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.


A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018. A 34-year-old Color...

Associated Press

Colorado man dies after being bitten by pet Gila monster

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death by one of the desert lizards if the creature's venom turns out to have been the cause.

20 hours ago

Police clear the area following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebr...

Associated Press

1 dead, many wounded after shooting at Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade

One person died after 22 people were hit by gunfire in a shooting at the end of the Kansas Chiefs' Super Bowl victory celebration Wednesday.

8 days ago

This image from House Television shows House Speaker Mike Johnson of La., banging the gavel after h...

Associated Press

GOP-led House impeaches Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas — by one vote — over border management

Having failed to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas the first time, House Republicans are determined to try again Tuesday.

9 days ago

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, right, and Kenya's Defense Minister Aden Duale, left, listen during...

Associated Press

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin hospitalized with bladder issue

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been hospitalized following symptoms pointing to an “emergent bladder issue."

11 days ago

Joel Osteen, the pastor of Lakewood Church, stands with his wife, Victoria Osteen, as he conducts a...

Associated Press

Woman firing rifle killed by 2 off-duty officers at Houston’s Lakewood Church run by Joel Osteen

A woman entered the Texas megachurch of Joel Osteen and started shooting with a rifle Sunday and was killed by two off-duty officers.

11 days ago

Follow @ktar923...

Sponsored Content by Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

Sponsored Articles


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.


Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 


Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Slovenian president eager to work, gets Melania’s congrats