A schedule of all the main events involving Slovenia this week can be found here
This summary is provided by the STA:
Šarec stresses decision on potential Mali and Lebanon withdrawal still open
LJUBLJANA - PM Marjan Šarec and Defence Minister Karl Erjavec stressed that a decision on Slovenia's potential withdrawal from the peacekeeping missions in Mali and Lebanon had not yet been taken. "No decision has been taken," Erjavec told press after Foreign Minister Miro Cerar said last week that the Defence Ministry was considering such a move. Erjavec expressed regret that Cerar had disclosed the details of "what is a confidential procedure" and explained the Defence Ministry was "constantly monitoring all missions, including the degree of risks involved". Šarec said the government remained to deliberate on this on the basis of an expert evaluation.
SDS proposes tightening asylum legislation
LJUBLJANA - The opposition Democrats (SDS) filed to parliament a bill to change the international protection act so that a foreigner entering Slovenia from a safe country could not ask for asylum in Slovenia. "The idea is to avoid the mass abuse of asylum applications," MP Branko Grims said. The SDS also proposes that all criminal acts and even reasonable suspicion that a foreigner has committed a crime are treated as a reason to deny the foreigner the asylum procedure or stop it when it has already started. The party would also like the period in which a migrant has to file the asylum request to be shortened to three days after entering Slovenia.
Hungarian minority MP determined to hold two offices
LENDAVA - Ferenc Horvath, the MP representing the Hungarian minority in Slovenia, will not give up his seat or resign as the head of the minority's umbrella organisation after the anti-corruption commission urged him to do so. "I haven't resigned as the head of the council of the Pomurje Self-Governing National Community", he saod after its session. He said the law to which the anti-corruption watchdog had referred when citing the rules on incompatibility of offices did not apply to MPs. Horvath explained he had decided not to resign as the minority's umbrella organisation's leader based on legal opinions, amd announced he would use all legal means to prove his case.
Speakers laud Slovenia-Switzerland cooperation
LJUBLJANA - Marine Carobbio Guscetti, the speaker of the lower chamber of the Swiss National Assembly, met her counterpart Dejan Židan during her official visit to Slovenia with the pair lauding good bilateral cooperation and efficient use of Swiss contribution to EU cohesion funds in Slovenia. The pair also paid tribute to World Bee Day observed today. Carobbio Guscetti also met Slovenia's other top officials, including President Borut Pahor and Prime Minister Marjan Šarec.
Cooperation with Latin American in focus of conference
LJUBLJANA - A conference dedicated to cooperation with Latin America and the Caribbean kicked off today with calls for closer ties, not just in trade but also in areas such as science, education and culture. "We share the commitment to active multilateralism, human rights, sustainable development, peaceful resolution of disputes and international law," Foreign Minister Miro Cerar said in his opening address.
Šarec defends govt handling of migration
LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Marjan Šarec defended measures taken by his government in response to a spike in illegal migration in questions time in parliament, arguing that the situation did not call for activating an article that gives the army additional powers. In response to criticism voiced the opposition Democratic Party (SDS), Šarec listed several measures taken by the government to increase army and police presence on the border. He suggested the SDS was exploiting the topic because it failed to form a government.
Poklukar says border fence plot owners to be fairly compensated
LJUBLJANA - Interior Minister Boštjan Poklukar announced that his ministry is drafting legislative changes to compensate the owners of land along the border with Croatia where the state erected a fence in 2015. The minister announced the motion to change the state border control act as he answered a question from MP Blaž Pavlina of the opposition New Slovenia (NSi), who said the ministry was being late in establishing the easement right on such land. Poklukar said that the Interior Ministry was aware of the fact that the relevant procedures were slow, adding that it was looking for solutions to make the procedures more effective and faster in cooperation with other departments.
Analyst says Austrian scandal revealed methods of populist parties
LJUBLJANA - Political analyst Marko Lovec assessed for the STA that Austria's corruption scandal would definitely impact the EU election in Austria, it is however not clear to what extent it would affect the elections as a whole. The scandal clearly demonstrated that some populist parties in Europe are open to embracing foreign meddling, Lovec said. "The problem of rightist populist parties is that they are building their campaign on being different from existing elites, on the promise they will operate in a fairer way, be closer to the people," the Ljubljana Faculty of Social Sciences professor said.
SDS+SLS top Vox Populi poll ahead of EU vote
LJUBLJANA - The joint list of the Democrats (SDS) and the non-parliamentary People's Party (SLS) emerged as the favourite ahead of the EU elections in the latest Vox Populi poll. It is followed by the Social Democrats (SD) and the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ). The poll, conducted by Ninamedia for the public broadcaster RTV Slovenija and the newspaper Dnevnik, shows 18.9% of the respondents opting for the SDS+SLS ticket headed by MEP Milan Zver, 18.1% for the SD list headed by MEP Tanja Fajon and 16.9% for the LMŠ with Irena Joveva.
Slovenia ambitious in its climate goals, PM says
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia has ambitious energy and climate goals, PM Marjan Šarec said during questions time in parliament. To meet the goals, Slovenia will need to shut down the TEŠ thermal power plant, but before doing so, it will need to provide the answer on how it would produce electricity. Šarec defended the country's energy and climate change plan after Luka Mesec of the opposition Left noted that the NGO European Climate Foundation had recently labelled Slovenia's climate change plans the worst in the EU.
Three months after launch, sex abuse initiative reports seven priests
LJUBLJANA - Three months after being launched, a civil initiative fighting sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and providing assistance to victims has received reports about 15 priests who allegedly abused 25 victims. Criminal complaints have been filed against seven priests so far. Talking to the press, Matej Križanič of Dovolj.je (It's Enough) said that 14 of the victims were male and 11 female; 15 of them were underage. Most of them came from Ljubljana.
Efforts for new national library revived after long hiatus
LJUBLJANA - Reviving the new national library project that has been in the planning stages since 1989 and last saw a seven-year hiatus, Education and Science Minister Jernej Pikalo signed an annex to the contract for the building's design documents. Estimating the entire project at EUR 50 million, Pikalo said there were different possibilities of financing. One would entail changes to the 1994 act, another option are EU funds and yet another the funds from the so called Juncker Plan or the European Fund for Strategic Investments. In the end, the sources are bound to be mixed, the minister announced.
Project for faster boarding tested at Ljubljana airport
LJUBLJANA - Amadeus, a company specialising in IT solutions for tourism and travel, is testing a solution at Ljubljana airport to make check-in and boarding faster and easier for passengers. The project relies on biometric data to make check-in, security and boarding up to 75% faster. The joint project of the Ljubljana airport, the Slovenian air carrier Adria Airways and the Polish carrier Lot is aimed at reducing the pressure on airport infrastructure in the face of the growing number of passengers, and cut queues at airports.
Locals call for new take-off procedures at Ljubljana airport
BRNIK - Mayors of six municipalities near Slovenia's biggest airport, the Jože Pučnik Airport Ljubljana, have called on the Civil Aviation Agency to adopt measures to lower the level of noise. The municipalities demand that pilots fly in corridors so as to avoid low overflights. The noise has been increasing since new departure procedures were introduced in 2013 in which municipalities did not have a say, the mayors said. To allow "relatively negligible private financial savings of airlines, state institutions completely ignored the effects of noise, and public interest six years ago".
Nova Gorica, Gorizia seeking European Capital of Culture title
NOVA GORICA/GORIZIA, Italy - The border city of Nova Gorica and its Italian neighbour Gorizia plan to vie for the title of European Capital of Culture in 2025. Both mayors see the joint bid as an opportunity for the twin cities and an extension of the way the cities already collaborate. Nova Gorica and Gorizia plan to structure their bid around the strong role the conurbation plays on the border as a place that connect languages and cultures.
Climbing: Garnbret continues perfect season, eyeing two more titles
MUNICH, Germany - Slovenia's Janja Garnbret continues to perform in a league of her own in this year's climbing World Cup, having won her fifth straight bouldering event in Munich on Sunday. The 20-year-old has already clinched the overall bouldering title for the season and will now be out to also win the lead climbing and combined titles. While this is the second bouldering World Cup title for Garnbret after 2017, she also hopes to win the sixth and final bouldering event of the season in Vail, Colorado in June to become the first ever climber with a perfect bouldering record.
Young Slovenian making waves on pro cycling circuit
PASADENA, US - Tadej Pogačar, a 20-year-old Slovenian rider, is rapidly climbing in the world of professional cycling. The UAE Emirates team member won a WorldTour race in California this weekend, to gain 84 spots in the pro rankings. The young Slovenian left behind some of the world's top riders to win the Tour of California, having donned the yellow jersey in the penultimate stage and then defending it with a winning ride on Mt. Baldy ahead of Sergio Higuita.
Strahovnik's piece wins Rostrum music competition
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - Prana, a piece written by Slovenian composer Petra Strahovnik and played by the public broadcaster's Symphony Orchestra, has won the Rostrum annual competition of contemporary classical music, which was recently held in Argentina. The public broadcaster RTV Slovenija hailed it as a historic achievement for Strahovnik and its radio station Radio Slovenija at the Rostrum since it was first held in 1954. While composing Prana, Strahovnik, 33, worked closely with the Symphony Orchestra to experiment with new sound techniques.