Slovenia mourns popular politician

52 minutes ago

Former Slovenian President Janez Drnovsek, a popular politician who helped lead the country to independence in 1991 and later to European Union and Nato membership, has died. He was 57.

Mild-mannered but resolute, Drnovsek had been a political icon for years, in part for working to keep violence at a minimum when Slovenia gained independence from Yugoslavia.

In recent years, as he battled cancer, he won the hearts of many of his countrymen again for his radical shift to a holistic lifestyle and his authorship of New Age-influenced books.

Drnovsek served as prime minister from 1992 to 2002, after which he became president. He did not run for a second term in elections late last year and was replaced by Danilo Turk in December.