On Wednesday, Prime Minister Janez Janša attended the formal handover of 300 thousand doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which Hungary lent to Slovenia. On this occasion, a press conference took place in Ljubljana, and it was attended by Prime Minister Janez Janša, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Hungary Petér Szijjártó, Minister of Health Janez Poklukar, and Director of the National Institute of Public Health Milan Krek. “As Prime Minister of the country that will assume the leadership of the Council of the EU in July, I would like to sincerely thank you for your help in providing vaccines for the other countries in our region that you have been helping,” the Prime Minister said at the formal handover of the vaccine and also specifically thanked Hungary for all of its help during the first wave of the epidemic when we were faced with empty warehouses for protective equipment. “Long live the beautiful and neighbourly friendship between Slovenia and Hungary.”
Prime Minister Janez Janša initially said that he is very glad we are currently hosting the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs in Slovenia. “Today is a double special day for Slovenia. Exactly thirty years ago, the first generation of the Slovenian Armed Forces was sworn in, which is why I am wearing a commemorative badge in memory of that important day. At that time, everything still lay ahead of us – from the proclamation of an independent state to the expected aggression and, above all, we were all alone in all of it,” said Janša.
He went on to explain that today, Slovenia is no longer alone but instead surrounded by four friendly countries. “Even in the challenging times posed by the epidemic, we were not alone. Today’s gesture of lending 300 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to us is the best practical proof of this,” he added. He also pointed out that Hungary was among the countries that were much better prepared for the epidemic than the European average, for which he also congratulated our neighbouring country. He went on to explain that Hungary is also way more successful in providing vaccines and vaccinating the population than the European and even the world average. “That is why Hungary was also able to help us at the very beginning of the first wave of the epidemic last spring. At the time, our warehouses for protective equipment were empty, and we want to thank you again for your assistance in the form of the protective equipment that you donated to Slovenian hospitals.”
With the vaccine, we could begin our summer much more relaxed
According to the Prime Minister, Hungary has also had far more success than most other countries in providing vaccines and vaccinating the population, as it is among the most successful in Europe and the world, for which the Prime Minister also sincerely congratulated Hungary. “As Prime Minister of the country that will assume the leadership of the Council of the EU in July, I would like to sincerely thank you for your help in providing vaccines for the other countries in our region that you have been helping,” said the Prime Minister. He added that with the additional doses of the vaccine that Hungary donated to Slovenia, we would be able to stop the epidemic by summer. “Accordingly, we can count on having a relaxed summer.”
Caution is still advised in the upcoming days
“Soon, Slovenia, as well as most of the other European countries, will issue a European certificate for free border crossing, which will enable those who have already been vaccinated or recovered from a covid infection, as well as those who had recently been tested, to move freely across the borders in the EU,” the Prime Minister then said, who also told his fellow citizens that we need to remain cautious in the upcoming weeks, as the number of infections in our country is still well above the European average and the measures that are currently in place can prevent more serious consequences until sufficient vaccination coverage is complete. He also stressed that we still have a few weeks of the race against time ahead of us, “which we will win with the help of these additional vaccine doses.”
“As of today, there will be no more waiting in queues to receive the vaccine, as anyone who wishes to get vaccinated or wants to move freely, as well as anyone who is willing to take responsibility for his or her own health and the health of others, can get now get vaccinated,” he pointed out at the end and thanked the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs for his visit and the amazing gift that Hungary gave to Slovenia. “Long live the beautiful and neighbourly friendship between Slovenia and Hungary.”
Minister of Health Janez Poklukar also thanked Hungary for the additional doses of the vaccine and pointed out that we will return them when we have enough of our own – presumably at the end of the year. “In this crucial moment, every dose is valuable,” Poklukar stressed.
“When we joined the European Union, we also joined it because we wanted solidarity. Today, we got to experience this solidarity, as the countries that currently have more vaccine doses are helping those that have less,” said the Director of the National Institute of Public Health, Milan Krek. “I invite everyone to get vaccinated because this is the future of us all. Thank you to our friends, our neighbours, for lending us the 300 thousand doses of the vaccine,” he added. According to Krek, this means that we will be able to vaccinate so many people by the end of June that we will be much more protected.
Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Petér Szijjártó, explained that the pandemic showed how dependent we are on each other, on our neighbours, and how important it is to help each other. “If our neighbours are successful in their fight against the pandemic, we will be, too,” he said. Slovenian Minister of Foreign Affairs Anže Logar added that he was pleased that the two countries regularly coordinate the covid-19 measures. “This allows us to ensure the easiest possible crossing of the border and the coexistence of people on both sides of the border,” he explained.