A schedule of all the main events involving Slovenia this week can be found here
This summary is provided by the STA:
Ljubljana seat of UNESCO-sponsored global AI research centre
PARIS, France - The UNESCO conference general unanimously decided that the first UNESCO-sponsored international centre for artificial intelligence will be seated in Slovenia's capital Ljubljana. Slovenia plans to found the International Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (IRCAI) early next year after an agreement on its establishment is signed by UNESCO and the Slovenian Ministry of Education, Science and Sport. The ministry believes the centre will put Slovenia at the top of global technological developments.
Development Days hear calls for action against climate change
LJUBLJANA - Discussions about the global warming marked the start of Slovenian Development Days as Foreign Minister Miro Cerar noted the country's initiatives in the fight against climate change, including the revival of the Green Group of six small countries, the promotion of sustainable water management and protection of bees. Meanwhile, climate experts, NGOs and young activists urged a much more determined approach to the climate crisis, including by imposing a carbon tax.
SDS regains poll lead as LMŠ loses ground
LJUBLJANA - The opposition Democrats (SDS) returned to the top of party rankings for the first time since January in a poll aired by POP TV on Sunday evening, as the ruling Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) lost ground to rivals on the left. The SDS polled at 15.4%, down from 15.7% in October, whereas the LMŠ lost two points to 13.8%. The coalition Social Democrats (SD) returned to third place with a four-point gain to 9.5%, and the opposition Left added over a point and a half to 8.8%.
Ex-governor argues banks should have been bailed out sooner
LJUBLJANA - Boštjan Jazbec, the former central bank governor, told the parliamentary inquiry examining potential wrongdoing at the Bank Assets Management Company that banks should have been bailed out before 2012 rather than in 2013. In this way, the erasure of junior bondholders may not have have happened. Jazbec believes the bailout and the erasure were in line with the constitution, but he argued that the government should have paid compensation to the vulnerable bondholders who had been wiped out.
SOVA reports Tonin for disclosure of intelligence
LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian Intelligence and Security Agency (SOVA) has reported Matej Tonin, chair of the parliamentary commission overseeing intelligence services, to law enforcement for having disclosed intelligence, the public broadcaster TV Slovenjia reported, citing an unofficial source. The leader of the opposition New Slovenia (NSi) is accused of releasing intelligence as part of a public section of a classified report his commission had compiled about SOVA's activity in Slovenia's preparations for border arbitration with Croatia.
Decoded, olm's genome to be applied in medical research
LJUBLJANA - Slovenian scientists have decoded the genome of the olm, an endemic cave-dwelling aquatic salamander, based on which new possibilities could oepn up in healthcare. A press conference in Ljubljana heard that the discovery, made in cooperation with Danish and Chinese researchers, could bring about new medical advances, for example to heal wounds, understand the causes of obesity and treat diabetes. The olm's genome is 15 times larger than that of humans.
National rail operator buying coach company Nomago
LJUBLJANA - Slovenske Železnice, the national railways operator, is buying Slovenian coach company Nomago, chiefly its 700 coaches which transport more than ten million passengers a year on more than 650 routes in seven countries, said TV Slovenija reported, adding the rail company would buy half of Nomago. The deal is worth EUR 20-30 million and could be completed next month, pending approval of the rail company's supervisors and Slovenian Sovereign Holding, custodian of state assets.
Hidria to hire more workers, expand production
JESENICE - Hidria, the Idrija-based concern that mostly manufactures hi-tech products for the car industry, announced it would hire 150 more staff and expand production after signing several multi-million contracts for the 2021-2030 period. Contracts worth more than EUR 300 million in total were signed after Hidria developed a new cost- and energy-efficient technology for the production of stators and rotors in highly efficient electro-motors for the new hybrid and electric vehicles.
Firms worried about EU directive on cross-border services
MARIBOR - Businesses from north-east Slovenia are worried that companies providing cross-border services in the EU could be severely affected if Slovenia introduces into its law the new directive governing cross-border services and posted workers "too rigorously". A study, commissioned by the Štajerska Chamber of Commerce, showed this would considerably lower or even stop the export of construction, engineering and transport services by Slovenian companies, particulaly in the part of Štajerska along the Drava river, which has an above-average number of such companies. Economist Jože P. Damijan predicts a loss of over 10,000 jobs around the country, and even up to 13,000 in the worst-case scenario, of which some 5,000 in the Drava area.
Business sentiment slumps
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's business sentiment worsened strongly in November with the business sentiment index slumping by 7.6 percentage points year on year and losing 1.7 points from October. Statistics Office data showed the index, at 2.4 points, hit the lowest since late 2014 and is now only 2.7 points above the decade-long average. Confidence in manufacturing deteriorated the most, declining by almost 4 points year on year and by 0.7 points since October.
Hotel in Šumi complex to be operated by Spain's Barcelo Group
LJUBLJANA - The hotel that is being built as part of the emerging residential and commercial complex at the site of the former candy factory Šumi in the centre of Ljubljana will be operated by the Spanish hotel chain Barcelo Hotel Group and under the Occidental Hotels & Resorts brand. The news was announced by the project's developer. The four-star hotel will feature 151 rooms, a bar and a car park under the building. The Šumi complex will feature 96 flats, shops, restaurants and bars.
Campaign targets digital violence against women
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia joined a 16-day international campaign addressing violence against women by placing various forms of online violence in the focus. Statistics show that one in two Slovenian women experience at least one kind of violence before turning 15. On the occasion, the Foreign Ministry underscored gender equality and women's empowerment as two of Slovenia's foreign policy priorities, urging empowering women and girls through education, including about human rights.
110th anniversary of Rusjan's pioneer flight marked
NOVA GORICA - Slovenia remembered the first powered flight by its aviation pioneer and aircraft constructor Edvard Rusjan (1886-1911), which took place near Gorizia, now in Italy, exactly 110 years ago. On the occasion, a documentary called The Flying Rusjan Brothers, directed by Boris Palčič, was screened in the Eda Center, a commercial centre in Nova Gorica dedicated to Rusjan's memory. Edvard Rusjan constructed the biplane he flew on 25 November 1909 together with his elder brother Josip.
Life of pilot Jurij Kraigher captured on film
PIVKA - The Park of Military History presented a documentary about Jurij Kraigher (1891-1984, a Slovenian innovator and pilot with an exciting career in the US, which will become part of the museum's permanent collection. "Slovenec, Ki Je Preletel Stoletja" (The Slovenian who has flown over centuries) presents the story of Kraigher, who was born in a village near Postojna and emigrated to the US after WWI in 1921, finding himself often in the centre of historic events.
Kinodvor wins Europa Cinemas programming award
LJUBLJANA - The Ljubljana art cinema Kinodvor won the Europa Cinemas 2019 award for best programming, one of the three awards presented at the network's 21st conference in Lisbon at the weekend. This is the second accolade from the European cinema network for Kinodvor after it was honoured for best young audience activities in 2010. Europa Cinemas brings together almost 1,200 cinemas in 43 countries.
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