Ljubljana related

13 Aug 2022, 04:17 AM

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, 5 August
        LJUBLJANA - Police officers acted unprofessionally and used disproportionate force in four separate instances at anti-government protests held throughout 2021, shows an Interior Ministry report on complaints against police work. The Interior Ministry has notified the State Prosecution of its findings and taken unspecified action against several individuals.
        LJUBLJANA - Interior Minister Tatjana Bobnar has ordered a review of the construction of a new building for the Interior Ministry and the police, the Necenzurirano news portal reported. The portal says that the contractor, the state-owned real estate investment firm DSU, rushed with the drafting of the project dossier to get the project so far ahead that it could no longer be stopped.
        LJUBLJANA - The government is in favour of a gradual introduction of free period products for women in public institutions and will look into the possibility of dedicated funding, the Government Communications Office (UKOM) told the STA after a recent call for this by the Slovenian Secondary-School Student Organization and the Slovenian Student Union.
        BREZJE - A two-seat aircraft crash-landed on the A2 motorway near Brezje in north Slovenia. There were two passengers on board and both survived the emergency landing without injuries. The pilot reported engine problems and decided to land the aircraft on the motorway instead of flying back to the nearby Lesce airfield.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenian basketball star Goran Dragić has decided to rejoin the Slovenian men's team to defend the 2017 title at this year's EuroBasket in what is a change of heart after bidding his teammates farewell. Dragić tweeted "I'm back" along with the hashtag EuroBasket and a photo of himself holding the 2017 cup.
        LJUBLJANA - Kostja Gatnik, a versatile visual artist, has died at the age of 76, his family told the STA. He was best known as an illustrator and comic book author. He received a number of awards, including the Prešeren Prize for lifetime achievement, the country's top accolade in the arts world.

SUNDAY, 7 August
        LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Robert Golob and President Borut Pahor have sent condolences to their Polish counterparts after the fatal crash of a Polish bus in Croatia. Golob wrote to Mateusz Morawiecki to express sincere condolences, extending his sympathy to the families of all those killed in the crash. Pahor expressed his condolences to President Andrzej Duda and wished a speedy recovery to all passengers injured in the accident.
        SINJ, Croatia - President Borut Pahor was the guest of honour at the traditional Sinjska Alka equestrian competition in the at the invitation of his Croatian counterpart Zoran Milanović. He was the first foreign statesman in this capacity at the tournament.
        HALIFAX, Canada - Slovenia's Anja Osterman has won silver at the Canoe Sprint World Championships, finishing a second behind Lisa Carrington of New Zealand in the 200-metre event. This is the fourth medal at a World Championship for the 29-year-old but the first in an individual event.

MONDAY, 8 August
        PTUJ - A retrial in the case of a man who murdered his estranged spouse and her parents in front of his four-year-old son on Christmas Day 2020 ended with a sentence of 30 years behind bars as Silvo Drevenšek was found guilty of all counts. He was handed 29 years each for the three murders and four more for the neglect and cruel treatment of a minor.
        LJUBLJANA - Petrol and diesel will be slightly more expensive as of 17 August, as the government decided to reintroduce energy efficiency contributions, which had been abolished temporarily to reduce energy prices. Diesel will thus be 0.8 cents more expensive per litre and petrol will be 0.736 cents dearer per litre.
        LJUBLJANA - Delo reported that Novo Mesto Bishop Andrej Saje is suspected of tax evasion and that a criminal complaint had been sent to Slovenian tax authorities and the prosecution. It alleges he had received pay for helping out with mass at two parishes in the Diocese of Gurk-Klagenfurt in Austria. Saje told the STA he had no knowledge of the criminal complaint and could not comment on it in detail.
TUESDAY, 9 August
        ANKARA, Turkey - President Borut Pahor started a two-day state visit to Turkey by meeting Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu. The pair discussed the war in Ukraine and its consequences for the Western Balkans, with Pahor praising Turkey for its role as mediator between Russia and Ukraine.
        LJUBLJANA - Bojana Beović, head of the advisory committee on immunisation at the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ), recommended those over 80 and those with chronic diseases to get a second booster immediately given that the number of those hospitalised with Covid has not been decreasing despite lower influx of new cases.
        LJUBLJANA - The new school year is expected to start with home coronavirus testing for those showing symptoms and those who have been in contact with an infected person, according to guidance issued by the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) coronavirus advisory group.
        LJUBLJANA - Public broadcaster TV Slovenija reported that 12 Indian workers had been forced to work 60-hour weeks at a Ljubljana car wash for less than the minimum wage after having their passports taken away. The group eventually ran away from the Avtostop car wash and two of them turned for help to an NGO specialising in the rights of migrant workers. Inspection procedures are ongoing.
        LJUBLJANA - The information commissioner asked for constitutional review of several provisions of the new prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing act due to broad powers the Office for the Prevention of Money Laundering has with regard to access to personal information.
        LJUBLJANA - Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković promised the residents they will be kept warm this winter despite the energy crisis. Coal reserves are sufficient to provide district heating to nearly half of all homes and there will be enough natural gas, but the question is at what price gas will be available, he said.
WEDNESDAY, 10 August
        ANKARA, Turkey - President Borut Pahor met his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan before wrapping up his two-day state visit to Ankara. They discussed the war in Ukraine and the Western Balkans, agreeing to meet again on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in late September to revisit the topics.
        LJUBLJANA - Jadranko Grlić, the country's chief labour inspector, resigned in the wake of a TV report on another case of exploitation of foreign workers in recent months. The Labour Inspectorate said he had stepped down over differences of opinion with the Labour Ministry about the powers and manner of work of the inspectorate.
        ROME, Italy - The Italian government launched infringement proceedings against Slovenia to defend the authenticity of its geographically protected balsamic vinegar, according to several reports by international media.
        LJUBLJANA - Gynaecologist Sabina Senčar joined ten hopefuls who have so far announced their bids for the 23 October presidential election. She intends to run with the support of Resni.ca, a non-parliamentary party founded amid the Covid epidemic to oppose restrictions.
        LJUBLJANA - GEN Energija, the parent company of the state-owned power group that also includes the Krško nuclear power plant, got a new supervisory board after the previous members were dismissed by Slovenian Sovereign Holding for loss of trust over "appropriate corporate governance at GEN Group".

THURSDAY, 11 August
        LJUBLJANA - TV Slovenija journalist Petra Bezjak Cirman was appointed acting director of the government Communications Office (UKOM) after Dragan Barbutovski quitting after only a little more than two months on the job. Barbutovski, who Prime Minister Robert Golob said was better suited for a different job, will work at the PM's office as foreign communications officer.
        LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Rober Golob met with representatives of NGOs advocating for the young and the old. The meeting, which Golob said was "definitely not the last", agreed on the creation of task forces which will address some of the most urgent issues including scholarships for the young, the pensioners' expectations regarding pension increase, and access to mental health services for the young.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's largest banking group, NLB, reported EUR 287 million in profit after tax for the first half of 2022, a 105% increase year-on-year. The growth was mainly driven by positive effects related to the acquisition of N Banka, formerly Sberbank.
        LJUBLJANA - Business associations expressed opposition to government plan to revoke parts of the tax reform adopted by the previous government. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Trade Crafts and Small Business and the Association of Employers in Trade Crafts and Smalls Business find the proposal would annul the positive effects of the amendments to the personal income tax act passed in March before they are even fully implemented.
        STAVANGER, Norway - Hana Mazi Jamnik, an up-and-coming cross-country skier, has been killed in a traffic accident during training in Norway. The 19-year-old was roller skiing through a tunnel on the road between Forsand and Joerpeland in south Norway when she was hit by a lorry. She was badly injured in the crash and airlifted to a hospital in Stavanger


06 Aug 2022, 08:37 AM

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, 29 July
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's annual inflation rate accelerated to 11% in July, up 0.6 percentage points from the month before, driven mostly by high prices of petroleum products, the Statistics Office said. It is the highest annual inflation rate since August 1995.
        LJUBLJANA - The Administrative Court decreed that the planned Mokrice hydropower station on the river Sava cannot get a building permit until it has ruled on legal action brought against the project by the Slovenian Native Fish Society.
        LJUBLJANA - PM Robert Golob and Public Administration Minister Sanja Ajanović Hovnik met with representatives of a dozen NGOs for the second time to discuss current issues. The government is keen to include NGOs in the decision-making process, Golob said after the meeting.
        LJUBLJANA - Justice Minister Dominika Švarc Pipan said in an interview for the STA she would not approach changes in the judiciary haphazardly, but wanted to see well-thought-out solutions under a broad consensus, while noting it was high time politics no longer played a role in judicial appointment procedures.
        LJUBNO OB SAVINJI - Slovenian minority officials pledged to work to secure a permanent seat for the minority in the Italian parliament as the Office for Slovenians Abroad hosted a debate on the issue amid concerns that the Slovenian minority in Italy could end up without its representative in the Italian parliament following the 25 September snap election.
        LJUBLJANA - The government included the country's human rights ombudsman among officials who are provided with security protection by the police after his office suggested so a while ago because Ombudsman Peter Svetina has often been target of threats over the past two years.

        LJUBLJANA - Defence Minister Marjan Šarec announced systemic changes in civil protection and disaster relief after a massive fire in the western Kras region. He told Dnevnik that the army should immediately be activated in case of natural disasters.

SUNDAY, 31 July
        LJUBLJANA - Justice Minister Dominika Švarc Pipan vowed to keep a close eye on the government's work if new restrictive measures will need to be imposed due to a surge in coronavirus cases. Talking to the STA, she also said she advocated the suspension of unconstitutional proceedings launched against individuals under the previous government.
        KRANJSKA GORA - A low-profile memorial event was held at the Russian Chapel below the Vršič mountain pass honouring the memory of Russian POWs who perished while building the pass during the First World War. Because of the war in Ukraine, only members and friends of the Slovenia-Russia Association gathered for this year's event.

MONDAY, 1 August
        NEW YORK, US - Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon addressed the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in New York, saying the war in Ukraine had caused the worst deterioration of security in Europe and urging Russia to cease the hostilities and withdraw from Ukraine. She stressed Slovenia will continue supporting Ukraine.
        LJUBLJANA - Finance Minister Klemen Boštjančič announced the government would partly annul as of 2023 the income tax reform introduced by the previous government because it significantly affects budget revenue.
        LJUBLJANA - An internal police audit revealed major irregularities in contracts concluded by the Motorway Police Administration, which was established under the previous government, including a contract with national motorway operator DARS, which was referred to the anti-graft watchdog and other authorities over suspicion of criminal acts.
        LJUBLJANA - The police initiated a dismissal and disciplinary procedure against an employee on suspicion of a work-related crime. According to media reports, the person in question is Tomislav Habulin, a former assistant to previous Police Commissioner Anton Olaj. According to tabloid Slovenske Novice, he is suspected of data tampering.
        LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian police processed in the first seven months just over 8,200 foreigners who illegally entered the country, up 80% compared to the same period last year. However, Tomaž Pavček of the Border Police Division said this was just a tenth more than in the same period in 2019 and 2020.
        LJUBLJANA - Lawyer Nataša Pirc Musar, who is expected to run in the 23 October presidential election, raised dust with a statement for the Siol.net news portal about "media being paid to attack those who think differently". The former information commissioner specifically mentioned Požareport, Nova24TV, Reporter and Necenzurirano.
        LJUBLJANA - July was the hottest month on record in Ljubljana in terms of the mean monthly temperature, which stood at 24.4 degrees Celsius, the Environment Agency announced. Record temperatures for July were also recorded in many other locations in Slovenia.
TUESDAY, 2 August
        NEW YORK, US - Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon discussed Slovenia's bid for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council in 2024-2025 at the 10th Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, stressing this was not a project of the previous government, but Slovenia's project.
        LJUBLJANA - Health Minister Daniel Bešič Loredan said the share of EU funds Slovenia has so far drawn for health projects is rather low, noting the would focus on phasing as much money as possible within available time window.
        LJUBLJANA - Renovation works on the main building of UKC Ljubljana worth over EUR 70 million are planned to start shortly, but media report the open call to select the contractor for the energy renovation segment was flawed. Although the hospital has dismissed the allegations, the Health Ministry said that if the allegations transpired to be true, the drawing of EU funds would be halted.
        LJUBLJANA - First estimates show the damage the severe drought has caused to crops will be extensive. Maize and grass have been hit the worst so far, with output expected to be cut by 50%, according to data the Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry.
        LJUBLJANA - The price of regular petrol and diesel sold at service stations outside the motorway network in Slovenia dropped by 8.6 cents and 2.3 cents, respectively. A litre of petrol costs EUR 1.534 and diesel EUR 1.676. The new prices will be in place for a day more than usually, for 15 days, because of a bank holiday.
        BRNO, Czechia/ŠENČUR - Solitea, a Czech group offering ICT solutions, acquired another Slovenian company, Vasco, after buying SAOP in 2016. Solitea did not disclose the price of the deal, which is still subject to regulatory approval, but business newspaper Finance said it was in the EUR 30 million range.
        SOLKAN - After a week-long shutdown due to low water levels of the Soča river, the first since 2003, the Solkan Hydropower Plant was brought back online following rainfall in the Bovec area, upstream from the power plant.
        LJUBLJANA - Bojan Babič, the director of the Ljubljana administrative unit, confirmed for Delo that he had been notified by Public Administration Minister Sanja Ajanović Hovnik that he would be dismissed at the end of August. The unit has been a target of much criticism since the outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic.
        MARIBOR - The newspaper Večer reported that Maribor Prosecutor's Office had filed charges against five former border police officers who were arrested in February 2020 over suspicion that they had stamped the passports of third-country nationals to allow them to unlawfully prolong their stay in the Schengen zone beyond the permitted 90-day period.
        LJUBLJANA - Ludvik Poljanec, who has successfully represented Slovenian citizens before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) as layman, announced he would run in the 23 October presidential election. He plans to collect 5,000 votr signatures in support of his bid.
        LJUBLJANA - The number of registered jobless people was up slightly in July over the month before, by 0.9% to 54,341, while this represents a drop of 23.1% compared to the same period last year, the Employment Service reported.
        KOSTANJEVICA NA KRASU - A campaign started in the part of the Kras region south of Nova Gorica to remove the wood biomass that has been left behind the devastating fire that raged in the area in the second half of July. Around 5,000 cubic metres of wood biomass that could serve as ignition and fuel for new fires needs to be removed by 20 August.

THURSDAY, 4 August
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's exports went up by 32.1% and imports by 47% in the first six months compared to the same period last year, while an external trade deficit of EUR 2.2 billion was recorded. In June, Slovenia exported a record EUR 5.3 billion of goods (up 57.2% year on year) and imported a record of EUR 4.8 billion (up 40%).
        LJUBLJANA - The gaming company Elektronček Group, owned by entrepreneur Joc Pečečnik, announced the acquisition of the company Costella, whose most valuable asset is a water extraction concession valid until 2035. According to unofficial information of the business newspaper Finance, Elektronček is to pay less than EUR 5 million for the company.
        LJUBLJANA - Public Administration Minister Sanja Ajanović Hovnik said that her dismissing Bojan Babič as the director of the Ljubljana administrative unit was not a politically motivated decision as she announced a broader restructuring of administrative units. Babič agreed with the assessment and will not appeal, a deputy head has already been appointed.


30 Jul 2022, 14:10 PM

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, 22 July
        MOSCOW, Russia - Russia added Slovenia on the list of countries considered unfriendly by the Kremlin, which means Slovenia will no longer be allowed to hire employees for its diplomatic missions in Russia. The Foreign Ministry regretted the move, but said it had no effect on Slovenia's embassy in Moscow.
        LJUBLJANA - Andriy Taran, Ukraine's new ambassador, presented his credentials to President Borut Pahor, thus formally starting his service in Slovenia. Taran, a former Ukrainian defence minister, succeeds as ambassador Mykhailo Brodovych, who had served in Slovenia since 2015.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia welcomed the European Commission's plan for EU countries to reduce gas consumption by 15% if necessary in response to the Russian gas supply crisis. Chamber of Commerce and Industry boss Aleš Cantarutti quoted a survey finding Slovenia's industry could reduce gas consumption by 10%.
        LJUBLJANA - Due to rising Covid figures, the Covid-19 task force recommended for face masks to be be reintroduced in all indoor public spaces and that they become mandatory in healthcare institutions. They also urged vulnerable groups and those over 60 to work from home and get vaccinated.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Commission approved Slovenia's EUR 2.1 million scheme for state aid to primary food producers impacted by the war in Ukraine. Farmers will receive grants to cover higher prices of energy, animal feed, fuel and raw materials.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's banks, including market leaders NLB and NKBM, announced they will stop charging negative interest rates on large deposits of individuals and legal entities starting from 1 August, after the ECB raised its key interest rates.
        LJUBLJANA - Business sentiment in Slovenia deteriorated by 1.7 percentage points in July over June, and by 7.2 points year-on-year to -1.1 percentage points as consumer confidence worsened.

        LJUBLJANA - Vojko Volk, a seasoned diplomat and advisor to PM Robert Golob, told Večer in an interview that by entering the Schengen area, Croatia would, legally speaking, recognise the borders of the countries already in the area, including Slovenia, and thus indirectly the border arbitration award.
        BOVEC - Addressing the annual get-together of his Democratic Party (SDS), former PM Janez Janša expressed the confidence that the candidate supported by the SDS would win this year's presidential election while noting the party being as a rule successful in local elections, to be held in the autumn.
        LJUBLJANA - A tonne and a half of fish was found dead in Mali Graben, a river canal of the Gradaščica river in Ljubljana, in a second major incident in the Gradaščica after decomposing pork was found in the water a fortnight ago. A subsequent lab test could not confirm presence of toxic substances in the water samples, but lab officials believe the water was contaminated.

SUNDAY, 24 July
        KOSTANJEVICA NA KRASU - After more than a week, the wildfire in Kras, the largest ever in Slovenia, was brought under control. It affected over 3,500 hectares of wood and farmland but people's homes and lives were spared. In total more than 10,000 voluntary and professional firefighters and 1,200 support staff were involved in the effort along with aircraft from Slovenia, all four neighbouring countries as well as Romania, Slovakia and Serbia. Visiting the area PM Robert Golob announced a comprehensive plan to be drawn up to protect Kras against such fires in the future and President Borut Pahor praised the remarkable solidarity displayed by everyone involved. Pahor phoned the presidents of all the countries involved to thank them.
        LJUBLJANA - A poll commissioned by the commercial broadcaster POP TV showed the voter approval rating for the Robert Golob government falling by two percentage points to 51% in a month, and Golob's Freedom Movement polling slightly lower at 27.8% as the opposition Democrats (SDS) stayed put at 18.8%. The result suggests merging with the LMŠ and SAB had not paid off for the Freedom Movement.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia saw a natural decrease in population for the fifth consecutive year in 2021 as the number of births dropped to just 18,984, and 23,261 people died, Statistics Office data showed.
        PARIS, France - Tadej Pogačar, the 26-year-old Slovenian UAE Team Emirates rider, failed to defend his two-time Tour de France title, finished as the runner-up to Dane Jonas Vingegaard of Team Jumbo-Visma. Still, he won his third straight white jersey of the best young rider.

MONDAY, 25 July
        LJUBLJANA - Marjan Eberlinc, CEO of the gas transmission system operator Plinovodi, told Radio Slovenija that Slovenia was managing the gas supply situation very well given the developments in the wake of the war in Ukraine with no disruption to supply so far. He said there would be quite a few alternative options for Slovenia if Russia indeed cut off gas supply to Europe.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia confirmed 2,939 new cases of coronavirus in a nearly-four-month high as modelling expert Janez Žibert assessed the summer wave of infections had plateaued with the 7-day remaining at around 1,600 for a week. This was a day after the country saw the highest daily death toll among patients with Covid in more than three months, numbering eight.
        LJUBLJANA - Fresh data from the Statistics Office showed visitors spent almost two million nights in Slovenia's tourism accommodation facilities in June, which is nearly double year-on-year and a third of the total figure for the first half of 2022. The figures thus virtually reached pre-epidemic levels.
        LJUBLJANA - The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food temporarily protected at the national level a type of sheep milk cheese from the Istria region, Istrski ovčji sir/Istarski ovčji sir, using a protected designation of origin in a move initiated by Slovenian and Croatian sheep breeders.
        VELENJE - Fourteen miners sustained light injuries as a stope collapsed at the Velenje coal mine, but they managed to get out of the pit by themselves.
        LJUBLJANA - The safe-internet use portal Safe.si released the results of a survey showing that one out of three female secondary school students, and one out of four girls at primary schools aged 12-15 had considered getting plastic surgery as a result of beauty standards posted on social media.
        LJUBLJANA - As part of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of architecture mastermind Jože Plečnik, Ljubljana introduced a new city bus to visit 28 of the best known Ljubljana landmarks designed by him.

TUESDAY, 26 July
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - Infrastructure Minister Bojan Kumer said there would be no cuts to gas supplies to Slovenian households this winter after EU ministers in charge of energy agreed a voluntary 15% reduction in gas demand.
        LJUBLJANA - Acting Police Commissioner Boštjan Lindav, talking with the STA in an interview, listed staff shortages in the police force and restore the autonomy of the uniformed and criminal police and the National Bureau of Investigation as key challenges he is planning to take on.
        LJUBLJANA - Acting Police Commissioner Boštjan Lindav reappointed Darko Muženič director of the National Bureau of Investigation after he was dismissed in early May 2020 under the previous government.
        LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian authorities condemned the executions of four democracy activists in Myanmar in the strongest terms, with the Foreign Ministry tweeting that the military junta's actions represented an escalation of repression and their contempt for human rights.
        LJUBLJANA - The Pirate Party announced it will endorse lawyer Nataša Pirc Musar's bid in the 23 October presidential election under a decision taken by this non-parliamentary party at the 23 July congress.
        LJUBLJANA - The government approved co-financing of public rental housing from the recovery and resilience plan for a total of 34 projects as part of which a total of 1,036 housing units will be constructed. The total amount of grants is EUR 60 million.
        LJUBLJANA - Under a plan approved by the government on 22 July, army and firefighting tank trucks started transporting water to the coastal region, which is facing shortages due to severe drought. In a EUR 2.85 million project water is being extracted from the river Unica, north of Postojna, and brought to a water works facility near Črni Kal to be treated. The first such operation in the country started just as the region got some of the much needed rain.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH) and investment firm Meta Ventures reached an out-of-court settlement in a dispute over SSH's sale in 2020 of the state's 49% stake in Meta Ingenium, a company that at the time held 10.8% of biotech firm Bia Separations. SSH will get an additional EUR 2.09 million for the stake, plus variable part of the proceeds based on Bia Separations' results over next three years.
        KOPER - After being defrocked by the Vatican church court for sexually abusing a minor, former priest Anton Kmet will not be tried in Slovenia as the case became statute barred.
        CHISINAU, Moldova - The Slovenian football champions Maribor were eliminated from the UEFA Champions League qualifying, after being defeated by Moldova's FC Sheriff 0:1 on aggregate in the second round. They will now face HJK Helsinki in the third qualifying round of the Europa League.

        KYIV, Ukraine - Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon visited Ukraine to express Slovenia's support and solidarity with the country, meeting her counterpart Dmytro Kuleba, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitchko and investment office head Sergiy Tsivkach. She promised Slovenia's support both in dealing with the consequences of the war and efforts to join the EU. The next day she announced an additional package of aid for the country.
        LJUBLJANA - The Government Office for the Support and Integration of Migrants said it had increased capacity in the Ljubljana asylum centre and moved vulnerable groups to the Logatec branch following a report by the web portal N1 that police had filed a criminal complaint over a rape of an underage girl there in early May and NGOs raised concerns over overcrowded and worrying conditions.
        LJUBLJANA - German flag carrier Lufthansa cancelled scheduled flights to and from Ljubljana due to a strike by ground staff that affected more than 1,000 flights from and to Munich and Frankfurt.
        AUGSBURG, Germany - Slovenia opened the 2022 Canoe Slalom World Championships successfully as Benjamin Savšek, Luka Božič and Anže Berčič won the gold medal in the men's C1 team event and Eva Terčelj, Ajda Novak and Eva Alina Hočevar won silver the women's kayak team event.

        LJUBLJANA - The government adopted a bill to reduce VAT on electricity, natural gas, firewood and district heating for all consumers from 22% to 9.5%. The lower rate will apply for the heating season, from 1 September to 31 May next year. The lower VAT will result in EUR 130 million less budged receipts.
        NOVA GORICA - The Solkan Hydropower Plant was temporarily shut down due to extremely low flow of the Soča river caused by prolonged drought. The plant realised only 54% of the planned output in the first half of the year, similar as power plants on the Drava and Sava.
        LJUBLJANA - The government tasked the Ministry of Defence to draw up a damage assessment report in the wake of the wildfire in Kras based on which Slovenia will seek aid from the EU Solidarity Fund.
        NEW YORK, UN - The UN General Assembly adopted a historic resolution declaring access to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment a universal human right. The resolution was proposed by a group of countries, with Slovenia playing a significant role as a co-leader of the process.
        LJUBLJANA - After filing for referenda challenging the new laws on the government and the public broadcaster, the opposition Democrats (SDS) initiated procedures for a referendum a law delaying the implementation of the long-term care act, which was passed under the previous government.
        LJUBLJANA - The police administration announced that staff from the new motorway police units in Koper, Celje and Maribor will be temporarily assigned to the respective road traffic police stations on 1 August due to severe staff shortages. This leaves only the Ljubljana motorway police unit operational.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia improved its ranking in the EU's Digital Economy and Society Index placing eleventh in what is the best result so far. It is above EU average

16 Jul 2022, 07:00 AM

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, 8 July
        LJUBLJANA - The Constitutional Court legalised same-sex marriage and adoptions with immediate effect after finding legislation under which only heterosexual partners can marry and adopt children to be in contravention of the constitutional ban on discrimination. The court gave parliament six months to amend the law, as the government and the gay community welcomed the decision.
        LJUBLJANA - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked European countries, including Slovenia, for their support for Ukraine in its fight for freedom as he addressed the National Assembly via video call. He also called on Slovenian companies to join Ukraine's post-war reconstruction. The event was attended by Slovenia's top officials, President Borut Pahor, PM Robert Golob and speakers of both houses of parliament.
        LJUBLJANA - The government adopted an emergency bill estimated at over EUR 200 million that is designed to reduce waiting times for health services. The core provision is the removal of the cap on the number of services the ZZZS public health insurer pays in a given year for the period between 1 September 2022 and end-2023.
        LJUBLJANA - Interior Minister Tatjana Bobnar announced the Slovenian army will start removing razor wire from the border with Croatia in the week starting on 11 July, an effort expected to take 150 days. The razor wire and the fence were put up in the wake of the 2015/16 migration crisis.
        LJUBLJANA - The government established a centre in Postojna to accommodate 120 Ukrainian citizens who have been granted or requested temporary protection status. The first to move will be vulnerable Ukrainian citizens who are currently at the asylum centre in Logatec.
        LJUBLJANA - The government amended a regulation on renewable sources in transport in a bid to keep fuel prices in check giving Slovenian fuel retailers greater leeway in determining how much biofuel they add to their fuels.
        POSTOJNA - TV Slovenija reported that two Ukrainian staff had allegedly physically abused Ukrainian orphans staying in Slavina near Postojna. The local social centre received several anonymous complaints and the Labour Ministry suspended the two teachers replacing them with Slovenian ones. Oversight has been beefed up.

        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's treasury extended the issue of three bonds with a total value of just under EUR 405.5 million in what the first long-term borrowing under the new government of Robert Golob. This puts Slovenia's total long-term borrowing this year at EUR 3.27 billion.
        LJUBLJANA - Delo reported that a building appearing in a new Marvel series movie is very similar to the Kolašin WWII memorial complex Slovenian architect Marko Mušič designed in Montenegro in the mid-1970s, wondering whether this could be a case of a potential copyright infringement.

SUNDAY, 10 July
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenian ICT companies generated EUR 4.55 billion in revenue in 2020, 2% more than in 2019 and 34% more that a decade earlier. Their value added reached EUR 1.74 billion, 10% more than in 2019, and the number of people working in the sector exceeded 30,000, data from the Statistics Office shows.

MONDAY, 11 July
        LJUBLJANA - The Energy Agency urged Slovenian gas consumers to use natural gas with care as a precaution as it declared stage one warning to notify the public of potential disruption to supply in the future in case of reduced supplies from Russia. Companies in Slovenia are looking for alternatives, but the business chambers said this would take time, funds and cooperation, while they also expect the state to help out.
        PRAGUE, Czech Republic - Interior Minister Tanja Bobnar attended an informal EU ministerial in Prague, telling her colleagues the Slovenian police has not yet detected major security threats stemming from the war in Ukraine, but is paying close attention, including to potential human trafficking.
        LJUBLJANA - The Advocate of the Principle of Equality urged legislative changes after reviewing the international protection act to find potential discrimination in provisions on unaccompanied minors seeking international protection. The Interior Ministry said it is willing to cooperate with oversight bodies.
        LJUBLJANA - Lawyer Nataša Pirc Musar is in the lead in the presidential race, according to a poll conducted by Mediana for public broadcaster RTV Slovenija. She enjoys the support of 23.9% of respondents and is followed by ex-Foreign Minister Anže Logar (16.6%) and Freedom Movement vice-president Marta Kos (14.4%). Kos meanwhile dismissed ex-Slovenian President Milan Kučan's argument that it would be inadmissible to have members of one party holding the top three posts in the state. She believes Kučan's argument is being abused by some other presidential candidates to disqualify her from the presidential race.
        MARIBOR - The shareholders of NKBM bank decided to sell NKBM's leasing firm Summit Leasing Slovenija to Biser Topco, the Luxembourg-based owner of NKBM's owner Biser Bidco, which is owned by the US Apollo fund and the EBRD.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's electricity output dropped by over 8% in 2021 while consumption rose by 3%. The country's output met 83% of its needs, down almost 10 points from 2020 but on a par with pre-pandemic years, Energy Agency data shows.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's consumption of natural gas rose by 6% in 2021 over the year before to a record 10,163 GWh since 2010, Energy Agency data shows. The total consumption increased with all gas consumers, and is attributed to an increase in the number of gas users and colder weather.
        COPENHAGEN, Denmark - Slovenia's capital Ljubljana and the country's second largest city Maribor fared poorly among 344 cities in the European Environment Agency's city air quality rankings - placing 279th (poor air quality) and 207th (moderately clean air), respectively.
        KLAGENFURT, Austria - Florjan Lipuš, one of the most important Slovenian minority writers in the Austrian state of Carinthia, received the Grand Golden Badge of Honour of Carinthia for his contribution to the preservation of the Slovenian language and for major literary work.
        LJUBLJANA - A total of 5,194 final-year secondary school students or some 95% passed the national school-leaving exam, known as the matura exam, which is close to last year's 97%. A total of 302 students passed it with flying colours, the same as last year, while the number of candidates that scored all points, rose by 3 to 18.

TUESDAY, 12 July
        BERLIN, Germany - PM Robert Golob paid his first bilateral visit to Germany. The meeting with Chancellor Olaf Scholz focussed on the war in Ukraine and its ramifications, EU enlargement, and bilateral cooperation. Golob said the goal of getting through the winter without Russian gas was very ambitious but attainable if the EU works together. Golob and Scholz agreed that the Western Balkans had been in the waiting room for EU membership for too long.
        LJUBLJANA - The newspaper Finance reported that Slovenian hauliers pay a lower diesel price at Petrol service stations along motorways compared to the prices others pay, as they have commercial agreements with Petrol under which diesel costs the same as outside Slovenia's motorways. Business chambers confirmed the news. The Infrastructure Ministry declined to comment, while Minister Bojan Kumer said at the end of June there would be no such double prices in Slovenia.
        LJUBLJANA - The European Commission filed a lawsuit against Slovenia for failing to transpose the EU directive on electronic communications. A bill that would replace the 2024 electronic communications act was voted down twice under the previous government over provisions which would allow Chinese provider Huawei's exclusion.
        LENDAVA - It was revealed that the Administrative Court ruled in June that Hungarian minority MP Ferenc Horvath did not breach incompatibility of dual office rules when also serving on the council of a Hungarian minority organisation. Horvath said the court had found no conflict of interest because he represented the interests of the Hungarian community in both offices, and ordered the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption to change its decision concerning Horvath.
        LJUBLJANA - The opposition New Slovenia (NSi) expressed its opposition to the government's decision to remove the razor wire from the border with Croatia, arguing it had been taken without a security assessment and cannot be justified from the aspect of migrations and security.
        LJUBLJANA - The Economy Ministry allocated EUR 69 million to 20 projects to develop and restructure ski resorts into all-year mountain centres and construct additional or renovate the existing accommodation facilities. However, Kanin, one of the main ski resorts in dire need of an upgrade, did not make the cut.
        LJUBLJANA - The ZZZS public health insurance fund said the government-proposed EUR 200 million emergency bill aiming to cut waiting times in healthcare will not stabilise the healthcare system. The fund believes waiting lists should be brought up to date first to see how many staff and how much funds are actually needed.
        LJUBLJANA - Big Bang, the largest Slovenian consumer electronics retailer, announced it had signed a contract to acquire Sancta Domenica, one of the largest Croatian retailers in the same segment to created a strong regional player with 30 shops in two countries.
        LJUBLJANA - The newspaper Dnevnik reported that after Slovenian retailer Mercator had been transformed from a joint stock company into a limited liability company at the beginning of July, its owner Fortenova is planning to merge certain business functions of Mercator and Croatian retail chain Konzum. The Mercator brand is to be preserved.

        LJUBLJANA - The newspaper Delo reported the government is in talks to potentially buy Polish KTO Rosomak troop carriers, which would cost about half the price of the 45 German-made Boxers ordered by the previous government, a deal the new government subjected to an internal review. Previous Defence Minister Matej Tonin warned the KTO Rosomak vehicles are outdated and provide a lower level of safety.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Commission released its third annual Rule of Law Report, with Vice President Vera Jourova saying that past developments in the media in Slovenia, including the suspension of STA financing, had prompted the Commission to start thinking about media rules that would apply to all EU states. The justice and culture ministries as well as human rights ombudsman welcomed the report, with the Journalist Trade Union saying Slovenian media landscape was at a crossroads.
        KOUROU, French Guiana - Trisat-R, a nanosatellite developed at Slovenia's University of Maribor, was launched in space in French Guiana as the third Slovenian satellite to date, in what the university hailed as "a pioneering mission" in which only three European countries are taking part - Slovenia, France and Italy.
        MARIBOR - Franc Kangler, an ex-state secretary who served as Maribor mayor in 2006-2012, will not get EUR 588,000 in damages as the Ljubljana District Court rejected in a retrial his compensation claims for the trials in which he was either acquitted or the charges were dropped, according to the media. He is only entitled to EUR 50,000 for wrongful conviction in a case concerning a flat fortune teller Karin Ježovita received from the municipality.
        SERRE CHEVALIER, France - Half way through the 2022 Tour de France, Slovenia's defending champion Tadej Pogačar lost the yellow jersey of the overall leader at the world's most prestigious road cycling race, finishing 11th stage in 7th place.

        LJUBLJANA - Electricity prices for households and small and medium-sized companies will be capped from 1 September to August 2023, and households will pay between 15% and 60% less for electricity than now, depending on provider, Infrastructure Minister Bojan Kumer announced.
        LJUBLJANA - PM Robert Golob appealed for political unity as he set out his government's plans to ensure energy and food security and address rising prices and inflation in parliament. The government plans to double strategic food reserves and replenish fuel reserves, as it declared level 1 threat with respect to electricity production.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Commission upgraded its forecast for Slovenia's GDP growth from 3.7% to 5.4% for this year, but it expects growth to slow down sharply to just 1% in 2023 compared to its earlier projection of 3.1%. Slovenia is expected to enjoy the second highest growth rate in the EU after Portugal this year based on a strong carry-on effect from last year.
        LJUBLJANA - Parliament passed an emergency bill designed to tackle long wait times for health services by securing more money and prepare the system for a more sweeping reform that is to follow. It lifts the cap on the value and number of services that the public health insurer pays in a given year.
        LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly endorsed the bill ratifying the NATO accession protocols for Finland and Sweden. Only the coalition Left reiterated its opposition to NATO enlargement and advocacy of Slovenia's quitting the alliance, voting against. PM Robert Golob said on the occasion that Finland and Sweden's decision to join NATO was "historic".
        LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly unanimously ratified an agreement between Slovenia and Italy on solidarity measures to safeguard the security of gas supply under which Slovenia can ask Italy to supply gas to protected customers in the event of supply disruptions, and vice versa.
        LJUBLJANA - The MPs passed an omnibus act filed to parliament with voter signatures to change eleven laws passed under the previous government that the 8 March Institute NGO deemed harmful to equality, human rights and the rule of law. The act restores the legislation to the state before it was amended by the Janez Janša government in fast-track procedures or without consulting experts.
        LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly passed changes to the act on RTV Slovenija with which the government would like to reduce what it sees as the influence of politics on the public broadcaster. Under the changes, the existing programming council and the supervisory board will be replaced with a single council with 17 members in which more power would be given to the civil society and staff.
        LJUBLJANA - The government adopted a bill on personal data protection that aims to transpose the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) into Slovenia's legislation. The Information Commissioner welcomed the move, noting that Slovenia remains the only EU member state that failed to draft new legislation following the GDPR.
        LJUBLJANA - Pharmaceutical company Lek confirmed reports it had discovered an error in its calculations of wages which led to its staff being underpaid in the last 20 years by a combined total of about EUR 100 million. Lek plans to reimburse all current and former employees for the last five years with default interest for the last three years, the minimum required by law, despite appeals by trade unions for more money.
        LJUBLJANA - A further 1,738 people tested positive for coronavirus in Slovenia in the latest daily count, an increase of 6% from the same day a week ago. Hospitalisations rose by 12 to 66 in a week, with ICU cases down by one to seven.


09 Jul 2022, 09:58 AM

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, 1 July
        LJUBLJANA - The government announced that the state will purchase through the Agency for Commodity Reserves the entire wheat crop to provide a "clear buyer and stable price" to farmers. It will also provide more than EUR 22 million in aid to farmers to ease the impact of growing prices of inputs.
        LJUBLJANA - The government adopted a bill to reform management and oversight at RTV Slovenija to reduce what is perceived as political meddling with the public broadcaster. The changes to the RTV Slovenija act from 2005 aim to abolish the programme council and the board to introduce a single RTV Slovenija council made up mostly of staff and civil society representatives appointed not just by parliament but by various stakeholders.
        BERLIN, Germany - Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon met her German counterpart Annalena Baerbock, with the pair signing a joint action plan on three-year strategic cooperation and announcing further strengthening of cooperation between Slovenia and Germany, also relating to Ukraine.
        LJUBLJANA - Jana Ahčin, a former director of the Financial Administration (FURS), was appointed Court of Audit president by the National Assembly. She will take over for nine years as the court's first woman president. Milan M. Cvikl, a former Slovenian member of the European Court of Auditors, was named vice-governor of the central bank.
        LJUBLJANA - The Justice Ministry announced it had drafted a bill dedicated to protecting whistleblowers, which would now go into public consultation until 10 August. The bill provides protection to whistleblowers reporting irregularities in their place of work.
        LJUBLJANA - Andrej Matvoz stayed on at the helm of the Competition Protection Agency as the government dismissed Zlatko Ratej as the acting director on the day he was to take over from Matvoz, and appointed the latter as the acting director.
        LJUBLJANA - Some 86% or a combined total of EUR 468.4 million worth of the 2020 and 2021 tourist vouchers was cashed in, shows data by the Financial Administration (FURS), and EUR 75.27 million was left unredeemed by Thursday, the last day of voucher validity.

        SLOVENSKA BISTRICA - President Borut Pahor decorated a former Territorial Defence unit based in Slovenjska Bistrica with the Order of Freedom for having taken over a weapons facility from the Yugoslav National Army during Slovenia's 1991 Independence War.
        KIDRIČEVO - The 2x400 kilovolt Cirkovce-Pince transmission line, the first cross-border link between Slovenia's and Hungary's national grids, became operational after almost two years of construction.
        IG - Marko Balažic was elected the leader of the non-parliamentary People's Party (SLS) at an election congress in what was practically a unanimous vote. He said that the SLS must once again become a strong moderate party and that Slovenia needed a liberal state and conservative politics.
        LAUSANNE, Switzerland - Climber Janja Garnbret continued her winning streak, taking first place in women's lead event in Villars, Switzerland, earning her 50th world cup podium and 34th first place, a new record for the sport.

SUNDAY, 3 July
        STOCKHOLM, Sweden - Slovenia finished the first round of qualifying for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup second in their group having scraped past Sweden 84:81 after a nail-biting finish. NBA stars Luka Dončić and Goran Dragić scored 51 points between them as Dragić likely bid farewell to the national team as its top overall scorer in history.

MONDAY, 4 July
        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor and his Kosovo counterpart Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu said a peaceful and secure future for the Western Balkans lay in the context of European and Euro-Atlantic integration. The pair said Slovenia and Kosovo shared the same views on the Western Balkans.
        LJUBLJANA - Former Foreign Minister Anže Logar announced his intention to run for president in the autumn election. He has the support of his party, the opposition Democrats (SDS), but will formally enter the race with the support of vote signatures.
        LJUBLJANA - Pay talks between the government and public sector trade unions got off to a rocky start as the government backtracked on its promise to raise the value of individual pay brackets, offering instead one-off bonuses. Unions said they were outraged and demanded the negotiators get a fresh mandate from the government.
        BRDO PRI KRANJU - The OECD recommends to Slovenia in its latest report to focus on high inflation in the short term and then accelerate reforms that would increase productivity, make growth more sustainable and address population ageing. Absence of reforms is to put additional pressure on pensions, healthcare and the labour market. The government welcomed the recommendations.
        BRDO PRI KRANJU - Slovenia's central bank Governor Boštjan Vasle said that to fight high inflation, the European Central Bank (ECB) will increase its key interest rate by 0.25 base points in July and by another 0.5 points in September.
        LJUBLJANA - Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu presented the Slovenian Armed Forces with the highest presidential military decoration of Kosovo, Presidential Military Medal.
        LJUBLJANA - In what is the latest verdict in the biggest healthcare corruption case in Slovenia yet, the Ljubljana District Court handed down a three year prison sentence to Nataša Faganeli, the head of the pharmacy at the Valdoltra orthopaedic hospital, who was found guilty of demanding and accepting kickbacks.

        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor hosted a working lunch for Albania's outgoing President Ilir Meta, with the pair underlining the importance of EU enlargement to the Western Balkans and Pahor warning against an idea of a more vague political community which would not see the region integrated in the EU.
        LJUBLJANA - The People's Coalition, an ad-hoc group opposing strict coronavirus measures, including vaccination, filed to parliament a petition supported with more than the required 2,500 signatures for a referendum on the changes to the infectious diseases act, which were passed on 29 June.
        LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Labour Committee called on the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities to hire more labour inspectors by the end of next year as it met upon coalition MPs' request in the wake of reports revealing grave labour and hygiene conditions in fish-processing companies Marinblu and Selea.
        LJUBLJANA - The number of registered jobless continued to decline in June reaching a new post-1990 low. At the end of the month, 53,860 unemployed persons were registered at the Employment Service, down 3.6% on May and 24.2% fewer year-on-year.
        LJUBLJANA - State budget revenue in the first half of the year totalled EUR 6.4 billion and expenditure EUR 6.5 billion for a deficit of EUR 128 million, preliminary data from the Finance Ministry showed. The figure compares to a deficit of EUR 1.965 billion in the same period last year.
        LJUBLJANA - The Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC) halted the procedure to sell an almost 13% share in chemical company Cinkarna Celje although it received two binding bids. It said the sale would not be appropriate under the current conditions and circumstances.

        ZAGREB - Slovenian FM Tanja Fajon and her Croatian counterpart Gordan Grlić Radman confirmed their countries' readiness to address open issues through mutual dialogue. Fajon said that the border issue will be addressed in the same spirit, starting at an informal level and with easier matters.
        LITIJA - The National Council formally tabled devolution legislation under which Slovenia would be divided into 15 provinces with a special status for the capital Ljubljana. It is unclear whether there is a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly to secure passage of the bills.
        LJUBLJANA - State Prosecutor General Drago Šketa highlighted a severe shortage of prosecutors in Slovenia as the Justice Committee discussed the reports of the state prosecutors' work in 2021. The prosecution is almost 70 prosecutors short at the moment.
        LJUBLJANA - The news portal Necenzurirano reported that three Hungarian owners had sold their stake in NovaTV24.si, the company running TV channel NovaTV24, in a move that has already been cleared by the Ministry of Culture. The trio sold their 45% stake to Boris Tomašič, director of NovaTV24 and a long-term member of the Democrats (SDS).
        LJUBLJANA - Health Minister Danijel Bešič Loredan announced that he had appointed a national task force to coordinate hospital beds and hospital admission of Covid patients. The group will produce clear guidance on how to approach patients infected with coronavirus and patients with Covid symptoms.
        LJUBLJANA - The Ljubljana District Court has stopped minor offence proceedings over mask-wearing rule violations at a charity event organized by the Slovenian Olympic Committee in September 2020. The court ruled there was no grounds for the mask mandate.

        LJUBLJANA - Uroš Urbanija, the former director of the Government Communication Office, was endorsed by the RTV Slovenija programme council for appointment as TV Slovenija director, the TV arm of the Slovenian public broadcaster. RTV Slovenija director general Andrej Grah Whatmough is expected to appoint him next week. TV Slovenija journalists' unions see him as the most unsuitable candidate.
        LJUBLJANA - A special new advisory body of the Interior Ministry for migration policy held its first meeting with Interior Minister Tatjana Bobnar telling the attendees that the body had been tasked with drafting a new policy, based on solidarity, integration and the respect for human rights.
        MEDVODE - Kočevje Mayor Vladimir Prebilič confirmed he will run for president in the autumn election as an independent with the support of 45 mayors. He disagrees with the solely ceremonial role of the president and believes the president must help shape political life in the country.
        LJUBLJANA - The Fiscal Council said the state of public finances was steadily improving due to fast revenue growth, but warned that public spending was increasing despite the discontinuation of Covid stimulus, mostly due to measures to mitigate rising costs of living.
        NOVO MESTO - Drug maker Krka posted sales of EUR 857.4 million in the first half of the year, an increase of 6% on the year before and a new six-month record, according to preliminary estimates. Net profit was up by a third to EUR 236.2 million. Krka AGM endorsed a record dividend of EUR 5.63 gross per share, up 12.6% from last year. The shareholders will thus get a total of EUR 175 million.
        METZ, France - Tadej Pogačar won the sixth stage of the Tour de France to claim the yellow jersey of the overall leader in what is the 7th stage win at the world's most prestigious road cycling race for the 23-year-old defending champion.


02 Jul 2022, 10:13 AM

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, 24 June
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - While Slovenia did not succeed with its proposal that Bosnia-Herzegovina be granted EU candidate status along with Ukraine and Moldova at the EU summit, PM Robert Golob said an "important step" had nevertheless been taken since the country has been put back on the EU's agenda.
        LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Robert Golob has told Delo that his first official bilateral visit will be to Germany in the first half of July. He also indicated Slovenia was in no hurry when it comes to the border arbitration agreement with Croatia. He said many European countries had open issues with their neighbours.
        LJUBLJANA - In an interview with the public broadcaster TV Slovenija, President Borut Pahor talked about the international circumstances, noting that the government is in for deliberation about how to remain an ally in helping Ukraine, while wisely "regulating sanctions so that we can help ourselves".
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - The Legal Network for the Protection of Democracy, a Slovenian network of NGOs that has played a major role in challenging controversial government restrictions during the Covid pandemic was among the recipients of this year's European Citizens' Prize conferred by the European Parliament.
        LJUBLJANA - The Foreign Ministry's strategic council held its maiden session to discuss the Ukraine war. After an almost three-hour debate, Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon said that despite some differences in views, all members agreed the war should end as soon as possible.
        LJUBLJANA - Political activist Vili Kovačič launched a petition for a referendum on a bill that would allow the prime minister to shape the cabinet as he sees fit. The changes, expanding the number of ministries by three, are a disgrace for democracy, he said.

        LJUBLJANA - In an interview with the STA, Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon expressed the hope that the war in Ukraine would end as soon as possible and announced a visit to Berlin as a sign of return to the core EU countries. She will also work on having good relations with Croatia, which is however unlikely to join the Schengen Area any time soon.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia received congratulations from world leaders on Statehood Day, with President Borut Pahor getting messages from Queen Elizabeth II, US President Joe Biden, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and French President Emmanuel Macron, among others.
        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor conferred the Golden Order of Merit on Ludvik Toplak, a former rector of the University of Maribor, and Roberto Battelli, a former MP for the Italian minority, at a ceremony that also marked Statehood Day.

SUNDAY, 26 June
        KLAGENFURT, Austria - Ana Marwan, a Slovenian author who lives and works in Austria, received the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize, a prestigious prize for works in German conferred by the city of Klagenfurt. She was honoured for Wechselkröte, a piece about a woman who lives alone in a rural area and finds out she is pregnant.

MONDAY, 27 June
        LJUBLJANA - The senior coalition Freedom Movement approved with more than 90% of votes mergers with the non-parliamentary parties the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) and the Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) in an online congress. This comes after members of the LMŠ and SAB had already given the green light for the merger.
        LJUBLJANA - Nina Krajnik, a philosopher and psychoanalyst, announced she is entering the presidential race. She will run as an independent but will accept endorsement by like-minded political parties. Krajnik says her politics is different since she is creating space for "everybody's truth and desire."
        LJUBLJANA - The non-executive directors of the Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC) dismissed Andrej Lazar and Kristina Šteblaj from their positions as BAMC executive directors and appointed Mitja Križaj and Žiga Pfeifer as acting executive directors.
        LJUBLJANA - Politics must never again overpower the police force or abuse it for its particular goals, Interior Minister Tatjana Bobnar said as the country observed Slovenian Police Day. She intends to restore the public's trust in the force and has also apologised for what she sees as unacceptable actions under the previous government.
        RIJEKA, Croatia - Minister for Slovenians Abroad Matej Arčon visited Rijeka for his first official visit to the Slovenian community in Croatia. Arčon said the Government Office for Slovenians Abroad would like to be proactive in setting clear goals for the next four years together with members of the community.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson responded to a public letter from five Slovenian MEPs on Austria's decision to extend controls at the border with Slovenia. She agreed with the EU court that such checks can only be a measure of last resort and should be introduced for a limited period of time.
        LJUBLJANA - The Constitutional Court added the mask mandate introduced by the previous government in closed public spaces in 2020 to the list of unconstitutional measures related to the epidemic, again stressing that legislative changes as opposed to only decrees were necessary for such interventions.
TUESDAY, 28 June
        LJUBLJANA - Marta Kos, vice-president of the Freedom Movement, officially announced her bid for the presidency of the republic. The first of the candidates so far to run with the support of a parliamentary party, Kos said she was "proud to be a representative of the progressive forces that restored people's dignity and hope for the future after two difficult years of backwardness."
        LJUBLJANA - A new advisory group for Covid-19 at the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) was formed, a move that Health Minister Danijel Bešič Loredan said meant the management of the pandemic had been taken over by experts. The group will be headed by Mario Fafangel, the director of the NIJZ centre for communicable diseases.
        LJUBLJANA - The government approved motions for Slovenia to sign the NATO accession protocols of Sweden and Finland. The approval was given in a correspondence session just as a three-day NATO summit was starting.
        LJUBLJANA - The supervisory board of the Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH) and CEO Janez Žlak reached an agreement on early termination of service, the SSH said in a press release. Žlak's term will expire on 31 August, allowing undisturbed operations and decision-making.
        LJUBLJANA - Minister for Slovenians Abroad Matej Arčon held online meetings with representatives of Slovenian associations in Germany and the US. He invited all of them to actively participate in the European Capital of Culture 2025 project and announced regular meetings on a monthly basis.
        LJUBLJANA - The Constitutional Court rejected an appeal by former PM Janez Janša against the statute barring of the Patria bribery case. While Janša felt denied a chance to prove his innocence, the court said he had no standing since statute barring is fully equivalent to an acquittal.

        MADRID, Spain - Prime Minister Robert Golob announced Slovenia would accelerate defence spending to reach the target 2% of GDP before the current deadline of 2030. He said this was required because of altered international circumstances.
        LJUBLJANA - The Foreign Policy Committee endorsed motions for Slovenia to sign the NATO accession protocols of Sweden and Finland. Both countries decided to apply for NATO membership due to Russia's attack on Ukraine, and every country has the right to decide autonomously which alliance to join, committee members noted.
        LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly passed changes to the communicable diseases that introduce parliamentary oversight of pandemic restrictions. While coalition parties backed the bill because it rectifies the segments of the law that were found to be unconstitutional, the opposition Democrats (SDS) voted against, and New Slovenia (NSi) abstained.
        LJUBLJANA - The opposition SDS initiated a referendum on the act governing the composition of government in a bid to thwart the new government's plans to expand the number of ministries. Collection of the required 40,000 signatures is expected to start in September.
        LJUBLJANA - MPs rejected a series if bills tabled by the opposition, including a proposal to scrap the compulsory subscription fee for public broadcaster RTV Slovenija, and changes to the act governing the STA that would put the government rather than the National Assembly in charge of appointing supervisors.
        LJUBLJANA - It was announced that Boštjan Mlačnik, who has so far served as the head of investigations, would take over from Petra Grah Lazar as director of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
        LJUBLJANA - The Ministry of Economic Development and Technology decided to distribute almost EUR 1.83 million to ten airlines in a public tender for subsidies to improve Slovenia's air connectivity with the world. The selected airlines will perform more than 700 flights between Ljubljana and other countries as part of the deal.
        LJUBLJANA - After her predecessor launched proceedings for the eviction of several NGOs renting out the Culture Ministry's premises in Ljubljana's Metelkova Street, Asta Vrečko, the new culture minister, announced that the procedures would be terminated.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia will receive EUR 1.49 billion in grants from the EU post-Covid recovery mechanism, which is almost EUR 286 million less than the initial allocation, show recalculations by the European Commission. The lower amount is a result of more favourable economic trends in 2020 and 2021 than originally estimated.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's annual inflation rate accelerated to 10.4% in June, up 2.3 percentage points from May, driven by rising prices of petroleum products, food and electricity, the Statistics Office said. The monthly rate stood at 2.7%, an increase of 0.7 percentage points on the back of higher prices of electricity, vacation packages and food.
        MADRID - Prime Minister Robert Golob warned NATO not to overlook the Western Balkans as it strengthens its presence on its eastern flank as part of a new deterrence and defence posture. In the framework of NATO's new deterrence and defence posture, Slovenia is willing to "act primarily where it can contribute the most" - in the Western Balkans, he said.
        MADRID, Spain - Slovenia wants Croatia to enter the Schengen zone as soon as possible, but numerous dilemmas must be resolved since the Schengen zone does not currently work, Prime Minister Robert Golob said.
        LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly launched a parliamentary inquiry into suspicions of illegal financing of "party political propaganda in the media with funds of state-owned companies, state institutions or foreign institutions or entities" targeting media owned by or linked with the SDS.
        LJUBLJANA - Milan Krek, the director of the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) handed in his resignation citing "unbearable political pressure" by the new government. The council of the NIJZ appointed Branko Gabrovec, who has been with the NIJZ since 2014, acting director.

25 Jun 2022, 10:11 AM

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, 17 June
        BRUSSELS, Belgium/OHRID, North Macedonia - PM Robert Golob said he would propose that Bosnia and Herzegovina be granted EU candidate status at the next EU summit. He acknowledged that a single member state can prevent this process, but hopes reason will prevail.
        LJUBLJANA - The Foreign Ministry said Slovenia would pay legal expenses to Croatia over its border arbitration-related lawsuit against Croatia before the EU Court of Justice, which rendered the lawsuit inadmissible. The ministry said Slovenia saw this issue as part of the procedure to implement the 2017 border arbitration award.
        NEW YORK, US - International law expert Vasilka Sancin failed to get re-elected for another four-year term on the UN Human Rights Committee. She said her bid failed because the former government blocked her nomination, so her candidacy was submitted as the last one, in early June, almost two months after the 6 April deadline.
        LJUBLJANA - The coalition parties filed to parliament changes to the communicable diseases act that will make the country's efforts to fight infectious diseases in line with the constitution after the top court ruled a year ago Article 39 unconstitutional, giving the National Assembly two months to remedy the situation.
        LJUBLJANA - Irena Vodopivec Jean, one of the three vice-governors of Banka Slovenije, asked the parliament to be relieved of her duties for personal reasons. Her term would have expired in October 2027.
        LJUBLJANA - Legendary illustrator and painter Marlenka Stupica, best known for her illustrations of world classics such as Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Mehurčki, the collection of children's poetry by Oton Župančič (1878-1949), died aged 94.

SUNDAY, 19 June
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - Slovenia produced a proposal to grant Bosnia-Herzegovina EU candidate status as early as at the next EU summit. Under the proposal, Bosnia would have to adopt the laws set out in the political agreement reached by Bosnian political parties at talks in Brussels a week ago before accession talks could start.
        NOVO MESTO - Slovenia's star rider Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) won the 28th Tour of Slovenia to defend the title from last year. The 23-year-old two-time Tour of France winner finished the race, which he sees as a good rehearsal before the upcoming Tour de France, ahead of his Polish teammate Rafal Majka, with Slovenia's Domen Novak (Bahrain-Victorius) finishing third.
        LJUBLJANA - As owners of motor vehicles headed for service stations en masse ahead of expected price hikes all three major fuels providers, Petrol, OMV and MOL, experienced occasional fuel shortages. Economy Minister Matjaž Han assured the public the next day the country had sufficient reserves of fuel, while PM Robert Golob said this was a scandal.

MONDAY, 20 June
        LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - Slovenia's proposal that the EU should grant Bosnia EU candidate status as soon as possible received a great deal of support and, above all, a great deal of understanding among EU foreign ministers, Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon said after she outlined it to her counterparts at a session of the Foreign Affairs Council.
        RIGA, Latvia - President Borut Pahor urged the leaders of Three Seas EU countries to endorse Slovenia's proposal at the EU summit later this week to give Bosnia the status of EU candidate country, as he addressed the summit of the Three Seas initiative in Latvia.
TUESDAY, 21 June
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia donated 35 Yugoslav-era armoured combat vehicles to Ukraine. In return, Slovenia is to receive a credit from the US to be used for equipment needed by the Slovenian Armed Forces in their operations.
        LJUBLJANA - The prices of petrol and diesel at service stations along Slovenian motorways became completely deregulated under the new fuel pricing model, which pushed them up by roughly 20 cents a litre compared to those at stations outside the motorway network, which are now fully regulated.
        LJUBLJANA - The Competition Protection Agency launched an investigation into whether Petrol and OMV Slovenija, the country's two largest fuel retailers, abused their dominant market position as fuel shortages occurred right before a new pricing regime kicked in, raising fuel prices.
        LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary EU and foreign affairs committees outlined Slovenia's foreign policy for the future, with PM Robert Golob saying after the closed session that Bosnia-Herzegovina should get immediate EU candidate status and that Slovenia would help Ukraine with demining in the future.
        LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon spoke over the telephone with her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba assuring him of Slovenia's support for Ukraine's EU candidate status and the country's post-war reconstruction. She also announced that she would visit Kyiv soon.
        LJUBLJANA - The new police commissioner sacked two high-ranking police force members who have reportedly been involved in a contentious hiring of an employee in which security check results had been falsified.
        LJUBLJANA - The management of energy company Petrol said fuel price regulation in Slovenia and Croatia would affect Petrol's business in the first half of the year, so the Slovenian group did not expect to achieve the planned results.
        LJUBLJANA - After rejecting the candidacy of RTV Slovenija journalist Urban Laurenčič for the position of director of TV Slovenija (TVS), the public broadcaster's TV arm, the RTV programme council endorsed the appointment of music advisor Patrik Greblo as TVS acting director.
        LJUBLJANA - Two European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIH) will be set up in Slovenia, the European Commission decided upon evaluating applications in the first call of the DIGITAL Europe Programme.

        LJUBLJANA/KYIV, Ukraine - Prime Minister Robert Golob had his first conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, with the talk focusing on the status of EU candidate country that is expected to be given to Ukraine. Golob assured the Ukrainian president that although there had been a change of government in Slovenia, the country's attitude towards Ukraine had not changed.
        LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly passed changes to the government act allowing Prime Minister Robert Golob to shape his government as he wants as it deflected an attempt by the opposition Democrats (SDS) to hold a referendum on the act. A new referendum motion may however be initiated by a group with close ties to the SDS.
        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor said the Russian aggression against Ukraine had confirmed the need for Slovenia to have a highly trained and professional army, as he addressed via video call Slovenian soldiers serving in missions.
        LJUBLJANA - The works council at public broadcaster RTV Slovenija urged director general Andrej Grah Whatmough to "step down immediately and irrevocably", presenting a number of reasons for its decision, taken a day after RTV staff went on strike as the talks following the 23 May strike brought no major progress.
        LJUBLJANA - Ljubljana Archbishop Stanislav Zore expressed the wish for a continuation of the dialogue between the state and the Roman Catholic Church as he berated previous governments for not showing willingness to address all open issues during a sermon at a mass celebrating the anniversary of Slovenian statehood.
        LJUTOMER - A multi-stakeholder commission for cereals proposed that the government purchase all wheat Slovenian farmers will harvest this year, and then sell it on to millers. Slovenian farmers will grow 100,000 tonnes of wheat and they would reportedly like to sell it to Slovenian millers, but if the price is not right, they will sell to whoever is willing to pay more.
        BRUSSELS - While Slovenia did not succeed with its proposal that Bosnia-Herzegovina be granted EU candidate status along with Ukraine and Moldova at the EU summit, Prime Minister Robert Golob said an "important step" has nevertheless been made since the country has been put back on the EU's agenda and given a rough timeline on when it could get the status.
        LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Justice Committee unanimously endorsed a draft declaration on the European Parliament's resolution on fighting impunity for war crimes in Ukraine, which was tabled by the opposition Democrats (SDS) and endorsed by the government the previous day.
        LJUBLJANA - The government adopted two regulations to temporarily abolish two environmental duties on diesel at service stations on the motorway network, where prices are fully liberalised, to help hauliers cope with the price hike.
        LJUBLJANA - The government changed a regulation laying down the cooperation between the police and the prosecution and other bodies in pre-trial procedure, abolishing a restriction that allowed prosecutors to communicate their orders to the police only in written form. The restriction was put in place by the previous government.
        LJUBLJANA - The government replaced members of the supervisory boards of nine hospitals due to the institutions' poor financial performance. It also ordered a special audit to see how they continue to post losses despite receiving hundreds of millions of euros in extra funding last year.
        LJUBLJANA - Lawyer Nataša Pirc Musar, best known in her former role as information commissioner, announced she would enter the presidential race in the autumn election as an independent, becoming the first candidate to formally announce her bid.
        LJUBLJANA - Checks carried out by market inspectors at service stations across Slovenia in the aftermath of severe fuel shortages have not produced indications that fuel retailers intentionally kept supplies low to take advantage of higher prices after the transition to a new price regulation model.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Commission said it had opened an in-depth investigation to assess Hungarian energy group MOL's purchase of service stations of OMV Slovenija, the second largest such network in Slovenia, over concerns that the takeover would severely reduce competition on the Slovenian retail motor fuel market.

18 Jun 2022, 08:00 AM

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, 10 June
        NEW YORK, US - The UN General Assembly elected Slovenia to the Economic and Social Council, one of the six principal UN bodies, for the 2023-2025 period. This was the country's first candidacy for the rotating membership of 54 UN member states.
        THESSALONIKI, Greece - President Borut Pahor said Ukraine must not be "left in the lurch" and urged EU enlargement to the Western Balkans as he addressed the annual summit of the South-East European Cooperation Process. He repeated his idea to give Bosnia-Herzegovina EU candidate status before the country carries out needed reforms.
        THESSALONIKI, Greece - FM Tanja Fajon attended a ministerial of the South-East European Cooperation Process, noting the importance of a credible EU enlargement policy for the reform efforts of the Western Balkans. She said that enlargement policy was the EU's most effective geostrategic policy.
        LJUBLJANA - A 101-strong contingent of the Slovenian Armed Forces arrived in Slovakia as part of NATO's international Enhanced Vigilance Activities. The Slovenian soldiers will operate within the framework of the international battle group command with a light infantry company.
        LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - The Slovenian Interior Ministry said that for the time being, Slovenia did not intend to participate in the voluntary solidarity mechanism for the transfer of asylum seekers from the countries of their first entry, which has been unofficially joined by 12 EU member states.
        LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - EU interior ministers reached agreement on a negotiating basis to reform the Schengen Borders Code to tighten the rules of reintroducing internal border controls. Slovenia's Tatjana Bobnar stressed these checks must be temporary, and introduced only when other alternative measures have been exhausted. Austria has been extending such checks since 2015.
        LJUBLJANA - Parts of a criminal complaint filed against former Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek over purchases of ventilators at the start of the epidemic were revealed on the Tarča current affairs show on TV Slovenija on 9 June. Investigators are said to have found proof of deals for the payment of kickbacks and of notification of suspects about upcoming house searches.
        MURSKA SOBOTA - An international conference heard of the worsening situation of the Roma in Europe as genocide, hate speech and anti-Roma activities spread in some countries and Roma refugees from Ukraine were mistreated. The conference sent out a message to European institutions on what the Roma propose for the situation to improve.

        LJUBELJ - A ceremony marking the 77th anniversary of the liberation of the Ljubelj concentration camp urged efforts to prevent the spread of evil and called for peace in light of the war in Ukraine. The keynote speaker, Anica Mikuš Kos, head of Slovenian Philanthropy, pointed out that the horrors of the past could serve as a cautionary tale.
        LJUBLJANA - The Pride Parade festival culminated in Ljubljana Pride in what was a parade celebrating difference and urging equality. Members of the LGBTIQ+ community called for peace in Ukraine, and several senior officials participated in Pride.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia ranks seventh out of 180 countries in the Environmental Performance Index, which is calculated by Yale University to assess the state of sustainable environmental care. Slovenia is the highest-scoring Eastern European nation in the report.

SUNDAY, 12 June
        AURISINA, Italy - Igor Gabrovec was elected mayor of Duino-Aurisina/Devin-Nabrežina, a municipality north of the city of Trieste bordering Slovenia.
        MARIBOR - The Škofja Loka Passion Play, a Jernej Lorenci-directed production of the early 18th century rhymed-verse parable of human salvation, won the main prize at the 57th Maribor Theatre Festival, along with the award for best music. Sebastijan Horvat took best director for his take on Heiner Müller's Cement in a production by SNG Drama Ljubljana Theatre.
        ANNECY, France - Primož Roglič won the eight-day Criterium du Dauphine road cycling race after letting Jumbo Visma teammate Jonas Vingegaard of Denmark take the final mountain stage. Roglič is the second Slovenian to win this race after Janez Brajkovič attained the feat 12 years ago.
        MUNICH, Germany - The Slovenian women's team won bronze in the Olympic recurve bow discipline at the European Archery Championships in Munich. Ana Umer, Urška Čavič and Nina Corel defeated Denmark in the bronze medal match for what is the best result for Slovenian women recurve bow archers since 2005.

MONDAY, 13 June
        MARIBOR - Slovenia's stance on the war in Ukraine will be shaped by the parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee, PM Robert Golob said in response to a letter by nearly 20 academics and politicians urging the government to take a stance encouraging Ukraine and Russia to engage in serious peace talks. Another opposing letter was addressed to the government later by a different group of public figures, calling for decisive support for Ukraine's defence.
        DIVAČA - The first of the seven tunnels on route of the new, 27-km railway linking the port town of Koper with the Divača railway junction was broken through. The hole-through ceremony for the Mlinarji tunnel was attended by Slovenian and Turkish infrastructure ministers as the track is being built by Slovenian company Kolektor CPG in cooperation with two Turkish partners.
        MARIBOR - PM Robert Golob visited Maribor, Slovenia's second largest city, underlining the only right way forward for the country is polycentric development. He believes that the eastern half of the country needs a capital that would equal Ljubljana, and that Maribor has a lot to offer.
        LJUBLJANA - Parliamentary Speaker Urška Klakočar Zupančič called for respecting the credibility and independence of supervisory institutions as she received Court of Audit President Tomaž Vesel. If this respect is undermined, democracy and its immune system are undermined, she warned and announced greater cooperation with the Court of Audit.
        LJUBLJANA - The 9 June session of the European Central Bank and the announcement of the first interest rate rise after eleven years has pushed up the yield on the Slovenian 10-year bond - to 2.92%, a new high after the 2013 and 2014 banking system bailout.
        LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - The European Court of Auditors found in a special report that Slovenia failed to inform the European Commission of the introduction of border checks on EU borders due to the Covid pandemic in the summer of 2020 and spring of 2021 and the Commission failed to check compliance with Schengen rules.
        LJUBLJANA - The Freedom Movement gained 4.6 points to 31% in the June poll commissioned by the newspaper Delo to extend its margin ahead of the Democrats (SDS) to 9.5 points, despite the opposition party gaining 3.4 points from May to 21.4% for its best showing since the 2018 election.

TUESDAY, 14 June
        LJUBLJANA - FM Tanja Fajon indicated Slovenia's efforts regarding Ukraine would shift to the provision of development and humanitarian aid, such as demining, after the previous government focused on sending military aid. This came after she said earlier in the week that Slovenia's foreign policy should focus on humanitarian and development aid, and that getting Russia back to the negotiating table remained the common goal.
        KYIV, Ukraine - Slovenia's Ambassador to Ukraine Tomaž Mencin returned to Kyiv, having left the capital city at the outset of Russia's invasion in what Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon described as "an important message to Ukraine".
        LJUBLJANA - The opposition Democrats (SDS) proposed a resolution in support of a resolution by the European Parliament that is dedicated to the fight against impunity for war crimes in Ukraine. MP Branko Grims said the crimes that were committed there showed clear signs of genocide.
        LJUBLJANA - Speaker Urška Klakočar Zupančič pledged to advocate for Constitutional Court rulings to be put into effect as she received the court's president Matej Accetto. The rulings must be respected, she said. Accetto said the court expected mutual cooperation from the legislature aimed at enhancing the rule of law.
        LJUBLJANA - The recently-discovered Heiligenkreutz manuscript from the 12th century has turned out to feature the second-oldest known document in Old Slovenian after the famous Freising Manuscripts. An analysis confirmed that the numerals from one to ten are written in an early Slovenian language, public broadcaster TV Slovenija reported.
        VATICAN CITY, Vatican - The leadership of the Slovenian Bishops' Conference met with Pope Francis during their visit to the Holy See. They discussed sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, noting the importance of zero tolerance to sexual violence, the Bishops' Conference said.

        LJUBLJANA - Banka Slovenije upgraded its economic growth forecast for Slovenia by 1.8 percentage points from its December outlook to 5.8% for this year as a result of a carry-over from last year, while downgrading the projection for 2023 by 0.9 points to 2.4%. Inflation is projected to run at 9% this year before easing to 4.5% and 2.3% over the next two years.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - Ten EU member states, including Slovenia, addressed an open letter to decision makers in the EU warning about making the Fit for 55 package less ambitious, arguing that this could affect the EU's reaching the set climate goals.
        LJUBLJANA - PM Robert Golob set out the first government measure to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, announcing a return to a model where fuel retailers' price margins at service stations outside motorways are regulated while prices of fuels sold along motorways will be liberalised. The new regime will kick in for a year on 21 June. PM later announced regulation of gas and electricity prices as possible additional measures to fight price hikes, as well as measures to tackle high food prices.
        LJUBLJANA - PM Robert Golob talked to his Ukrainian counterpart Denys Shmyhal on the phone, expressing Slovenia's firm support for the war-torn country, its sovereignty and peace efforts. Golob moreover expressed support for Ukraine's efforts to acquire EU candidate status and Slovenia's firm support for the Western Balkans.
        LJUBLJANA/TOKYO, Japan - SID Banka, the state-owned export and development bank, signed a cooperation agreement with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. The two banks plan to create new business opportunities in digitalisation, clean energy, environment and quality infrastructure in Slovenia and third countries.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia gained two spots in the annual IMD Competitiveness Ranking to place 38th among a total of 63 countries included. Considering the circumstances, the result is satisfactory, economists taking part in the project said. They warned, however, that Slovenia failed to reduce its gap toward countries with which it likes to compare itself.
        LJUBLJANA - The National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) appointed Ivan Eržen its acting medical director. The appointment follows government moves that curtailed the powers of the director general. Eržen, the NIJZ previous head, said he counted on cooperation with its current head, Milan Krek, and announced a response strategy will be prepared for the potential new Covid wave.
        LJUBLJANA - The government proposed for the National Assembly to recall two supervisors of the Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH), arguing that Božo Emeršič and Leon Cizelj did not meet the necessary requirements for the job. The government also appointed Franci Jagodic acting director of the JGZ Brdo State Protocol Services, the Government Communications Office said.
        LJUBLJANA - Digital vouchers worth 150 euros became available to students from 7th grade of primary school through to university. The vouchers can be used to purchase computer hardware. New Digital Transformation Minister Emilija Stojmenova Duh said the vouchers, initiated by the previous government, would only widen the digital and social gaps.

        LJUBLJANA - PM Robert Golob met European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at the outset of his first official trip abroad as PM, expressing Slovenia's unequivocal support for granting Ukraine EU candidate status and announcing that Slovenia would ask for its first reimbursement from the EU's post-pandemic recovery fund by the end of this month.
        LJUBLJANA/OHRID, North Macedonia - President Borut Pahor sent a letter to EU Council President Charles Michel calling for Bosnia-Herzegovina to be granted the EU candidate country status without any conditions. In light of the war in Ukraine, Pahor believes tangible steps need to be made for the EU to expand to the Western Balkans as soon as possible. Pahor presented the letter in detail at the Prespa Forum Dialogue in Ohrid where he underlined the importance of dialogue about EU enlargement to the Western Balkans.
        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor announced he will nominate Jana Ahčin for Court of Audit president and Milan M. Cvikl for a new vice-governor at the central bank after the coalition parties picked the pair as their favourite candidates.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - After his first NATO ministerial meeting, Defence Minister Marjan Šarec told reporters Slovenia's commitments to NATO remained unchanged and the country did not plan to reduce defence spending.
        LJUBLJANA - Ukrainians whom Slovenia awards the status of temporary protection from now on receive a card rather than a written decision to prove their status. The cards will be valid until 4 March 2023. They will also serve as an ID card and as a permit for temporary residence in Slovenia.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenian real estate fund Equinox announced a deal under which it will transfer management of three hotels in the centre of Ljubljana, among them the iconic Grand Hotel Union, to Spanish group Grupo Hotusa for 20 years with the option of two five-year extensions. The deal is worth at least EUR 100 million.
        LJUBLJANA - The permanent ban on blood donation based solely on the personal circumstances of gender and sexual orientation will be abolished on 1 July, an expert group for transfusion medicine and infectious diseases decided after the equality ombudsman raised the issue last December.
        LJUBLJANA - The equality ombudsman assessed that the National Assembly election act discriminated against persons with mental and psychosocial disabilities and unjustifiably deprived them of the right to vote. Speaker Urška Klakočar Zupančič said one of the priorities in the new term would be to ensure the right to vote for all individuals, regardless of their disability.


11 Jun 2022, 08:31 AM

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, 3 June
        BRIJUNI, Croatia - The presidents of Slovenia, Croatia and Austria urged accelerating EU accession talks with Western Balkan countries and condemned the war in Ukraine, which they believe cannot be resolved diplomatically at the moment. At their annual meeting in Croatia, they also discussed NATO enlargement and supported Croatia's entry into the eurozone and Schengen Area.
        LJUBLJANA - Dzmitry Hleizer, an opponent of the regime of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, is awaiting a decision on his potential extradition to Belarus after being detained in Slovenia on an international arrest warrant in late April. The Belarus diaspora says the warrant is politically-motivated.
        LJUBLJANA - The government replaced the supervisors at three state-owned electricity companies, ELES, Borzen and SODO, as well as at DRI, a consulting and engineering company specialised in infrastructure projects. The day earlier the cabinet named four new non-executive directors the Bank Assets Management Company, who are responsible for appointments of executive directors and the chairman.
        LJUBLJANA - The government appointed Maja Pak director of the Slovenian Tourism Board for a full five-year term. Pak stepped down as director in November 2021 due to disagreements with the then economy minister, Zdravko Počivalšek.
        POSTOJNA - National Assembly Speaker Urška Klakočar Zupančič visited the children from a Luhansk orphanage at their temporary home in the village of Slavina near Postojna. She promised to strive for their integration and for securing additional staff to help their Ukrainian guardians.
        LJUBLJANA - The Statistics Office reported that Slovenia's merchandise exports expanded by 28.2% year-on-year in April but were far outpaced by a 42.6% growth in imports, further widening the trade deficit.
        LJUBLJANA - The Employment Service registered 55,854 people as being out of a job in May, the lowest figure since 1990 and a quarter down from the year before.
        NOVO MESTO - Drug company Krka announced that the Romanian anti-corruption watchdog found no irregularities in connection to allegations from 2020 that Krka had been paying doctors in Romania kickbacks to prescribe its products.
        NOVA GORICA - Kaja Širok stepped down as the head of a public institution in charge of organising Nova Gorica's 2025 European Capital of Culture project to become a state secretary in charge of culture at the prime minister's office.

        BRUSSELS, Belgium - Prime Minister Robert Golob joined a call by French President Emanuel Macron for the formation of a new European centrist alliance that would go beyond the ALDE party, according to Politico.
        KOČEVSKI ROG - Victims of post-WWII summary executions were honoured with a ceremony in an area in south Slovenia dotted with mass graves. Bishop of Novo Mesto Andrej Saje and President Borut Pahor called for efforts towards reconciliation.
        LJUBLJANA - The newspaper Delo reported that the Bank Assets Management Company became the sole owner of Salomon, a company that forms a key part of a sprawling media empire controlled by Martin Odlazek and his family, after successfully suing to expropriate the only other shareholder.
        AALEN, Germany - Boxer Ema Kozin defeated Hungary's Szilvia Szabados to become the world champion in the women's light middleweight category in the WBF organisation. This is third weight category in which the 23-year-old Slovenian holds the world champion title.

MONDAY, 6 June
        LJUBLJANA - Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg visited Slovenia as the first senior foreign official after the new government took office for meetings with his counterpart Tanja Fajon, Prime Minister Robert Golob and President Borut Pahor. Slovenian officials urged Austria to end checks on its internal Schengen border with Slovenia, but Schallenberg said Austria did not see any alternative to the measure for now.
        LJUBLJANA - The Fiscal Council criticised the coalition agreement as being too vague, warning of a potential increase in expenditure that could outstrip that of revenue. It urged the government to specify the fiscal implications of the measures planned in the document.
        LJUBLJANA - The State Attorney's Office announced it had withdrawn suits against individuals to compensate the Interior Ministry for the costs of policing anti-government protests held in the past two years after the ministry under the new government withdrew its consent for the damages claims.
        SLOVENJ GRADEC - Journalist Vladimir Vodušek was acquitted of attempting to extort a business executive in 2012 in a retrial at the Slovenj Gradec District Court. In the original trial Vodušek was given a year and a half in prison in 2018, but the ruling was overturned by a higher court.
        LJUBLJANA - The death toll of the powerful explosion that ripped through the Melamin chemical plant in Kočevje, south Slovenia, on 12 May increased to seven after a second of the two severely injured workers died at UKC Ljubljana hospital.
        KOPER - The shareholders meeting of port operator Luka Koper endorsed a counter-proposal by Slovenian Sovereign Holding to pay out dividends of EUR 1.14 gross per share of EUR 15.96 million in total. The state and state owned-funds hold over 67% in the company.

        LJUBLJANA - Deputy Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament Olena Kondratiuk thanked Slovenia for its support for her country as she addressed the press with Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon, who also promised support for Ukraine's EU accession efforts. Kondratiuk also met President Borut Pahor and Speaker Urška Klakočar Zupančič.
        LJUBLJANA - The Constitutional Court stayed parts of the new environment protection act dealing with extended producer responsibility pending its final decision on an application by Interseroh, the German-owned waste management company, and its associates who are worried about the damage the new system would do to their business.
        LJUBLJANA - Having conducted a mission to the country between 22 and 30 May, a team of international experts under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency found Slovenia had a comprehensive and well-functioning radioactive waste and spent fuel management system, but there was still room for improvement.
        LJUBLJANA - The Commission for Human Rights at the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SAZU) submitted a proposal to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for the UN to establish an international court dealing with war crimes against children between 2000 and 2022.
        LJUBLJANA - Žiga Debeljak, a former CEO of retailer Mercator, was appointed chairman of the board of directors of the Bank Assets Management Company as the new board appointed by the government the week before held its inaugural session. He replaces Franci Matoz, the lawyer of former PM Janez Janša, who had stepped down.
        TRIESTE, Italy - Several hundred people gathered at St Ana's Cemetery for the funeral of Boris Pahor, the internationally-acclaimed Slovenian writer who died at his home in Trieste aged 108 on 30 May.
        LJUBLJANA - Latvian poet Amanda Aizpuriete was declared the winner of this year's International Vilenica Prize for Central European literature, to be presented at the conclusion of the 37th Vilenica International Literary Festival in September.
        LJUBLJANA - Ghanaian visual artist Ibrahim Mahama was appointed artistic director of the 35th Ljubljana Biennale of Graphic Arts, to take place between 15 September and 14 January, 2023.
        GORNJA RADGONA - A bust dedicated to Ivan Kramberger (1936-1992), a humanitarian, inventor and a candidate in the 1990 presidential election, was unveiled to mark the 30th anniversary of his assassination during his pre-election speech. A book and a documentary on him also marked the occasion.
        CLEVELAND, US - Joe Valencic, a well known promoter of Slovenian and polka events in the US, became the sixth American of Slovenian descent to be inducted to the Cleveland International Hall of Fame to join the ranks of Senator George Voinovich, journalist Dick Russ, jurists Vladimir Rus and Avgust Pust and Bishop Edvard Pevec.

        LJUBLJANA - The Court of Audit found major flaws in the way the Koper-Divača rail project had been prepared and run from 2015 until the end of June 2020, finding the government and the ministry in charge had been inefficient in preparing the basis for the construction and management of the project and only partly efficient in their oversight of the project.
        LJUBLJANA - A group of prominent academics and politicians, including former presidents Milan Kučan and Danilo Türk, urged the new government to "take a sensible stance on the war in Ukraine" that would lead to Ukraine and Russia engaging in "serious peace talks". They said "a new security architecture" would have to be built in Europe.
        LJUBLJANA - National Assembly Speaker Urška Klakočar Zupančič and her Polish counterpart Elzbieta Witek discussed Ukraine, relations between Slovenia and Poland, and future cooperation by video call. Klakočar Zupančič accepted Witek's invitation to join a group of women parliamentary speakers from EU members to focus on humanitarian aid and other mechanisms to help refugees.
        LJUBLJANA - Members of the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) endorsed a merger with the Freedom Movement, the party of Prime Minister Robert Golob, in a near unanimous vote after the party failed to make the 4% threshold to enter parliament.
        LJUBLJANA - The Government Communication Office (UKOM), which has a new leadership following the change of government, announced it would no longer compile reports scrutinising the work of RTV Slovenija journalists and would finance the STA in line with the contract signed in early 2022 by the STA's director and UKOM's former head.
        PARIS, France - The OECD downgraded its economic forecast for Slovenia by 0.8 percentage points to 4.6% for this year and by 0.7 points to 2.5% for next year, partly due to the negative impact of the war in Ukraine.
        CELJE - Mirko Tuš, once one of Slovenia's wealthiest businessmen, and his wife Tanja Tuš pleaded guilty to abuse of office and money laundering charges in exchange for milder sentences over the transfer between 2011 and 2016 of the Tušmobil mobile telephony brand. The pair face suspended sentences plus fines of EUR 450,000 and EUR 90,000 respectively.

        LJUBLJANA - The government appointed Peter Grum acting director general of the Financial Administration (FURS). He succeeds Ivan Simič, who stepped down right after the Robert Golob government was sworn in. Grum served as FURS deputy director in 2014-20.
        LJUBLJANA - Pavel Car resigned as director of the National Museum a day after he had to cancel an exhibition of 160 works of art from a Slovenian private collection amid concerns that works by artists such as Picasso, Cezanne and Miro were forgeries.
        LJUBLJANA - After the new government made a promise to remove the fence from the border with Croatia, the Interior Ministry told the STA this was one of the priorities, with the removal expected by the end of the year.
        LJUBLJANA - The government tasked the ministries of justice and home affairs to draw up an analysis of the legal bases used in procedures against individuals for breaking Covid-19 containment measures by the end of August to see whether fines might have been unfair or unlawful. The former government's decision to sue protesters for the costs of policing their rallies were annulled.
        LJUBLJANA - The Infrastructure Ministry unveiled the draft of a bill that would require gas suppliers to secure storage in other EU countries equalling at least 15% of average annual gas volumes they sell in line with a recently agreed EU regulation.
        LJUBLJANA - The authorities announced they were looking into suspicions of forced labour and human trafficking following reports alleging modern-day slavery conditions at a fishpacking plant owned by the family of Boris Šuštar, a former state secretary who was convicted in the early 2000s for taking bribes. The companies concerned were banned from working with foreign workers.
        LJUBLJANA - Acting Police Commissioner Boštjan Lindav ordered an internal inquiry at the National Bureau of Investigation to clarify claims of alleged stalling of certain investigations, including into procurement of medical supplies during the epidemic.
        NEW YORK, US - It transpired Slovenia had formally nominated international law expert Vasilka Sancin for a new term on the UN Human Rights Committee past the deadline after the new government unblocked her bid. 17 candidates are vying for nine vacancies.
        OSLO, Norway - Slovenia pulled off a goalless draw with Norway in the third round of League B of the UEFA Nations League to earn their first point just days after being defeated by Serbia 1:4 in Belgrade and losing to Sweden at home 0:2.

04 Jun 2022, 06:23 AM

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 May
        KOPER - The German turnaround fund Mutares signed a deal with Italy's TCH Cogeme to acquire the Slovenian car parts manufacturer Cimos and its subsidiaries for an undisclosed amount. The takeover is expected to be finalised in the third quarter of 2022.
        NOVA GORICA - Stojan Petrič, one of Slovenia's most prominent businessmen, and all four co-defendants were acquitted of abuse of office charges in the 2010 takeover of transformer manufacturer Etra 33 by Petrič's industrial conglomerate Kolektor.
        LJUBLJANA - Equality Ombudsman Miha Lobnik was upbeat about cooperation with the legislative and executive branches of power as he handed the 2021 annual report to parliamentary Speaker Urška Klakočar Zupančič. He said a new era of intensive cooperation was coming.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia slid three spots in the latest biannual global Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report to 39th among the 117 countries surveyed by the World Economic Forum.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's first Barnahus, a facility providing a safe space for comprehensive treatment of children victims of sexual violence and other criminal acts, was inaugurated in Ljubljana. Courts must now start issuing decisions that interviews with a child who is a victim or witness must be conducted by using the Barnahus principle.
        LJUBLJANA - Coder Matjaž Škorjanc, who has already served his almost five-year prison sentence for masterminding the Mariposa botnet in the late 2000s, will go on trial again after the Constitutional Court annulled the 2013 guilty ruling and two higher-instance court rulings, returning the case to the Maribor District Court for retrial, Večer reported.
        LJUBLJANA - Musicologist Primož Kuret, a professor emeritus at the Academy of Music, died aged 86. He was one of the most prominent Slovenian intellectuals.
SUNDAY, 29 May
        LJUBLJANA - Petra Grah Lazar, director of the National Bureau of Investigation, confirmed for the news portal Siol that the bureau had referred to the prosecution a criminal complaint in an abuse of office investigation into the purchases of personal protective equipment and ventilators during the early stages of the Covid-19 epidemic.
        LIPTOVSKY MIKULAS, Slovakia - Canoeist Benjamin Savšek, the reigning Olympic champion in the C-1 discipline, won his fourth title as European champion at the Canoe Slalom European Championships in Slovakia for what is Slovenia's 15th gold at European championships.

MONDAY, 30 May
        TRIESTE, Italy - Boris Pahor, the internationally-renowned Trieste-born Slovenian writer who wrote about his own experience of Fascism and the suffering in Nazi death camps during World War II, died at his home in Trieste, aged 108. He was best known as the author of Necropolis, a first-person account of his time in a Nazi concentration camp.
        LJUBLJANA - Constitutional Court judge Marijan Pavčnik asked to be relieved of his duties at the end of this year, halfway into his nine-year term, kicking off proceedings for the election of a new judge several years before a new round of judicial appointments was scheduled to start.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - Slovenian MEPs Ljudmila Novak (NSi) and Milan Zver (SDS) clashed over the reasons for the centre-right bloc's defeat in the 24 April election in Slovenia at a meeting of the European People's Party. According to web portal N1, Zver labelled the winner Freedom Movement an extreme left party and said the Robert Golob government would be pro-Kremlin. Novak denied that.
        LJUBLJANA - The outgoing government lifted all remaining Covid restrictions as it repealed the main decree governing anti-Covid measures under a motion by the Health Ministry's advisory group for coronavirus.
        LJUBLJANA - The government confirmed a EUR 6 million subsidy for German-owned motorhome maker Carthago, which is building a second production facility in Slovenia, in Ormož. The project is valued at EUR 45.5 million VAT excluded and the company will receive the subsidy in two instalments.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - Janez Janša, the outgoing prime minister, urged the EU and the West to focus on military assistance to Ukraine rather than on sanctions as he arrived for the second day of meetings at the EU summit. Sanctions are not the key issue, he said, adding that the EU needed to step up military assistance to Ukraine given the Russian army's rapid advances in Donbas.
        LJUBLJANA - Boštjan Lesjak, Slovenia's interim chargé d'affaires in Kyiv, is returning to Slovenia after his term has expired, and Slovenia will again be represented in Ukraine by Ambassador Tomaž Mencin. He will return to the Ukrainian capital as soon as adequate security is ensured, the Foreign Ministry said.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's annual inflation hit 8.1% in May, the highest rate since 2002, on the back of soaring fuel and food prices, the Statistics Office reported. The monthly rate stood at 2%.
        BRNIK - The French flag carrier Air France launched twice-daily flights to Ljubljana airport from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. It will operate the route through the summer.
        LJUBLJANA - Igor Bavčar, a former executive of Istrabenz convicted of money laundering, was released on parole six months before the end of his five-year prison sentence, several media reported.
        LJUBLJANA - Nova Obzorja, the company which publishes the weekly Demokracija and web portal Škandal24.si, has a new majority owner as a 65.85% share has been transferred from Hungarian company R-Post-R to NovaTV24.si, the company running the Nova24TV TV news channel, official records showed.
        DOMŽALE - Cedevita Olimpija won their 19th national basketball championship title by sweeping the final series against Helios Suns of Domžale. This is the second national championship for the Ljubljana club in a row and the third trophy this season.
        LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Robert Golob's cabinet was sworn in after the line-up was confirmed in a 53:28 vote in the National Assembly. Golob acknowledged that it would not get the customary 100-day grace period and would have to get down to work right away.
        LJUBLJANA - The new government replaced the chiefs of the intelligence and security agency SOVA, defence security agency OVS, the police, the Office for the Prevention of Money Laundering and the Government Communications Office at its inaugural session. It also appointed most state secretaries.
        LJUBLJANA - Ivan Simič, the director general of the Tax Administration, and Franci Matoz, the chairman of the Bank Assets Management Company, stepped down just minutes after the new government was sworn in. They were both close allies of Janez Janša.
        LJUBLJANA - Dnevnik reported that NLB, Slovenia's largest bank, had reached a settlement with the Croatian tourism company Plava Laguna over the company's debt to the former Slovenian LB bank dating back to the break-up of Yugoslavia, in what is the first settlement of its kind for NLB.
        LJUBLJANA - The state-owned HSE, the largest electricity producer in the country, added another electricity retail company to its portfolio by completing the acquisition of a 51% stake in Energija Plus. The current owner, Elektro Maribor, will retain a 49% stake.
        LJUBLJANA - Former head of the Slovenian Evangelical Lutheran Church Geza Erniša died aged 70 after being hospitalised due to illness. He was the first bishop of the church in Slovenia, having held the post for 18 years until 2013.

        LJUBLJANA - The government signed off the appointments of 13 state prosecutors that had been stalled under the Janez Janša government. State prosecution had been warning of acute staff shortages because the previous government would not decide on the nomination proposals.
        LJUBLJANA - The Interior Ministry withdrew its consent for first damages suits brought against individuals over the costs of policing of unregistered anti-government protests over the past two years. The suits were brought under the previous interior minister Aleš Hojs.
        LJUBLJANA - Taking over from Anže Logar as foreign minister, Tanja Fajon pledged closer ties with core EU countries and further support for EU enlargement and Schengen zone enlargement. Logar was hopeful Slovenia would remain committed to helping Ukraine, including in its way towards the EU. Fajon promised as minister she "will do everything for Slovenia to actively contribute to ending the war".
        LJUBLJANA - After taking over from his predecessor Matej Tonin, Defence Minister Marjan Šarec said one of his first moves as minister would be to tackle military personnel shortages.
        WASHINGTON, US - In its 2021 religious freedom report, the US Office of International Religious Freedom noted religious communities' concerns in Slovenia about several loopholes and pending requests, including those related to halal meals, male circumcision and a lack of certain religious staff in the military.
        LJUBLJANA - The NGO Zavod Kolektiv 99 filed 11 collective lawsuits on behalf of consumers against banks over the zero-floor clause in their loan agreements, meaning that if the reference Euribor rate is negative, it is deemed to be zero. They demand EUR 159 million in damages and interest on late payment.
        LJUBLJANA - Caritas Slovenia said it had so far raised more than EUR 3 million in aid for Ukraine in what is the biggest humanitarian campaign dedicated to a foreign country in Slovenia's history.

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