Govt nominates Lenarčič for Slovenia's European commissioner
LJUBLJANA - The government nominated Janez Lenarčič, Slovenia's ambassador to the EU and career diplomat, for the country's European commissioner. He was backed by 13 votes in favour, while three ministers from the ranks of the SocDems voted against, criticising Prime Minister Marjan Šarec for what they see as a unilateral decision. Describing Lenarčič as a technocrat, the opposition Democrats (SDS) commented that the pick showed Slovenia's lack of ambition.
Lynda Blanchard endorsed as new US ambassador to Slovenia
WASHINGTON, US - Lynda Blanchard was endorsed the new US ambassador to Slovenia by the US Senate, more than a year after being nominated by President Donald Trump. An entrepreneur and humanitarian activist from Alabama, Blanchard was endorsed by 54 votes in favour and 40 against. The US Embassy in Ljubljana has been headed by charges d'affaires since Ambassador Brent Hartley ended his term in July 2018. After Gautam Rana, Susan K. Falatko has been serving as charge d'affaires since late June.
Slovenia, Italy indicate they could help Croatia in border protection
HELSINKI, Finland - Slovenian and Italian interior ministers Boštjan Poklukar and Matteo Salvini shared the view that protection of the EU's external borders was of greater importance than the issues related to internal borders. Meeting at the sidelines of an EU ministerial on Wednesday evening, they offered help to Croatia in securing the EU's external border. The Interior Ministry said that Poklukar also mentioned a possibility of sending the Frontex agency to Croatia's border with Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Fresh round of diplomatic appointments
LJUBLJANA - A dozen new ambassadors were formally appointed as part of a regular rotation at Slovenian diplomatic missions this week. Embassies in countries including France, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Italy and the Holy See will get new leaderships this summer under orders signed by President Borut Pahor. The vast majority of the appointees are career diplomats.
Ex-finance minister named succession rep
LJUBLJANA - Mateja Vraničar Erman, the former finance minister, was appointed Slovenia's high representative for succession, to succeed Ana Polak Petrič, after she was named the new ambassador to Japan. As the high representative she was in charge of negotiations on assumption of guarantees for Yugoslav-era foreign currency savings deposits at the Basel Bank for International Settlements. These tasks will now be handled by Vraničar Erman.
Private school funding cuts not passed
LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly failed to override a veto by the National Council of the legislative changes cutting funds for private primary schools. The minority government was three votes short of an absolute majority of 46 votes required to pass the legislation in a revote. The outcome did not come as a surprise after the amendments to the act on organisation and financing of education had been endorsed by only 42 votes in favour the first time around, the coalition Modern Centre Party (SMC) having abstained.
Bill curbing realtors' fees confirmed in revote
LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly overturned an upper chamber veto on a bill that limits commission fees for leasing real estate and other costs which real estate agencies can charge their clients, voting 51:21 in favour of the legislation. Under the amendments to the act on real estate agency tabled by the Left, landlords will fully pay the commission fee charged by a real estate agency for a service commissioned by them.
New migration strategy addresses legal, illegal migrations
LJUBLJANA - The government adopted a framework migrations strategy that addresses both legal migrations as a major source of much needed labour, as well as illegal migrations as a source of security threats and challenges with regard to integration. The strategy deals with migrations "over a long-term horizon in a multi-faceted and comprehensive way, prioritising a better understanding of all aspects of migrations," the government said. In illegal migrations, Slovenia plans to focus on fast verification of eligibility for international protection, effective return of such persons, and elimination of sources of risk to national security.
Major logistics centre near Ljubljana Airport completed
BRNIK - Contractors have completed works on a major logistics centre adjacent to Ljubljana Airport that will be operated by Austrian logistics giant Cargo Partner. Spanning over almost 30,000 square metres, the new facility is expected to help turn the airport area in a major logistics hub. Engineering company Protim Ržišnik Perc, which oversaw the project, said the new facility has 25,000 square metres of warehousing space, plus 4,000 square metres of office space.
Works start on extension of Ljubljana airport passenger terminal
BRNIK - A cornerstone ceremony marked the start of construction of a passenger terminal extension at the Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport. The project is to be completed in two years, with the total cost of investment exceeding EUR 21 million. The current capacities of the terminal provide service to 500 passengers per hour, while the new terminal will cater to 1,250 passengers per hour.
Anti-trust watchdog fines United Group EUR 3.7 million
LJUBLJANA - The Competition Protection Agency imposed a EUR 3.7 million fine on United Media, the media division of United Group, for belated notification of a market concentration pertaining to Sport Klub TV channels. A court ruling in United Group's appeal against the watchdog's order to sell these channels is still pending. United Group announced they would challenge the decision, which means it is not final yet.
Cyclist Roglič still on market
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's cycling star Primož Roglič told the Siol Sportal web portal that he had not yet signed a new contract or renewed the one with the Dutch Jumbo-Vismo team. He added that he had received a number of offers. Roglič confirmed that he had been discussing a possible contract renewal with Jumbo-Vismo Team but had not yet made up his mind. He said however that he had been discussing with Jumbo-Vismo cooperation through the end of 2023.