Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Thursday, 11 July 2019

By , 11 Jul 2019, 02:06 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Thursday, 11 July 2019 Wikimedia - Detail Na Mariborskem otoku 1960

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This summary is provided by the STA:

EU Commission slightly improves forecast for Slovenia

BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Commission has slightly improved its economic growth forecast for Slovenia. It projects that Slovenia's economy will expand by 3.2% this year, up from its earlier forecast of 3.1%, while retaining the growth rate for 2020 at 2.8%. Slovenia's growth will thus continue to significantly outpace average growth in the eurozone, where it is projected to stand at 1.2% and 1.4%, and the EU27, which as a whole is forecast to grow at rates of 1.4% and 1.6%, respectively.

Controversial bill changing financing of private primary schools passed

LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly passed the controversial government-sponsored changes to the law on financing and organisation of education which alter the way in which the state funds private primary schools. The bill was backed in a 42:36 vote despite criticism, also among some coalition parties, that it falls short of implementing a constitutional court decision on 100% state funding of publicly approved curricula at private primary schools. The changes could potentially get vetoed by the upper chamber, in which case they would need 46 votes to get passed again.

Šarec tight-lipped about commissioner candidates

HOČE - PM Marjan Šarec told reporters that he had taken note of the wish of Ursula von der Leyen, the candidate for European Commission president, for member states to put forward two candidates for commissioner. He said though that he could not say yet whether Slovenia would send one or two candidates to Brussels. The government is to make the decision on this by the end of the month, according to the prime minister.

Slovenia's exports, imports continue to grow

LJUBLJANA, - Slovenia's trade in goods continues to grow, with exports in the January-May period amounting to EUR 14 billion, up 10.3% over the same period last year. Imports reached EUR 14.06 billion, a rise of 12.6%, which puts the country's export-import ratio at 99.6%. Slovenia generated a surplus in foreign exchange of goods in four of the first five months in 2019, all months except in April.

Slovenia's policy on Palestine recognition unchanged

LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Miro Cerar reiterated that Slovenia would recognize Palestine as part of a smaller group of EU countries after a meeting with his Palestinian counterpart Riad Malki, confirming the continuation of existing efforts aimed at recognizing Palestinian independence. "We will continue with activities designed to form as soon as possible a smaller group of EU member states which would along with Slovenia recognize Palestine as an independent country," said Cerar.

Slovenia joins European centre for countering hybrid threats

BLED - Slovenia joined the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats as NATO centres of excellence held a conference in Bled. Defence Minister Karl Erjavec said common action was needed to tackle hybrid threats. "We know that these threats are not just happening during wars but also in peacetime, and they can severely disrupt our lives," Erjavec said in his address, noting that a cyberattack could theoretically cause more damage than a conventional military strike.

Archbishop Zore praises civil initiative's work, objects to name revealing

LJUBLJANA, 10 July - Archbishop of Ljubljana Stanislav Zore commented on the activities of the recently founded civil initiative fighting sexual abuse in the Catholic Church for the Catholic weekly Družina, saying he welcomed the fact that victims seem to be more ready to open up to them. But he is bothered by the fact that the initiative publicly reveals the names of alleged molesters, who have not been found guilty either in church or civil proceedings.

MPs back oversight of student organisations, restore parental authority in high schools

LJUBLJANA - MPs backed legislative changes that allow the Court of Audit to oversee the operations of student organisations and limit the pay of their officials to double the average gross wage in the country. Parliament moreover restored the "oversight rights" of parents of secondary school students older than 18.

Merkur shopping centres sold to US fund

NAKLO/LJUBLJANA - US investment fund HPS Investment Partners has sold the shopping centres of Merkur, the hardware retailer it purchased in 2017, to another US fund, LCN Capital Partners, news portal reported. The 15 of the 23 Merkur shopping centres were reportedly sold for EUR 100 million. The deal between the two New York-based funds, which is one of the largest real estate transactions in Slovenia's history, was officially closed a few weeks ago.

Luka Koper net revenue up 6% in H1

KOPER - The port operator Luka Koper recorded EUR 118 million in net sales revenue in the first half of the year, a 6% rise year-on-year. Transshipment of goods was down by 1% to 11.9 million tonnes. The revenue was up due to better structure of goods and additional manipulations on the market, the company said.

Industrial output continues to rise

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's industrial production dropped by 0.8% in May compared to the previous month, while it continued to grow year-on-year, by 3.1%, show data by the Statistics Office. Output has been growing on a year-on-year basis since December, although the pace has been decelerating. Industrial revenue grew by 0.3% in May compared to the previous month. The minimal growth was due to foreign market turnover, which increased by 0.7%. Meanwhile, turnover in the domestic market declined by 4.4% on a monthly basis.

AmCham Slovenija head calls for more investment-friendly environment

LJUBLJANA, 10 July - AmCham Slovenija president Nevenka Kržan, who is finishing her second term at the helm of the chamber, believes there should be more awareness about the benefits of new investments in Slovenia, although the country has made some progress in that respect lately. The country has opened up to foreign investors to a certain extent during the last four years, says the head of the American business chamber in Slovenia, listing the privatisations of Abanka and NLB as examples.

Iraqi assailant charged with two counts of attempted murder

NOVA GORICA - An Iraqi man who was shot by a police officer he attempted to attack after knifing a taxi driver has been charged with two counts of attempted murder and will remain in custody pending trial, an investigating magistrate in Nova Gorica has decided. The 26-year-old underwent surgery after the police officer shot him in the leg, but he was deemed fit to see the investigative magistrate and was transported to the Koper prison after the hearing late on Tuesday.

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