Slovenian president eager to work, gets Melania’s congrats

Nov 14, 2022, 1:15 PM | Updated: 2:17 pm
Slovenia's President elect Natasa Pirc Musar talks during an interview with the Associated Press in...

Slovenia's President elect Natasa Pirc Musar talks during an interview with the Associated Press in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022. Liberal rights advocate Natasa Pirc Musar has won a runoff vote to become Slovenia's next president and the small European Union country's first female head of state. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

(AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) — Natasa Pirc Musar loves to ride her motorcycle. She also has worked as a human rights lawyer, a TV presenter, ran Slovenia’s top data protection agency and now is the small European Union nation’s first female president.

“Not a single day of my life have I said: ‘Oh God, I have to go to work,'” Pirc Musar told The Associated Press in an interview Monday. “All the jobs that I have done in my life were a hobby of mine.”

The lawyer chosen by former U.S. first lady Melania Trump to protect her interests in her native Slovenia says she is ready but still not aware of all the challenges that lie ahead as the country’s head of state.

“To be honest, I’m not aware of all the obstacles to my private life yet,” she said at her lawyer’s office on the outskirts of Ljubljana, the capital. “If you are asking me about my bike, I would still like to ride my bike. I will have to discuss this with the security guys.”

The 54-year-old liberal beat a conservative candidate, Slovenia’s former Foreign Minister Anze Logar, by nearly 10 percentage points in a runoff vote Sunday. Her victory was seen as a boost for the country’s center-left government that won a parliamentary election in April, ousting a right-wing coalition.

In 2016, Pirc Musar and her client Melania Trump filed a lawsuit against a local gossip magazine in Slovenia for suggesting the former first lady had worked as a high-end escort while pursuing her international modelling career before getting married to Donald Trump. An out-of-court settlement was reached.

Pirc Musar said Melania Trump congratulated her on the election victory.

“I was grateful for that,” Pirc Musar said. “I was her attorney at the times when there were some nasty rumors appearing in Slovenian media and after that it was distributed basically all around the globe.”

She still does not know how the former first lady of the United States found her.

“She contacted me at the time. I don’t know why she chose me. Probably her people did research because I dedicated most of my professional life to media law, to privacy law. And probably the choice was obvious,” Pirc Musar said.

While the presidency is largely ceremonial in Slovenia, the head of state is still a person of authority in the Alpine country of 2 million people.

“I was not involved into daily politics of Slovenia, but I was information commissioner for 10 years,” Pirc Musar said. “I’m definitely a strong believer in the European Union. I do believe that a rule of law and human rights are something that most Europeans still believe in.”

On the war in Ukraine, Pirc Musar said the EU has done a lot for Ukraine but it may have not done enough.

“Being a lawyer, we have to be honest: Russia violated the international law and that is a fact. Peace negotiation talks should start as soon as possible,” she said, suggesting that a deal to end the war must be made with Ukraine having a leading role, and not as a result of negotiations between the U.S. and Russia.

Much media attention during the campaign focused on the lucrative network of companies owned by her and her husband. She has rejected accusations that she put money into tax havens, saying that all of the businesses were declared with Slovenian tax authorities.

She also formerly served as the president of the Slovenian Red Cross and helped to draft personal data protection laws in Ukraine as well as in Serbia and Montenegro.

She called her journalism career in the late 1990s a “huge and positive experience.”

“I started on national television learning about journalism,” she said. “I basically became what I am today because of the media.”

“Whatever I have done in my life I did it with passion,” Pirc Musar added.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


              Slovenia's President elect Natasa Pirc Musar talks during an interview with the Associated Press in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022. Liberal rights advocate Natasa Pirc Musar has won a runoff vote to become Slovenia's next president and the small European Union country's first female head of state. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
            
              Slovenia's President elect Natasa Pirc Musar talks during an interview with the Associated Press in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022. Liberal rights advocate Natasa Pirc Musar has won a runoff vote to become Slovenia's next president and the small European Union country's first female head of state. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
            
              Slovenia's President elect Natasa Pirc Musar talks during an interview with the Associated Press in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022. Liberal rights advocate Natasa Pirc Musar has won a runoff vote to become Slovenia's next president and the small European Union country's first female head of state. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
            
              Slovenia's President elect Natasa Pirc Musar talks during an interview with the Associated Press in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022. Liberal rights advocate Natasa Pirc Musar has won a runoff vote to become Slovenia's next president and the small European Union country's first female head of state. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

AP

A fan holds up a scarf prior the start of the World Cup group B soccer match between Iran and the U...
Associated Press

US, Iran fans mingle in Qatar ahead of World Cup clash

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Smiling U.S. and Iranian fans mingled and posed for photos outside a stadium in Doha ahead of a politically charged World Cup match on Tuesday. The atmosphere was generally festive though the political divisions among Iran fans were apparent outside Al Thumama Stadium, as they have been during previous Iran games […]
12 hours ago
This image released by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas shows Clarence Gilyard, Jr., Associate P...
Associated Press

Clarence Gilyard, ‘Die Hard’ and ‘Matlock’ actor, dies at 66

NEW YORK (AP) — Clarence Gilyard Jr., a popular supporting actor whose credits include the blockbuster films “Die Hard” and “Top Gun” and the hit television series “Matlock” and “Walker, Texas Ranger,” has died at age 66. His death was announced this week by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he taught stage and […]
12 hours ago
An Iranian flag and a scarf depicting U.S. flag are sold at the Souq Waqif Market in Doha, Qatar, T...
Associated Press

US-Iran match reflects a regional rivalry for many Arab fans

BAGHDAD (AP) — The U.S. team’s must-win World Cup match against Iran will be closely watched across the Middle East, where the two nations have been engaged in a cold war for over four decades and where many blame one or both for the region’s woes. Critics of Iran say it has fomented war and […]
12 hours ago
Associated Press

Ex-majority leader jailed for DUI is leaving Kansas Senate

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas lawmaker who was forced out of one of the state Senate’s most powerful jobs following an arrest for drunken driving and speeding the wrong way on two interstate highways is planning to leave the Legislature in early January. Former Senate Majority Leader Sen. Gene Suellentrop, a Wichita Republican, confirmed […]
12 hours ago
Community members, including Walmart employees, gather for a candlelight vigil at Chesapeake City P...
Associated Press

Survivor of Virginia Walmart mass shooting files $50M suit

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A Walmart employee who survived last week’s mass shooting at a store in Virginia has filed a $50 million lawsuit against the company for allegedly continuing to employ the shooter — a store supervisor — “who had known propensities for violence, threats and strange behavior.” The lawsuit, which appears to be […]
12 hours ago
Associated Press

Defense: Man had no reason to help family in killings of 8

WAVERLY, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man accused of helping his family kill eight members of another family had no reason to take part and wasn’t even there, his attorney told trial jurors Tuesday during closing arguments. George Wagner IV, his brother and parents were charged in the 2016 shooting deaths of seven adults and […]
12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
Slovenian president eager to work, gets Melania’s congrats