Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Friday, 14 February 2020

By , 14 Feb 2020, 04:32 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Friday, 14 February 2020 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:

Janša says new coalition possible as far as programme goes

LJUBLJANA - Democrats (SDS) head Janez Janša, who is trying to form a centre-right coalition after the resignation of PM Marjan Šarec, said a second round of talks was under way and that the potential partners shared a great deal priority-wise. In terms of content, a coalition able of tackling current issues and some delays is possible. Janša said all potential partners, meaning the SDS, New Slovenia (NSi), Modern Centre Party (SMC) and the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), had put forward their priorities. "It testifies to a certain maturity that all the parties participating in the talks see some of Slovenia's key priorities or current problems in a very similar way." Meanwhile, Marko Bandelli, an MP for the Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB), said that he was approached by SMC leader Zdravko Počivalšek about the possibility of SAB joining the Janša coalition. Him and another SAB MP rejected rumours that they would defect from SAB, but Bandelli said he might vote in favour of a Janša government.

SDS suspects LMŠ of leaking classified info

LJUBLJANA - The SDS accused the LMŠ of leaking classified information to journalists about Hungarian financing of media outlets with close ties to the party. The head of the SDS deputy group, Danijel Krivec, on Wednesday sent a letter to Jani Möderndorfer, the chair of a parliamentary inquiry into the financing of political parties, implying that the vice chair of the inquiry, LMŠ MP Aljaž Kovačič, and another LMŠ member, were looking at documents on money transfers from private Hungarian companies in the safe room of the National Assembly. The SDS says these documents were then leaked to the media, a charge which the LMŠ denies.

Concern about "intensive" attacks on journalists

LJUBLJANA - The Journalists' Association (DNS) condemned in the strongest terms "intensive attacks" on journalists reporting about alleged funding from the circles around Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to media with ties to the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS). The association assessed that attempts at discreditation and the intensity of attacks had gone so far as to become a real threat to journalists, the media and democracy.

Slovenia sending 1.2 million face masks to China

LJUBLJANA- Slovenia will send over 1.2 million face masks to China to help it contain the coronavirus outbreak. The shipment is due to be dispatched to Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, this week, the government said. The face masks are a donation of the Slovenian branch of Kylin Prime Group (KPG), a Chinese-controlled company that has amassed a majority stake in the savings and loans bank Hranilnica Lon. The government also approved a EUR 60,000 emergency donation to the World Health Organisation.

EU Commission maintains 2.7% growth forecast for Slovenia in 2020, 2021

LJUBLJANA - The EU Commission has kept Slovenia's economic forecast unchanged at 2.7% for 2020 and 2021, more than double the eurozone average. In its winter 2020 forecast, it said consumption and investment are expected to continue growing while net exports are set to "weigh on growth over the forecast horizon" due to lower export demand growth and robust import growth.

Outgoing defence minister discusses Afghanistan at NATO meeting

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Outgoing Defence Minister Karl Erjavec attended a NATO ministerial in Brussels which focused on Afghanistan and the training of Afghanistan defence forces by NATO. Erjavec said the ministers found Afghanistan remained rather unstable, and agreed that visible progress had been made in security forces training. "All bets are on successful training of the Afghan security forces, so that they are able to guarantee peace in the country," Erjavec said in a statement for Slovenia media.

DARS gets EIB loan to build second tube of Karavanke tunnel

LJUBLJANA - Motorway company DARS signed a EUR 90 million 22-year loan agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the construction of a second tube of the Karavanke tunnel, a vital transport link with Austria. The loan represents roughly half of the investment value of the entire project, which also involves renovation of the existing single-tube tunnel after the second tube is completed, said DARS chairman Tomaž Vidic. The second half will be financed with own funds and additional loans.

Tie-up with strategic partner for rail cargo arm slated for Q1

LJUBLJANA - A tie-up between the cargo division of state-owned rail operator Slovenske Železnice and the Czech energy and industrial group EPH is expected to be wrapped up in the first quarter of the year, Slovenske Železnice director Dušan Mes told Dnevnik. The Czech partner will enter the cargo arm SŽ-Tovorni Promet via a capital injection that would give it a minority interest. Mes would not disclose the figures beyond saying that "the price is good".

Bishops call for higher turnout come time to vote

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian bishops will call on believers this Sunday to demonstrate their patriotic duty and responsibility for the common good by casting their vote come the election or voting time. "It is not rarely that we justifiably complain over bad conditions. However, it is not right to say that nothing can be done, and stay at home come the time of election or some other vote," the bishops say in the pastoral letter for Lent, to be read on Sunday.

Business chambers call for strong govt, and fast

LJUBLJANA - The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) and the Chamber of Trade Crafts and Small Business (OZS) expressed concern over the uncertain political situation in the country. They want a government with a clear political mandate to address key structural issues. "Instead of navel gazing, politics should act in a state-building manner for the good of Slovenia's citizens and also its economy."

Controversy continues over alleged Iranian money laundering

LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Commission for the Oversight of Intelligence and Security Services discussed the state prosecution's decision last summer to reject a criminal complaint filed by a parliamentary inquiry over an alleged Iranian money laundering scheme at NLB bank a decade ago. Addressing reporters after the session, Janez Janša, the leader of the Democrats (SDS), said that the session heard "things that explain much of what is happening". He said that "people who made possible a criminal act of epic proportions investigate themselves," something that police officials denied.

Chief market inspector accused of systematically undermining inspections

LJUBLJANA - A criminal complaint has been filed against chief market inspector Andrejka Grlić by tax inspectors over her interference in their cases, including stopping inspections to protect selected individuals, TV Slovenija reported on Wednesday. The complaint was extended to Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek over his failure to take action and was confirmed by the Ljubljana Police Administration, which will investigate suspected accepting of benefits.

FDI growth slower in 2019

LJUBLJANA - Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Slovenia grew by EUR 816.2 million in 2019, after FDI stock reached EUR 1.2 billion at the end of 2018. While equity investment nearly doubled last year reaching EUR 1.05 billion, debt to foreign owners decreased by EUR 578.1 million, data from the central bank show. Last year, new FDI in the form of equity reached EUR 1.05 million, compared to EUR 535.3 million in 2018. Reinvested profit rose from EUR 539.8 million to EUR 342.5 million last year.

Steklarna Hrastnik revenue up last year

HRASTNIK - Glass maker Steklarna Hrastnik recorded EUR 67.5 million in revenue last year according to unaudited data, a 5% increase over the year before. Net profit rose from EUR 7.7 million in 2018 to EUR 9.8 million. According to CEO Peter Čas, the glass packaging division saw a 23% increase in sales revenue compared to 2018. This year, a total of EUR 29.5 million will be allocated for expansion and modernisation of production in this division, which is five times more than the company invested in it entire production in the last three years.

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