Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Saturday, 27 April 2019

By , 27 Apr 2019, 08:20 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Saturday, 27 April 2019 Wikimedia - Свищев-Паола, Николай Иванович, 1874-1964 CC by 0

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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:

MPs accuse minister of abusing intel service to sack army officer

LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary commission in charge of overseeing intelligence and security services accused Defence Minister Karl Erjavec of abusing the military intelligence service to sack a senior army officer, a charge that Erjavec denies. Erjavec, citing rumours that force commander Miha Škerbinc had spoken ill of the health of Maj Gen Alenka Ermenc, the chief of the general staff, is accused of having ordered the Defence Ministry's Intelligence and Security Service (OVS) to spy on Škerbinc. Škerbinc was dismissed in early April.

Norway and Slovenia committed to boosting ties

LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Miro Cerar and his visiting Norwegian counterpart Ine Marie Eriksen Soreide noted the good bilateral relationship between the two countries and shared views on a number of issues, but also potential to enhance ties in many areas, as they addresses reporters after talks in Ljubljana. Norway and Slovenia "are in many ways two similar-minded countries", Cerar said, adding that the nations shared interests and goals, and aspired to an effective multilateralism, human rights, gender equality, helping vulnerable groups and, above all, to global peace and security.

Perceived independence of judges in Slovenia poor, EU scoreboard shows

LJUBLJANA/BRUSSELS, Belgium - Perceived independence of judges remains a sore spot for Slovenia's judiciary, according to the 2019 EU Justice Scoreboard. The country placed 22nd, based on the 2017 data. But this was still a two-spot improvement over the year before. Meanwhile, the country has considerably reduced backlog of unresolved cases. Presenting the scoreboard, European Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said that perceived independence of judges in Slovenia remained a challenge, although the situation was improving.

EU election campaign gets under way in Slovenia

LJUBLJANA - The campaign ahead of the European Parliament election got officially under way in Slovenia today. However, potential candidates still have until midnight to submit their lists of candidates. The National Electoral Commission confirmed all 14 candidate lists submitted so far. Candidate lists have been filed by all parliamentary parties as well as the non-parliamentary Greens, Good State, Homeland League (DOM) and United Slovenia, and the non-partisan alliance Let's Connect.

SDS/SLS and SD lists neck and neck in POP TV poll

LJUBLJANA - If the EU elections were held today, the joint list of the opposition Democrats (SDS) and the non-parliamentary People's Party (SLS) would win 12.3% of the vote, closely followed by the coalition SocDems with 12.2%, showed a poll released by private broadcaster POP TV on the first day of the election campaign. Prime Minister Marjan Šarec's LMŠ would come third with 10.1% of the vote and the opposition National Party (SNS) fourth with 7.2%. As many as 18.9% of those polled were still undecided.

Eurobarometer: 75% of Slovenians strongly support EU

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Some 75% of Slovenians who took part in the most recent Eurobarometer survey feel that being a member of the EU has benefited their country. On average 68% of Europeans feel this way, the highest share since 1983. However, 50% of respondents are displeased with the situation either at home or in the EU at large. The research was conducted in 28 EU member states between 19 February and 4 March 2019 by the Kantar Public company. A total of 27,973 Europeans, including 1,032 Slovenians aged 15 years or more were interviewed for the survey.

Govt sends Stability Programme to Brussels

LJUBLJANA - The government sent to Brussels the Stability Programme, a document featuring fiscal forecasts for the coming three years. The 2019-2020 National Reform Programme was sent to the European Commission a few days ago. The two programmes are key documents of the European semester, as part of which the Commission analysed each country's plans for budget, macroeconomic and structural reforms. While the Stability Programme focusses on macroeconomic development, fiscal policy and public finance, the National Reform Programme details the measures needed to implement the planned structural reforms.

Mercator posts EUR 1.6m profit on EUR 2.18bn in sales revenue in 2018

LJUBLJANA - Retail group Mercator posted EUR 1.6m in net profit last year, an improvement over its EUR 184m loss generated the year before. Sales revenue was up by 1.2% year-on-year, reaching EUR 2.18bn. Revenue from retail, the group's core business, increased by 3.2% in 2018 over 2017 to EUR 1.63bn. The group employed just over 20,300 people at the end of the year. Majority owned by the troubled Croatian conglomerate of Agrokor, Mercator is due to be transferred to the newly established Fortenova Grupa.

Gorenjska Banka net profit almost tripled in 2018

KRANJ - Gorenjska Banka doubled its pre-tax profit to EUR 20.68m in 2018. Net profit nearly tripled compared to the year before, amounting to EUR 17.1m, shows the annual report. Net interest revenue increased by 5.3% to EUR 35.61m, and non-interest revenue was up 26.3% to EUR 16.47m. The capital adequacy ratio of common equity core capital was 16.2% at the end of December 2018, while total assets declined by 2.2% to EUR 1.83bn, largely due to the drop in corporate deposits.

Večer offloads magazine portfolio

MARIBOR - The newspaper publisher Večer has offloaded its entire magazine portfolio to focus on general interest media as it prepares to merge with rival newspaper publisher Dnevnik. The magazines have been sold to three companies that are part of a sprawling media empire controlled by Martin Odlazek, seen by many as one of the most influential people in Slovenia. The portfolio includes several lifestyle, home improvement and crossword puzzle magazines including Naš Dom, Stop, Obrazi, Science Illustrated, Kih, Lady, Jana, Lisa and Nova.

Lek chairman Bogdanovski retiring

LJUBLJANA - Lek chairman Zvone Bogdanovski will retire at the end of April after working for the Ljubljana-based pharmaceutical company for 35 years, serving as chairman since August 2017. His successor is to be appointed shortly, the company said. Initially working at Lek as a researcher, analyst and development research technologist, he spent most of his career in pharmaceutical marketing and sales management.

Majority of Gorenje layoffs not to affect production jobs

VELENJE - The majority of the planned 270 redundancies at home appliance maker Gorenje are to affect cleaners, security staff and warehouse workers, not production workers, according to the trade union representing the majority of Gorenje workers, which presented its view on the layoffs after the news about them was broken yesterday. SKEI Gorenje said it was willing to enter talks with the management on the dismissal process, but noted their remarks had so far not been taken into account.

Minister reports on progress in EU fund phasing

LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary EU Affairs Committee was briefed on the progress in EU cohesion policy with the minister of development and cohesion policy, Iztok Purič, assuring MPs that most of the issues detected had been tackled. A report reviewed by the government in late February shows that, by the end of last year, 392 decisions for subsides had been issued, totalling EUR 2.3bn, or 76% of the funds available for the country until 2023. 60% of the projects, worth EUR 1.8bn, had been under way, and EUR 694m or 22.6% of the available funds had been paid out from the national budget.

France bestows Legion of Honour on diplomat Makovec

LJUBLJANA - French Ambassador to Slovenia Florence Ferrari conferred the Legion of Honour, France's highest state decoration for civil merits, on diplomat Marko Makovec for his efforts to strengthen relations between the two countries. The French ambassador pointed out that Makovec, who used to be a foreign policy advisor to the prime minister and president and currently serves on the Permanent Mission to the EU, had directly and significantly contributed to boosting bilateral ties between France and Slovenia.

Farmers rally for immediate action for bear population control

LJUBLJANA - The Farmers' Trade Union staged a protest demanding that the government take immediate action, as a growing bear population is causing considerable damage to herds. Agriculture Ministry State Secretary Marko Maver promised farmers that an extraordinary kill measure would be ordered to mitigate the situation. The protest was staged ten days after the Administrative Court sided with an environmental NGO that challenged the ministry's order to kill 200 bears this year.

Liberation Front remembered on eve of Resistance Day

KRANJ - On the eve of Resistance Day, a ceremony was held to remember the Liberation Front, an undercover organisation which spearheaded resistance against Nazi and Fascist occupation in World War II. Addressing the national ceremony, parliamentary Speaker Dejan Židan said resistance should nowadays be perceived as the ability to survive, as self-confidence and responsibility. He also urged for the past not to divide us but to unite us for the future. On Saturday, a series of local events will be organised around Slovenia, including memorial walks, and the Presidential Palace will open its door to visitors.

Goran Dragić supporting Slovenian start-ups

LJUBLJANA - The sports marketing company Sportelement has set up a project supporting Slovenian start-up companies developing sports technology innovations. The Sportelement representative and the project's leader Uroš Okoren said that the project SportTech Stars, supported by basketball star Goran Dragić, was designed to bring together start-ups and athletes as well as possible investors and partner companies, introducing new ways of dealing with modernisation and digitalisation in sports through cooperation and sponsorship.

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