Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Friday, 26 April 2019

By , 26 Apr 2019, 02:30 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Friday, 26 April 2019 Rajesh Balouria CC-by-0.jpeg

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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:

Fiscal framework through 2022 confirmed

LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly endorsed a government decree that sets the outlines of public finances through 2022. Rejecting government assurances that it is fiscally sound, the opposition said it is not conservative enough. A surplus of 1% of GDP is planned for the entire general government sector in 2020 compared to 0.8% target for this year, rising to 1.1% in 2021 and 1.2% in 2022. While revenue growth will average 3.9% over 2020-2022, expenditure will expand by an average rate of 3.7%.

Parliament abolishes tax on holiday allowance

LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly abolished taxes on holiday allowance amounting up to average gross monthly pay (EUR 1,715) as MPs endorsed amendments to the acts on personal income tax and pension and disability insurance. The only party to express reservations was the Left, the minority government's partner in the opposition, which abstained from vote. Personal income tax is currently deducted from holiday allowance, while social contributions are paid when the allowance exceeds 70% of average pay.

Matej Pirc appointed CEO of BAMC

LJUBLJANA - Matej Pirc, the former chairman of Slovenian Sovereign Holding, was appointed chief executive officer of the Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC), having served as acting CEO since the end of January. The post became available after Imre Balogh resigned in mid-December last year, citing personal reasons, although there had been indications he no longer enjoyed the overhauled board's trust. BAMC saw an overhaul after an audit exposed the contentious sale of land in Logatec to Swiss Lonstroff.

State asset custodian posts 6.3% return on equity in 2018

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH) estimated to have posted a 6.3% return on equity last year, which is 0.2 of a percentage point below the peak figure posted the year before, but above the target of 6.1%. SSH released the first return on profit estimate as it published the annual report for 2018, noting that the target appears to have been exceeded despite of the modified portfolio due to the sale of the majority stake in NLB bank. It collected EUR 266.8m in regular dividends from its own equity stakes and those managed on behalf of the state in 2018 for 2017.

Počivalšek tells Belt and Road Forum Slovenia open partner economy

BEIJING, China - Economic Development and Technology Minister Zdravko Počivalšek met Chinese Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhang in Beijing. He moreover addressed the 2019 Belt and Road Forum, underlining that Slovenia was an open, high-tech partner economy. A press release from the Economy Ministry quoted Počivalšek as saying that China appreciated the attendance of politicians at events such as the Belt and Road summit, which started today.

No need for border checks, interior minister tells Austrian counterpart

LJUBLJANA/VIENNA, Austria - Interior Minister Boštjan Poklukar talked to his Austrian counterpart Herbert Kickl over the phone, reiterating Slovenia's position that there is no need for border controls on the Austrian-Slovenian border, a measure Austria extended earlier this month. "Slovenia has the situation on the external Schengen border under control, while the border checks on the Austrian-Slovenian border cause traffic jams and dissatisfaction among the local population, passengers and hauliers, Poklukar added.

Gorenje plans to sack nearly 300 people

VELENJE - Household appliances maker Gorenje said it expected to lay off 270 people as the group undergoes reorganisation following a change in ownership. The newspaper Večer meanwhile learnt from the in-house trade union that 1,720 people would be sacked, of which 1,450 would be offered new contracts. The trade union said it was willing to use any measure to fight layoffs and refused to take part in talks about redundancy criteria.

MPs endorse free-of-charge counselling for crime victims

LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly passed changes to the social assistance act to enact free-of-charge counselling and other forms of assistance for victims of crimes and their families provided by experts at social work centres around the country. Apart from the existing experienced staff, the Social Affairs Ministry believes plans to hire additional 16 councillors.

SDS proposes bill to create demographic fund

LJUBLJANA - The opposition Democrats (SDS) filed a bill to create a demographic fund to prop up the pension system. SDS leader Janez Janša called on all parliamentary parties to submit their remarks, saying that the only point the SDS would insist on is that all state assets be transferred to the fund, or else the bickering over which assets to transfer would never end. Coalition parties and the Finance Ministry plan to study the proposal. Several governments have tried but failed to set up such a fund.

Two more groups field candidates for MEPs

LJUBLJANA - The opposition Left and the green-oriented coalition called Let's Connect were the latest to submit their lists of candidates for EU elections with the National Electoral Commission before the deadline expires on Friday, midnight. The Left's frontrunner MP Violeta Tomič, is also the European Left's spitzenkandidat, and the group's leader in the European Parliament, Gabrielle Zimmer, was in Slovenia to support the Slovenian affiliate. Let's Connect, which has the endorsement of the European Greens, is running with Urša Zgojznik, the leader of Ecologists Without Borders, as top candidate.

Some 7% of Slovenia's working population in poverty

LJUBLJANA - Figures released by the Statistics Office ahead of Labour Day reveal that of the approximately 981,000 working Slovenians, 7% live below the poverty line, and 2% receive financial or material assistance from welfare organisations. In households with no working family members who have to support children, 70% of the members live below the poverty line. Some 17% of the unemployed Slovenians are recipients of financial or material assistance from welfare organisations.

Excise duties on tobacco to go up in June

LJUBLJANA - The government increased excise duties on various tobacco products, a measure taking effect on 1 June. The excise duty on cigarettes will rise from 111 to 114 euro for 1,000 cigarettes. The government estimates this will make retail prices of tobacco products rise by an average 1.3%. The measure should bring EUR 2.8m in additional tax revenue provided that the higher excise duties push tobacco sales down 1%.

MHP raises share price in Perutnina Ptuj takeover

LJUBLJANA - Ukrainian MHP holding increased its takeover bid for the remaining 9.31% shares of the Slovenian poultry group Perutnina Ptuj it does not hold already by EUR 4.52 to EUR 22.34 per share. MHP acquired a 90.69% stake in Perutnina from the Russian-owned steel group SIJ for EUR 176.3m in November 2018. To acquire all the remaining shares, it would pay another EUR 22.69m. MHP is to set out a comprehensive modernisation plan for Perutnina later this year.

Almost 30% of food company Panvita up for sale

LJUBLJANA - The ownership of two companies within the Panvita food group could soon change as major shareholders Farme Ihan-KPM and Kona have decided to sell their combined stake of around 28% in both firms. On sale are 28.03% stakes in Panvita, the leading company in the Panvita group's crop production and trading division, and in Panvita Mesnine, the leading firm in the group's meat division. In 2017, Panvita generated EUR 7.21m in net sales revenue with its EBITDA reaching EUR 2.29m.

Car charging stations becoming payable

LJUBLJANA - Charging stations operated by the power distributor Elektro Ljubljana will become payable on 6 May due to the high management costs, ending years of free charging. On average, charging an electric vehicle for a 100 km drive will cost EUR 2-2.5. An additional fee of one euro will apply for one-time users and 50 cents for registered users for each charging. The service will be payable via a phone application. Elektro Ljubljana operates the largest network of charging stations in the country.

Erstwhile owner of Kolosej cinemas on trial

LJUBLJANA - Sergej Racman, the former owner of the cinema chain operator Kolosej, will be tried for cutting off creditors by selling the Kolosej cinema centre in Ljubljana, which had been pledged as collateral for almost EUR 13m in loans. Racman pleaded not guilty at today's pre-trial hearing. Media reported that a criminal complaint against Racman and Davorin Vidmar, the CEO of the company that bought the cinema centre at the Ljubljana's shopping district BTC, had been filed by the NLB bank.

Visual art of Kingdom of Yugoslavia on show

LJUBLJANA - Paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs and films created by more than 130 authors between 1929 and 1941 in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia went on show at Moderna Galerija in Ljubljana. On the Brink: The Visual Arts in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1929-1941) provides an overview of the visual art from the start of the reign of King Alexander I on 6 January 1929 to the beginning of World War II in Yugoslavia in April 1941. The exhibition is open until 15 September.

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