Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Wednesday, 31 July 2019

By , 31 Jul 2019, 02:09 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Wednesday, 31 July 2019 CC-by-0

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This summary is provided by the STA:

Watchdog says Dnevnik-Večer merger does not decrease competition

LJUBLJANA - The Competition Protection Agency (AVK) has published its decision to approve the tie-up of Dnevnik and Večer, in which it says that the merger of the publishers of the second and third largest daily newspapers in the country does not decrease or prevent effective competition on the relevant markets. The AVK said it had examined exclusively the economic impact of the merger, while media plurality aspects had been in the jurisdiction of the Culture Ministry, which approved the merger, expected to have a 40% share on the printed media market, last December. Journalists and pundits have mostly criticised the development and the Trade Union of Journalists protested today against a planned dismissal of seven employees of Večer as part of the merger.

Fiscal Council demands projections of planned pension legislation changes

LJUBLJANA - The Fiscal Council has warned that some of the measures included in the changes to the pension legislation, which have been put up for public debate, could jeopardise the long-term sustainability of the country's public finances. Under the changes, the pensionable base for men with the full 40 years of service would increase from 57.25% to 63.5% by 1 January 2025. Meanwhile, the latter figure is already in place for women. The Fiscal Council said that the government should provide long-term projections before the end of the public debate in early September.

Three bids for construction of Maribor-Šentilj railway

LJUBLJANA - As part of an ongoing upgrade of the rail line between Maribor and the Šentilj border crossing with Austria, three bids have been submitted for the construction of a demanding new section. According to the Infrastructure Agency, the lowest bid was submitted by a local consortium headed by Pomgrad and including Kolektor Koling, SŽ-ŽGP, GH-Holding and Gorenjska Gradbena Družba. The Turkish company Cengiz is bidding to build the section for EUR 117.4 million, and the Austrian builder Strabag placed for EUR 136.6 million.

Army trade unionist opposes disciplinary procedure launched against him

LJUBLJANA - The head of the Trade Union of Soldiers (SVS), Gvido Novak, left a hearing in a disciplinary procedure launched against him after only a few minutes. He argues the hearing is illegal because it is being held behind closed doors. Novak did, however, submit a written statement, referring to article 76 of the Constitution, which guarantees the freedom of trade union activity. Chief of the General Staff Alenka Ermenc had launched a disciplinary procedure against Novak over alleged severe disciplinary violations.

Slovenian researchers make major discovery to treat depression

LJUBLJANA - Researchers at the Ljubljana Faculty of Medicine presented the discovery of a new molecular mechanism of action in ketamine that they say opens up new potential for development of fast-acting antidepressants. Ketamine, a medication used primarily for starting and maintaining anaesthesia, is already applied to treat depression in the US but not yet in Europe. The discovery could accelerate making the drug available as an antidepressant soon in Europe as well.

Ministry says Slovenia is global hop production powerhouse

ŽALEC - Slovenia is one of the leading hop producers worldwide, exporting between 95% and 99% of its hop production, said the Agriculture Ministry as this year's International Hop Growers' Convention, running until Friday, was officially opened in Žalec. Addressing the opening, Agriculture Ministry State Secretary Tanja Strniša said the ministry supported hop field rejuvenation and techniques of producing noble varieties of hops. The head of the Slovenian Institute of Hop Research and Brewing Martina Zupančič said Slovenia was the fifth largest hop producer in the world - every 12th pint of beer worldwide is made of Slovenian hops. According to the website of RTV Slovenija, Slovenia accounts for 3% of global hop production.

Foreign citizens increasing Slovenian population

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's population stood at 2,084,301 on 1 April, which is 3,400 more than at the start of January, the Statistics Office reported. The increase however comes on account of a larger number of foreign citizens, with the number of Slovenian citizens in fact decreasing. The number of Slovenian citizens dropped by 1,600 in the first quarter of 2019, while the number of foreign citizens grew by 5,000 to 143,192 and represented 6.9% of Slovenia's population.

Fancy a game of Ping-Pong over the border fence?

NOVO MESTO - The Simulaker gallery in Novo Mesto will launching an interactive exhibition tonight that will allow the visitors to partake in a game of Ping-Pong over the border fence between Slovenia and Croatia. The installation comes after an artist, active internationally under the pseudonym name:, played a game of table tennis with a partner over the fence along the Kolpa river in April. A recording of the performance will now be screened in the gallery, while the visitors will be invited to scale ladders to engage in symbolic inter-government ping-pong over a similar table. The installation will be open until 10 August.

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