Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Wednesday, 20 November 2019

By , 20 Nov 2019, 04:26 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Wednesday, 20 November 2019 JL Flanner

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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:

Six EU members urge Commission to define steps on W Balkans enlargement

LJUBLJANA - Foreign ministers of Austrian, Czechia, Italy, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia called on the European Commission to define by January 2020 concrete proposals on how to "enhance the effectiveness of the accession process as an instrument to support reform and integration efforts" in the Western Balkans. "The EU's openness to all European nations who share our values and are ready to accept the acquis communautaire is pivotal for the Union's historic mission of completing European unification," the ministers said, noting that a month ago the EU failed to reach consensus on accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia.

Cerar stresses need to preserve Slovenian political representation in Italy

KOPER - The need to preserve Slovenian representation in the Italian parliament was highlighted by Foreign Minister Miro Cerar after a session of the joint committee of Slovenia and Friuli-Venezia Giulia. He said Slovenia would back all of the Slovenian minority's efforts to secure the honouring of the Italian act protecting it. He announced after what was an annual meeting by the committee that he would discuss the topic with the new Italian foreign minister Luigi Di Maio as part of his December visit to Italy.

FinMin hints resignation likely unless budget within limits

LJUBLJANA - Finance Minister Andrej Bertoncelj suggested he would resign if parliament confirmed opposition amendments to budget legislation that swell spending by about EUR 140 million per year, over a percent of total budget expenditure. Passage of the amendment granting local communities more money would create a mismatch between the budget act and the related budget implementation act. If that happens, "we will probably no longer have a finance minister," he said as a three-day debate on the 2020-2021 budgets started in parliament.

Angelika Mlinar, former Austrian MEP, slated for cohesion portfolio

LJUBLJANA - The Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) announced it will nominate Angelika Mlinar, an ethnic Slovenian politician from Austria, as minister without portfolio in charge of cohesion policy. The nomination will be submitted once the budgets for 2020 and 2021 are passed in parliament. Bratušek said Mlinar was a great fit to head the Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy since she is adept at "opening doors in Brussels corridors". The previous minister, Iztok Purič, stepped down in September citing personal reasons.

New Russian ambassador to Slovenia appointed

MOSCOW, Russia - Timur Rafailovic Eyvazov was appointed Russia's new ambassador to Slovenia by President Vladimir Putin on Monday, according to the press agency Tass. It is not yet clear when Eyvazov will take over from the long-serving Ambassador Doku Zavgayev, who came to Ljubljana in 2009. Eyvazov has so far served as a counsellor at the Russian Embassy in France.

Slovenia gets half a million for Yugoslav embassy in Bonn

LJUBLJANA - The Foreign Ministry announced that the countries successors to Yugoslavia had sold the building housing the Yugoslav embassy in Bonn for around EUR 3.7 million, of which Slovenia would get 14% or slightly more than half a million euro. In addition to the Bonn residence, the successor countries also sold in the last year and a half the former consulate in New York and the former embassy in Tokyo. Slovenia has received a combined EUR 3.6 million for the real estate.

Analyst: European NATO members should become more assertive

LJUBLJANA - NATO, gearing up to mark its 70th anniversary at a London summit in December, is in a turbulent period, but Slovenian defence analyst Vladimir Prebilič believes it would be an exaggeration to say it is "brain dead" as claimed by French President Emmanuel Macron. However, he did say that European allies should be more assertive in their relations with the US and Turkey, bringing up the US's announcement of withdrawal from Syria and Turkey's offensive against the Kurds in north Syria.

Hospitals struggling with nursing shortages

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian hospitals find it increasingly hard to replace nursing staff who are leaving for better paid or less demanding jobs abroad, in primary care or in other sectors. Intensive care units have been hit especially hard. The situation is worst at UKC Ljubljana, Slovenia's largest hospital, which has had to limit admission of patients at about 40 out of 2,150 beds. Its Maribor counterpart faces a shortage of 25% of nursing staff. New work norms are expected to make the situation even worse.

Slovenian and Hungarian automotive clusters deepen cooperation

MARIBOR - The Slovenian and Hungarian automotive clusters signed an agreement to develop cutting-edge technologies which they hope would make them leaders in the transition to e-mobility. The signing took place at a business event in Maribor that was also attended by Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek and Hungarian Minster for Innovation and Technology Laszlo Palkovics. Slovenian companies are already involved in the development of Hungary's test track for conventional and autonomous cars.

NLB completes EUR 120 million bond issue

LJUBLJANA - NLB bank announced it had completed the issue of EUR 120 million worth of subordinate bonds. The demand for the bonds far surpassed the supply, with the book of orders reaching EUR 290 million. The first bond issue after the bank was privatised a year ago featured Tier 2 subordinate notes with a ten-year maturity and an interest rate of 3.65% per annum, callable after five years. The papers were listed on the Luxembourg stock market on the day of the issue.

Gorenje Tiki sold to Sweden's Nibe Industrier

VELENJE - The Velenje-based household appliances maker Gorenje sold its Serbian subsidiary Gorenje Tiki, which produces small water heaters, to Swedish company Nibe Industrier, a leading European player in the field of heating technology solutions. Gorenje did not disclose the value of the deal, which is still subject to anti-trust approval. The sale of Stara Pazova-based Gorenje Tiki, which mostly manufactures water heaters and heat pumps, is part of Gorenje's non-core businesses divestment strategy.

Kolektor Etra acquires Polish power tank maker

LJUBLJANA - The business newspaper Finance reported that the Ljubljana-based energy equipment maker Kolektor Etra acquired the Polish company Weltech for EUR 7 million. Kolektor Etra outbid two rival companies and two financial funds. Based in Myslowice near Katowice and employing 180 people, Weltech last year generated EUR 9.6 million in revenue, posting a profit. It produces power tanks and traction tanks, its key clients including Germany's Siemens and France's JST Transformateurs.

New Czech owner to modernise Vipap Videm

KRŠKO - RIDG Holding, the new Czech owner of Vipap Videm Krško, announced plans to invest in the modernisation of Slovenia's largest paper producer, which it believes offers huge untapped potential. "We come as an investor whose objective is innovation and expansion of the product portfolio, modernisation of production and stabilisation," said RIDG Holding representative Pavel Svoren. The holding recently acquired a 96.5% stake in the company from the Czech Finance Ministry.

Report: Moroccan man suspected of raping two students

LJUBLJANA - The newspaper Dnevnik reported that a 38-year old man from Morocco who came out of prison in late September after serving a two-year prison sentence for robbery in Slovenia, was suspected of raping two students in Ljubljana. He was brought before an investigating judge at the end of October, and was remanded in custody. According to the Ljubljana police department, one crime was committed at a student dorm in the Bežigrad borough and the other about ten days later in the city centre.

Man who attacked TV crew gets six-month suspended sentence

NOVA GORICA - A man who attacked a TV crew in Nova Gorica in August 2018 was given a six-month suspended sentence by the Nova Gorica District Court. The sentence was handed down in absentia since the defendant, Denis Koršič, 41 refused to show up at court again with the argument that he had already said everything there was to say. The man told the court in February that he had nothing against the media or the TV Slovenija crew he attempted to ram into, but he only wanted to be left alone.

Culture minister in Paris for UNESCO meetings

LJUBLJANA - Culture Minister Zoran Poznič is in Paris for the 40th session of the UNESCO General Conference. On Monday evening he discussed hate speech and several other issues with the organisation's assistant director-general for culture, Ernesto Ottone Ramirez. He also talked about renovation of what used to be the Yugoslav exhibition pavilion at the Auschwitz-Birkenau remembrance centre, and about mounting a joint exhibition there under the patronage of UNESCO.

AV industry holds great potential but needs investment

LJUBLJANA - A study conducted by Deloitte into the audiovisual (AV) industry in Slovenia showed that the sector has positive effects on the economy and creates new jobs, while incentives from the state are far from sufficient. The AV sector's multiplication effect is estimated at 1.8. This means 80 jobs in various sectors for every 100 people working in AV. The industry has a nearly 40% fiscal effect, as for every EUR 100 invested in the sector, EUR 40 return into the national budget.

Dončić sets new Slovenian NBA record

DALLAS, US - Luka Dončić set a new Slovenian record in points scored in the NBA, scoring 42 points for Dallas Mavericks's 117:110 win against San Antonio Spurs on Monday evening. So far the record was held by Goran Dragić, who scored 40 points in February 2014 for the Phoenix Suns. Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle commented by saying that "this guy can do anything he wants to on a basketball court." Dončić. At the age of 20, Dončić is the second-youngest NBA player with a 40-point triple-double.

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