STA, 4 November - Slovenia will be showcased as a country of advanced technologies and a winter sports destination at China International Import Expo (CIIE) fair opening in Shanghai on Tuesday with Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek on hand.
This is the second time that CIIE is being held at China's financial capital and the second time that Slovenia is being featured at this high-profile fair of consumer and high-tech products and services.
According to the investment and entrepreneurship promotion agency Spirit Slovenija, eleven Slovenian companies will be showcased at the event.
At the national and winter pavilions and the exhibition of Slovenian-made products, the country will be promoted as a country offering high-tech and innovative products and services and as an excellent partner in preparations for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing.
The fair's opening will be attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, with Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek arriving in Shanghai from Slovenia for the occasion.
Ahead of the event, Spirit Slovenija director Ajda Cuderman said that Slovenia would like to reduce its trade gap with China, also by tapping on niche industries and technologies which are hard to copy.
"We will be presenting some of Slovenia's cutting-edge technology at the event, and promote Slovenian expertise and Slovenian winter sports companies ahead of the Beijing Games," said Cuderman.
Last year, CIIE featured 3,000 companies from 130 countries, drawing more than 150,000 Chinese buyers.
The Slovenian pavilion in Shanghai will be designed in a way to relate to the concept of the country's pavilion at the world Expo show in Dubai next year to spark the interest in the upcoming showcase.
STA, 3 November 2019 - Milan Kučan, Slovenia's first president, criticised political elites in Slovenia and Croatia in his address at a commemorative ceremony in Croatia on Sunday, accusing them of a lack of ideas to resolve issues troubling bilateral relations. He also called for dialogue to resolve the Catalan crisis.
The ceremony at Kučibreg in Istria marked the 75th anniversary of the World War Two battles in which more than 120 Croatian, Slovenian and Italian Partisan resistance members were killed in fighting the Germans together.
The ceremony, organised by organisations and local authorities from the three countries, was also attended by Slovenia's Ambassador to Croatia Vojislav Šuc, among others.
In his keynote, Kučan said that "the fight for freedom never ends" because "freedom is never secured for ever", and that the message of the Kučibreg battles was that the fight for freedom knew no national boundaries.
"The desire for freedom cannot be confined to one man, one group or one nation. This was also testified by the fighters here, on the slopes of Kučibreg, where Slovenes, Croats and Italians fought together. They fought under the common banner of freedom."
Turning to the troubled relationship between Slovenia and Croatia today, Kučan said: "Is it truly more important to deny the right to a few miles of sea and to deny the authority of international tribunal than to have the opportunity for both countries to contribute to resolving vital issues in the EU?"
Responsible politicians should know that there are no winners in such disputes, and that there are no innocents, he said. "If anything, it is a shared defeat," he said, adding that both countries lack ideas, direction and capability to make serious initiatives and take steps in resolving issues.
Kučan also raised the developments in Catalonia in his address, in what he described as a field of the fight for freedom, human rights and human dignity.
"Catalan-Spanish relations are in a serious political crisis," which could only be solved through democratic political means, openness, dialogue and responsibility on the part of the parties involved.
He said it was necessary to say out loud that it was unacceptable to have political prisoners in any country in Europe today. "We cannot keep silent, because silence would mean assuming responsibility for the fate of the recently convicted Catalan leaders, and for the fate of European values."
A schedule of all the main events involving Slovenia this week can be found here
This summary is provided by the STA:
MARIBOR - A 500kg World War Two bomb was safely defused in Maribor after hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes in the vicinity. In the largest such operation in Slovenia's second largest city since 1945, the authorities called on 1,000 people living within a 300-metre radius of the bomb to leave their homes. A further 2,200 residents in a 300-600-metre radius were told to keep indoors and away from the windows facing the bomb site close to the city's main coach station. In a similar operation, a 250kg bomb was defused in Maribor on Thursday, causing the evacuation of 80 people.
Slovenia joining UNIDO Industrial Development Board
ABU DHABI, UAE - A delegation headed by Economy Ministry State Secretary Aleš Cantarutti is taking part in the 18th session of the General Conference of the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Abu Dhabi, discussing the significance of inclusive and sustainable economic development. During the session the delegation will meet UNIDO Director-General LI Yong, and other UNIDO officials, while Slovenia will become a member of the organisation's Industrial Development Board for the first time.
Ex-president rebukes elites over Croatia-Slovenia relations
KUČIBREG, Croatia - Milan Kučan, Slovenia's first president, criticised political elites in Slovenia and Croatia for their lack of initiative to resolve issues troubling bilateral relations, as he addressed a ceremony commemorating WWII battles in which Croatian, Italian and Slovenian Partisan resistance members fought German forces together. He also called for dialogue to resolve the Catalan crisis, arguing the issue at stake in Catalonia was a matter of freedom, human rights and democracy.
Court upholds regulator's decision to fine Sava
LJUBLJANA - The Administrative Court ordered Sava, the indebted tourism holding, to pay a fine of EUR 300,000 for failing to offload its stake in the bank Gorenjska Banka on time as decreed by the central bank. Reporting on the news on Saturday, the public broadcaster TV Slovenija said that Sava had filed an appeal against the court's decision. Banka Slovenije ordered Sava in 2015 to sell its 37.6% stake in Gorenjska Banka within six months, but Sava did not sell the stake until this year.
If you're learning Slovenian then you can find all our dual texts here
STA, 3 November 2019 - A 500kg World War Two bomb was safely defused in Maribor on Sunday, hours after hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes in the direct vicinity, with sirens sounding the end of the alarm.
In the largest such operation in Slovenia's second largest city since 1945, the authorities called on 1,000 people living within a 300-metre radius of the bomb to leave their homes.
A further 2,200 residents in a 300-600-metre radius were told to keep indoors and away from the windows facing the bomb site close to a rail track near the city's main coach station.The approximate location of the bomb
A similar, but much smaller operation was carried out in Maribor on Thursday as a 250kg bomb from WWII was safely disposed of near the city's biggest shopping mall, leading to the evacuation of 80 people.
"The pyrotechnicians have succeeded in safely defusing the bomb," Maribor police spokesman Miran Šadl told reporters after sirens signalled the end of danger at around 2pm. "The danger is over and people can return to their homes," said Šadl.
The evacuation started at around 8am, completing shortly before noon, after which members of the national unexploded ordnance disposal team got down to work.
"481 people got evacuated," Šadl said, adding that the operation proceeded smoothly except that in three cases residents had to be prompted by police officers to retreat to safety.
The pyrotechnics Sašo Turnšek and Aljaž Leban did not specify the procedure, expect for saying that they removed the detonator with a special tool, and thanking everyone involved in the operation for allowing them to work in peace.
The unit commander Darko Zonjič too praised cooperation with all the services involved and lauded the people of Maribor for following the authorities' instructions.
The air bombs were discovered last weekend during construction work, the smaller bomb was found at a site close to the Europark shopping mall and the larger one at a railway construction site.
Both bombs will be destroyed within three months through phased burning of the explosive. Zonjič said that a potential detonation today would have caused extensive damage to property.
Due to the operation, several roads as well as the central coach and railway stations were temporarily closed, and gas supply was disrupted. Europark area was sealed off again today.
Maribor, which the Nazi Germany made part of the Third Reich, was heavily bombed by the allied forces during World War Two. It is estimated that close to 16,000 bombs were dropped on the city, some 200 of which are believed to continue to lie unexploded across the city.
Today, officials did not make estimates about further potential operations needed, but Zonjič welcomed the city authorities' plans to make detection of the ground mandatory before construction work.
In 1931, Božo Kos, one of Slovenia's most innovative and distinctive illustrators, was born in Maribor.
Božo started making money in high school by writing articles for Večer newspaper. Once he wrote a story for which no appropriate picture was available, so he drew a picture himself. From there on he wrote less and less and drew more and more.
During his studies of physics, Božo Kos supported himself by drawing caricatures for a humorous magazine called Pavliha and other newspapers and magazines. After his graduation he even became chief editor of Pavliha and also of a children’s magazine, Ciciban.
Božo Kos’ illustrations can also be seen in the House of Experiments (Hiša eksperimentov) on Trubarjeva Street in Ljubljana, a place where many laws of nature can be tested on ready to use appliances. The House of Experiments is directed by Miha Kos, Božo’s son, a scientist and learning enthusiast.
Božo Kos died in 2009.
People living within a 300-meter radius around the site on Plinarniška ulica, Marbor, where a WW2 bomb was recently found, will need to leave their homes around noon today, as the area is being evacuated. However, those living within 300-600 meters of the bomb are being asked to stay at home during the operation to defuse the device. At 12 noon an alarm will sound, signally the start of the process, and there will be another siren when the danger is over.
Source: City of Maribor
The evacuation area is shown below, in a map produced by the City of Maribor
The approximate location of the bomb is shown below
In the Slovenian capital St. Martin’s Day (Martinovanje) will be celebrated with The Ljubljana Wine Route on Saturday, November 9.
More than 450 wines from over 90 producers will be on offer in the streets and squares of the Old Town, while visitors will be able to choose from a variety of local produce and dishes as well.
In Slovenia and Croatia St. Martin’s Day, November 11, is mostly celebrated as a wine holiday. Until this date, wine is considered as unclean and sinful, which then turns into real wine upon receiving a blessing.
Given that St. Martin’s Day originates in pre-Christian traditions and was later, just like many other folk festivals, adapted to fit Christianity, it is perhaps not that surprising that the blessing of wine is a rather humorous procedure performed by a talented villager dressed up as a bishop.
Wine blessing and then tasting is usually accompanied by festive dish such as a roasted goose or duck, chestnuts and thin dried flatbread called mlinci.
As for the Ljubljana Wine Route, visitors will have to place a €10 deposit for a wine-tasting glass, which they get back if the glass is returned in one piece, and coupons (5 minimum) will be sold for wine at a price of €1 per coupon/glass.
For more information, please visit the event’s website.
The other day we presented STAGE II, a fascinating interactive map produced by SURS (Statistični urad Republike Slovenije - the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia). However, while pretty to look at some data is best expressed in other ways, and if you’d prefer to read a text-based summary then don’t worry, SURS has got that covered, offering reports on each of Slovenia’s 212 municipalities.
Your journey begins at the level of statistical regions. There are 12 of these in total, in varied size with regard to geographic area and the number of municipalities they contain. Podravska, for example, has 41 municipalities, while Zasavska just four.
Go down to the next level – in the example at the top of this page hit “Region has 25 municipalities” – and you’ll get a profile of the region, along with a population pyramid to show the demographics, which are not great anywhere in Slovenia, but still better than elsewhere in the former Yugoslavia.
See the list of names on the left and you can then visit each municipality in turn. For illustrative purposes I chose Logatec, because I’m moving there at the end of the month. Here I can learn, for example:
The following schedule was prepared by the STA:
MONDAY, 4 November
SHANGHAI, China - Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek will start a multi-day visit to China.
LJUBLJANA - A Slovenian-Japanese forum will be held to debate the development concept Society 5.0.
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary inquiry investigating suspected abuse of office at the bad bank will interrogate the former CEO's of NLB and NKBM banks, Janko Medja and Aleš Hauc.
LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor will host a debate on the feasibility of a National Council-backed proposal to split up Slovenia into administrative provinces.
BRDO PRI KRANJU - A ceremony will be held to mark Slovenian Judiciary Day.
VIENNA, Austria - The Week of Slovenian Literature will commence with an exhibition on Slovenian contemporary illustration.
TUESDAY, 5 November
PRAGUE, Czechia - Prime Minister Marjan Šarec will attend the second summit of the Friends of Cohesion, a group of 16 EU member states.
BLED - The International Resource Panel will be in session, with Foreign Minister Miro Cerar on hand for the keynote address.
LJUBLJANA - Energy group Petrol is scheduled to release Q3 financial statements.
LJUBLJANA - Manager Association will host a conference on ethical business.
WEDNESDAY, 6 November
OSLO, Norway - President Borut Pahor will start a two-day state visit to Norway.
HANOI, Vietnam - Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek will start a multi-day visit to Vietnam.
VIENNA, Austria - Interior Minister Boštjan Poklukar will attend a meeting of the Salzburg Forum; until 7 November.
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Home Policy committee will debate a draft resolution on Slovenia's digital transformation.
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Heath Committee will debate amendments to the healthcare and health insurance act.
NOVO MESTO - An international conference on agricultural cooperation between Siberia and southeast Slovenia.
LJUBLJANA - The Employment Service will release registered unemployment figures for November.
THURSDAY, 7 November
GENEVA, Switzerland - Prime Minister Marjan Šarec will attend the latest meeting in the framework of the Strategic Dialogue on Western Balkans.
AMMAN, Jordan - Foreign Minister Miro Cerar will start a multi-day working visit to Jordan.
LJUBLJANA - Weekly cabinet session.
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Defence Committee will debate the planned purchase of armoured personnel carriers for the army at the request of the Left.
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Commission for Oversight of Public Finances will debate staffing at state-owned companies after the resignation of the board of energy group Petrol.
LJUBLJANA - Telekom Slovenije is scheduled to release its Q3 financial statements.
FRIDAY, 8 November
BRDO PRI KRANJU - Slovenian bankers will gather for a Bank Association meeting dedicated to the impact of monetary policy on macroeconomic policies and the financial system.
SATURDAY, 9 November
VELENJE - The coalition Social Democrats (SD) will hold a convention dedicated to reforming their platform.
SUNDAY, 10 November
No major events scheduled.
A schedule of all the main events involving Slovenia this week can be found here
This summary is provided by the STA:
Two migrants drown trying to cross southern border
ČRNOMELJ - The bodies of two men were pulled from the River Kolpa near the village of Vukovci on Slovenia's southern border on Thursday. The victims were likely migrants who drowned attempting to cross the border illegally, according to preliminary police findings.
Violent attack on Ljubljana gay club
LJUBLJANA - A group of unidentified persons stormed Tiffany Club, a popular venue for LGBT events at the Metelkova Mesto alternative arts centre in Ljubljana, early on Friday morning, in what circumstances suggest was an attack motivated by hate. No one was injured in the attack and the perpetrators fled the scene when the police arrived.
Strict lending conditions for households take effect
LJUBLJANA - Strict new crediting conditions for households formally took effect on Friday, amidst fears that the central bank's brake on lending will depress the economy and lock tens of thousands of low-income households out of the housing market.
If you're learning Slovenian then you can find all our dual texts here
STA, 1 November 2019 - A group of unidentified persons stormed Tiffany Club, a popular venue for LGBT events at the Metelkova Mesto alternative arts centre in Ljubljana, early on Friday morning, in what circumstances suggest was an attack motivated by hate.
The perpetrators, smashing in the club's entrance door and windows and threatening the personnel, fled the scene when the police arrived. The news of the attack was published on the club's Facebook page.
According to the police, the attack resulted in a few thousands euro in material damage.
The attack, during which the perpetrators vandalised the club's interior as well, was carried out after the venue closed in the early morning hours.
The personnel were unharmed, having barricaded themselves in while the attackers were trying to get to them, smashing on the walls and doors and hurling homophobic insults at them.
The police said they were treating the attack as an anti-LGBT hate crime.
The Tiffany Club shares the building with the lesbian Monokel Club, where a community response event will be held this evening, raising awareness about the importance of resistance and fight against such crimes.
The non-profit cultural organisation ŠKUC condemned the incident, expressing concern over the rise in anti-LGBT hate crimes and calling for the issue to be tackled.
The incident was also condemned by the Legebitra NGO and Equal Opportunities Ombudsman Miha Lobnik.
According to Lobnik, the attack on the Club, which is one of the rare LGBT venues and safe spaces in Slovenia, can be considered an attack on the entire LGBT community. He also stressed the importance of a zero-tolerance policy regarding violence against any minority.
Prime Minister Marjan Šarec wrote on Twitter that the attack was "a cowardly, pathetic act". He also pointed out that such violent actions were unfortunately not uncommon in Slovenia.
Meanwhile, Legebitra warned that the rise in anti-LGBT hate crimes was in part the result of normalising hate speech in politics and society in general.
A little over a month ago a security guard at another Ljubljana club, K4, was fired after insulting a guest with Nazi greetings at a gay event, and in early October a prominent gay activist was assaulted in Murska Sobota and sustained serious injuries in what he believes was a homophobic attack.