Maze delights Slovenia with home GS win

Ski RaceMaribor, Slovenia - Tina Maze delighted a Slovenian home crowd on Saturday with victory in a World Cup giant slalom ski race.

Maze, 25, posted the fastest time in the second run for a winning total of 2 minutes 45.15 seconds.

It was her first win of the season, the first in her speciality discipline since October 2005 and a seventh overall in the World Cup. Her last success before Saturday came in a downhill 11 months ago.

First-run leader Denise Karbon of Italy had to settle for second place in 2:45.54 minutes and German Kathrin Hoelzl came third on the podium in 2:46.07 minutes.

Slovenia pulls the brakes on Croatia's EU dreams

Slovenia pulls the brakes on Croatia's EU dreamsLjubljana  - Croatia is due to pass a major milestone on its way to European Union membership Friday - but, as foreign diplomats watch in disbelief, a long-running border dispute with its neighbour Slovenia may scupper its ambition.

Croatia and the EU are to declare five chapters of pre-accession negotiations closed and open 10 new chapters on Friday. Zagreb hopes this will put Croatia on track for EU membership in 2010. Slovenia joined the EU in 2004.

New Slovenian government in place

New Slovenian government in placeLjubljana  - The Slovenian parliament Friday voted 50 to 36 for the country's new cabinet, led by the Social Democrat Borut Pahor.

The new premier pledged to focus his government on finding "the way out of the financial and economic crisis," the Slovenian news agency STA reported.

"We must take it (the crisis) as a challenge and work as a team," Pahor said as he presented his cabinet to the parliament.

Pahor, 45, has built a youthful cabinet with five women, two of whom control the defence and interior ministries. Of the 18 ministers, seven are non-partisan experts.

Slovenia's upcoming cabinet youthful, with five women

Ljubljana,  - Slovenia's premier-designate Borit Pahor presented a youthful, 18-minister cabinet to the nation's parliament on Friday.

The 45-year-old Pahor in addition proposed to introduce five women to the government and handing two of them the important ministries of interior and defence.

He has nominated the 35-year-old lawyer and Liberal Party chief Katarina Kresal as interior minister and defence expert Ljubica Jelisic, 45, as defence minister.

The four-way coalition led by Pahor's Social Democrats, won 59 of the 90 seats in the Slovenian parliament in September elections and is expected to easily pass the new cabinet in the confidence vote next Friday.

Slovenian parliament endorses new centre-left prime minister

Borut PahorLjubljana,- Slovenia's parliament on Friday endorsed youthful centre-left leader Borut Pahor as the nation's new prime minister.

Pahor, 45, has pledged to focus on the small European Union nation's economy.

He won 59 votes in the 90-seat parliament, becoming the sixth prime minister since Slovenia won independence from Yugoslavia after a brief 1991 war.

Pahor's Social Democrats won the most seats in September parliamentary elections and will lead a four-party coalition government.

Social Democrat tapped to lead Slovenia in tougher times

Slovenian centre-left leader Borut PahorLjubljana - Slovenian centre-left leader Borut Pahor was formally tapped as prime minister-elect Monday and pledged to focus on the economy as the tiny European Union nation faces tougher times.

Pahor's Social Democrats won the most votes in September 21 parliamentary elections and were expected to lead a four-party coalition government with 55 seats in the 
90-member parliament.

Pahor, speaking after President Danilo Tuerk formally nominated him to head the next government, pledged to work to stabilize the economy.