Judicial Council-backed candidates favourites for Slovenian EU judges
LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor completed two-day consultations with parliamentary parties on the most suitable candidates for two Slovenian judges at the EU's General Court in Luxembourg. Klemen Podobnik and Jure Vidmar enjoy the most support among deputy groups. From a total of eight candidates, the Judicial Council had backed Podobnik for one post and Nina Savin Bossière and Jure Vidmar for the other. Pahor will now have to send his nominations to parliament, where the candidates need to secure 46 votes to get appointed.
Šarec says whoever is new DeSUS leader will be his partner
LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Marjan Šarec denied his interference in the coalition Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) pre-congress developments, denying the speculation that DeSUS leader Karel Erjavec's ministerial seat is at stake due to a somewhat awkward way of handling Slovenian troops' temporary withdrawal from Iraq. "Whoever is elected, will be my partner, and this must not affect the government's performance," Šarec told TV Slovenija on Wednesday, just days before DeSUS meets for a congress to elect a new party leader.
Medical Chamber drafts own bill to reduce waiting times
LJUBLJANA - Unhappy with the government's slow tackling of waiting times in the public healthcare system, the Medical Chamber has drafted a bill to reduce them and found a party, New Slovenia (NSi), to file it to parliament. The bill proposes for the ZZZS public health fund to be allowed to commission all medical services providers, including private ones, to carry out additional medical services, especially where waiting times are very long. The types and scope of services would be set by the government, the chamber's president Zdenka Čebašek-Travnik said.
SDS proposes reviving conscription
LJUBLJANA - The opposition Democrats (SDS) put forward an amendment to reinstate compulsory military service. The party says the proposal enjoys cross-partisan support, so it expects it to push through the first parliamentary reading. They propose male citizens enter the draft aged 18 and start performing compulsory military service at the age of 19 or after graduating from university. Women would not be required to serve. Military service would take six months, while alternative civilian service would last a year.
Left fails to get support for condemnation of US policy towards Iran
LJUBLJANA - The opposition Left failed in its attempt to make the parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee condemn the use of US military force in the Middle East and call on the government to express opposition to the US policy towards Iran. Several MPs accused the Left of attempting to score political points. Committee chair Matjaž Nemec of the Social Democrats (SD) meanwhile pointed to the "paradox" of some on the right claiming Slovenian foreign policy was servile to the Iranian regime, and a part of the left opposition that it is servile to the US.
Slovenia continues to be attractive to Austrian investors
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia remains an attractive destination for Austrian investors, shows this year's survey of the representation of the Austrian economy in Slovenia, Advantage Austria Ljubljana, but its director Peter Hasslacher urged concrete measures and reforms to tackle persisting problems. The survey, carried out at the end of last year, shows 75% of Austrian entrepreneurs in Slovenia believing the country will also be attractive for new investments this year. "The result is good, but is average in comparison to a year ago, when it was record-high at 91%," Hasslacher told the press as he presented the survey.
Ljubljana mayor's son found guilty of abetting forgery
LJUBLJANA - Businessman Damijan Janković, the son of Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković, was fined EUR 2,000 for abetting a tax fraud scheme involving two luxury apartments that ultimately benefited his business partners at the expense of the treasury. Their company has been implicated in several cases that directly involve the mayor. Janković's business partners, Ivan Mikulin and Boštjan Stamejčič, received suspended sentences of 14 months and 17 months, respectively, plus fines of EUR 2,550 and EUR 6,000, as Ljubljana District Court announced the verdict.
Slovenian households better off in 2019
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's households found it easier to earn enough money to live on in 2019 compared to the previous year. Their material capability increased as the share of households who had zero struggles in making ends meet was up by two percentage points to 19%. A greater number of households could afford week-long holidays and handle unexpected expenses, show Statistics Office data. There was also a 4% drop in households who struggled to make ends meet (20%).
More money set aside in 2020 for community work placements
LJUBLJANA - The Employment Service said it will disburse EUR 22.3 million for community work placements, the main workfare scheme in Slovenia, this year. This should suffice to activate 4,400 long-term unemployed persons. The available amount is significantly higher than the EUR 15 million available for 2019 and marks a sharp increase over the EUR 9 million originally announced in December. The programme targets those who have been jobless for at least a year.
Slovenia Eurotransplant member for 20 years
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia marked the 20th anniversary since joining Eurotransplant, the international non-profit organ sharing organisation. Officials at the UKC Ljubljana medical centre said that Slovenia exchanges between 50 and 60 organs through Eurotransplant every year. UKC Ljubljana transplants between 110 and 120 organs a year with a high success rate. Slovenia is also the world leader by the number of heart transplants per capita.
Personalised books netted Slovenian company EUR 27m in 2019
LJUBLJANA - Hooray Studios, a Ljubljana-based start-up that specialises in personalised children's books, is growing rapidly after expanding to foreign markets. Sales revenue more than doubled in 2019 to EUR 27 million, said the company, which has sold over a million books since its inception in 2013.
Starting out in Slovenia, the company first branched into Italy and Germany, but now it also has subsidiaries in the US and UK, where it sells its products under the Hooray Heroes brand.
Basketball star made Slovenian tourism ambassador
LJUBLJANA - Slovenian NBA star Luka Dončić has become an ambassador of Slovenia's tourism and, apart from popularising basketball, he will now promote the country's unique attractions and investment opportunities. Slovenia also plans to put an ad in the special All-star Weekend magazine, with the 20-year-old promoting his country on social media, sharing photos, videos, links and information. The launch of the country's special All-Star mid-February issue ad will coincide with the highly-publicized event in which Dončić is expected to participate.