A schedule of all the main events involving Slovenia this week can be found here
This summary is provided by the STA:
Slovenian, Italian ministers discuss migrations amidst protests
LJUBLJANA, Slovenia/TRIESTE, Italy - As several protests were held along the Slovenian-Italian border against new border control measures, above all Italy's plan to erect physical barriers with Slovenia, the interior ministers, Boštjan Poklukar and Matteo Salvini, spoke on the phone as Salvini visited Trieste. Media reports also quoted Salvini as saying that Italy, Slovenia and Croatia would launch three-partite mixed border patrols. In response to the latest developments, Slovenian parliamentary parties and MEPs mostly condemned the announcement of physical barriers if Slovenian-Italian border police patrols, introduced on 1 July, do not result in fewer illegal migrants. Meanwhile, the mixed border patrols continued to divide Slovenian politics. Opposition SDS MP Branko Grims said current developments were "a total disaster" and proof "our government is impotent security- and development-wise", while coalition SD leader Dejan Židan said PM Marjan Šarec should call a meeting of EU and Western Balkan leaders to find a common solution to the Balkan migration route.
Illegal migration up 47% in first half of 2019
LJUBLJANA - The police continue to detect a rising trend in the number of illegal crossings of the Slovenian border, with the number standing at 5,345 in the first half of the year,up 47.1% over the same period in 2018. There is an increasing number of illegal migrants from Pakistan, Algeria and Morocco. The biggest number of illegal crossings of the border in the first half of the year was processed by police officers from the Koper, Novo Mesto and Ljubljana police departments. By the end of June, 2,718 illegal migrants expressed the intention to ask for asylum, a drop of 7.5% over the first half of 2018.
Šarec points to EU enlargement as means of boosting W Balkan economies
POZNAN, Poland - Prime Minister Marjan Šarec said there was a link between the EU's political decisions and the Western Balkans' economic development, as he attended the 6th Berlin Process summit on the Western Balkan's EU prospects. He also regretted the recent postponement of a decision to launch EU accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania, but expressed hope that "adequate strategic decisions" would be taken regarding the accession talks in the autumn, to when the EU had recently put off the decision.
NKBM to pay out EUR 5 million in dividends
MARIBOR - Biser Bidco, the sole owner of Slovenia's second largest bank NKBM, decided to pay out EUR 5 million in dividends, leaving EUR 126,66 million in profit undistributed. The EUR 5 million payout is significantly lower than in 2018, when Bidco Biser decided to pay out EUR 45.8 million in dividends. The AGM also granted a discharge of liability to the bank's management and supervisory boards. The Luxembourg-based company is owned by US fund Apollo, which holds 80% of the company, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
Telekom Slovenije starts sales of Kosovo subsidiary
LJUBLJANA - Telekom Slovenije published the notification on the start of the sales procedures of its Kosovo subsidiary Ipko. The move is in line with the national telco's strategy of further consolidation through expansion or disinvestment. Telekom Slovenije became the sole owner of Ipko last year after acquiring 7% of the company still held by minority shareholders. In mid-March 2018, it provided it with a EUR 15m capital increase.
Debate hears new national security strategy too general
LJUBLJANA - A debate on the new resolution on the national security strategy hosted by the parliamentary Defence Committee heard criticism that the document was not specific enough. But Klemen Grošelj, a former Defence Ministry state secretary, responded that these were just guidelines and that concrete measures would follow. According to Defence Minister Karl Erjavec, the new resolution is needed because of the changed security situation on the global scale.
Coastal communities urge new water source after kerosene spill
KOPER - The city councils of all four coastal municipalities urged the government to present them within a month a timeline of activities to find a new, safe water source for Slovenian Istria. Koper, Piran, Izola and Ankaran councillors met after almost 11,000 litres of kerosene spilled as a train derailed in a tunnel on the Koper-bound railway near Hrastovlje, south-west, on 25 June. The spill is a threat to the Rižana water source, the only source of drinking water for Slovenia's coast. The greatest threat is heavy rain, which could make kerosene penetrate further into the soil and underground water. Environment Minister Somin Zajc promised serious efforts would be made to find a new water source, announcing a meeting with Istrian mayors at the water directorate for next week.
Počivalšek discusses neutral economy challenges in Helsinki
HELSINKI, Finland - Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek said that the journey towards climate-neutral economy in the EU is paved with challenges as well as opportunities as he attended an informal session of the Competitiveness Council. He stressed the importance of international economy competitivenesses for climate action. In his address, Počivalšek said that the industry of the future has to be green, creative, smart and cooperative.
Ljubljana Drama SNG building makeover gets under way
LJUBLJANA - After long-time efforts to renovate Ljubljana's Drama SNG theatre building, the first phase of the EUR 43 million project has kicked off. The documentation is expected to be drafted by the end of 2021 at the latest, while construction work is scheduled to start in 2022, theatre director Igor Samobor said on Thursday. The work is set to start in September 2022 and end by 2024 or 2025. Samobor said renovation funds had been secured thanks to Culture Minister Zoran Poznič.
Slovenia joins You're Right consumer protection campaign
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia has joined the You're Right campaign of the European Commission to promote the rights of consumers. Running until March 2020, it will focus in Slovenia on tourist packages, the right to withdraw from a contract in 14 days in on-line shopping, and repair or replacement of products. Presenting the campaign, European Commission Representation head Zoran Stančić said it was particularly aimed at young people, who were especially vulnerable.
Art Stays festival starts in Ptuj
PTUJ - The Art Stays festival started in Ptuj, bringing contemporary art productions by Slovenian and foreign artists to this medieval town in the north-east. According to the festival head Jernej Forbici, the 17th Art Stays, running under the title Future - a Vision of the World, will feature international artists who explore what the future holds. The list of more than 80 foreign and domestic participants include Asian artists such as Gal Weinstein, Jeongmoon Choi, Zulkifle Mahmod, Toru Hamada, Yu Kato, Snow Yunxue Fu and acclaimed photographers such as Edward Burtynsky, Olivo Barbieri and Andrea Botto.
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