A schedule of all the main events involving Slovenia this week can be found here
This summary is provided by the STA:
Slovenia interested in office of enlargement commissioner
NOVO MESTO/LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Marjan Šarec said that the European Commission's office for enlargement was one of the departments Slovenia is interest in. "We have underlined many times that we know the Western Balkans and have something to contribute. This is one of the departments that interests us." He said that Slovenia expected the Commission to become more active as regards enlargement to the Western Balkans. He also expressed satisfaction with the EU top jobs deal brokered by EU leaders the previous day.
MEPs unhappy small countries overlooked in post distribution
STRASBOURG, France - Slovenian MEPs assess the election of Italy's David Sassoli for the president of the European Parliament mostly in the light of the political agreement on the distribution of senior EU posts, in which they see small countries remaining neglected. Slovenian MEPs from the EPP said, as they commented on the developments, that political compromises were a must as the expect German Ursula von der Leyen of the EPP to be appointed the European Commission president. Slovenian MEPs from the S&D and the RE do not perceive the appointment in this light, with Tanja Fajon (SD/S&D) being convinced that many things could happen in the next 14 days.
Analyst says EU appointments revealed tactics of big countries, MEPs with mixed reactions
LJUBLJANA - Political analyst Marko Lovec told the STA that the appointments to top EU posts revealed the tactics of big member states, most notably France and Germany. He thinks new member states wasted their chance of getting an important post by preventing the appointment of Frans Timmermans for European Commission president. Meanwhile, Slovenian MEP of the European People's Party (EPP) expressed satisfaction with the deal, while Tanja Fajon (S&D/SD) was critical.
MPs regret Spitzenkandidat system was abandoned
LJUBLJANA - Slovenian MPs expressed their regret over the abandonment of the Spitzenkandidaten or lead candidate system as they responded to the EU top job bids process. The main loser of the compromise is the Spitzenkandidaten system - its abandonment caused a lot of concern in the EU parliament as well as the Slovenian one. The Slovenian MPs also touched upon Slovenia's nomination procedure for EU commissioner, stressing the importance of unity.
Slovenia replies to EU's suit over central bank investigation
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia has rejected all allegations levelled against it by the European Commission in a lawsuit lodged after the Slovenian police seized some documents of the Slovenian central bank which Brussels claims fall under the principle of immunity of European Central Bank (ECB) documents. The reply to the lawsuit, filed in April, was sent to the European Court of Justice on Tuesday, within the deadline, the Justice Ministry said. Slovenia is accused of having violated the ECB archives and of failing to cooperate with EU authorities in seizing documents during a search at Banka Slovenije in July 2016 as part of investigation into Slovenia's 2013 bank bailout.
Unemployment in June down nearly 6% y/y
LJUBLJANA - The number of unemployed people in Slovenia was down to 70,750 in June, which was 5.7% lower than a year before and 1.8% less than in May, the national Employment Agency said. In the first six months of the year, 35,150 people registered anew with the Employment Agency, which was 4% less than in the first half of 2018. In June, 4,130 people registered anew, which was 8.5% less than the month before and 12.1% less than in June 2018. More than 2,200 of them registered after the expiration of their fix-term labour contracts, 620 were made redundant and 370 were first-time job seekers.
Opposition MPs critical of prosecution of bank crime, corruption in healthcare
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Justice Committee wrapped up the discussion on the 2018 report on the work of the Specialised State Prosecution Office, with mostly opposition MPs saying that prosecution of banking crime and corruption in healthcare should be bolstered. An office representative said that not everything was as bleak as advertised. Dealing with the most complex cases, the office filed more indictments last year than in 2017. When it comes to individuals, they were sentenced with a final judgement in 61% of the cases, while when it comes to legal entities, judgements of conviction were made in 20% of the cases.
Gorenjska Banka to pay out dividends of EUR 33.75 per share
KRANJ - The Serbian AIK Banka, a new sole owner of Gorenjska Banka since April, decided at Wednesday's annual general meeting that EUR 12 million, or almost two-thirds of last year's distributable profit of Gorenjska Banka of EUR 18.9 million, will be earmarked for dividends at EUR 33.75 per share. The rest - EUR 6.9 million - will remain unallocated, with EUR 4.3 million being at the bank's disposal for unlimited and immediate use to cover risks or losses the moment they occur. The Kranj-based bank generated EUR 20.68 million in profit before taxes last year, thus doubling the 2017 gross profit.
Parliamentary committee discusses mixed police patrols
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee discussed the newly introduced mixed police patrols on the Slovenian-Italian border, with the opposition MPs saying the move was "killing the Schengen spirit" and foremost benefiting Italy. Foreign Minister Miro Cerar defended the move, saying it came "at the right time". Foreign Minister Miro Cerar said he proposed this in mid-May in order to prevent Italy from taking any unilateral measures that would damage Slovenia's interests.
Production of Renault Clio V launched at Revoz
NOVO MESTO - The production of the fifth generation Renault Clio was officially launched at Revoz, the Novo Mesto-based assembly plant of the French car maker. The project to establish the assembly line for the latest Clio is worth EUR 90 million, with the Slovenian government chipping in a EUR 6 million incentive. The ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Marjan Šarec and Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek.
Left proposes student pay raise
LJUBLJANA - The Left presented draft changes to the fiscal balance act raising the minimum student hourly rate. The party proposes to raise the net rate from EUR 4.13 to EUR 4.99, which would be in some ways roughly equal to the minimum wage, said the Left's MP Miha Kordiš. The proposal includes measures, which had been already endorsed in the party's agreement with the government, such as travel expenses reimbursement, paid meal breaks and raising the minimum hourly rate.
Ljubljana monuments to WWII resistance vandalised
LJUBLJANA - Several monuments to WWII resistance members in Ljubljana's city centre were vandalised during the night. Police are investigating the incident, in which at least three monuments were sprayed with orange graffiti carrying political messages. President Borut Pahor and Culture Ministry condemned the act and called for tolerance.
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