A schedule of all the main events involving Slovenia this week can be found here
This summary is provided by the STA:
Nada Drobne Popović becomes full-fledged Petrol chairman
LJUBLJANA - Nada Drobne Popović was appointed as the full-fledged chairman of Slovenia's largest energy group Petrol, after she shifted from chief supervisor to acting chairman following the resignation of the Tomaž Berločnik-led management at the end of October. She was picked as the best of three candidates who had presented their vision of Petrol's development, and given 21 days to form her management team, which will need to the supervisors' endorsement to be appointed for a five-year term. The official reason for the resignation of the former management was differences in views on Petrol's strategy with the supervisors.
Cerar discusses Libya, Iran, and Rupnik verdict annulment with MPs
LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Miro Cerar discussed with MPs on the Foreign Policy Committee the situation in Libya and Iran and the recent annulment of the 1946 verdict against a collaborationist Slovenian general. Cerar commended the EU's determination to boost its diplomatic efforts for Libya. He noted the conflict there was affecting the entire region, so if it continued, there was a risk of terrorist groups growing stronger and illegal migration intensifying. As for Iran, he said the EU was still making efforts to preserve the Iran nuclear deal. Opposition SDS MP Andrej Šircelj asked about a report by Iranian press agency IRNA about Slovenia allegedly supporting Iran's position that the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani was a violation of international law, which Cerar said was an example of "fake news".
Top court: Non-parliamentary parties not unequal in election campaign debates
LJUBLJANA - The Constitutional Court has rejected a petition by the non-parliamentary Sloga party to examine legislative provisions allowing public media to host separate campaign debates for parliamentary and non-parliamentary parties. In a 6:3 vote held last December, it rejected the petition because it had already ascertained in the past that such distinction in the media in election campaigns is not unconstitutional. Judge Klemen Jaklič issued a dissenting opinion, arguing the obligation of at least one or two such debates or face-offs "would be a major value added to any democracy".
Upper chamber to challenge bail-in legislation in Constitutional Court
LJUBLJANA - Nearly a fortnight after the central bank requested a constitutional review of the legislation providing legal recourse to those who lost their investments during the banking sector bailout of 2013, the National Council decided to follow suit. It believes that the legislation should be annulled, arguing that the act is unconstitutional in that it prevents the bail-in participants from taking the central bank to court if they decide to apply for a lump sum compensation by mid-March. Moreover, councillors said that the act did not meet its purpose, that is to provide solutions for segments of the banking act that had been found unconstitutional.
Telekom looking for strategic partner to recapitalise Planet TV
LJUBLJANA - Telcoms incumbent Telekom Slovenije said it had launched the process to find a strategic partner to recapitalise broadcaster Planet TV, pointing out that its supervisory board took note of the launch of this process. No details have been released though. The newspaper Delo said it was questionable whether any investor would be willing to buy the broadcaster. The paper heard from several sources that there were considerations about the transferral of Planet TV to the bad bank.
Communist congress walkout a major independence milestone
LJUBLJANA - 30 years to the day, the Slovenian delegation walked out of the 14th and last congress of Yugoslavia's League of Communists in Belgrade, in what was one of the key moments in the dissolution of Yugoslavia, one that presaged Slovenia's independence. The delegates of Slovenia's League of Communists walked out on the third day of sessions after all of their proposals, which envisaged Yugoslavia's greater democratisation and more autonomy of party organisations in federal republics, were rejected. The Belgrade unit of the national TV labelled the move an ill-advised act of separatism.
EU not in favour of laxer management of large carnivores
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia had sought to convince the European Commission to loosen rules on the protection of large carnivores when populations of the animals are booming, but the EU officials said at Tuesday's Ljubljana meeting with the national task force for the management of brown bear, wolf and lynx the key goal of European policies was cohabitation with large carnivores. This means prioritising protective measures and paying out compensation in case of livestock loss rather than intensifying culling, the main management measure used in Slovenia recently.
Gorenje to cut number of staff
VELENJE - The household appliances maker Gorenje, owned by the Chinese conglomerate Hisense, will streamline its production by reducing the number employees in support services in production by 176 in different ways by mid-April. The management said this was "because of poor business results". Several workers have already been transferred to similarly paid jobs in direct production, while some will retire. In the next phase of optimisation, the group plans to reorganise the business processes in the newly founded Hisense Gorenje Europe in Ljubljana, which has employed 880 indirect production workers as of 1 January. The in-house trade union expressed concern, expecting the total number of dismissals to be rather high.
Slovenia in semi-finals of European Handball Championship
MALMÖ, Sweden - The Slovenian men's handball team made it among the top four teams at the European championships after finishing second in the main round Group II play. Slovenia will face reigning European champions Spain in the semi-finals, however it has already secured its first goal at the tournament - a berth in one of the three qualifying tournaments for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Conventa showcases record number of exhibitors
LJUBLJANA - Conventa, a two-day business-to-business event for conference tourism, got under way, featuring 146 exhibitors from 16 countries, including a record 30 new exhibitors. "Conventa is the only such trade show in the world where 85% of the invited guests are new," Miha Kovačič, director of the Slovenian Convention Bureau organising the event, told reporters. He said they turn away more than 60% of the registered invited guests in order to make the organisation of the event as high-quality as possible. Focusing on New Europe, the event is intended for B2B meetings, conferences and motivational travels.
Ambassador Rahten honoured with top Austrian decoration
LJUBLJANA - Former Slovenian Ambassador to Austria Andrej Rahten has been decorated with the Austrian Grand Decoration in Gold with Sash for his contribution to the strengthening of ties between the two countries. The second highest decoration for services to Austria was presented to Rahten by Austrian Ambassador to Slovenia Sigrid Berka at her residence in Ljubljana on Monday. Rahten, a 46-year-old historian, served in Vienna between 2013 and 2017.
Pahor in Jerusalem for World Holocaust Forum
JERUSALEM, Israel - President Borut Pahor arrived in Jerusalem to take part in a series of events marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. He met his counterpart Reuven Rivlin, with whom he agreed that awareness is key if the world wants to avoid the same atrocities again. The pair said that relations between the countries were built on firm foundations and a true friendship. Pahor also met Holocaust survivor and Yad Vashem associate Miriam Steiner Aviezer, whom he decorated with the Medal of Merit in 2017 for her contribution to preserving the memory of Slovenian Righteous Among the Nations.
Šarec discusses AI in public sector
DAVOS, Switzerland - Attending the World Economic Forum (WEF), Prime Minister Marjan Šarec participated in a debate on bringing artificial intelligence (AI) closer to the public sector. Artificial intelligence has the potential to serve humanity and benefit individuals and society, he highlighted, adding that all stakeholders should work on AI development and management to reap its benefits. Slovenia also plans to focus on this issue during its EU Council presidency in the second half of 2021, he said.
Bad bank starts presenting its housing plan to MPs
LJUBLJANA - The management of the Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC) started presenting to MPs its initiative to use the assets it has not yet sold to pursue housing plans, which would mean extending its life beyond 2022. Some political parties are reluctant about the idea, with the ruling Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) deeming it worthy of consideration.
Passports that saved many Jews on display in Maribor
MARIBOR - A documentary exhibition Passports for Life opened at the University of Maribor Library, honouring the Polish diplomats who issued fake passports of Latin American countries in Switzerland's Bern during WWII to save Jews. The keynote speaker at the exhibition opening was Uri Strauss from Switzerland, who survived the Holocaust thanks to a fake Paraguayan passport. The exhibition, produced by Poland, is part of a project bringing a series of events across Slovenia's that commemorate the victims of the Holocaust as part of events marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
SFC launching comprehensive online database on Slovenian film
LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian Film Centre (SFC) is planning the completion of eight new feature films and three documentaries this year, and launch a Slovenian version of IMDb, the first national web platform offering comprehensive information on domestic film since its beginnings. SFC director Nataša Bučar told the press the centre had been granted EUR 5.5 million from the state budget for 2020. The sum is slightly higher than in 2019, but Bučar noted a November 2018 decision by the parliamentary Culture Committee that the funding was to increase proportionately each year to EUR 11 million by 2022. Last year Slovenian films attracted an audience of 160,000, 20% more than the year before.
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