STA, 25 April 2019 - Paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs and films created by more than 130 authors between 1929 and 1941 in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia will be displayed at the Moderna Galerija in Ljubljana until 15 September, 2019.
On the Brink: The Visual Arts in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1929-1941) provides an overview of the visual art from the start of the reign of King Alexander I on 6 January 1929 to the beginning of World War II in Yugoslavia in April 1941.
Divided into five sections, it deals with five topics through different works of art and presentations. The show, the gallery's most ambitious event this year, will be accompanied by more than 20 film screenings.
In the section exploring intimacy and the inner world, works by major Serbian and Slovenian painters are put on show, the second section is dedicated to landscapes.
The third section, focussing on contrasts, is the central part of the exhibition and features a painting by Serbian Petar Dobrović depicting journalists of the Danas magazine.
It also presents a clash on the left between Croatian writer Miroslav Krleža and Marko Ristić, a representative of Belgrade's surrealism.
The fourth section is dubbed People. According to curator Marko Jenko, this room is very chaotic, presenting people from cities and the countryside, mainly through reportage photography, which was very popular at the time.
The final part of the exhibition presents Yugoslavia's ties between the two world wars through the first two official presentations of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia at the Venice Biennale in 1938 and 1940.
According to Moderna Galerija director Zdenka Badovinac, the historical context of the period is presented through excerpts from a 1934 travelogue by Louis Adamič, The Native's Return.
Slovenian-US writer Adamič presented the complex situation in the kingdom at the time through his encounters with a variety of people, including Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović, Dobrović and Krleža.
He was also received by King Alexander I, one year before his assassination in Marseilles.
Adamič portrayed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia as a country on the brink, a country of stark contrasts, caught between old, premodern customs and the grip of capitalism, with a premonition of its imminent end in a broader European and global context, the museum of modern art says.
The exhibition is open until 15 September.
A review of major events in the week between 19 and 25 April, 2019, as prepared by the STA:
FRIDAY, 19 April
LJUBLJANA - The newspaper Dnevnik reported the government had appointed career diplomat Vojislav Šuc Slovenia's new ambassador to Croatia. Before he replaces Smiljana Knez, he must be quizzed by the parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee and receive Croatia's approval.
LJUBLJANA - Social partners on the Economic and Social Council agreed the Labour Ministry would draft a new social pact by the end of May, based on three proposals by employers and one by trade unions. They would like to reach a consensus by the end of the year so that a new social pact could take effect in 2020.
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's general government surplus in 2018 was 34 million euro higher than initially calculated by the Statistics Office in March. It reached 337 million euro, equivalent to 0.7% of GDP. The country's debt amounted to 32.23 billion euro, or 70.1% of GDP.
LJUBLJANA - Tourism contributed 5.7 billion euro or 12.3% to Slovenia's GDP in 2018 and provided jobs for 110,700 people or 12.8% of all jobs, showed a report by the World Travel and Tourism Council.
TORONTO, Canada - Slavoj Žižek, the internationally acclaimed Slovenian philosopher, and Canadian bestselling author and psychologist Jordan Peterson, faced off their views on capitalism and Marxism. The long-awaited debate at the packed Sony Centre for the Performing Arts saw Peterson defend capitalism, arguing it also created wealth for the poor, while Žižek pointed to climate change as one instance of what is eating capitalism inside out.
SATURDAY, 20 April
LJUBLJANA - The newspaper Dnevnik reported that the Higher Court had reduced the fine imposed by the Ljubljana Local Court on the opposition Democrats (SDS) over an illegal loan of 60,000 euro from 20,000 to 4,200 euro. It also reduced the fine imposed on party leader Janez Janša from 2,000 to 500 euro.
SLOVENSKA BISTRICA - Impol, a Slovenian maker of aluminium products, obtained the EN 9100 standard certificate proving its compliance with the international quality standard for the aerospace industry which should enable it to get into the demanding market of top-quality products.
LENART - Local authorities in Lenart urged suspension of the Salomon waste sorting operation in the north-east town after waste deposited there went up in flames twice in a week, on 13 and 19 April. Unofficial information suggests the fires were caused by a spontaneous combustion.
SUNDAY, 21 April
LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor and Foreign Minister Miro Cerar condemned bomb attacks in churches and hotels in Sri Lanka, which killed more than 300 people, and expressed condolences to the families of the victims.
GLASGOW, UK - Pia Babnik, a 15-year-old Slovenian golf player, won the Helen Holm Scottish Women's Open Championship with a seven-shot win over France's Charlotte Bunel, affirming her status as one of the best up-and-coming female players in Europe.
TUESDAY, 23 April
BRDO PRI KRANJU - President Borut Pahor and Foreign Minister Miro Cerar pledged Slovenia's commitment to multilateralism and the rule of law as they addressed the annual consultation of Slovenian diplomats.
BEIJING, China - Minister of Economic Development and Technology Zdravko Počivalšek began a multi-day visit to China designed to strengthen economic relations between the two countries as well as Slovenia's role in the Belt and Road Initiative. He also visited the headquarters of Hisense, the owner of Slovenian household appliances maker Gorenje.
LJUBLJANA - Political analysts told the STA that with turnout at European Parliament elections very low - under 25% in 2014, the path to success hinged on mobilising core constituents in the weeks leading up to polling day. Alem Maksuti and Rok Čakš believe this will also crucially inform the substance of the debate, which they fear will not feature substantive discussions on the EU's future.
LJUBLJANA - A year after the state provided emergency funding for 15 public hospitals, three hospitals fell short of their 2018 financial goals. The first year of the four-year restructuring process has however produced better-than-expected results at twelve hospitals, showed a report debated by two parliamentary bodies.
NOVO MESTO/KOPER - A total of 111 migrants were apprehended illegally crossing the Croatian-Slovenian at the past weekend, the police said. The number of illegal crossings of the border in the first three months was up by nearly 150% compared to the same period in 2018, to 1,639. Most foreigners came from Algeria.
WEDNESDAY, 24 April
BRDO PRI KRANJU - PM Marjan Šarec made the case for a proactive and balanced foreign policy as he addressed the annual consultation of Slovenian diplomats. He stressed Slovenia's continued commitment to a strong and effective EU and a firm transatlantic alliance.
LJUBLJANA - PM Marjan Šarec warned of the danger of populism in an interview with the Associated Press, arguing the EU needed more efficient leadership to successfully counter the populist surge. He cited prolonged Brexit talks as an example of the EU's slow decision-making, even though he said delaying Britain's departure from the bloc was nevertheless positive.
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary foreign policy and culture committees condemned Hungary's interference in freedom of the press in Slovenia, meeting almost three weeks after the Hungarian ambassador to Slovenia protested with the Foreign Ministry because of a Mladina cover portraying Hungarian PM Viktor Orban with his hand raised in a Nazi salute.
LJUBLJANA - The supervisory board of Slovenian Sovereign Holding endorsed hiring a legal adviser to sell a further 10% minus one share in NLB after the state already sold 65% in Slovenia's largest bank last year. The state's stake needs to be reduced to 25% plus one share under commitments given to the European Commission.
ILIRSKA BISTRICA - Interior Minister Boštjan Poklukar and Police Commissioner Tatjana Bobnar visited Ilirska Bistrica to assure city officials and local residents the police were doing their job in protecting the border with Croatia. Nevertheless, the locals urged more police officers on the border, to better prevent illegal migrations, and in towns in the municipality so that they would feel safer.
LJUBLJANA - The Finance Ministry announced the NLB bank and its defunct predecessor LB had lost another case linked to Yugoslav-era bank deposits in Croatia as a Zagreb court upheld the ruling ordering them to repay more than 8 million euro in principal plus interest and litigation costs. Slovenia says the ruling runs afoul of Croatia's commitments under international agreements.
LJUBLJANA - The fund management branch of insurer Zavarovalnica Triglav completed the acquisition of fund manager Alta Skladi to become the leading provider of mutual funds in the Slovenian market with a 34% market share.
LJUBLJANA - Researchers and scientists held a March for Science and a public debate urging the state to provide more and steadier funds. They noted the current short-term project financing system was misguided, fuelling fierce rivalry between researchers and institutions.
THURSDAY, 25 April
LJUBLJANA - Despite criticism by the opposition, parliament endorsed a government decree setting the outlines of public finances for 2020-2022, when revenue and expenditure are to grow at an average 3.9% and 3.7%, respectively. A surplus of 1% of GDP is planned for the entire general government sector in 2020 compared to the 0.8% target for 2019, rising to 1.1% and 1.2% in 2021 and 2022, respectively.
LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly abolished taxes on holiday allowance amounting up to the average gross salary in Slovenia, which stands at just over EUR 1,700.
LJUBLJANA - Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH) estimated in the 2018 annual report to have posted a 6.3% return on equity last year, which was 0.2 of a percentage point below the peak figure posted the year before, but above the target of 6.1%.
LJUBLJANA - Interior Minister Boštjan Poklukar talked to his Austrian counterpart Herbert Kickl over the phone, reiterating Slovenia's position that there is no need for border controls on the Austrian-Slovenian border, a measure Austria extended earlier this month.
LJUBLJANA - Matej Pirc, the former chairman of Slovenian Sovereign Holding, was appointed chief executive officer of the Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC), having served as acting CEO since the end of January, as part of BAMC's overhaul following an audit which exposed a contentious sale of a piece of land.
LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly passed changes to the social assistance act to enact free-of-charge counselling and other forms of assistance for victims of crimes and their family members.
VELENJE - Household appliances maker Gorenje said it expected to lay off 270 people after the newspaper Večer learnt from unionists that 1,720 people would be sacked, of which 1,450 would be offered new contracts.
LJUBLJANA - The opposition Democrats (SDS) sent to parliament a bill to set up a demographic fund to prop up the pension system. The bill envisages all state assets being transferred to the fund.
LJUBLJANA - German MEP Gabrielle Zimmer, the leader of the left-wing GUE/NGL political group in the European Parliament, visited Ljubljana ahead of May's EU elections. She said the European Parliament needed more people who fought for change in the EU without destroying the bloc.
LJUBLJANA - Sergej Racman, the former owner of the cinema chain operator Kolosej, pleaded not guilty as he appeared in court charged with cutting off creditors, chiefly the NLB bank, by selling the Kolosej cinema centre in Ljubljana, which had been pledged as collateral for almost EUR 13m in loans.
LJUBLJANA - A comprehensive exhibition of visual arts from the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1929-1941) opened at Moderna Galerija, as the museum of modern art's main exhibition this year.
STA 26 April 2019 - On the eve of Resistance Day (27 April), a ceremony will be held in Kranj on Friday to remember the Liberation Front (Osvobodilna fronta - OF), an undercover organisation which spearheaded resistance against Nazi and Fascist occupation in World War II.
Addressing the national ceremony, parliamentary Speaker Dejan Židan said resistance should nowadays be perceived as the ability to survive, as self-confidence and responsibility. He also urged for the past not to divide us but to unite us for the future.
We seem to quarrel even more about the developments in WWII than those who fought during the war, he said, expressing disappointment at attempts to revise history. He also regretted that the unity of Slovenians from 28 years ago when Slovenia became independent had gradually faded away.
Židan sees independence, "which was achieved with a collective decision of the Slovenian nation for independence, with Territorial Defence's military courage, the determination of the police force, diplomatic achievements and the boldness of the media, as the latest historical test of Slovenian resistance".
For Slovenians, World War II started on 6 April 1941, when Germany attacked Yugoslavia; just three days later, Yugoslav soldiers, who put on only weak resistance, left Slovenia or were captured.
The territory of present-day Slovenia was divided between Germany, Italy and Hungary, with a small portion of land near Brežice in the east coming under the Independent State of Croatia, a Nazi puppet state.
With the exception of members of the German-speaking and Hungarian minorities, the majority of the Slovenian population could not reconcile themselves to the occupation.
As historians Zdenko Čepič and Damijan Guštin put it in their book Images of Lives of Slovenians in WWII, it was only a matter of time when and how they would resist.
The Anti-Imperialist Front, as it was initially known, was formed in Ljubljana on 26 April 1941, the day when Hitler visited Maribor, or two weeks after occupation and ten days after the Yugoslav authorities in Belgrade surrendered.
The movement was founded at the home of intellectual Josip Vidmar (1895-1992) by representatives of the Communist Party of Slovenia, the Sokoli gymnastic society, the Christian Socialists and a group of intellectuals.
It featured no political party from the pre-war period, but fractions of these parties from across the political spectrum as well as political dissidents, resulting in a mixture of worldviews.
Nevertheless, the leading role was all along played by Communists, even if there were only some 1,000 members. Having spent 20 years working undercover as an illegal organisation was what made them best suited to work in an occupied territory.
Yet there was infighting for Liberation Front leadership as early as 1942, including a clash between the Communists and Christian Socialists, which resulted in the Dolomite Declaration.
In the March 1943 declaration, the founding groups agreed to the domination of the Communist Party, a watershed moment which signalled the end of political pluralism.
The Liberation Front spread its network around the country regardless of the borders set up by the occupying forces. According to Čepič and Guštin, it was a kind of a state within the state, at least in Ljubljana in the first year.
To protect the Liberation Front and its leadership, the Security and Intelligence Service (VOS) was established upon the Communist Party's initiative.
Apart from VOS, the National Protection service was organised as a military organisation with small units operating around the country and at factories.
The Slovenian Communists were tasked to organise an armed resistance by the Yugoslav Communist Party's politburo and started organising it past the Liberation Front.
Thus, they set up military committees to lead the armed resistance on 1 June 1941 and the command of Slovenian partisan corps on the day of Germany's attack on the Soviet Union.
Čepič and Guštin say that left radicalism and sectarianism on the part of some Communists caused frictions within the Liberation Front, which its leadership and the Communist Party fought strongly against.
There were also problems in executing "the people's power" as individual partisan commanders terrorised the population, resorted to torture and even executions.
And even if the Communists had clearly stated their goal of pursuing political change after the war, people were willing to support the Front and cooperate with it.
Čepič and Guštin cite a statement by the leader of the Slovenian People's Party's illegal military organisation during WWII, Rudolf Smersu, who said "people simply flocked to them!"
This was despite warnings by Slovenian politicians that the Liberation Front was but an extension of the Communists.
And views on the Liberation Front and on Resistance Day, which used to be termed Liberation Front Day until renamed in the early 1990s, still differ.
But historians say that instead of engaging in basic studies there is too much focus on the role of the Liberation Front, which leads to rather general and biased views.
On Saturday, a series of local events will be organised around Slovenia, including memorial walks, and the Presidential Palace will open its door to visitors.
All our stories on World War 2 can be found here
STA, 26 April 2019 - The Farmers' Trade Union staged a protest on Friday, demanding that the government take immediate action, as a growing bear population is causing considerable damage to herds. Agriculture Ministry State Secretary Marko Maver promised farmers that an extraordinary kill measure would be ordered to mitigate the situation.
The protest was staged ten days after the Administrative Court sided with an environmental NGO that challenged the ministry's order to kill 200 bears this year.
The bear population is estimated at 750 in Slovenia, while in the early 1990s it was at 350. Currently, the population expands by 200 bears a year and could reach nearly 1,000 by the end of the year unless 200 are killed or relocated.
Unionist Roman Žveglič said that the ministry staff had listened carefully and promised to launch the measure of extraordinary killing in places where bears were causing the most damage.
Maver told the press that the ministry understood the distress of farmers. "We are all aware of the importance of sustainable management of bear population."
The ministry will moreover appeal the Administrative Court's decision and is drafting "additional documents on why the proposed number is justified," said Maver.
Žveglič said that in case the ministry failed to provide assistance, farmers would stage civil disobedience. "This means that we will start hunting wild animals ourselves, poisoning and shooting them."
At the rally, staged in front of the ministry, Florjan Peternel, a farmer from Ilirska Bistrica (SW), brought with him the remains of calves attacked by bears.
Until recently, his herd had no calves due to bear attacks in 2017 and 2018. "A fortnight ago, calvings started and 15 cows had calves. But yesterday, disaster struck. None survived."
All our stories about bears in Slovenia can be found here
STA, 26 April 2019 - Some 75% of Slovenians who took part in the most recent Eurobarometer survey feel that being a member of the EU has benefited their country. On average 68% of Europeans feel this way, the highest share since 1983. However, 50% of respondents are displeased with the situation either at home or in the EU at large.
The research was conducted in 28 EU member states between 19 February and 4 March 2019 by the Kantar Public company. A total of 27,973 Europeans, including 1,032 Slovenians aged 15 years or more were interviewed for the survey.
Results show that the general sentiment of belonging to the EU has not weakened despite Euroscepticism. Some 61% of Slovenians and as many surveyed Europeans believe EU membership is a good thing.
Nevertheless, the challenges faced by the EU in the past have increased citizens' feelings of unease. Some 32% of Slovenians (27% of Europeans) see the EU as being "neither good not bad". The percentage of individuals who share that sentiment has increased in 19 countries.
Some 37% of Slovenians feel the EU is no longer on the right track, while 38% feel that way about Slovenia. On average, some 50% of Europeans feel that either the EU or their home country is not going in the right direction. Nonetheless, 51% of respondents in Slovenia and just as many in all of the EU believe their vote has the power to make a change.
When asked about the upcoming European elections, only one third of Europeans knew they were scheduled for May, and only 5% knew the exact date. Some 33% of Slovenians and 35% of all Europeans are very likely to turn out for the election, while 32% of Europeans remain undecided.
Citizens' opinions on which issues they find most relevant for the election campaign have changed in the past six months. In Slovenia, the fight against youth unemployment now ranks the highest (61% of respondents, 49% of all Europeans), followed by the economy and growth (55% of respondents, 50% of Europeans).
The issue of climate change and the protection of the environment is deemed the most important topic by 41% of respondents in Slovenia and by 43% of all Europeans.
Migration and the fight against terrorism are considered top issues by 32% and 21% of respondents in Slovenia, respectively, and 44% and 41% of Europeans.
In Slovenia, 41% of respondents named social rights of EU citizens and consumer protection among the most important issues for citizens. Food safety was highlighted by 38% of respondents.
Some 62% of Slovenians and 54% of all Europeans call for a more important role of the European Parliament.
All our stories on Slovenia and the European Union are here
STA, 25 April 2019 - Figures released by the Statistics Office ahead of Labour Day reveal that of the approximately 981,000 working Slovenians, 7% live below the poverty line, and 2% receive financial or material assistance from welfare organisations.
Employment most notably affects the material aspect of life. "Households with no working family members who have to support children, are at the highest risk of poverty. Some 70% of the members of these households live below the poverty line," said Karmen Hren, deputy director of the Statistics Office, at Thursday's press conference.
Some 17% of the unemployed Slovenians are recipients of financial or material assistance from welfare organisations.
Being out of a job also affects health; some 80% of the working population would describe their health as good or very good, whereas for the unemployed that figure is lower, at 60%.
Following students, the working population is the most content with their life. Among the employed and the self-employed, over half describe themselves as very happy, and 2% as unhappy. The unemployed and other non-active Slovenians are the least happy.
All our stories on employment in Slovenia are here
STA, 21 April 2019 - Easter festivities will culminate with processions and holy masses glorifying the resurrection of Jesus Christ in the predominantly Catholic Slovenia on Sunday, followed by family gatherings.
Religious and many non-religious families will get together for the traditional Easter breakfast, a feast consisting of the food that was taken to blessings in baskets on Easter Eve.
A typical basket includes "pirhi", the elaborately decorated hard-boiled eggs, as well as ham, horse radish, the potica cake, and selected local specialities.
Many families and villages will hold traditional ester egg competitions, involving egg rolling, bowling or trying to target the egg with a coin.
In many a village, Easter processions will be accompanied by bell-ringing and loud banging produced by small cannons or mortars using gunpowder or carbide.
The smaller Protestant community, centred in the north-east of the country, will have children hunting for Easter eggs and bunnies.
In his Easter message, Archbishop of Ljubljana Stanislav Zore wished everyone who is looking for truth to "feel the joy of meeting Jesus", just like his disciples did when they found his grave empty.
Bishop Geza Filo, the leader of the Evangelic Lutheran Church, said that it was not democracy, market economy, welfare state or psychoanalysis that can bring a true and lasting solution, but only faith.
The extended weekend will run until Easter Monday, a public holiday.
STA, 20 April 2019 - Slavoj Žižek, the internationally acclaimed Slovenian philosopher, and Canadian bestselling author and psychologist Jordan Peterson, faced off their views on capitalism vs Marxism in a packed auditorium in Toronto last night.
The long-awaited debate at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts opened with an introduction by moderator Stephen Blackwood, who pointed out how unusual it was to see "the country's largest theatre packed for an intellectual debate".
According to the newspaper Dnevnik, Peterson admitted that capitalism produces inequality, but added that it also created wealth for the poor, while all other systems produced only inequality. "The poor are not getting poorer under capitalism; the poor are getting richer under capitalism," he said.
He criticised Marx for being uncritical about his own ideas when writing the Communist Manifesto. He does not agree with the focus on the economic class struggle, arguing that biological differences were are more important and that is where hierarchies emerge.
Peterson also defended the motive of profit as a reward for good work, what enabled growth and showed what the demand was for. There is no surprise then that Peterson will keep the profit form ticket sales, while Žižek will give it away for charity.
Žižek acknowledged deficiencies of communism and communist regimes, offering the example of China and its rise since it added the capitalist system to authoritarianism, asking the audience whether the Chinese were happier now than they were under communism.
He said that the stories about the disintegration of traditional values and the refugee crisis were false ideological stories made up by people in order to find the justification for their actions, in this case to conceal the problems of capitalism as such.
He believes that capitalism today is also being corroded inside by the threat of climate change and depletion of natural resources because of the logic of expanding production.
He pointed out the paradox of an increasingly linked but at the same time divided world, and the willingness to mitigate the consequences but not to deal with the root causes of global problems. He does not think solving these is a utopia, but rather that it is a utopia to expect the problems would not need to be solved.
Žižek sees equality as an opportunity for an individual to pursue creative and personal aspirations instead of just trying to satisfy basic conditions for survival.
He reproached Peterson for being active in society because he was aware it was not enough to advise an individual to get their lives sorted out, as this was really possible only when made possible by the society's structure and its system.
Peterson, who expressed surprise that he was not taking to a hard-line communist, partly agreed with Žižek, but also insisted that individuals had to take on the responsibility to solve their own problems to be able to take on bigger, even social problems.
The Žižek-Peterson debate, themed Happiness: Capitalism vs Marxism, was one of the most eagerly awaited events in the academic world, featuring two ideologically completely different thinkers.
The initiative for the debate was made by Peterson in November last year as he visited Ljubljana to promote his book d 12 Rules for Life. The 3,200 tickets for the Toronto debate sold out quickly, with resellers charging exorbitant fees - as much as $950 for a seat. The debate was made available online at a cost of $14.95.
All our stories on Žižek are here
As prepared by the STA
MONDAY, 22 April
LJUBLJANA - Easter Monday, a public holiday.
MIRNA PEČ - The local automotive club will organise a traditional blessing of motorcycles and cars.
TUESDAY, 23 April
BRDO PRI KRANJU - The annual consultation of Slovenian diplomats will start with addresses by President Borut Pahor and Foreign Minister Miro Cerar.
BEIJING, China - Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek will start a visit to China; until 27 April.
LJUBLJANA - The coalition Social Democrats (SD) will confirm their slate for the EU election and a new party manifesto.
LJUBLJANA - A joint session of the parliamentary committees for labour and economy will discuss the 2019-2020 National Reform Programme.
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Health Committee will debate the financial performance of health institutions in 2018.
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Agriculture, Forestry and Food Committee will debate the financing of an Agriculture Ministry campaign promoting Slovenian produce and products.
LJUBLJANA - The Chamber of Commerce and Industry will host a conference on the management of family firms.
LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor will host a debate on how small businesses are preparing for the cooling of the economy.
VITANJE - An event dubbed the Noordung Forum will explore blockchain technology. Culture Minister Zoran Poznič and European Commissioner Violeta Bulc will be on hand.
BANOVCI - The coalition Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) will host a debate on retirement, to be attended by Labour Minister Ksenija Klampfer.
LJUBLJANA - Presentation of the programme of the 67th Ljubljana Festival (2 July - 5 September).
LJUBLJANA - The 24th Slovenian Book Days, running between 15 and 18 May, will be presented to the press.
WEDNESDAY, 24 April
BRDO PRI KRANJU - Prime Minister Marjan Šarec and National Assembly Speaker Dejan Židan will address Slovenian diplomats on the final day of their annual consultation.
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary culture and foreign policy committees will debate Hungary's recent appeal for government intervention in Slovenian media.
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Finance Committee will debate amendments to the income tax act and the National Reform Programme 2019-2020.
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Culture Committee will debate the STA's annual report for 2018.
LJUBLJANA - The Urban Forum, an event organised by the Environment Ministry and the Association of Municipalities, will debate sustainable solutions in city management.
LJUBLJANA - The retailer Mercator is expected to release its audited annual report for 2018.
LJUBLJANA - The Statistics Office will release business sentiment data for April.
LJUBLJANA - A round table debate on science will be held before scientists stage a Rally for Science in front of the buildings of the economy and education ministries.
THURSDAY, 25 April
LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly is expected to adopt a set of legislative amendments that reduce the taxation of holiday allowance.
LJUBLJANA - Weekly government session.
BRUSSELS, Belgium - Agriculture Minister Aleksandra Pivec will attend an international conference on forests.
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Commission for Slovenians Abroad will review the state of play regarding proposals made at a major diaspora meeting in mid-2017.
LJUBLJANA - An exhibition on visual art in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia will open at the Museum of Modern Art.
FRIDAY, 26 April
LJUBLJANA - The campaign for the EU election will officially get under way a month before election day.
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Commission for Oversight of Intelligence and Security Services will debate the draft National Security Resolution.
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary EU Affairs Committee will debate the National Reform Programme 2019-2020 and a report on the implementation of EU cohesion policy.
KRANJ - The main ceremony marking Resistance Day.
SATURDAY, 27 April
LJUBLJANA - US singer Lenny Kravitz will give a concert at Stožice Arena.
PODČETRTEK - The start of the annual Festival of Wine and Chocolate.
SUNDAY, 28 April
No major events are scheduled.
April 20th is back again, a date that’s become synonymous with cannabis, and a time for celefWDXations and protests around the world, when millions will be burning or otherwise consuming the flowers of Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica, also known as marijuana, although, as “Gape Agape” the person interviewed for this feature – a representative of the Slovenski konopljin socialni klub (SKSK)– said right at the start of our discussion:
We'd like to emphasize that we do not like the term marijuana, because it was too often connected with prohibition and the propaganda that had led to it. We prefer the term cannabis [konoplja, in Slovene]. Similarly, we do not like the term medical, but rather medicinal — in the sense of traditional healing with herbs and such. In this context, all cannabis is medicinal.
With the correct nomenclature noted, we set out to find out more about the work of SKSK, and the campaign of legal cannabis in Slovenia.
What’s the overall goal of SKSK?
We want to that everybody can use cannabis, and not only cannabis for self-healing. For this, it is imperative that people be able to produce their own supplies, self-supply – meaning be allowed to grow their own medicine in sufficient quantities.
To achieve this it is vital that the growing of cannabis is not – by default – treated by the law as if intended for criminal activities, but understood as the free-growing of naturalised herb.
What is the next step in achieving this?
We’ve already succeeded in moving the plant from group 1 (the most dangerous substances) into group 2 of the Decree on the Classification of Illicit Drugs. Next, we need to get cannabis and THC to group 3, or remove them both – which would be the best thing – from the Decree.
What would the benefits of legalisation be for Slovenia?
It is already legalised and decriminalised to a certain extent, but growing cannabis is still potentially (by default) treated as an offence or crime. We thus demand naturalization – meaning having no legal limitations for growing and using the plant.
The benefits of liberating cannabis this way – all the way – would be numerous: lots of new jobs in growing, processing and researching the plant. The possibilities of use, and therefore options for selling it and making money, are unlimited, since the plant can be used in medicine, cosmetics, food, and can even substitute for oil – as a fuel, for making plastic – at least partially.
Is there a foreign model you want to follow?
There is no existing model (that we know of) that would be good enough for us – none of them enables free-growing that we strive for. Self-supply is allowed in certain models, but the quantities allowed are far too low to make enough medicine to cure cancer, multiple sclerosis or other serious conditions.
All existing models are steps in a better direction, but we want cannabis to be free of any legal restrictions. When there are no legal limitations there are also no limitations for discovering new applications for the herb.
How do you feel about CBD?
If we put it (too) simply: CBD helps, THC heals. The basic difference between the two is that CBD helps heal inflammation (which is the cause of numerous serious health conditions) while THC gets rid of deformed/mutated cells (i.e.. cancer cells which are unable to die and reproduce incessantly). But they are just two major cannabinoids, there are several others that play important roles in healing the body; our body needs the whole spectre of substances contained in cannabis – entourage effect.
Talking about the great majority of the “legal CBD”, the main problem is that pharmaceutical products are “cleaned” of the THC due to prohibition/regulation. Consequently, everything is diminished: cannabinoids, terpenes and other healing substances. Another problem is that CBD, being legal, is advertised as cannabis itself, but it isn’t. Too many substances are missing to equate it to the whole plant. The endocannabinoid system in human body cannot work optimally without cannabinoids, especially THC.
What do you think will happen with cannabis in Slovenia in the next few years?We will continue to work on achieving our goal – liberating cannabis of all the legal restrictions so anyone can use it in any time for any purpose. So, we will work on increasing awareness of all the benefits of the plant.
When cannabis finally becomes free for people to grow and use, we intend to continue doing what we do now, and more: educating people, growing and processing plants, finding out and creating new ways of use, selling the products…
Are there any regional differences in attitudes to cannabis in Slovenia?
Yes, there are. The centre of Slovenia is less restrictive towards cannabis, the south-west is quite nice too. But in the north-east the cannabis-related offences are treated 70% as criminal deeds, and only 30% as offences, while it is just the opposite in other regions. In the north-east growing forbidden cannabis has quite a long tradition, and is therefore more strictly punished by establishment. But the situation is getting better everywhere.
strong>Which politicians or arties are most supportive of your aims?
None, except for the ZSi movement. We tried to cooperate with lots of them, like Levica (The Left) and Pirati (The Pirates), but none of them made any substantial difference. They might claim they moved cannabis to group 2, but there were more than 50 complaints about the first change of the before mentioned Decree.
If people want to help, what can they do? (add any contact details, events, places to give money, etc)
They can get educated: www.sksk.si
Or they can support our work by donating at our bank account:
IBAN SI56 6100 0000 3512 814
Everybody can help in their own way in promoting cannabis, by growing it, using it, giving it a good name…
What do you have planned for April 20?
We’re going to paint Easter egg, of course...
However, on April 19th ŠOU (Student Organization of University of Ljubljana) is organizing the Million Marijuana March and we’ll be there. You can visit us at our stand where you can get free Ruletka rolling papers and other material.
We don’t really support 4:20 – that one should smoke cannabis only after 4:20pm. We want people to use it any time they want, even to start in the morning, not only after finishing their job.
“Zu3 se NaFu3” (= feed yourself in the morning) is one of our mottos.
STA, 18 April 2019 - Slovenia boasts a rich heritage of Easter traditions, with some of them originating in the pre-Christian, pagan times. In the northern region of Koroška some of these traditions, unique to the region, are still preserved today although perhaps in a slightly more modern form.
Preparations for Easter, the biggest holiday in the Christian calendar, start two weeks before Easter Monday and the celebration continues until Low Sunday, the Sunday following Easter.
Many of the customs and rituals associated with Easter originate in the ancient Slavic mythology, with the Christianity only adopting them and adding Jesus Christ as the main figure and his resurrection as the reason for celebration, ethnologist Brigita Rajšter of the Koroška Regional Museum told the STA.
Some of the customs related to the main celebration of spring have died away, some have changed somewhat and many are still preserved in the region, she said.
One such custom is the making of palms for Palm Sunday. In Koroška, the bundle of green branches and flowers is called pegl.
In some villages, people come together to make giant pegls, which reach more than 20 meters in length. Eight years ago, a record-long 34.7-metre pegl was made in Radlje ob Dravi.
In the past, children who ran with a blessed pegl around the house three times earned themselves a prize.
Traditionally, the branches from the palms were placed in gardens and fields to boost fertility. In the village of Črneče, children used to stick the blessed palms in the branches of their favourite tree.
One custom that is still alive today is the cleaning and tidying of homes and their surroundings during the preparations for Easter, which however have to be concluded by Wednesday before Easter. "Bringing order in disorder has a special meaning," Rajšter said.
Good Friday, observed by fasting, is the day when meals do not include any meat. On this day, women bake bread and traditional Easter deserts such as potica, šarkelj and pogača.
On Easter Saturday, the day starts with the blessing of the fire, which is used to smoke homes and stables. The torch with the blessed fire is then used to start a fire on which meat and eggs are boiled. In the evening Easter bonfires are lit.
While women and girls prepare the dishes for Eastern blessing, including ham, sausages, horseradish, coloured eggs, bread and various deserts, men and boys take care of the fire outside and set off makeshift mortars. It is an old custom imitating the cracking of rocks during Christ's resurrection.
In the past, when families were big, the oldest unmarried girl carried the Easter basket to church. They went on foot, carrying baskets on their heads. Traditionally, they decorated the basket with a bouquet, which they later used to decorate the table.
But not all dishes were allowed to be enjoyed as early on Saturday. Meat dishes could only be eaten after the morning mass on Sunday.
The traditional Easter breakfast in Koroška includes a boiled eggs salad, seasoned with horseradish, apple vinegar, pumpkin seed oil, salt and water. In the Mislinja area, ham and even potica are added to the mix.
While adults mostly look forward to Easter dishes, children used to eagerly anticipate Easter Monday, when they received Easter presents from their godfathers and godmothers.
In the past, these presents consisted of šarkelj with a coin in it, a coloured egg and possibly even an orange. Sometimes, the children would also get some new clothes.
Today, the custom is still very much alive. However, the presents have become much more valuable and could be a bicycle, roller skates or in-line skates.
Children would receive the present all the way to Low Sunday. In some parts of Koroška, some of the Easter dishes had to be preserved until then to repeat the Easter breakfast.
After Easter meals, families traditionally go out to play or take a trip together. Children used to play a very old game in which they divide themselves in two groups with those from one group asking the other how strong a bridge have they built.
Boys in particular liked to stage competitions involving eggs and coins. They would place the eggs on the ground and try to hit them with a coin. Whoever managed to get the coin stuck in the egg, won the egg.
In the village of Libeliče, five to ten boys would gather and put two narrow wooden boards on a small chair with a slot in the middle. They then rolled the eggs on it and then threw coins in them.
In Western Pohorje, children used to dig anthills to put coloured eggs in them and let ants "decorate" them with their acid.