What follows is a weekly review of events involving Slovenia, as prepared by the STA.
If you’d like to keep up on the daily headlines then follow those here, or get all our stories in your feed on Facebook.
FRIDAY, 27 August
OHRID, North Macedonia - During a working visit to North Macedonia, Defence Minister Matej Tonin said he and his Macedonian counterpart Radmila Šekerinska finalised their agreement on Macedonian troops becoming part of the Slovenian contingent in the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence mission in Latvia in June 2022.
LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša met a delegation of US senators visiting Slovenia on the occasion of Slovenian-American Friendship Day. They discussed current international issues, including the situation in Afghanistan, and US-Slovenia relations.
BELGRADE, Serbia - Parliamentary Speaker Igor Zorčič wrapped up a two-day official visit to Serbia during which he discussed bilateral issues but also regional and global issues with top officials, including President Aleksandar Vučić and PM Ana Brnabić.
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's jobless total decreased by a quarterly 20% to 44,000 in the second quarter of the year according to the labour force survey released by the Statistics Office. The survey unemployment rate was 1.3 percentage points lower at 4.3%. In July, the ILO-compatible survey unemployment rate reached 4%, down 1.3 points year-on-year.
LJUBLJANA - Energy company Petrol saw group net profit jump by 140% to more than EUR 49 million on sales that increased 20% year-on-year to EUR 1.8 billion, according to the company's interim report.
KOPER - Port operator Luka Koper reported EUR 114.7 million in net sales revenue for the first half of the year, an increase of 7% from the same period last year. Net profit increased by 2% to EUR 15.4 million.
ZREČE - Unior, a group specialising in forged metals and tools, reported EUR 122.1 million in net sales revenue for the first half of the year, up 31.8% year-on-year, as it bounced back from a loss to a net profit of EUR 6.4 million.
NOVO MESTO - Carlos Pascual, a Mexican author who has been living in Slovenia for years, won the Novo Mesto Prize for best collection of short stories of the year for Nezakonita Melanholija (Unlawful Melancholy) in what is the first time the prize went to an author who was not born in Slovenia.
SATURDAY, 28 August
KRŠKO - Addressing a regional meeting of his Democratic Party (SDS), PM Janez Janša said any party wanting to form a future coalition with the SDS would have to agree not to have any talks on open borders or migration corridors and would have to support the European Parliament's resolution condemning all totalitarian regimes. No party agreed to take up all those conditions.
LJUBLJANA - Odile Renaud-Basso, the EBRD president, told the STA in an interview the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) had no plans for direct equity investment in the Slovenian financial sector, but it did intend to continue to support it through market investment. It was also ready to support the economy's green transition and digitalisation.
LJUBLJANA - The newspaper Dnevnik reported that the Supreme Court made a landmark ruling under which Slovenia must allow a Cameroonian asylum seeker who was deported from Slovenia twice in 2019 to enter the country and seek asylum status. The ruling, handed down in April, is final and not appealable.
MONDAY, 30 August
MADRID, Spain - Foreign Minister Anže Logar met his Spanish counterpart Jose Manuel Albares for an exchange of views on current EU and international issues, with the Slovenian Foreign Ministry saying the countries had similar views on the efforts to prevent illegal migration, and shared concerns over how the developments in Afghanistan might affect illegal migration trends.
LJUBLJANA - The Defence Ministry said it was continuing with its efforts to evacuate an Afghan who worked for the Slovenian Armed Forces and his family from Kabul with evacuation now possible only through a UN humanitarian convoy or one of Afghanistan's neighbouring countries.
LJUBLJANA - A Qatari delegation led by Ahmad Hassen Al-Hammadi, secretary-general at the Foreign Ministry, held political consultations at the Slovenian Foreign Ministry and visited the Muslim Cultural Centre in Ljubljana, which was built with substantial financial support from Qatar.
LJUBLJANA - The Financial Administration (FURS) published a proposal for taxation of cryptocurrencies, proposing individuals pay a 10% tax rate on the amount they turn into cash or spend for goods or services. Facing a strong reaction from the public, FURS changed the proposal so that only sums above EUR 15,000 in a single calendar year would be taxed with the taxpayer being given the choice to pay either a tax of 10% on the sum cashed in or a tax of 25% on the profit they make in trading in virtual currencies. The tax would not apply to legal entities.
LJUBLJANA - National motorway company DARS reported EUR 218.8 million in revenue for the first half of the year, a rise of 16% on the same period last year. Net profit was up 55% to EUR 43.9 million as DARS sold 2.5 million toll stickers, up slightly year-on-year, but still significantly lower than in 2019, before the Covid-19 epidemic.
TOKYO, Japan - Shooter Franček Gorazd Tiršek won silver at the Tokyo Paralympics in the men's 10m air rifle standing competition and then went on to win bronze in the prone event on 1 September in what are the first two medals for Slovenia at the games. Tiršek won silver medals in the standing position at two previous Paralymics.
BRDO PRI KRANJU - The most successful Slovenian football referee Damir Skomina, whose record includes refereeing at the European championships, World Cup, the UEFA Super Cup and the 2019 Champions League final, officially announced the end of his career.
TUESDAY, 31 August
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's GDP increased by 16.3% on a year-on-year basis in the second quarter of the year, the Statistics Office reported, with the growth powered by household spending and gross investment, as foreign trade was up significantly as well. GDP is now just below its 2019 peak.
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's annual inflation run at at 2.1% in August, mostly due to significantly more expensive petroleum products, which contributed 1.2 percentage points to the headline rate, the Statistics Office reported.
BRUSSELS, Belgium - Interior Minister Aleš Hojs presided over an emergency meeting of EU home affairs ministers that adopted a joint statement after a "very heated" debate saying the bloc was determined to prevent uncontrolled large-scale illegal migration movements from Afghanistan and the region.
LJUBLJANA - The Human Rights Ombudsman issued several warnings in a report on the human rights of migrants, most notably that migrants are often returned to neighbouring countries without receiving a written decision, which makes it impossible for them to appeal against the return.
LJUBLJANA - Representatives of STA staff sent a letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Council President Charles Michel, and Parliament President David Sassoli, noting that despite calls to restore the financing of the STA, the issue has still not been resolved. They urged for "more decisive, perhaps even unprecedented steps, to protect freedom of the press".
PRAGERSKO - Work started on a project to upgrade the Pragersko railway hub, one of the main rail junctions in the country. The EUR 90 million project is slated for completion in June 2023.
CELJE - Poet Tina Kozin won the Veronika Prize for best collection of poetry for Nebo pod Vodo (Sky Under the Sea), her third collection.
WEDNESDAY, 1 September
BLED - The future of Europe and how the EU should respond to a potential new migration wave from Afghanistan dominated debate as the 16th annual Bled Strategic Forum got under way with a record number of senior officials. "Not a single European country wants a repeat of 2015" or the policy of open borders, PM Janez Janša said about the prospect of an influx of migrants from Afghanistan as European Parliament President David Sassoli voiced disappointment that none of the EU member states had expressed willingness to accept Afghan refugees. Janša also called for the EU to return to its roots, to the basic principles laid down by the founding fathers. The Afghan crisis also topped the agenda of bilateral meetings of most senior Slovenian and foreign officials.
BLED - The stalled process of EU enlargement to the Western Balkans was one of the topics debated at the BSF with the panellists, including the heads of government of all Western Balkan countries as well as European Council President Charles Michel and European Parliament President David Sassoli calling for a continuation of the enlargement process as a matter of strategic importance. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Anže Logar announced Slovenia's desire to make the EU-Western Balkans summit, which it will host in early October, a regular annual event as a means of accelerating the EU enlargement process.
BLED - Arriving at the Bled Strategic Forum, Croatian PM Andrej Plenković said Slovenia and Croatia had established excellent relationship during the term of Slovenian PM Janez Janša, and said the bilateral border issue could be tackled this government term.
BLED - Foreign Minister Anže Logar announced that the Med7, a club of seven Mediterranean EU countries, would invite Slovenia to become a member at a summit scheduled to take place later this month. He said membership would be "particularly important in the light of potential new migration pressure in the future".
BRUSSELS, Belgium/LJUBLJANA - Justice Minister Marjan Dikaučič said Slovenia was making the effort to appoint its European delegated prosecutors as soon as possible as he presented via video call Slovenia's EU presidency priorities in judiciary to the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs.
LJUBLJANA - The Interior Ministry drew up prepared changes to the public order act that introduce fines of EUR 500-1,000 for indecent behaviour towards state officials, senior representatives of the authorities and their families. The proposal has already been endorsed by the government.
LJUBLJANA - A new school year started for almost 270,000 Slovenian primary and secondary school children and nearly 30,000 teachers in person but with safety measures in place, including mandatory Covid certificates for staff, masks for all children in communal areas and voluntary self-testing for older children. If schools flout the rules, they may be ordered to switch to remote classes.
MARIBOR - Media company Časnik Večer transferred the daily newspaper Večer with its 94 employees to Večer Mediji, a new company that is to be sold to six companies which are, according to unofficial information, owned by media mogul Martin Odlazek. Delo reported that a several-owner solution was to bypass the rule to seek a regulatory clearance in case a company owns 20% of a media company or more.
CELJE - Chemical company Cinkarna Celje saw its half-year sales revenue rise by 12% year-on-year to EUR 99.39 million on the back of good demand, boosting net profit by 60% to EUR 15.8 million.
THURSDAY, 2 September
BRDO PRI KRANJU - The creation of a European rapid reaction force was one of the topics as EU defence ministers held an informal meeting at Brdo. Speaking after the event, the EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the EU must strengthen its strategic autonomy to act independently when and where necessary, as Defence Minister Matej Tonin said political will would be needed to address the issue. Borrell then went on to chair an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers, which he said would discuss how to engage with the Taliban, in particular on humanitarian aid and assistance to people in Afghanistan who want to leave.
BLED - The need to draw lucid lessons from Afghanistan was emphasised at a Bled Strategic Forum panel on European defence, but the panellists, which included Mircea Geoana, deputy secretary general of NATO, said these lessons should draw not just on the last few weeks in Afghanistan, they should be informed by the broader geopolitical situation.
BLED - Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar met his counterpart Anže Logar and President Borut Pahor during the first such official visit to Slovenia since its independence, with a meeting with PM Janez Janša planned for 3 September. Jaishankar and Logar expressed their commitment to strengthening cooperation between their countries in various fields, while Jaishankar also highlighted Slovenia's support for India's agreements with the EU.
BLED - Belarusian opposition politician Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya addressed the Bled Strategic Forum to note that the Eastern Partnership should be supported as a crucial instrument for helping the Belarusian people. She also called for visa liberalisation and inclusion of democratic forces in meetings of the European Partnership.
BRUSSELS, Belgium - Presenting the priorities of the Slovenian EU presidency in home affairs to the relevant European Parliament committee, Interior Minister Aleš Hojs heard criticism over the recent joint statement of the EU home affairs ministers on Afghanistan. Hojs said the MEPs' criticism was a reflection of their pain at not being in charge of certain issues.
BLED - Slovenian priest and missionary Pedro Opeka won this year's Distinguished Partner Award, an accolade bestowed at the Bled Strategic Forum, for his humanitarian work and fight against poverty in Madagascar.
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia turned red as the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control updated its Covid-19 colour-coded map of Europe. There are now more than 6,000 estimated active infections in the country, with the 7-day average of new cases at 491 and the 14-day incidence per 100,000 residents at 283. Covid-19 hospitalisations passed 160, including 40 ICU cases. The total death toll from Covid-19 reached 4,781.
LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian central bank said it would not extended a requirement that banks, savings banks and leasing companies may not distribute profit beyond the end of September, however the financial institutions are expected to apply a conservative approach.
LJUBLJANA - The government adopted a set of changes to the gaming act which lift most restrictions concerning casino ownership and under which concessions would be granted on the basis of newly introduced public tenders.
VELENJE - The Hisense Europe Group reported a loss of EUR 12.8 million for 2020 on EUR 2 billion in sales, the bulk of which were generated from the household appliances at Gorenje. Nevertheless, Gorenje said the group had been operating at a profit for the past 14 months.