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Italian foreign minister to visit Slovenia to discuss reopening border


Italian foreign minister to visit Slovenia to discuss reopening border

The Italian Slovenian border still closed as Slovenia opens up borders with other neighbors
Photo: Mapio/Taavi L

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio visits Slovenia today to discuss the imminent reopening of the border and restitution of the Trieste National Hall to Italy’s Slovenian minority.

Slovenia—which became the first European nation to declare an end to its domestic COVID-19 outbreak last month—has instituted a gradual reopening of tourist facilities, revoked the ban on large public gatherings and terminated the mandatory wearing of face masks. The pandemic has hamstrung the Slovenian economy by devastating the tourism sector from which the nation derives roughly 13% of its GDP. Slovenia has already reopened borders with Austria, Croatia and Hungary and is expected to follow suit with Italy in an effort to jump-start tourism.

The EU has promised to reopen travel within the Schengen Area, with specific opening dates to be determined by individual member states. Slovenia’s early opening—as well as its distinction of permitting travel without quarantine—makes the country an increasingly attractive destination for European tourists. The Italian citizenry, which constitutes a major portion of Slovenia’s tourist activity, will likely be eager to travel following months of lockdown and could spark a short-term rebound within the Slovenian economy.

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