President signs off on diplomatic appointments, recalls

Ljubljana – President Borut Pahor has signed off on the recalls of five ambassadors and the appointment of three new ambassadors under a proposal made by the government right before the end of its term. The decrees were published in the Official Gazette on Tuesday.

Franci But, ambassador to Germany, will end his term on 31 July to be succeeded by Ana Polak Petrič, currently ambassador to Japan, who will end her term there on the same day.

Ambassador to Poland Božena Forštnarič Boroje will likewise end her term on 31 July and will be replaced by Bojan Pograjc, a state secretary at Prime Minister Janez Janša’s office.

Ambassador to Bulgaria Anžej Frangež will be recalled on the same day. He will be succeeded by Nataša Bergelj, who has worked as consular officer at the Slovenian embassy in Budapest since 2015, according to her Linkedin profile.

On 13 August Jurij Rifelj’s term as ambassador to Australia will end. A successor has not been named yet.

The government had also proposed that the term of Ambassador to Russia Branko Rakovec end on 31 July, but Pahor did not issue a recall decree for him.

This is yet another in a series of reshuffles at Slovenia’s diplomatic missions and it comes amidst calls by the incoming coalition that the appointments should be stopped due to some of the candidates’ ties with the outgoing government.

The president has dismissed such calls saying this would have a negative impact on the Slovenian diplomacy.