COUNTRY DESCRIPTION ^
Slovenia operates under a parliamentary democracy. In May 2004, Slovenia became a member of the European Union. A mountainous country, half of Slovenia is covered by forests, with 29 miles of coastline along the Adriatic Sea. Tourist facilities are widely available throughout the country.
SAFETY AND SECURITY ^
There are occasional political demonstrations in city centers in Slovenia. Most often they occur in central Ljubljana in areas around Kongresni Trg ( Congress Square ), in front of the Parliament building, around other government facilities and at times near the American Embassy. These demonstrations are usually peaceful and generally are not anti-American in nature. However, there have been demonstrations that voiced anti-American sentiments. In at least one demonstration, eggs and paint balloons were thrown at the Embassy. American citizens are urged to avoid demonstrations. For additional information, Americans are encouraged to check the Embassy's website at
or to call the Embassy at 386-1-200-5595 or 200-5599 (200-5556 after hours and on weekends/holidays).
Slovenia has a low crime rate. Travelers should, however, take normal precautions, as they are sometimes the targets of pickpockets and purse-snatchers.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES ^
While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens are subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating the laws of Slovenia, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Slovenia are strict and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines. A list of English-speaking Slovenia attorneys can be obtained at the U.S. Embassy.
Under the Protect Act of April 2003, it is a crime, prosecutable in the U.S., for U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens, to engage in illicit sexual conduct, sexually exploit children via pornography, the Internet or other means, with a person under the age of 18 in a foreign country, regardless of whether there was intent.
MEDICAL FACILITIES ^
Adequate medical care is readily available.
DISASTER PREPAREDNESS ^
Slovenia is rated high for earthquake probability by the U.S. Federal Management Agency. In 1895 Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, was leveled by an earthquake. On April 12, 1998, 3,000 buildings in the Soca Valley were damaged from a 5.5 scale earthquake, which was centered in the valley. Although 700 homes were damaged irrevocably, there were no injuries or fatalities. Earthquake probability ratings and other information about earthquake preparedness is available via the Internet from the U.S. Federal Management Agency (FEMA) at
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS ^
While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Slovenia is provided for general reference only and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety of public transportation: Good
Urban road conditions/maintenance: Good
Rural road conditions/maintenance: Good
Availability of roadside assistance: Good
Slovenia has a well-developed road network, safe for travel. Highways connect to neighboring cities and countries and are clearly sign-posted. As the number of cars in Slovenia continues to rise, roads are becoming more heavily congested during the weekends on major routes and during rush hours. Parking is difficult and can be expensive in the city center. Traffic moves on the right; road signs and traffic rules are similar to those used throughout Europe. Third party liability insurance is required for all vehicles; coverage is purchased locally. Travelers should be alert to aggressive drivers both in cities and on highways. Many of the serious accidents in Slovenia occur as a result of high speed driving. Emergency roadside help and information may be found by dialing 1 987 for vehicle assistance and towing services, 112 for an ambulance or fire brigade, and 113 for police.
U.S. visitors or U.S. residents in Slovenia must be in possession of both a valid U.S. driver's license and an International Driver's License if they wish to drive in Slovenia. This will allow them to drive for a maximum of one year after which residents of Slovenia are required to obtain a Slovene driver's license. Current information about traffic and road conditions is available in English by calling (01)530-5300 and online at
The speed limit is 50-kph/30 mph in urban areas, 90-kph/54 mph on expressways (the avtocesta). Motorists are required to have their headlights on during the daytime and drivers and passengers must wear seat belts, and both drivers and passengers on motorcycles must wear homologated helmets. The use of handheld cellular telephones while driving is prohibited in Slovenia. For additional information, visit the website of the U.S. Embassy in Slovenia at
For specific information on Slovenian driver's permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance contact the Slovenian National Tourist Office at (212) 358-9686, or via the Internet at
For information about International Driving Permits, contact AAA or the American Automobile Touring Alliance at
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT ^
As there is no direct commercial air service by local carriers at present, or economic authority to operate such service, between the U.S. and Slovenia, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Slovenia 's Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with international aviation safety standards. For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA's Internet website at
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may Contact DOD at (618) 229-4801.
Please also refer to the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement.
June 21, 2004