Last Week in Slovenia: 2 - 8 August, 2019

By , 10 Aug 2019, 10:30 AM Politics
Last Week in Slovenia: 2 - 8 August, 2019 JL Flanner

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

FRIDAY, 2 August

        LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian central bank said that its macro stress tests had shown the country's banking system is stable. "In the baseline as well as stress scenario, the Slovenian banking system has been shown to have appropriate capital adequacy," it said.
        LJUBLJANA - The Foreign Ministry expressed regret over the collapse of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty between Russia and the US. It said Slovenia was committed to maintaining and strengthening effective international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons for mass destruction.
        LJUBLJANA - Karl Erjavec said he had decided to bid for yet another term as the leader of the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) at the 17 January congress. Erjavec, who has been running DeSUS since 2005, told the STA that he would campaign for the party's return to it roots, that is the fight for pensioners, the disabled and the elderly.
        LJUBLJANA - The opposition New Slovenia (NSi) protested against what it believes are inadmissible practices in major state-funded infrastructure projects and requested a session of the parliamentary Public Finance Oversight Commission to ask for explanations and plans from the responsible officials.
        GORENJA VAS - Environment Minister Simon Zajc called for coexistence between humans and wolves as he visited the Cerkljansko region, where wolf attacks on livestock have become increasingly frequent. He pointed to measures that protect humans and their property from wolves.
        KOPER - The operator of Slovenia's sole maritime port of Koper hosted a delegation from Nagoya, the largest Japanese port, for talks on how to expand cooperation. Koper has no direct commercial maritime link with Japan, while it does cooperate with the Japanese Ocean Network Express.
        LJUBLJANA/MALMÖ, Sweden - Slovenian sides Olimpija and Domžale failed to advance in the second-tier Europa League, narrowly losing on aggregate despite both securing 2:2 draws in the first leg. Olimpija lost 0:1 against Turkish club Malatyaspor, while Domžale lost 3:2 against Malmö.

SATURDAY, 3 August
        NAZARJE - BSH Hišni Aparati, the Slovenian subsidiary of the Bosch and Siemens Home Appliance Group, saw its profit, revenue and the number of employees decrease in 2018 compared to the year before. The company generated EUR 318 million in revenue last year, 8% less than in 2017, while its net profit decreased by almost EUR 750,000 to EUR 11.4 million.

SUNDAY, 4 August
        KRŠKO - The Krško Nuclear Power Plant announced that that the project of digitalising its processes as part of safety upgrades launched in the wake of the 2012 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster were more than half completed. Most of the company's business processes have already been digitised.
        ZREČE - GKN Driveline, a British-owned car industry supplier, said it increased its production by almost a third last year to generate EUR 107 million in revenue, up 30% compared to 2017. On the other hand, net profit was down by 17% to EUR 4.8 million.
        ZREČE - Unitur, the tourism branch of tools maker Unior, said it generated EUR 19.7 million in revenue last year, 5% more than in 2017 and nearly 3% above plans. The operator of the Rogla ski resort and the nearby Terme Zreče spa was EUR 750,000 in the red at the end of 2018, 25% less than the year before.
        
MONDAY, 5 August
        LJUBLJANA - Opposition New Slovenia (NSi) leader Matej Tonin presented the party's plans for the autumn congress, announcing an "overhauled and fresh" platform. The party wants to position itself in the political centre as it feels this is where it belongs.
        KOPER - Primorske Novice reported that four men from Koper had been sentenced to a total of more than 11 years in jail for transporting illegal migrants who crossed into Slovenia from Croatia. The group went into the business of smuggling migrants early in 2018, joining forces with a Croat who got in touch with a Koper man.
        LJUBLJANA - The management board of Gen Energija, the state-owned energy utility that owns the Slovenian half of the Krško Nuclear Power Plant, has been expanded by a member, as director general Martin Novšak was joined by Danijel Levičar at the beginning of August, the company announced.
        LJUBLJANA/LONDON, UK - The business daily Finance reported that Slovenia's 10-year bonds recently traded at sub-zero rates on the secondary market for the first time ever, whereas the country had a hard time selling its bonds at as high a rate as 7% during the financial crisis in 2013.
        LJUBLJANA - The banking SKB Group said it generated EUR 34.2 million in net profit in the first half of 2019, which is 40% more than in the same period last year. This is due to good operating results and the easing of provisions and impairments. The group saw its operating profit rise by 18% to EUR 31.3 million.
        LJUBLJANA - It was reported that Jure Cekuta, a painter best known as one of the few individuals convicted of corruption in one of the biggest arms scandals in Slovenia, had died aged 67. Sentenced to four years and four months in prison in 2014, Cekuta spent the last years of his life in jail.
        TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras - Slovenian freediver Alenka Artnik reached a new milestone as, by plunging 111 meters into the Caribbean with a monofin, she beat the world record in the discipline by four metres to become the first woman to descend bellow 110 metres.

TUESDAY, 6 August
        LJUBLJANA - A civil initiative providing advocacy for asylum seekers warned about allegedly unbearable conditions at Ljubljana's Vič Asylum Centre, accusing some security guards of intimidation and even alleging some of them are involved in organised smuggling of asylum seekers. The security firm in question, Varovanje Galekom, denied all the accusations.
        LJUBLJANA - Lekarna Ljubljana, Slovenia's largest pharmacy chain, was forced to close down all of its shops due to computer system problems, experienced as a result of a ransomware attack. It was able to restore its IT system on Thursday.
        LJUBLJANA - The lawyer of Sergej Racman, an erstwhile successful businessman who is wanted in Slovenia under an Interpol Red Notice alert for his alleged role in a prostitution ring, said that Racman had expressed willingness to make himself available for proceedings running against him. He is reportedly abroad.
        LJUBLJANA - The newspaper Večer said that the Environment Agency will have to examine again whether the Šoštanj power station (TEŠ) requires an environmental impact study for importing coal, after it decided it did need one. The ministry has annulled the agency's initial decision in response to an appeal by environmental NGOs.
        LJUBLJANA - The government announced it had picked the Riko engineering company and the KTNK architectural design firm to build Slovenia's pavilion at the global show Expo 2020 in Dubai. Riko and KTNK were the only ones to submit their bid for the project, valued at EUR 2.45 million, before the deadline.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - The latest Eurobarometer survey showed Slovenians are the strongest supporters of the euro is the entire EU, with as many as 88% of those polled favouring it. Slovenia is followed by Estonia and Portugal (both 85%).

WEDNESDAY, 7 August
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - Janez Lenarčič, the candidate for the Slovenian member of the European Commission, held informal introductory talks with the newly elected Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen. The pair talked about the challenges that await the new Commission and about the importance of respect for the EU's fundamental values.
        LJUBLJANA - The government decided to extend the deployment of auxiliary police to help the regular force cope with a spike in illegal migration on the Schengen border with Croatia and with other duties. Auxiliary police will be deployed until the end of the year to help patrol the border and stand in for absent regular officers.
        LJUBLJANA - 2TDK, the company managing construction of the new Divača-Koper rail track, annulled a public tender for the first of several planned bridges after weeks of public controversy that renewed concern about the financing of the mega project. It turned out that the selected bidder had apparently forged its prior experience.
        LJUBLJANA - The government appointed Ajda Cuderman the director of the SPIRIT investment promotion agency. Cuderman, who has been served as acting director since February, will start her five-year term on 16 August. She previously worked at energy company Petrol and sales consulting group Mercuri International.
        BRASLOVČE - Scottish sawmiller BSW Timber still has not been able to start with the construction of what will be the biggest sawmill in Slovenia. The main reason has been delays in the adoption of the needed spatial plans, said Braslovče Mayor Tomaž Žohar, adding that he expected them to be ready by the end of the year.
        LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian subsidiary of the Italian banking group Unicredit said it posted EUR 16 million in consolidated profit in the first half of the year, a marginal increase of 0.3% on the same period a year ago. Operating revenue rose by 7.2% to EUR 42 million and net interest revenue was up 1.3% to EUR 23 million.
        LJUBLJANA/VRHNIKA - The facilities that chemical waste processing company Kemis has extensively renovated after a major fire hit the plant in 2017 were found to be illegal construction. Building inspectors ordered Kemis to stop using the facilities immediately and remove them by 30 June 2020. In response to the decision, Kemis stopped accepting waste, the next day.
        MARIBOR - Maribor are in a two-goal hole after the first leg of the third round of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League after losing to Norway's Rosenborg 1:3 at home on Wednesday. The Slovenian football champions are looking at a virtually impossible mission of advancing to the last round as they are hosted by Rosenborg in Trondheim next week.
        
THURSDAY, 8 August
        LJUBLJANA - The Supreme Court set an important precedent in a case involving hate speech against the Roma. It ruled that public incitement to hatred, violence or intolerance is a crime not only when it threatens public peace and order, the way the legal provision has been interpreted until now, but also in case of threats, abusive language or insults per se.
        LJUBLJANA - Swedish furniture giant Ikea obtained a building permit for the shop it plans to build in Ljubljana's BTC City shopping district. Construction works are expected to start soon. Vladislav Lalić, regional property and expansion manager at Ikea South East Europe, said the store was expected to open about a year after the start of construction.
        LJUBLJANA - Adacta Holding, the parent company of a leading Slovenian ICT company, was revealed to have sold its Adacta Services Business, a leading Microsoft Dynamics, Qlik and Cornerstone partner in Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia, to BE-terna, a company owned by the German Deutsche Private Equity (DPE) fund.
        LJUBLJANA - The Ljubljana-based coach group Nomago said it had signed an agreement to take over its Brežice-based counterpart Integral Brebus in a bid to expand its business in Croatia, where it wants to acquire at least 30% market share.

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