Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Saturday, 27 July 2019

By , 27 Jul 2019, 02:39 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Saturday, 27 July 2019 Flickr - Kevin Lim CC by 2.0

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This summary is provided by the STA:

Govt officially confirms Lenarčič as EU commissioner candidate

LJUBLJANA - The government officially confirmed Slovenia's ambassador to the EU Janez Lenarčič as the country's candidate for European commissioner, after taking note of the positive opinion of the parliamentary EU Affairs Committee. The government has already send the proposal for Lenarčič's appointment to Brussels, which the European Commission is expected to receive on Monday, the government has confirmed for the STA. The official confirmation comes after Lenarčič, a career diplomat, was endorsed by the committee, with the vote, not binding on the government, being eight in favour and two against.

Kerosene train derailment caused by broken rail switch

LJUBLJANA - Preliminary findings show that the freight train derailment that led to a massive kerosene spill near Hrastovlje on 25 June was caused by a broken or cracked rail switch. The Infrastructure Ministry's rail accidents investigator Daniel Lenart said an investigation into why the rail switch broke would be conducted by an independent institute specialising in metals. He said there could be many reasons for the broken switch, ranging from faulty material to hidden track defects.

Gorenje group with a EUR 29.4m net loss in H1

LJUBLJANA - The household appliances group Gorenje generated EUR 567.5 million in revenue in the first six months of the year, up 1.6% on the same period in 2018. However, its net loss in the first half of the year amounted to EUR 29.5 million, Gorenje announced. Out of the EUR 567.5 million total sales revenue in the first six months, the principal activity accounted for EUR 523.4 million or 92.2%. Sales of household appliance were up by 1.5% and growth was particularly pronounced in East European markets (Romania, Hungary and the Czech Republic).

Slovenian House to open in Brussels to promote the country

LJUBLJANA - The government announced it will establish a Slovenian House in Brussels in September, which will take care of general promotion of the country. It is expected to become fully operational at least at the end of next June, with its activity peaking during Slovenia's presidency of the EU in the second part of 2021. The Slovenian House will be established as a unit of the Slovenian Embassy in Brussels. Its main purpose will be promoting Slovenian art, innovation, economic competitiveness, science, sport, tourism, cuisine and wines.

Janša does not see Lenarčič as EU commissioner material

LJUBLJANA - Janez Janša, the head of the opposition Democrats (SDS), commented for Radio Ognjišče on the government's pick for Slovenia's EU commissioner, Janez Lenarčič, saying that the country's ambassador to the EU was not a "commissioner material". In the interview for the Catholic radio station, the president of the largest parliamentary party assessed that Prime Minister Marjan Šarec was looking for a person who would not strengthen one of the coalition parties, while not representing competition on the domestic political scene. Janša reiterated that Slovenia would need Lenarčič more at home as an operative during the country's upcoming EU presidency.

Ombudsman calls on state to hire more prison guards

LJUBLJANA - Following recent attacks on prison guards in the Dob prison, Human Rights Ombudsman Peter Svetina called on the state to respect the staffing standards and norms for prisons, noting that the Office of the Human Rights Ombudsman had been pointing to the insufficient number of prison guards for quite a while. Responding to reports about separate attacks on two prison guards at Slovenia's largest prison on Wednesday, Svetina said that his office had been stressing in its recent annual the issues of the prison system, especially when it comes to prison guards.

Steklarna Hrastnik boosts half-year profit

HRASTNIK - Glass maker Steklarna Hrastnik posted EUR 33 million in revenue for the first half of 2019, a 11% year-on-year increase, and a net profit of EUR 5.9 million, a 54% improvement. The company told the STA that its glass packaging division had been the main driving force behind the successful results, with revenue in this segment up 35% compared to the same period last year. The company plans to invest EUR 24.6 million into an expansion of the segment this year.

Slovenia criticised over posting of workers

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's model of temporary posting of workers to other EU countries has been subject to sharp criticism about exportation of cheap labour. The country has seen an exponential growth in such postings over the past ten years and is reportedly third in the EU by the number of posted workers. Apart from the growth another problem is that employers pay social contributions corresponding to what would be the workers' pay in Slovenia rather than their actual pay, which is higher. Plans are now under way to reform the regulations.

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