26 Aug 2019, 11:55 AM

STA, 12 August 2019 - Slovenia will be the country in focus at viennacontemporary 2019, the largest international art fair in Austria, which will take place in Vienna from 26 to 29 September.

The fair will feature more than 100 galleries and 500 artists from 25 countries, providing a glimpse into the contemporary art scene in Central and Eastern Europe.

In focus will actually be a state without territory, the NSK State in Time, an ongoing project launched by the controversial Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK) art collective.

The virtual state debuted in 1992 as a reaction to NSK's own activities and to political developments following the fall of the Berlin Wall.

It emerged a year after Slovenia gained independence, showing the artists' disapproval of national borders and promoting transnationality.

The State in Time boasts more than 15,000 citizens with their own NSK passports from around the globe, who held their first congress in Berlin in 2010.

Find out how to get your passport here

"The situation in Europe and the world shows just how relevant the NSK State in Time still is," viennacontemporary curator Johanne Chromik said during a recent presentation of the art show in Ljubljana.

Chromik also said the Slovenian section of the show had been curated by Tevž Logar, an up-an-coming Slovenian curator and art lecturer, who had chosen 13 artists.

Four Slovenian galleries will also be presented in Vienna, namely the Photon Gallery, Fotografija Gallery, P74 Centre and Gallery, and the Ravnikar Gallery Space.

Viennacontemporary is foremost a platform for art galleries to get new contacts, at the same time fostering dialogue and research.

All our stories on NSK are here

26 Aug 2019, 09:37 AM

STA, 25 August 2019 - The Ljubljana wider area covers 211 square kilometres, including 62 square kilometres of forest, with the land around the city being natural habitat for various animals, including numerous bird species as well as endangered species or even those that have been already considered extinct.

Ljubljana has some 300,000 inhabitants and at least so many birds nesting in the area.

The little bittern has been spotted in the Tivoli Nature Park and in the Rožnik and Šiška hills, with the bird frequenting urban areas as well.

It is critically endangered in Slovenia or even thought to be extinct. As its name implies, it is relatively small compared to other herons.

The park's managers have come across the allegedly extinct noble crayfish species, which used to be very common in the Slovenian rivers, but suffered a major population drop due to invasive crayfish carrying the duck plague.

The area is home to almost 500 butterfly species, some 110 beetle species, around 100 bird species, including 68 who nest in the city, some 50 spider species, 36 dragonfly species, 12 various species of reptiles and 8 species of bats.

Among mammals, visitors can spot the common shrew, the southern white-breasted hedgehog, the edible dormouse, squirrels, deer and otters.

According to Marko Jonozovič of the Forest Service, the Ljubljana rural area is also home to the brown hare and pheasants, foxes, badgers and the beech marten, with introduced or invasive muskrat and nutria species living in wetlands or alongside stretches of water.

The brown bear rarely finds itself in the forests within the Ljubljana urban area - occasionally the bear enters it through the Golovec animal-friendly passageway or other highway overpasses and underpasses, but mostly it roams the south-western part of the Ljubljana Marshes where it can find enough food and enjoy some peace.

Wolves and lynx have not been present in the past few decades within the Ljubljana ring road, has said Jonozovič, though the former occasionally visit the marshes.

Meanwhile, the chamois has been spotted in the river Iška canyon, some 20km south of Ljubljana.

West of Ljubljana, near Dobrova, in the Polhov Gradec hills, the mouflon has been detected as well. Moreover, the wild boar, deer, and jackal have been known to be present in the wider forested area of Ljubljana.

Among local birds, house sparrows, blackbirds, pigeons and great tits are the most common. In the past decades, the city has witnessed increasing numbers of crows, with the birds feeling safe in the centre due to the abundance of food.

The Tivoli Nature Park and the Rožnik and Šiška hills are home to protected birds, listed on the Natura 2000 list as threatened species in Europe, such as mallard ducks, the common buzzard, the Eurasian scops owl, the black woodpecker.

Moreover, endangered species, such as the black and white stork and the jackdaw have been spotted in the park as well.

Fortunately for those taking a stroll around the park, there are no lethal snakes in the area, since vipers, which are present in Slovenia, prefer rocky terrain.

26 Aug 2019, 02:40 AM

Check the date at the top of the page, and you can find all the "morning headlines" stories here. You can also follow us on Facebook and get all the news in your feed.

A schedule of all the main events involving Slovenia this week can be found here

This summary is provided by the STA:

Estonian president ahead of Bled forum: We need to prepare for world in 2050

LJUBLJANA/TALLINN, Estonia - Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid will be one of the main guests of this year's Bled Strategic Forum. Kaljulaid expects the meeting to bring an in-depth debate on sustainable development and answers on how to prepare for a further global population rise and prevent the planet from suffering. "The issue of resources is becoming more and more important for the whole world and Europe has been a leader in these discussions," she told the STA.

State gradually taking possession of orphan securities

LJUBLJANA - Almost three years since the discontinuation of free accounts managed by the Central Securities Clearing Corporation (KDD), the company is still in possession of thousands of stocks issued during the early 1990s privatisation that their owners have not claimed. These securities will now be gradually transferred to the state-run KAD fund starting with a transfer of all remaining stocks to a single dedicated account in September.

Heavy rain creates problems in Koroška

ČRNA NA KOROŠKEM/VUZENICA - Severe storms which hit Koroška on Saturday caused major damage across the northern region, including landslides blocking local roads and railway tracks, kindergarten flooding and an emergency evacuation of a family. Relief works have already started and are expected to last several days.

Roglič makes up for lost time, finishes third in Vuelta 2nd stage

ALICANTE, Spain - Slovenian cycling star Primož Roglič took third place in the second stage of the Vuelta a Espana race on Sunday, making up for the majority of the time he lost on Saturday.

Visiting Ljubljana? Check out what's on this week, while all our stories on Slovenia, from newest to oldest, are here

If you're learning Slovenian then you can find all our dual texts here

25 Aug 2019, 20:03 PM

August 25, 2019

According to Delo and Slovenske novicea Slovenian truck driver is under investigation by British authorities who discovered several kilos of cocaine hidden in a refrigerator truck at the border crossing in Dover.

Delo states that the detained driver is allegedly the former professional football player Srečko Pavlovič (43), who has worked for several logistics companies in the last few years. The truck in which between 6 to 10 kg of cocaine was discovered belongs to a company Pavlovič has been employed with for a couple of months.

Whether Pavlovič is also going to be indicted with drug trafficking will be known after the investigation is completed.

25 Aug 2019, 16:26 PM

STA, 24 August 2019 - Having shortened the standard eight-hour workday by two hours, companies Donar and Plastika Skaza have prompted a debate on whether Slovenia should replace the 40-hour working week with a 30-hour one. Trade unions welcome the idea, although they are aware of certain restrictions, whereas employers warn of negative consequences.

In April 2018, Donar, a designer chair manufacturer, became the Slovenian pioneer in shortening the workday without lowering pay or paying lower social security contributions for their employees.

Its director Matej Feguš has told the STA the idea had been in the pipeline for quite some time before it was implemented.

"Having observed the work processes in the company for a while, we realised people worked efficiently for six hours at the most. The goal was to improve productivity, not with more hours but with better-quality work."

He says their employees now have more time for their families and and have fewer problems, so they are consequently more diligent at work. What is more, relations in the company, which now employs 18 workers, have improved.

However, Feguš admits the shorter workday sometimes means that not all the work is done in time, so the company now plans work processes more carefully.

Also, employees get easily used to their new rights, so when the need to work longer actually arises, they have to negotiate with them as if they had to work overtime.

But Feguš believes the greatest benefit of the six-hour workday is that after working for 40 years, people's total workload would be lower by 20%.

"So after 40 years, they could still be active and contribute to society instead of retiring and be lying at home at the expense of the public health fund."

Ferguš is thus rather disappointed that politics has not yet found a way to legislate a six-hour workday.

Donar's example was this year followed by Plastika Skaza, a much larger company with more than 300 employees and around 100 temps.

The Velenje-based producer of plastic kitchenware will phase in a six-hour workday in October, starting with the accounting service department.

The idea is to allow our employees to better balance their work and private life, Aleksandra Logar, human resources head at Plastika Skaza, told the STA in June.

Although the 40-hour week is the standard rule in Slovenia, labour legislation allows for a shorter, 36-hour, working week, if the employer and employees agree on it in a collective bargaining agreement.

But not all Slovenian employers are thrilled at the prospect of a shorter workday.

Lina Fratnik Andrić of the Slovenian Association of Employers (ZDS) writes in the Delodajalec magazine about Sweden's experience at an elderly home and a hospital.

While the nursing staff and surgeons improved the quality of services and felt happier, more staff had to be hired to do the same amount of work, so labour costs rose.

Fratnik Andrić also says that the 35-hour working week introduced in France several years ago has failed to result in a higher employment rate.

"On the contrary, the number of workers taking two jobs has increased, and the actual working week has remained at 39 hours," she explains.

She nevertheless admits that work processes have radically changed since the 40-hour week was introduced, so new forms of work will have to be put forward.

She believes working at home and flexible work arrangements are two options to facilitate a better balance between work and other life roles.

With automation on the one hand and work becoming ever more intense on the other, Slovenian trade unions have made a shorter workday one of their goals a while ago.

Lidija Jerkič, head of the ZSSS confederation, believes a shorter workday has a positive impact on efficiency and safety at work, as well as on social life and health.

Still, she is cautious, noting that a six-hour workday would not increase employment and reduce costs in all branches of industry.

"If you have a one-shift company, productivity would increase if they do the same amount of work as in eight hours without hiring new staff, and they will save on electricity and heating bills.

"But if you have a company working in four shifts, fixed costs will remain the same, while workers for an entire new shift would have to be hired, which would considerably raise labour costs although productivity would perhaps improve," says the trade unionist.

She explains that the unions proposed a 35-hour working week to employers in the metal and electronics industries ten years ago, "but the answer was simply no".

"Unfortunately, the debate is now going in a completely different direction. Despite the legislated full 40- or 36-hour workday, workday is in practice totally out of control. Many workers work more than the weekday, they put in more overtime than allowed under the law, and have no breaks or rest."

Meanwhile, the ministry in charge of labour says there has been no serious debate on the issue among the government, unions and employers.

Introducing a six-hour workday, if it is to increase productivity, depends primarily on the type of business and the manner in which work is organised, the ministry has told the STA.

25 Aug 2019, 14:29 PM

STA, 24 August 2019 - The International Agriculture and Food Fair AGRA opened in Gornja Radgona on Saturday, with Prime Minister Marjan Šarec saying that the event was of exceptional importance for Slovenia. He said that the issues in agriculture were solvable, but not overnight, adding that the sector must tackle new challenges.

 Šarec noted in his opening address that he and Agriculture Minister Aleksandra Pivec, coming from the countryside, were well aware what rural areas and Slovenian warmers were.

But the prime minister added that agriculture must focus on tackling new challenges, and get oriented towards digitalisation, modernisation of farms and simplification of work processes.

Šarec added that the government would continue to cooperate well with the Trade Union of Farmers as experts. "And we will always work for the good of Slovenian farmers, because this is our task."

He said that "if there will be no Slovenian farmers, there will be no Slovenian food, and consequently there will be no health. And if there is no health, there will be no Slovenia eventually."

According to the prime minister, Slovenian farmers must be ready for dialogue with the state and be aware that the issues that have piled up in the last 25 years cannot be resolved overnight. "But we have the will and energy."

The opening of the fair was also addressed by European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan, who said that AGRA was a very important event, providing farmers with the opportunity to present their products.

He commended the cooperation in agriculture between Slovenia and the Austrian state of Styria as an excellent example and congratulated Slovenia on being awarded the title of the European Region of Gastronomy for 2021.

According to Hogan, more discussions should be held about incentives for young farmers, modernisation of the Common Agricultural Policy, new tools, modern technologies and digitalisation, in order to make agriculture attractive to young people.

Effort should be made to maintain the balance, to have farmers who are not only smart, but who will be able to survive, otherwise farmers could get into trouble, he said, adding that farmers should be given respect they deserved.

Minister Pivec meanwhile noted that there was a frequent conflict between urban and rural areas, adding that national politics had been neglecting the latter.

The countryside and forests represent more than three-quarters of the Slovenian territory, which is why the countryside should be treated as the key element for the country's development, she added.

"There is no Slovenia without the countryside. This is what the political and other public liked to forget about in in the last twenty years."

According to Pivec, one of the main tasks is to raise the reputation of farmers and agriculture and provide conditions for their further existence and development in the light of modern challenges.

Barbara Eibinger-Miedl, the regional minister for economy, tourism, Europe, science and research of Austria's Styria, commended the good cooperation between Slovenia and Austria, including successful projects co-funded by the EU.

Pivec and Hogan held a press conference after the opening of the fair, commending its organisers and assessing yesterday's meeting of agriculture ministry delegations in Ptuj as successful.

The Slovenian minister noted that delegations from 15 ministries from EU member states and candidate countries had discussed a very important topic, which was also the common thread of the fair.

"We signed a joint declaration which commits us to cooperating and working together in creating and transferring knowledge to practice, in modernisation and technological advancement of agriculture," she said.

According to the minister, AGRA is one of the most important events in Europe for the promotion and meetings of various stakeholders in the agricultural and food sector. She called for participation in the creation of a new strategy for Slovenian agriculture.

Hogan too believes that it is important to talk to all stakeholders, and especially lend an ear to farmers, who should be recognised with playing an important role in the production of safe food.

The commissioner said that rural development was also important for Slovenia, emphasising the concept of smart villages, where Slovenia has assumed a leading role with a conference in 2018 in Bled.

Running until 28 August, the AGRA Fair of Agriculture and Food 2019 will focus on digitalisation, automation, new technology in farming and the agro-food sector, as well as generational renewal.

The slogan of the 57th international trade show, featuring 1,850 exhibitors from 32 countries, is The Fair of the New Generation, with the main focus on the digitalisation in agriculture, local food, and youth in agriculture.

Austria's Styria will feature as a partner region, while presentations will also be organised of Hungary, Croatia, North Macedonia, Poland, Bulgaria and Vietnam.

25 Aug 2019, 14:16 PM

STA, 25 August 2019 - A series of events will be held between today and 18 September in five Slovenian towns to mark the European Days of Jewish Culture. The all-European project, taking place in Slovenia for the 20th year in a row, will provide the visitors with a deep insight into individual aspects of Jewish culture and heritage.

For the 20th anniversary of the project in Slovenia, a diverse programme of events will be held in Maribor, Ljubljana, Negova, Lendava and Murska Sobota, almost all of the events being free of charge.

The European Days of Jewish Culture in Slovenia will be opened by the Maribor-based world music group Kontra-Kvartet with a concert featuring the traditional Jewish Klezmer music in the Maribor City Park.

The programme will also feature open day events, guided tours in museums, several exhibitions, a theatre performance, a concert of Jewish music, and various presentations and interactive workshops.

The aim is to introduce the audience into Jewish culture and raise their awareness of the importance of preservation and protection of Jewish heritage as an important part of European culture, the organisers say.

According to the Sinagoga Maribor centre for Jewish cultural heritage, the project involves various organisers from the entire Europe every year. Last year, events were held in more than 400 towns in 28 European countries.

You can see the full Slovenian programme here

25 Aug 2019, 09:04 AM

Keep up with the daily news in Slovenia by checking the morning headlines here

 This summary of upcoming events was create by STA:

MONDAY, 26 August
        LJUBLJANA - The 16th European Conference of the International Association of Energy Economics will be launched by Infrastructure Minister Alenka Bratušek; until 28 August.
        MARIBOR - A debate on the national climate and energy plan, to feature energy experts and NGOs.
        NOVO MESTO - A pre-trial arraignment for three illegal migrants who abducted a Bela Krajina man in May.
        LJUBLJANA - The movement Youth for Climate Justice will stage a protest in front of the Brazilian Embassy to highlight the lack of action over the Amazon rainforest fires.
        LJUBLJANA - The Statistics Office will release the business sentiment index for August.
        LJUBLJANA - The bookshop Konzorcij will host a meeting with Trieste-based author Boris Pahor on his 106th birthday.
        LJUBLJANA - A four-day open-air cinema festival will get under way in Congress Square with a screening of Ninotchka, a 1939 film by Ernst Lubitsch.

TUESDAY, 27 August
        BELGRADE, Serbia - Prime Minister Marjan Šarec will make an official visit to Serbia for talks with his counterpart Ana Brnabić, President Aleksandar Vučić and Speaker Maja Gojković.
        LJUBLJANA - New administered prices of regular and diesel fuel sold outside motorways will kick in.

WEDNESDAY, 28 August
        HELSINKI, Finland - Defence Ministry State Secretary Miloš Bizjak will take part in a two-day informal meeting of EU defence ministers discussing artificial intelligence, new technologies and hybrid threats.
        MARIBOR - The European Junior Olympiad in Informatics will come to a close with an awards ceremony.
        LJUBLJANA - The three-day Conventa Crossover conference on tourism and marketing will open.

THURSDAY, 29 August
        HELSINKI, Finland - Foreign Minister Miro Cerar is to meet his Croatian counterpart Goran Grlić Radman on the sidelines of a two-day informal meeting of EU foreign ministers.
        COLORADO, US - Defence Minister Karl Erjavec will visit the Colorado National Guard and meet its commander and the Colorado governor, and take part in the annual conference of the US National Guard Association, until 31 August.
        LJUBLJANA - New US Ambassador Lynda C. Blanchard is to present her credentials to President Borut Pahor.
        LJUBLJANA - The government is expected to convene the first regular session after summer break.
        LJUBLJANA - The opening of the two-day Shanghai Fair to showcase Chinese companies in Slovenia.
        KOPER - Logistics company Intereuropa is to release semi-annual financial results.
        PTUJ - The new Ukrainian owners of poultry company Perutnina Ptuj will vote to squeeze out small shareholders at a shareholders' meeting.
        GORNJA RADGONA - The International Agriculture and Food Fair AGRA will come to a close.
        LJUBLJANA - Nights in Old Ljubljana Town, an international festival of music, will get under way, running until 31 August.
        MARIBOR - Slovenian football champions Maribor will host Bulgaria's Ludogorets Razgrad for the return leg of the final round of qualifying for the UEFA Europa League.

FRIDAY, 30 August
        BLED - The Young Bled Strategic Forum, the annual conference of young leaders accompanying the main part of Slovenia's prime foreign policy event, will get under way under the theme Youth as a (future) (re)source; until 2 September.
        LJUBLJANA - The Statistics Office will release GDP data for second quarter, August inflation data and figures on tourist arrivals and nights for July.
        LJUBLJANA - Shareholders of Telekom Slovenije will decide on allocation of distributable profit.
        LJUBLJANA - Energy company Petrol is to release semi-annual financial results.
        MEŽICA - Batteries maker Tab is to hold a press conference to report on its results in 2018 and 2019.
        ČATEŽ OB SAVI - The shareholders of spa operator Terme Čatež will meet to decide on the sale of Marina Portorož, among other things.
SATURDAY, 31 August
        BLED - A charity golf tournament of NHL star Anže Kopitar.

SUNDAY, 1 September
        WARSAW, Poland - President Borut Pahor will take part in the ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II, to be attended by more than 30 heads of state, including US President Donald Trump.
        LJUBLJANA - An eternal flame will be lit at the monument commemorating Russian and Soviet soldiers fallen on Slovenian soil in both world wars.
        RIBNICA - The annual fair of traditional wooden handicrafts, to be addressed by PM Marjan Šarec.
        TRŽIČ - The annual Shoemakers' Fair.

25 Aug 2019, 02:41 AM

Check the date at the top of the page, and you can find all the "morning headlines" stories here. You can also follow us on Facebook and get all the news in your feed.

Want to catch up on the news from last week? There's a summary of the main stories here

This summary is provided by the STA:

Šarec opens AGRA fair, says issues in agriculture solvable

GORNJA RADGONA - Gornja Radgona, 24 August - The International Agriculture and Food Fair AGRA opened in Gornja Radgona, with PM Marjan Šarec saying that the event was of exceptional importance for Slovenia. He said that the issues in agriculture were solvable, but not over night, adding that the sector must tackle new challenges. The opening was also addressed by European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan, who said that AGRA was a very important event, providing farmers with the opportunity to present their products. Running until 28 August and featuring 1,850 exhibitors from 32 countries, AGRA will focus on digitalisation, automation, new technology in farming and the agro-food sector.

SLS cancels wolf-related protest, Šarec calls them bluffers

GORNJA RADGONA - The non-parliamentary People's Party (SLS) cancelled its protest against wolf attacks on livestock, meant to be held on the margins of the AGRA fair, saying that it had gotten assurances from the government for its demands. SLS president Marjan Podobnik said that they had been given assurances from a high representative of the government. But PM Marjan Šarec was not convinced in the party's argument. He said that Podobnik's statement was "nonsense", and questioned the true reasons why the party has cancelled the protest. The prime minister said that he would not allow anyone to "crawl back into Slovenian politics" over the backs of farmers, the government and him personally, referring to Podobnik.

European Junior Olympiad in Informatics starts in Maribor

MARIBOR - The 3rd European Junior Olympiad in Informatics kicked off in Maribor with a special ceremony, while the actual competition featuring a total of 90 primary school children from 24 countries competing to win the title of the best programmers in Europe will start tomorrow. The competition at the University of Maribor's Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science will promote the importance of IT skills in early education as well as Slovenia and its second largest city. The event is organised by the Union for Technical Culture and the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport.

Another medal for Slovenian pair at canoe sprint worlds

SZEGED, Hungary - The Slovenian pair of Špela Ponomarenko Janić and Anja Osterman won the bronze medal in the women's 500m event at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships, which comes after Friday's silver in the 200m event. The medal for Ponomarenko Janić and Osterman means that the pair have earned a berth for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by virtue of finishing in the top six. This is their third medal together at world championships, coming after yesterday's silver in the 200m event and the bronze in the 500m event in Račice, the Czech Republic, in 2017.

Visiting Ljubljana? Check out what's on this week, while all our stories on Slovenia, from newest to oldest, are here

If you're learning Slovenian then you can find all our dual texts here

24 Aug 2019, 19:09 PM

Tesla has announced on Twitter that buyers in Poland, Hungary, Romania and Slovenia. The rear-wheel drive “standard range plus” with a “partial premium interior” costs €39,000, while the dual motor all-wheel drive “performance” model with a “premium interior” is €52,900. You can play with ordering a model here, and the estimated delivery time is early 2020.

24 Aug 2019, 18:26 PM

STA, 24 August 2019 - The Slovenian pair of Špela Ponomarenko Janić and Anja Osterman won the bronze medal in the women's 500m event at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Hungary's Szeged on Saturday, which comes after Friday's silver in the 200m event.

The medal for Ponomarenko Janić and Osterman means that the pair have earned a berth for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by virtue of finishing in the top six.

The Slovenians made it to the finals after posting the fastest time in the semi-finals, but had to concede to the Belarusian and Polish pairs in the final, who finished first and second, respectively.

Ponomarenko Janić and Osterman finished 1.66 second behind the winning boat and 0.87 seconds behind the second-placed Poland.

This is their third medal together at world championships, coming after yesterday's silver in the 200m event and the bronze in the 500m event in Račice, the Czech Republic, in 2017.

For Ponomarenko Janić, the fourth placed canoeist in the women's individual 200m at the 2016 Rio Olympics, this is the sixth medal at world championships.

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