In Meet the President Al Jazeera gains exclusive access to world leaders who – for a variety of reasons – are more than just politicians…

Al Jazeera's Barnaby Phillips with
Janez Drnovsek 

Al Jazeera's Barnaby Phillips travels to Slovenia to meet one of Europe's more eccentric leaders - Janez Drnovsek.

Once a staid and conventional politician, Drnovsek transformed his lifestyle after being diagnosed with cancer eight years ago.

Eschewing the delights of Ljubljana, Slovenia's baroque capital, and the comforts that surround most statesmen, Drnovsek moved to a simple house in the mountains where he lives alone.

Al Jazeera accompanied him to his home where - as the president explained - he spends much of his time preparing vegan food or in quiet contemplation.

Janez Drnovsek on his visit to Bolivia
His philosophical books, with titles such as Golden Thoughts and The Essence of the World are best sellers with the Slovenian public, among whom the president enjoys a high popularity rating.

His "new-age" lifestyle however has angered some who think his rejection of conventional medicine is irresponsible.

He has also taken his quest for justice and peace to the world stage, proposing solutions for many of the world's most intractable problems – from the Darfur conflict to climate change.

The president shows us his bread oven
Dr Drnovsek was the only foreign leader to attend the inauguration ceremony for new Bolivian president, Evo Morales, and subsequently invited Native American priests to visit him in Slovenia. This has led to claims that the president is using state money to follow his own personal crusades.

We also talk to Slovenia's citizens: is their president an embarrassment or a model to emulate?

This episode broadcasts from May 21st 2007

Meet the President will be available to watch on this page after the 28th May 2007

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