22 Mar 2019, 12:46 PM

Mladina: The Left bring important issues to the table in government

STA, 22 March 2019 - Arguing that the minority coalition's agreement with the Left is an overdue measure restoring certain aspects of social welfare, the left-wing Mladina magazine points out in its Friday's editorial that Slovenian politicians being offended by the agreement seem to be out of touch with reality.

The cooperation with the opposition Left enabled the government to confirm the revised budget implementation act for 2019 on Wednesday and left several coalition partners believe that the opposition party was enjoying special treatment.

The editorial comments on the leader of the Social Democrats (SD) Matjaž Han's "unfortunate wisecracks" about the Left's alleged privileged status, saying that he was probably provoked by statements released by the opposition Democrats (SDS) and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, opposing the agreement and meant to create cracks in the government's facade.

"Parties' deputy group leaders should be the wisest MPs, not the most reckless and irascible ones. But just as the Left has Miha Kordiš, the SD has Han - the only difference being that Kordiš is not the leader."

The deputy group head being so easily provoked is the party's problem, but the editorial finds it more disturbing that he actually seems to believe the opposition party could have a higher status in the Slovenian political arena than his coalition one.

Referring to the Parable of the Prodigal Son, Han proclaimed his party to be the overlooked, taken-for-granted, live-at-home daughter, while the Left was the prodigal one. According to the commentary, his allegations seem immature and reflect how out of touch with actual reality many representatives are.

Instead of acting like a "spoiled daughter", Han's party and all the others who were offended by the supposed preferential treatment should rather welcome all the social benefits the agreement advocates.

It focuses on Slovenians who have in fact been overlooked in the past decades, tackling precarious forms of employment, providing affordable housing, introducing a minimum capital gains tax, and re-employing cleaners and doormen who were let go due to the delegation of those tasks to external service providers.

What is even scarier than politicians moaning about the current political hierarchy is the strong suspicion that they might find the above measures "insignificant, marginal, and on top of that expensive" since they do not address issues relevant to them.

Signing the agreement, Han and like-minded representatives should have noted the necessary changes the Left's contribution proposed and welcomed them with open arms, concludes the commentary entitled The Parable of the Prodigal Daughter.

Demokracija: Greta Thunberg's environmental protests are just good marketing

STA, 21 March 2019 - The right-wing weekly compared Greta Thunberg to the myth of Mother Theresa in its editorial on Thursday, stressing that the revival of environmental activism centred around the Swedish teenager serves as just another platform for green activists' marketing.

The paper draws a comparison between Thunberg and Mother Theresa, who was an extremely popular person among conservatives and progressives alike despite her or perhaps precisely because of her conflicting words and actions.

Being against abortion and once allegedly describing AIDS as "God's punishment", Saint Teresa of Calcutta also wore the red bow, the solidarity symbol for people living with this disease, to be "trendy" and referred to homosexuals as "Jesus' friends".

The magazine does not doubt the authenticity of her calling, but it does refer to her work as the Vatican's "greatest marketing victory of the last 100 years", filling their coffers through people's contributions.

"Greta Thunberg is the current Mother Theresa. The Swedish teenager is becoming the icon of global environmental activism," stresses the commentary, pointing out that the myth created around Thunberg serves the interests of those "who live off spreading fears" about global warming.

Without questioning the teenager's good intentions, Demokracija finds her to be a new mascot for climate change activists, who prefer money to the planet's well-being.

Commenting on the 2013 study of the Climate Policy Initiative, which addressed climate risk and estimated global investments in mitigating climate change at USD 359bn, the editorial believes those funds could be used for other purposes instead of appeasing "money-hungry saviours of the Earth".

Environmental activists though maintain that "such resources are far from sufficient" to tackle global warming issues.

On the other hand, the commentary mentions Patrick Moore, the former president of Greenpeace Canada, who has been criticising the climate change movement since leaving Greenpeace over policy differences claiming that global warming is "fake news" as well as "fake science".

Greenpeace denied such allegations, arguing that Moore was on the payroll of climate change denying lobbies, but the editorial portrays him as an example of an individual going against the machinery of green greed.

All our posts in this series can be found here

22 Mar 2019, 11:29 AM

STA, 22 March 2019 - The Planica ski flying hill will traditionally host the Ski Jumping World Cup season finale between Friday and Sunday, with the organisers promising a spectacle involving the world elite despite the fact that the overall winner has already been decided.

While Ryoyu Kobayashi of Japan has secured the overall individual win in the 40th World Cup season long ago, the fight for the small crystal globe for ski flying is still open.

Kobayashi in also in the lead in this department, being closely followed by Markus Eisenbichler of Austria and Kamil Stoch of Poland, who won both individual events at Planica last year.

Ski fliers will have two individual events to improve their score, on Friday and Sunday, while Saturday is reserved for the team event, with Poland defending their lead in the Nations Cup ahead of Germany and Japan.

A special trophy called Planica 7 will go to the jumper with the best total from all seven jumps, from the qualifiers on Thursday to Sunday's final event. It comes with a cheque worth 20,000 Swiss francs.

Slovenian jumpers will certainly be motivated to conclude the season in style, coming off two wins in Norway's Vikersund last week, with Domen Prevc earning his fifth individual win after a team win by Slovenia in ski flying.

The two wins have brought some optimism to the otherwise lacklustre season for the Slovenian team under the new head coach Gorazd Bertoncelj, who had set ambitious goals ahead of the season, much of which have remained out of reach.

The organisers expect that some 60,000 spectators will have visited the Planica ski flying hill by Sunday, as the hill is looking to regain an absolute record for the longest jump back from the Vikersund Hill (253.5m).

Planica is only two metres short (251.5m by Kamil Stoch in 2017) of the record and Gregor Schlierenzauer last year landed at the record mark but the jump was disqualified because he touched the ground with both hands.

All our stories about Planica are here

22 Mar 2019, 10:20 AM

STA, 21 March 2019 - IMAD, the government's macroeconomic forecaster, has downgraded Slovenia's economic growth forecast for this year by 0.3 points in real terms to a still robust 3.4%, citing weaker export demand. Growth is projected to slow further next year, to 3.1%, IMAD said on Thursday.

The forecast marks a significant slowdown from the 4.5% growth rate that Slovenia recorded last year according to preliminary estimates, but it remains strong and is still well above the projections for the eurozone as a whole, which is expected to grow by well under 2% this year.

The revised budget for 2019 that the National Assembly passed in a re-vote yesterday assumes growth will stand at 3.7% this year.

IMAD forecasts that export growth will slow by over two points compared to last year to 5.1%, before ticking up slightly to 5.3% in 2020. As a result, the net contribution of foreign trade will be close to zero.

Private as well as government spending are expected to offset the weak exports, the forecast suggests.

Household spending growth is projected to remain strong and above last year's level (2.9% this year and 2.4% in 2020), with government spending expected to grow at a slightly slower pace of 2.2% and 1.9% respectively.

Investment spending will weaken substantially, on the other hand, with growth projected to slow to 7.7% this year and 7% in 2020 compared to low double-digit rates recorded in the last two years.

Job creation will continue, albeit at a slower pace: having hovered around 3% in the previous years, employment growth is projected to slow to 2% this year and 1% in 2020.

IMAD says job gains will be affected by the continued decline of the working-age population as the population as a whole ages.

Inflation will remain moderate and below 2%, the forecast suggests.

IMAD lists several risks that could affect its projections, among them a disorderly Brexit, US protectionism, and slowing growth in China.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) also revised its economic outlook for the economy downwards today. It now projects a 2.9% growth for this year, a deterioration of 0.6 percentage points on its previous forecast. The growth is to slow down to 2.2% next year.

The GZS attributed the downgrade to a slowdown in export markets. "Private consumption growth remains high, as does investment growth," it said.

The growth of merchandise exports is expected to decelerate to 4% in 2019 and to just 2% in 2020. "The projection is guided by rather weak confidence in manufacturing and a major restraint when it comes to new orders."

Household consumption is expected to grow at 2.4% this year. "We expect consumption of non-durable goods (cars, household appliances, home equipment) to slow down somewhat and the savings rate to slightly increase."

Nevertheless, the chamber upgraded the domestic spending forecast for 2020 to 2.1% due to cuts in tax on pay announced by the government.

The GZS's outlook is based on the presumption that the risks of trade wars, China's hard landing or a no-deal Brexit would not materialise.

All our stories about the Slovenian economy are here

22 Mar 2019, 09:11 AM

Below is a review of the headlines in Slovenian dailies for Friday, 22 March 2019, as summarised by the STA:


"Slovenia is rich in water but much remains to be done for a secure future": The paper points to Court of Audit and expert warnings about poor water management and highlights today's rally in Ljubljana against the construction of hydro power plants on the Mura river. (front page, 4, 7)

GDP growth forecast
"Clouds gathering in economic forecasts": IMAD, the government's macroeconomic forecaster, downgrades the growth forecast for 2019 by 0.3 points to 3.4%, while the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) expects 2.9%. (front page, 9)

China and Europe
"Europe's silk road starts in Italy": The old continent is divided as regards the deepening of ties with the Asian superpower. (front page, 5)

"Šporar debut does not bring win to Kek": Slovenia start the qualifiers for the Euro 2020 with a 1:1 draw in Israel. (front page, 19)


Sky flying
"To fly in the temple of Slovenianhood": Planica is the biggest sporting festival in Slovenia, the paper says as the ski jumping World Cup finals get under way. It also points out that lodging provided during the event nets the local hospitality sector EUR 1.5m. (front page, 2, 3)

State-owned forests
"Executive leaves because he had to cover fines from his own pocket": The Slovenian State Forests (SiDG) company has seen three different main directors, four different heads of sale and logistics and three directors of the Snežnik subsidiary in only 32 months of operations. (front page, 5)


Krka results
"Krka with record results": Pharma group Krka, also helped by positive rouble trends, posts record results in 2018 and shareholders can look forward to hefty dividends of 2.6 to 3.1 euro per share. (front page, 8, 9)

TTIP 2.0
"What does the revived transatlantic agreement bring": While preparations are under way for new talks between the US and the EU, the concern persists that Donald Trump will introduce additional tariffs on car imports from Europe. (front page, 2, 3)

"How far does the judiciary go to cover its people? Absurdly far": The paper says that even the Supreme Court violates public procurement legislation. (front page, 4, 5)


Culture honours
"Another excellent quartet": The City of Maribor honours painter Bogan Čobal with the Glazer award for lifetime achievement. (front page, 8)

Legal services
"Lawyers to get more expensive": The standardised lawyers' tariffs were last changed in 2003. After a long dispute with the Justice Ministry, an agreement has now been reached on a 30% increase. (front page, 4)

Woes of waste collection utility
"Snaga running out of money for wages": The paper wonders why it took so long for the Maribor city authorities to take on the problems of municipal waste collection utility Snaga. (front page, 9)

21 Mar 2019, 17:30 PM

STA, 21 March 2019 - Regardless of how Brexit unravels at the political level, the lives of British citizens in the EU and EU citizens in the UK may change. According to British Ambassador to Slovenia Sophie Honey, the Embassy and the Slovenian government are working together to provide continuity for the people and make it clear that they remain welcome.


In the event of a negotiated Brexit, measures are in place to ensure things run smoothly for the people in a transitional period until the end of 2020. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the status of citizens in the respective countries will depend more on bilateral talks with each country, Slovenia included.

"While the nature of our relationship will change as and when the UK leaves the EU, all of our planning is focussed on trying to ensure that this change isn't felt so directly day-to-day. That's what our priority has been with the government here," Ambassador Honey said in an interview with the STA.

"That is why the commitments [the Slovenian government] have given to protect the status of British nationals here - are really important. And we continue to work through some of the key issues and make sure that we have everything in place."

The Slovenian government has now adopted a bill on reciprocal rights for British citizens residing in Slovenia, of whom there are around 700; about 5,000 Slovenians have made the UK their home.

Ambassador Honey says her Embassy has been "in very close touch with the Slovenian government" as well as the Slovenian Embassy in London. "I'm reassured that we've had a very similar approach and stance on this. Key to that has been a shared sense of the importance of continuity for our citizens, for people who have made their homes in each other's countries."

"This period is undoubtedly complicated, but I'm still optimistic about the future and everything that needs to be done so that cooperation continues," she said.

The Embassy has held a series of outreach events across Slovenia in recent weeks to talk to British nationals living here and address any issues and concerns they may have.

"We've been doing a lot of outreach in the British community to reassure people that both in the case of a deal or in the case of a no deal Brexit, they are still welcome here and the Slovenian government wants them to stay and to protect their rights."

"The Slovenian government has made clear - including now through legislation - that British people living in Slovenia would be entitled to stay and retain their status and be able to work and live here as previously."

Some concerns are very fundamental - others are more practical.

"Many people ask me: 'What's the stance of the Slovenian government towards us?' And I reassure them - all the messages I've received from the Slovenian government are that yes, the government welcomes the British community and wants to enable the people to stay and continue their lives here as until now."

At a more practical level, British people living in Slovenia have raised specific questions - for example about residency, driving licences, access to healthcare and pensions.

People have asked about access to pensions in the future as well as whether their access to healthcare remains the same.

For most of those who have temporary or permanent residence in Slovenia, their health insurance is covered by the employer.

For some people reliant on a special type of reciprocal cooperation within the EU called S1 forms, the details are still being worked out with the Slovenian government. Such people have been advised to check their cover and make sure they have at least basic cover, according to the ambassador.

Companies, meanwhile, are mostly interested what will happen so that they can plan for that and deal with it, but this is challenging. "It's difficult to tell businesses exactly what will happen. What we have tried to do is to explain the most likely scenarios."

Having talked to companies doing business in the UK, the Ambassador said she has seen a pragmatic determination to continue cooperation - businesses say they will find a way. There are very strong links that go many years back, and new opportunities ahead. Despite the potential change in conditions Slovenian companies are determined to continue doing business with the UK.

What will not change is that Slovenia and the UK have an overall "strong relationship that predates the time either of us were EU members and that will continue," according to the ambassador.

All our stories on Slovenia and Brexit are here

21 Mar 2019, 16:20 PM

STA, 20 March 2019 - Twenty-five years to the day, undercover police agent Milan Smolnikar was brutally arrested action-movie style by four Defence Ministry agents, an instance of military interference with the civilian sphere and an event that continues to affect Slovenian politics to this day.


The incident known as the Depala Vas scandal (Afera Depala vas), for the village not far from Ljubljana in which it took place on 20 March 1994, invited differing interpretations and eventually into a fully-fledged conspiracy theory.

It was followed by months of tensions between the defence and interior ministries, deepening political divisions only three years after Slovenia gained independence.
A day after the incident, the Defence Ministry explained Smolnikar, a former Defence Ministry employee, was suspected of divulging a military secret.

An inquiry ordered by then Prime Minister Janez Drnovšek found on 23 March that by arresting Smolnikar the Defence Ministry had overstepped its powers.

Based on this, Drnovšek assessed the Smolnikar case amounted to a military interference with the civilian sphere and asked parliament to dismiss Defence Minister Janez Janša, a prominent independence figure.

Nine days after the incident, Janša was dismissed by parliament and replaced by Jelko Kacin, presently Slovenian ambassador to NATO.

Janša rejected all allegations, stance he has never changed, arguing the government inquiry was but a cover for a long-planned politically-motivated decision to replace him.

He also claimed Smolnikar, who ended up in hospital after the attackers took him to the seat of the military intelligence service, was no ordinary civilian.

Once Janša was dismissed, his party, which has since been renamed the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS), moved into the opposition.

His dismissal made his supporters take to the streets, while Smolnikar's arrest prompted protests due to military interference in the civilian sphere.

Fuelling divisions in the country in general, the scandal deepened the already bitter antagonism between Janša and then President Milan Kučan.

Janša believes Kučan, the leader of the Slovenian Communist Party before Slovenia's independence, was the mastermind behind the scandal and the attempt to get rid of him.

This is also a view held by TV Slovenija journalist and historian Jože Možina, the author of a 2014 documentary on Depala Vas.

Možina sees it as a way of curtailing the growing influence of the democratic forces which had spearheaded independence efforts and which Janša symbolised.

"Now we know the manner in which Janša was to be removed was made by a special agent of the Yugoslav secret military service KOS Radenko Radojčić, whom Slovenian military intelligence agents had brought from Belgrade," he told the STA.

According to Možina, it is unclear whether Kučan was the only one behind the scheme "and to what extent he had been encouraged to remove Janša by plottings and insinuations about a military coup d'etat ... fabricated by agents loyal to the nomenclature".

"With the Depala Vas scandal, 1994 was a milestone in that the structures of the former regime managed to stop the process of losing power in all spheres of society, which started with the first democratic elections in 1990," he said.

Meanwhile, Ali Žerdin, the editor of Delo's Saturday Supplement and commentator, said the scandal "was and still is important to understand key principles of political culture" in Slovenia.

"It became clear in 1994 that part of the Slovenian defence system did not understand that the army should not engage with civilians," he told the STA.

The Depala Vas scandal eventually made it to court. In 2003, Smolnikar's attackers were cleared of the charges of having arrested him in a horrendous manner.

Smolnikar's car had been stopped by three vehicles, and since he had locked himself in it, the attackers smashed the car windows with guns. He was then handcuffed.

Marred by a series of appeals, the Depala Vas case fell under the statute of limitations on 20 March 2004 without justice being served.

This is one reason why the circumstances of the event remain moot, creating space for speculations and feeding into the persistent divide between the left and the right.

All our stories on Janez Janša are here

21 Mar 2019, 14:20 PM

STA, 20 March 2019 - NATO member states consider the alliance "the best answer to the question of ensuring national security," President Borut Pahor said in his keynote to the ceremony marking Slovenia's 15th anniversary in NATO at the Brdo pri Kranju conference centre on Wednesday.

Slovenia is marking the anniversary "with a well-founded feeling that fifteen years ago it made the right decision and that [NATO] will do its utmost to ensure that our high expectations for ensuring national and collective security are also met in the future."

For nearly three quarters of a century, the alliance has been preserved and strengthened, an impressive feat for the modern international community. This means that the alliance's fundamental values exceed "the mere provision of a high level of national security".

In his speech, the president also talked about global politics and the dwindling trust in multilateralism, pointing to the "poorer relationship" between Europe and the US.

"The result is a consideration of stronger European security and military cooperation," said Pahor, underlining, however, that "it is necessary to strive for close cooperation with the US".

He moreover expressed his "appreciation to NATO for its understanding of the needs of its enlargement to the Western Balkans countries. The membership of Montenegro and the imminent accession of North Macedonia are good prospects for a greater geopolitical stability of this highly sensitive and vulnerable part of the European continent."

He moreover said he would like to see "some of this pragmatism and broader political judgement in the enlargement of the EU to this part of Europe."

"I understand that the standards and conditions are different and more demanding in this respect, but history will prove that the EU will help ensure the peace, security and prosperity of this part of Europe only if it also understands the expansion to this part as an eminently political, even geopolitical project rather than a narrowly procedural or bureaucratic project that depends only on the meticulous fulfilment of the membership criteria."

Pahor also touched on defence spending, with NATO members obligated to contribute 2% of their GDP. "The world is changing, becoming less secure and more unpredictable. It is necessary to invest in security, also financially."

"Slovenia is aware of this fact. By 2024, it will allocate 1.5% of GDP for defence, which means a significant increase."

The ceremony was also addressed by foreign and defence ministers Miro Cerar and Karl Erjavec, while NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addressed the event via video link.

The ceremony was followed by a round table debate moderated by former Chief of the General Staff of the Slovenian Armed Forces Dobran Božič, who is currently serving as state secretary at the Foreign Ministry. The debate also featured former NATO Secretary General George Robertson.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the event, Lord Robertson said that US President Donald Trump had done a great favour to the European countries by demanding an increase in defence spending, because he "shattered the complacency that previously existed".

Saying that many European countries had imagined the US would always be available, Robertson said that Trump put that into question and that European allies would have to do much more, not only to satisfy Trump, but for their own self-interest.

Robertson, who served as NATO secretary general between 1999 and 2004, expressed the hope that Slovenia, which trails NATO members in terms of defence spending, too would listen to this reasoning and continue to play its role in the alliance. But he did commend Slovenia on its contribution to NATO missions and operations.

The significance of the member states' commitment to increase defence spending to 2% of GDP was also noted by Camille Grand, NATO assistant secretary general for defence investment, in his address to the panel at Brdo estate.

He labelled Slovenia as a firm ally which shouldered its part of the burden, noting its role in the NATO force in Kosovo.

21 Mar 2019, 12:50 PM

STA, 20 March 2019 - Prime Minister Miro Cerar reiterated at a session of the Foreign Policy Committee on Wednesday Slovenia's position that it would make sense to postpone Brexit, but not beyond the date of the May EU elections. He also expressed hope the situation in Serbia will not escalate.

Asked about Brexit, Cerar said that in case a justified reason for a postponement of the deadline is put forward, Slovenia will be ready to support this within reasonable limits. Presently, Cerar is waiting for the message of British Prime Minister Theresa May at the EU summit.

He assessed that 23 May would probably be the latest deadline, since going beyond that would raise a number of questions, including of legal nature, that would have to be resolved by the European Council.

Repeating a deal would be in the best interest of everyone, Cerar said Slovenia was also ready for a no deal Brexit, having prepared an emergency bill governing the rights of Slovenians in Britain.

Meanwhile, quizzed by coalition SocDems MP Milan Brglez about Slovenia's take on the US no longer seeing the Golan Heights and other territories under Israel's occupation as occupied, Cerar said Slovenia's positions remained unchanged.

Thus Slovenia supports a peaceful process and a two-state solution with Palestine within the 1967 borders. Cerar repeated Slovenia would recognise Palestine if or when a group of EU members also decides to do so.

Asked by Brglez about European parliament President Antonio Tajani's recent statement about Benito Mussolini "also having done some good things", Cerar said the statement was met by a quick response from members of the European Parliament, which is supported by the Foreign Ministry.

Tajani issued a public apology "and we find that this ends this story". Still, if this repeats, the Foreign Ministry will have to respond, Cerar added.

As for the developments in Serbia, a topic raised by coalition Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) MP Ivan Hršak, Cerar said he was following them closely and was concerned. He hopes that things will not escalate and that the conflict in the country will be resolved in a democratic manner in line with the rule of law.

Zmago Jelinčič, leader of the opposition National Party (SNS), wanted to find out if Slovenia planned to rescind its recognition of Kosovo.

"I believe our recognition of Kosovo was justified," Cerar said, while adding Slovenia was aware that a number of issues remained open in the region.

Another issue raised was Croatia's decision to limit transit for heavy trucks at the Petišovci border crossing (NE) at the start of 2019. Cerar said that business has asked the relevant ministries to intervene with Croatian authorities and that the situation has already been discussed at an interdepartmental meeting.

21 Mar 2019, 07:12 AM

STA, 20 March 2019 - The National Assembly passed on Wednesday the act addressing potential uncertainties and safeguarding the rights of Slovenian citizens in Great Britain and vice-versa in case of a no-deal Brexit. The government-proposed act was endorsed by 50 of the 66 present MPs, while four voted against.

The act aims to preserve rights related to social security, labour market access, cross-border services, mutual recognition of professional qualifications, family allowances and scholarships for the period until 31 December 2020.

While a more long-term solution will be drawn up to tackle the period after 2020, the government said that the reciprocity principle was envisaged for certain rights, meaning they will be secured for British citizens only if the same is done in the UK for Slovenian citizens.

The act also envisages a transitional period after Brexit during which British citizens will be able to continue to legally reside in Slovenia on the basis of permits issued to them as EU citizens.

It will enable them to obtain residence permits of the kind that are being issued in the form of biometric IDs to citizens of third countries, while obtaining long-term residence status will also be possible.

Moreover, the act regulates the tourist stay rights for British citizens for a duration of up to 90 days in case they arrive in Slovenia before the date of the UK's departure from the EU.

If British citizens do not have a valid residence registration certificate or a residence permit before Brexit and enter Slovenia after Brexit, their entry and residence will be regulated by the provisions of the foreigners act in place for citizens of countries that are not part of the European Economic Area.

Many MPs said during the debate on the fast-tracked act that the current situation surrounding Brexit was rather uncertain, and that Slovenia should thus prepare for the worst-case scenario or a no-deal Brexit.

Some of them also pointed out that the status and rights of Slovenian citizens in the UK and vice versa must be preserved, and that reciprocity in the protection of their rights should be ensured.

The deputy group of the opposition Democrats (SDS) had announced it would abstain from voting because the act was incomplete and failed to provide sufficient protection to the estimated 5,000 Slovenian citizens in the UK.

The SDS was also critical of the government for coming up with such an act only days ahead of the scheduled date of Brexit.

The opposition Left said that the act was being discussed relatively late, while Zmago Jelinčič of the opposition National Party (SNS) said the proposal was a "mess and completely absurd".

All our stories about Brexit are here

21 Mar 2019, 07:00 AM

STA, 19 March 2019 - The Koper port transships the biggest share of Austrian imports and exports, with the number of containers increasing by nearly six times over the course of the past decade, port operator Luka Koper said in a press release following a meeting with Austrian business representatives on Tuesday.

Luka Koper holds a 33% market share in Austria, transshipping 7.1 million tonnes of various goods. Luka Koper has been the top port for the Austrian economy for the last eight years, according to data provided by Verkehr, an Austrian logistics journal.

Good cooperation and good rail connections are key factors in this, Luka Koper said, adding that it had established daily rail links with Austrian logistics centres.

There is a container rail link with Graz ten times a week and there are multiple links a week connecting the port with the logistics centres in Villach and Enns. Moreover, 75% of cargo headed to or coming from Austria is transported by rail, the company said.

Today's get-together of Austrian executives and Luka Koper representatives featured representatives of 26 Austrian companies focusing on logistics, transport, IT solution and construction.

21 Mar 2019, 06:43 AM

STA, 19 March 2019 - Air carrier Adria Airways is cutting a number of regular routes this summer, Ex-Yu Aviation portal has reported. The company said on Tuesday that it would fly to 16 destinations and increase the frequency of flights to some of them. Meanwhile, passengers will still be able to reach the abolished destinations via other Star Alliance carriers.

It will bump up the number of weekly flights from Ljubljana to Munich, Prishtina, Skopje and Tirana, as well as flights from Prishtina to Frankfurt and Munich, the Slovenian-based air carrier said in a press release.

During the summer season, between 31 March and 26 October, Adria will fly to 16 destinations from Ljubljana: Amsterdam, Brussels, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Manchester, Munich, Paris, Podgorica, Prague, Prishtina, Sarajevo, Skopje, Sofia, Tirana, Vienna and Zürich.

In total, the carrier will be flying 194 times a week on 20 different routes, the company said.

On the other hand, Adria is abolishing flights to Belgrade, Berlin, Delhi, Düsseldorf, Göteborg, Hamburg, Helsinki, Istanbul, Kyiv, Moscow, Oslo, Singapore, Stockholm, Stuttgart, Warsaw, and Geneva, Ex Yu Aviation says.

According to Adria Airways, all of the abolished destinations, except Kyiv, can be reached by direct or indirect flights operated by other Star Alliance carriers.

CEO Holger Korwatsch was quoted as saying in the press release that the situation in the industry was demanding and that the company could not allow a repeat of last summer. In December 2018, Adria had to be recapitalised or else face losing its flight licence.

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