Ljubljana related

28 May 2022, 10:28 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, 20 May
        LJUBLJANA - The government adopted a bill to regulate the situation of displaced Ukrainians and to help Slovenian business cope with the consequences of the war in Ukraine with favourable loans. It is designed to intensify the existing mechanisms of temporary protection and disburden state institutions overwhelmed by displaced Ukrainians.
        TURIN, Italy - FM Anže Logar attended a session of the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers, expressing solidarity with Ukraine in a debate on the CoE's response to the Russian aggression. He stressed that Slovenia condemned the aggression in the strongest terms.
        LJUBLJANA - It was reported that Slovenian gas distributor Geoplin has been left empty handed in an open call to apply for an increased capacity of liquefied natural gas terminal on the Croatian island Krk. Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec downplayed the gravity of the development, saying one Slovenian distributor was now in talks with the company that won the deal.
        LJUBLJANA - The government decided the public interest of producing renewable energy overrides the public interest of nature conservation in the planned Mokrice hydro power station on the river Sava, after its first motion from December 2020 was defeated in court in late 2021. The government said its decision is in line with the court's guidance.
        LJUBLJANA - The European Commission approved an additional EUR 277 million in React-EU funds for Slovenia, money that will be used for a number of investments in aged care, healthcare, tourism and education.
        CELJE - Srebrna Nit, an association campaigning for dignified old age, presented a bill on voluntary assisted dying, saying it would ensure that no one would have to fear suffering before death. They plan to submit it to parliament with the requisite 5,000 voter signatures to initiate legislative proceedings.
        LJUBLJANA - Energy group Petrol reported that its sales revenue in the first quarter of the year more than doubled year-on-year to EUR 1.94 billion, while net profit was up by 17% to EUR 32.4 million. The rise is largely attributed to the incorporation of the Croatian fuel retailer Crodux into the group.
        LJUBLJANA - Matej Kavčič, a reporter for the Slovenian independent Radio Student station who was arrested and imprisoned in Iraq a month ago, was released. Kavčič went to Iraq as a freelancer in January to report on the minority group Yezidis.
        NOVA GORICA - The foundation stone for a new outdoor, 500-seat amphitheatre was laid in Nova Gorica, aiming to be ready for the city's stint as the European Culture Capital in 2025. The first stage of the project, backed by EUR 2.5 million in state funds, is expected to be finished by next year.
        LJUBLJANA - Beekeeper Boštjan Noč, head of the Slovenian Beekeeping Association, was honoured with the Golden Bee, an international prize for efforts to protect bees that Slovenia gave out for the second time on this year's World Bee Day.
        LJUBLJANA - Comic book artist Izar Lunaček was conferred the French Order of Arts and Letters, receiving the honour for his contribution to the promotion of comic books, popularisation of French culture in Slovenia and strengthening of ties between France and Slovenia this field.
        LJUBLJANA - Rating agency Fitch affirmed Slovenia's credit rating at A with a stable outlook, the move being based on a number of Slovenia's advantages, including EU and euro area membership, robust economic growth and strong fiscal support during the Covid pandemic.
        OSWIECIM, Poland - On the last day of his visit to Poland, President Borut Pahor visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum to get acquainted with the state of play regarding the renovation of Block 17, where a permanent exhibition on Slovenian internees will be set up.
SUNDAY, 22 May
        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor hosted a ceremony to confer state decorations on five deserving individuals to mark 30 years since Slovenia became a member of the UN. Pahor said it was astonishing how quickly Slovenia had managed to carry out democratisation, declare independence, defend its territory and become internationally recognised.
        MURSKA SOBOTA - Maribor beat the defending champions Mura 3:1 to claim their 16th national football championship title. They turned things around in the last round and leapfrogged Koper, who played a goalless draw with Bravo. Maribor will now play in the first round of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League.
        RAČICE, Czechia - Slovenian kayaker Anja Osterman won a flatwater 200-metre sprint World Cup event after finishing second in the 500-metre event yesterday. Another Slovenian, Špela Ponomarenko Janić, finished third. Slovenia's success was rounded off with kayaker Jošt Zakrajšek's bronze at a 5-kilometre event.

MONDAY, 23 May
        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor announced he would nominate Robert Golob, the head of the election-winning Freedom Movement party, for prime minister-elect after holding consultations with deputy groups.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Commission recommended Slovenia and all the other EU countries to diversify their imports of fossil fuels and reduce their dependency by increasing the use of renewable sources of energy and strengthening distribution networks.
        LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian corporate sector recorded a strong rebound in 2021, with overall revenue increasing by 24% to EUR 120.3 billion and net profit totalling EUR 5.7 billion, almost double the figure over the year before. The overall net profit reached 4.7%, its highest level since these records began in 2008 measured as a share of overall revenue, data by AJPES showed.
        LJUBLJANA - RTV Slovenija staff went on an hour-long strike to reiterate their demands for journalistic and editorial autonomy and an end to politicisation of the public broadcaster. They also demanded decent working conditions, a clear staffing policy and democratic social dialogue.
        LJUBLJANA - The Programme Council of public broadcaster RTV Slovenija did not back the proposal to appoint Natalija Gorščak director of TV Slovenija, the broadcaster's TV arm, after she was nominated by director general Andrej Grah Whatmough, who had dismissed Gorščak her from the job in August last year.
        LJUBLJANA - Historian Peter Vodopivec received Austria's Grand Decoration for Services for his contribution to the strengthening of the Slovenian-Austrian relations and cooperation between Slovenian and Austrian historians. In 2010, he received the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art, First Class.
        CANNES, France - Love In Plane Sight, a short film by Slovenian arts student Matej Rimanić, won one of the two main prizes of the Tik Tok competition organised at the Cannes Film Festival for the first time this year.
        VALENCIA, Spain - Cukrarna, a new gallery in Ljubljana transformed from a dilapidated 19th century sugar factory, won the Baumit company's Life Challenge international architectural competition. The project was selected as the best architectural solution and facade for 2022.
        LJUBLJANA - The leaders of the Freedom Movement, Social Democrats and Left signed the coalition agreement, exactly a month since the general election.
        LJUBLJANA - The first case of monkeypox was confirmed in Slovenia in a man who arrived from the Canary Islands. A second case was confirmed on the following day. LJUBLJANA - The Celje Higher Court upheld a three-month suspended prison sentence with one year probation against outgoing PM Janez Janša for calling two journalists "washed up prostitutes" in a 2016 tweet.
        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor signed off on the recalls of five ambassadors and the appointment of three new ambassadors under a proposal made by the government right before the end of its term.
        MARIBOR - Police charged Maribor Mayor Saša Arsenovič with inflicting slight bodily injury on a 13-year-old boy over alleged vandalism, an incident over which the mayor does not plan to resign. Before deciding whether to take up the case, the prosecution will most likely wait for an expert opinion.
        MARIBOR - Zdravko Kačič was re-elected rector of the University of Maribor for a second four-year term, having been the only candidate for the post.
        LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly elected Robert Golob prime minister in a 54:30 vote, just over a month after his Freedom Movement won the general election in a landslide on a pledge to thoroughly reform the way politics is done. After being sworn in, Golob submitted his cabinet line-up to parliament, the goal being to have the government in office by early June.
        MOSCOW, Russia - The Russian Foreign Ministry expressed disappointment about "unjustified unfriendly steps taken in recent months by the Slovenian government" as it issued a statement on the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. These steps are aimed at "destroying bilateral ties contrary to the historical logic of their development," it said.
        STRASBOURG, France - Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović urged ending all proceedings against civil society activists who had engaged in peaceful protests in Slovenia, and called for cancelling the penalties involved.
        LJUBLJANA - The government decided to include several projects into the existing 2022-2025 plan of development programmes of the Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF) in order to make units more operative. Several new training aircraft and a simulator to train pilots in drone technology will be purchased to replace outdated equipment.
        LJUBLJANA - The outgoing government adopted a decree determining a methodology for calculating prices of medical devices and equipment which stipulates that the relevant government office captures data on purchase prices from healthcare providers from at least three EU member states.

        LJUBLJANA - Ivo Barišič, a member of the SNG Nova Gorica theatre who retired in 2014, is the recipient of this year's Borštnik Ring, the highest accolade for theatre actors in Slovenia. "Utter dedication to acting" is how the Maribor Theatre Festival described Barišič's career.
        LJUBLJANA - Author Mateja Gomboc was awarded the Desetnica Prize for best children's or young adult novel by the Slovenian Writers' Association (DSP) for her novel Balada o Drevesu (The Ballad about a Tree), "a moving story about love and loss".
        LJUBLJANA - In its report for 2021, Slovenia's anti-graft watchdog identified issues of integrity, conflict of interest and incompatibility of dual offices as the most problematic, and finds that officials often act against the law or deliberately ignore it.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenian police briefly detained a Turkmenistan activist travelling with the Russian feminist protest punk rock band Pussy Riot ahead of the group's concert in Ljubljana, before releasing her. Lead singer Maria Alyokhina said her friend had been apprehended based on a 20-year-old Interpol arrest warrant based on false accusations.

21 May 2022, 06:43 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, 13 May
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's new parliament opened with the confirmation of the terms of all 90 MPs and the election of former judge Urška Klakočar Zupančič as speaker in what is the first time that a woman MP will lead the National Assembly. The new opposition - the SDS and NSi - meanwhile tabled more than two dozen bills, a move that will delay the passage of legislation crafted by the new coalition.
        LJUBLJANA - The government asked parliament to terminate several bilateral agreements with Russia as a means of increasing political pressure on the country and contribute to peace. The initiative was formally tabled on the opening day of the new parliament.
        LJUBLJANA - A majority of RTV Slovenija trade union members opted to stage a token strike on 23 May in protest at a situation they describe as "unbearable" due to policies pursued by the management and the Programme Council. The strike demands include editorial and institutional autonomy and resignation of senior management and editorial staff.
        LJUBLJANA - A new regulation entered into force increasing the amount of state aid for the payment of social security contributions of religious staff. The figure has gone up from 48% to 100% of the average pay provided that religious communities meet some conditions. The bulk of the money will go to the Catholic Church.
        LJUBLJANA - The Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC) announced it had revoked a decision to initiate the sale of two tourism companies, Istrabenz Turizem and Thermana, citing the recent change of the national tourism strategy. The government adopted a new seven-year tourism strategy on 11 May to stipulate that equity stakes in tourism companies in the BAMC portfolio remain in state ownership.

        LJUBLJANA - The presidency of the Social Democrats (SD) got acquainted with the content of the coalition agreement. The Freedom Movement and the Left having already endorsed the pact, the coalition agreement is now formally initialled.
        VIENNA, Austria - Ambassador to Austria Aleksander Geržina criticised Austria's decision to extend checks on the border with Slovenia, telling the Austrian news agency APA that the measure had not been properly justified by the authorities.

SUNDAY, 15 May
        LJUBLJANA - Senior officials spoke in favour of increased defence spending, in the face of heightened security risks at a ceremony marking Slovenian Armed Forces Day. "No matter how much Slovenia sincerely strives for the peaceful resolution of all disputes, it may not turn a blind eye to the current tense circumstances," said President Borut Pahor.

MONDAY, 16 May
        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor and Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad al Thani hailed the good relationship between their countries and expressed the hope that Qatari investors would invest in Slovenia as the emir started a two-day visit to Slovenia, accompanied by a large delegation featuring the ministers of foreign affairs, finance and trade. Slovenia's SPIRIT agency and Qatar Holding LLC signed a memorandum of understanding on the occasion.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's economy expanded at an annual nominal rate of 9.8% in the first quarter of this year driven by household spending and capital expenditure. The seasonally adjusted rate was 9.6%. At the quarterly level GDP was up by 0.8%, a significant slowdown compared to the 5.3% recorded in the previous quarter, the Statistics Office reported.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Commission has downgraded its economic growth forecast for Slovenia by 0.1 percentage points to 3.7% for this year and by half a point to 3.1% for 2023. The rates are still substantial above those forecast for the eurozone. Inflation is projected to run at 6.1% in Slovenia and the rest of the eurozone this year.
        LJUBLJANA - Economist Marko Pahor assessed that the coalition agreement of the Freedom Movement, Social Democrats and the Left is much more leftist than centrist. He sees many of the priorities as expensive and thus unrealistic. Mitja Kovač expressed shock and disappointment, as the agreement "mostly deals with massive rearranging of funds and extreme increase in spending."
        LJUBLJANA - Doctors expressed strong opposition to the announcement in the draft coalition agreement that doctors in the public sector will be fully banned from working for private providers. Nurses, on the other hand, welcomed an announcement of better pay and of a new set of standards and norms for staffing and workload.
        LJUBLJANA - The MPs of the emerging coalition have filed a request to form a parliamentary inquiry that will look into alleged illegal financing of "party political propaganda in the media with funds of state-owned companies, state institutions or foreign institutions or entities."
        LJUBLJANA - The Ljubljana city council endorsed the energy strategy for 2022-2030, envisaging a 40% cut in CO2 emissions by 2030 compared to 2008 and zero net greenhouse gas emissions by the middle of the century. Three hydro power plants on the Ljubljanica river are planned along with a waste-to-energy plant and number of solar power plants.

        BRUSSELS, Belgium - Defence Minister Matej Tonin acknowledged that talks with Germany for a swap under which it would send Yugoslav-era tanks to Ukraine in exchange for more modern German armoured vehicles have stalled, but he said negotiations were continuing. He said the equipment Slovenia intend to send to Ukraine was ready for transport and Germany had been notified what kind of equipment Slovenia expects in return.
        LJUBLJANA - The names of the remaining nominees for ministers were revealed. The Left confirmed that the party's vice-president Asta Vrečko was slated for the culture portfolio and Simon Maljevac, the party's secretary general, for labour, the family and social affairs. Irena Šinko, a senior civil servant, is the Freedom Movement's candidate for agriculture ministry.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - Five Slovenian MEPs sent a public letter to Austria and the European Commission criticising the recent decision of Austria to again extend police controls on the border with Slovenia, labelling the move as unjustified and disproportionate. They argue that this is confirmed by the valid EU law and the recent decision of the EU Court of Justice.
        LJUBLJANA - After the announcement in the draft coalition agreement that doctors in the public sector will be banned from working for private providers was met with pushback from doctors' organisations, Danijel Bešič Loredan, the candidate for health minister, said that such work would not be prohibited for now and was a more distant part of the coalition agreement that is planned to be in place by 2024.
        LJUBLJANA - Andrej Grah Whatmough, director general of the Slovenian public broadcaster, has put forward for director of the broadcaster's TV arm Natalija Gorščak, whom he himself dismissed from the job in August last year. RTV Slovenija said Gorščak was the only candidate to apply for the job in line with the terms of the call by the 13 May deadline.
        LJUBLJANA/ŽIRI - The Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC) announced it had sold its outright stake in footwear maker Alpina to K&H, a Czech company that is part of the Franco de Poisd'eau & CIE group, for an as yet undisclosed amount reported to be EUR 20 million. The buyer has been picked not just because it submitted the best financial offer but also because of a thorough development strategy, BAMC said.
        LJUBLJANA - Prevent & Deloza, the Celje-based protective clothing manufacturer, has taken over Askö, the German maker of fire-resistant gloves for what the newspaper Delo reports is roughly EUR 2 million. The company plans subsequent takeovers to form a group that will offer a comprehensive range of equipment for firefighters, police and the military.
        MARIBOR - A memorandum of understanding between the SPIRIT agency and the Office of the Governor of Nevada was signed to help Slovenian companies enter the US market, a priority market for Slovenian companies as defined in a government strategy. The memorandum was signed on the sidelines of the PODIM conference.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Commission approved the re-introduction of a Slovenian scheme, including an EUR 150 million budget increase, to support companies affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the development of coronavirus-relevant products. The original scheme was approved in August 2020 and expired on 31 December last year.
        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor decorated four individuals for humanitarian work. Robert Waltl, a theatre director and leader of the Jewish Cultural Centre, received the Order of Merit, as did Ivica Žnidaršič, who heads the Association of Slovenian Deportees 1941-1945. The husband and wife team of Valerija and Ivo Čarman, founders of the Golden Bow Institute, a charity for children with cancer, received a Medal of Merit.

        LJUBLJANA - The Democrats (SDS) tabled a motion to call a referendum on amendments to the government act proposed by the incoming ruling coalition to accommodate for the changes they plan in the government makeup. The move was to delay the formation of a new government, but the prospective prime minister, Robert Golob, said he would stick to the plan to form a government by 3 June, albeit with the existing number of ministries, not the structure of departments he set out to have.
        LJUBLJANA - Robert Golob, the leader of the Freedom Movement and the likeliest new prime minister, said the incoming coalition sought to ensure employee involvement as he responded to criticism that the coalition agreement would push businesses into a corner. "A system under which the employer is the master ... and under which the worker has no say is a system of serfs. We do not want to be a country of serfs."
        LJUBLJANA - The Foreign Ministry expressed Slovenia's full support for the decision of Sweden and Finland to join NATO, labelling the two countries as the closest partners of the alliance. NATO's door must remain open to European countries that want to join and meet the criteria for membership, it said.
        LJUBLJANA - The outgoing government proposed the recall of Slovenia's ambassadors to Germany, Bulgaria, Russia, Australia, Japan and Poland in what continues to be a series of replacements at some of the country's top diplomatic posts. The proposal will be now considered by President Borut Pahor.
        LJUBLJANA - The Democrats (SDS) filed a motion to call a consultative referendum on the amendments to the RTV Slovenija act that the party submitted itself on Friday. The motion will delay the final decision on the amendments as parliament cannot vote on the referendum motion in less than 30 days.
        LJUBLJANA - National Assembly Speaker Urška Klakočar Zupančič told the STA she knew how to "leave her political convictions at the door" and pledged to be the first among equals to listen to all MPs. She believes that MPs should realise they are in parliament to serve people, not to "put on reality shows".
        MARIBOR - DEM, the company managing power stations on the river Drava, has been granted a building permit for a geothermal power plant at a wellbore in Čentiba in Prekmurje, the only Slovenian region reserves of gas and oil. The plant will serve as a demonstration project encouraging the production of geothermal energy.

        LJUBLJANA - The partners in the emerging ruling coalition will work hard to reach consensus both within the government and parliament, but when it proves elusive the Freedom Movement as the largest partner will tip the scales and Robert Golob as the PM will have the final say, reveals a protocol to be signed along with the coalition agreement.
        LJUBLJANA - The government revoked a deal to sell Yugoslav-made mechanised infantry combat vehicles in order to donate them to Ukraine, the newspaper Dnevnik reported. S Lux, the company commissioned to sell the vehicles, brought legal action with the Administrative Court asking for a temporary injunction.
        LJUBLJANA - Russia demanded that Slovenia reduce the number of staff at its embassy in Moscow by four within ten days, a move that comes a month and a half after Slovenia demanded an 80% cut in the number of staff at the Russian Embassy in Ljubljana due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Slovenia said it was negatively surprised by the move.
        WARSAW, Poland - President Borut Pahor began his official three-day visit to Poland at the University of Warsaw, discussing Europe's future with the students, and calling for a new convention on the future of Europe that would gradually lead to a United States of Europe.
        LJUBLJANA - The Democrats (SDS) continued to file legislative proposals after being relegated to the opposition, with the latest proposals dealing with two healthcare laws, the healthcare and health insurance act and the health services act.
        LJUBLJANA - Several civil society groups dealing with migrants, including the NGO Infokolpa Civil Initiative, denounced the candidacy of Tatjana Bobnar for interior minister due to pushbacks that police conducted while she was the police commissioner in 2018-2020. Bobnar responded by saying she understood the protest statement.
        NOVO MESTO - The Krka group posted EUR 432.5 million in sales revenue in the first quarter of the year, up 9% year-on-year. Net profit rose by 5% to EUR 90.7 million, the highest ever for a first quarter, the drug maker said.
        LJUBLJANA - Zavarovalnica Triglav, Slovenia's largest insurance company, posted a group net profit of EUR 33.2 million for the first quarter of 2022, a year-on-year increase of 25%.
        LJUBLJANA - One of the two persons treated in hospital for severe injuries sustained in last week's explosion at chemical company Melamin died, raising the death toll of what the worst industrial accident in Slovenia's history to six.

14 May 2022, 09:03 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.

        LJUBLJANA - Robert Golob, leader of the election-winning Freedom Party and the most likely PM-designate, suggested the new government could have up to four new ministries, as he met with the prospective coalition partners. He said the new coalition would pay particular attention to climate change, inter-generational solidarity, digitalisation and regional development.
        TIRANA, Albania - National Assembly Speaker Igor Zorčič stressed Slovenia supported the EU's enlargement to the Western Balkans, as he attended a conference of speakers from the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative.
        UDINE, Italy - President Borut Pahor and Minister for Slovenians Abroad Helena Jaklitsch visited the Slovenian ethnic minority in Udine, one of the three provinces in Italy's Friuli Venezia Giulai region where the minority lives.
        LJUBLJANA - 5,738 Ukrainian refugees have until now asked for temporary protection in Slovenia, of whom 2,149 underage children. Police data meanwhile show that 21,980 Ukrainians have entered Slovenia since the Ukraine war on 24 February.
        LJUBLJANA - The government approved a EUR 400,000 programme to co-fund investments in local public infrastructure in 2022-2023 in the municipalities of Pivka and Postojna, which host the main training area of the Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF). The funds are a compensation for the damage SAF activities have on local roads.
        LJUBLJANA - The Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC) increased its stake in Mladinska Knjiga, Slovenia's largest publisher, to 83.47% after acquiring 32.25% of shares in a takeover bid.

        LJUBLJANA - The National Electoral Commission (DVK) released the official results of the 24 April general election, which correspond to the unofficial results: the Freedom Movement won 34.45% of the vote and 41 seats in parliament, the SDS received 23.48% and 27 seats, the NSi 6.86% and 8 seats, the SocDems 6.69% and seven MPs, and the Left got 4.46% and 5 MPs. Turnout was at a very high 70.79%. However, it said that due to a computer bug, six terms were initially assigned to wrong candidates. Since the mistake was detected and corrected, the DVK released the names of the six new MPs. The incident earned it calls for resignation, which the commission rejected.
        LJUBLJANA - The government approved Brigadier General Roman Urbanč's promotion to the rank of major general. Urbanč, deputy chief of the general staff, has worked for the Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF) since 1994. He will now have to be formally promoted by the supreme commander, President Borut Pahor.
        LJUBLJANA - The government decided to discontinue some of the last coronavirus restrictions by lifting the Covid pass mandate health and social care workers and the requirement to wear masks at pharmacies.
        LJUBLJANA - Following a two-year coronavirus-prompted break, the Walk along the Wire, an event commemorating the 9 May 1945 liberation of Ljubljana, attracted almost 26,000 hikers and 2,670 runners between Thursday and Saturday.

        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor signed an order calling the maiden session of the new National Assembly for Friday, 13 May, after receiving a report on the official results of the 24 April general election from the National Electoral Commission (DVK). Pahor and DVK president Peter Golob found that the election process was "fair and transparent".
        VRHNIKA - Author Simona Semenič won the Cankar Prize for best original piece of literature published over the past year for Three Plays for Girls (Tri Igre za Punce), which focuses on women's and gender issues. The EUR 10,000 prize is named after writer Ivan Cankar (1876-1918) and was presented for the third year.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia and Hungary announced a joint bid to host the Ice-Hockey World Championship in 2023 after both teams secured berths in the elite division of ice-hockey at a tournament in Ljubljana. This is after the IIHF decided that Rusia's St. Petersburg will not host the elite group next year.
        OPATJE SELO - Slovenia's 550km section of Via Sancti Martini or St Martin's Way, which runs from Hungary to France, was inaugurated after the 90km section between Logatec and Opatje Selo was recently completed. Together with the famous St James's Way or Camino de Santiago, St Martin's Way is one of the two major European cultural routes running through Slovenia.
        MADRID, Spain - Pia Babnik, Slovenia's best professional golfer, finished third in the Ladies European Tour tournament with a prize fund of EUR 300,000.

        BRUSSELS, Belgium - Thirteen EU countries, including Slovenia, presented up a non-paper on the outcome of and follow-up to the Conference on the Future of Europe, warning against rash changes to EU treaties. President Borut Pahor meanwhile joined calls by French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen for such changes.
        KYIV, Ukraine - PM Janez Janša addressed Ukrainians in an video aired on Ukrainian national TV, saying that the West remained oblivious to the fact that Russia never de-Communised and that Ukraine was the real heir of the victories of WWII. Janša said only one evil, Nazism, had been defeated in WWII in 1945, whereas Communism was not.
        LJUBLJANA - Freedom Movement leader Robert Golob, the presumptive PM-designate, announced the new government would impose energy price regulation when it took office, targetting not just fuel but other energy sources as well. He said a combination of an agreement with retailers, regulation of margins and duties, and subsidies was needed.
        LJUBLJANA - Zoran Janković announced his plan to stand for his fifth straight term as mayor of Slovenia's capital in the autumn local elections. He has served as Ljubljana mayor since 2006, winning every election since with an outright majority.
        LJUBLJANA - The RTV Slovenija Programming Council endorsed a new statute of the public broadcaster under which TV news programme will be split into two separate production units. Staff see the changes as an attempt to create separate pro-government and anti-government news programmes, so the journalist trade union urged their withdrawal.

        LJUBLJANA - The government introduced a three-month cap on prices of motor fuels after lifting a 45-day cap on 1 May. It set the maximum retail prices at EUR 1.560 a litre for regular petrol and EUR 1.668 a litre for diesel from 11 May. Fuel retailers whose business will be affected will be eligible for compensation.
        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor's decrees recalling Slovenia's ambassadors to Italy, Egypt, the UAE, Denmark and Slovakia and appointing new ambassadors to Copenhagen, Cairo, Abu Dhabi, Bratislava, Brussels and Seoul became effective as they were published in the Official Gazette. Around 15 new ambassadors are expected to assume their posts by the end of August, including several who in the opinion of the incoming coalition are too connected politically with the current government, so the new government could replace them.
        RIJEKA, Croatia - President Borut Pahor addressed a ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of the umbrella organisation of Slovenians in Croatia, noting the importance of the friendly ties between the two countries and calling for the fastest possible entry of Croatia in the eurozone and Schengen Area.
        LJUBLJANA - The government adopted the 2022 annual plan of investments in the Slovenian Armed Forces, under which the Defence Ministry will have EUR 120.55 million at its disposal to develop two key capabilities for national and collective defence as part of NATO - a battalion battle group and a special operations unit.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - Slovenia pledged to provide EUR 150,000 in humanitarian aid for the civilian population of Syria by 2024 at the donor conference organised by the EU, which raised EUR 6.4 billion.
        LJUBLJANA - As Freedom Movement leader Robert Golob, the presumptive PM-designate, announced his wish to create a strong liberal bloc, the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) and Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) said they were in favour of such consolidation. Golob is seeking to merge his party with the LMŠ and SAB and offered the leaders of both parties, Alenka Bratušek and Marjan Šarec, ministerial posts.
        LJUBLJANA - The government issued a regulation on waste incineration as a public service under which concessions - expectedly four - are to be issued for 30 years. It also adopted a seven-year strategy for tourism that envisages a moderate increase in accommodation capacity and quantitative indicators, and focuses on higher quality, while suspending plans to consolidate state assets in tourism under a new holding.
        KNIN, Croatia - Slovenian energy company Petrol launched its second wind farm in Croatia. The EUR 37 million facility Ljubač with nine turbines, located near Knin in south Croatia, had been on a trial run since last summer, and generates around 96 gigawatt-hours of electricity a year.
        TRBOVLJE - Dewesoft, a Trbovlje-based maker of data acquisition systems, and HBK, a German company specialising in product physics, launched a joint venture called Blueberry to work on backbone standardization for the new generation of data acquisition systems.
        TURIN, Italy - Last Pizza Slice (LPS) did not make it past the semi-final of the Eurovision song contest, the second year in a row that the Slovenian entrant remained without the final.

        LJUBLJANA - The three partners of the incoming coalition finalised the coalition agreement and determined most of the candidates for cabinet posts in an expanded government that will apart from prime minister have 19 ministers and another without portfolio. SocDem leader Tanja Fajon is the candidate for foreign minister and Left leader Luka Mesec will be in charge of a new ministry of solidarity-based future. Both will serve as deputy PMs alongside Danijel Bešič Loredan, a surgeon slated for the health portfolio.
        LJUBLJANA - Defence Minister Matej Tonin signed a memorandum with the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) that paves the way for the purchase of 45 APCs, just hours after he was authorised to do so and two days before the government is relegated to caretaker role. The incoming government opposes the purchase.
        SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina - President Borut Pahor addressed the Sarajevo Business Forum focussing on the role of political stability for economic and social development of Bosnia-Herzegovina. He warned the process of enlargement to the Western Balkans was too slow and appealed for Bosnia to be granted candidate status as soon as possible.
        LJUBLJANA - ECB president Christine Lagarde said the ECB could conduct the first interest rate hike within weeks after it ends purchases under the asset purchase programme early in the third quarter, as she took part in a conference marking the 30th anniversary of Slovenia's central bank.
        LJUBLJANA - The government appointed cardiologist Mitja Lainščak director of the Public Research Agency (ARRS) for a five-year term, thus ending a saga over the director's appointment and the appointment and dismissal of the founder's members on the agency's management board.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's largest banking group, NLB, posted EUR 231.5 million in net profit in the first quarter of 2022, more than triple the figure recorded in the same period last year, on the back of the acquisition of the Slovenian subsidiary of Russia's Sberbank in March. The profit of the core company NLB dropped to nearly EUR 33 million.
        LJUBLJANA - Film, theatre and television actor Ivo Ban, 72, was announced as the recipient of this year's Bert Award for lifetime achievement in film and television conferred by the Slovenian Directors' Guild.
        VALLETTA, Malta - Maltese customs officers seized a record 1.5 tonnes of cocaine hidden in a container carrying bananas from Colombia to Slovenia, the Maltese newspaper Malta Today reported. The contraband is estimated to be worth EUR 300 million.

        KOČEVJE - An explosion and a fire at the Melamin chemical factory in southern Slovenia left six people injured, five are missing presumed dead. The fire was likely caused by human error involving the mishandling of a hazardous chemical.
        LJUBLJANA - The Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) has already signed a contract with Artec, the German supplier of Boxer carriers, on behalf of Slovenia, a day after the government sealed the agreement with OCCAR.
        LJUBLJANA - At its last regular session before being relegated to caretaker role, the government declared 17 May the National Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Communist Violence. It said that the perpetrators of violence and evil acts should be measured by the same criteria.
        LJUBLJANA - A Defence Ministry audit ascertained reasons to suspect criminal offences in the maintenance of Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF) vehicles and procurement of spare parts. The Defence Ministry confirmed the Necnzurirano report and said damage was estimated at EUR 1.2 million.
        LJUBLJANA/BEIJING, China - Slovenian president Borut Pahor and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping exchanged congratulatory messages on the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Pahor said Slovenia was in favour of "constructive European-Chinese relations".
        LJUBLJANA - Telekom Slovenije, the state-owned telecommunications provider, generated EUR 151.2 million in net sales revenue in the first quarter of the year, down 4% from the same period a year ago, the main reason for which is the company quitting electricity retail business on 1 January. The group's net profit rose 23% to EUR 12 million.
        LJUBLJANA - Media reported the bad bank is gearing up to sell tourism companies Istrabenz Turizem and Thermana, including by what unofficial information says are changes to the articles of association regarding the status of the two companies' supervisors, which could facilitate Istrabenz Turizem hotels to be sold to Hungarian buyers.
        LJUBLJANA - The government appointed Zlatko Ratej acting director of the Competition Protection Agency. He will take over for a six-month stint on 1 July, when the term of the incumbent director, Andrej Matvoz, ends

30 Apr 2022, 09:06 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, 22 April
        LJUBLJANA - It was revealed that Agriculture Minister Jože Podgoršek, who stepped down days before, had been in talks to sell a house to KŽK, the company which paid the hotel bill that triggered his resignation and which stood to benefit from his influence on the Farmland Fund.
        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor received individuals from Ukraine who took refuge from the war in their country in Slovenia. He lauded the courage of Ukrainians in standing up to the Russian aggression.
        WASHINGTON, US - Boštjan Vasle, the governor of Slovenia's central bank, warned of lower-than initially expected economic growth and higher inflation as a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. He said EU members were most likely to suffer.
        KOPER - The supervisory board of Luka Koper, the operator of Slovenia's sole seaport, confirmed a draft investment plan worth EUR 248 million through 2030 designed to increase the capacity of the container terminal to 1.75 million units per year from a million at present.
SUNDAY, 24 April
        LJUBLJANA - Newcomer Robert Golob's Freedom Movement won the general election in a landslide, capturing 34.5% of the vote and an unprecedented 41 seats in the 90-member legislature. PM Janez Janša's SDS performed worse than in 2018 at 23.5% but got more seats, 27, because only three other parties made it to parliament. The results pave the way for a new centre-left coalition. Turnout exceeded 70%, the highest since 2000, highlighting the scope of Golob's win.

MONDAY, 25 April
        LJUBLJANA - Freedom Movement president Robert Golob announced that coalition talks would start within days. He said he planned to reach out not just to the SD and Left but also to the liberal LMŠ and SAB, which did not make the 4% threshold to enter parliament, in a move signalling he plans to consolidate the liberal bloc.
        LJUBLJANA - Near-final results showed 36 women were elected to the 90-seat National Assembly, which translates into 40% of all MPs, the highest since Slovenia gained independence. The largest number come from the Freedom Movement, more than half of whose MPs are women.
        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor and Prime Minister Janez Janša congratulated Emmanuel Macron on being elected the president of France for a second term. Both were confident Slovenia and France would continue with their good cooperation.
        LJUBLJANA - The 8 March Institute filed to parliament some 10,000 signatures in support of its bill aimed at repealing several government-sponsored laws the NGO finds harmful. Election winner Robert Golob voiced support for the bill and said it would be one of the first items on the new parliament's agenda.
        LJUBLJANA - Neuroradiologist Zoran Milošević was found guilty of accepting EUR 101,300 in gifts and of money laundering in a case involving the purchase of brain aneurysm closure coils. He was sentenced to three years in prison and fined EUR 50,000.
        ŠKOFJA LOKA - One of Slovenia's most prolific painters France Slana was reported having died at age 95. He was most known for his oil paintings and watercolours, but also for his prints, painted ceramics and tapestries.

TUESDAY, 26 April
        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor met with election winner Robert Golob to tell him he would "fully cooperate" in efforts to make sure Slovenia gets a new government soon. He plans to nominate the prime minister-designate around 23 May, which would pave the way for the appointment of the new government in early June.
        LJUBLJANA - Robert Golob, the most likely candidate for PM-designate, told TV Slovenija there was no need for Croatian politicians to feel uneasy about Slovenia-Croatia relations or open issues after the election. He reiterated that the border arbitration award was the cornerstone for any talks.
        LJUBLJANA - The purchase of 45 Boxer armoured vehicles that Slovenia plans to acquire through the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) will cost EUR 343 million including tax, the Defence Ministry revealed hours after the Constitutional Court upheld a ban on a referendum on the matter. The ministry had previously said it would start price negotiations once the treaty with OCCAR enters into force.
        LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Janez Janša alleged in a series of Twitter posts that Robert Golob, the winner of the general election, was pro-Russian, by virtue of associating himself with people Janša claims are pro-Russian.
        ZAGREB, Croatia - President Borut Pahor held working talks with Croatian President Zoran Milanović. The discussion focused on the next Brdo-Brijuni Process, which will be held in Slovenia later this year.
        BERLIN, Germany - Slovenia supports Ukraine in its battle against Russia's aggression and is willing to provide military and humanitarian assistance, Defence Minister Matej Tonin said as he attended a meeting of a 40-country contact group for Ukraine at Ramstein airbase.
        LJUBLJANA - Jernej Pikalo stepped down as one of the four vice-presidents of the Social Democrats (SD) over what he labelled a poor election result for the party. He wants to encourage a discussion on what went wrong and how to proceed.
        LJUBLJANA/KOPER - Three Slovenian researchers received the prestigious European Research Council grants. Astrophysicist Maruša Bradač got EUR 2.1 million for research into the early history of the universe, mathematician Franc Forstnerič EUR 1.6 million for work on holomorphic partial differential relations, and historian Borut Klabjan EUR 2.5 million for exploration of the history of cross-border practices in the Alps-Adriatic.
        WASHINGTON - Slovenia honoured American Slovenians Mark Ryavec and Stephen Antalics with the Medal of Merit for their efforts for the US to recognise independent Slovenia. They received the medals on behalf of President Borut Pahor from Slovenian Ambassador to the US Tone Kajzer.
        ŽUŽEMBERK - A 13-year-old student sustained light injuries when a shot was inadvertently fired from a pistol in a primary school in Žužemberk. The accident was the result of careless handling of the weapon brought to school by a 14-year-old student.

        NEW DELHI, India - Paying a visit to India, Foreign Minister Anže Logar met with his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on the sidelines of the Raisina Dialogue to discuss several issues, including bilateral cooperation and the consequences of the war in Ukraine.
        STRASBOURG, France - The latest report by 15 media freedom partner organisations to the Council of Europe's Platform for the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists warned about the 2021 situation in Slovenia, noting assaults against journalists, the financial draining of the STA and the misuse of state funds to promote pro-government propaganda.

THURSDAY, 28 April
        LJUBLJANA - The government adopted and forwarded to the European Commission the Stability Programme and the National Reform Programme for 2022. Citing the recent general election and major uncertainty in light of the Ukraine war, it did not provide any new measures in the plans, opting instead for a no policy change scenario and deciding to leave these to the incoming cabinet.
        LJUBLJANA - The Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development downgraded its growth projection for Slovenia for this year from 4.7% in the autumn forecast to 4.2% in the spring forecast, expecting growth to slow down to 3% next year and to 2.8% in 2024 on the back of uncertainties linked to the war in Ukraine.
        BERLIN, Germany - President Borut Pahor held working talks with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier to discuss the Russian aggression against Ukraine and exchange views on the situation in the Western Balkans. They expressed their deep concern about the flagrant violation of the international order by Russia in Ukraine.
        LJUBLJANA - The government extended the validity of reduced excise duties on electricity, motor fuels, heating oil and natural gas for heating for three more months until 31 July. However, it did not take action to extent fuel price caps beyond their expiry at the end of April.
        LJUBLJANA - The government proposed that the terms of five ambassadors - to Slovakia, Denmark, Italy, United Arab Emirates and Egypt - end in the summer and asked President Borut Pahor to consider the proposal.
        LJUBLJANA - The government raised the funds allocated for the purchase of relocatable communication and information systems for the Slovenian Armed Forces from EUR 12.8 million to EUR 30.4 million. The Defence Ministry said the initial value was based on a rough estimate.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - It was confirmed that Matjaž Nemec, a SocDem vice president and MP, was slated to fill the European Parliament seat to be vacated by the party's head Tanja Fajon as she starts her term in the Slovenian National Assembly.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH) was reported to have launched an independent inquiry into the appointment of Tomaž Kokot, an SDS politician who became director general of postal operator Pošta Slovenije several months ago amid allegations of political staffing.
        LJUBLJANA - 2TDK, the state-run company managing the construction of the new railway track between the port city of Koper and the Divača junction inland, discarded the sole bid for the construction of rail and tunnel systems on the track because it was too expensive.


23 Apr 2022, 08:24 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, 15 April
        LJUBLJANA - The Office for the Support and Integration of Migrants data shows that some 1,200 Ukrainian refugees have temporary protection status. A total of 18,415 have been officially recorded in Slovenia, but only 4,718 have been registered as most merely pass through the country. Some have already returned home.
        KLAGENFURT, Austria - Marking the 80th anniversary of the first wave of persecution of Carinthian Slovenians, Peter Kaiser, the governor of the Austrian state of Carinthia, apologised to the Carinthian Slovenians for the horrors they had to endure in a statement published on 14 April.
        RADOVLJICA - An upgrade of the rail track between Kranj and Jesenice, a key section that connects Slovenia's rail system to Austria, was officially inaugurated as the first project partly financed from the EU's Recovery and Resilience Facility.
        LJUBLJANA - The government confirmed plans to build a new general hospital in the north-western Gorenjska region, a project estimated at EUR 305 million, and a long-term care home worth almost EUR 27 million that is to be built in Ptuj in the north-east.
        LJUBLJANA - Bojan Dremelj, a former CEO of Telekom Slovenije, pleaded not guilty at a pre-trial hearing in a case in which three defendants are charged with abuse of office over Telekom's 2007 takeover of the Kosovo internet service provider Ipko.
        STARŠE - A 47-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of murdering her husband, who died at the scene in a village near Maribor in north-eastern Slovenia. The suspect, who apparently stabbed the 48-year-old man during an argument, was later detained. Several media reported the victim was sports journalist Aleš Tihec.

SATURDAY, 16 April
        ORMOŽ - Ground was broken for German motorhome maker Carthago's EUR 45 million new production facility in Ormož in the north-east of the country. Production at the new factory will start by next spring, initially with 160 new workers, said Sandra Županec, director of Carthago's Slovenian subsidiary.
        BRDO PRI KRANJU - Ukraine's national football team will be getting ready for the last match of the European part of qualifications for this year's World Cup in Slovenia, the sport channel Sportklub reported. The team will be training at a new modern hub at Brdo pri Kranju from 29 April.
SUNDAY, 17 April
        LJUBLJANA - In his Easter message, PM Janez Janša noted the importance of hope and unity of the nation, and expressed the wish that Christians show their responsibility by participating in the 24 April general election and choose "true leaders", according to a release from Janša's office.
        LJUBLJANA/MARIBOR - Celebrating Easter, Ljubljana Archbishop Stanislav Zore noted that the Christian holiday was something that brought new hope and life, and Maribor Archbishop Alojzij Cvikl said the message of Easter was that a new beginning is always possible.

MONDAY, 18 April
        VIPAVA - President Borut Pahor assured his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vučić of Slovenia's continued support for the European perspective of the Western Balkans as Vučić paid a working visit to Slovenia, Pahor noted that to ensure peace and stability, leaders in the region must be careful not to escalate the situation.
        LJUBLJANA - Composer and pianist Janez Matičič, one of Slovenia's most notable contemporary composers, died at the age of 95. Centred around piano music, his oeuvre is famous for its modernist and experimental feel. In 2007, he received the Prešeren Prize for lifetime achievement.
        LJUBLJANA - Robert Golob's self-test showed a positive result so the leader of the new party Freedom Movement, seen as PM Janez Janša's main election rival, went into self-isolation only days before the general election and has since participated in a couple of televised election debates via videolink.

TUESDAY, 19 April
        WASHINGTON, US - The IMF downgraded its economic growth forecast for Slovenia in its latest World Economic Outlook, with the country's GDP projected to increase by 3.7% this year and by 3% in 2023, a downgrade of 0.9 and 0.6 percentage points, respectively, from last October.
        MEDVODE - PM Janez Janša, the leader of the Democrats (SDS), noted his party's track record in government and its stimulus policies, and rebuked the opposition, as he addressed SDS members at the party's last major event before polling day. The convention featured a guest appearance by Manfred Weber, chair of the European People's Party, who endorsed the SDS and New Slovenia (NSi).
        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor cast his vote in early voting for the general election, joining civil society organisations and politicians in urging citizens to exercise their right to vote. Voter turnout reached almost 5% in the first two days of the three-day early voting in what is a new record.
        MARIBOR - The Maribor Higher Court quashed the December 2021 ruling sentencing to life in prison Silvo Drevenšek, who pleaded guilty to murdering his former spouse and her parents in front of his four-year-old son on Christmas Eve 2020. The first life sentence since such penalty was reintroduced in Slovenia in 2008 was annulled because of a procedural error, and a retrial was ordered.
        MARIBOR - Maribor Mayor Saša Arsenovič was accused by the father of a 13-year-old of attacking his son and causing him light injuries. Arsenovič initially said he had responded to vandalism, but later conceded he should have acted differently and apologised, but will not resign. The father said he would nevertheless take him to court.
        LJUBLJANA - One of the two trade unions of Slovenian police officers filed a criminal complaint against Interior Minister Aleš Hojs and Robert Kos, the director for organisation and staff at the police, for alleged obstruction of union activity in the force and abuse of office.
        KOPER - A study commissioned by the Italian parliament and presented by a Slovenian environmental NGO advises against extending the lifespan of the Krško Nuclear Power Plant (NEK), the only such facility in Slovenia, due to quake safety concerns.

        LJUBLJANA - Agriculture Minister Jože Podgoršek resigned after he became the target of media scrutiny over a lack of clarity regarding the payment of his weekend stay at an upscale hotel in Bohinj in January. He said he was "resigning exclusively due to the late payment of the bill" after claiming he was being blackmailed and reporting this to the police. The anti-graft watchdog has launched a preliminary inquiry into the matter.
        LJUBLJANA - The tracking poll conducted by Ninamedia for the newspapers Dnevnik and Večer showed the Freedom Movement and the ruling Democrats (SDS) remaining in the lead ahead of Sunday's general election. The Connecting Slovenia alliance would also make it to parliament, whereas the centre-left opposition parties LMŠ and SAB risk being squeezed out. The Left ranked third at 8.8%.
        WASHINGTON, US - Freedom House, a US NGO that evaluates the state of democracy around the world, said in its latest annual report that last year Slovenia saw the biggest democratic decline in the broader region. Slovenia is listed among the six countries that are still labelled as "consolidated democracies", but all suffered score declines due to the "corrosive effects of illiberalism and corruption".
        LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary inquiry into alleged political interference in the work of the police filed criminal complaints against Police Commissioner Anton Olaj and against Anton Travner, former police commissioner. They suspect them of workplace bullying and perjury, respectively.
        LJUBLJANA/UZHHOROD, Ukraine - Slovenian Red Cross reported that it had delivered 55 tonnes of food and 25,000 litres of water to war-stricken Ukrainians. The aid package will provide 40,000 meals for babies and 112,000 meals for adults.
        LJUBLJANA - The Ljubljana Faculty of Arts inaugurated a language centre for Catalan as part of its Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. The new course, which has been available to students since last autumn, is a valuable addition for the faculty, noted Katarina Marinčič, head of the department.
        LJUBLJANA - The French Institute in Slovenia decorated translator Suzana Koncut with the rank of Officer of the Order of the Arts and the Letters for her work in literary translation, notably in the past six years.
        LJUBLJANA - The Catholic publisher Družina and the Government Communication Office launched a monograph chronicling events from 23 December 1990 when Slovenians opted for independence in a referendum and 15 January 1992 when Slovenia was recognised as an independent country by the European Community, the forerunner of the EU.

THURSDAY, 21 April
        BERLIN, Germany - The German news agency dpa reported that Germany had concluded an agreement to send heavy weapons to Ukraine with several other European countries, including Slovenia, which would send its tanks to Ukraine in return for tanks and armoured personnel carriers from Germany's own stock. The Slovenian Defence Ministry initially declined to comment for the STA, but later said that Minister Matej Tonin and his German counterpart Christine Lambrecht met via video call on Wednesday, discussing "how allied countries can help Ukraine to defend itself against Russian aggression".
        LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken underlined in a phone call the need to continue supporting Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity with strong security support. They also condemned the atrocities of the Russian forces in the war against Ukraine and stressed that Moscow should be held accountable, Janša's office said.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenian police recorded 2,023 attempts at illegal crossing of the border in the first three months of the year, up 77.5% over the same period last year. Afghanis accounted for over a third of all those intercepted, the latest police statistics show.
        LJUBLJANA - The government extended the regulation of heating oil prices under which retailers' margin is capped at six cents per litre. The decree entered into force on 21 April and is valid for 30 days.
        LJUBLJANA - Pollster Valicon expects a tough battle for election victory, with the Freedom Movement just slightly ahead of the Democrats (SDS), and the Social Democrats (SD), New Slovenia (NSi) and the Left also most probably getting into parliament. The fate of three parties - Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB), Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) and Connecting Slovenia - is to be decided by tactical voters. Valicon estimates the turnout will be at around 68%.
        LJUBLJANA - Telekom Slovenije posted a group net profit of EUR 37.9 million for 2021, up 52% over the year before, on sales revenue that was broadly flat at EUR 648.2 million. The group earmarked a total of EUR 208.2 million for investments in 2021.
        LJUBLJANA - The shareholders of energy company Petrol decided to distribute practically the entire distributable profit from last year, or EUR 61.8 million, meaning they will receive EUR 30 gross per share, which is EUR 8 more than in 2021. They also confirmed the management's proposal to split one Petrol share into 20 shares in order to improve liquidity and attract new investors.
        LJUBLJANA - The Bank Assets Management Company finished 2021 with EUR 178.4 million in revenue from asset management and a pre-tax profit of EUR 63.2 million, up by 57% year-on-year. The average annual return on equity, whose target value under law is set at 8%, reached 25%, the annual report shows.
        VENICE, Italy - The Slovenian pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale opened with the exhibition of paintings by Marko Jakše, one of Slovenia's most acclaimed painters, known for his surrealist Daliesque canvases. Jakše represents Slovenia at the prestigious visual art exhibition with Without a Master, which brings 13 canvases the 62-year-old artist has made in this century.

09 Apr 2022, 09:30 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 April
        GROSUPLJE - Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec, speaking during the government's visit to the south of Central Slovenia, said Slovenia would not pay for Russian gas in roubles and would not accept Russia's extortion.
        VRHNIKA - PM Janez Janša announced the government would continue to intervene as long as necessary to contain high electricity prices. He said this would be until the European pricing formula changed.
        LOGATEC - Interior Minister Aleš Hojs visited the Logatec refugee centre, revealing that more than 5,800 Ukrainian refugees were accommodated in Slovenia, most at private accommodations or with their friends or relatives. However, procedures to award them temporary protection status are sunning slowly.
        LJUBLJANA - More than 1,400 candidates representing 20 parties and groups will stand for seats in parliament in the 24 April election, including ten of the 18 incumbent ministers and 80 of the 90 sitting MPs.
        LJUBLJANA - The Parsifal poll conducted for Siol news portal showed the gap between the Democrats (SDS) and the Freedom Movement narrowing from almost nine points to six with the former polling at 21.7% and the latter at 15.4%.
        LJUBLJANA - Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) analysts forecast for the Slovenian economy to expand by 3.7% this year and by 3.2% in 2023.
        LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - Juliane Kokott, an advocate general at the EU's court, issued a preliminary opinion at the request of the Slovenian Constitutional Court, finding that the Slovenian central bank's financing compensation for bank shareholders and bondholders wiped out in the 2013 bailout would run afoul of the EU treaty.
        COPENHAGEN, Denmark - A report released by the European Environment Agency showed that Slovenia is one of the five European countries with the highest recorded concentrations of the PM 2.5 fine particulate matter.

        VANCOUVER, Canada - Minister for Slovenians Abroad Helena Jaklitsch wrapped up a busy week-long tour of the Slovenian communities in Canada in Vancouver, after visiting Toronto and Ottawa. Apart from visiting Slovenian associations, she also met with businessmen of Slovenian descent and visited their companies.
        LJUBLJANA/SEŽANA - Alojz Kralj, the last surviving member of the underground anti-fascist organisation TIGR, died aged 101. His memoirs tell about the TIGR, founded in 1927 as one of the first anti-fascist resistance movements in Europe.
        LJUBLJANA - The government included a comprehensive renovation of the main building of the UKC Ljubljana medical centre, called Hospital, in the plan of development programmes for 2022-2025. The EUR 37 million will be secured by the Health Ministry.

SUNDAY, 3 April
        LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša labelled the atrocities Russia is believed to have committed in Bucha, a city close to Kyiv, crimes against humanity, likening them to the 1940 execution of Poles in Katyn by the Soviet Union.
        NOVO MESTO - Andrej Saje, the bishop of Novo Mesto and head of the Slovenian Bishops' Conference, apologised to the victims of sexual abuse by the clergy on behalf of the Catholic Church in Slovenia, as he marked the day of prayer for the victims.
        LJUBLJANA - The Freedom Movement narrowly overtook the ruling Democrats (SDS) in the opinion poll commissioned by the public broadcaster TV Slovenija from Mediana and is now one percentage point ahead, at 19.7%.
        NEW YORK, US - Slovenia and Croatia marked the 30th anniversary of their UN membership with a concert by the world-renowned Slovenian-Croatian duo 2Cellos, who thus started their valedictory world tour. The concert at the Barclays Center also expressed solidarity with Ukraine with ambassadors from all three countries attending.
        NEW YORK, US - Karen Kamenšek, a conductor of Slovenian descent who served as artistic director of the Maribor opera house and the chief conductor of its orchestra years ago, won the Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording for her version of Philip Glass's opera Akhnaten.

MONDAY, 4 April
        ZAPREŠIĆ, Croatia - Foreign Minister Anže Logar met his Croatian and Italian counterparts, Gordan Grlić Radman and Luigi Di Maio. They assessed the ongoing trilateral cooperation in the north Adriatic and discussed proposals for further cooperation. The trio strongly condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine and supported Ukraine and its people.
        KRK, Croatia - Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec met Croatian Economy Minister Tomislav Ćorić to discuss possibilities for Slovenia to get gas visa the LNG terminal on the island of Krk. Croatia is to publish a call to lease out additional capacity soon. Slovenia hopes to meet about a third of its gas needs in this way.
        LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša congratulated Hungarian PM Viktor Orban and his Fidesz party on the fourth consecutive win. "It's good to have friends as neighbours," Janša wrote on Twitter.
        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor congratulated Aleksandar Vučić on his re-election as Serbia's president in a phone call with Pahor's office saying the pair were keen to hold an informal meeting soon.
        LJUBLJANA - The Commission for the Prevention of Corruption found PM Janez Janša was in a conflict of interest as he voted for the appointment of Franci Matoz, his long-time lawyer, for a top job at the Bank Assets Management Company in July 2021. Janša criticised the watchdog on Twitter for failing to find flaws in Court of Audit President Tomaž Vesel's work for FIFA or the salaries and bonuses of former Gen-I chairman Robert Golob.
        LJUBLJANA - Fresh official statistics showed Slovenia's merchandise exports rising by almost 19% year-on-year in January to EUR 36 billion, as exports surged by over 50% to EUR 4.2 billion. In the first two months, the trade deficit topped a billion euros.
        LJUBLJANA - Croatian group Fortenova became the sole shareholder of Mercator, Slovenia's largest retailer, after squeezing out all remaining small shareholders.
        LJUBLJANA - A portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin filled with the blood of Ukrainians was projected onto several buildings in the centre of Ljubljana in a project of Russian-born conceptual artist Andrei Molodkin.
        LJUBLJANA - Emerik Bernard, one of the most important Slovenian painters and representatives of late Slovenian modernism and postmodernism, died aged 84.
        LOS ANGELES, US - Slovenia's best professional golfer, 18-year-old Pia Babnik, set a new milestone by taking third place in the first major tournament of the season, the Chevron Championship in California, in what is by far the best result any Slovenian golfer has ever achieved.

TUESDAY, 5 April
        LJUBLJANA - The Foreign Ministry announced that Slovenia demanded from the Russian Embassy in Ljubljana to downsize its staff from 41 to eight as it summoned Russian Ambassador Timur Eyvazov to express the country's protest and shock at the killings of civilians in Bucha and other towns in Ukraine.
        LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian Armed Forces said 100 Slovenian troops would be deployed to Slovakia to enhance NATO's presence on its eastern flank in the first phase, out of up to the 200 pledged. They will be ready for departure from 11 April.
        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor discussed Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the importance of Ukraine-Russia negotiations hosted by Turkey in a phone call with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
        LJUBLJANA - Most parties standing in the 24 April general election think Slovenia should not provide weapons to Ukraine, but foremost humanitarian aid, and accept Ukrainian refugees, judging by their answers to the STA.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's jobless total dropped to 60,534 at the end of March, down 6.6% from February and 26.7% lower year-on-year, the Employment Service announced, adding this is the lowest since September 2008, at the peak of economic growth.
        LJUBLJANA - A Eurobarometer survey showed Slovenians were quite happy with their life in general but only one out of three was happy with the way democracy works in their country, which puts them below only Greece and Croatia.
        MONTREUX, Switzerland - Tadej Pogačar became the first rider in history to pass the 6,000 point mark in the UCI world road race ranking as Slovenia took the lead in the nations ranking with Primož Roglič in 2nd and Matej Mohorič in 5th.

        LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly imposed a blanket ban on fracking as MPs voted 54 in favour and none against to pass the relevant amendments to the mining act. The ban affects plans by UK investor Ascent Resources to extract gas by means of hydraulic fracturing in Petišovci in the north-east.
        LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly failed to take a vote on a bill on electronic communications that was to transpose the relevant EU directive as well as make it possible to ban vendors such as Huawei as the centre-left opposition filed a motion for a referendum, which now needs to be discussed first. Slovenia faces legal action at the EU court for failing to transpose the directive.
        POLZELA - President Borut Pahor and US Ambassador Jamie L. Harpootlian addressed a ceremony to mark Slovenian-American Friendship Day and 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations at a spot where an American B-17 bomber was downed during WWII. In their address, they both made references to the war in Ukraine with Harpootlian saying the atrocities committed by Russia were a stark reminder of what the B-17 bomber crew was fighting for.
        LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly passed a coalition-sponsored bill on a housing state guarantee scheme for young people. The Institute for Housing and Spatial Studies said the scheme would only drive up housing prices further.
        LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly passed a bill to provide up to EUR 392.44 million in loan guarantees to motorway company DARS for projects on the Third Development Axis expressway and some other motorway sections.
        LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly passed a bill to provide EUR 150 million for investment in sport infrastructure in the 2023-2027 period. The priority areas for financing will be determined by the government.
        LJUBLJANA - The Freedom Movement, a non-parliamentary party that some polls favour to win the 24 April election, announced the Administrative Court issued a temporary decision in which it upheld its argument that it should be granted the status of a parliamentary party in election debates aired by the public broadcaster RTV Slovenija just like Our Land, the party of former Agriculture Minister Aleksandra Pivec, whom RTV Slovenija granted such status.
        LJUBLJANA - Several hundred scientists rallied in protest against the transformation of private educational and research institutions into public entities eligible for public funds, a policy they say is driven by political interests. Meanwhile, the centre-left opposition prevented adoption of a regulation to transform a private Novo Mesto college into a public faculty by filing for a referendum.
        MARIBOR - NKBM, Slovenia's second largest banking group, nearly halved its net profit last year to EUR 112.6 million. The bank is being sold to the Hungarian OTP Bank group in a transaction that is expected to be finalised in the second or third quarter of the year.

        BRUSSELS - Foreign Minister Anže Logar called for a prompt EU ban on Russian gas imports as he arrived at day two of a NATO ministerial. Slovenia joined an initiative of eleven EU countries calling for an end the EU's dependence on Russian fossil fuels.
        LJUBLJANA - The government secured extra funding for the Climate Change Fund in the 2021-2023 period, with the total of inflows and carry-ons from past years estimated at EUR 525.2 million for the period, up from EUR 170 million in inflows a year. The funds will also go for household energy supply and investment in energy efficiency.
        LJUBLJANA - The government adopted a decree to incentivise municipalities to approve installation of wind farms by providing compensation amounting to 3% of the estimated annual revenue from the energy produced from the source.
        LJUBLJANA - The government adopted a bill to impose a 5% tax on natural persons when they turn their cryptocurrency into a fiat currency or buy goods, services or other assets, but only if the sum exceeds EUR 10,000 in a calendar year. The Finance Ministry estimates at least EUR 1 million a year in budget receipts.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia welcomed the UN General Assembly's decision to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council, which Foreign Minister Anže Logar termed as an important victory for democratic principles of multilateralism.
        LJUBLJANA - The Fiscal Council urged increasing public spending to attain climate and energy goals nearly threefold by 2030 to 6% of GDP a year from an average of EUR 1 billion or 2% of GDP a year in 2016-2020.
        LJUBLJANA - The Responses to Educational Disruption Survey, an international study of how the educational system fared during the Covid pandemic, showed worrying results for Slovenia in the segments of achievement of learning objectives, knowledge standards and marks.
        DOBROVNIK - Ocean Orchids, Slovenia's leading orchid grower and one of the biggest users of geothermal energy in the country, won a EUR 2 million government subsidy to build the first reinjection well in Slovenia.
        LJUBLJANA - The newspaper Delo reported that Franc Kangler, a state secretary who served as Maribor mayor in 2006-2012, was awarded EUR 50,000 in damages for being wrongfully convicted to prison for awarding a municipal flat to a fortune teller.

02 Apr 2022, 10:27 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, 25 March
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - Prime Minister Janez Janša expressed regret about political clashes over things he said were unimportant in war as he commented on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's criticism of Hungary's attitude towards Ukraine. "It's largely about political rhetoric, Hungary has not blocked any sanctions or other serious measures so far," he said.
        KOPER/LENDAVA - Two candidates will bid for the seat designated for the Italian minority in the National Assembly and three to serve as the Hungarian minority MP in the 24 April election, including both incumbents. The Italian minority MP Felice Žiža will face off Maurizio Tremul, the long-serving head of the minority's umbrella organisation. Hungarian minority MP Ferenc Horvath will compete against Otto Močnek of the Hungarian consulate in Lendava and Mihael Kasaš, the head of the Lendava city administration.
        LJUBLJANA - The non-parliamentary parties Good State and Our Future announced they would contest the 24 April general election together. They filed a joint ticket along with two other political groups. The list of 78 candidates includes Violeta Tomić, currently an MP for the Left, and rapper Zlatko, an anti-masker.
        LJUBLJANA/MARIBOR/KOPER - Supporters of the Youth for Climate Justice movement gathered in Ljubljana, Maribor and Koper to let decision makers know before the April election that the planet must have priority over capital. They addressed a list of demands for a better future to mayors and to parties contesting the upcoming election.
        PLANICA, 25 March (STA) - Slovenian ski jumpers swept the podium in the first individual event of the World Cup season finale, as Žiga Jelar won the event ahead of Peter Prevc and Anže Lanišek. Timi Zajc was fourth to round off the complete domination of the home team in front of the capacity crowd at Planica.

SATURDAY, 26 March
        LJUBLJANA - National Assembly Speaker Igor Zorčič gave a generally positive assessment of the parliament's work upon the end of the current four-year term, adding that any speaker should retain a neutral position. In an interview with the STA, he assessed that he had performed his role in line with professional standards.
        PLANICA - Slovenia's Žiga Jelar, Peter Prevc, Timi Zajc and Anže Lanišek won the last Ski Jumping World Cup team event of the season in Planica before some 20,000 spectators. With 1,601.1 points, the team outperformed Norway by 24.2 points and third-placed Austria by 56.9.

SUNDAY, 27 March
        LJUBLJANA/KYIV, Ukraine - Slovenia's interim chargé d'affaires Boštjan Lesjak arrived in Kyiv after Slovenia decided to reopen its embassy there. Slovenia's Ambassador to Ukraine Tomaž Mencin continues with his work from Rzeszow, a town on the Polish-Ukrainian border where most other ambassadors are located.
        LJUBLJANA - Žito, a bread and pasta maker owned by Croatian food company Podravka, announced it planned to shut down two production locations in Slovenia, in Ljubljana and Novo Mesto, in a move it says will improve productivity and long-term profitability.
        PLANICA - Marius Lindvik of Norway won the last Ski Jumping World Cup event of the season, while Ryoyu Kobayashi of Japan finished 8th to secure his overall win in the World Cup. Lindvik was followed by Yukiya Sato of Japan and Slovenia's Peter Prevc.

MONDAY, 28 March
        ZAGREB - PM Janez Janša and his Croatian counterpart Andrej Plenković talked about cooperation in gas supply and the Krško nuclear power plant as they met in the Croatian capital. While Slovenia is interested in getting natural gas through the Krk LNG terminal, Croatia expressed an interest in investing in the expansion of Krško.
        BRDO PRI KRANJU - The EU's enlargement to its eastern neighbourhood dominated the opening session of the conference of EU parliamentary speakers with President Borut Pahor arguing the EU should reach a consensus on how to speed up accession talks while preserving safeguards in terms of fulfilment of criteria and rules.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - Some 7,000 refugees from Ukraine have so far applied for temporary protection in Slovenia, Franc Kangler, a state secretary at the Interior Ministry, told reporters during a session of EU Home Affairs Council. Roughly 50,000 people from Ukraine have crossed Slovenia, most of them heading on to Italy, France and Spain.
        TRIESTE, Italy - A contract was signed in Trieste to formally transfer the ownership of National Hall, a building of great symbolic importance to the Slovenian minority in Italy, from the University of Trieste on to the minority. The ceremony was attended by Italian President Sergio Mattarella.
        LJUBLJANA - The public broadcaster invited protest by deciding to treat the party of Aleksandra Pivec, the former agriculture minister, as a parliamentary party in election debates arguing it is a legal successor to the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), the party Pivec used to head. DeSUS protested against Our Land being declared their legal successor, while Robert Golob's Freedom Movement, which applied for the same status but was rejected, said it would boycott TV Slovenija debates.
        LJUBLJANA - Blaž Košorok was relieved of his duties as a state secretary at the Infrastructure Ministry with media reports tipping him as a serious contender to become CEO of GEN Energija, one of two major energy groups in the country. Košorok served as CEO of HSE, the state-owned holding running a series of power plants.
        LJUBLJANA - Telekom Slovenije, the majority state-owned telecoms incumbent, has finalised an agreement to buy software developer Actual I.T. for EUR 20.6 million. The transaction is expected to be completed within six months.
TUESDAY, 29 March
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - Health Minister Janez Poklukar said after a meeting of EU health ministers that Slovenia could accept more than 50 Ukrainian patients. For now, Slovenia has offered to admit four sick people from Ukraine. Poklukar also endorsed the proposal from Poland to establish a special mechanism for financing the treatment of Ukrainian patients.
        BRDO PRI KRANJU - The second day of the conference of EU parliamentary speakers focussed on the EU as a guarantor of stability, safety and prosperity in the region and beyond. The speakers stressed the importance of EU enlargement. Slovenian Speaker Igor Zorčič said the Russian aggression of Ukraine represented everything the EU had been fighting against.
        LJUBLJANA - Amnesty International said in its 2021 report on human rights that Slovenia's refugee legislation was too restrictive as access to asylum continues to be denied to potential asylum seekers irregularly entering the country. It also noted that media freedom had deteriorated, including through verbal attacks on journalists and the defunding of the STA, and that freedom of peaceful assembly had been restricted during the pandemic.
        LJUBLJANA - Huawei presented a legal opinion that it says shows the new bill on electronic communications, which parliament will vote on Thursday, has shortcomings which could lead to lawsuits at the EU court and disputes at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
        IZOLA - It was revealed that Izola Mayor Danilo Markočič has been charged with abuse of office in a case that led to the resignation of Aleksandra Pivec as agriculture minister in the autumn of 2020. The charges concern a hotel bill that the municipality paid for Pivec and her sons during what was supposed to be an official function.
        LJUBLJANA - The Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC) published a takeover bid for Mladinska Knjiga, Slovenia's largest publisher, offering EUR 8.90 per share or roughly EUR 5.35 million for the 48.77% stake it does not hold already.

        KRŠKO - Blaž Košorok, until a few days ago a state secretary at the Infrastructure Ministry, was appointed chairman of GEN Energija, a state-owned power company that manages Slovenia's half of the Krško nuclear power station. He succeeds Martin Novšak, who was dismissed just over a month ago.
        LJUBLJANA - The news portals 24ur and Necenzurirano reported that the state prosecution was looking into the licence fee that Telekom Slovenije, the state-owned telecoms operator, is paying to carry Nova24TV on suspicion that the fee was disproportionately high and constituted unlawful financing of the broadcaster.
        LJUBLJANA - The 8 March Institute, one of the NGOs that had initiated a referendum on changes to the waters act, started collecting signatures in support of a bill repealing government legislation they deem harmful. The centre-left opposition voiced support for the move, the coalition decried it as meddling in the election campaign.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's charge d'affaires at the embassy in Kyiv Boštjan Lesjak told TV Slovenija that he had to take down the Slovenian flag in front of the embassy because its similarity with the Russian flag could incite "undesired incidents". But the Slovenian Foreign Ministry told the STA the next day that after the Ukrainian security forces beefed up security, Lesjak again raised the Slovenian flag and now it was to stay there.
        LJUBLJANA - In the first two months of the year the Slovenian police handled 1,128 instances of illegal crossing of the border, almost double the figure in the same period last year. More than a third of the cases involved citizens of Afghanistan. police data showed.
THURSDAY, 31 March
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's general government deficit amounted to EUR 2.705 billion or 5.2% of GDP last year, or EUR 961 million less than in 2020. Gross general government debt reached 74.7% of GDP, decreasing by 5.1 percentage points in relative terms year-on-year while nominally increasing by EUR 1.435 billion, the Statistics Office said.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia recorded an annual inflation rate of 5.4% in March, a significant drop from 6.9% in February, as a 30% decline in electricity prices shaved a full percentage point off the headline rate, the Statistics Office reported.
        LJUBLJANA - Matjaž Nemec, an MP for the opposition SocDems, said PM Janez Janša was jeopardising the 2009 border arbitration agreement between Slovenia and Croatia and abusing office as he engages in talks with Croatia on what was already agreed on. Nemec spoke to the press a day after a Croatia newspaper reported that Croatia and Slovenia had drawn up a pilot plan to solve the issue of fishing in the Bay of Piran.
        ABU DHABI, UAE - Potential for stronger economic cooperation and current international issues topped the agenda as National Assembly Speaker Igor Zorčič met with Saqr Ghobash, speaker of the the Federal National Council, at the outset of a two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates. The officials said about the war in Ukraine that "confrontation does not lead anywhere, peace is the only answer to conflicts".
        LJUBLJANA - The government capped the wholesale price of regular petrol and diesel two and a half weeks after regulating retail prices. The wholesale price has been set two cents below the retail price, a price the government said provided a margin that would make it possible for small retailers to secure fuel supplies.
        LJUBLJANA - The new management of the Radioactive Waste Management Agency reversed the decision by the previous management not to pick any of the three bids for the construction of a radwaste repository. The bids, two of which were originally disqualified and one deemed too high, will now be re-examined.
        VINICA - President Borut Pahor and UK Ambassador to Slovenia Tiffany Sadler marked Slovenia-UK Friendship Day in Gornji Suhor, a village in south-eastern Slovenia where a British bomber crashed in March 1945 while locals and Slovenian Partisans helped save some of the crew.
        LJUBLJANA - The government formally relieved of their duties the Slovenian ambassadors accredited to Belgium and Croatia, Rado Genorio and Vojislav Šuc, respectively, as their terms expire at the end of May. Petra Kežman was appointed Slovenia's new national coordinator for relations with the Union for the Mediterranean.
        LJUBLJANA - National motorway company DARS generated almost EUR 470 million in sales revenue in 2021, up from over EUR 398 million in 2020. The largest share of revenue - EUR 456 million - came from motorway tolls. Net profit almost doubled to EUR 112.7 million.
        LINZ, Austria - Slovenian artist Špela Petrič was named one of two recipients of the ArtScience Residencies which the Art Collection Deutsche Telekom awards in collaboration with Ars Electronica to artists working at the intersection of art and science.

26 Mar 2022, 07:14 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, 18 March
        LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Janez Janša told RTV Slovenija that his visit to Kyiv with the Czech and Polish counterparts had not been coordinated with Russia. The EU did inform the UN about the visit though, which then informed Russia.
        LJUBLJANA - Health Minister Janez Poklukar announced after meeting Polish Ambassador Krzysztof Olendzki that Slovenia would welcome Ukrainian patients, including those with tuberculosis, those who need haemodialysis, who have had organ transplants, cancer patients, pregnant women and some intensive care cases to mitigate the impact of the war in Ukraine on the Polish healthcare system.
        ANKARAN - The government established a new centre for Ukrainian refugees at Interior Ministry premises on the Debeli Rtič peninsula, which have been transferred to the Government Office for the Support and Integration of Migrants.
        LJUBLJANA - Nevzet Porić, who was elected mufti of the Islamic community in Slovenia in June 2021, was officially inaugurated at a ceremony in Ljubljana's Muslim Cultural Centre, which was attended by representatives of the Islamic communities from the region, and representatives of other religious communities in Slovenia.
        LJUBLJANA - Energy group Petrol generated sales revenues of EUR 4.96 billion in 2021, which is up 61% year-on-year. Net profit was up by 72% to EUR 124.5 million. The group posted EUR 543.4 million in adjusted gross profit, up 27% over 2020.
        HOČE - The Austrian-Canadian multinational Magna Steyr announced it had resumed production at the Hoče paint shop after a suspension of almost two years due to the pandemic. The company has also been granted a two-year extension to meet its commitments in exchange for the government incentive approved in 2017.
        LJUBLJANA - The Economy Ministry published a second call for applications to support airlines that will fly to Slovenia in 2022 offering EUR 2 million in fresh subsidies after many airlines suspended their flights during the Covid-19 pandemic.
        AJDOVŠČINA - After selling ultralight aircraft Pipistrel to the US company Textron, CEO Ivo Boscarol decided to donate EUR 25 million of the proceeds to the Ajdovščina municipality where Pipistrel is based, to build a new community health centre and aviation museum, and to create new green spaces.

SATURDAY, 19 March
        MARIBOR - Marjan Šarec was re-elected president of his LMŠ party as the only candidate to vie for the post. He said the party would aim to enter the new government to push for normalisation and a return to democracy.
        LJUBLJANA - The Freedom Movement confirmed its list of candidates and presented its election platform centred on the green transition, modern welfare state, and a free and open society governed by the rule of law.
        BIČ - Adria Mobil, a maker of caravans and motorhomes, launched a new plant for the production of camper vans, an investment worth over four million euros. The plan is to produce 7,000 camper vans per year.
        BELGRADE, Serbia - Slovenia's Tina Šutej won bronze in the women's pole vault at the World Athletics Indoor Championships with 4.75 metres.
        SAN REMO, Italy - Slovenian cyclist Matej Mohorič became the surprise winner of the 113th Milan-Sanremo after escaping a strong group that included race favourites Tadej Pogačar and Wout van Aert four kilometres before the finish line.

SUNDAY, 20 March
        LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Janez Janša announced Slovenia planned to sent its diplomatic representatives back to Kyiv soon and would work to convince the EU do the same. The diplomats would return to Kyiv on a voluntary basis.
        NEW YORK, US - UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres appointed former Slovenian President and the head of the Club of Madrid Danilo Türk to the High-Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism along with 11 other respectable former and current leaders and experts.
        OBERSTDORF, Germany - Timi Zajc won a Ski Flying World Cup event in Obersdorf, Germany, in what was the second victory in his career after Oberstdorf in 2019.

MONDAY, 21 March
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - Foreign Minister Anže Logar said after ministerial talks that Slovenia advocated stepping up sanctions against Russia, including by closing the ports to Russian vessels and banning imports of Russian energy.
        BRDO PRI KRANJU - Interior Minister Aleš Hojs presented Slovenia's activities and government measures related to the Ukraine crisis as he met foreign ambassadors in the country. He said that since 10 March, 4,400 persons from Ukraine had requested temporary protection.
        LJUBLJANA - The National Institute of Public Health announced that its advisory group on immunization had proposed that refugee children be offered vaccination in line with Slovenia's national vaccination programme, including against tuberculosis and Covid-19, and small children also against flu.
        LJUBLJANA - The Competition Protection Office announced it was investigating milling companies Mlin Korošec, Mlinopek, Mlinotest, Panvita and Žito on suspicion that they had colluded to fix wheat purchase prices.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - Discussing measures to stabilise the EU food sector amid the war in Ukraine with EU counterparts, Agriculture Minister Jože Podgoršek said the European Commission would release around EUR 500 million in reserves to help the most affected farmers, with Slovenia entitled to EUR 1.7 million.
        AJDOVŠČINA - Firefighters managed to contain a mayor wildfire in an inaccessible grassy area on the slopes of the Gora mountain near Ajdovščina in western Slovenia, but said it would be completely extinguished only by the first rainfall. The fire is believed to have been caused by ashes that were thrown out by a senior citizen.
TUESDAY, 22 March
        LJUBLJANA - The government adopted an initiative to revoke an agreement with Russia on scientific and cultural centres because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and submitted it to the parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee for confirmation.
        LJUBLJANA - UNICEF Slovenija said it had sent emergency aid worth more than EUR 400,000 for children and families to Ukraine and its neighbouring countries in the past week. The organisation has also been providing assistance at the refugee accommodation centre in Logatec.
        LJUBLJANA - The government adopted a decision that establishes conditions for allied unmanned military aircraft flying over Slovenia during the time of NATO's crisis response to the situation in Ukraine. It also adopted an amendment on the regulation dealing with sanctions against Russia.
        LJUBLJANA - The supervisory board of Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH) appointed economist Peter Drobež as the third member of the management board to complete the board of the state asset custodian after two board members resigned due to irregularities in January 2021.
        LJUBLJANA - After a report last week about the ongoing integration of around 140 children from Ukraine into schools in Slovenia, Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković announced that nine refugee children from Ukraine were already enrolled in a primary school in Ljubljana, while preparations were under way for nine more.
        LJUBLJANA - The national advisory committee on immunization announced that those who have received Johnson&Johnson's single-shot Janssen vaccine as their initial jab against Covid-19 would be able to get a second booster shot due to Austria's vaccination rules, which do not recognise the single dose Janssen jab as a full vaccination against Covid-19.
        TREBNJE - Innova Capital, a Polish private equity fund, sold Trimo, a Slovenian-based maker of prefabricated building components, to Belgian company Recticel for EUR 164 million. The deal is expected to be completed in the third quarter.
        NAZARJE - Home appliances maker BSH Hišni Aparati increased revenue by more than 20% to nearly EUR 500 million last year. This year, the Slovenian subsidiary of the Bosch group expects only moderate growth due to the Russian-Ukrainian war, its director Boštjan Gorjup told the STA.
        LJUBLJANA - Legendary Croatian footballer and manager Robert Prosinečki officially took over as the new coach of Ljubljana's biggest football club Olimpija, which has recently seen a number of unconvincing performances and results.

        BRDO PRI KRANJU - Prime Minister Janez Janša announced the Slovenian diplomatic mission in Kyiv would operate at the level of chargé d'affaires with full powers for the duration of the emergency situation. He did not reveal who the chargé d'affaires will be, but said that several volunteers had come forward.
        DOHA, Qatar - President Borut Pahor started a two-day official visit to Qatar by meeting Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. They assessed that there are many opportunities to further strengthen bilateral cooperation, especially in energy, sustainable development, tourism and investment.
        LJUBLJANA - The Constitutional Court dismissed a petition to examine whether the Left and the Social Democrats (SD) may be functioning in contravention of the constitution and whether their programmes may be unconstitutional, deeming it to be without merit. The two opposition parties welcomed the decision suggesting the ruling coalition Democrats (SDS) were behind the constitutional petition.
        LJUBLJANA - The government confirmed plans to deploy up to 200 Slovenian troops in Slovakia as part NATO's enhanced forward presence on its eastern flank. The total includes support staff and staff serving at headquarters and rotations are possible.
        BRDO PRI KRANJU - Green transition and digitalisation, connectivity in all areas, re-industrialisation and the role of the state and the financial system were identified as four main target areas at the Slovenian Business Summit, an annual event organised by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry at Brdo estate and featuring most senior government officials.
        LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly passed a new act on the prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing, replacing the relevant act from 2016. While the government argued the act was needed so as to transpose three EU directives, the centre-left opposition is concerned that it will give relevant authorities too broad powers.
        LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly voted down a proposal sponsored by the opposition National Party (SNS) and backed by the ruling Democrats (SDS) to ban publication of political opinion polls for half a year before elections.
        BUDAPEST, Hungary - Minister for Slovenians Abroad Helena Jaklitsch warned about persistent differences in the level of rights, political representation and financing enjoyed by the Slovenian minority in Hungary compared to the Hungarian community in Slovenia as she addressed a session of a Slovenian-Hungarian commission for minorities.
        LJUBLJANA - The four centre-left opposition parties and Robert Golob's Freedom Movement issued a joint statement to protest against what they see as attempts to subjugate public broadcaster RTV Slovenija and to support journalists' warnings about irregularities and pressure they experience at work. The leadership of RTV Slovenija retorted that the statement amounted to political pressure.
        NOVO MESTO - Revoz, the Slovenian subsidiary of French car maker Renault, was forced to stop assembling cars earlier this week over an irregular supply of electronic components for cars it manufactures in Novo Mesto, south-eastern Slovenia. Production is expected to resume next week.
        LJUBLJANA - SIJ, the Slovenian steel group in majority Russian ownership, reported it turned to profit last year after posting a net loss of EUR 49.9 million in 2020. Last year, net profit reached EUR 29.2 million.
THURSDAY, 24 March
        LJUBLJANA - A senior Foreign Ministry official confirmed that Boštjan Lesjak will be sent to Ukraine's capital Kyiv as Slovenia's interim chargé d'affaires after Slovenian diplomats left Ukraine when the war broke out. Lesjak, a lieutenant-colonel, was previously an employee of the Defence Ministry, but has now been employed at the Foreign Ministry. The Slovenian ambassador to Ukraine is currently stationed in Poland.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - PM Janez Janša warned as he arrived at the NATO summit that Russia's shelling of chemical facilities in Ukraine could lead to disaster. But it is unlikely the Russian army would use chemical or biological weapons on purpose for tactical achievements, because that would be "very unwise as it would cause a disaster of major proportions," he said on arrival at the NATO summit.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - PM Janez Janša urged ending Europe's dependency on Russian energy as soon as possible, as he arrived at the EU summit. "This unfortunately doesn't mean tomorrow. We support as fast a path as possible. This train is already on its way and has no return. This will probably happen later than we wish, but much sooner than Russia wishes."
        DOHA, Qatar - Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec discussed ways for Slovenia to reduce its reliance on Russian natural gas saying after talks with Qatari officials that Qatar could ship up to two ships of gas a year could through LNG terminals in the northern Adriatic. The first step will be to secure free terminal capacity.
        LJUBLJANA - Refugees from Ukraine who apply for temporary protection in Slovenia will have the right to accommodation, financial assistance, access to the labour market and education under a decree adopted by the government based on the act on temporary protection of displaced persons.
        MARIBOR - The University of Maribor announced it had made it possible for students from Ukraine to enrol temporarily in its study programmes without tuition under the Erasmus+ student exchange scheme. They can also apply for scholarships.
        LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee endorsed the government's initiative to revoke the 2011 agreement with Russia on scientific and cultural centres in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Under the proposal, the Russian Scientific and Cultural Centre in Ljubljana is to be closed.
        RAČE - The Environment Agency (ARSO) issued a decision on 16 March denying US-owned chemical company Albaugh the go-ahead to expand four-fold production of phytopharmaceuticals at its location in Rače in NE Slovenia after a complaint from an NGO. The company has 30 days to appeal.
        LJUBLJANA - The government gave its go-ahead for Slovenia to take part in a multinational bid to get midwifery listed on the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage. Preparations for the nomination are led by Germany, with Columbia, Cyprus, Kyrgyzstan, Luxembourg, Nigeria and Togo also taking part.

19 Mar 2022, 11:37 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, 11 March
        LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly endorsed amendments to the income tax act that bring higher take-home pay across the board, lower tax on capital gains, and a lower top tax rate.
        ANTALYA, Turkey - Addressing the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, President Borut Pahor issued an appeal for an all-out effort to end the war in Ukraine and find a diplomatic solution to the conflict, as he repeated that he was against NATO imposing a no-fly zone in Ukraine.
        PARIS, France - Prime Minister Janez Janša told Bloomberg TV that it was evident war crimes were taking place in Ukraine and that Russia was denying it. "We should not tolerate this, we need to do much more than we are doing now", he said.
        LJUBLJANA - Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec called on the EU to impose an embargo on the imports of Russian oil and gas as soon as possible, arguing that the only way to secure peace in Ukraine was to stop funding Russia's aggression with oil and gas purchases.
        LJUBLJANA - High-ranking Slovenian politicians condemned a statement by a Hungarian Secretary of State for National Policy Árpád János Potápi, who labelled Mura as the border between Slovenia and Hungary, although the river actually runs 20-30 kilometres from the border. The Foreign Ministry immediately summoned Ambassador Andor F. David and demanded an explanation. The Hungarian embassy said the statement was a "slip of the tongue".
        LJUBLJANA - The Constitutional Court stayed a controversial act on Swiss franc loans, legislation challenged by nine banks which say it is be detrimental to banks and the economy as a whole.

SATURDAY, 12 March
        LJUBLJANA - The ruling Democrats (SDS) marked their 33rd anniversary with the party's head and Prime Minister Janez Janša saying that under the leadership of the SDS, Slovenia would in a few years' time be among the most developed countries in the world.
        CELJE - Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek said he was confident that the alliance Connecting Slovenia, which also includes his party Concretely, would decide what the next government will be like. They will run with 88 candidates in the election.
        NOVA GORICA - Alenka Bratušek addressed an event to present her SAB party's candidates for the 24 April general election, invoking her brief stint as prime minister nine years ago during the time Slovenia was on the verge of default as she told voters they could trust her party and its allies to prevent a second financial catastrophe that Slovenia was racing towards.
        LJUBLJANA - The recently-established non-parliamentary party Our Future elected Ivan Gale, a former senior employee of the Commodity Reserves Agency and a prominent whistleblower, as its president. Violeta Bulc, a former European commissioner, became the party's vice president.
        LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša's SDS have nearly caught up with the Freedom Movement, the party of Robert Golob, as the voters' top choice in the latest poll conducted by Ninamedia for four newspapers. The poll shows the Freedom Movement losing 0.2 percentage points to 21% and the SDS gaining 1.1 point to 20.2%.
        CELJE - One person was killed and ten were injured in an accident involving a van carrying illegal migrants on the Štajerska leg of the A1 motorway just after midnight. The police said the driver who caused the accident fled the scene on foot.

SUNDAY, 13 March
        SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Minister for Slovenians Abroad Helena Jaklitsch finished her three-day her visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina by meeting Sarajevo Deputy Mayor Anja Margetić to discuss the needs of the Slovenian community in Sarajavo. She met representatives of Slovenian communities from Sarajevo and other towns during her stay.
        VIKERSUND, Norway - Slovenian ski jumpers Domen Prevc, Peter Prevc, Timi Zajc and Anže Lanišek scored a convincing win in the men's team event at the Ski Flying World Championships after Zajc won silver in an individual event the day before.
        OBERHOF, Germany - Slovenia's ski jumpers Urša Bogataj, Nika Križnar and Ema Klinec placed first, second and third, respectively, at the last women's ski jumping World Cup event of the season. Bogataj won the penultimate event ahead of Nika Križnar for the second double World Cup victory for Slovenian women ski jumpers this season.
        ANCONA, Italy - Slovenia's cyclist Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) won the Tirreno-Adriatico race, which goes from the western shores of Italy to the eastern coast, for the second time in a row. So far, he has won all the three races of this season he competed in.
        NICE, France - Slovenian rider Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) won the Paris-Nice race after he held on to his advantage by finishing third in the final stage. This is his second win so far this season.
        KRANJSKA GORA - Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen won another of the two World Cup giant slalom races for the 61st Vitranc Cup. Austria's Stefan Brennsteiner was second and Switzerland's Marco Odermatt third. The only Slovenian competitor in the race, Žan Kranjec, again finished tenth.

MONDAY, 14 March
        LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Janez Janša accused Russia of conducting ethnic cleansing in Ukraine as he drew parallels between the current situation in Ukraine and the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina during questions time in parliament.
        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor said in an interview with current affairs show Studio City that the goal of the West was not to change the regime in Russia but to secure a ceasefire, diplomatic negotiations and peace. He stressed Russia must take the first step towards solving the conflict.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia and the US affirmed historical friendship and shared values as they completed the second strategic dialogue led by Political Director at the Foreign Ministry Jernej Müller and Deputy Assistant Secretary Robin Dunnigan from the US Department of State's Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.
        LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian army plans significant equipment purchases this year, including a new transport aircraft, new helicopters, 8x8 armoured vehicles, cargo vehicles, communication and information systems and ground sensors, the Defence Ministry's logistics director Uroš Korošec said.
        LJUBLJANA - The government decided Slovenia will send material assistance worth nearly EUR 380,000 to Slovakia in the face of an increasing flow of refugees from Ukraine.
        LJUBLJANA - The government revoked a decree that severely restricted in-person operations by administrative units requiring that customers schedule appointments for services such as issuance of documents.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - Slovenia ranked seventh among all EU member states in the European Commission's Transitions Performance Index, a scoreboard that monitors and ranks countries based on implementation of sustainability policies between 2011 and 2020.
        LJUBLJANA - In Russia's war against Ukraine, Slovenians overwhelmingly support Ukraine and a plurality think Russia is to blame for the war, though many feel all sides are to blame, showed a poll carried by Dnevnik and Večer.

TUESDAY, 15 March
        KYIV, Ukraine - The prime ministers of Slovenia, Poland and the Czech Republic paid a surprise visit to Kyiv by train as the first foreign leaders to visit the country since the start of the Russian invasion. President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked them for the "strong sign of support", while Janša thanked the Ukrainian officials for the hospitality and deep insight into the situation.
        VIENNA, Austria - Slovenian President Borut Pahor and Austria's Alexander Van der Bellen made an appeal for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine, as they issued a joint statement following a meeting, condemning the Russian war aggression against Ukraine.
        LJUBLJANA - Health Minister Janez Poklukar said after an online meeting of the EU health ministers Slovenia was prepared to receive Ukrainians in need of urgent treatment and supported the Polish proposal for the transfer of patients.
        LJUBLJANA - The prices of the two best-selling petrols, regular and diesel, were capped at 1,503 and EUR 1,541 per litre, respectively, in line with a government decision to arrest the surge in petrol prices following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. For heating oil only a temporary regulation of margins had been introduced, so the price went up by more than 24% to EUR 1.264.
        LJUBLJANA - Trade unions representing employees in education and higher education, who went on strike last week demanding higher wages, decided not to attend a meeting with Education Minister Simona Kustec today after the Education Ministry insisted that the meeting be broadcast live via Facebook.

        LONDON, UK - Prime Minister Janez Janša reiterated that the EU must offer Ukraine a fast track to EU membership, telling BBC World Service radio that this was a strategic decision.
        ALGIERS, Algeria - Foreign Minister Anže Logar met with senior Algerian officials as Slovenia strives to secure alternative energy sources from Algeria in an attempt to reduce its reliance on Russian natural gas. He held talks with President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra, Energy Minister Mohamed Arkab, and chairman of the state-owned energy company Sonatech Tufik Hakkar.
        VIENNA, Austria - President Borut Pahor emphasized the importance of the EU integrating the Western Balkans, in particular Bosnia-Herzegovina, as soon as possible to preserve peace and stability in Europe as he warned in a lecture in Vienna that the war in Ukraine revived "an outdated geopolitical mentality".
        LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly endorsed the new environment protection act, which has been labelled an "environmental constitution". It predominantly deals with management of packaging waste, while also introducing measures to prevent or reduce the generation of all kinds of waste.
        LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian chapter of Amnesty International launched an international campaign in a bid to get the Slovenian authorities to withdraw their claims for Jaša Jenull, one of the figureheads of Friday's bicycle protests, to pay for the costs of policing of anti-government rallies.
        LJUBLJANA - Children of the Mist, an exploration of a child marriage tradition persisting among an ethnic minority in Vietnam, won the Amnesty International Slovenia Award as the Ljubljana Documentary Film Festival wrapped up.
THURSDAY, 17 March
        BRATISLAVA, Slovakia - Slovenia will deploy up to 200 troops to Slovakia as part NATO's enhanced Forward Presence, Defence Minister Matej Tonin announced as he met his counterpart Jaroslav Nad. The deployment is part of NATO's commitment to strengthen the alliance's eastern flank.
        AJDOVŠČINA - US industrial conglomerate Textron, the owner of the Beechcraft, Hawker, and Cessna brands, signed a deal on the acquisition of the Slovenian maker of ultralight aircraft Pipistrel for a reported EUR 218 million.
        NOVO MESTO - Drug company Krka, which has significant exposure to the Russian and Ukrainian markets, said it could not yet assess the impact of the current situation in the two countries on its operations in 2022. Sales revenue in the first quarter of 2022 has been estimated at EUR 25.9 million, up from EUR 22 million in the same period last year.
        LJUBLJANA - The government confirmed a new version of the electronic communications act after the previous version was voted down in parliament in early February. The new version still contains provisions barring high-risk vendors from the market, but they are slightly changed.
        LJUBLJANA - The government adopted a regulation establishing an office to maintain a central register of prices of medical devices and equipment in a bid to reduce procurement prices and reduce the cost on public finances.
        LJUBLJANA - Andrej Grah Whatmough received a four-year term as director general of public broadcaster RTV Slovenija after seeking a confidence vote a year after he was first named to the post. He was the only candidate to submit a complete application.

12 Mar 2022, 09:16 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, 4 March
        LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian Armed Forces made visible progress in 2021 in terms of readiness on the back of higher defence spending and staffing improvements, but there are still shortcomings and the force is not yet sufficiently prepared to comprehensively operate in wartime, showed an annual report on the army's readiness.
        LJUBLJANA - The Foreign Policy Committee endorsed a draft resolution on the current situation in Ukraine that was tabled by MPs from all but one deputy group. The document condemns Russia's aggression against Ukraine, expresses solidarity with the Ukrainian nation, supports humanitarian efforts and calls for efforts to establish peace.
        LJUBLJANA - Defence Minister Matej Tonin indicated that Slovenia might have to push forward its target to increase defence spending to 2% of GDP to 2030, five years sooner than currently planned. "Given the current situation ... it seems we will have to correct our decision slightly and shift the date of the achievement of 2% defence spending from 2035 to 2030," he said.
        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor rejected initiatives that NATO should establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine in order to help the Ukrainian forces fight Russian aircraft, promoted by some EU leaders including PM Janez Janša. He said this would mean a "large-scale war" and a completely "unpredictable development of events".
        LJUBLJANA - The war in Ukraine and sanctions imposed on Russia have so far had only a limited impact on Slovenia's economy and inflation, but risks are increasing, the central bank said. While it will upgrade its growth forecast for the year based on solid growth, it said future economic trends are unpredictable due to the situation in Ukraine.
        LJUBLJANA - The Democrats (SDS) withdrew a lawsuit against Marjan Šarec, the leader of the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), over comments he made in March 2020 concerning the party's methods and financing. Layer Franci Matoz did not provide the grounds for the withdrawal.
        LJUBLJANA - Jadranka Rebernik was appointed the full-fledged editor-in-chief of TV Slovenija's news programme for four years after serving as acting editor for a few months in the wake of Manica Janežič Ambrožič's resignation in mid-October, despite the having staff endorsed her rival with 82% of the vote.
        HOLMKOLLEN, Norway - Slovenia's mixed team won a World Cup event in Norway's Holmenkollen with more than 75 points ahead of Austria in what is the third consecutive mixed team victory for Slovenia.

        MARIBOR - The opposition Left held a congress to discuss the platform for the 24 April general election. The platform, due to be endorsed by members via a remote vote, addresses the "crisis of capitalism, crisis of climate and crisis of democracy", and presents measures in social affairs, climate, culture, media and foreign policy.
        CELJE - The coalition New Slovenia (NSi) presented candidates for the 24 April general election. The party continues to promote an economically powerful and business-oriented Slovenia under the slogan Resolutely Forward.
        LJUBLJANA - Public broadcaster RTV Slovenija suspended reporting from Moscow due to the entry into force of a new law against misinformation that led many other international media to leave Russia. Its Moscow correspondent Vlasta Jeseničnik will be off the air for the time being.
        LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian Caritas sent the first shipment of humanitarian aid to Ukraine. 26 pallets of medicines, food, water and hygiene products are intended mostly for the most vulnerable groups in Kyiv, while some food was also distributed to refugees in Transcarpathia.

SUNDAY, 6 March
        LJUBLJANA - The ruling Democrats (SDS) gained 3.3 percentage points to 18.3% in the latest poll conducted by Mediana to return on top, leapfrogging the Freedom Movement, the party of Robert Golob. The latter lost 2.2 points to 18%.
        LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian Youth Orchestra, which brings together musicians aged 12 to 22, responded to a call for help by the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, and nearly a hundred young Ukrainian musicians fleeing war arrived in Slovenia.
        OSLO, Norway - Nika Križnar won the Raw Air ski jumping tour in Norway after placing fourth in the final event. Olympic champion Urša Bogataj finished second in the final event for third place overall, behind Sara Takanashi of Japan.

MONDAY, 7 March
        LJUBLJANA - Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, 381 Ukrainian citizens have stated their intention to ask for international protection in Slovenia, police data showed. Many are accommodated in a refugee centre in Logatec, others have found alternative accommodation.
        LJUBLJANA - After media reports that fuel prices were to go up significantly due to the war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia, queues formed at service stations around the country. Some stations temporarily ran out of diesel fuel.
        LJUBLJANA - RTV Slovenija journalists held a news conference to demand full editorial independence and protest against deteriorating working conditions, mobbing and political pressure. They also pointed to unwarranted criticism from the Government Communication Office in its weekly reports on bias in RTV Slovenija reports.
        LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian public see the war in Ukraine as a much bigger cause for concern than they did Covid-19 at any time of the pandemic. A poll conducted by Valicon in Slovenia and three other countries in the region puts the rate of people being personally concerned about the war and its impact at 85, which compares to the high of 72 during the Covid-19 pandemic.

TUESDAY, 8 March
        NICOSIA, Cyprus - President Borut Pahor started a two-day official visit to Cyprus by meeting his counterpart Nicos Anastasiades. The pair discussed ways to strengthen bilateral relations and topical issues such as the war in Ukraine, climate crisis, migration and energy security. Pahor said they had both strongly condemned the Russian invasion.
        LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Infrastructure Committee endorsed on second reading the government-sponsored amendments to the mining act, which now include a blanket ban on fracking, a proposal both coalition and opposition MPs tabled after an earlier version permitted small-scale fracking.
        LJUBLJANA - Several hundred people gathered on International Women's Day to express opposition to gender-based discrimination against women. Five comprehensive demands were presented as part of the rally that sought to improve the position of women in society and ensure gender equality.
        LJUBLJANA - Almost a hundred people gathered in Prešeren Square in Ljubljana to express support for Ukraine at an anti-war rally organised by Russians living in Slovenia who oppose Russia's attack on Ukraine.

        LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly endorsed a resolution on the situation in Ukraine that condemns Russia's aggression against Ukraine, endorses sanctions against Russia and Belarus, and supports Ukraine's EU accession prospects.
        LJUBLJANA - The government adopted a decision introducing temporary protection for displaced persons from Ukraine that effectively grants them a temporary residence permit, access to the labour market, accommodation, education, social care and healthcare.
        LJUBLJANA - Roughly 40,000 of some 50,000 staff working in schools, kindergartens and higher education institutions staged a general strike. It is estimated the action affected half a million people.
        BRATISLAVA, Slovakia/LJUBLJANA - The Slovak government approved the establishment of a new NATO battlegroup in Slovakia that is expected to feature 2,100 soldiers, including up to 100 Slovenian soldiers. The Defence Ministry said the procedure was yet to be completed.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia and the other four countries successors to the former Yugoslavia signed an agreement to sell the Fifth Avenue building in Manhattan that used to serve as the headquarters of the federation's mission to the UN for US$50 million. Slovenia will get 14% of the sum or US$7 million.
        BRDO PRI KRANJU - Jože Pučnik, a leading dissident under the Communist regime in Slovenia who played a key role in the country's independence, was honoured with a bust at Brdo estate on the 90th anniversary of his birth.
THURSDAY, 10 March
        VERSAILLES, France - Arriving for an EU summit, Prime Minister Janez Janša called for the EU to end its reliance on Russian energy as soon as possible. He also said EU leaders should commit to Ukraine being guaranteed membership of the bloc similarly as they did for the Western Balkan countries at the Thessaloniki summit in 2003. They should also commit for this to happen as soon as possible.
        LJUBLJANA - In the wake of rising fuel prices, the centre-left opposition filed a bill on regulation of prices of petroleum products that seeks to introduce the same pricing mechanism as it had been in force until April 2016 when price liberalisation started.
        LJUBLJANA - the Insurance Supervision Agency said the exposure of Slovenian insurers, reinsurers and pension funds to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus was relatively low. Their investments amounted to EUR 38 million or less than 0.4% of total assets at the end of 2021.
        LJUBLJANA - The MDS association of small shareholders asked the Constitutional Court to review a three-month freeze on network charges in electricity bills that is part of the energy relief package adopted by parliament in February.
        LJUBLJANA - The Ljubljana Veterinary Faculty established a National Centre for Animal Welfare that will monitor and participate in scientific research, education and training, and drafting of relevant regulations at national and EU levels.
        NOVA GORICA - The Nova Gorica city council endorsed Kaja Širok, the long-term head of the National Museum of Contemporary History, as director of the public institute GO! 2025 - European Capital of Culture Nova Gorica.

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