Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Wednesday, 12 June 2019

By , 12 Jun 2019, 02:40 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Wednesday, 12 June 2019, PABLO ASOREY licensed under CC BY-SA 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 provided by the STA:

Left wants Abanka privatisation suspended

LJUBLJANA - The opposition Left urged the government to scrap the privatisation of Abanka, Slovenia's third-largest bank, just weeks before an EU-imposed deadline for privatisation. It also wants the government to renegotiate privatisation commitments with the European Commission, designate Abanka a strategic asset, and examine the possibility of suing the Commission at the EU Court for pressuring the government into privatising the three banks bailed out in 2013. Coalition parties said they were mostly in favour of somehow suspending the privatisation of Abanka, although opinions differ.

Contractor picked for Ljubljana airport terminal extension

LJUBLJANA- Fraport Slovenija, the operator of Ljubljana airport, has selected the companies GIC Gradnje and Elcom to extend the existing passenger terminal in a repeat call for bids after the National Review Commission introduced a new practice in tenders. According to Monday's announcement, the two companies had submitted the lowest bid in the repeated tender and the decision to select them had been made only recently, although GIC Gradnje already said unofficially in April they had been selected.

Local initiatives call on Pahor to discuss migration issue

LJUBLJANA - Representatives of three civil initiatives from areas bordering on Croatia and Italy and facing an influx of illegal migrants asked President Borut Pahor to call a meeting on the migration issue. The debate should feature representatives of the deputy groups, mayors of border municipalities, civil initiatives and the interested public. Addressing a letter to Pahor, the civil initiatives from Ilirska Bistrica and Črnomelj near the border with Croatia, and from Škofije near the border with Italy said that the locals' rights were being violated.

Cerar opens consulate's new premises, meets Fedriga, minority

TRIESTE, Italy - Foreign Minister Miro Cerar and Massimiliano Fedriga, head of the Italian region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, opened new premises of the Slovenian Consulate General as Cerar began a two-day visit to Trieste. He also held a bilateral meeting with Fedriga and met representatives of the Slovenian minority in Italy. Cerar welcomed Fedriga's efforts to find a solution for the minority to get a representative in Italy's lower and upper chambers of parliament, a provision set down in the law governing Slovenian minority rights, and expressed the expectation Italy would return the National Home in Trieste to the Slovenian minority.

Professional public shocked following thumbs down for Slovenian judge

MARIBOR/LJUBLJANA - The professional public in Slovenia is shocked after the country's candidate for the EU's General Court failed to get endorsed by the court's advisory panel. However, such rejections are not rare. Maritime law professor Marko Pavliha is the first Slovenian to be interviewed by the panel, but he is far from being the first candidate whose bid was rejected as unsuitable, Janja Hojnik, an expert on EU law, told the STA. Hojnik, a lecturer at the Maribor Faculty of Law, said the panel had turned down one out of seven candidates over the past five years, including those from Italy, Sweden and Malta, and four from Slovakia.

Slovenian PM attends ILO centenary celebrations

GENEVA, Switzerland - PM Marjan Šarec reaffirmed the Slovenian government's "sincere and firm commitment to the ILO's principles, values and mission" as he addressed an event marking the centenary of the ILO. The anniversary was marked as part of the 108th session of the International Labour Conference, which is dedicated to the future of labour and should result in an ILO Centenary Declaration. Slovenia advocates an ambitious declaration to reaffirm the ILO's mandate and clearly define its future role. Šarec met ILO head Guy Ryder, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, and visited CERN.

Conference underlines EU commission's call for reforms

LJUBLJANA - A call for health, pension, long-term care and labour market reforms along with a consolidation of public finances echoed at a conference the latest recommendations issued to Slovenia by the European Commission. Maarten Verwey, head of the Commission's Structural Reform Support Service, said Slovenia had had mixed succeess in recent years as regards the adoption of reforms that would secure long-term financial stability. The event was hosted by the STA and the European Commission Representation in Slovenia, bringing together government and Commission officials as well as social partners.

Employment prospects remain robust

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian companies have strong demand for labour, with forecasts for the third quarter of the year suggesting that a fifth of employers plan to hire, 77% expect no change and only 2% project layoffs, according to the latest employment forecast by temping agency Manpower. This makes for a seasonally-adjusted net employment forecast of 20%, up 11 percentage points over the previous quarter and one of the strongest growth rates in the world.

Govt drafts bill to contain bear and wolf populations

LJUBLJANA - In an effort to bypass environmentalists' campaign against the culling of bears and wolves, the Agriculture Ministry drafted an emergency bill targetting 200 bears and eleven wolves, following protests by farmers whose herds had been decimated. The draft legislation echoes the ministry's initial plans for the management of big carnivore population in Slovenia for this year, which were presented last November. The government is expected to adopt in at Wednesday's correspondence session.

Jesenice hospital closes department due to shortage of nurses

JESENICE - A shortage of nurses has prompted the Jesenice General Hospital to close part of its internal medicine department, with 17 beds left unoccupied. The closure comes after the Oncology Institute, the country's main cancer treatment hospital, opted for the same measure due to the same reason last month. All clinical departments in Slovenia have witnessed a trend of nurses leaving for less demanding but similarly paid jobs in healthcare over the past two years. Many have also left the healthcare system for jobs in more lucrative sectors of the economy, Janez Poklukar, the hospital's director, said, urging a systemic solution.

Literary historian Janko Kos gets Golden Order of Merit

LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor decorated literary historian and critic Janko Kos, 88, with the Golden Order of Merit for his exceptional oeuvre and outstanding lifetime achievements in comparative literature. Kos, who is also a literary theoretician, publicist and editor, received the accolade as one of the founders of comparative literature in Slovenia, the president's office said.

IJS scientists with major discovery in electrical conductivity

LJUBLJANA - Researchers of the Slovenian Jožef Stefan Institute (IJS) are the first to confirm in an experiment the existence of the Kondo effect in an electrical insulator, establishing that conduction electrons are not a key condition for such an effect, as believed so far. The discovery, made in an accelerator at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland, was recently reported on in the monthly scientific journal Nature Physics.

Duncan Haldane, Ronald Šega join Slovenian engineers' academy

BRDO PRI KRANJU - The Slovenian Academy of Engineering (IAS) met at Brdo pri Kranju on Monday to formally admit newly-elected members, ten domestic experts and eleven from abroad, including Nobel laureate Duncan Haldane of Scottish-Slovenian descent and US astronaut Ronald Šega of Slovenian descent. President Borut Pahor, the honorary sponsor of the event, noted that one of the IAS's priorities was "consolidation of our industrial identity".

German boy dies in freak accident during holidays in Slovenia

BOVEC - A German teenager died in an accident at a school holiday camp near the Soča village in north-western Slovenia on Monday afternoon. He died as a rock rolled off a hill and crushed him against a nearby tree. According to a press release from the Nova Gorica Police Department, the 12-year-old boy was attending a nature school camp organised by a German alpine organisation.

Poets, critics and translators join forces for Pranger festival

LJUBLJANA - Martina Potisk was declared the winner of this year's Stritar Prize for up-and-coming literary critics, as the 16th Pranger festival of poetry, literary criticism and translation got under way in Ljubljana, to be held also in Rogaška Slatina and Šmarje pri Jelšah. The festival, running until 16 June, will see three panels dedicated to literary criticism. Barbara Korun, Domen Slovinič and Aljaž Koprivnikar will be featured as critics, each having picked three poets with new collections to jointly reflect on their work.

Imago Sloveniae and Summer in Old Ljubljana festivals open

LJUBLJANA - The annual international music festivals Imago Sloveniae and the Summer in Old Ljubljana kicked off with a concert celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Ljubljana-based Forum of Slavic Cultures, which connects Slavic nations in culture, arts, education and science. Under the title Slavic Rhapsody, the concert will present Slavic folk music and its echoes in music by featuring segments of operas, symphonic and choir music by composers such as Antonin Dvorak, Bedrich Smetana, Marjan Kozina, Stevan Mokranjac, Jakov Gotovac and Alexander Porfiryevich Borodin.

Slovenia demolish Latvia 5:0 for first Euro qualifier win

RIGA, Latvia - The Slovenian national football team defeated Latvia 5:0 in Riga on Monday evening to earn its first win in the four matches it has so far played in the qualifiers for the 2020 Euro. In what was almost a do-or-die game after they drew the first two matches and lost to Austria on the road on Friday, Slovenia came out of the gates, with Domen Črnigoj scoring goals in the 24th and 27th minutes.

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