Crisis: new Slovenian president gives up presidential villa

Borut Pahor turns Tito's villa over to the state to save money

03 January, 16:27

(ANSAmed) - LJUBJLANA, JANUARY 3 - New Slovenian President Borut Pahor has turned the presidential mountain villa over to the state in what local pundits described as a symbolic move to show he is indeed a man of the people, as promised during his campaign.

Sworn in almost two weeks ago, the Social Democratic president has given up use of the villa to cut costs. Built in 1964 for then-Yugoslavian President Josip Broz Tito, the villa in the Brdo pri Kranju castle complex 30 kms north of the capital was used by Pahor's predecessors to work in privacy, hold meetings far from the media spotlight, and host important guests. Slovenian presidents are not given a residency in Ljubjlana, but a palace with offices. Media have in the past criticized their use of the mountain villa as a waste of taxpayer money.

Pahor's decision shows he is ''the common man's president'' and is distancing himself from the country's ruling caste, which thousands have been protesting against in past months, local media commented. (ANSAmed).


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