Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Thursday, 15 August 2019

By , 15 Aug 2019, 02:25 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Thursday, 15 August 2019 Abstract duck, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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A schedule of all the main events involving Slovenia this week can be found here

Visiting Ljubljana? Check out what's on this week, while all our stories on Slovenia, from newest to oldest, are here

This summary is provided by the STA:

Cooperation potential in focus as Japanese foreign minister visits

LJUBLJANA - Taro Kono visited Slovenia as the first Japanese foreign minister ever for talks with his counterpart Miro Cerar and President Borut Pahor. The potential for economic cooperation ranked prominently on the agenda, but Cerar and Kono also called for respect for the rule of law and arbitration decisions, including with regard to the Adriatic and the South China Sea. The pair also exchanged views on the tensions on the Korean Peninsula, the US-China trade dispute and the situation in the Western Balkans. They also made a visit to the Yaskawa robot factory in Kočevje.

Govt replaces head of Infrastructure Agency

LJUBLJANA - The government dismissed Damir Topolko as director of the Infrastructure Agency in the wake of a scandal over the botched tender for a scale model of a new rail track planned between Koper and Divača. Monika Pintar Mesarič, a Finance Ministry employee, was named as acting director as of 1 September. Topolko's dismissal was announced by Infrastructure Minister Alenka Bratušek in February, following a suggestion by PM Marjan Šarec that everyone responsible for the allegedly rigged tender should resign, following the suit of Jure Leben, who stepped down as environment minister.

Train derails at Rimske Toplice again

RIMSKE TOPLICE - A train derailed at the Rimske Toplice train station for a second time in just a few days, closing down the railway line between Zidani Most and Maribor, a major artery for international passenger and cargo traffic. The engine of an international freight train and one of the rail cars derailed at almost exactly the same spot at which two Hungarian passenger train carriages derailed eight days ago without any injuries. The section of the railway is currently undergoing an upgrade.

Slovenia to mark centenary of unification with Prekmurje

MURSKA SOBOTA - Slovenia is observing 100 years since its northeastern-most region of Prekmurje was united with the rest of the nation after World War I and the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Located east of the river Mura, Prekmurje was the only territory the Slovenian nation gained at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. For nearly a thousand years, Prekmurje was a part of the Kingdom of Hungary, while the remaining Slovenian lands were under Austrian rule. The main ceremony will be held on Saturday in Beltinci with PM Marjan Šarec as the keynote speaker.

Proposal set out dividing Slovenia into 11 provinces

LJUBLJANA - More than 25 years after the National Assembly passed legislation that ordered the establishment of provinces and after several failed attempts, a task force established in May 2019 presented a draft bill to divide Slovenia into 11 provinces. The proposal suggests uniting Slovenia's 212 municipalities in provinces by the names of Dolenjska, Gorenjska, Goriška, South Štajerska, East Štajerska, West Štajerska, Koroška, Ljubljanska, Primorsko-Notranjska, Savinjsko-Šaleška and Pomurska.

Slovenia sees 5% growth in tourism revenue

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia generated EUR 1.16 billion in revenue from incoming tourism in the first half of the year, an increase of 4.8% compared to the same period a year ago, data from the central bank show. Over the same period, the Statistics Office recorded a 6.4% increase in the number of tourist arrivals and a 4.3% growth in the number of nights spent at the country's accommodation facilities. In June alone, receipts from incoming tourism rose by 9.3% year-on-year to EUR 243 million.

Construction sector going strong

LJUBLJANA - The value of construction works in Slovenia rose by 14.4% in the first six months of 2019 year-on-year, show data released by the Statistics Office. Following a rise in May, the value of construction works decreased by 6.7% in June over the previous month. In the first half of the year the value of building construction rose by 11.9%, whereas the value of engineering construction rose by 15.1% compared to the same period in 2018.

Hunter attacked by bear with cub

AJDOVŠČINA - A she-bear with a cub attacked a hunter in the woods in the municipality of Ajdovščina, south-west, on Tuesday evening in a second bear attack on people this year. The authorities said the incident occurred as the 67-year-old found himself in between a 150-kilogramme bear and its cub. Yelling to chase it away, the hunter was bitten by the bear in the leg and sustained scratches on his head and body. He was given medical aid but is recovering at home.

Illegal migrant dies in prison, apparently a natural death

KOPER - A Pakistani citizen detained at the Koper prison on suspicion of crossing the border illegally died in what the authorities say appear to have been a natural death. The man was brought into custody on Friday when he was also examined by a doctor. The 34-year detainee was not alone in his cell. He died despite attempts by prison officers and paramedics to resuscitate him. The Prison Administration has appointed a special fact-finding commission to examine the circumstances of the death.

US, Slovenian scientists discover key new protein

LJUBLJANA - A group of US and Slovenian scientists researching the toughest biological material - the dragline silk produced by Darwin's bark spider - have discovered a new protein, which they believe helps to make it so unusually strong. The dragline silk made by Darwin's bark spider's (Caerostris darwini) has better extensibility than any other biological material and better than many synthetic materials. The discovery could be used in a number of areas where elastic but durable materials are needed.

Slovenia not to extradite Montenegrin murder convict

MARIBOR - The newspaper Večer reported that Slovenia would not extradite Božidar Samardžić, the 40-year-old Montenegrin arrested last September after 19 years on the run. While Slovenian authorities initially planned to extradite Samardžić to Montenegro, where he faces 20 years in prison for murder, they have now confirmed his case is statute barred. Samardžić has been released and is waiting for the Interior Ministry to decide on his asylum application.

Brežice hosting festival of early music

BREŽICE - The festival of early music Seviqc Brežice 2019 will feature five concerts at various locations in the south-east of the country until the end of August. The opening concert in the Devil's Tower in the village of Soteska, just west of Novo Mesto, featured Simone Vallerotonda playing lute and guitar music of the 17th century Rome. Seviqc has become well established on Europe's festival calender, and has received many awards from the European Early Music Network.

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