Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Saturday, 13 July 2019

By , 13 Jul 2019, 02:03 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Saturday, 13 July 2019 JL Flanner

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This summary is provided by the STA:

Slovenian MEPs from EPP will back von der Leyen, others yet to decide

LJUBLJANA - Ursula von der Leyen, the candidate for European Commission president, enjoys the support of the four Slovenian MEPs of the European People's Party (EPP) ahead of Tuesday's vote in the European Parliament. The remaining four Slovenian MEPs, coming from the ranks of liberals and social democrats, are still undecided. Klemen Grošelj (RE/LMŠ) said the RE had sent von der Leyen a list of its conditions for support, while the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) is waiting for von der Leyen's detailed views on the rule of law, Schengen zone and border controls within the zone, said Tanja Fajon (S&D/SD).

Parliament backs inquiry into prosecution of national councillor

LJUBLJANA - Acting on a proposal by the upper chamber of parliament, the lower chamber established an inquiry commission which will examine public office holders' potential responsibility for the criminal prosecution of councillor Franc Kangler. Kangler, a member of the upper chamber, had been prosecuted for several crimes when he was mayor of Maribor, but has been acquitted in many of the cases, often on procedural grounds. The move was welcomed by the opposition Democrats (SDS), New Slovenia (NSi) and National Party (SNS), while all other parties find it unacceptable and may not participate in the commission, which could prevent the commission from being appointed in the first place.

Slovenia to fully transpose PNR directive

LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly passed amendments to the police tasks and powers act and aviation act, in a bid to fully transpose the EU directive on the use of passenger name record (PNR) data. Some PMs raised concerns about possible abuses. Interior Ministry State Secretary Sandi Čurin said the main goal of the amendments is to fully transpose the EU directive on the use of passenger name record data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime.

Legislation proposed to overhaul rules on MPs

LJUBLJANA - A cross-partisan group of parliamentary factions representing more than two-thirds of MP tabled legislative amendments that would reform the status of MPs, including when they are deemed to be engaged in work incompatible with the office of MP. Under amendments to the act on MPs, deputies would be subject to the provisions of the act on integrity and the prevention of corruption. Instead of specifying when exactly an MP's term terminates in the event they are engaged in an activity that is incompatible with the office, the act on MPs would thus simply defer to the act on integrity and the prevention of corruption.

SDS and NSi want top court to review taxation of workers commuting abroad

LJUBLJANA - The opposition Democrats (SDS) and New Slovenia (NSi) joined the initiative of Slovenian workers who commute to Austria for a constitutional review of what they see as discriminatory income tax legislation. While the union of Slovenian migrant workers asked the top court to review the income tax act in November 2018, Franc Breznik of the SDS told the press that the two parties urged the court to give the matter absolute priority treatment.

Bill curbs realtors' rental fees

LJUBLJANA - A bill to limit commission fees for leasing real estate and other costs which real estate agencies can charge their clients was endorsed by the National Assembly amidst protests by real estate agencies, which have threatened to petition the Constitutional Court. Under the changes to the act on real estate agency tabled by the Left, landlords would fully pay the commission fee charged by a real estate agency for a service commissioned by them. This means tenants would no longer shoulder part of the fee, tackling one of the biggest complaints by individuals - the fact that tenants pay a fee for a service they have not commissioned.

Bill compensating owners of border fence plots passed

LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly passed legislative amendments that speed up procedures to compensate owners of land along the border with Croatia on which the government has erected, or will erect, a border fence. Existing legislation makes it possible to compensate land owners, but since the border fence was first erected in 2015 it has turned out that such procedures are lengthy and complex. The amendments to the border control act simplify the procedure and institute a single rate of compensation for all land, currently affecting almost 3,000 plots subject to ten-year easement due to the border fence. The annual cost is estimated at roughly EUR 35,000.

Slovenia wants stronger ties with Friuli-Venezia Giulia

TRIESTE, Italy - The need to strengthen economic cooperation with Friuli-Venezia Giulia topped the agenda as Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek paid a visit to the northern Italian region. Počivalšek held talks Sergio Emidio Bini, the regional minister of economy and tourism, as well as Illycaffe officials the representatives of Slovenian economic organisations and companies in the region. The plan is to intensify cooperation in tourism, innovations and digitalisation. Meetings at the expert level will continue in autumn.

Ljubljana slated to become world's fastest-warming city

LJUBLJANA - Ljubljana, a city situated on the meeting point of two climate zones most affected by global warming - northern Mediterranean and the Alpine region, is to become the fastest-warming city in the world, a projection by Swiss institute Crowther Lab shows. In line with the projection, temperatures in the Slovenian capital in the warmest month of the year will go up by 8 degrees Celsius by 2050, while the average annual temperatures are to rise by 3.5 degrees. Central Europe and the Balkans are expected to see the most notable temperature raises, so the climate in the region is expected to resemble that of Texas cities in the US, the study shows.

Judiciary calls for new offices for Ljubljana courts

LJUBLJANA - Supreme Court president Damijan Florjančič urged PM Marjan Šarec in an open letter to find a permanent solution to the lack of space for courts in Ljubljana. He believes a new courthouse is urgently needed for first-instance courts. He said the landlord had terminated the contract for the offices of the Ljubljana District Court's department dealing with while-collar crime. The department will have to leave its offices in Miklošičeva Street by August 2020.

Medical Chamber hails choice of Poklukar for new UKC Ljubljana head

LJUBLJANA - The Medical Chamber welcomed the decision of the governing board of UKC Ljubljana to select Janez Poklukar, a doctor who has been successfully managing the Jesenice hospital, for the new director general of Slovenia's largest hospital. While Poklukar still needs a nod from Health Minister Aleš Šabeder, the Medical Chamber hailed the choice "of a candidate who has proven himself with results... as opposed to somebody who is politically likeable as is all too often the case with appointments of directors at public institutions".

Cargo transported by Slovenian trains last year flat over 2017

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian freight trains transported some 21.3 million tonnes of cargo last year by doing 5.15 billion tonne-kilometres, which is roughly equal to 2017. The majority of the cargo (86%) was transported internationally, including transit, data from the Statistics Office show. Freight trains mostly carried so-called other cargo or unidentifiable cargo in containers as well as mixed cargo; this amounted to 6.62 million tonnes or some 36% of all the cargo transported last year.

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