Insurance executive named new SSH chairman
LJUBLJANA - Gabrijel Škof, chief executive of insurer Adriatic Slovenica, was appointed new chairman of Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH), the state asset manager, by the supervisory board. He expressed satisfaction that he was selected but was reluctant to discuss his vision of state asset management, because he first needs to become familiar with "matters that are not known to the general and expert public". The supervisors will soon be looking for a new management board member, as Andrej Božič handed in his resignation today. He will leave the job on 1 December.
Farmers suspend protest activities over wolf attacks issue
LJUBLJANA - The Trade Union of Farmers announced it is suspending its protest activities over ineffective government measures against wolf attacks on farm animals. The union, which met PM Marjan Šarec on Tuesday, will thus not hold the rally planned for this Saturday and is also withdrawing its demand for the resignation of Environment Minister Simon Zajc. The union, which already staged a protest in early August, confirmed on that its decision was based on the meeting with Šarec, saying it expected "that those responsible will ... address the issue of wild animals as a matter of urgency in line with the commitments and start with the culling of wolves immediately."
Oman laid to rest with state honours
ŠKOFJA LOKA - Several hundred people came to the funeral of Ivan Oman, one of the key people of Slovenia's independence efforts. The co-founder of the Farmers' Association and a member of Slovenia's first parliament was laid to rest with state honours. President Borut Pahor addressed the mourners, saying that Oman understood the time and the people at the start of Slovenia's political spring. He described Oman as a tolerant and patient man, who understood other people's doubts and diverging views and these abilities only deepened the trust of the people.
DSP head decries state of book publishing, points finger at Culture Ministry
LJUBLJANA - The president of the Slovenian Writers' Association (DSP) Dušan Merc has decried in a public letter to Culture Minister Zoran Poznič the state of Slovenian book publishing. Noting a marked drop in funding, Merc says Slovenia is not ready for the fairs in Bologna and Frankfurt where it will be the guest of honour in 2021 and 2022, respectively. The fairs "are a major opportunity, but - this is not only a bad feeling - we are not ready", wrote Merc, also speaking of a "lack of vision and lethargic attitude of bureaucrats in charge of your ministry". The ministry responded by saying it was aware of the importance of Slovenian books and publishing, while adding it "will meanwhile not respond to ill-defined accusations."
Market to build access points for half of 100,000 households without broadband
LJUBLJANA - Ten telecommunications operators have announced they will provide around 47,500 more households in rural areas with access to broadband in the coming three years. This leaves around 50,000 more households in so-called white areas, where funding of infrastructure will have to be provided by the state. The operators responded to a Public Administration Ministry query about plans for broadband infrastructure investment sent out last autumn. Allowing the state to determine where it will need to fund broadband infrastructure on its own due to a lack of market interest, the operators committed to financing the construction of access points within three years.
Wildfire raging on border with Italy
NOVA GORICA - A wildfire broke out around noon near the Cerje World War II memorial just south of Nova Gorica. Progressing quickly due to the bora wind, it destroyed some 100 hectares of forest, according to unofficial information, and spread across the border to Italy by late afternoon. Some 130 firefighters from the broader region are battling the flames on demanding terrain of thick pine and deciduous woodland with the support from four helicopters, two Slovenian and two Italian. Also at the site is a special unit for the handling of live explosive devices, as the area witnessed heavy fighting during World War II.
Coast fighting off sewage pollution
KOPER - Two of the four coastal municipalities have had problems with sewage pollution of the sea, an issue which has caught much media attention as a popular beach near Koper had to close for ten days in the midst of the tourist season. Bathing in Žusterna in Koper was spoiled at the end of July due to an uncontrolled discharge of sewage into the sea, with closure of the beach prompting a group of concerned locals to report the municipal public utility to police. Public utilities say it sewage pollution is usually a result of buildings not being properly connected to the sewage system.
Slovenia erecting another 40 kilometres of border fence
ČRNOMELJ - Slovenia has started erecting another 40 kilometres of fence along the border with Croatia, commercial broadcaster POP TV reported. Works are currently underway on a 4-kilometre segment between the villages of Zilje and Žuniči, southeast of Črnomelj. In July, the contractor, Serbia-based Legi-SGS, was chosen for the job by the Public Administration Ministry, but it the department would not reveal where the additional 40 kilometres of fencing would be erected, saying the locations had been specified in a confidential document.
Police record more than 3,000 speeding cases in a week
LJUBLJANA - The police detected more than 3,000 speed limit violations last week during a national road safety campaign. Most violations occurred in villages and towns, the General Police Administration told the STA. Between 12 and 18 August police officers recorded 3,048 speed limit violations and gave out 207 warnings as well. A majority of those violations (almost 2,500) took place in urban areas, while some 330 occurred outside villages or towns and some 220 on highways and expressways.
Kids to gather in Slovenia for European IT Olympics
MARIBOR - The city of Maribor will soon host a competition in which some 90 primary school children from 24 countries will try to prove they are the best programmers in Europe. The European Junior Olympiad in Informatics, to be held for the third year from 23 to 29 August, is meant to encourage interest in computer science among the young. The Slovenian organisers - the Association for Technical Culture (ZOTKS) and the Ministry of Education and Science - also see it as an opportunity for promoting IT and coding in general, as well as for promoting Slovenia in general.
Ukrainian and Belarusian children getting therapy in Slovenia
DEBELI RTIČ - A group of children affected by the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine and Belarusian children who still feel the effects of the radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster are on holiday at Slovenia's seaside until the end of this week to receive psychosocial and medical rehabilitation. The 64 Ukrainian and 30 Belarusian children arrived at the Debeli Rtič resort on 14 August as part of a project organised by the Slovenian-run organisation ITF Enhancing Human Security in cooperation with the resort operated by the Slovenian Red Cross.