News

06 Aug 2022, 08:37 AM

What follows is a weekly review of events involving Slovenia, as prepared by the STA.

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FRIDAY, 29 July
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's annual inflation rate accelerated to 11% in July, up 0.6 percentage points from the month before, driven mostly by high prices of petroleum products, the Statistics Office said. It is the highest annual inflation rate since August 1995.
        LJUBLJANA - The Administrative Court decreed that the planned Mokrice hydropower station on the river Sava cannot get a building permit until it has ruled on legal action brought against the project by the Slovenian Native Fish Society.
        LJUBLJANA - PM Robert Golob and Public Administration Minister Sanja Ajanović Hovnik met with representatives of a dozen NGOs for the second time to discuss current issues. The government is keen to include NGOs in the decision-making process, Golob said after the meeting.
        LJUBLJANA - Justice Minister Dominika Švarc Pipan said in an interview for the STA she would not approach changes in the judiciary haphazardly, but wanted to see well-thought-out solutions under a broad consensus, while noting it was high time politics no longer played a role in judicial appointment procedures.
        LJUBNO OB SAVINJI - Slovenian minority officials pledged to work to secure a permanent seat for the minority in the Italian parliament as the Office for Slovenians Abroad hosted a debate on the issue amid concerns that the Slovenian minority in Italy could end up without its representative in the Italian parliament following the 25 September snap election.
        LJUBLJANA - The government included the country's human rights ombudsman among officials who are provided with security protection by the police after his office suggested so a while ago because Ombudsman Peter Svetina has often been target of threats over the past two years.

SATURDAY, 30 July
        LJUBLJANA - Defence Minister Marjan Šarec announced systemic changes in civil protection and disaster relief after a massive fire in the western Kras region. He told Dnevnik that the army should immediately be activated in case of natural disasters.

SUNDAY, 31 July
        LJUBLJANA - Justice Minister Dominika Švarc Pipan vowed to keep a close eye on the government's work if new restrictive measures will need to be imposed due to a surge in coronavirus cases. Talking to the STA, she also said she advocated the suspension of unconstitutional proceedings launched against individuals under the previous government.
        KRANJSKA GORA - A low-profile memorial event was held at the Russian Chapel below the Vršič mountain pass honouring the memory of Russian POWs who perished while building the pass during the First World War. Because of the war in Ukraine, only members and friends of the Slovenia-Russia Association gathered for this year's event.

MONDAY, 1 August
        NEW YORK, US - Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon addressed the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in New York, saying the war in Ukraine had caused the worst deterioration of security in Europe and urging Russia to cease the hostilities and withdraw from Ukraine. She stressed Slovenia will continue supporting Ukraine.
        LJUBLJANA - Finance Minister Klemen Boštjančič announced the government would partly annul as of 2023 the income tax reform introduced by the previous government because it significantly affects budget revenue.
        LJUBLJANA - An internal police audit revealed major irregularities in contracts concluded by the Motorway Police Administration, which was established under the previous government, including a contract with national motorway operator DARS, which was referred to the anti-graft watchdog and other authorities over suspicion of criminal acts.
        LJUBLJANA - The police initiated a dismissal and disciplinary procedure against an employee on suspicion of a work-related crime. According to media reports, the person in question is Tomislav Habulin, a former assistant to previous Police Commissioner Anton Olaj. According to tabloid Slovenske Novice, he is suspected of data tampering.
        LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian police processed in the first seven months just over 8,200 foreigners who illegally entered the country, up 80% compared to the same period last year. However, Tomaž Pavček of the Border Police Division said this was just a tenth more than in the same period in 2019 and 2020.
        LJUBLJANA - Lawyer Nataša Pirc Musar, who is expected to run in the 23 October presidential election, raised dust with a statement for the Siol.net news portal about "media being paid to attack those who think differently". The former information commissioner specifically mentioned Požareport, Nova24TV, Reporter and Necenzurirano.
        LJUBLJANA - July was the hottest month on record in Ljubljana in terms of the mean monthly temperature, which stood at 24.4 degrees Celsius, the Environment Agency announced. Record temperatures for July were also recorded in many other locations in Slovenia.
        
TUESDAY, 2 August
        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, stressing this was not a project of the previous government, but Slovenia's project.
        LJUBLJANA - Health Minister Daniel Bešič Loredan said the share of EU funds Slovenia has so far drawn for health projects is rather low, noting the would focus on phasing as much money as possible within available time window.
        LJUBLJANA - Renovation works on the main building of UKC Ljubljana worth over EUR 70 million are planned to start shortly, but media report the open call to select the contractor for the energy renovation segment was flawed. 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.
        LJUBLJANA - First estimates show the damage the severe drought has caused to crops will be extensive. Maize and grass have been hit the worst so far, with output expected to be cut by 50%, according to data the Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry.
        LJUBLJANA - The price of regular petrol and diesel sold at service stations outside the motorway network in Slovenia dropped by 8.6 cents and 2.3 cents, respectively. A litre of petrol costs EUR 1.534 and diesel EUR 1.676. The new prices will be in place for a day more than usually, for 15 days, because of a bank holiday.
        BRNO, Czechia/ŠENČUR - Solitea, a Czech group offering ICT solutions, 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 said it was in the EUR 30 million range.
        SOLKAN - After a week-long shutdown due to low water levels of the Soča river, the first since 2003, the Solkan Hydropower Plant was brought back online following rainfall in the Bovec area, upstream from the power plant.
        
WEDNESDAY, 3 August
        LJUBLJANA - Bojan Babič, the director of the Ljubljana administrative unit, confirmed for Delo that he had been notified by Public Administration Minister Sanja Ajanović Hovnik that he would be dismissed at the end of August. The unit has been a target of much criticism since the outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic.
        MARIBOR - The newspaper Večer reported that Maribor Prosecutor's Office had filed charges against five former border police officers who were arrested in February 2020 over suspicion that they had stamped the passports of third-country nationals to allow them to unlawfully prolong their stay in the Schengen zone beyond the permitted 90-day period.
        LJUBLJANA - Ludvik Poljanec, who has successfully represented Slovenian citizens before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) as layman, announced he would run in the 23 October presidential election. He plans to collect 5,000 votr signatures in support of his bid.
        LJUBLJANA - The number of registered jobless people was up slightly in July over the month before, by 0.9% to 54,341, while this represents a drop of 23.1% compared to the same period last year, the Employment Service reported.
        KOSTANJEVICA NA KRASU - A campaign started in the part of the Kras region south of Nova Gorica to remove the wood biomass that has been left behind the devastating fire that raged in the area in the second half of July. Around 5,000 cubic metres of wood biomass that could serve as ignition and fuel for new fires needs to be removed by 20 August.

THURSDAY, 4 August
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's exports went up by 32.1% and imports by 47% in the first six months compared to the same period last year, while an external trade deficit of EUR 2.2 billion was recorded. In June, Slovenia exported a record EUR 5.3 billion of goods (up 57.2% year on year) and imported a record of EUR 4.8 billion (up 40%).
        LJUBLJANA - The gaming company Elektronček Group, owned by entrepreneur Joc Pečečnik, announced the acquisition of the company Costella, whose most valuable asset is a water extraction concession valid until 2035. According to unofficial information of the business newspaper Finance, Elektronček is to pay less than EUR 5 million for the company.
        LJUBLJANA - Public Administration Minister Sanja Ajanović Hovnik said that her dismissing Bojan Babič as the director of the Ljubljana administrative unit was not a politically motivated decision as she announced a broader restructuring of administrative units. Babič agreed with the assessment and will not appeal, a deputy head has already been appointed.

 

06 Aug 2022, 08:07 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.

This summary is provided by the STA:

Four cases of police overreach determined during 2021 anti-govt protests

LJUBLJANA - Police officers acted unprofessionally and used disproportionate force in four separate instances at anti-government protests held throughout 2021, shows an Interior Ministry report on complaints against police work. The Interior Ministry has notified the State Prosecution of its findings and the police force has already taken certain measures. At the same time, Minister Tatjana Bobnar issued new guidance for how police should act during public gatherings, revoking earlier guidance by her predecessor.

Review ordered of construction of premises for interior ministry, police

LJUBLJANA - Interior Minister Tatjana Bobnar has ordered a review of the construction of a new building for the Interior Ministry and the police, the Necenzurirano news portal reported. The portal says that the contractor, the state-owned real estate investment firm DSU, rushed with the drafting of the project dossier to get the project so far ahead that it could no longer be stopped. This is said to be due to fear that the project, like many other investments or projects of the previous government, would be halted or subjected to review.

Fresh data on healthcare waiting times expected in a month

LJUBLJANA - For the past two months the Health Ministry has been analysing health care services in 2020 and 2021. Long waiting times have been confirmed as the bane of Slovenia's healthcare with Minister Danijel Bešič Loredan warning about many errors in the IT system. They now aim to obtain up-to-date data in a month. Alenka Kolar, acting head of the healthcare digitalisation directorate, said there were many discrepancies and errors in the system, such as multiple referrals for individual patients. She announced they would first comb through the data and remedy any errors.

Far-right hopeful announces bid for president

LJUBLJANA - Aleš Ernecl, a far-right media personality and Holocaust denier, has announced his plan to join the race for the 23 October presidential election. Ernecl, who made the announcement on YouTube on Thursday evening, sees Slovenia's role in offering Slovenians privileges that they do not have anywhere else. He believes that Slovenians have no voice in the country, and expressed concerns about Euro-Atlantic organisations, which he believes are leading to the extinction of the Slovenian people.

British PM Johnson on holiday in Slovenia

LJUBLJANA - Outgoing British PM Boris Johnson is on a short private trip to Slovenia, the office of Slovenian Prime Minister Rober Golob said as it confirmed British media reports for the STA. Golob's office said that no meeting between the prime ministers was planned. While Downing Street declined to reveal where Johnson is holidaying this week, the British media have reported that he is believed to be in Slovenia with his wife Carrie for a belated honeymoon.

Govt supports gradual introduction of free period products

LJUBLJANA - The government is in favour of a gradual introduction of free period products for women in public institutions and will look into the possibility of dedicated funding, the Government Communications Office (UKOM) told the STA after a recent call for this by the Slovenian Secondary-School Student Organization and the Slovenian Student Union. The organisations said free period products could be funded either from the state budget or from the budgets of individual educational institutions.

Coronavirus case count at 1,450 on Thursday

LJUBLJANA - A total of 1,450 coronavirus cases were logged in Slovenia on Thursday, down 2% from a week ago, as hospitalisations remained stable with 97 patients in hospital due to coronavirus as their main condition and another 14 in intensive care, the latest official statistics show. The 7-day average of confirmed cases dropped to just over 1,470 and the 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 people was down to almost 1,050.

Small aircraft crash-lands on motorway, no injuries reported

BREZJE - A two-seat aircraft crash-landed on the A2 motorway near Brezje in north Slovenia. There were two passengers on board and both survived the emergency landing without injuries, Kranj police said. Preliminary information indicates the pilot had engine problems and decided to land the aircraft on the motorway instead of flying back to the nearby Lesce airfield. The pilot reported problems to air traffic control before making the emergency landing, Slovenia Control told the STA. The aircraft is registered in Austria and has the logo of Austrian Aviation Training, a Klagenfurt-based company, on its tail.

Dragić reuniting with national team to defend EuroBasket title

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian basketball star Goran Dragić has decided to rejoin the Slovenian men's team to defend the 2017 title at this year's EuroBasket in what is a change of heart after bidding his teammates farewell. Dragić, who recently signed a deal with NBA's Chicago Bulls, tweeted "I'm back" along with the hashtag EuroBasket and a photo of himself holding the 2017 cup. The Slovenian Basketball Association responded to his decision by tweeting "Happy day today".

Maribor start UEFA Europa League qualifiers with a loss

MARIBOR - Slovenian champions Maribor are in trouble after the first leg of the third qualifying round for the UEFA Europa League, as they lost at home on Thursday evening 0:2 to HJK Helsinki. After dropping out of the qualifying for the elite UEFA Champions League, Maribor got a second chance in the second-tier Europa League, but the things did not start well for them despite the support of some 7,000 fans in Ljudski Vrt Stadium. The return leg will be played on 11 August in Helsinki.

Artist Kostja Gatnik dies

LJUBLJANA - Kostja Gatnik, a versatile visual artist, has died at the age of 76, his family told the STA. He was best known as an illustrator and comic book author. He received a number of awards, including the Prešeren Prize for lifetime achievement, the country's top accolade in the arts world. Gatnik also won the Levstik and the Hinko Smrekar prizes for his children's literature and illustration work, respectively.

Lil Pump to headline Offline festival

PTUJ - Thousands of electronica fans are expected to flock to Ptuj for a two-day Offline festival of electronica and hip hip, which will be headlined by US rapper star Lil Pump and will feature more than 30 DJs on the outskirts of Slovenia's oldest city on Friday and Saturday. Lil Pump is currently the household name of the new (t)rap wave, filling stages, stadiums and other concert venues. Among the DJs performing will be Mike Williams and Morten, coming to Ptuj straight from Tomorrowland festival.

Early music festival kicks off in Radovljica

RADOVLJICA - The quaint town of Radovljica in the north-west of the country hosts the 40th iteration of its early music festival from 5 to 23 August, this year focusing on music from the 16th to the 20th century. A total of ten concerts will feature renowned names such as soprano Amanda Forsythe, violinist Bojan Čičić, tenor Aco Aleksander Bišćević, double-bassist David Sinclair, the string quartet Altemps, the renaissance flute consort Phaedrus and the ensemble Opera Prima.

Cross-border festival of contemporary art returns to Slovenia

GORNJA RADGONA - Hochsommer, a festival of contemporary art, starts in several towns on Slovenia's border with Austria and Hungary today. In the ten days of the festival, numerous admission-free art events will be held, from concerts, exhibitions, and readings, to plays and performances. Under the banner Overcoming The Void, the festival, which is taking place in Slovenia for the second time, will strive to address the different types of void - an empty space, feelings of emptiness and remoteness.

05 Aug 2022, 15:33 PM

STA, 5 August 2022 - A small aircraft crash-landed on the A2 motorway near Brezje in north Slovenia on Friday afternoon. There were two passengers on board, and both survived the emergency landing without injuries, Kranj police said.

Preliminary information indicates the pilot had engine problems and decided to land the aircraft on the motorway instead of flying back to the nearby Lesce airfield, from where he originally took off, N1 portal reported.

The pilot reported problems to air traffic control before making the emergency landing, Slovenia Control told the STA.

The aircraft is registered in Austria and has the logo of Austrian Aviation Training, a Klagenfurt-based company, on its tail.

According to FlightRadar24, an aviation website, the aircraft is an Aquila A210, a two-seat reinforced plastic light aircraft produced in Germany.

The landing can be seen on this traffic camera video shared by the motorway company DARS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Es4fm-9wyPI.

It is clear from the video that the pilot landed the aircraft on the emergency lane and that there was no contact with vehicles on the road at the time.

A Slovenian air accident investigator has been dispatched to the scene and the investigation is ongoing.

05 Aug 2022, 15:24 PM

STA, 5 August 2022 - Outgoing British PM Boris Johnson is on a short private trip to Slovenia, the office of Slovenian Prime Minister Rober Golob confirmed British media reports for the STA on Friday. Golob's office also said that no meeting between the two prime ministers was planned.

While Downing Street declined to reveal where Johnson is holidaying this week, the British media have reported that he is believed to be in Slovenia with his wife Carrie for a belated honeymoon.

05 Aug 2022, 10:57 AM

STA, 4 August 2022 - A retrial for a man charged with murder of his former partner and her parents on Christmas 2020 is coming to an end at the Ptuj District Court. While the defendant changed his plea from guilty in the first trial to not guilty, the prosecution once again proposes life imprisonment. The verdict will be delivered on Monday.

The defendant, Silvo Drevenšek, has insisted during the course of the retrial that he could not remember the killings due to excessive drunkenness and blamed his acts on alcoholism. He also showed remorse.

The first trial was quashed because six instead of five judges ruled on the case. The retrial started in June, featuring a number of witnesses and court-appointed experts, with closing words being delivered on Thursday.

The indictment states that at Christmas 2020 Drevenšek murdered his partner and then his mother-in-law and father-in-law. The latter two killings took place in front of his 4-year-old son.

He stabbed all three victims a number of times with a kitchen knife and drove off in a car, stopping at two houses, where he demanded wine. The defendant does not dispute these acts, but blames them on alcohol abuse.

The prosecution meanwhile says he committed the killings for financial gain, wanting to avoid having to split his possessions in the face of separation.

The prosecutor said he threatened his father and mother in law with murder several times, adding that Drevenšek was indeed drunk when he committed the killings, but not too drunk to not be able to control his actions. Most of the alcohol he had in his system after he was detained Drevenšek consumed after the killings, the prosecutor claims.

The prosecution demands three 30-year sentences and a 4-year sentence for neglecting a minor, or a cumulative sentence of life in prison.

The prosecution also proposed extension of detention for Drevenšek due to risk of reoffending. Allegedly Drevenšek could hurt the brother of his former partner and his girlfriend, who are now taking care of his son.

The brother expressed support for the proposed sentence today and has previously said that the change in Drevenšek's plea was a tactical move.

Drevenšek's lawyer meanwhile insisted that the prosecution failed to prove that the perpetrator killed out of base motives. "We do not have a credible expert opinion that could provide corroborating answers to key questions. We know exactly what happened but we still don't know why the tragedy happened."

The defence claims the killings were committed out of impulse, without preparation. "He could not understand his actions, couldn't control himself."

However, expert opinions provided by court-appointed clinical psychologist, psychiatrist and forensic medicine expert do not support the defendant's defence. Because of the defence's doubts about the opinions, the three experts took the stand again yesterday.

The psychiatrist and the psychologist both diagnosed him with a borderline personality disorder, one classifying it as unspecified and the other as mixed. They both testified yesterday that the difference between the two was very small.

They also said that their diagnosis was not very different from narcissism, which was the diagnosis by a psychiatrist at UKC Maribor hospital shortly after the killings. The disorders have one thing in common: the individual has a constant need for attention, they said.

Forensic medicine expert meanwhile explained the method she used to come to the conclusion that the amount of alcohol in his system had not been as high as to prevent him from being unaware of his actions.

05 Aug 2022, 10:50 AM

STA, 4 August 2022 - The peak of the tourist season at Lake Bled resulted in large quantities of malodorous waste being washed off into the only outlet from the lake, the local environmental organisation has warned, adding that the Sava Bohinjka river is also full of algae. This resulted in the nearby fish farm having to euthanise thousands of fish due to poisoning.

The Environmental Protection Organisation Bled (Društvo za varstvo okolja Bled) said in a press release on Thursday that huge amounts of sewage flowed from the local wastewater treatment plant into the Jezernica creek, the only outlet from Lake Bled.

"The creek is very much like a sewer tunnel, the water being brown and muddy, and tree branches at the banks are drooping due to the weight of sanitary sewer water," it added.

There is a spillway mounted on the tunnel leading into the Jezernica, however it can only catch large pieces of waste and if water levels are high waste material spills back into the creek.

This affects the Sava Bohinjka, which the Jezernica flows into, and where a large algae population has developed. This led to all 25,000 fish kept by the Radovljica Angling Club at the confluence with the Sava dying two weeks ago due to poisoning.

This is yet another fish die-off in Slovenia, after around a tonne and a half of fish died in Mali Graben, and 50 kilos in Homška Mlinščica in July. Two fish die-offs also occurred in June, one in Nanošica and the other in Vrtojbica in the west.

The Kranj police investigators have also inspected the area and took samples for analysis.

Waste being spilled into the waters is a direct consequence of the Bled sewer system being overloaded, say the locals, while the municipality maintains the wastewater treatment plant is functioning as it should.

Anže Bizjak, CEO of the local utility company that operates the Bled sewer system, said last year that the smelly foam collecting at the Lancovo dam was a result of low water levels and diminished water flow. That is why river algae have started to grow.

He also added that faecal matter coming out of the treatment plant is diluted to the extent that it does not exceed parameters set in the plant's environmental permit.

Recently, many of those visiting Bled have reported gastrointestinal issues, likely caused by polluted water, noted the Environmental Conservation Organisation. They have notified the National Institute for Public Health about the outburst.

05 Aug 2022, 04:41 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.

This summary is provided by the STA:

Exports up 57.2% in June year-on-year, up 32.1% in H1

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's exports went up by 32.1% and imports by 47% in the first six months compared to the same period last year, while an external trade deficit of EUR 2.2 billion was recorded in trade balance. The export-import ratio was at 92%. In June, Slovenia exported a record EUR 5.3 billion of goods (up 57.2% year on year) and imported a record of EUR 4.8 billion (up 40%).

Elektronček buying water bottling company Costella

LJUBLJANA/KOSTEL - The gaming company Elektronček Group, owned by entrepreneur Joc Pečečnik, announced the acquisition of the company Costella. Costella's owner, the Swiss company Agrokor, which is in liquidation, put the water bottling company, whose most valuable asset is a water extraction concession valid until 2035, up for sale at the end of last year. Elektronček announced the takeover on 29 July, says the website of the Agency for the Protection of Competition. According to unofficial information of the business newspaper Finance, Elektronček is to pay less than EUR 5 million for the company.

Minister says Ljubljana administrative unit in for restructuring

LJUBLJANA - Public Administration Minister Sanja Ajanović Hovnik said that her dismissing Bojan Babič as the director of the Ljubljana administrative unit was not a politically motivated decision as she announced broader restructuring of administrative units. Babič agreed with the assessment and will not appeal, as this would not suspend his dismissal, and a deputy head has already been appointed. He will be succeeded by Nataša Trček, who serves as secretary general at the Public Administration Ministry, as acting head. She will be dismissed from the current post on 31 August.

Pahor to be guest of honour at Sinjska Alka on Sunday

LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor will be the guest of honour at the traditional Sinjska Alka equestrian competition in the Croatian town of Sinj this Sunday upon invitation of his Croatian counterpart Zoran Milanović. Pahor will be the first foreign statesman in this capacity at the tournament, the president's office announced. The 307th iteration of the competition will be held under the sponsorship of Milanović, who arranged with the association's members in May to invite Pahor as the guest of honour. Pahor and Milanović last met on 15 June in Ohrid, North Macedonia, when they attended the Prespa Forum.

Report: Austrian postal operator uses unregistered name in Slovenia

LJUBLJANA - The Austrian national postal company, Österreichische Post, which entered the Slovenian postal market at the start of July, has been using the word Slovenia in the name of its subsidiary without permission of the Slovenian government, so the Economy Ministry reported this to the market inspectorate, the newspaper Delo reported. Moreover, the subsidiary has been registered as Express One SI, but has been using the name Express One Slovenia.

Covid cases down by nearly 20% week-on-week on Wednesday

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia confirmed 1,624 new Covid cases on Wednesday in what is an 18% drop week-on-week. As the epidemic continues to wane, hospitalisations remain stable, shows the latest data by the Health Ministry. The number of people with active infections in the country has decreased to some 22,340. Two people with Covid died yesterday.

Prosecution demands life imprisonment in Christmas triple murder retrial

PTUJ - A retrial for a man charged with murder of his former partner and her parents on Christmas 2020 is coming to an end at the Ptuj District Court. While the defendant changed his plea from guilty in the first trial to not guilty, the prosecution once again proposes life imprisonment. It demands three 30-year sentences and a 4-year sentence for neglecting a minor, or a cumulative sentence of life in prison. The verdict will be delivered on Monday.

Thousands od fish from farm near Lake Bled had to be euthanised due to poisoning

BLED - The peak of the tourist season at Lake Bled resulted in large quantities of malodorous waste being washed off into the only outlet from the lake, the local environmental organisation warned, adding that the Sava Bohinjka river is also full of algae. This led to all 25,000 fish kept by the local angling club at the confluence between the Sava Bohinjka and Sava Dolinka having to be euthanised due to poisoning. It is yet fish kill in Slovenia after a major die-ff in Mali Graben near Ljubljana.

Dutch national in court for alleged possession of explosive device components

KOPER - A 28-year old Dutch man appeared at Koper District Court after charges were pressed against him for allegedly possessing components to make an explosive device at a rented house near Ilirska Bistrica in the south-west. After the hearing, the judge ruled the suspect is to remain in custody after reasonable ground was established for illicit production and trafficking of weapons or explosives.

04 Aug 2022, 15:11 PM

STA, 4 August 2022 - A 28-year old Dutch man appeared at Koper District Court on Thursday after charges were pressed against him for allegedly possessing components to make an explosive device at a rented house near Ilirska Bistrica in the south-west.

After the hearing, the judge ruled the suspect is to remain in custody after reasonable grounds was established for illicit production and trafficking of weapons or explosives.

The man has been in custody since 25 June as he was to be extradited to his home country on the basis of the European Arrest Warrant, but the warrant had not been put to effect by the end of July.

04 Aug 2022, 11:12 AM

STA, 3 August 2022 - A new via ferrata (Ferata Dobršnik )was inaugurated in a gorge in the municipality of Jesenice in the Karavanke Alps in the north-west of the country, to put Jesenice on the country's tourist map.

"There are many well-known tourist areas in our neighbourhood, and I believe we also have a number of attractions we can offer," Mayor Blaž Račič said on Wednesday.

Jesenice joined forces in the project with Kranjska Gora, a very popular tourist area in the Julian Alps, as the protected climbing route in the Dobršnik Gorge runs along the border between the two municipalities.

Kranjska Gora has opened four such via ferratas in recent years, in Gozd Martuljek and Mojstrana, and they have all proved very popular.

Some 1,000 metres long, the Dobršnik Ferrata is graded as moderate, alternating between easier and harder sections, with some caution needed.

It is also very picturesque, offering a view of as many as eight waterfalls while also being rich in flora and fauna, as well as fossils.

According to Almin Gorinjac, director of the Jesenice Sports Institute, there was a tourist route here already more than 100 years ago.

The ferrata, which cost both municipalities EUR 40,000, can also serve as a relatively safe training ground to get prepared for visiting high mountains.

Kranjska Gora Tourism Board head Blaž Veber is convinced the new ferrata in the Karavanke has a lot of tourism potential and rounds off the offer in Gozd Martuljek and Mojstrana. Kranjska Gora Mayor Janez Hrovat said that such protected climbing routes attracted tourist all year around.

04 Aug 2022, 10:20 AM

STA, 3 August 2022 - After a week-long shutdown due to low water levels of the Soča river, the Solkan Hydropower Plant is again operational as of Tuesday afternoon, its operator Soške Elektrarne Nova Gorica (SENG) announced on their website. The plant is operating within the currently available flow of the river.

Hydrological conditions on Monday did not yet allow for the turbines to function safely as the Soča's water levels were extremely low. The company then said that the plant would be put into operation as soon as conditions improved.

SENG told the STA today that it was able to relaunch the Solkan power plant following rainfall in the Bovec area, upstream from the power plant.

The Environmental Agency has meanwhile said that a number of small hydro power plants on Soča's contributories were currently running with restricted capacities.

The shutdown caused production losses, SENG told the STA recently. The Holding Slovenske Elektrarne power utility compensated for this by restructuring production within the group and by buying additional electricity on the stock exchange.

The Solkan hydropower plant was shut down last Wednesday for the first time since 2003.

04 Aug 2022, 06:47 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.

This summary is provided by the STA:

Fajon attends Stockholm initiative's session in New York

NEW YORK, US - Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon took part in a session of the Stockholm initiative for nuclear disarmament, which Slovenia joined in early July, as she was in New York on Monday and Tuesday for the 10th Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). By joining the initiative and a separate document on reducing nuclear risks, Slovenia is stepping up its activities and contribution to global efforts to preserve international peace and security, the ministry said.

Warnings about anti-Romaism heard at Roma genocide commemoration

MURSKA SOBOTA - An event was held in Murska Sobota to mark Roma Holocaust Memorial Day in memory of the Nazi genocide against the Roma and Sinti during WWII, highlighting the need to constantly draw attention to such events and raise one's voice against hate speech, anti-Romism and genocide. Historian Danijel Vojak said at the event dubbed Genocide against the Roma, Dangers of Spreading Fascism and Anti-Romaism that killing all the Roma in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp on 2 August 1944 was only the last genocide against the Roma after the pogroms against them had been taking place for centuries.

Report: Minister dismisses head of Ljubljana administrative unit

LJUBLJANA - Bojan Babič, the director of the Ljubljana administrative unit, has confirmed for Delo that he had been notified by Public Administration Minister Sanja Ajanović Hovnik that he would be dismissed at the end of August. The newspaper notes that the unit in the country has been a target of much criticism since the outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic. The ministry is expected to appoint the acting head of the administrative unit at the beginning of September.

Charges brought against five border police officers

MARIBOR - The Maribor Prosecutor's Office has filed charges against five former border police officers who were arrested in February 2020 over suspicion that they had stamped the passports of third-country nationals to allow them to unlawfully prolong their stay in the Schengen zone beyond the permitted 90-day period, Večer newspaper reported. The former police officers appealed the multiple charges, so they are not yet final.

Layman lawyer Poljanec announced presidential candidacy

LJUBLJANA - Ludvik Poljanec, who has successfully represented Slovenian citizens before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) as layman, is to run in the 23 October presidential election. Announcing the bid in which he will seek support of voter signatures, he said he had decided to run due to his knowledge of law and social order in Slovenia and Europe.

Jobless total down 23.1% y/y in July to 54,341

LJUBLJANA - The number of registered jobless people was up slightly in July over the month before, by 0.9% to 54,341, while this represents a drop of 23.1% compared to the same period last year. A total of 5,008 people registered anew at the Employment Service in July, which is 26.8% more than in June and 8% less than in July 2021, the Employment Service reported. It noted that a 57.3% increase in the number of registered persons whose fixed-term contracts expired was typical for July, and that demand for workers had declined.

Solkan hydro plant back in business

SOLKAN - After a week-long shutdown due to low water levels of the Soča river, the Solkan Hydropower Plant is again operational as of Tuesday afternoon, its operator Soške Elektrarne Nova Gorica (SENG) announced on their website. The plant is operating within the currently available flow of the river. It was shut down last Wednesday for the first time since 2003. SENG told the STA today that it was able to relaunch the Solkan power plant following rainfall in the Bovec area, upstream from the power plant.

Wood removal effort starts after massive fire in Kras

KOSTANJEVICA NA KRASU - A campaign has started in the part of the Kras region south of Nova Gorica to remove the wood biomass that has been left behind the devastating fire that raged in the area in the second half of July. Around 5,000 cubic metres of wood biomass that could serve as ignition and fuel for new fires needs to be removed by 20 August.

Covid cases continue to decline in Slovenia

LJUBLJANA - Covid cases continue to be on the downward slope in Slovenia as 1,770 new infections were confirmed on Tuesday, down by 10% week-on-week. Three Covid patients died, Health Ministry data shows. Hospitalisations are stable, and the 14-incidence rate per 100,000 of the population has remained the same, totalling 1,065, the National Institute of Public Health said.

ŠKUC association celebrating 50th birthday

LJUBLJANA - For half a century the ŠKUC association has been a trailblazer in Slovenia's culture and society at large. It has evolved from a student hub into one of the most prominent cultural NGOs in the country. ŠKUC has played a major role in Slovenia's LGBTQ movement and helped launch careers of many artists who have become household names, the association's coordinator, Jasmina Kožar, told the STA.

Celje Airport hosting vintage gliders rally

ŽALEC - The Levec Airport in Celje is hosting the 49th Vintage Glider Club International Rally from 1 to 12 August with over 81 pilots and 41 gliders from 15 countries. The largest such event in the world, the rally is organized by a different country each year - all members of the umbrella organization, the Vintage Glider Club, headquartered in England, Igor Eržen, president of the Slovenian Aviation Association told the STA. The oldest vintage glider in attendance was made in 1937. All of the gliders are privately owned.

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