Morning Headlines: Wednesday, 27 March 2019

By , 27 Mar 2019, 06:00 AM News
Morning Headlines: Wednesday, 27 March 2019 JL Flanner

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STA - Below is a roundup of major events on Wednesday, 27 March 2019:

Changes to criminal procedure act passed, police to start using IMSI catchers

LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly passed changes to the criminal procedure act, which introduce a number of novelties, including the police use of devices that mimic mobile phone towers to intercept mobile traffic. The changes were passed in a 46:33 vote, with the opposition arguing some provisions could be at odds with the Constitution. The changes, also needed for a long overdue transposition of the EU's victim's rights directive, are significantly watered down compared to a version that was rejected in 2017.

Parliament transposes EU trade secret directive

LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly adopted a bill to protect trade secrets which translates into Slovenian law the corresponding EU directive from 2016. The law includes exceptions for the purposes of parliamentary inquiries and to allow for disclosures made by whistle blowers. The EU directive on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure is aimed at aligning diverging national laws on trade secrets. EU member countries were required to transpose it by mid-2018.

Most Slovenian MEPs vote against copyright directive, Slovenian creatives happy

STRASBOURG, France/LJUBLJANA - The majority of Slovenia's MEPs rejected the EU copyright directive in today's plenary vote in Strasbourg, mostly arguing it undermined internet freedom. Only three of Slovenia's eight MEPs backed the directive, including Lojze Peterle (EPP/NSi), who said in September that no freedoms were being undermined with the directive "except the freedom to have at one's disposal the work of others without repaying the authors". Slovenian creatives welcomed the yes vote, while the opponents, most notably the non-parliamentary Pirate Party and the opposition Left said today "is a dark day for the internet."

Šabeder okayed by committee for new health minister

LJUBLJANA - Aleš Šabeder, the nominee for health minister, was confirmed by the Health Committee, with 12 MPs voting in favour and two against. He announced a systematic approach to cut waiting times and red tape, and an overhaul of the health care and health insurance act. One of his first priorities will be to revise waiting lists on the national level and then prepare measures to cut waiting times such as setting up additional programmes and focus on the areas where the number of patients is rising.

SNS leader in trouble over money comments

LJUBLJANA - The police launched a preliminary inquiry targeting National Party (SNS) leader Zmago Jelinčič in the aftermath of claims by a man originally slated to become the party's top candidate for the EU election that Jelinčič demanded a monthly payment if he gets elected. Gregor Preac said he had been offered the top slot on the SNS slate in exchange for giving 500 euro a month to the party and 1,000 euro to Jelinčič personally if he is elected. Jelinčič says he was misunderstood when he jokingly said that he would take all of Preac's money and give him only a thousand.

Unions to fight new tax, pension legislation

LJUBLJANA - Two of Slovenia's largest trade unions, ZSSS and Pergam, will oppose government plans to change laws governing income tax, pensions and unemployment benefits. They say the changes do not benefit workers and would only be acceptable if they are significantly altered. ZSSS president Lidija Jerkič expects that negotiators will now get down to work and hammer out compromise proposals. Given the scope of work ahead, she does not expect the bills could be implemented until the summer as the government plans.

MEPs vote to drop daylight saving time, Slovenia OK with it

LJUBLJANA - The European Parliament voted to scrap the twice-a-year custom of changing the clocks by 2021. The Slovenian government is in favour of the decision, but it is not yet clear whether the country would opt for permanent winter time or permanent summer time. The Infrastructure Ministry said it had already asked neighbouring countries, which have the same standard time as Slovenia, about their stances in order to coordinate, but received no reply yet.

Finding answers to population ageing is a must, panel agrees

LJUBLJANA - Participants of a debate on demographic policy in Slovenia hosted by President Borut Pahor agreed that finding answers to the population ageing is a must. Pahor pointed to the responsibility and duty of the stakeholders for creating policies at the national level, while researchers called for relevant studies to be made. According to Janez Malačič of the Ljubljana Faculty of Economics, a too low birth rate may quickly result in the ageing of the population, and immigration could be one of the solutions.

Šarec meets relatives of Basovizza victims

LJUBLJANA - PM Marjan Šarec received relatives of one of the four Slovenian victims of fascism known as the Basovizza victims, who would like Italy to rehabilitate them posthumously before next year's 90 anniversary of their execution. Matjaž and Marko Bidovec, a nephew and a grandnephew of Ferdo Bidovec (1908-1930), presented the activities of the relatives of victims of the fascist regime in Italy, while Šarec said he would do everything he could for Slovenia to keep a clear memory of Basovizza as a reminder of the evil done by fascism.

AmCham debate hears calls for Slovenia to adopt clear vision

LJUBLJANA - A debate hosted AmCham Slovenija heard that Slovenia should adopt a clear vision and strategy to be able to compete in the globalised world, which no longer plays by the rules but has become unpredictable. Economic Mojmir Mrak noted that the significantly changed business environment throughout the world. "China and India are increasingly big players and globalisation has started to show its negative aspects," he said, adding that this was not good for small and open economies such as Slovenia's.

Labour minister says dismissal without cause not an option

LJUBLJANA - Labour Minister Ksenija Klampfer announced the government was not considering relaxing dismissal rules as she attended an employer conference. While the employers have been urging more flexibility in hiring and firing, the minister said she was aware of their proposals to enable termination without cause. "However, some international documents prevent it, so no changes in this direction are in the making, there being no expert basis for it," the minister said.

Nikolić moves from CFO to CEO position at HSE

LJUBLJANA - Stojan Nikolić, the CFO at the state-owned energy group HSE, has been appointed as the new director general of the group. He is being joined by Viktor Vračar, so far supervisory board member and director of the Slovenian subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp Elevator, as managing director. The appointments were made by the HSE supervisory board last night. The new director general will assume his duties on 1 April and the managing director on 1 May.

Irregularities in overtime uncovered at health organisations

LJUBLJANA - As doctors often do more than 100 hours of overtime a month, inspectors have uncovered a number of irregularities in registering and paying their overtime public in hospitals and community health centres, a report of inspectors in the public sector for 2018 has shown. Some employees received a bonus for overtime even if they did not even put in the regular hours for the month, or they got paid more overtime than they did. Some health organisations did not even have a record of overtime.

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