Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Tuesday, 06 August 2019

By , 06 Aug 2019, 02:28 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Tuesday, 06 August 2019 Gordana Grlič

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This summary is provided by the STA:

NSi wants a new Slovenia, to position itself in the centre

LJUBLJANA - Opposition New Slovenia (NSi) leader Matej Tonin presented the party's plans for the autumn congress, announcing an "overhauled and fresh" platform, and noting that the party was still willing to cooperate with the minority government. The party wants to position itself in the centre as it feels this is where it belongs. Speaking at a press conference, which also marked the NSi's 19th anniversary, Tonin again expressed the readiness of the right-leaning conservative party to cooperate in projects with the ruling minority coalition. Tonin also said the NSi had drawn up a potential interpellation motion against Education Minister Jernej Pikalo over the legislative changes cutting funds for private primary schools.

End of fixed-term jobs pushes up unemployment total in July

LJUBLJANA - The number of jobless registered with the Slovenian Employment Service rose by 1.6% in July to 71,850, mostly because their fixed-term contracts expired. The figure was still down 5.5% year on year. A total of 6,210 were registered as freshly unemployed in July, 50.4% more than in June, but 3.9% fewer than in July 2018. Employers posted 13,990 vacancies in July, 15.8% more than in June but 3.9% fewer than a year ago. The demand was highest for manual workers in manufacturing and for pre-school and primary school teachers.

Four human smugglers get 11 years in jail

KOPER - Four men from Koper have been sentenced to a total of more than 11 years in jail for transporting illegal migrants who crossed into Slovenia from Croatia in the south, a regional newspaper reported. According to Primorske Novice, the group went into the business of smuggling migrants early in 2018, joinig forces with a Croat who got in touch with a Koper man, now aged 29. The latter recruited three more men from the area, aged between 28 and 35. The group did their business as part of a criminal ring, whose other members gathered illegal migrants in the Zagreb area and organised their transport to the border with Slovenia.

Gen Energija management board gets second member

LJUBLJANA - The management board of Gen Energija, the state-owned energy utility that owns the Slovenian half of the Krško Nuclear Power Plant, has been expanded by a member, as director general Martin Novšak was joined by Danijel Levičar at the beginning of August. Levičar, a management board member at subsidiary Gen-I, was appointed business director by the supervisors in July. Gen Energija had had a single management board member in Novšak for 14 years, while state assets custodian Slovenia Sovereign Holding has been striving for at least two-member boards in state-owned companies.

Yield on Slovenia's long-term bonds drops below zero

LJUBLJANA/LONDON, UK - Slovenia's 10-year bonds have recently traded at sub-zero rates on the secondary market for the first time ever, whereas the country had a hard time selling its bonds at as high a rate as 7% during the financial crisis in 2013. The yield on Slovenia's 10-year bond dropped below zero on Friday, dropping further to minus 0.06% today, the business daily Finance reported, quoting Bloomberg. The drop to the negative territory is part of a broader trend of falling yields for euro-denominated state bonds witnessed over the past days.

SKB Group profit up 40% in H1

LJUBLJANA - The banking SKB Group generated EUR 34.2 million in net profit in the first half of 2019, which is 40% more than in the same period last year. This is due to good operating results and the easing of provisions and impairments. The group, comprising the bank and leasing arms SKB Leasing and SKB Leasing Select and about to be sold by the French group Societe Generale to the Hungarian OTP Bank Group, saw its operating profit rise by 18% to EUR 31.3 million. SKB Banka kept a 10% market share in the segment of loans.

Jure Cekuta, painter-cum-arms deal middleman, has died

LJUBLJANA - Jure Cekuta, a painter best known as one of the few individuals convicted of corruption in one of the biggest arms scandals in Slovenia, has died aged 67. Sentenced to four years and four months in prison in 2014, Cekuta spent the last years of his life in jail. He was temporarily released on health grounds last month. He was one of two persons in the Patria scandal to ever be found guilty in Slovenia, with several other trials, including the main trial involving opposition leader Janez Janša, either struck down or becoming statute-barred.

Freediver Artnik reaches new milestone

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras - Slovenian freediver Alenka Artnik has reached a new milestone. Plunging 111 meters into the Caribbean with a monofin, she beat the world record in the discipline by four metres to become the first woman to descend bellow 110 metres. Artnik made the dive in the warm-up for the World Freediving Championship taking place on the Island of Roatan in Honduras. Artnik is the main contender for gold, followed closely by Italy's Alessia Zechinni, the previous record-holder.

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