News

09 Aug 2022, 16:21 PM

STA, 9 August 2022 - Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković has promised the residents they will be kept warm this winter despite the energy crisis. Coal reserves are sufficient to provide district heating to nearly half of all homes and there will be enough natural gas, but the question is at what price gas will be available.

Speaking at his weekly press conference on Tuesday, Janković said that some 61,000 apartments or 48% of all in the capital city are served by district heating. "We've got sufficient energy sources for the hot water pipeline throughout the heating season, even if it's cold from October to May," he said.

The share of biomass for district heating is to be raised to 20%. There are still over a month's worth of coal reserves with a shipment of 145,000 tonnes of Indonesian coal on its way to Slovenia, plus another such to follow in January, according to the mayor.

He is planning to meet Environment Minister Uroš Brežan later this month to discuss how the financial burden of emission coupons for the use of coal could be alleviated and to determine the energy sources for district heating.

Janković hailed the government's decision to cap prices of energy products, including district heating.

One out of three households in Ljubljana uses natural gas for heating. "We absolutely have the needed quantity of gas secured," Janković said. If necessary, the use of gas will be reduced with industry rather than households. However, he also said it was too early to say how much gas will cost.

The construction of a new gas-steam unit at the Ljubljana CHP Plant is slated for completion in late September. Janković expects it will be ready for a trial start-up in October, by which time it should be clear what happens with gas supplies.

"We need 170 million cubic metres of gas for Ljubljana, which is a negligible amount relative to European consumption." At the moment, the city authorities are negotiating with three suppliers. Another option is heating oil.

The mayor reasserted his case for a waste-to-energy plant, which he said would make Ljubljana 70% self-sufficient if built in five years. "I promise that, if we get the concession, our incinerator will be the most advanced with minimum emissions and a chimney above the temperature inversion zone," he said, adding that heating for end users would be 20% lower than now.

09 Aug 2022, 13:36 PM

STA, 9 August 2022 - The Austrian province of Carinthia is home to a sizeable Slovenian ethnic community, something that has been reflected in the names of places for centuries. More than 900 such places can now be found by their Slovenian or German name in an app called MyKoroška.

The app, which can be downloaded for free from the Apple AppStore or Google PlayStore, is an upgraded version of an app developed some ten years ago, Martin Kuchling of the Klagenfurt-based Christian Cultural Association has recently told the Slovenian desk of the Austrian public broadcaster ORF.

The app is very simple to use with a list of names and sound pronunciations in both languages along with information about the municipality and district that the place is located in. A chosen name can be typed in the search to find its counterpart in the other language.

The authors of the app note that the bilingual place names reflect the cultural diversity of Carinthia, one of Austria's nine federal states.

The app was developed as part of the language project Experience Slovenian (Slovenščino doživeti). It is based on Pavel Zdovc's 2008 collection Slovenian Place Names in Austrian Carinthia. Kuchling says the app is open to expansion and corrections.

09 Aug 2022, 10:41 AM

STA, 9 August 2022 - There seems to be little interest among housing owners in renting out their property through a public rental housing service that the national Housing Fund set up this year to increase the number of flats available at not-for-profit rents. As a result, the fund has sub-rented out only six units so far.

The fund published a call for owners to join the scheme in February, after the housing act changes were passed in May 2021, and is open until the end of the year.

A total of 29 providers of housing from across the country responded until last Thursday - 27 individuals, and one municipality with two flats, the fund told the STA.

Until that day, the fund accepted six offers, but failed to find common ground with the other owners, mostly because they find the rent to be "too low".

The rent is set on the basis of parameters such as the size, age, state of repair, and fixtures and fittings, and capped at 1.3 of the non-profit rent for that apartment.

The flats, measuring 36-80 square metres, for which the contracts have been signed are located in various parts of the country, and were rented out at EUR 148-344 a month.

A 130-square-metre house near Ljubljana will meanwhile be rented out at EUR 396, the fund said.

Apart from owners finding the rent too low, the fund believes that to secure more flats - 200 is the target in the ongoing call, legislative changes would be needed because owners have problems obtaining the documents they need to enter the scheme.

What is also needed is "a change in mentality among owners to opt for a form of public rental that may not be as profitable as commercial rents, but offers security of tenure, proper management and predictable business relationships".

The Environment and Spatial Planning Ministry agrees the documentation (especially the occupancy permit, which older buildings often do not have) and a big gap between the expected and offered rent are a problem.

While admitting the number of units entering the scheme will be lower than the 100 planned for the first year, the ministry said that "a more detailed analysis and assessment will be carried out on the basis of the Housing Fund's annual report for 2022".

The ministry considers the response from interested parties "satisfactory" although the share of those who opt to sign the rent-out contract is "relatively low".

It will draft legislative changes "if the need for them becomes apparent", but will first meet the fund's representatives in the autumn to finds ways to encourage owners to enter the scheme.

Zoran Đukić, director of the real estate agency Stoja Trade, sees the state's decision to set up a public rental service as an excellent idea, it is just that the state did not approach it in the most appropriate manner. He believes the low interest is a result of too low a rent for housing owners and its too high taxation.

Đukić says that owners entering the public rental service scheme should have the rents obtained taxed at a lower rate than is the standard rate.

Another issue is who takes care that housing units do not get damaged when there is an intermediary between the owner and the tenant, while he also believes that owners should be better informed of the possibility of renting out through the public scheme.

09 Aug 2022, 07:06 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:

Triple murderer Drevenšek sentenced to 30 years in prison in retrial

PTUJ - A retrial in the case of a man who murdered his estranged spouse and her parents in front of his four-year-old son on Christmas Day 2020 ended with a sentence of 30 years behind bars, as Silvo Drevenšek was found guilty of all counts. He was handed 29 years each for the three murders and four more for the neglect and cruel treatment of a minor. However, the penal code allows for a maximum of 30 years bar a life sentence. In the original trial at the Ptuj District Court, quashed because six instead of just five judges ruled on the case, Drevenšek had been the first to be sentenced to life imprisonment since the sentence was reintroduced in 2008. Until 1998, the highest possible punishment in Slovenia was 20 years in prison.

Delo poll: Freedom Movement's rating stable, SDS's at 4-year high

LJUBLJANA - Voters are a bit less critical of the government, but despite this, more than half of them see its performance as negative, shows Delo newspaper's August public opinion poll. A total of 25.9% of those polled have rated the government's performance as positive or very positive (up 4.6 points from July) and 53.3% as negative or very negative (down 2.7 points). If an election was held tomorrow, 30.6% of the respondents would vote for the ruling Freedom Movement, which is practically on a par with July (30.2%) and June (31%). The largest opposition party, the Democrats (SDS), meanwhile polled best since September 2018.

Govt reintroduces energy efficiency contribution

LJUBLJANA - Petrol and diesel will be slightly more expensive as of 17 August, as the government decided on Monday to reintroduce energy efficiency contributions, which had been abolished temporarily to reduce energy prices. Diesel will thus be 0.8 cents more expensive per litre and petrol will be 0.736 cents dearer per litre. The government said after a correspondence session that the contribution had to be reintroduced because it provided funds for Eko Sklad, the country's sustainable energy development scheme fund. "These funds support investments that increase energy independence, efficiency and increase the share of renewables," the government said.

Pahor paying state visit to Turkey this week

LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor will start a two-day state visit to Turkey on Tuesday at the invitation of his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Bilateral relations and the situation in Ukraine will top the agenda. The situation in the Western Balkans and the Middle East will also be discussed. In addition to Erdogan, Pahor will also meet Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu. He will kick off the visit by addressing the participants of an annual get-together of Turkish diplomats.

Novo Mesto Bishop Saje reportedly suspected of tax evasion

LJUBLJANA - Delo has reported that Bishop of Novo Mesto Andrej Saje is suspected of tax evasion and that a criminal complaint against Saje was sent to the Slovenian tax authorities and the prosecution service three months ago. It alleges he had received pay for helping out with mass on Sundays and holidays at two parishes in the Diocese of Gurk-Klagenfurt in Carinthia, Austria, between 2014 and the period when he was appointed bishop in June 2021. On the other hand, Saje has told the STA that he has no knowledge of the criminal complaint that is said to have been filed against him this year, and could not comment on it in detail.

No major drop in property prices expected yet

LJUBLJANA - Judging by the available statistical data, Slovenia's housing market is not showing signs of cooling just yet although real estate agents say prices have stopped going up mid-year. Still, pundits do not think any major drop in prices is likely over the next six months. After a record surge last year, prices of residential properties rose by a further 4.1% in this year's first quarter on the quarter before, going up by as much as 19.6% year-on-year, the latest data from the Statistics Office shows.

Summer film season starts at Museum Plaza

LJUBLJANA - Tonight's screening of Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator will lift the curtain on a series of events organised by the Slovenian Cinematheque at the Museum Plaza on Metelkova Street. The events include the three-day festival Summer on the Silver Screen and between the Covers, mini festivals of short film and videos, and debates about the present and future of print media in a digital-first world.

08 Aug 2022, 17:11 PM

STA, 8 August 2022 - A retrial in the case of a man who murdered his estranged spouse and her parents in front of his four-year-old son on Christmas Eve 2020 has ended with a sentence of 30 years behind bars.

In the original trial at the Ptuj District Court, quashed because six instead of just five judges ruled on the case, Silvo Drevenšek had been the first to be sentenced to life imprisonment since the sentence was reintroduced in 2008.

While the 37-year-old, found guilty of three counts of murder, had pleaded guilty in the first trial, he claimed during the retrial that he did not remember the crimes and that they had been the result of his alcohol abuse.

The panel of judges, led by Katja Kolarič, found Drevenšek guilty of all counts, handing him 29 years each for the three murders and four more for the neglect and cruel treatment of a minor. However, the penal code allows for a maximum of 30 years bar a life sentence.

Kolarič said there was no doubt the extremely cruel criminal acts had been premeditated and planned, that "no actual remorse was felt in the trial" and that the son, wider family and community had experienced a major trauma.

The mitigating circumstances listed by Kolarič included the divorce, alcohol and the absence of a previous record, while the judges also said that a sentence to life in prison would have been a "departure from long-standing efforts to humanise criminal sanctions".

The prosecution had again demanded life imprisonment, arguing the defendant had been driven by strong hatred, revenge and material interest - the spouse demanded a division of common assets -, while the defence argued that manslaughter as opposed to murder had occurred and that revenge as a motive and cruel treatment of the victims had not been proven.

A representative of the victims' family has already announced an appeal over the length of the prison sentence. The prosecution has not yet taken a decision, while the defence would not comment.

Drevenšek, whose mental faculties were somewhat but not significantly impairment during the murders, according to expert witnesses, committed the crimes in the Gerečja Vas village in eastern Slovenia.

The murders took place on Christmas Day when Drevenšek entered the house he used to share with his estranged spouse after having agreed to give his son a Christmas gift.

Once he entered the house, he stabbed her with a kitchen knife several times until she bled to death.

After killing his former partner, he entered the neighbouring house, where his son, at the time aged four, was minded by his former partner's parents. He used the same kitchen knife to kill the boy's grandparents.

In the quashed trial, which ended in December 2021, Drevenšek was the first person to be sentenced to life in prison in independent Slovenia.

Until 1998, the highest possible punishment in Slovenia was 20 years in prison. The death penalty was abolished only in 1989 although it was last executed in 1959.

In 1998, the National Assembly amended the penal code to introduce a 30-year prison sentence and life imprisonment was introduced 2008 under a Democrats (SDS)-led government.

Subsequent attempts at abolishing life imprisonment failed, one of the alleged reasons being that they came at a time when terrorism was increasingly becoming a threat.

Slovenian courts have handed down about 20 30-year sentences since 1998 and the prosecution has proposed life in prison in three more cases since 2008, but the courts always opted for milder sentences.

The most notorious case in Slovenian history has been that of serial killer Metod Trobec, who murdered at least five women and was sentenced to death in November 1980 as the last Slovenian defendant to receive the death penalty before it was removed from the criminal code.

The Supreme Court later annulled Trobec's verdict and sentenced him to 20 years in prison. He committed suicide in prison in 2006 while serving an additional 14 years over an attack on a fellow-inmate and an attempted murder.

08 Aug 2022, 12:14 PM

STA, 8 August 2022 - Judging by the available statistical data, Slovenia's housing market is not showing signs of cooling just yet although real estate agents say prices have stopped going up mid-year. Still, pundits do not think any major drop in prices is likely over the next six months.

After a record surge last year, prices of residential properties rose by a further 4.1% in this year's first quarter on the quarter before, going up by as much as 19.6% year-on-year, the latest data from the Statistics Office shows.

Prices of existing flats went up by 5.5% quarter-on-quarter and by 19.9% year-on-year as prices of new flats dropped by 8.9% on the quarter before but were still 4.5% up compared with the first quarter of 2021.

Official data for the second quarter are not available yet but Zoran Đukić, CEO of real estate agency Stoja Trade, says selling prices are still high, in particular for well-located newish apartments with an indoor car park. The volume of transactions is level or even a bit above last year's, he has told the STA.

"The growth in residential property prices has slowed down considerably since the beginning of 2022, and has all but stopped rising starting from the second half of the year, that is we are no longer seeing prices going up at the moment," says realtor Alen Komić of ABC Nepremičnine.

In its latest property market report, released in May for 2021, the Surveying and Mapping Authority (GURS) cites preliminary data for 2022 to project a continued growth in the housing market, but also points to signs of a slow-down in the capital Ljubljana, which is seen as the trend setter for the rest of the country.

GURS attributed the record growth in 2021 to excess demand which "continues to be driven largely by low interest rates and the availability of loans and, more recently, increasingly by fears of rising inflation".

Investment in real estate as a rule provides protection against inflation, says Bojan Ivanc, chief analyst with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS). However, he also says the economic uncertainty and rising interest rates are suppressing demand for high-end properties, in particular those bought as an investment to be rented out.

Additional pressure on the prices comes from a potential change in property taxation that would reduce the return for property owners, Ivanc notes. The new government has announced it will raise tax on rental income from 15% to 25%, the rate in force prior to 2020.

Similarly, Đukić says that inflation is what in principle drives property purchases, "because that's how people protect their assets so that they don't lose value in cash".

Meanwhile, Komić believes that the tightening of credit conditions with higher interest rates and the end of fixed interest rates will have a greater impact on demand than inflation itself, although he agrees that in an inflationary environment it is preferable to invest liquidity somewhere.

Both realtors agree though that the changed conditions have not reflected on the demand in the market yet.

Ivanc believes the key factor that will affect changes in the property market will be conditions on the labour market, that is jobs and wages, and to an extent changes in interest rates. "Considering the volume of property transactions, speculative investments have not been many recently. It is thus not likely that property prices will drop significantly over the next six months," the economist says.

Rents have been going up as well, in particular on the back of a revival of holiday rentals through platforms such as Airbnb and Booking following restrictions on travel during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Rents have increased by roughly 15 to 20 percent in 2022, especially now in the short-term rental period in and around Ljubljana city centre. There has also been an increase in Airbnb and Booking rentals, which can be seen in the smaller supply of apartments in Ljubljana city centre," says Đukić.

Komić too finds that the scope of short-time rentals has increased and that "quite a few mainly fine properties in good locations (close to the city centre) have been transferred to the short-term rental market (Airbnb, Booking, etc.), making the supply of properties even worse in terms of quantity and quality, while demand has remained virtually the same [...] All of this has, of course, led to a constant rise in rents."

The demand for residential properties had been driven by cheap loans but the cost of those has been going up since late spring and the European Central Bank has now also raised its key interest rates.

After being in the negative territory since 2015, the six-month Euribor rate went positive in early June, standing at 0.667% last Friday. In July, the newspaper Delo calculated, based on usual terms of a variable-rate mortgage loan, that those who took out a 20-year loan in early May would by now see their monthly instalment going up by around 6%.

It is not clear yet if and how the increase in the cost of mortgage loans will reflect on demand. The most recent available data from the central bank shows the volume of new mortgage loans rose substantially for the fourth straight month in May. At 11.7%, the year-on-year growth rate was one of the highest in the euro zone.

08 Aug 2022, 11:55 AM

STA, 5 August 2022 - 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.

Born in 1945 in Ljubljana, Gatnik graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts. He was also known as a graphic designer, set designer in film and theatre, photographer and painter, although he was very private about his painting, having told the STA once that he painted for himself alone.

Gatnik's oeuvre is marked by an exploration of visual concepts and communication in the last quarter of the 20th century. His painting, graphic design, illustration and photography share an extraordinary intelligence and rarely seen high standards of quality, read the justification for his Prešeren Prize in 2010.

He entered the Slovenian art scene through pop art and hyperrealism, and in the late 1980s, he made waves with his heightened confessional and self-reflection poetics.

Gatnik illustrated many famous children's books and drew characters that are familiar to almost everyone, including Gal the Dwarf and characters in the frog-inspired book Jure Kvak Kvak (Jure Croak Croak). When it comes to comic books, Magna Purga is likely his most famous work, being a classic of Slovenian comics.

He was laid to rest at a small family funeral on Friday.

08 Aug 2022, 04:21 AM

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This summary is provided by the STA:

Golob, Pahor send condolences after Polish bus crash

LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Robert Golob and President Borut Pahor have sent condolences to their Polish counterparts after the fatal crash of a Polish bus in Croatia. Golob wrote to Mateusz Morawiecki to express sincere condolences, extending his sympathy to the families of all those killed in the crash. Pahor expressed his condolences to President Andrzej Duda and wished a speedy recovery to all passengers injured in the accident.

President Pahor at Sinjska Alka as a guest of honour

SINJ, Croatia - President Borut Pahor was the guest of honour at the traditional Sinjska Alka equestrian competition in the at the invitation of his Croatian counterpart Zoran Milanović. He was the first foreign statesman in this capacity at the tournament. The traditional annual knightly competition is held on every first Sunday in August to commemorate the Croatian-Venetian victory in the Ottoman-Venetian war in 1715.

Weiler Abrasives profitable in 2021

MARIBOR - Weiler Abrasives, the US-owned maker of abrasives, brushes and diamond tools, saw sales revenue rise by 16% last year to EUR 77.5 million. After barely ending in the black in 2020, it posted a profit of just over EUR 4 million. Among the company's major challenges last year was securing an adequate number o employees amidst the health crisis, which it did not manage to entirely realise due to labour shortages in the country.

Silver for Osterman at Canoe Sprint World Championships

HALIFAX, Canada - Slovenia's Anja Osterman has won silver at the Canoe Sprint World Championships, finishing a second behind Lisa Carrington of New Zealand in the 200-metre event. This is the fourth medal at a World Championship for the 29-year-old but the first in an individual event.

06 Aug 2022, 08:37 AM

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

If you’d like to keep up on the daily headlines then follow those here, or get all our stories in your feed on Facebook.

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.

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