News

10 Sep 2019, 11:29 AM

STA, 9 September 2019 - The coalition reaffirmed its commitment to honour the fiscal rule in drafting the budgets for the next two years as it met in Brdo pri Kranju on Monday. The ceiling for total expenditure was set in April, but the budget bills will be endorsed only after the latest economic forecasts are released, said Finance Minister Andrej Bertoncelj.

"We're waiting for the last economic forecast and then we'll be able to complete the puzzle with greater certainty," Prime Minister Marjan Šarec said after the meeting of senior coalition officials.

The government macroeconomic forecaster IMAD will release its latest forecasts for the next two years on 19 September.

This is also the date of the government session dedicated to the budget bills, which must be sent into parliamentary procedure by 1 October.

Bertoncelj warned coalition officials today that both the Slovenian and foreign economies were cooling. "Let's hope that the economic forecasts will not change much or else a new round of talks will be needed," he said.

However, he noted that Slovenia's economy had been expanding nicely and that its GDP growth would stand at around 3% in 2020.

The ceiling for the government spending in 2020 had been set at EUR 10.45 billion and coalition officials agreed today to stick with it. The talks on the ceilings for individual departments also concluded last week.

"We're committed to drawing up the two budgets in line with our domestic fiscal rules and our priorities, which are development, welfare and wages," the finance minister said.

The appetites of budget users are always bigger than the possibilities and "it's our job to put it in the frame of our economic growth and fiscal rule," he added.

Neither Bertoncelj nor Šarec would go into detail but the issue of too high social transfers was highlighted.

Šarec said the Labour Ministry was a very big budget user. People have a hard time accepting the fact that the monthly minimum wage matches monthly welfare allowance, he said.

"It's clear that the measures introduced during the crisis do not make sense today. But if the economic situation deteriorates, a different kind of measure will be on the table," Šarec said.

The bill abolishing a special bonus for welfare recipients engaged in part-time work is already in parliamentary procedure, but the head of the Modern Centre Party (SMC) deputy group, Igor Zorčič, said there was no particular eagerness about this, even within the coalition.

Statements after the meeting suggest that the new budget documents will allow for the renovation of cultural buildings, investments into development, and defence.

Šarec expressed regretted that there were so many legal restrains. The dynamic part of the budget is extremely small, mainly because of the fiscal rule. "We have the most rigorous fiscal rule in the EU and this is something we should discuss," the prime minister said.

Šarec also said the opposition Left had not promised to support the budget yet.

The Left, which supports Šarec's minority government, made its support for the budget conditional on the implementation of an agreement to abolish to-up health insurance this year.

The Left has also been criticising the government for raising defence spending. But Šarec said today that if Slovenia has an army it must be well equipped, also because of the country's international commitments.

"We cannot simply abolish the army if the Left says we don't need it," he added.

In contrast, Defence Minister Karl Erjavec thinks defence spending should be higher than 1.08% of GDP as planned for next year. He said the army must be modernised regardless of Slovenia's commitments to NATO.

Šarec, who had indicated he may seek a confidence vote on the budget documents for 2020 and 2021 as a way of checking support for his minority government, has not reached a final decision on the matter yet.

The coalition wants the budget documents to be backed by 46 MPs to avoid being overrun by a veto in the upper chamber. But in order to secure such a support, it will need to get the Left or some other party on board.

10 Sep 2019, 09:10 AM

STA, 10 September 2019 - The Slovenian national football team scored a third win in a row in the qualifiers for the 2020 Euro by defeating Israel at home on Monday evening 3:2 to advance to second place in Group G behind the leading Poland.

 After beating Latvia on the road in June and defeating Poland in Stožice Stadium on Friday 2:0, Slovenia followed it up with a come-from-behind win against Israel to leapfrog Austria in the standings.

Playing in front of the home crowd of almost 11,000, Slovenia were first to score, as Josip Iličić assisted for Benjamin Verbič for a goal in the 43rd minute.

Israel turned the things around in the second half with goals in the 50th and 63rd minute, but Slovenia responded quickly, with Roman Bezjak equalising the score to 2:0 in the 66th minute off an assist from Andraž Šporar.

It seemed that Israel will walk off with a draw from Ljubljana, but Verbič scored with a header in the last minute of regulation to bring the much important win for Slovenia, keeping the team in contention for the final tournament.

"It was the character that won the match, the heart of the team, because you could tell that we were exhausted," Verbič said after the win.

Slovenia's head coach Matjaž Kek, who celebrated his 58th birthday yesterday, congratulated the players for the second win in four days. "Unbelievable game! I love jazz, but this was true rock and roll. It all turned out well at the end."

Israel head Andreas Herzog said that "we played a good match, showed good energy, but wasted the points by making mistakes. We played against a very good team, which had beaten Poland."

Slovenia will have a one-month break before the qualifiers continue on 10 October against North Macedonia on the road and against Austria at home on 13 October. The qualifying stage will conclude in November with the last two rounds.

10 Sep 2019, 01:26 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.

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.

Visiting Ljubljana? Check out what's on this week, while all our stories on Slovenia, from newest to oldest, are here

If you're learning Slovenian then you can find all our dual texts here

09 Sep 2019, 21:23 PM

Slovenia has an export-led economy, and the latest figures show that July 2019 was a record year for the nation, reaching € 3,961.9 million, up 46.3% on the July 2018. Imports rose 16.4% in the same period, up to €3,024.8 million, giving a trade surplus of €937 million, the largest in 20 years, with most of this surplus due t trade with non-EU nations.

Looking at the figures in more detail, Switzerland was Slovenia’s most important trading partner in July for both imports and exports, with the most important products being medical and pharmaceutical products.

July ended a good first seven months of the year, with Slovenia seeing a trade surplus of €945.6 million, and an export/import ratio of 104.8%.

More details on this data can be found here

09 Sep 2019, 19:10 PM

STA, 9 September 2019 - History of Love (Zgodovina Ljubezni), a 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."

With the film, Prosenc is making a strong return after her debut feature The Tree (2014), having already received a special mention for direction while premiering at the prestigious Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

Competing for the five nominee spots for the foreign language Oscar, History of Love is a story about Iva, a 17-year-old who is in the process of coming to terms with the death of her mother.

"Influenced by this deep personal loss and by the discovery that she didn't know everything about her mom, the girl slowly immerses herself into an odd, hallucinatory world far from reality, which acts as a catharsis for all her painful feelings," says the website of the Kinodvor cinema.

The selection jury said that the film "paints the internal experience of the protagonist in a unique and elaborate film language, as she is facing her mother's mysterious past and trying to make sense of the newly-developed relationships".

According to the jury, the film speaks with silence, not words, while not underestimating the viewer, but providing room for their own reflection. "Time, thought and nature take a new dimension in this film, as they constantly open up fields of the associative, symbolic and intuitive."

The film, which was also written by Prosenc, received the Vesna Awards for photography and a special original achievement at last year's Festival of Slovenian Film, as well as a number of other awards in the home country.

09 Sep 2019, 15:06 PM

Ex-Yu Aviation reports that Alenka Bratušek, Slovenia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, stated on Friday that a proposed new law on aviation “would allow some forms of subsidies on certain routes. But it would be four or five destinations, not all of Adria’s flights”.

Related: Govt. Developing Contingency Plans if Adria Airways Collapses

Adria Airways has had a difficult year, with cancellations, dropped flights, and suspicions over its financial health, and the carrier currently in breach of EU regulations as it has not yet submitted its 2018 financial report to the Slovenian Civil Aviation Agency. Moreover, the Slovenian government cannot offer direct aid to Adria until 2021, as the carried received state funds in 2011 and EU rules only permit this once every ten years.

All our stories on Adria Airways are here

09 Sep 2019, 11:41 AM

September 9, 2019

The streams of the intermittent Lake Cerknica are currently undergoing a re-naturalization process, thereby gaining back their original twists and turns that have since the 19th century been cut in attempts to reduce the scope and duration of the annual waters, and increase production of a higher quality of grass for stern and litter.

Gradually the total length of the natural streams of Lake Cerknica was decreased by a half to a third. Shorter streams mean less water, which drains faster due to less friction. This means a shorter annual time of ponding and unpredictability in the levels of water, an unfavourable situation for fish, birds nesting by the water and other aquatic organisms.

Inner Carniola Regional Park, in charge of Lake Cerkinica’s natural heritage, aims to restore the lake back to its condition in the  17th century, when the great natural historian and polymath Valvasor studied its hydrology, a work that gained him Fellowship of London’s Royal Society.

Currently the main stream Stržen is undergoing the re-meandering process and when this is complete, together with two other already re-meandered streams, this will mean about half of all the waterways have already been restored to their previous routes.  

ključi struga strzen.jpg
 

Lake Cerknica stretches over 28 square kilometres on average during the ponding season and is an important wildlife resort, especially for the waterfowl, fish and amphibious plants. As such Lake Cerknica is part of the so called Notranjski trikotnik, an area included into the European environmental network Natura 2000 and the main focus of the Inner Carniola Regional Park.

SlikaCerkniskoJezeroPolno1.jpg
Lake Cerknica  and Cerknica field during its ponding season, a view from Slivnica hill: Photo: Lander, CC BY-SA 3.0, sl.wikipedija
 
SlikaCerkniskoJezeroSuho1.jpg
Lake Cerknica and Cerknica field during its dry season, a view from Slivnica hill, Photo: Lander, CC BY-SA 3.0, sl.wikipedija
 
Acta_Eruditorum_-_XV_geologia_acqua,_1689_–_BEIC_13398218.jpg

A 1689 illustration, explaining the karst phenomenon, the intermittent Lake Cerknica; Lacus Cirknicensis potiora phaenomena, published in Acta Eruditorum, 1689

09 Sep 2019, 11:30 AM

STA, 6 September 2019 - Slovenia's largest banking group, NLB saw its half-year-net profit fall by 10% year-on-year to EUR 94.3 million despite higher interest and non-interest income.

Profit before impairments and provisions was up 13% to EUR 116 million, according to the interim report released by the bank on the website of the Ljubljana Stock Exchange.

Total net operating income amounted to EUR 257.4 million, a 6% increase y/y. Net interest income rose by 5% to EUR 159 million, and net non-interest revenue increased by 8% to EUR 98.3 million.

Net interest income rose in all banks of the group as a result of loan volume growth and lower interest expenses. Subsidiary banks in SE Europe continued to perform well, contributing 38.4% to the group's profit before tax.

Net loans to customers rose by 3% year-on-year to EUR 7.28 billion, while deposits went up by 7% to EUR 10.75 billion. The growth was mainly due to retail deposits.

This year saw a gradual increase in new consumer and housing loans. The share of consumer loans in all gross loans rose from 26% in the first half of 2018 to 28% in the first half of 2019.

The group's total assets rose by 5% to EUR 13.16 billion. This is attributed mainly to the continuous inflow of retail deposits.

NLB also reports having continued with the trend of improved credit portfolio quality. The proportion of non-performing loans dropped to 6%, 2.3 percentage points down compared to a year ago.

The internationally comparable non-performing exposure ratio dropped by 1.7 percentage points to 4.1% in line with the European Banking Authority guidelines, which is very close to the mid-term target of 4%.

Total capital ratio for the NLB group at the end of June reached 16.5%.

"NLB Group is on a good path toward meeting its mid-term financial targets despite the increasingly challenging economic environment of low interest rates," the bank commented on the results.

The parent bank generated EUR 122.6 million in profit, which compares to EUR 103.3 million in the first half of last year.

The macroeconomic outlook suggests the countries where the group is present are likely to post growth rates of between 3% and 4%, if supported by loose monetary conditions, fiscal easing and solid domestic demand.

"Considering these circumstances and presented risk factors, in 2019 the Group aims to achieve a single
digit % increase of revenue and pre-provision profit with continued loan growth (in line with GDP
dynamics) and stable net interest margin," reads the release.

The results were reviewed by the bank's supervisory board today.

The board also gave a green light to establishing a new leasing company, as restrictions on leasing activities ceased to apply following the bank's completed privatisation earlier this year.

09 Sep 2019, 09:59 AM

STA, 8 September 2019 - Ljubljanske Mlekarne, Slovenia's largest dairy, increased sales revenue by 0.6% last year to EUR 168.6 million, while net profit was up by 33.3% to EUR 6.7 million, according to the annual report filed with the AJPES agency for public records.

The dairy, which has been in the ownership the French Lactalis group through Croatia's Dukat since 2013, says it managed to reduce total costs by 1.4%.

While net profit was up by a third, operating profit increased by 15.9% to EUR 7.9 million.

Ljubljanske Mlekarne, which is the largest buyer and processor of raw milk in the country, is increasing the purchase of organic milk as demand outstrips supply.

For this purpose, the company made a deal last year with the Association of Organic Farmers that it will be purchasing five million litres of organic milk a year until the end of 2020.

Related: How to use the milk vending machines in Ljubljana

09 Sep 2019, 02:09 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.

A schedule of all the main events involving Slovenia this week can be found here

This summary is provided by the STA:

Pope visits Slovenian missionary in Madagascar

ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar - Pope Francis visited Akamasoa, a village founded by the Slovenian missionary Pedro Opeka in Madagascar, making it one of the main stops on his south African tour. The Pope was received by Opeka and several other Church dignitaries along with several thousand people in a sports hall that doubles as a place of worship in Akamasoa.

Thousands gather for 150th anniversary of firefighting in Slovenia

METLIKA - Several thousand firefighters and other visitors gathered to celebrate the 150th anniversary of firefighting in Slovenia, marking the day in 1869 when the first volunteer fire brigade was founded in Metlika. Delivering the keynote, Prime Minister Marjan Šarec, himself a volunteer firefighter in his home town of Kamnik, stressed that the umbrella Firefighters' Union was the biggest humanitarian organisation in the country.

Ceremony, mass mark little known post-war labour camp

PODLESJE - A mass and commemoration were held on the site of a short-lived forced-labour camp at which post-war Communist authorities interned women. The camp was erected at Podlesje (then known as Ferdreng), a village in Kočevje area. It was in operation from July 1949 and October the same year and held 800 women and girls, either suspected of having been associated with the anti-Communist Home Guards or deemed politically dangerous.

Vinarium goes from pie in the sky to pillar of tourism

LENDAVA - When it was built four years ago, the Vinarium observation tower was seen by many as a pipe dream. Now, it is a major draw for the region. A 53.5-metre tower with views of four countries, it was meant to attract 30,000-40,000 visitors annually. Since it launched, however, it has attracted around 375,000 people, with a single-day record of 2121 visitors set on 1 May.

Foreign companies create 27% of Slovenia's value added

LJUBLJANA - Foreign companies accounted for 5.6% of all companies in Slovenia in 2017 but created over 27% of value added, roughly on a par with 2016. These companies employed almost 26% of all workers, and allocated 39% of their expenses in Slovenia for R&D, the latest Statistics Office data shows.

Ljubljanske Mlekarne ups net profit by a third

LJUBLJANA - Ljubljanske Mlekarne, Slovenia's largest dairy, increased sales revenue by 0.6% last year to EUR 168.6 million, while net profit was up by 33.3% to EUR 6.7 million, according to the annual report filed with the AJPES agency for public records. While net profit was up by a third, operating profit increased by 15.9% to EUR 7.9 million.

Increased use of wood good for Ledinek Engineering bottom line

HOČE - Ledinek Engineering, a maker of machinery and production lines for the wood processing industry, saw sales increase by 28% in 2018 to EUR 43 million. Net profit was up 175% to EUR 1.47 million, shows the company's annual report. The company, which exports 96% of its production, attributes the spike to the increased use of wood as a building material around the world and the resulting investments.

Visiting Ljubljana? Check out what's on this week, while all our stories on Slovenia, from newest to oldest, are here

If you're learning Slovenian then you can find all our dual texts here

08 Sep 2019, 19:35 PM

STA, 8 September 2019 - Several thousand firefighters and other visitors gathered in Metlika on Sunday to celebrate the 150th anniversary of firefighting in Slovenia, marking the day in 1869 when the first volunteer fire brigade was founded in Metlika. 

The first fire brigade on Slovenian territory was established on 19 September at the proposal of landowner Josip Savinšek. The following year fire brigades started cropping up in other places, including Laško, Ljubljana and Ptuj.

A century and a half later, Slovenia boasts what is seen as one of the best networks of volunteer fire brigades in the world, with over 1,300 local volunteer fire brigades bringing together 162,000 firefighters, almost a tenth of the country's population.

There are also 700 professional firefighters in 13 professional fire brigades.

Delivering the keynote at the ceremony in Metlika, Prime Minister Marjan Šarec, himself a volunteer firefighter in his hometown of Kamnik, stressed that the umbrella Firefighters' Union was the biggest humanitarian organisation in Slovenia.

"Being a firefighter is an honour, but it is also a responsibility ... when all others give up, leave or become scared, the firefighter stays," he said, describing Slovenian firefighters as the envy of the world.

Page 8 of 345

New Total Croatia Info Site

total-croatia-montenegro.jpg

Editorial

Photo of the Week

Photo galleries and videos

This websie uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.