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A schedule of all the main events involving Slovenia this week can be found here
This summary is provided by the STA:
Coalition to wait for latest economic outlook before finalising budget
BRDO PRI KRANJU - Senior coalition officials discussed the budget for 2020 and 2021 as the Marjan Šarec government is gearing up for intense scrutiny from the opposition in parliament due to a looming economic downturn. The government made a preliminary allocation of funds in early July, but Finance Minister Andrej Bertoncelj said after today's meeting the budget bills would be endorsed only after the latest economic outlook was released, meaning after 19 September. The coalition also reaffirmed its commitment to the fiscal rule in drafting the budgets. The ceiling for public spending in 2020 is EUR 10.45 billion.
Slovenian and Latvian speakers call for strong, effective EU
LJUBLJANA - National Assembly Speaker Dejan Židan hosted his Latvian counterpart Inara Murniece for talks in Ljubljana, after which they called for a strong and effective EU where the voice of each member counts. The Latvian speaker also thanked Slovenia for taking part in NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence mission in Latvia, saying that together with other countries, Slovenia contributed to Latvia's security. Murniece, in Slovenia for two days, also met President Borut Pahor and Prime Minister Marjan Šarec.
A year into government, Delo poll shows rating firm
LJUBLJANA - The government had an average rating of 2.96 on a 1-5 scale in September, up from 2.91 in August and 2.16 when it took office a year ago, as almost 30% said it was performing well, some 39% saw it as average and almost 28% said it was not doing its job, according to a poll released by Delo. The improvement in the government rating was also reflected in higher ratings for PM Marjan Šarec's LMŠ party, which gained more than two points to 18.9%, over 5 points ahead of the opposition Democrats (SDS).
Merchandise exports at all-time high in July
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia exported EUR 3.962 billion worth of goods in July, the highest monthly value on record, with the trade surplus hitting a record level of EUR 937 million. Merchandise exports were 46.3% higher than in July 2018 and imports rose by 16.4% to EUR 3.025 billion, the Statistics Office said. Exports to non-EU countries nearly trebled. Between January and July 2019, exports were up 14.6% year-on-year to EUR 20.771 billion and imports rose by 12% to EUR 19.825 billion.
Hazardous waste company Kemis back in business
LJUBLJANA/VRHNIKA - Chemical waste collection company Kemis, which had to stop accepting waste after building inspectors found its new facilities to be illegal in early August, can do business again, at least until the inspectors decide on the matter again. The Environment and Spatial Planing Ministry said it had annulled the August decision, asking the inspection service to decide on the issue again. Kemis suspended its business a day after the decision was announced, but now it could start accepting waste again before the end of the week, according to its director Boštjan Šimenc.
Lek inaugurates EUR 7.5m labs in Ljubljana
LJUBLJANA - Pharmaceutical company Lek inaugurated new development laboratories in Ljubljana in an investment valued at EUR 7.5 million. The labs are to develop sterile solid dosage forms to treat cancer patients, among other drugs. Matjaž Tršek, the director of Lek's development centre, said that work on oncology medications had been somewhat limited, but the new investment would allow them to develop the whole portfolio of these medications. The centre is the leading such in Sandoz, Novartis's generics arm.
No breakthrough on electoral changes
LJUBLJANA - The latest in a series of meetings on changes to electoral law hosted by President Borut Pahor showed constitutional experts support the idea to abolish electoral districts and introduce an absolute preferential vote, whereas several parties oppose this solution. Most parties are in favour of a relative preferential vote, but constitutional law experts deem this option not as good and warn it would be acceptable only if choosing the preferred candidate was obligatory. The idea to abolish electoral districts and introduce relative preferential vote is one of the two possible solutions after the current system was declared unconstitutional at the end of 2018. The other is to redraw the borders of electoral districts so as to make them constitutional.
Toplak full-fledged head of EP's Slovenia Office
LJUBLJANA - Manja Toplak was appointed full-fledged head of the European Parliament's Office in Slovenia after serving as acting head between March 2018 and 31 August 2019, the Office said in a release. Her priorities will be developing a community which wants to help shape Europe's future and raise awareness about the role of the EU for all, with the youth being in the focus of these efforts. Toplak has worked for EU institutions for more than 17 years. She holds a master's degree in European studies from the University of Applied Sciences in Berlin.
Petition launched against BSW sawmill investment
BRASLOVČE - The Scottish sawmiller BSW Timber, which would like to build the largest sawmill in Slovenia in Gomilsko near Celje, hit another obstacle after delays in the adoption of the needed spatial plans as locals initiated a petition against the project. The opponents of the project called on the municipality to prevent the construction, arguing it would destroy best farmland. Braslovče Mayor Tomaž Žohar said the majority would decide, while he wondered whether people knew what they were signing.
Palestinian issue to be raised ahead of Israel match
LJUBLJANA - An informal group called the Movement for the Rights of Palestinians handed out fliers to football fans ahead of the 2020 Euro qualifier between Slovenia and Israel in a bid to raise awareness about the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories. The movement's representative Barbara Vodopivec told the STA they wanted to acquaint the Slovenian public with the "occupation, apartheid and war crimes perpetrated by the state of Israel on the territory of Palestine for decades".
History of Love Slovenia's candidate for Oscar nominee
LJUBLJANA - History of Love (Zgodovina Ljubezni), a meditative drama by Sonja Prosenc, will be Slovenia's candidate for the nomination for the 2020 Academy Award for Best International Feature Film, as selected by a jury of the Association of Slovenian Filmmakers. The Slovenian/Italian/Norwegian co-production, made in 2018, has been picked for being an "unconventional and recognisable film, characterised by top performances by all team members, harmonised in a unified story".
Vilenica Festival to look for ego in the story
LJUBLJANA - More than 20 authors from 15 countries will gather in Slovenia this week for the 34th Vilenica International Literary Festival, which will focus on the ego in the story under the theme Ego in Fabula. In a prelude to the festival, the Vilenica Prize winner Dragan Velikić, one of the most esteemed Serbian authors, was featured at an event in Ljubljana tonight. Velikić will be joined by the Slovenian author in focus, poet Esad Babačić, for the official opening in Koper on Tuesday.
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