Fajon talks Slovenia's bid for UN Security Council in New York
NEW YORK, US - Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon discussed Slovenia's bid for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council in 2024-2025 at the 10th Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in New York. "This is not a project of the previous government, this is Slovenia's project," she said. She discussed the bid with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and other officials during Monday's bilateral meetings. "I've received a lot of advice from different people on how to approach vote canvassing," she said, announcing visits to Latin America, Asia and Africa before she returns to New York in September to attend the session of the UN General Assembly.
Health Ministry to speed up drawing of EU funds
LJUBLJANA - The share of EU funds Slovenia has drawn for health projects is rather low, Health Minister Daniel Bešič Loredan told the press. He said the ministry would not be looking for the culprits, but rather focus on phasing as much money as possible within the set deadlines. He mentioned redistribution of funds as a solution, meaning that funds from projects that are behind schedule would be transferred to projects that can be completed before the end of this financial perspective. He said talks on this were under way with hospital managements.
Preliminary estimates indicate significant drought damage
LJUBLJANA - First estimates show the damage the severe drought has caused to crops will be extensive. Maize and grasses have been hit the worst so far, with the fallout expected to be at 50%, according to data the Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry forwarded to the Agriculture Ministry. The ministry's estimate is that the damage is near the 0.03% of budget revenue, which warrants state aid, but damages will not be paid out before next year. Slovenia had six droughts that affected agriculture to the point they were declared natural disasters in the 2001-2021 period. The 2003 drought hit the hardest, causing over EUR 121 million in damage and the state helping out with EUR 35 million.
Czech group Solitea takes over Slovenian Vasco
BRNO, Czechia/ŠENČUR - Solitea, a Czech group offering ICT solutions, has acquired another Slovenian company, Vasco, after buying SAOP in 2016. Solitea did not disclose the price of the deal, which is still subject to regulatory approval, but business newspaper Finance unofficially reported Vasco cost Solitea some EUR 30 million. Vasco is a Šenčur-based company with some 30 employees specialising in development and sale of software solutions for companies. It was established in 1991 by the couple Tomaž and Mojca Čebašek, while Finance placed it fourth on its 2021 list of 167 ICT companies. Once the takeover is completed, it will become part of the SAOP group.
Renovation of Slovenia's main hospital under scrutiny
LJUBLJANA - Renovation works on the main building of UKC Ljubljana worth over EUR 70 million are planned to start shortly. But according to media reports, the open call to select the contractor for the energy renovation segment was flawed, not containing a detailed description of the works, the quantity and price of materials. Although the hospital has dismissed the allegations, the Health Ministry said that if the allegations transpired to be true, the drawing of EU funds would be halted. The upgrade of UKC Ljubljana also includes the renovation of the interior of the building, with both projects to be carried out by constructor GH Holding.
Govt launching regular dialogue with umbrella NGO for disabled
LJUBLJANA - PM Robert Golob met with representatives of the National Council of Disability Organisations (NSIOS) to establish regular and direct dialogue with the representative organisation of the disable to address challenges of some 100,000 people with disabilities in Slovenia. He announced that an operative body will be set up bringing together representatives of the government and NSIOS to find solutions. NSIOS head Mateja Toman said they hoped for fiscal solutions to improve the social situation of the disabled, who face a number of expenses that ordinary people don't.
Covid count down slightly in a week
LJUBLJANA - 2,625 new coronavirus cases were recorded in Slovenia on Monday, more than 300 fewer compared to a week ago, as the downward trend continues. According to the Health Ministry, two patients died. In total, 271 patients were in hospitals with Covid on Monday, including those with other conditions, which is 13 more than on Sunday. 17 patients needed intensive care, one more than on Sunday. The National Institute of Public Health puts the 7-day average of new daily cases to 1,558, down by 48 over the day before, while the 14-incidence rate per 100,000 dropped by seven to 1,065.
Slovenia to get monkeypox vaccine from EU Commission
LJUBLJANA - The government decided to accept a donation of 1,400 doses of a monkeypox vaccine from the European Commission. The Jynneos vaccine, also known as Imvanex, is produced by Denmark's Bavarian Nordic, and has been assessed by the European Medicines Agency as the most appropriate vaccine against monkeypox. The WHO recommended in June that healthcare workers be vaccinated against monkeypox.
Ceremony held in memory of Nazi genocide against the Roma
MARIBOR - A ceremony was held in Maribor on Roma Holocaust Memorial Day in memory of the Nazi genocide against the Roma and Sinti. As part of the event, entitled The Night When Violins Went Silent, French documentary The Forgotten Genocide was screened. Addressing the event at the Maribor Synagogue, Deputy Mayor Alenka Iskra said such memorial events were important to keep the memory of various wrongs alive. This is particularly important in a time when the rhetoric of some is dangerously reminiscent of what happened eight decades ago, she said. Another ceremony will be held in Murska Sobota on Wednesday.
Slovenian appointed head of international speleology union
POSTOJNA - Slovenian speleologist Nadja Zupan Hajna was elected president of the International Union of Speleology (UIS) at the organisations' congress last week. She is the first woman and the first Slovenian to be appointed UIS president. Zupan Hajna is a researcher at the Karst Research Institute in Postojna. Being a member of the Permanent Bureau of the UIS since 2009, she was the treasurer of the union in the past term. Founded in 1965, the UIS currently has 57 member states, each of which appoints a delegate for a four-year term to represent the country's cavers and speleologists.
Cement milk likely cause of Glinščica fish kill
LJUBLJANA - Monday's fish kill in the stream Glinščica in Ljubljana most likely resulted from cement milk pollution, as the tests have shown that the cause was not too low a pH or a lack of oxygen in the water, the local angling club's head Marijan Kerč told the STA after he visited the site together with an inspector for agriculture, forestry, hunting and fisheries. Half a dozen fish kills have occurred in Slovenia since early June, all attributed to pollution rather than low water levels amid a serious drought. The severest took place in Mali Graben, a canal of the Gradaščica in Ljubljana, where some 1.5 tonnes of fish died at the end of July.
Kranj park gets another bust of France Prešeren's contemporary
KRANJ - A bust of Alphonse de Lamartine, a 19th-century French author, poet and statesman, was unveiled in Kranj to join another four busts in the city's park honouring Slovenian poet France Prešeren (1800-1849) and his contemporaries. The bust was unveiled in La Ciotat Park in collaboration with France's La Ciotat - the first town with which Kranj twinned in 64 years ago. The first busts were unveiled last October, while there is enough space in the park for another ten.
Slovenians drink some 26 litres of beer a year
LJUBLJANA - Annual at-home consumption of beer in Slovenia is around 26.4 litres per capita, shows data the Statistics Office released ahead of International Beer Day. Beer prices increased in 2021, by 3.2% year-on-year, as retail price for lager stood at EUR 1.83 per litre, while half a litre of ale in bars sold at an average EUR 2.89. The total value of beer imports last year was EUR 26.7 million, with Austria making the most profit at a 38% share. The value of exports reached EUR 55.9 million, with most beer (25%) being exported to Croatia.