A schedule of all the main events involving Slovenia this week can be found here
This summary is provided by the STA:
Slovenia warned it remains slow on the uptake of EU funds
BRUSSELS, Belgium - Slovenia has earned a new reproof for the slow uptake of EU funds as the country's member of the European Court of Auditors reported that by the end of 2018 the country had only used 24.2% of the funding available for the period between 2014 and 2020. Presenting the annual report for 2018 in Brussels, Samo Jereb said that the uptake rate was rather low the fifth year into the current financial framework, in particular compared to the fifth year of the previous framework when the rate was 37%. The Government Development and Cohesion Policy Office said that Jereb had included only the final phase of EU funds uptake. The figure leaves out the first two phases, and Slovenia is well on its way to draw the entirety of the funds available to it, it added.
Social dialogue re-established after PM meets employers, unionists
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's main industrial relations forum will be back in session next week, after Prime Minister Marjan Šarec met with employers and trade unions, nearly two weeks after they suspended social dialogue, protesting that bills were being filed into parliamentary procedure without having been discussed by the forum. It was agreed at the meeting with Šarec that the rules and procedure of the Economic and Social Council (ESS) will be changed so as to be able to debate bills sent to parliament by the opposition.
Official figures put Adria's annual net loss at almost EUR 19m
LJUBLJANA - Adria Airways, a German-owned Slovenian airline in receivership since last week, ended 2018 with a net loss of EUR 18.6 million, up from EUR 5.4 million in 2017, shows the audited financial statement, which was released today. The air carrier's operating loss amounted to over EUR 16 million, up from EUR 3.3 million in 2017, with its negative working capital standing at EUR 14.2 million.
Committee throws out bill on Swiss francs loan conversion
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Finance Committee rejected a bill converting Swiss franc loans taken out between 2004 and 2010 to euro loans, which was drafted by the upper chamber of parliament. The bill creates more issues than it resolves, many committee members believe. The bill was drafted as an attempt to help several thousand people who took out mortgages in Swiss francs and ran into trouble when the Swiss central bank stopped protecting the value of the currency in 2015. Although the rejection came as no surprise, with the bill having been rejected by the Finance Ministry, the central bank and the Bank Association, most MPs shared the view that something needs to be done.
Alfi reportedly set to buy more Tuš claims
LJUBLJANA - The financial fund Alfi, the biggest creditor of the Tuš group with about a third of the claims, is reportedly in talks for acquiring about 27% more of the claims to the struggling group. According to today's report by Dnevnik, Alfi, which was reported buying Tuš claims from the NLB bank last December to thus hold claims nominally worth over EUR 90m, is unofficially in talks with SID Banka and BKS bank, both of which hold 8% of the claims, and Gorenjska Banka, which owns 11%.
Slovenian BSH subsidiary building new development centre
NAZARJE - BSH Hišni Aparati, the Slovenian subsidiary of the Bosch and Siemens Home Appliance Group, has started building a new development centre as part of its production complex in Nazarje. The EUR 3 million investment is expected to be completed by December 2020 and enable the company to further improve its products. The centre of the Slovenian part of one of the largest household appliances groups in the world will be one of the most up-to-date development centres in the Bosch and Siemens Home Appliance Group.
Siol reports plan in making to slash up Mercator
LJUBLJANA - Fortenova, the successor of the bankrupt Croatian food conglomerate, is devising a secret plan to slash up the Slovenian retail group Mercator into parts and take control of the cash flows between the core company and its subsidiaries in Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia, the news web portal Siol reported. Siol said that several sources had confirmed the plan is in the making, while Fortenova would not respond to the portal's questions. Fortenova would not need the consent of Mercator's creditors for the plan because their loans pertain to the core company in Ljubljana.
Local consortium wins deal to build Maribor-Šentilj rail
LJUBLJANA - A consortium of Slovenian construction companies has been chosen to build a new section of the rail line between Maribor and the Šentilj border crossing with Austria, a project valued at EUR 101 million. In a decision that the Infrastructure Agency told the STA had become final at the end of last week, the contract was awarded to the consortium of companies Pomgrad, Kolektor, SŽ-ŽGP, GH-Holding and Gorenjska Gradbena Družba.
Co-incineration serious option for coal-fired TEŠ power station
LJUBLJANA - TEŠ, a coal-fired power station from Šoštanj, is looking for a contractor to produce all the necessary paperwork and environmental impact reports as it branches out into co-incineration of non-hazardous waste. Faced with a shortage of coal from the local mine in Velenje, TEŠ has examined several scenarios, also importing coal, which would however be the least viable option. Due to growing coal prices, the state-owned company intends to start phasing in co-incineration at the end of 2020.
ITF helps establish rehab centre for war victims in Bethlehem
BETLEHEM, Israel - A rehabilitation centre for victims of armed conflicts in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in Palestine was opened in Bethlehem with assistance from the Slovenian-run ITF Enhancing Human Security organisation. The centre, whose establishment has been managed by the fund mostly dealing with demining and assistance to victims of land mines, will provide rehabilitation to victims of armed conflicts in Palestine in a familiar environment.
Month of Design starts in Ljubljana
LJUBLJANA - The Month of Design event, bringing together around 300 participants from 19 countries in Southeast Europe, got under way in Ljubljana today with the Design Expo fair. Several awards were conferred today, including the Design of the Year award, which want to Gigodesign for Bokashi Organko 2, a minimalist kitchen compost bin made from recycled materials, the jury wrote. Organised by the Zavod Big centre for creative business, the 17th Month of Design will bring together lecturers and debaters at a number of events on architecture, wood design and creative tourism, among others.
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