“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”–Anais Nin
Month: May 2004
Slovenia to Italy. History, Heartbreak, and huge pieces of Ham!
I’m back! (from holiday that is). So it’s time for a bit of an update. Basically it was great. Ljubljana was friendly as ever, the Celica hostel is still the best and, once again there was a street party booming away in the center of town. Also, I finally made it to Global which, situated at the top of a tall building makes it the highest bit of night clubbing I have ever done ..and yes we are talking about height here.
As for Italy, well what can I say – we were welcomed by the friendliest hosts we could have hoped for. Not only were we given beds and shown the sights of Gorizia but we were plied with home cooked Italian dishes, red wine, coffee and more cheese than you could shake a greater at. It was excellent. As I mentioned before – this was also a significant weekend for Slovenia and a significant weekend for Gorizia/Nova Gorizia. At 12 midnight on Friday 30th of April Slovenia joined the EU and Gorizia joined Nova Gorica. To mark the occasion there was a gathering in the city center (read the speech below) and the un-veiling of a new mosaic marking the old border between the two towns. This was followed on Saturday by a concert by the one and only Goran Bregovic! …no, we hadn’t heard of him either.
A photo of me and the biggest piece of processed ham you have ever seen – maybe in the world
A smashing pie
Mike’s catch all foreign accent (next time you see him ask for a demo)
Moyer in the dungeon
The second biggest ham ever – nice try Slovenia
and Grappa …no not Grappa – Grappa is bad.
What did I learn?
I like espresso
I like Gorizia
I like Itallians
I like meals that last for hours
“Come siete?” means how are you
“Si” means yes
and finally never say “Si” to a bottle of Grappa or your answer to “Come siete?” will definitely be “drunk!”
So, If anyone who looked after us is reading this “Thank you, Grazie and Hvala” From Mike Moyer and Oxford.
Eddy. PS – I’m not explaining the heartbreak – you’ll have to ask me about that.
President of the European Commission
A historic day for Nova Gorica and Gorizia
Nova Gorica, 30 April 2004
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to celebrate with you a historic day for Europe, for Slovenia and for this border region.
Today we are celebrating the biggest enlargement in the history of the Union. It has taken years of dedicated and passionate preparation and now the big day is finally here.
For the first time in centuries, much of the continent of Europe will be united in peace and democracy rather than by force.
The celebrations will be more intense and meaningful in this city, which for years has been a symbol of division in Europe. From tomorrow, instead of administrative and ideological separation, we will have new forms of dialogue, cooperation and stability.
The peoples of Europe will be better able to live together in harmony in a national and European political framework which affords respect for democratic values and individual and collective rights.
Here in Nova Gorica and in Gorizia enlargement will have special significance.
The painful division recent history has inflicted on your land and its inhabitants has finally given way to cooperation. In a few hours we shall meet on Transalpina Square to witness the symbolic destruction of the last fragment of the Iron Curtain.
Slovenia’s accession to the European Union will give everyone the opportunity to definitively overcome past divisions and to build the future together.
In many ways, enlargement has already begun in this region. Cross-border cooperation is already well-established and the European Union has taken various initiatives to support the development of business, the environment, tourism and culture.
But today your desire for cooperation and your sense of belonging are being formally recognised; today this external border is becoming an internal border of the Union and will lose much of its formal significance.
The European Union is delighted to welcome Slovenia into our family of peoples and of nations. It gives me personally great pride and satisfaction to be here today.
Slovenia will contribute a great deal to the Union through its cultural traditions, of which you can be rightly proud and which will enrich the cultural diversity of the whole Union.
Above all, it will, together with the other new Member States, boost the Union’s confidence and enthusiasm for the future and give it the strength to make our common goals a reality.
The accession of the new Member States will do Europe good, and will open up new horizons for everyone. Together we will be better able to defend our common interests and the values on which the Union is founded.