Presidential election campaign gets going in earnest
LJUBLJANA - Today was the first day when candidates vying to become Slovenia's president in the 23 October election could submit their bids, and voters can formally support their candidates with signatures. The candidates have until 28 September to submit their candidacy with the National Electoral Commission. A candidate needs to be backed either by 10 MPs, by a party when they need three MP signatures or 3,000 voter signatures, or alternatively with 5,000 verified voter signatures if they run as independents.
SD without own presidential candidate
LJUBLJANA - The coalition Social Democrats (SD) decided they will not field their own candidate in the presidential election and will not endorse any of the candidates running. However, the party might decide to endorse one in a potential run-off, SD leader Tanja Fajon said. The SD had registered 71 potential candidates, but none of them had agreed to running, she explained. The senior coalition Freedom Movement had expressed hope in the past that its two coalition partners, the SD and the Left, would endorse its candidate Marta Kos.
Pirc Musar tops latest Mediana poll, closely followed by Logar
LJUBLJANA - Lawyer and ex-Information Commissioner Nataša Pirc Musar tops the latest public opinion poll measuring support for the presidential election conducted by Mediana for the newspaper Delo. She was picked by 26% of respondents, and is followed by ex-Foreign Minister Anže Logar at just over 23%. Marta Kos, a vice-president of the ruling Freedom Movement, is the only other presidential candidate with a substantial backing (14%). Delo's analyst Roman Zatler commented that the difference between Pirc Musar and Logar is too small to reliably predict who would win the first round.
Lifestyle coach Boris Vene joins presidential race
VRBA - Lifestyle coach Boris Vene joined the expanding list of candidates vying to become the next president of Slovenia. Presenting his bid in his home town of Vrba, he said he had decided to run because he thinks the time has come for prosperity for all people. He is supported by Healthy Society, a civil society group opposing mandatory immunisation of children and the latest changes to the communicable diseases act. Vene has already started collecting the needed 5,000 voter signatures.
Slovenia eligible for EUR 1.8bn in CAP for 2023-2027
GORNJA RADGONA - Agriculture Minister Irena Šinko presented a supplemented draft Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) strategic plan for 2023-2027 for Slovenia at the Agra agricultural trade fair. Under the strategic plan, EUR 1.1 billion will go for rural development and the remaining EUR 700 million for direct payments, beekeeping and wine making. Šinko said the two main objectives will be to boost self-sufficiency and sustainable development of agriculture. The government will discuss the document in September and then send it to the European Commission.
Police force struggling with staff shortages
LJUBLJANA - Police departments in Slovenia continue to struggle with staffing shortages dating back to austerity measures related to the 2008 financial crisis. The average age of a police officer rises by 4.5 months each year, while unions warn that many officers, especially from the east of the country as the main source of the force's workforce, are having to do extremely long commutes because they cannot afford the cost of housing in urban centres where they are needed the most. The force would need 150-plus new staff a year to replace those who retire or quit.
Religious communities concerned over gay marriage, adoptions
LJUBLJANA - The Council of Christian Churches and the Islamic Community in Slovenia addressed a joint statement to the government and both houses of parliament at the weekend to raise "concern over the changing of fundamental concepts of our society" after the Constitutional Court recently legalised same-sex marriages and adoptions. They say the decision undermines the constitutional provision which says that the state shall protect the family, motherhood, fatherhood, children and young people.
Police looking into claims of rampant sexual abuse
LJUBLJANA - Police launched an investigation in the aftermath of media reports and social media testimonies alleging multiple cases of sexual abuse by a prominent member of the art establishment. The police did not specifying who the suspect may be in Sunday's press release, but several media reported that Dušan Josip Smodej, a 28-year-old artist and leader of small Ljubljana gallery Fotopub, had sexually abused several young women. Smodej denied the claims, urging anyone who "can prove the contrary" to press criminal charges. Today, the police and an NGO urged potential victims to file criminal complaints in the case, and the Culture Ministry condemned all types of violence in a written statement.
More than 2,500 Covid cases logged in past three days
LJUBLJANA - A total of 2,664 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Slovenia from Friday to Sunday in what is practically level with the figure a week ago, and three Covid patients died, fresh official data shows. Yesterday, 94 patients were treated in hospitals for Covid-19 as their main condition, including eight in intensive care, which compares to 92 and nine, respectively, a week ago. There are now an estimated 18,700 active cases in the country.
SKB bank posts 20% rise in H1 profit
LJUBLJANA - The SKB bank, which is owned by the Hungarian OTP Group, posted a net profit of EUR 25.1 million in the first half of the year, an increase of 20% from the same period last year. The bank largely attributed the increase to the overall economic recovery after the Covid-19 epidemic. The bank's return on equity at the end of June was 1.2 percentage points higher than at the beginning of the year, standing at 11.6% percent.
June pay down almost 2% in real terms
LJUBLJANA - Gross pay in Slovenia averaged EUR 2,008 in June, up 0.9% in nominal terms compared to May, but down 1.8% in real terms. The highest average earnings were in finance and insurance, at EUR 2,932. Average net pay amounted to EUR 1,308, a month-on-month increase of 0.8% nominally and a 1.9% drop in real terms, shows the latest data from the Statistics Office. Nominally, the average monthly pay in the first half of this year was broadly level with the figure in the same period in 2021.
Greek film Mikrovioma wins FeKK Grand Prix
LJUBLJANA - The Grand Prix of the 8th annual Short Film Festival (FeKK) that closed at the weekend went to the Greek film Mikrovioma by Stavros Petropoulos. It is about the clash of two worlds - the people living on a Greek island and the scientists researching their long life. The FeKK SLO award went to Sutherland by Matjaž Jamnik and Gaja Naja Rojec "for an interesting portrayal of Christianity among the inhabitants of an African village that the authors framed into a painting that symbolizes their path".