Govt reshuffle ruled out as Šarec and Pivec meet
LJUBLJANA - The option of a government reshuffle arising after Karl Erjavec announced his resignation as defence minister in the wake of losing the vote for the presidency of the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) was ruled out as the new DeSUS leader, Aleksandra Pivec, met Prime Minister Marjan Šarec. In a written statement issued after the meeting, Šarec's office said that the prime minister and Pivec had an in-depth discussion, agreeing on "continued constructive and proactive cooperation in the government".
White paper shows defence spending to reach 2% of GDP by 2035
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's defence budget will finally reach 2% of GDP by 2035, according to a white paper released online by the Defence Ministry. The document also shows plans for the Armed Forces to gradually grow by more than 1,500 soldiers, reaching 8,000 by 2035. The white paper also implies that unless the Armed Forces manage to attract more members, Slovenia will have to think about reintroducing obligatory military duty in the future.
Cerar: Slovenia willing to cooperate in changed Operation Sophia
BRUSSELS, Belgium - Slovenia is willing to cooperate in a changed Operation Sophia to the best of its abilities, Foreign Minister Miro Cerar said after EU foreign ministers decided on upgrading the bloc's military operation in the Mediterranean by shifting its focus from migrants to the arms embargo on Libya. Slovenia, which has taken part in Sophia Operation since it was set up in 2015, is seen as a reliable and trustworthy partner, stressed the minister.
New Russian ambassador presents credentials
LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor was presented with the credentials of five new ambassadors, among them the new Ambassador of Russia Timur Rafailovic Eyvazov, who is succeeding Doku Zavgayev, who served in Ljubljana for a decade. Apart from Eyvazov, the new ambassador of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah bin Khalid Al Saud, Italian Carlo Campanile, Australian Richard Travers Sadleir and Paraguayan Juan Francisco Facetti presented their credentials to Pahor.
Šarec party remains in the lead in Vox Populi poll
LJUBLJANA - The party of Prime Minister Marjan Šarec (LMŠ) continues to lead the field in the latest Vox Populi poll, albeit with a slightly narrower margin ahead of the opposition Democrats (SDS). The LMŠ slipped back 0.8 percentage points from the month before to 19.4% as the SDS gained 0.3 points to 16.9%, shows the poll, conducted by Ninamedia for the newspapers Dnevnik and Večer.
Majority favour troop withdrawal from Iraq, NATO membership
LJUBLJANA - A majority of Slovenians are in favour of the pull-out of troops from Iraq in the wake of Iran's attack on two airbases there, according to a poll run by Dnevnik and Večer, which also shows strong backing for Slovenia's NATO membership. Over 54% of respondents expressed support for the troop withdrawal versus just under 38% who were opposed. The strongest support for the pull-out was registered among leftist voters and youths.
Following tougher restrictions, number of new loans plummets
LJUBLJANA - Data from the Slovenian Bank Association show that the number of loans approved by banks in Slovenia in November and December, after the central bank's new crediting restrictions kicked in on 1 November, plummeted. Data show that the number of consumer loans dropped by around 60% over October and the number of housing loans by around 40%. The association said the surge was most probably a result of the central bank's announcement of the new rules, which prompted many to take out loans while still creditworthy.
Over 20 Slovenians from Venezuela already in Slovenia
LJUBLJANA - Twenty-one Slovenians who asked for repatriation from Venezuela have already arrived in Slovenia, State Secretary at the Government Office for Slovenians Abroad Olga Belec told the press. Six repatriates arrived in December and fifteen in January. Of some 50 persons who asked for repatriation, 29 have been granted the status, while some of the applications are still being processed because the applicants had to supplement them. The office thus expects 15 more persons to move to their new homeland.
Three Slovenian experts joining European Space Agency
LJUBLJANA - Three Slovenian experts are soon expected to start working at the European Space Agency (ESA) research and technology centre in the Netherlands. Their employment at the ESA is one of the advantages of Slovenia as an ESA associated member, the Economy Ministry said. The three experts picked by the ESA come from the software company Cosylab, aerospace and space service provider Balmar and the Jožef Stefan Institute. They will be working at the European Space Research and Technology Centre for up to a year, developing general technologies and conducting human-robot interaction research.
Photo exhibition launches festival exploring Slovenia's future
LJUBLJANA - An international photo exhibition opened at Cankarjev Dom launching the Slovenia 2050 Festival, a series dedicated to reflection about Slovenia's future in a global context. The exhibition entitled Rabbit Hole features photographs by French photographer Marion Balac, Jojakim Cortis & Adrian Sonderegger from Switzerland, Miha Godec & Valerie Wolf Gang and Špela Škulj from Slovenia and Simon Menner from Germany.
Toll sticker revenue up
LJUBLJANA - National motorway operator DARS sold toll stickers worth EUR 195 million between 1 December 2018 and 30 November 2019, up almost four percent over the year before, as revenue across all segments rose. The period roughly covers the validity of annual toll stickers, but DARS also sells monthly and weekly toll stickers, which are mostly used by tourists and for transit.