Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Tuesday, 4 June 2019

By , 04 Jun 2019, 02:35 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Tuesday, 4 June 2019 Flickr - Ilkka Jukarainen CC BY-ND 2.0

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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 prepared by the STA

Šarec urges liberal parties to join forces

LJUBLJANA - PM Marjan Šarec called on Slovenian members of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe (ALDE) to join forces heading into the next general election even though his party was successful independently in the recent EU vote. "Whichever way you look at it, ALDE parties will have to join forces as a matter of urgency if we don't want excessive fragmentation," Šarec said in a Facebook post on Monday. Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) leader Karl Erjavec endorsed in principle Šarec's idea, saying such consolidation was "very realistic" and merited "in-depth consideration." The Modern Centre Party (SMC) and Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) expressed reservations, with the SAB saying it did not believe Šarec was serious, and the SMC understanding the statement as an appeal to closer cooperation that may lead to links which do not necessarily constitute a merger of parties.

Počivalšek and Bavarian minister talk cooperation in industry 4.0

MUNICH, Germany - Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek and Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy and Hubert Aiwanger highlighted industry 4.0 and digitalisation as potential fields of closer future cooperation as Počivalšek started a two-day visit to Germany. Počivalšek also pointed to the continuing cooperation in the auto industry and the need for the EU to become the leader in autonomous vehicles using AI, saying Slovenian companies can provide the know-how, experience and technology in this field too. On Tuesday, Počivalšek will take part in the biennial Transport Logistic fair. According to the Economy Ministry, 19 Slovenian companies will present themselves at the trade fair under the auspices of the investment promotion agency Spirit.

Labour Ministry confident minimum wage raise can proceed

LJUBLJANA - The macroeconomic situation in Slovenia, both in the past and now, as well as the one projected in forecasts, will allow the country to go ahead with the plan to raise the minimum wage, the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. In total, the minimum wage bill will go up by EUR 197 million next year due to the increase, heard the maiden meeting of an expert council on decent work and social security, an advisory body to the ministry comprised of representative trade unions and chaired by minister Ksenija Klampfer. This year, the minimum wage has already been raised from EUR 638 net to EUR 667, while in 2020 it is to reach EUR 700. Employers have started to push against the raise, but unions have been equally adamant to enforce it.

Road safety, drunk driving discussed at upper chamber

LJUBLJANA - The National Council hosted a panel debate at which the ministers of infrastructure, home affairs, justice and health discussed methods to improve road safety. Pointing to everyone's personal responsibility for safe driving, they said a change in the mindset would be needed to have no casualties on Slovenian roads. Traffic Safety Agency acting director Vesna Marinko said measured would be drafted on the basis of best practice to improve road safety with a view to achieve vision zero - no fatalities involving road traffic. Experts from various fields joining the debate said there was a lot of room for improvement, highlighting traffic control, infrastructure, training of young drivers or the risks posed by older drivers.

Slovenian, Croatian cohesion ministers happy with cooperation

DELNICE, Croatia - Iztok Purič, the minister of development and cohesion policy, and his Croatian counterpart Gabrijela Žalac praised the cooperation of their countries in cross-border projects as they met at an event in Risnjak National Park in Croatia, near the border with Slovenia. In his address, Purič expressed satisfaction that the Interreg Slovenia-Croatia programme has already allocated all of the funds available to it in the 2014-2020 period. The ministers also talked about the upcoming EU presidencies of their respective countries.

Waste packaging remains issue despite emergency law

LJUBLJANA - Although the country has a new law on packaging waste, the waste continues to pile up, which means the law is ineffective, two waste packaging management companies warned as they spoke to the press. Dinos and Interseroh proposed a set of measures to deal with what they said was an acute situation, with Goran Ambrož of Dinos saying that packaging waste was piling up again, making it a public health, environmental and fire hazard. The companies propose that all companies putting packaging waste on the market should pay for disposal, which means the rule under which only companies which put more than 15 tonnes on the market pay for its disposal should be eliminated.

Slovenia becomes chair of intl association of plant bakers

LJUBLJANA/MANCHESTER, UK - Slovenia became the chair of the International Association of Plant Bakers (AIBI) at the association's congress in Manchester the past weekend. For the next two years, AIBI will be led by Janez Bojc, the head of the baking section at Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) and general manager of the bread and pasta maker Žito. "This is the first time in more than sixty-year history of this respected association that Slovenia got the honour and responsibility of holding its presidency," GZS said in a press release. Slovenia's presidency will wrap up with an international baking industry conference in Bled between 27 and 30 May 2021.

WWII deportees want Slovenia to at least claim EUR 3bn from Germany

LJUBLJANA - The Society of Slovenian Deportees 1941-1945 urged Slovenia ahead of 7 June, Slovenian Deportees Day, to claim at least a symbolic portion of what it says remains around EUR 50 billion owed by Germany in war damages. The society's Ivica Žnidaršič believes Slovenians know too little about the deportations that started in June 1991. "Slovenian deportees remain the group of Slovenians that have been hurt the most, since we lost all of our property and never received reparations. We only secured our status as victims of war violence in 1995," she told the press.

European Walk of Peace planned in remembrance of WWI

BOVEC - Partners from nine countries, including Slovenia, have pledged to set up an European Walk of Peace to bring together the heritage of World War One (WWI) around Europe. Zdravko Likar, the president of the Walk of Peace Foundation, which had given the idea for this pan-European project, says that the project was "not just about remembering, it's foremost a noble idea about the necessity of peaceful coexistence among European nations." A charter on the partnership was signed by Slovenia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy and Slovakia as they attended an international conference on WWI in Bovec last week.

SAZU's protest for language protection gains support

LJUBLJANA - Slovenska Matica, the nation's oldest cultural and scientific society, and the Slovenian PEN association of writers have expressed support for a recent letter to the government and the Constitutional Court in which the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SAZU) calls for better protection of the Slovenian language. "We support the demand that all documents, all digital applications in public use must be translated to Slovenian, the official language," Slovenska Matica said shortly after the original letter of protest was presented by SAZU.

Slovenians crowned diatonic accordion world champions

VIENNA, Austria - Slovenian Danaja Grebenc has won the Junior Diatonic Accordion World Championship, while her compatriot Anže Krevh has become the world champion among adult accordion players. The international competition recently took place in Austrian Sankt Peter-Freienstein, hosted by the Austrian Accordion Association. Grebenc from Dravograd Krevh from Lovrenc na Pohorju have thus brought both titles to Slovenia in a historic achievement of winning both categories. A record number of 16 Slovenian accordionists performed at the competition.

Indian tourist dies in boating accident on the Sava

RADOVLJICA - A 34-year-old woman from India has been killed in a boating accident on the Sava river as a rafting boat carrying eight tourists capsized close to Radovljica this weekend. The woman was pulled out of the water by locals and resuscitated, but she later died in hospital, police said today. The boat, carrying eight tourists and two guides, capsized Sunday afternoon near the Šobec campsite when it hit a turn in the river, according to police.

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This summary is provided by the STA:

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