LJUBLJANA, Slovenia — As borders open throughout Europe, Slovenia lifted travel restrictions with Italy on Monday, and two towns were particularly thrilled.
The mayors of Slovenia’s Nova Gorica and Italy’s Gorizia jointly removed a traffic sign that banned movement from one town to another during the lockdown period.
The two towns that lie on the two sides of the border are closely linked culturally and economically. The area was reunited after Slovenia joined the European Union in 2004 after the breakup of Yugoslavia.
The mayors say that the traffic signs that stopped people from crossing over during the outbreak will be placed in a local museum in Nova Gorica.
The Nova Gorica mayor Klemen Miklavcic says “fences are not the instrument to solve our problems.”
Gorizia’s mayor, Rodolfo Ziberna says “my hope is that Europe can see the void it has created … (which) was filled by the relationship between Nova Gorizia and Gorizia.”
Slovenia opened borders with other neighbors before doing so with Italy, the European country that was hardest hit with the pandemic. An Alpine nation of some 2 million people, Slovenia has lowered the number of new cases to none or one or two daily.