saturday, attending a ceremony remembering victims killed during prayer in churches before speaking at the G20 Interfaith Forum in Bologna on Sunday. He was honoured by the University of Bologna with Sigillum Magnum on Monday for his promotion of dialogue between nations and his dedication to European values.