Last Week in Slovenia: 1 - 7 November, 2019

By , 09 Nov 2019, 08:12 AM Politics
Last Week in Slovenia: 1 - 7 November, 2019 ProWritingAid

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

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FRIDAY, 1 November
        LJUBLJANA - A group of unidentified persons stormed Tiffany Club, a popular venue for LGBT events at the Metelkova Mesto alternative arts centre in Ljubljana, in what circumstances suggest was an attack motivated by hate. No one was injured in the attack and the perpetrators fled the scene when the police arrived.

SATURDAY, 2 November
        LJUBLJANA - Veronika Stabej, former ambassador to France, has been charged with abuse of office and forgery and is expected in court next month, Delo reported. Stabej was recalled as ambassador to France in July 2015 on suspicion she misappropriated embassy funds.

SUNDAY, 3 November
        KUČIBREG, Croatia - Milan Kučan, Slovenia's first president, criticised political elites in Slovenia and Croatia for their lack of initiative to resolve issues troubling bilateral relations, as he addressed a ceremony commemorating WWII battles in which Croatian, Italian and Slovenian Partisan resistance members fought German forces together.
        MARIBOR - A 500kg World War Two bomb was safely defused in Maribor after hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes in the vicinity, the largest such operation in Slovenia's second largest city since 1945.

MONDAY, 4 November
        LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian and Italian police forces will further enhance cooperation in fighting illegal migrations, as the number of joint police patrols, launched on 1 July, will be doubled from four to eight, the General Police Department said. This was agreed in Trieste on 24 October.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH) sent a response to the government regarding the 24 October resignation of the Petrol management. The report, requested by the government, brings no new insight into the reasons for the move. Shareholders now expect to get more information at a shareholder meeting.
        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor hosted parliamentary parties for a debate after a new initiative for devolution of government was launched by the National Council. The meeting showed differing opinions regarding the territorial division as well as the question of provinces' powers and financing.
        LJUBLJANA - PM Marjan Šarec met the mayors of border municipalities to discuss ways to reduce the impact of illegal migration on the lives of people living in border areas. They agreed to set up a task force that will prepare systemic solutions.
        LJUBLJANA - The ruling Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) declared that the time had come to ease up on the fiscal rule which was introduced to put constraints on public spending in mid-2015. It announced an amendment to relax the fiscal rule, which would need a two-thirds majority in parliament to pass.
        LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary inquiry into suspected abuse of office at the bad bank interviewed the former chairmen of NLB and NKBM, Janko Medja and Aleš Hauc, who said that the banks had no power in determining which assets were going to be transferred to the bad bank and which not as part of the 2013 bailout.
        LJUBLJANA - Telekom Slovenije, the telecoms incumbent, confirmed it had been ordered to pay EUR 17.6 million plus default interest to its Greek partner Antenna Group for its remaining 34% stake in a media joint venture that the Greeks have long sought to exit. The decision was handed down by the Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce on 31 October.

TUESDAY, 5 November
        PRAGUE, Czechia - A summit of the Friends of Cohesion, an informal group of EU members opposing cuts to cohesion funds, urged the EU to adopt a 2021-2027 budget with a sufficient amount of cohesion funds. Slovenian PM Marjan Šarec said that a strong EU needed a sufficient and future-oriented budget.
        PRAGUE, Czechia - PM Marjan Šarec strongly criticised the central bank's curbs on consumer loans out of fear that it might impact economic growth. He voiced the hope that Banka Slovenije and its governor, Boštjan Vasle, would take a step back.
        LJUBLJANA - The Russian-owned steel maker Sij dismissed speculation it was interested in taking over energy trader Petrol. It said it did not and that it does not have such an interest and also does not plan to enter Petrol's ownership structure in the future.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's first prime minister Lojze Peterle and Olympic medallist Jure Franko received Japanese state decorations for their work in promoting relations between Slovenia and Japan. Peterle received the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun and Franko the Order of the Rising Sun, Silver Rays.

WEDNESDAY, 6 November
        LJUBLJANA - The opposition Left declared its partnership with the minority government over after the coalition made its support for a key health insurance bill tabled by the Left conditional on adoption of amendments that would significantly change the Left's intention. PM Marjan Šarec said the government would complete its term in office, but acknowledged this would not be possible without compromise.
        OSLO, Norway - President Borut Pahor met King Harald V and Norway's senior officials as he started his two-day state visit to Norway. King Harald V decorated Pahor with the Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of Saint Olav, while Pahor presented Haakon with the Golden Order of Merit for his efforts in the diplomatic and international fields. Pahor and Prime Minister Erna Solberg highlighted the excellent bilateral relations and shared views on a number of global challenges.
        OSLO, Norway - Foreign Minister Miro Cerar met his Norwegian counterpart Ine Marie Eriksen Soreide discussing cooperation, the Western Balkans, topical EU issues, the rule of law and migrations. Cerar and Soreide expressed satisfaction with what they labelled as excellent relations between the countries in various fields of cooperation, in particular in multilateral cooperation.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's central bank rejected criticism of lending curbs on households that took effect on 1 November, with its leadership arguing that lending trends simply had become too risky and threatened to undermine financial stability. The aim of the measure is to "prevent excessive crediting activity in the consumer loan segment," Banka Slovenije vice-governor Primož Dolenc said.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's top court annulled provisions of the media act under which commercial radio stations were required to dedicate 20% of their airtime to Slovenian music, reasoning the provisions were too vague and incompatible with the rule of law. Radio stations and media experts alike welcomed the decision as a fitting end of a poorly conceived system.
        LJUBLJANA - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) downgraded its forecast for Slovenia's GDP growth for this year by 0.3 a percentage points to 3%, while keeping the projection for 2020 at 2.8%. The bank said that the main risk was weaker demand by the main trading partners.
        LJUBLJANA - Medex, Slovenia's biggest honey producer, said it had found traces of antibiotics in 2.5 tonnes of honey it bought from three Slovenian beekeepers last summer. The contaminated honey was destroyed before it could enter production.

THURSDAY, 7 November
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Commission forecast that Slovenia's economy will grow by 2.6% GDP in 2019 and 2.7% in 2020 and 2021, a downgrade of 0.6 and 0.1 percentage points respectively compared to its spring forecast. "Growth is cooling down but remaining robust," the Commission said.
        AMMAN, Jordan - Foreign Minister Miro Cerar met his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi and several other high-ranking officials as he started the first official visit by a Slovenian foreign minister in almost two decades. Cerar and Safadi talked about the combat against terrorism, development aid, the countries' cooperation in the Union for the Mediterranean and the situation in Syria.
        HANOI, Vietnam - A Slovenian government and business delegation led by Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek started a two-day visit to Vietnam. The second session of the intergovernmental commission for economic cooperation and a Slovenia-Vietnam business forum were held.
        LJUBLJANA - Telekom Slovenije reported a group net profit of EUR 29.4 million for the first nine months of the year, a 25% increase year-on-year despite a 6% drop in net sales revenue to EUR 507.4 million.

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