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Prime Minister Janez Janša: Yesterday's discussions focused mainly on an exchange of experiences relating to the coronavirus crisis

  • Former Prime Minister Janez Janša (2020 - 2022)

Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša is attending a European Council meeting in Brussels. Yesterday's agenda for the leaders of the EU Member States primarily included topics related to relations with the UK and Brexit negotiations. The leaders assessed the epidemiologic situation and also discussed climate change, while today's focus will be on other aspects of foreign policy, particularly on EU relations with Africa.

In his statement to the press after his arrival at the European Council meeting, Prime Minister Janša said that the European Council unanimously agreed on the starting points for continuing negotiations with the United Kingdom. "We are running out of time, but Europe is united. We also spontaneously expressed our recognition and appreciation to our negotiator, Michel Barnier, for his work, which is focused not only on achieving the agreement, but also on creating an atmosphere in which the European Union can work together with the United Kingdom after Brexit becomes a hard fact," explained the Prime Minister.

He continued that the main topic of yesterday's discussions, agreement and the exchange of experiences was related to the current coronavirus wave. "Everyone welcomed the recommendations of the European Commission and the European Council related to crossing internal borders within the EU. In fact, Slovenia has been observing these recommendations since last month, when they were proposed. Thereby, Slovenia is also avoiding the congestion witnessed at Europe's internal borders in the spring," highlighted Mr Janša. He added, "We also welcomed the Commission's framework proposal on the preparations of EU Member States for vaccination once a COVID-19 vaccine is available." "The recommendations are reasonable and Slovenia will strictly follow them in these preparations, which will be completed as soon as possible, in the hope that the vaccine will be ready in due time," stressed Prime Minister Janša. Mr Janša went on to say that a communication framework for combating fake news was also presented yesterday. Such news is often related to denial of the virus and the dangers it poses, and in Europe it is mainly disseminated through social media, while in Slovenia, unfortunately, often also through the mainstream media.

"Such news does great damage to our joint European and national struggle against the spread of the coronavirus, forcing Europe as well as individual countries to adopt more restrictive measures than would actually be necessary if fake news and mass dissemination of completely unscientific and illogical denials did not exist," explained the Prime Minister.

In his statement to the press, Prime Minister Janša stressed that he hoped that the European leaders would support Greece and Cyprus on Friday against the new Turkish provocation, and concluded, "A clear message should be sent that things cannot play out this way."