Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Wednesday, 13 October 2021

By , 13 Oct 2021, 05:07 AM News
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This summary is provided by the STA

Logar vows Slovenia's support for Bosnia's EU accession efforts

LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Anže Logar assured his Bosnian counterpart Bisera Turković of Slovenia's support for Bosnia-Herzegovina's EU accession process, including when it comes to reforms the country needs to adopt to join the bloc. Turković said her country was ready for EU candidate status. Logar told Turković during her working visit that "empty statements saying the EU has no serious desire for enlargement should not and cannot be a reason to stall reforms".

EU ministers call for unified criteria regarding Covid pass

BRDO PRI KRANJU - The informal meeting of the EU health ministers in Brdo pri Kranju called for as unified as possible criteria for the implementation of the recovered-vaccinated-tested rule. Speaking after the hybrid event, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides also called for coordination. Asked about more unified rules regarding vaccination against Covid-19, Slovenian Minister Janez Poklukar said national authorities should adjust decisions to EMA's recommendations.

EU ministers reach deal on fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea

LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - After tough talks, EU agriculture ministers chaired by Slovenia's Jože Podgoršek reached a political agreement in Luxembourg on the total allowable catch in the Baltic Sea next year which would cut the catch for some fish stocks. Podgoršek said the agreement was balancing the interests and socio-economic needs of the Baltic fishing communities with the long-term sustainability of fish stocks in the region. Debating the Fit for 55 package the ministers raised risks to the competitiveness of European agriculture and a potential impact on food prices.

Minister calls for safeguards in tech take-up by judiciary

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Justice Minister Marjan Dikaučič warned at an EU ministerial forum on the digital judiciary that technological solutions being deployed in the judiciary, including artificial intelligence, must come with safeguards that will ensure the respect of fundamental rights. The forum is conceived as a platform for the exchange of experiences in digitalisation of the judiciary in individual member states.

Logar addresses OSCE Mediterranean Conference

LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Anže Logar discussed the need to build resilience to future crises and the importance of stability and security in the Mediterranean as addressed by video link the annual OSCE Mediterranean Conference. The conference was organised by Poland, which is chairing the group of OSCE Mediterranean partners. These are Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and Israel. Logar also raised the issue of climate change as a security challenge and a threat multiplier.

State secretary attends Non-Aligned Movement event in Belgrade

BELGRADE, Serbia - Foreign Ministry State Secretary Stanislav Raščan attended an event marking the 60th anniversary of the first conference of the Non-Aligned Movement in Belgrade, Serbia, on Monday to meet several Serbian officials on the sidelines of the event to discuss topical issues, such as Serbia's EU integration and succession to the former Yugoslavia.

Four opposition parties announce motion to oust interior minister

LJUBLJANA - Centre-left opposition parties announced a motion to oust Interior Minister Aleš Hojs over violent crackdown on protests, and politicisation of the police force. Hojs said he had not been acquainted with the content so he would not comment at this stage. The motion, which is to be filed next week, had been drawn up by the Left, with the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), Social Democrats (SD) and the Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) joining in.

DeSUS council denies support to govt, MPs disagree

LJUBLJANA - The council of the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) adopted a document whereby it denies any further support to the government, while calling on the government to resign immediately and call a snap election. Addressing reporters, party leader Ljubo Jasnič said that while it may benefit individual members of DeSUS to support the government, such support was extremely harmful for the party. It is unlikely DeSUS MEPs will follow the decision as two of them present at the meeting opposed it.

Slovenia joins appeal to Brussels to label nuclear energy green

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Ten EU countries, Slovenia included, have asked the EU Commission to recognise nuclear power as a low-carbon energy source that should be part of the Union's transition towards climate neutrality and help reduce the bloc's energy dependence. The ten countries say nuclear is a "key affordable, stable and independent energy source" that could protect EU consumers from being "exposed to the volatility of prices," Euronews reported. PM Janez Janša said increasing production at nuclear power plants in Europe was essential to securing sufficient supply and achieving carbon-free society by 2050.

Govt expresses support for major green mobility project

IDRIJA - The government expressed support for an initiative by ten automotive suppliers to form a partnership with the government and scientists in the field of green mobility whose ultimate goal is to increase total annual sales of the automotive industry in Slovenia from EUR 3 billion today to EUR 5 billion by 2030. Prime Minister Janez Janša and other government officials were presented the project by the participating companies and the Slovenian Automotive Cluster as they visited Idrija, a major car part maker hub.

Petrol announces major price hikes as ministry analyses situation

LJUBLJANA - Petrol, Slovenia's largest energy company, will significantly increase the prices of electricity and natural gas on 1 December due to higher energy prices in international markets. Power is to go up by 30% and of natural gas by 12%. Other suppliers are expected to follow suit. Higher energy prices are a major problem for the entire EU economy not just for Slovenian's, Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek said. The situation is being analysed and he hopes solutions will be found for each segment.

IMF upgrades growth forecast for Slovenia

WASHINGTON, US - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) upgraded the forecast for the Slovenian economy. It projects the country's GDP will grow by 6.3% this year, up 2.4 percentage points from its spring forecast. The forecast for 2022 was however lifted by only 0.1 of a point, to 4.6%. The IMF forecast is now almost exactly the same as the projection by the government's macroeconomic think-tank IMAD made a month earlier.

Govt approves fiscal plan for 2022

LJUBLJANA - The government endorsed a draft budgetary plan for 2022 setting out the country's fiscal policy for next year. This is a document all EU members have to send to the European Commission as part of coordination of fiscal policies by mid-October. The plan projects for the general government deficit to fall from 7.5% of GDP this year to 5.4% in 2022 and further to 3.3% in 2023, while it should drop below 3% in 2024. Debt is to be reduced to 77.5% of GDP in 2022 and to 76% in 2023.

MPs told economy ministry's budget huge on recovery funds

LJUBLJANA - The Economy Committee discussed the draft 2022 and 2023 budgets for the relevant ministry, with the funds being increased for next year, while a cut is envisaged in 2023. Nevertheless, the ministry believes the set goals would be achieved in both years, while support for companies in recovering from the Covid-19 crisis would continue. The ministry's 2022 budget is being raised from EUR 289.3 million to EUR 360.4 million. In 2023, it is to get EUR 216.9 million.

Diaspora office looking at record budget in 2023

LJUBLJANA - The Office for Slovenians Abroad is to see its annual budget increase from EUR 10.17 million this year to EUR 10.7 million in 2022 and to a record EUR 11.3 million in 2023. This follows from the national budget documents for the coming two years that were reviewed by the parliamentary Commission for Slovenians Abroad. Commission members from the coalition and the opposition as well as State Secretary Dejan Valentinčič hailed the increase in budgetary funds for the office.

Tourism to get EUR 200m in investment funds

LJUBLJANA - Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek announced the Slovenian tourism industry would get EUR 200 million in investment funds through various calls in the near future, as Tourist Organisation (STO) director Maja Pak said the country would see an 11% rise in arrivals this year compared to 2020. The pair spoke to reporters in Ljubljana ahead of the Days of Slovenian Tourism, the industry's major annual event, to be held in Postojna over the next two days.

Number of new coronavirus cases up slightly week-on-week

LJUBLJANA - After a week-long downward trend, the number of new coronavirus topped 1,000 on Monday, standing at 1,005, in what is an increase over the week before. The PCR test positivity rate was at 22%. Hospitalisations are also up slightly today and one more Covid-19 patient has died, government data show.

CoE urges more focus on socially vulnerable women in Slovenia

LJUBLJANA - The first evaluation report on Slovenia's implementation of the Istanbul Convention notes a number of positive measures but points out that more attention should be paid to forms of violence against women other than domestic violence. The Council of Europe's Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence highlighted Slovenia's significant progress "towards building a comprehensive legal, policy and institutional framework in the field of prevention of domestic violence" before and after its 2015 ratification of the convention.

Festival of Slovenian Film opens in Portorož

PORTOROŽ - The 24th Festival of Slovenian Film opened in the coastal town of Portorož with the screening of Inventura, a film by Darko Sink. Until Sunday, a total of 54 films will compete for the festival's awards. Inventura, which premiered at the San Sebastian film festival, is a story of a man whose illusions of the world come crumbling down. "The irony and force of this collapse can be compared to the present, when it is no longer clear what is true and what is 'fake'," Sink said about his first film.

Luka Dončić and Mark Cuban honoured as tourism ambassadors

LJUBLJANA - Young Slovenian basketball ace Luka Dončić is being honoured by the Slovenian tourism community with the Crystal Triglav, awarded to those who contribute the most to Slovenia's promotion around the world. Mark Cuban, the owner of Dončić's NBA team Dallas Mavericks, became the ambassador of Slovenian tourism for 2021. The award ceremony will be held in the Postojna Cave on Wednesday.

Slovenia fail to make it to World Cup after loss against Russia

MARIBOR - The Slovenian men's football team conceded defeat to Russia (1:2) in Maribor on Monday evening. Thus, Slovenia failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup. The eighth match of the qualification was fatal for the Slovenian side, which will miss out on the World Cup in Qatar. The team still has two more matches to play, one in Slovakia and one at home against Cyprus.


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