Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Thursday, 18 July 2019

By , 18 Jul 2019, 02:04 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Thursday, 18 July 2019 Gordana Grlič

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This summary is provided by the STA:

Slovenia's ambassador to EU Lenarčič candidate for commissioner

LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Marjan Šarec put forward Janez Lenarčič, Slovenia's permanent representative to the EU, as the country's candidate for European commissioner. A seasoned diplomat, Lenarčič, 51, has served as ambassador to the OSCE, director of the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, and as secretary of Slovenia's permanent UN mission. "He's experienced, he knows how the EU operates, he's been working in diplomacy for a long time. This is what we presently need," Šarec said. The government is to decide on Lenarčič's nomination on Thursday, but the SocDems are unhappy with the pick, while other coalition parties would not comment and the opposition criticised the choice.

Šarec expects von der Leyen to respect rule of law

LJUBLJANA/STRASBOURG, France - Commenting on the election of Ursula von der Leyen as president of the European Commission, Prime Minister Marjan Šarec said he expected she would behave differently than her predecessor. "I expect her to respect the rule of law and not take sides, to be more active when it comes to the EU's enlargement to the Western Balkans and to secure equal treatment for all member states," he said. Slovenian MEPs expect von der Leyen to fulfil the promises she made before the vote. Of the eight Slovenian MEPs only the two S&D members voted against her.

Meeting sets three priorities of Slovenia's EU presidency

BRDO PRI KRANJU - Government members met for a second meeting in preparations for Slovenia's presidency of the EU in the second half of 2021 at Brdo pri Kranju, setting out the rule of law, sustainable development and security in the Western Balkans as top priorities. The top priorities will expectedly be adopted by the government at its first session in August, the government Communications Office said. Slovenia's second stint as the EU presiding country is expected to cost the country EUR 80 million.

Constitutional Court bans automatic licence plate recognition

LJUBLJANA - The Constitutional Court annulled legislation that allows police to use systems for automatic licence plate recognition, finding it contravenes the constitutional right to protection of personal data. Acting on a petition by the Human Rights Ombudsman, the court annulled part of Article 113 of the police tasks and powers act pertaining to automatic license plate recognition, which was passed as part of legislative amendments in February 2017. The police has not yet put the contentious provision in practice. The court is yet to decide on other contentious provisions in the law.

NSi seeks to lift statue of limitations for sex crimes

LJUBLJANA - The conservative party New Slovenia (NSi) filed an amendment to the penal code to lift the statute of limitations on prosecution of crimes linked to sexual abuse. Under the penal code the statute of limitations for sex crimes is between 10 and 30 years, depending on the length of prison sentence they carry. NSi leader Matej Tonin said that the statute of limitations was problematic because victims would often not speak out about abuse for years, so the perpetrators might get off the hook.

Ascent Resources turns to Administrative Court over Petišovci gas field

LJUBLJANA - Ascent Resources, the UK developer of the Petišovci gas field in eastern Slovenia, has reportedly launched administrative dispute proceedings in Slovenia after it was ordered to get a separate permit for hydraulic fracturing. The move, reported on Tuesday by the Stock Market Wire news portal, comes after the Environment Ministry upheld the Environment Agency's decision that the investor needs a separate environmental permit for the controversial gas extraction project in Petišovci.

Decision to strip Telemach of portion of wireless spectrum suspended

LJUBLJANA - The Administrative Court has stayed the telecoms market regulator's decision to strip Telemach of a portion of wireless spectrum which it acquired through the acquisition of Tušmobil in 2014. The Agency for Communication Networks and Services wanted to take away a portion of wireless spectrum that had been awarded to Tušmobil free of charge in 2008, and publish a new call for bids, but Telemach appealed and the Administrative Court suspended the measure pending its final decision.

Immigration trend hit ten-year high in 2018

LJUBLJANA - More than 4,300 Slovenian citizens and some 24,100 foreigners immigrated to Slovenia last year, with the total share of Slovenia's population growth attributable to immigrants being the highest since 2008 - there were almost 15,000 more immigrants than emigrants, according to the Statistics Office. Almost 6,600 Slovenians and more than 6,900 foreigners moved out of the country in 2018. The population growth attributable to Slovenian immigrants was negative for the 19th consecutive year.

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