Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Thursday, 18 April 2019

By , 18 Apr 2019, 09:01 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Thursday, 18 April 2019 JL Flanner

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A schedule of all the main events involving Slovenia this week can be found here

Visiting Ljubljana? Check out what's on this week, while all our stories on Slovenia, from newest to oldest, are here

This summary is provided by the STA

EU Commission files suit against Slovenia over seized ECB files

BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Commission lodged a complaint against Slovenia at the European Court of Justice for its failure to respect the protected status of ECB documents (principle of inviolability of EU archives) and for failure to cooperate sincerely in the context of the seizure of ECB documents as part of a criminal investigation at central bank Banka Slovenije. The case refers to a July 2016 police raid of the offices of Slovenia's central bank, a part of an investigation into the causes of the late-2013 bailout of the Slovenian banking system.

Pahor: Bosnia genuinely wants to be prosperous

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina - Bosnia-Herzegovina genuinely wants its future to be safe and prosperous, and this is closely linked with its EU accession, President Borut Pahor stressed as he addressed the Sarajevo Business Forum on the second day of his visit to the country. The EU should thus take action based on this, because it too would benefit from a more flexible enlargement policy to the Western Balkans. Pahor reiterated the EU enlargement to the Western Balkans was an increasingly geopolitical issue.

Explanations sought after Novič case judge alleges pressure

LJUBLJANA - Marjan Pogačnik, the head of the Ljubljana District Court, urged judge Zvjezdan Radonjić to provide explanations for his allegations yesterday that he faced pressure over the retrial of Milko Novič for the 2014 murder of the Chemistry Institute boss, which ended in acquittal. Pogačnik denied being pressured to discipline the judge, but he confirmed that the head of the Special Prosecution Service complained against Radonjić's conduct. The prosecution also denied the allegations of pressure, while Justice Minister Andreja Katič said she condemned any pressure on judges. The opposition Democratic Party (SDS) indicated it would seek an emergency parliamentary session on the matter.

Ministry proposes changes to financing of private primaries

LJUBLJANA - The Education Ministry put forward draft amendments to the education financing act, proposing that private primary schools get full state funding to teach publicly approved curricula, however, the conditions under which they will get the concession are to be stiffened. The proposal, submitted for a three-week consultation period, is set to implement the 2014 Constitutional Court ruling mandating full rather than 85% state financing of publicly approved curricula at private primaries.

SNS first to submit EU election list

LJUBLJANA - The opposition National Party (SNS) filed its list of candidates for May's EU election to the National Electoral Commission as the first party to do so. "We filed it first and we expect the same result in the elections," party leader and MP Zmago Jelinčič, who tops the list, told the press on the occasion. One of the latest opinion polls projected the SNS winning one of the eight Slovenian MEP seats, but Jelinčič said the SNS, which has never had a MEP, did not rely on polls. Parties have until 26 April to submit their lists of candidates.

Croatian courts hand down first rulings on Slovenian fishermen

PIRAN - Croatian courts have delivered the first rulings on Slovenian fishermen fishing in the Bay of Piran along the border as set by the border arbitration tribunal in 2017, which Croatia rejects. In case of fisherman Silvan Radin, the court dropped the charges, but his family company was fined almost EUR 14,800 for a total of eleven cases, lawyer Ivica Senjak, who represents Slovenian fishermen in Croatian proceedings, told the STA. The second fisherman, Elvin Sabadin, was slapped with a fine of some EUR 2,150 in eight cases. Senjak said both decisions had already been challenged.

Lithuanian interior minister starts visit

LJUBLJANA - Border security and migration topped the agenda as Lithuanian Interior Minister Eimutis Misiunas was received by his Slovenian counterpart Boštjan Poklukar for an official three-day visit in Ljubljana. The pair found that their countries were aware of the responsibility to protect the external Schengen border, but established that Slovenia faced much bigger pressure of illegal migrations. Poklukar thanked Lithuania for deploying 50 police officers to Slovenia during the migration crisis in 2015 and 2016.

Erik Kerševan new Judicial Council president

LJUBLJANA - Erik Kerševan, a judge at the Supreme Court, was appointed on Tuesday to head the Judicial Council, replacing Barbara Narat, who resigned for personal reasons. The president is elected by council members in a secret ballot with a two-thirds majority for three years with no option of re-appointment. The eleven-strong Judicial Council is the key body for staffing in the judiciary, also deciding on promotions of judges or their incompatibility with other offices. It has full powers in picking candidates for judges, oversees their work and is fully responsibly for disciplinary proceedings.

Abanka's annual profit more than doubles

LJUBLJANA - Abanka, Slovenia's third largest bank, posted a EUR 66.7m net profit last year, up 56% over 2017, the audited annual report showed. Net interest revenue amounted to EUR 60.6m, down from EUR 71.9m in 2017, while net non-interest revenue was up to EUR 64.4m from EUR 46.8m. Its total assets amounted to EUR 3.73bn, up from EUR 3.66bn at the end of 2017. The bank, in 100% state ownership since it was bailed out with taxpayer money in 2013, is slated for privatisation. Unofficial reports suggest three binding bids were submitted last month.

Bad bank executive director Jaklin dismissed

LJUBLJANA - Jože Jaklin was dismissed as an executive director of the Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC) by BAMC non-executive directors on Tuesday, following two resignations of the bad bank's executive directors in the recent months. The only remaining executive director is now Matej Pirc, acting director general. Jaklin leaving the bad bank was an expected move and is considered just another step in the executive management replacement process. The BAMC selection procedure for the new executive management is in its final phase, with the bad bank having received 24 international applications.

Police, ministry at odds over strike agreement implementation

LJUBLJANA - One of Slovenia's two police trade unions appointed a strike committee on Tuesday in the wake of warnings the Interior Ministry was trying to find a way out of a strike agreement reached in December. The SPS, which noted social dialogue hit the lowest point, said on Wednesday a major issue was the payment of bonuses for police officers working on the Schengen border. The ministry claims the EUR 15m available for 2019 also involves the employer contributions, whereas the unions believe the funds should go exclusively for net bonus payments.

Investment in mutual funds increasing among Slovenians

LJUBLJANA - Slovenians prefer to save in bank deposits, however mutual funds have seen an increase in assets and savers. At the end of 2018 Slovenian households had EUR 1.7bn invested in mutual funds, said Karmen Rejc, director of the Slovenian Investment Fund Association. The average European invests 10% or EUR 5,800 of their assets in mutual funds, whereas in Slovenia the figure is lower, namely 6% or EUR 900, she said at a news conference before Friday's World Mutual Fund Day.

Police arrest two for euro counterfeiting

CELJE - Celje police arrested last week two individuals for counterfeiting 500-euro banknotes, which were being cashed in the wider Celje area, central Slovenia. The Celje Police Department said criminal charges will be filed against a 47-year-old woman and a 54-year-old man on suspicion of money counterfeiting. The police also said the counterfeited bills were of high quality, warning cash businesses to be careful when accepting 500-euro banknotes.

Slovenia's Oblak extended by Atletico Madrid until 2023

MADRID, Spain - Jan Oblak, Slovenia's best goalkeeper and national team mainstay, has agreed on a contract extension with his Atletico Madrid until 2023, the Spanish powerhouse announced. The four-year extension put an end to lengthy negotiations between Oblak and the club for which he has played since July 2014. The 26-year-old from Škofja Loka is to receive around EUR 10m a year under the new contract, which makes him one of the highest paid goalkeepers in the world.

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