Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Saturday, 21 May 2022

By , 21 May 2022, 04:34 AM News
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This summary is provided by the STA:

Govt adopts bill to help displaced Ukrainians, Slovenian businesses

LJUBLJANA - The government adopted a bill on emergency measures to regulate the situation of displaced Ukrainians and to help Slovenian business cope with the consequences of the war in Ukraine with favourable loans. The bill was adopted to enhance the implementation of the government's March regulation that activated, based on EU law, Slovenia's temporary protection of displaced persons act to help Ukrainians leaving their homes after Russia's invasion. It should intensify the existing mechanisms of temporary protection and disburden state institutions overwhelmed by displaced Ukrainians.

Logar expresses solidarity with Ukraine at CoE event

TURIN, Italy - Foreign Minister Anže Logar attended a session of the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers. In a debate on the CoE's response to the Russian aggression in Ukraine, he expressed solidarity with Ukraine and stressed that Slovenia condemned the Russian aggression in the strongest terms. Given the violation of common values and norms of international law, it was impossible for Russia to stay a CoE member, he said. On the sidelines of the meeting, Logar met UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Georgian Foreign Minister Ilia Darchiashvili.

Slovenia left without gas from Croatia's Krk island for now

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian gas distributor Geoplin has been left empty handed in an open call to apply for an increased capacity of liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on the Croatian island Krk. Despite assurances to the contrary, Croatian company PPD won the deal. However, Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec downplayed the gravity of the development, saying one Slovenian distributor was now in talks with PPD. He also said there were possibilities for Quatari gas deliveries to Slovenia via the offshore terminal in Rovigo, close to Venice, Italy.

New govt go-ahead for Mokrice hydro plant

LJUBLJANA - The government decided the public interest of producing renewable energy prevails over the public interest of nature conservation in the planned Mokrice hydro power station on the river Sava, as it issued a new decision after its first motion from December 2020 was defeated in court in late 2021 over environmental concerns expressed by an NGO. The government said its decision is in line with the court's guidance.

Additional EUR 277 million in React-EU funds approved

LJUBLJANA - The European Commission approved on Thursday an additional EUR 277 million in React-EU funds for Slovenia, money that will be used for a number of investments in aged care, healthcare, tourism and education. The confirmation came in the form of an endorsement of the operational programme for the implementation of European cohesion policy in 2014-2020, the Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy said.

Elderly care association unveils assisted suicide proposal

CELJE - Srebrna Nit, an association campaigning for dignified old age, presented a bill to introduce voluntary assisted dying. Its representative Andrej Pleterski said the law would ensure that no one would have to fear suffering before death any longer. The dying person would have the option of ending their life in a way and at a time of their choosing under the proposal, he said at the Green Vita trade show. They plan to file it to parliament with 5,000 voter signatures.

Petrol doubles revenue, ups net profit 17% to EUR 32.4m in Q1

LJUBLJANA - Energy group Petrol reported that its sales revenue in the first quarter of the year more than doubled year-on-year to EUR 1.94 billion, while net profit was up by 17% to EUR 32.4 million. The rise is largely attributed to the incorporation of the Croatian fuel retailer Crodux into the group. The group's adjusted gross profit amounted to EUR 162.2 million, up 18% year-on-year, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) amounted to EUR 65.6 million, up 21%, with fuels and fuel products representing 37% in the EBITDA structure.

Banks report EUR 96.8m in pre-tax profit in Q1

LJUBLJANA - Banks in Slovenia generated EUR 96.8 million in pre-tax profit in the first three months of the year, which is 7.4% less than in the first quarter of 2021. Revenue was higher, but profit was down due to higher net impairments and provisions, the central bank said. By the end of March, net impairments and provisions totalled EUR 10.6 million, while they stood at EUR 8.9 million in the same period last year. The banking system's total capital adequacy ratio on a consolidated basis stood at 18.4%.

BTC revenue, profit up by 10% last year

LJUBLJANA - The BTC group, the operator of Ljubljana's shopping and logistics hub BTC City, generated EUR 72.4 million in net sales revenue last year, up 8.9% from the year before. Net profit was up by 10.7% to EUR 6.5 million. Despite the epidemic, business results exceeded expectations, the company said, noting that additional growth was planned for this year, with net sales revenue expected to reach EUR 79.4 million. Last year, EUR 5.1 million was allocated for investment.

AmCham Slovenia urges new govt to take well-thought-out measures

LJUBLJANA - AmCham Slovenia welcomed efforts laid out in the emerging coalition agreement that aspire to sustainability, green transition and a knowledge-based society. Since they find several segments in the agreement unclear, they urge well-thought-out measures and laws in their appeal to the new government, and call for cooperation. The areas AmCham Slovenia considers to be very important for a development-oriented economy and finds missing or unclear in the draft coalition agreement are tax policy, healthcare reform, pension reform, de-bureaucratisation and maintaining competitiveness, and education programmes, among others.

Consumer confidence deteriorates in May

LJUBLJANA - The consumer confidence indicator for Slovenia was down by four percentage points in May on a monthly basis and nine points lower than the long-term average, the Statistics Office said. A deterioration of 13 points was also recorded on an annual basis. All four components of the indicator were down on a monthly basis, with the sub-indicators measuring expectations regarding the financial situation in households and expectations regarding major purchases down by five percentage points each.

No Covid deaths on Thursday

LJUBLJANA - The number of new coronavirus cases dropped to 411 on Thursday, with the number of patients treated for Covid-19 as their main condition down to 41, including five in intensive care. No patient died yesterday, data provided by the Health Ministry show. The National Institute for Public Health estimates 7,167 cases are still active. The 14-day incidence per 100,000 of the population dropped by 28 to 338 and the 7-day case average is down by 25 to 428.

Slovenian journalist released from prison in Iraq

LJUBLJANA - Matej Kavčič, a reporter for the Slovenian independent Radio Student station who was arrested and imprisoned in Iraq a month ago, has been released from prison, Radio Student said. His German colleague Marlene Foerster, who was arrested together with him, has also been released. Kavčič went to Iraq with Foerster as a freelancer in January to report on the minority group Yezidis. The pair had the international press cards, but apparently, the Iraqi authorities did not consider them valid.

Nova Gorica to get new outdoor venue

NOVA GORICA - The foundation stone for a new outdoor, 500-seat amphitheatre was laid in Nova Gorica, aiming to be ready for the city's stint as the European Culture Capital in 2025. The first stage of the project, backed by EUR 2.5 million in state funds, is expected to be finished by next year.

Slovenian beekeeper Boštjan Noč honoured with Golden Bee

LJUBLJANA - Beekeeper Boštjan Noč, head of the Slovenian Beekeeping Association, was honoured with the Golden Bee, an international prize for efforts to protect bees that Slovenia gave out for the second time on this year's World Bee Day. Noč, whom the prize board selected unanimously from three shortlisted nominees, dedicated the award to all Slovenian beekeepers. The award ceremony was one of the many events in Slovenia celebrating the 5th World Bee Day.

Cartoonist Lunaček gets French Order of Arts and Letters

LJUBLJANA - Comic book artist Izar Lunaček was conferred on Thursday the French Order of Arts and Letters. He received the honour for his contribution to the promotion of comic books, the popularisation of French culture in Slovenia and the strengthening of ties between France and Slovenia this field. Lunaček, who is also a painter, comparativist and philosopher, received the honour from French Ambassador to Slovenia Florence Ferrari.

More than 15,000 students dance quadrille across Slovenia, Europe

LJUBLJANA - More than 15,000 final year secondary school students danced the quadrille in 17 Slovenian and 18 European cities at noon as part of the European Quadrille Dance Festival. In Ljubljana alone, 2,000-3,000 dancers gathered, according to Radio Slovenia International. This is the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic that the event could be attended in such large numbers. "This is definitely a big day for final year secondary school students," project coordinator Rudi Kocbek told the STA.

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