Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Wednesday, 24 April 2019

By , 24 Apr 2019, 03:05 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Wednesday, 24 April 2019 - congerdesign, public domain

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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

Commitment to multilateralism voiced as diplomats gather at home

BRDO PRI KRANJU - Slovenian diplomats gathered for annual two-day consultations at Brdo pri Kranju. In their addresses President Borut Pahor and Foreign Minister Miro Cerar pledged Slovenia's commitment to multilateralism and the rule of law. Pahor said the country should strengthen its role in the world. Turning to relations with Croatia, Cerar said the condition for their improvement was that Croatia implement the border arbitration award, while Pahor suggested the countries focus on what united them.

Several parties formally join EU race

LJUBLJANA - Several parties formally entered the race for the 26 May EU elections by submitting their lists of candidates. The coalition of the opposition SDS and the non-parliamentary SLS are running with MEP Milan Zver as the front-runner, the opposition NSi with MP Ljudmila Novak, the ruling LMŠ with journalist Irena Joveva, and the SAB with Austrian ALDE MEP Angelika Mlinar as the top candidate. The new far-right party, Homeland League, fielded four candidates headed by party leader Bernard Brščič. Pundits expect the success in the vote will hinge on mobilising core constituents, and do not expect substantive debates on the EU's future.

Aiming for two MEPs, SocDems confirm manifesto

LJUBLJANA - The coalition SD endorsed a new manifesto as they confirmed their eight candidates for the EU election. They will enter the campaign with the slogan We Want Europe. Europe is not ideal, but we do not have a better option than the EU, party leader Dejan Židan said. MEP Tanja Fajon, the top-ranked candidate, was confident SD had the chance of winning two of the eight MEP slots.

More than 110 migrants apprehended at weekend

NOVO MESTO/KOPER - A total of 111 mgrants were apprehended illegally crossing the Slovenian-Croatian border the past weekend, police reported. Slovenian police have already handed over 30 of them to Croatia, while 12 have asked for asylum in Slovenia. The number of illegal crossings of the border in the first three months of this year rose by almost 150% compared to the same period last year, to 1,639. Most foreigners came from Algeria, Morocco and Pakistan.

Economy minister in China

BEIJING, China - Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek began a multi-day visit to China designed to strengthen economic relations between the two countries as well as Slovenia's role in the Belt and Road Initiative. Počivalšek was to present the government's action plans for potential investors and the situation in Slovenian business, and discuss cooperation in tourism. Počivalšek will attend the second Belt and Road Initiative Forum, addressing participants at the silk road innovation conference.

Ministry to draw blueprint of new social pact by end of May

LJUBLJANA - The Labour Ministry will draw up a draft of a new social pact by the end of May, based on three proposals put forward by employers and one drawn up by trade unions. This was agreed by social partners at Friday's session of the Economic and Social Council, which was tasked to appoint a negotiating group to start talks on the document. The partners hope to agree on the proposal by the end of the year so that a new social pact could take effect in 2020.

Hospital financial restructuring exceeds plans, MPs divided

LJUBLJANA - A year after an intervention that provided state funds for 15 public hospitals, three hospitals fell short of their 2018 financial goals. The first year of the four-year restructuring process has however produced better-than-expected results at twelve hospitals, according to a report debated by two parliamentary bodies. The debate nevertheless divided MPs along party lines, with the coalition labelling the results as insufficient and the coalition pleading for more time for the new health minister to take additional measures.

Two measles cases detected in Ljubljana

LJUBLJANA - About 200 people are believed to have been exposed to measles at the Ljubljana UKC emergency services over the weekend. The hospital treated two measles patients, one on Saturday afternoon, the other on Sunday morning. Although the measles immunisation rate in Slovenia exceeds 93%, those who have not received two doses are at risk of infection. The STA learnt unofficially that the two patients had recently returned from Russia and Germany. Measles vaccination has been mandatory in Slovenia since 1968.

Prices of regular and diesel to go up

LJUBLJANA - Prices of petrol sold at service stations outside motorways will go up at midnight. Regular will be 2.5 cents costlier, at EUR 1.349 a litre, the most expensive since October last year, and diesel will go up by 1.8 cents to EUR 1.279, a five-month high, data from the Economy Ministry show. The prices of petrol and diesel sold outside motorways are regulated by the government, while prices of premium and prices of all fuels sold at motorway service stations are set independently by retailers.

Slovenian book night to honour liberty

LJUBLJANA - Marking World Book Day on 23 April, Slovenians and the Slovenian ethnic minority are celebrating Book Night, hosted by the Sanje publisher and the Slovenian Book Agency. More than 200 events were scheduled to take place across the country and in neighbouring countries to honour creativity and liberty. Book Night is one of the most popular book events in Slovenia, raising awareness about the importance of reading and bringing together fellow book enthusiasts.

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