Prime Minister Janez Janša yesterday attended the formal handover of 300,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, lended by Hungary to Slovenia. On this occasion, a press conference took place in Ljubljana, attended by Prime Minister 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.
Prime Minister Janša expressed his pleasure in hosting the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs in Slovenia. “Today is twice a special day for Slovenia. Exactly thirty years ago, the first generation of the Slovenian Armed Forces were sworn in, which is why I’m 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 this,” said the Prime Minister, continuing that Slovenia is no longer alone today and that it is surrounded by four friendly countries. “Nor were we alone in the challenge created by the pandemic. Today’s gesture of lending to us 300,000 doses of AstraZeneca is the best practical proof of this,” said the Prime Minister in his introduction.
He also pointed out that Hungary was among those countries that were much better prepared for the epidemic than other European countries on average. “That is why Hungary was able to help us at the very beginning of the first wave of the epidemic last spring. At that time, our warehouses for protective equipment were empty and we thank you again for your assistance in the form of the protective equipment that you donated to Slovenian hospitals,” said the Prime Minister. According to him, Hungary has also had far more than average success in providing vaccines and vaccinating the population, as it is among the most successful in Europe and the world, regarding which the Prime Minister expressed his sincere congratulations.
“As the Prime Minister of the country that will assume the leadership of the Council of the EU in July, I would like to especially 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 vaccine doses lended by Hungary, Slovenia will be able to halt the epidemic by the summer. “Accordingly, we can count on having a relaxed summer,” added the Prime Minister.
“In a short time, Slovenia, as well as most other European countries, will issue a European certificate on free border crossing, which will enable vaccinated, recovered, and tested individuals to move freely across the EU,” said the Prime Minister, who nevertheless proceeded to call his fellow citizens’ attention to the fact that we still need to remain cautious in the coming weeks, as the number of infections is well above the European average and the measures now in place can prevent serious consequences until sufficient vaccination coverage is achieved. In addition, the Prime Minister stressed that we still have a race of a few weeks ahead of us, “which we will win with the help of the additional vaccine doses. As of today, there will be no more waiting in queues to receive a vaccine, as anyone who wishes to get vaccinated can do so, as well as anyone who wants to move around freely, and anyone willing to take responsibility for his or her own health and the health of others.”
At the end of his statement, he thanked the Hungarian Foreign Minister once again for the visit and welcome gift to Slovenia. “Long live the beautiful and neighbourly friendship between Slovenia and Hungary,” concluded Prime Minister Janša.