Last Week in Slovenia: 21-27 May, 2021

By , 29 May 2021, 11:35 AM Politics
Last Week in Slovenia: 21-27 May, 2021

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

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FRIDAY, 21 May
        LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša warned against an early election that would be held during Slovenia's EU presidency in an interview with public broadcaster TV Slovenija. This would mean dealing with own rather than others' problems, Janša said.
        LJUBLJANA - The Foreign Ministry welcomed the ceasefire negotiated between Israel and Palestinian militants after the latest escalation of tensions in the Middle East as "an encouraging development", but at the same time urged further efforts to reach a lasting political solution and peace.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - European Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders urged Economy Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Zdravko Počivalšek to appoint Slovenia's European delegated prosecutors. Počivalšek said the issue was not as clear cut as it may seem.
        LJUBLJANA - Environment Minister Andrej Vizjak held a virtual meeting with European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans to present the priorities of Slovenia's EU presidency. He said Slovenia would continue with steps aimed at making the EU a leading global player against climate change.
        PRAGUE, Czech Republic - Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec discussed closer bilateral cooperation in transport and energy as he met Czech PM Andrej Babiš and Transport Minister Karl Havliček in Prague. Opportunities to boost Czech companies' cooperation with the Slovenian port of Koper was discussed
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - Vice President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova repeated her expectation for swift solutions to be found to ensure the sustainable funding and independence of the STA in a letter to international journalist organisations.
        LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian economy as a whole posted somewhat poorer results in 2020 compared to 2019 but managed to stay afloat, suggest data by the AJPES agency for legal records, as net profit shrunk by almost two-fifths and total revenue by almost 6%.

        SKOPJE, North Macedonia - Foreign ministers of Slovenia, Austria and the Czech Republic, Anže Logar, Jakub Kulhanek and Alexander Schallenberg expressed support for North Macedonia's EU path at a working visit to the country.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - Finance Minister Andrej Šircelj took part in an informal session of the EU's Economic and Financial Affairs Council focussing on efforts to ensure a balanced post-pandemic recovery. He said that support measures should not be lifted too quickly.
        MARIBOR - Mura, a football club from Murska Sobota, won their first ever title of national champion after defeating Maribor 3:1 in the final round of the premiere league.

SUNDAY, 23 May
        TIRANA, Albania - The foreign ministers of Slovenia, Austria and the Czech Republic, Anže Logar, Alexander Schallenberg and Jakub Kulhanek, stressed the role of EU enlargement to the Western Balkans for the entire EU as they met senior Albanian officials.

MONDAY, 24 May
        LJUBLJANA - Senior Slovenian officials condemned actions by Belarus after a Ryanair flight was forced to land in Minsk. PM Janez Janša expressed support for sanctions, while President Borut Pahor and Foreign Minister Anže Logar called for an independent investigation.
        JESENICE - Justice Minister Lilijana Kozlovič expressed her support for the idea for Slovenia to first appoint only one candidate for a European delegated prosecutor as a way to break the impasse in the appointment of candidates for two delegated prosecutors from Slovenia.
        ROME, Italy - The mayors of Slovenia's Nova Gorica and Italy's Gorizia, Klemen Miklavič and Rodolfo Ziberna, met Italian President Sergio Mattarella, who confirmed that together with Slovenian President Borut Pahor, he will visit the two border cities in the autumn 2025 when they turn into the European Capital of Culture.
        LJUBLJANA - Trade shows and events were allowed to reopen after more than a year for guests who have either recovered from Covid-19, been vaccinated or tested.
        VELENJE - Representatives of the government and the Chinese-owned group Hisense signed a contract under which the state will provide almost EUR 1 million grant for its TV production plant in Velenje.
        LJUBLJANA/ZAGREB, Croatia - The privately-held electronics group Iskra announced it had signed an acquisition agreement with Croatian electric cable manufacturer Elka for an undisclosed amount.
        KOPER - Splošna Plovba, a Portorož-based shipping company in German ownership, sold its 52.45% stake in media company Primorske Novice to three companies that form part of vast media network controlled by the Odlazek family.
        LJUBLJANA - MPs decided that Slovenians will head to the polls on 11 July to vote on amendments to the water act that have pitted environmentalists, who say the legislation paves the way for the build-up of coastal land, against the government, which says their claims are misguided.
        LJUBLJANA - Marko Ilešič will not get a new term as EU Court judge after the National Assembly voted by 37 in favour and 43 against in a secret ballot.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - Prime Minister Janez Janša hailed the European Council's decision to step up sanctions against Belarus, saying the debate had shown the EU standing firmly behind its values.
        LJUBLJANA - FM Anže Logar and his Serbian counterpart Nikola Selaković agreed on a mutual recognition of vaccination certificates as they held talks. Serbian certificates will be recognised in Slovenia as of 30 May.
        VELLATE, Malta - Interior Minister Aleš Hojs met his Maltese counterpart Byron Camilleri to present the priorities of the coming Slovenian EU presidency. Hojs highlighted the role of efforts to strengthen the Schengen area.
        LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian Association of Journalists (DNS) called on President Borut Pahor to decorate the Slovenian Press Agency (STA) on its 30th anniversary, as the final week of a crowdfunding campaign got under way.

        LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Janez Janša survived an impeachment vote in parliament as 42 deputies voted in favour and 44 against. A 46-vote majority would have been required to impeach him.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium/LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Janez Janša highlighted the EU's resilience and post-pandemic recovery as key topics of Slovenia's upcoming EU presidency at a virtual meeting with the European Parliament's Conference of Presidents. Slovenia will cooperate closely with the Parliament, he said.
        LJUBLJANA - Yang Jiechi, the director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission Office of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, held talks with President Borut Pahor and Defence Minister Matej Tonin. Pahor reportedly highlighted the importance of multilateralism and responsibility for global peace and development.
        LJUBLJANA - The government decided Slovenia would remains in tier yellow of coronavirus restrictions despite meeting the conditions for the green tier. The current regime will remain in place at least until 6 June.
        LJUBLJANA - The government decided to extend the furlough scheme by another month, until the end of June, in a bid to reduce the risk that companies facing slow demand or a negative productivity shock start laying off workers.
        LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly adopted an amended housing act whose overarching goal is to increase the number of public rental homes in the country through greater borrowing and a state rental agency.
        WASHINGTON, US - The IMF slightly upgraded Slovenia's GDP growth forecast for this year, to 3.9% from 3.7% and kept the forecast for next year at 4.5%. In 2023 Slovenia's economy is projected to grow at a rate of 3.6%.
        LJUBLJANA - Justice Minister Lilijana Kozlovič stepped down after the government decided to annual the procedure to appoint candidates for Slovenia's two European delegated prosecutors and publish a new call for applications. European Chief Prosecutor Laura Kövesi said the move seriously undermined trust in the effective control systems for EU funds in Slovenia.
        LJUBLJANA - The right to use and development of the Slovenian sign language was enshrined in the Constitution under a new constitutional amendment that also requires a special law on the free use and development of the deaf-blind language.
        LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly passed an amendment to the Constitutional Court act requiring the court to handle petitions even when applicants lost standing since they lodged the petition.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - The Culture Ministry announced the art exhibition that was planned to be put up at the European Parliament during Slovenia's EU presidency will go ahead, yet under conditions set by Minister Vasko Simoniti.
        LJUBLJANA - The government decided to donate 240 packs of Remdesivir, an antiviral medicine used in the treatment of Covid-19, to India to help it cope with the coronavirus pandemic. The aid is worth EUR 86,800.


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