Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Thursday, 12 September 2019

By , 12 Sep 2019, 01:19 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Thursday, 12 September 2019 Flickr - Paul Keller CC by 2.0

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

This summary is provided by the STA:

Pahor urged to resign over Turkey, Ukraine EU membership statement

LJUBLJANA - A group of 28 Slovenian scholars urged President Borut Pahor to resign or be impeached by parliament over his recent statement suggesting that Turkey and Ukraine should not count on full-fledged EU membership. At the Bled Strategic Forum last week, Pahor made "an inappropriate, unreasonable and xenophobic statement, a statement that is extremely harmful for Slovenia politically and diplomatically", the group said. Responding to the appeal, Pahor's office said the stance on a special status of Turkey and Ukraine within the EU had been known at home and abroad for several years. But Foreign Minister Miro Cerar said that Slovenia supported Turkey's accession to the EU.

Cerar says Russia visit not to affect relations with US

MOSCOW, Russia - Foreign Minister Miro Cerar does not believe PM Marjan Šarec's official visit to Russia could worsen Slovenia's relations with allies, either the US or the EU. The visit is very important, especially from the economic aspect, Cerar told the STA on the margins of the prime minister's first visit to Moscow. The visit is a follow-up to the story which began at July's session of the Slovenia-Russia commission, which plans joint business projects, said Cerar. "We can see these projects already bringing concrete results," the foreign minister said.

Petrol signs multimillion deal at Slovenian-Russian business meeting

MOSCOW, Russia - The energy company Petrol signed cooperation contracts with Russia's T Plus Grupa and Schneider Electric at a bilateral business meeting held in Moscow on Tuesday as part of Prime Minister Marjan Šarec's visit to the country. Petrol will cooperate with the two Russian companies in energy efficiency, said Petrol CEO Tomaž Berločnik, adding the projects would focus on optimisation of district heating. The project with T Plus Grupa will be carried out in Izhevsk, and the other in Yekaterinburg, where Petrol will set up specialised software.

Committee okays national security strategy resolution

LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Defence Committee green-lighted the national security strategy resolution for a plenary discussion. Passing an amendment of the opposition Democrats (SDS), the committee threw out a provision granting additional powers to the SOVA intelligence service. Defence Minister Karl Erjavec said the resolution addressed very different sources of risks, including cyber and hybrid risks. Meanwhile, the Left criticised the document for failing to address threats such as climate change, poverty and inequality.

SDS urges including digital into Slovenia EU presidency priorities

CELJE - The opposition Democratic Party (SDS) unveiled a draft resolution on Slovenia's digital transformation at the International Trade Fair in Celje, urging the government to include digitalisation among the priorities of Slovenia's EU presidency in 2021. SDS leader Janez Janša said the presidency priorities set out by the government were overly generalised. He regretted that Slovenia missed the opportunity to get the digital age portfolio in the next EU Commission, saying the crisis management portfolio assigned to Janez Lenarčič was one of the hardest because it involves dealing with migration.

Talks start on public sector pay system reform

LJUBLJANA - The government and public sector trade unions launched a fresh round of talks aimed at reforming the public sector pay system toward a more performance-based remuneration system. One of the government's proposals is that employees could get up to 30% higher pay based on performance, while slowing down their promotion to higher pay brackets. The unions would only accept that if extra funds were secured for performance bonuses, rather than come from the money now used for pay bracket promotions.

Slovenia seeks to boost trade with Montenegro

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia and Montenegro explored ways to boost bilateral trade and investment at business forum held as part of a visit by Montenegrin Economy Minister Dragica Sekulić. The meeting, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) in cooperation with the Montenegro's Chamber of Commerce, was attended by more than 120 business officials. The biggest potential was identified in energy and tourism. A business meeting held at the Celje fair yesterday heard that Montenegro's appeal for Slovenian investors was mainly that there is a level playing field for foreign and domestic investors.

Terme Maribor deep in the red again

MARIBOR - The Terme Maribor spa, until recently the biggest provider of accommodation in Maribor, posted a loss of EUR 5.2 million at the end of 2018. The Russian-owned company generated EUR 9.2 million in sales revenue, which is down almost two-thirds from 2017, the only year it was in the black since the sale to a Gazprom-owned company. According to CEO Tatjana Karpovitš, the company was affected by poor weather conditions, the cancellation of the annual Golden Fox skiing competition, and fewer international events hosted by Maribor.

Tam Europe ends 2018 with loss

MARIBOR - Tam Europe, a Maribor-seated bus manufacturer in Chinese ownership, finished 2018 with a loss of over EUR 3 million, double that in 2017. Sales revenue reached EUR 9 million, almost EUR 6 million less than the previous year. Since Tam Europe's launch in 2013, this was the toughest year as the company was forced to cut production for a longer period of time due to a lack of working capital and suspend it several times, according to the company's annual report.

Experts on close to nature forestry gather in Slovenia

LJUBLJANA - The world's leading experts on close to nature forestry gathered in Radlje ob Dravi for a four-day conference that marks the anniversary of Pro Silva, the umbrella organisation promoting sustainable forestry practices that was established at the initiative of a Slovenian forestry researcher 30 years ago. The four-day conference features 120 participants from 30 countries discussing forestry's challenges against the backdrop of climate change, technological progress and social transformation.

Eurostat projects a 13% population drop in Slovenia by 2100

LJUBLJANA - The EU's statistics office Eurostat projects that Slovenia's population will drop by 13% TO below 1.8 million in 2100. Slovenia's fertility rate is expected to gradually increase in the future, to stand in 2100 at 1.77, compared to today's rate of 1.61, and life expectancy at birth is expected to increase, standing at 89 for boys and at 93 for girls born in Slovenia in 2100. Nevertheless, almost a third of the population in Slovenia is projected to be aged 65 or older at the end of the century.

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