Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Thursday, 23 June 2022

By , 23 Jun 2022, 04:48 AM News
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This summary is provided by the STA:

National Assembly paves way for reshaping of govt

LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly passed changes to the government act allowing Prime Minister Robert Golob to shape his government as he wants as it deflected an attempt by the opposition Democrats (SDS) to hold a referendum on the act. While Prime Minister Robert Golob has said the restructured government should be in office by the end of summer, the SDS indicated it might mount another referendum attempt, this time gathering signatures from citizens instead of going the parliamentary path. Freedom Movement deputy group leader Borut Sajovic said that a new referendum attempt would make it clear even to the most naive that this was intentional troublemaking.

Pahor: Russian aggression confirmed need for highly trained army

LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor said the Russian aggression against Ukraine had confirmed the need for Slovenia to have a highly trained and professional army, as he addressed via video call Slovenian soldiers serving in missions. Pahor, supreme commander of the Slovenian Armed Forces, noted this was the first time that the videoconference with troops serving abroad was being held amid a war in Europe.

Works council urges RTV Slovenija director general to resign

LJUBLJANA - The works council at public broadcaster RTV Slovenija urged director general Andrej Grah Whatmough to "step down immediately and irrevocably", presenting a number of reasons for its decision, which was taken on Tuesday, a day after RTV staff went on strike as the talks following the 23 May strike brought no major progress. Grah Whatmough has been urged to resign due to breach of legislation, poor management, and "numerous irregularities and reasonable suspicion of unlawfulness and of having exceeded his powers".

Committee urges end to pressure on editorial autonomy at RTV

LJUBLJANA - The Culture Committee has called on the management of RTV Slovenija to consistently ensure the constitutional right to information, to immediately stop undermining the editorial independence and autonomy of the public broadcaster, and to restore conditions for independent journalism. The management should also stop implementing politically-motivated personnel and other changes, and stop discrediting RTV staff or exerting pressure on them, follows from resolutions adopted at a session.

Remains of over 500 victims killed post-WWII near Brežice excavated

BREŽICE - The remains of at least 529 people executed in post-WWII summary killings have been unearthed from an anti-tank trench in Mostec near Brežice, east Slovenia, according to the Military Heritage Administration. Archaeological excavation at the site was carried out due to construction of a chain of power stations on the river Sava. In 2020, the remains of at least 276 people were found in some 20 metres of trench. This year's excavation work on another 30 metres to reveal the remains of at least another 253 people.

Farmers propose govt buy all Slovenian wheat

LJUTOMER - A multi-stakeholder commission for cereals proposed that the government purchase all wheat Slovenian farmers will harvest this year, and then sell it on to millers during the year. Slovenian farmers will grow 100,000 tonnes of wheat suitable for food in 2022, the commission's head Franc Küčan said. There are foreign buyers interested in Slovenian wheat, but Küčan said that "farmers would like to sell Slovenian wheat to Slovenian millers." If the price is not right, they will sell to whoever is willing to pay more.

Archbishop wants continuation of Church-state dialogue

LJUBLJANA - Ljubljana Archbishop Stanislav Zore expressed the wish for a continuation of the dialogue between the state and the Roman Catholic Church as he berated previous governments for not showing willingness to address all open issues. "There has never been a concrete willingness to address all the remaining open issues," he said during a sermon at a mass celebrating the anniversary of Slovenian statehood. "Hopefully the government which has now taken the reign in Slovenia will find the willingness to tackle open issues."

Covid curve bends upwards

LJUBLJANA - Covid cases continue to grow as Slovenia enters a new wave of the pandemic. Health authorities reported 670 new cases for Tuesday, up by nearly 50% over the week before, as the share of positive PCR tests exceeded 6%. While the incidence has been increasing at a brisk pace - the 14-day case notification rate per 100,000 population is at 260 compared to 189 a week ago - hospital numbers remain subdued, according to the National Institute of Public Health.

30 years of Slovenia-Australia diplomatic relations marked

CANBERRA, Australia - The Slovenian Embassy in Canberra marked the 30th anniversary of Slovenian-Australian diplomatic relations and the upcoming Slovenian Statehood Day earlier this week. The reception was attended by more than a hundred of Australian officials, diplomats, representatives of both Slovenian and Australian organisations and other guests. The event featured a performance by the Australian Army Band Corps.

Minister for Slovenians Abroad meets Community in Austria

KLAGENFURT, Austria - Minister for Slovenian Abroad Matej Arčon travelled to Klagenfurt for his first official visit with the Slovenian community in Austria as minister. After a meeting with key community representatives, Arčon underlined the importance of regular dialogue and thanked the various organisations for their devoted work. Arčon met with Valentin Inzko of the National Council of Carinthian Slovenians, Marjan Sturm of Association of Slovenian Organisations in Carinthia and Heribert Kulmesch of the Community of Carinthian Slovenians.

Unior sells stake in Romania's Unior Tepid for EUR 2.5m

ZREČE - Unior, the Zreče-based tool maker and automotive supplier, last week reached a EUR 2.5 million deal with a Romanian buyer for the sale of its 49% stake in Unior Tepid SRL, Romania, the Slovenian company said. Unior signed the sale contract a week ago, on 15 June, and the buyer, Unior Tepid CEO Dan Dabuleanu, paid the purchase price a day later, reads the press release.

Two SSH supervisors dismissed

LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly dismissed two supervisors of the Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH) a week after the government said that Božo Emeršič and Leon Cizelj did not meet the requirements for the job. The former no longer qualifies because he has been appointed the CFO of railway builder 2TDK in April 2021, while the latter never satisfied the job requirements in the first place, not having had the required 10 years of experience in management.

Consumer confidence drops further in June

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's consumer confidence in June decreased by two percentage points on the month before and 16 percentage points year-on-year in what is a decline for the second month in a row, the Statistics Office said. The decrease in the confidence indicator at the monthly level was driven by more pessimistic consumer expectations about the financial situation in households (down by four points), the current financial situation in households (down by three) and the country's economic situation (down by two).

Wages in private sector down in April

LJUBLJANA - Slovenians earned an average net salary of EUR 1,304.32 in April, up by 0.2% in nominal terms and 2.7% in real terms compared to March, shows fresh data from the Statistics Office. Average gross earnings for April totalled EUR 2,001.93, down by 0.3% in nominal terms and down by 2.8% in real terms compared to March, with a rise of 1.2% in the public sector and 3.3% in the state administration, while the private sector experienced a fall by 1.1%.

Court hands down suspended sentences in Tušmobil abuse of office case

CELJE - Businessman Mirko Tuš and his wife Tanja Tuš received suspended prison sentences after pleading guilty to abuse of office and money laundering charges. Mirko Tuš got a two-year suspended prison sentence with a three-year probation and a fine of 450,000 EUR. Tanja Tuš got a suspended prison sentence of one year with a two-year probation plus a fine of EUR 90,000. The case concerned the transfer between 2011 and 2016 of the Tušmobil mobile telephony brand that was reported by creditors as an attempted fraud.

Supreme Court acquits 2014 torture case defendant

LJUBLJANA - The Supreme Court acquitted Milan Trivković, one of four men found guilty of abducting and brutally torturing Zorica Škrbić, a 32-year-old woman whose abduction and death in June 2014 shocked Slovenia. Trivković will sue the state for damages for the five years he spent in detention and in prison, news portal reported. Trivković has maintained his innocence in several court proceedings, while his friends said he was hosting a party at the time of the crime.

Hailstorms rage in parts of the country, most damage in the south-east

LJUBLJANA - Hailstorms once again raged in parts of Slovenia on Tuesday evening, causing most destruction in the south-eastern and northern parts of the country. In some parts, the hail stones almost reached the size of a tennis ball. Municipalities that were hit most severely were Hoče-Slivnica, Lenart, Laško, Radenci, and Novo Mesto, along with Črnomelj, Metlika, and Semič.

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