Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Tuesday, 20 August 2019

By , 20 Aug 2019, 02:25 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Tuesday, 20 August 2019 Maxpixel CC-by-0

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This summary is provided by the STA:

EU to demand NLB sell its life insurance business

LJUBLJANA - Unofficial information indicates the European Commission expects NLB, Slovenia's largest bank, to sell half of its life insurance business NLB Vita, which it co-owns with KBC Insurance. The business newspaper Finance reported the Commission would notify NLB of its decision soon, estimating the insurer could be sold for EUR 20-30 million. NLB will have to sell its share in NLB Vita because the state failed to privatise its agreed stake in NLB - 75% minus one share - by the end of last year. The privatisation process was completed as late as this June. NLB declined to comment on the unofficial information. NLB Vita posted a record EUR 8.3 million in net profit in 2018 on gross premiums of EUR 76.9 million, up 9% from 2017.

New ambassador wants to make US and Slovenia stronger partners

BRNIK - Lynda Blanchard, the new US ambassador to Slovenia, said she was looking forward to working with the Slovenian government to make the US and Slovenia stronger partners, as she arrived in the country. Blanchard, an entrepreneur and humanitarian activist, succeeds Brent Hartley, a career diplomat who served in Ljubljana between February 2015 and July 2018. Speaking to reporters at Ljubljana airport, she said she was "excited to be here on the sunny side of the Alps" and looking forward to "engaging with everyone and our partnerships". She is expected to present her credentials to the Slovenia president on 29 August.

Speaker wraps up visit to Austria

SALZBURG, Austria - Parliamentary Speaker Dejan Židan wrapped up a two-day visit to Salzburg after working meetings with his Austrian counterpart Wolfgang Sobotka. The pair discussed the Western Balkans, the future of the EU, climate change and a possible joint project with historians from both countries examining the nations' shared history. Accepting the idea, Židan said that Austria had already carried out such a project with the Czech Republic and Sobotka wanted to see whether Slovenia would be interested in doing the same, as the project helped Austrians and Czechs understand each other better.

Foreign Ministry issues travel alert for Hong Kong

LJUBLJANA - The Foreign Ministry advised Slovenian citizens travelling to Hong Kong to be extra cautious as street protests are being held in China's special administrative region, some of which ended in clashes with the police. The ministry advises those travelling to Hong Kong to completely avoid the locations where protests are being held since late March, consistently follow the instructions of the local security authorities, and follow the situation through the local media.

Solutions being found for toxic waste disposal

LJUBLJANA - Environment Minister Simon Zajc met hazardous waste treatment companies to find a solution after a major company in the business, Kemis, had to stop accepting waste after being ordered to remove the facilities rebuilt after a devastating fire in 2017. Zajc told reporters that Kemis's counterparts could step in, providing services for 14,000-15,000 tonnes of toxic waste. The minister urged speeding up waste transport permit procedures and ordered Kemis's appeal to be handled as a priority.

Army trade unionist found guilty of breach of military discipline

LJUBLJANA - The head of the Trade Union of Soldiers (SVS) Gvido Novak has severely violated military discipline, a Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF) disciplinary panel found. It thus formally terminated his employment, a measure which will however not be implemented if Novak commits no breach of discipline in a year's time, the 24ur portal reported. Novak came under fire for having publicly criticised the SAF leadership this spring when Brigadier General Miha Škerbinc was sacked as the force commander. Novak and the SVS came out strong against Maj Gen Alenka Ermenc, the chief of the general staff, who had requested Škerbinc's dismissal, and Defence Minister Karl Erjavec.

Kolektor Etra wins EUR 20m deal in Finland

LJUBLJANA - The Ljubljana-based energy equipment maker, Kolektor Etra, announced it had won a deal to produce, supply and install seven power transformers to the Finnish national electricity transmission grid operator Fingrid. The deal is worth EUR 20 million, which makes it the largest in the company's history. The company, a part of the industrial conglomerate Kolektor, is also supplying low-voltage transformers for wind farms under construction on the south-western coast of Finland.

Koper-Divača bridge tender annulment headed for revision

LJUBLJANA - The consortium which had won the public tender for the first of several bridges on the new rail track between the port of Koper and Divača, only to see the tender annulled by the company managing the project, announced an appeal against the decision. In an interview with the weekly Reporter, Aleksander Schara, a representative of the consortium led by Markomark Nival, also rejected the allegations that it had forged its prior experience. He expects the matter to be investigated by police.

Another accolade for Jančar's I Saw Her That Night

BUDVA, Montenegro - One of the most celebrated novels by Slovenia's leading author Drago Jančar, I Saw Her That Night (To Noč Sem Jo Videl), won the Stefan Mitrov Ljubiša Award at the Grad Teatar Festival in Budva, Montenegro, which features various artistic practices, with a focus on theatre. The 2010 novel has also won Jančar the Kresnik Prize for the best novel of the year, presented by the Slovenian newspaper publisher Delo, and the French critics and publishers' association's award for best foreign book.

FeKK festival of short films opens

LJUBLJANA - The 5th FeKK festival of short film got under way with the premiere of Slovenian omnibus Kratki Rezi (Short Deeds) in the Kinodvor cinema and a selection of films from an international documentary workshop in Krško at the Slovenian Cinematheque. Until Saturday, the festival will feature a selection of almost 60 competing short films from Slovenia, former Yugoslavia and other countries, as well as many side programmes and accompanying events.

Top-seed Bedene wins Slovenia Open

PORTOROŽ - Slovenia's best tennis player, Aljaž Bedene, won the ATP Challenger Zavarovalnica Sava Slovenia Open on Sunday, beating Norwegian Viktor Durasovic, 7:5 and 6:3. This is the 16th Challenger series title for the 30-year-old, who climbed ten spots to 80th in ATP world rankings. Bedene is the third Slovenian player to have won Slovenia Open, following Grega Žemlja (2013) and Blaž Kavčič (2014). Last year the title went to French Constant Lestienne.

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

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