What Happened Last Week in Slovenia... 26 April to May 2, 2019

By , 03 May 2019, 08:03 AM Lifestyle
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A review of major events in the week between 26 April and 2 May, as prepared by the STA:

FRIDAY, 26 April
        LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary commission in charge of overseeing intelligence and security services accused Defence Minister Karl Erjavec of abusing the military intelligence service to dismiss Brigadier Miha Škerbinc as the force commander of the Slovenian Armed Forces. Erjavec, who denies the charge, appointed Brigadier Milan Žurman Škerbinc's successor effective on 30 April.
        LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Miro Cerar and his visiting Norwegian counterpart Ine Marie Eriksen Soreide noted the good relationship between the two countries. Norway and Slovenia "are in many ways two similar-minded countries", Cerar said.
        LJUBLJANA/BRUSSELS, Belgium - Perceived independence of judges remains a sore spot for Slovenia's judiciary, according to the 2019 EU Justice Scoreboard. The country placed 22nd, based on 2017 data, a two-spot improvement over the year before. The country has considerably reduced court backlogs.
        LJUBLJANA - A poll released by POP TV on the first day of the election campaign gave the joint list of the opposition Democrats (SDS) and the non-parliamentary People's Party (SLS) 12.3% of the vote, followed by the coalition SocDems with 12.2%. PM Marjan Šarec's LMŠ polled at 10.1% and the opposition National Party (SNS) at 7.2%.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - Some 75% of Slovenians who took part in the most recent Eurobarometer survey feel that being a member of the EU has benefited their country. Some 37% feel the EU is no longer on the right track, while 38% feel that way about Slovenia.
        LJUBLJANA - Retail group Mercator posted EUR 1.6m in net profit for last year, an improvement over its EUR 184m loss in the year before. Sales revenue was up by 1.2% year-on-year, reaching EUR 2.18bn. Revenue from retail, the group's core business, increased by 3.2% to EUR 1.63bn.
        KRANJ - The recently sold Gorenjska Banka doubled its pre-tax profit to EUR 20.68m in 2018. Net profit nearly tripled compared to the year before, amounting to EUR 17.1m, showed the annual report.
        MARIBOR - The newspaper publisher Večer offloaded its entire magazine portfolio to focus on general interest media as it prepares to merge with rival newspaper publisher Dnevnik. The magazines have been sold to three companies that are part of a sprawling media empire controlled by Martin Odlazek, seen by many as one of the most influential people in Slovenia.

SATURDAY, 27 April
        JELŠANE - Some 400 locals living along the border near the Jelšane crossing staged a rally demanding better border protection and rejecting the idea of their community hosting a processing centre for migrants.
        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor described Resistance Day as a "glorious day" that celebrates rebellion against attempts to destroy the Slovenian nation. Rebellious people risked their lives and resisted are patriots who deserve respect and admiration notwithstanding what accompanied the national liberation struggle, he said.
        LJUBLJANA - Ratings agency Moody's upgraded Slovenia's outlook to stable from positive as it kept its country rating at Baa1. The outlook was changed due to the government effective response to issues exposed by the debt crisis, the Finance Ministry said.
        LJUBLJANA - A total of 103 candidates running on 14 lists will vie for eight seats allotted to Slovenia in the European Parliament, showed the final tally by the National Electoral Commission. There will be 51 women on the ballot and 52 men and six lists, including by five parliamentary parties, have made women their top candidates.

SUNDAY, 28 April
        LJUBLJANA - The government's approval rating improved by 3.6 p.p. in Aril compared to March to stand at 56%, showed a poll commissioned by POP TV. Support for the senior coalition Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) grew as well, to 17% from 16.5%. The LMŠ is followed by the opposition Democrats (SDS), which lost more than one point to 14.3%, showed the poll by Mediana.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - Slovenia is seen as a stable, constructive and pro-European country which however does not fully use the potential to play the role a small country can play in the EU, Slovenia's former European Commissioner Janez Potočnik told the STA ahead of the 15th anniversary of Slovenia's EU accession.
        LJUBLJANA - Data from the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) showed 47 people died in Slovenia in 2017 of causes related to drug abuse, seven more than in 2016. Drug-related deaths have been rising since 2013.

MONDAY, 29 April
        BERLIN, Germany - PM Marjan Šarec stressed as one of the participants the informal summit on the Western Balkans that the much needed agreement between Kosovo and Serbia would have to be in line with international law, well coordinated and comprehensive. Šarec highlighted Slovenia's support to the region on its Euroatlantic path.
        LJUBLJANA - The recently privatised NLB announced it will issue EUR 45m in subordinated notes with a ten-year maturity on 6 May. The bonds will have a fixed coupon rate of 4.2% in the first five years.
        KRANJ - The AGM of Gorenjska Banka, which is in 98.27% ownership of Serbian AIK Banka, squeezed out small shareholders. It will pay EUR 298 a share to owners of a total of 6,166 shares, the price per share offered in the recent takeover.
        LJUBLJANA - It was confirmed that the Competition Protection Agency's (AVK) approved on 25 April the sale of Slovenia-based sports equipment maker Elan to the Finnish-owned KJK fund.
        CELJE - Cetis, one of the top printing companies in Europe specialising in secure documents, posted a group net profit of EUR 2.4m, down 67.6% over the year before. The group's revenue dropped by 2.2% to EUR 59.7m.
        SAMOBOR, Croatia - Representatives of the largest trade union confederations of Slovenia and Croatia had their annual Labour Day get-together to adopt a joint statement which calls for prudent reflection and a broad social consensus when it comes to plans to increase the retirement age. The statement is titled 67 is Too Much.

TUESDAY, 30 April
        LJUBLJANA - The Ljubljana Local Court drastically reduced the fine originally issued to the opposition Democrats (SDS) in connection to the first of its two violations of the political parties act, while only issuing a reprimand as opposed to a fine in connection to the second. The court maintains the SDS broke rules on party funding with two illegal loans taken out in 2017.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's annual inflation rate in April was at 1.7%, up 0.1 percentage points compared to March, while 0.8% inflation was recorded on the monthly level. Annual inflation was mostly driven by higher prices of energy, and monthly inflation by dearer holidays and footwear, the Statistics Office said.
        LJUBLJANA - The Swedish news portal Nordic Monitor claimed it had obtained secret documents revealing that diplomats working at the Turkish Embassy in Ljubljana spied on a number of critics of Turkey's government and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Foreign Ministry said it was not familiar with the report and did not want to comment.
        LJUBLJANA - Tourism and media group DZS posted EUR 2.5m in net profit last year, an improvement over the EUR 91,000 in profit generated the year before. Sales revenue was at EUR 87m, slightly higher than in 2017.

WEDNESDAY, 1 May
        RAVNE NA KOROŠKEM - Addressing a Labour Day ceremony in Ravne na Koroškem, Prime Minister Marjan Šarec said that Labour Day was not an ideological holiday but a "holiday of good people, who like to spend time together, who work hard every day and who love their country."
        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor urged Slovenians to cast their votes in the upcoming European elections in an interview with the STA ahead the 15th anniversary of Slovenia's joining the EU, observed on 1 May. "All of us, who see the EU as brining a future of peace, security, prosperity and the future for our children have the obligation to do something ... It is our responsibility to encourage people to vote," he said.
        WARSAW, Poland - Foreign Minister Miro Cerar attended a ceremony in Warsaw marking the 15th anniversary of the accession of ten countries to the EU. He said that "the EU is strong because it is united by its diversity and differences, big and small".

THURSDAY, 2 May
        LJUBLJANA - Both Slovenian journalist associations, the DNS and ZNP, took the opportunity of World Press Freedom Day, 3 May, to urge a comprehensive overhaul of media legislation. The DNS highlighted the increasing concentration of power in the hands of ever fewer media players who care strictly about business as opposed to quality journalism.

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