Ljubljana related

29 Apr 2019, 22:58 PM

Bookmark this link and find the headlines faster each morning, or follow us on Facebook

A schedule of all the main events involving Slovenia this week can be found here

Visiting Ljubljana? Check out what's on this week, while all our stories on Slovenia, from newest to oldest, are here

This summary is provided by the STA:

Govt's, PM party's ratings on the rise again

LJUBLJANA - The government's approval rating has improved compared to the previous month, shows the latest poll commissioned by the commercial broadcaster POP TV. Dropping to 52.4% in March, it rose to 56% this month, while the support for the senior coalition Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) grew as well, with some 17% of the respondents in favour of the party. Some 29% said they disapproved of the government's performance, down around 7 percentage points over the previous month, while almost 15% were undecided, shows the poll conducted by Mediana and published on Sunday.

NLB to issued EUR 45m in subordinate bonds

LJUBLJANA - NLB will issue EUR 45m in subordinated notes on 6 May with a ten-year maturity, the company said in a press release. The bonds will have a fixed coupon interest rate of 4.2% in the first five years. After that the fixed coupon interest rate is to be determined based on the sum of the then applicable reference interest rate and the fixed margin as defined at the issuance date of the notes. The issue will consist of 450 notes at EUR 99.10 apiece and will be considerably smaller than initially planned. In the prospectus, issued on 12 April, the bank said it would issue a total of EUR 75m worth of tier 2 notes.

AIK Banka squeezes out small shareholders of Gorenjska Banka

KRANJ - The annual general meeting of Gorenjska Banka, which is in 98.27% ownership of Serbian AIK Banka, squeezed out small shareholders. It will pay EUR 298 a share to owners of a total of 6,166 shares. The compensation per share will be the same as the price per share offered by AIK Banka in the recent takeover. This was criticised by Kristjan Verbič, the president of the VZMD association of small shareholders. He said in a press release that the compensation amount had not been based on an appraisal report which is mandatory by law.

Competition watchdog okays Elan sale

LJUBLJANA - The Competition Protection Agency's (AVK) approved on Thursday the sale of Slovenia-based sports equipment maker Elan to the Finnish-owned KJK fund. The decision came four months after the sale contract was signed between the Luxembourg-based KJK Fund III and Russian-owned Wiltan Enterprises, which bought the company three years earlier from the state. The purchase is set to be complete in the summer. The sale was announced last spring after Wiltan detected interest from potential buyers as the company posted good results.

Luka Koper to pay EUR 18.62m in dividends or EUR 1.33 per share

KOPER - The supervisory and management boards of the port operator Luka Koper have proposed that EUR 18.62m in distributable profit go for dividends at EUR 1.33 gross per share. The proposal will be put to vote at the annual general meeting scheduled for 28 June. The proposed EUR 18.62m constitutes more than half of the total distributable profit of EUR 29.25m for last year, with the remaining EUR 10.63m staying undistributed, Luka Koper said.

Cetis group reports nearly 70% drop in profit

CELJE - Cetis, one of the top printing companies in Europe specialising in secure documents, posted a group net profit of EUR 2.4m, down 67.6% over the year before. The group's revenue dropped by 2.2% to EUR 59.7m, according to the company's business report. The core company generated EUR 33.4m in revenue, up 2.3% over 2017. Net profit was 28.5% lower, dropping to EUR 2.02m. The group generated 54% of its revenue abroad, of which 27% was generated in Africa.

Slovenian, Croatian unions oppose retirement age raise to 67

SAMOBOR, Croatia - Representatives of the largest trade union confederations of Slovenia and Croatia had their annual Labour Day get-together to adopt a joint statement which calls for prudent reflection and a broad social consensus when it comes to plans to increase the retirement age. The statement, titled 67 is Too Much, has been signed by Lidija Jerkič, the head of Slovenia's ZSSS, and Mladen Novosel, the president of Croatia's SSSH. The SSSH and ZSSS insist that all changes to the pension insurance legislation must be made with the mandatory approval of the social partners.

Major road link with Austria to be closed for over a month

PODLJUBELJ - One of the two main links with the Austrian state of Carinthia, the road leading from Tržič up to the Ljubelj pass, will be closed for around a month and a half due to rockslide prevention measures, the Infrastructure Agency announced. An increased volume of traffic is thus expected at the Karavanke motorway tunnel, which will serve as a detour. The road was closed after a part of it was hit by a minor rockslide on Sunday.

29 Apr 2019, 07:29 AM

Bookmark this link and find the headlines faster each morning, or follow us on Facebook

A schedule of all the main events involving Slovenia this week can be found here

Visiting Ljubljana? Check out what's on this week, while all our stories on Slovenia, from newest to oldest, are here

This summary is provided by the STA:

Ex-Slovenian EU commissioner says Brexit sad affair

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Slovenia is seen as a stable, constructive and pro-European country which however does not fully use the potential to play the role a small country can play in the EU, Slovenia's former European Commissioner Janez Potočnik told the STA ahead of the 15th anniversary of Slovenia's EU accession. He would also like the country to engage in strategic reflections about its problems and future. He believes Slovenia's major challenge, especially with a view to its EU presidency in 2021, is the same as for the entire EU and the world - a transition to an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable economy. Slovenia's chief negotiator in EU accession talks regrets the EU is shrinking, pointing to Brexit. He believes the country name deal between Greece and North Macedonia should be used to revive the enlargement process.

Report: Nearly 50 drug-related deaths in 2017

LJUBLJANA - 47 people died in Slovenia in 2017 of causes related to drug abuse, seven more than in 2016, shows data from the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ), which also says that drug-related deaths have been rising since 2013. The vast majority of the 2017 deaths, or 79%, were men, according to the publication on illegal drugs in Slovenia in 2017 and the first half of 2018. The NIJZ's estimates Slovenia's earmarked 10,4 million euro for various programmes dealing with drug addition in 2017.

Ormož eye wear maker increasing production

ORMOŽ - Safilo, the Ormož-based eye wear manufacturer owned by the Italian Safilo Group, returned to sales growth last year following a dip in 2017. The company generated sales of 32 million euro, up 2 million from the year before and 7 million above plans. Profit rose by a tenth to 1.25 million euro.

Protest as locals demand better border protection

JELŠANE - Some 400 locals living along the border near the Jelšane crossing staged a rally demanding better border protection and rejecting the idea of their community hosting a processing centre for migrants. Ivan Cegnar, who heads a local civil initiative that has spearheaded the protests, said the locals demanded that the state protect the Schengen border in line with the law, which would render the processing centre unnecessary.

Pahor says Resistance Day "glorious"

LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor described Resistance Day as a "glorious day" that celebrates rebellion against attempts to destroy the Slovenian nation. Rebellious people risked their lives and resisted are patriots who deserve respect and admiration notwithstanding what accompanied the national liberation struggle, he said.

Moody's keeps Slovenia at Baa1, upgrades outlook

LJUBLJANA - Ratings agency Moody's upgraded Slovenia's outlook to stable from positive as it kept its country rating at Baa1. The outlook was changed due to the government effective response to issues exposed by the debt crisis, the Finance Ministry said, adding that it also indicated a forthcoming rating upgrade provided Slovenia implements its policy roadmap.

Final tally shows 103 candidates vying for eight seats in EU parliament

LJUBLJANA - A total of 103 candidates running on 14 lists will vie for eight seats allotted to Slovenia in the European Parliament, shows the final tally by the National Electoral Commission. There will be 51 women on the ballot and 52 men and six lists, including by five parliamentary parties, have made women their top candidates.

27 Apr 2019, 08:20 AM

Bookmark this link and find the headlines faster each morning, or follow us on Facebook

A schedule of all the main events involving Slovenia this week can be found here

Visiting Ljubljana? Check out what's on this week, while all our stories on Slovenia, from newest to oldest, are here

This summary is provided by the STA:

MPs accuse minister of abusing intel service to sack army officer

LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary commission in charge of overseeing intelligence and security services accused Defence Minister Karl Erjavec of abusing the military intelligence service to sack a senior army officer, a charge that Erjavec denies. Erjavec, citing rumours that force commander Miha Škerbinc had spoken ill of the health of Maj Gen Alenka Ermenc, the chief of the general staff, is accused of having ordered the Defence Ministry's Intelligence and Security Service (OVS) to spy on Škerbinc. Škerbinc was dismissed in early April.

Norway and Slovenia committed to boosting ties

LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Miro Cerar and his visiting Norwegian counterpart Ine Marie Eriksen Soreide noted the good bilateral relationship between the two countries and shared views on a number of issues, but also potential to enhance ties in many areas, as they addresses reporters after talks in Ljubljana. Norway and Slovenia "are in many ways two similar-minded countries", Cerar said, adding that the nations shared interests and goals, and aspired to an effective multilateralism, human rights, gender equality, helping vulnerable groups and, above all, to global peace and security.

Perceived independence of judges in Slovenia poor, EU scoreboard shows

LJUBLJANA/BRUSSELS, Belgium - Perceived independence of judges remains a sore spot for Slovenia's judiciary, according to the 2019 EU Justice Scoreboard. The country placed 22nd, based on the 2017 data. But this was still a two-spot improvement over the year before. Meanwhile, the country has considerably reduced backlog of unresolved cases. Presenting the scoreboard, European Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said that perceived independence of judges in Slovenia remained a challenge, although the situation was improving.

EU election campaign gets under way in Slovenia

LJUBLJANA - The campaign ahead of the European Parliament election got officially under way in Slovenia today. However, potential candidates still have until midnight to submit their lists of candidates. The National Electoral Commission confirmed all 14 candidate lists submitted so far. Candidate lists have been filed by all parliamentary parties as well as the non-parliamentary Greens, Good State, Homeland League (DOM) and United Slovenia, and the non-partisan alliance Let's Connect.

SDS/SLS and SD lists neck and neck in POP TV poll

LJUBLJANA - If the EU elections were held today, the joint list of the opposition Democrats (SDS) and the non-parliamentary People's Party (SLS) would win 12.3% of the vote, closely followed by the coalition SocDems with 12.2%, showed a poll released by private broadcaster POP TV on the first day of the election campaign. Prime Minister Marjan Šarec's LMŠ would come third with 10.1% of the vote and the opposition National Party (SNS) fourth with 7.2%. As many as 18.9% of those polled were still undecided.

Eurobarometer: 75% of Slovenians strongly support EU

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Some 75% of Slovenians who took part in the most recent Eurobarometer survey feel that being a member of the EU has benefited their country. On average 68% of Europeans feel this way, the highest share since 1983. However, 50% of respondents are displeased with the situation either at home or in the EU at large. The research was conducted in 28 EU member states between 19 February and 4 March 2019 by the Kantar Public company. A total of 27,973 Europeans, including 1,032 Slovenians aged 15 years or more were interviewed for the survey.

Govt sends Stability Programme to Brussels

LJUBLJANA - The government sent to Brussels the Stability Programme, a document featuring fiscal forecasts for the coming three years. The 2019-2020 National Reform Programme was sent to the European Commission a few days ago. The two programmes are key documents of the European semester, as part of which the Commission analysed each country's plans for budget, macroeconomic and structural reforms. While the Stability Programme focusses on macroeconomic development, fiscal policy and public finance, the National Reform Programme details the measures needed to implement the planned structural reforms.

Mercator posts EUR 1.6m profit on EUR 2.18bn in sales revenue in 2018

LJUBLJANA - Retail group Mercator posted EUR 1.6m in net profit last year, an improvement over its EUR 184m loss generated the year before. Sales revenue was up by 1.2% year-on-year, reaching EUR 2.18bn. Revenue from retail, the group's core business, increased by 3.2% in 2018 over 2017 to EUR 1.63bn. The group employed just over 20,300 people at the end of the year. Majority owned by the troubled Croatian conglomerate of Agrokor, Mercator is due to be transferred to the newly established Fortenova Grupa.

Gorenjska Banka net profit almost tripled in 2018

KRANJ - Gorenjska Banka doubled its pre-tax profit to EUR 20.68m in 2018. Net profit nearly tripled compared to the year before, amounting to EUR 17.1m, shows the annual report. Net interest revenue increased by 5.3% to EUR 35.61m, and non-interest revenue was up 26.3% to EUR 16.47m. The capital adequacy ratio of common equity core capital was 16.2% at the end of December 2018, while total assets declined by 2.2% to EUR 1.83bn, largely due to the drop in corporate deposits.

Večer offloads magazine portfolio

MARIBOR - The newspaper publisher Večer has offloaded its entire magazine portfolio to focus on general interest media as it prepares to merge with rival newspaper publisher Dnevnik. The magazines have been sold to three companies that are part of a sprawling media empire controlled by Martin Odlazek, seen by many as one of the most influential people in Slovenia. The portfolio includes several lifestyle, home improvement and crossword puzzle magazines including Naš Dom, Stop, Obrazi, Science Illustrated, Kih, Lady, Jana, Lisa and Nova.

Lek chairman Bogdanovski retiring

LJUBLJANA - Lek chairman Zvone Bogdanovski will retire at the end of April after working for the Ljubljana-based pharmaceutical company for 35 years, serving as chairman since August 2017. His successor is to be appointed shortly, the company said. Initially working at Lek as a researcher, analyst and development research technologist, he spent most of his career in pharmaceutical marketing and sales management.

Majority of Gorenje layoffs not to affect production jobs

VELENJE - The majority of the planned 270 redundancies at home appliance maker Gorenje are to affect cleaners, security staff and warehouse workers, not production workers, according to the trade union representing the majority of Gorenje workers, which presented its view on the layoffs after the news about them was broken yesterday. SKEI Gorenje said it was willing to enter talks with the management on the dismissal process, but noted their remarks had so far not been taken into account.

Minister reports on progress in EU fund phasing

LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary EU Affairs Committee was briefed on the progress in EU cohesion policy with the minister of development and cohesion policy, Iztok Purič, assuring MPs that most of the issues detected had been tackled. A report reviewed by the government in late February shows that, by the end of last year, 392 decisions for subsides had been issued, totalling EUR 2.3bn, or 76% of the funds available for the country until 2023. 60% of the projects, worth EUR 1.8bn, had been under way, and EUR 694m or 22.6% of the available funds had been paid out from the national budget.

France bestows Legion of Honour on diplomat Makovec

LJUBLJANA - French Ambassador to Slovenia Florence Ferrari conferred the Legion of Honour, France's highest state decoration for civil merits, on diplomat Marko Makovec for his efforts to strengthen relations between the two countries. The French ambassador pointed out that Makovec, who used to be a foreign policy advisor to the prime minister and president and currently serves on the Permanent Mission to the EU, had directly and significantly contributed to boosting bilateral ties between France and Slovenia.

Farmers rally for immediate action for bear population control

LJUBLJANA - The Farmers' Trade Union staged a protest demanding that the government take immediate action, as a growing bear population is causing considerable damage to herds. Agriculture Ministry State Secretary Marko Maver promised farmers that an extraordinary kill measure would be ordered to mitigate the situation. The protest was staged ten days after the Administrative Court sided with an environmental NGO that challenged the ministry's order to kill 200 bears this year.

Liberation Front remembered on eve of Resistance Day

KRANJ - On the eve of Resistance Day, a ceremony was held to remember the Liberation Front, an undercover organisation which spearheaded resistance against Nazi and Fascist occupation in World War II. Addressing the national ceremony, parliamentary Speaker Dejan Židan said resistance should nowadays be perceived as the ability to survive, as self-confidence and responsibility. He also urged for the past not to divide us but to unite us for the future. On Saturday, a series of local events will be organised around Slovenia, including memorial walks, and the Presidential Palace will open its door to visitors.

Goran Dragić supporting Slovenian start-ups

LJUBLJANA - The sports marketing company Sportelement has set up a project supporting Slovenian start-up companies developing sports technology innovations. The Sportelement representative and the project's leader Uroš Okoren said that the project SportTech Stars, supported by basketball star Goran Dragić, was designed to bring together start-ups and athletes as well as possible investors and partner companies, introducing new ways of dealing with modernisation and digitalisation in sports through cooperation and sponsorship.

26 Apr 2019, 02:30 AM

Bookmark this link and find the headlines faster each morning, or follow us on Facebook

A schedule of all the main events involving Slovenia this week can be found here

Visiting Ljubljana? Check out what's on this week, while all our stories on Slovenia, from newest to oldest, are here

This summary is provided by the STA:

Fiscal framework through 2022 confirmed

LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly endorsed a government decree that sets the outlines of public finances through 2022. Rejecting government assurances that it is fiscally sound, the opposition said it is not conservative enough. A surplus of 1% of GDP is planned for the entire general government sector in 2020 compared to 0.8% target for this year, rising to 1.1% in 2021 and 1.2% in 2022. While revenue growth will average 3.9% over 2020-2022, expenditure will expand by an average rate of 3.7%.

Parliament abolishes tax on holiday allowance

LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly abolished taxes on holiday allowance amounting up to average gross monthly pay (EUR 1,715) as MPs endorsed amendments to the acts on personal income tax and pension and disability insurance. The only party to express reservations was the Left, the minority government's partner in the opposition, which abstained from vote. Personal income tax is currently deducted from holiday allowance, while social contributions are paid when the allowance exceeds 70% of average pay.

Matej Pirc appointed CEO of BAMC

LJUBLJANA - Matej Pirc, the former chairman of Slovenian Sovereign Holding, was appointed chief executive officer of the Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC), having served as acting CEO since the end of January. The post became available after Imre Balogh resigned in mid-December last year, citing personal reasons, although there had been indications he no longer enjoyed the overhauled board's trust. BAMC saw an overhaul after an audit exposed the contentious sale of land in Logatec to Swiss Lonstroff.

State asset custodian posts 6.3% return on equity in 2018

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH) estimated to have posted a 6.3% return on equity last year, which is 0.2 of a percentage point below the peak figure posted the year before, but above the target of 6.1%. SSH released the first return on profit estimate as it published the annual report for 2018, noting that the target appears to have been exceeded despite of the modified portfolio due to the sale of the majority stake in NLB bank. It collected EUR 266.8m in regular dividends from its own equity stakes and those managed on behalf of the state in 2018 for 2017.

Počivalšek tells Belt and Road Forum Slovenia open partner economy

BEIJING, China - Economic Development and Technology Minister Zdravko Počivalšek met Chinese Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhang in Beijing. He moreover addressed the 2019 Belt and Road Forum, underlining that Slovenia was an open, high-tech partner economy. A press release from the Economy Ministry quoted Počivalšek as saying that China appreciated the attendance of politicians at events such as the Belt and Road summit, which started today.

No need for border checks, interior minister tells Austrian counterpart

LJUBLJANA/VIENNA, Austria - Interior Minister Boštjan Poklukar talked to his Austrian counterpart Herbert Kickl over the phone, reiterating Slovenia's position that there is no need for border controls on the Austrian-Slovenian border, a measure Austria extended earlier this month. "Slovenia has the situation on the external Schengen border under control, while the border checks on the Austrian-Slovenian border cause traffic jams and dissatisfaction among the local population, passengers and hauliers, Poklukar added.

Gorenje plans to sack nearly 300 people

VELENJE - Household appliances maker Gorenje said it expected to lay off 270 people as the group undergoes reorganisation following a change in ownership. The newspaper Večer meanwhile learnt from the in-house trade union that 1,720 people would be sacked, of which 1,450 would be offered new contracts. The trade union said it was willing to use any measure to fight layoffs and refused to take part in talks about redundancy criteria.

MPs endorse free-of-charge counselling for crime victims

LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly passed changes to the social assistance act to enact free-of-charge counselling and other forms of assistance for victims of crimes and their families provided by experts at social work centres around the country. Apart from the existing experienced staff, the Social Affairs Ministry believes plans to hire additional 16 councillors.

SDS proposes bill to create demographic fund

LJUBLJANA - The opposition Democrats (SDS) filed a bill to create a demographic fund to prop up the pension system. SDS leader Janez Janša called on all parliamentary parties to submit their remarks, saying that the only point the SDS would insist on is that all state assets be transferred to the fund, or else the bickering over which assets to transfer would never end. Coalition parties and the Finance Ministry plan to study the proposal. Several governments have tried but failed to set up such a fund.

Two more groups field candidates for MEPs

LJUBLJANA - The opposition Left and the green-oriented coalition called Let's Connect were the latest to submit their lists of candidates for EU elections with the National Electoral Commission before the deadline expires on Friday, midnight. The Left's frontrunner MP Violeta Tomič, is also the European Left's spitzenkandidat, and the group's leader in the European Parliament, Gabrielle Zimmer, was in Slovenia to support the Slovenian affiliate. Let's Connect, which has the endorsement of the European Greens, is running with Urša Zgojznik, the leader of Ecologists Without Borders, as top candidate.

Some 7% of Slovenia's working population in poverty

LJUBLJANA - Figures released by the Statistics Office ahead of Labour Day reveal that of the approximately 981,000 working Slovenians, 7% live below the poverty line, and 2% receive financial or material assistance from welfare organisations. In households with no working family members who have to support children, 70% of the members live below the poverty line. Some 17% of the unemployed Slovenians are recipients of financial or material assistance from welfare organisations.

Excise duties on tobacco to go up in June

LJUBLJANA - The government increased excise duties on various tobacco products, a measure taking effect on 1 June. The excise duty on cigarettes will rise from 111 to 114 euro for 1,000 cigarettes. The government estimates this will make retail prices of tobacco products rise by an average 1.3%. The measure should bring EUR 2.8m in additional tax revenue provided that the higher excise duties push tobacco sales down 1%.

MHP raises share price in Perutnina Ptuj takeover

LJUBLJANA - Ukrainian MHP holding increased its takeover bid for the remaining 9.31% shares of the Slovenian poultry group Perutnina Ptuj it does not hold already by EUR 4.52 to EUR 22.34 per share. MHP acquired a 90.69% stake in Perutnina from the Russian-owned steel group SIJ for EUR 176.3m in November 2018. To acquire all the remaining shares, it would pay another EUR 22.69m. MHP is to set out a comprehensive modernisation plan for Perutnina later this year.

Almost 30% of food company Panvita up for sale

LJUBLJANA - The ownership of two companies within the Panvita food group could soon change as major shareholders Farme Ihan-KPM and Kona have decided to sell their combined stake of around 28% in both firms. On sale are 28.03% stakes in Panvita, the leading company in the Panvita group's crop production and trading division, and in Panvita Mesnine, the leading firm in the group's meat division. In 2017, Panvita generated EUR 7.21m in net sales revenue with its EBITDA reaching EUR 2.29m.

Car charging stations becoming payable

LJUBLJANA - Charging stations operated by the power distributor Elektro Ljubljana will become payable on 6 May due to the high management costs, ending years of free charging. On average, charging an electric vehicle for a 100 km drive will cost EUR 2-2.5. An additional fee of one euro will apply for one-time users and 50 cents for registered users for each charging. The service will be payable via a phone application. Elektro Ljubljana operates the largest network of charging stations in the country.

Erstwhile owner of Kolosej cinemas on trial

LJUBLJANA - Sergej Racman, the former owner of the cinema chain operator Kolosej, will be tried for cutting off creditors by selling the Kolosej cinema centre in Ljubljana, which had been pledged as collateral for almost EUR 13m in loans. Racman pleaded not guilty at today's pre-trial hearing. Media reported that a criminal complaint against Racman and Davorin Vidmar, the CEO of the company that bought the cinema centre at the Ljubljana's shopping district BTC, had been filed by the NLB bank.

Visual art of Kingdom of Yugoslavia on show

LJUBLJANA - Paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs and films created by more than 130 authors between 1929 and 1941 in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia went on show at Moderna Galerija in Ljubljana. On the Brink: The Visual Arts in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1929-1941) provides an overview of the visual art from the start of the reign of King Alexander I on 6 January 1929 to the beginning of World War II in Yugoslavia in April 1941. The exhibition is open until 15 September.

25 Apr 2019, 02:47 AM

Bookmark this link and find the headlines faster each morning, or follow us on Facebook

A schedule of all the main events involving Slovenia this week can be found here

Visiting Ljubljana? Check out what's on this week, while all our stories on Slovenia, from newest to oldest, are here

This summary is provided by the STA:

Šarec advocates proactive, balanced foreign policy

BRDO PRI KRANJU - Prime Minister Marjan Šarec made the case for a proactive and balanced foreign policy as he addressed Slovenian diplomats gathered for their annual consultation. He highlighted the rule of law as a central tenet of Slovenia's foreign policy, and stressed Slovenia's continued commitment to a strong and effective EU and a firm transatlantic alliance. While relations with neighbours and like-minded EU countries remain a priority, he said it is also important that Slovenia expand its circle of partners and strengthen bilateral ties with other countries with shared interests.

In AP interview, PM warns of danger of populism

LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Marjan Šarec warned of the danger of populism in an interview with the Associated Press, arguing that the EU needed more efficient leadership to successfully counter the populist surge. Mainstream officials and parties have failed to deter right-wing groups, and populists are advancing in Europe because moderate parties have not been successful with their agenda, he said. "We need another leadership ... we need such leaders that will be proactive that will be more capable of fast decisions."

Parliamentary committees condemn Hungary's meddling in freedom of press

LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary committees in charge of foreign affairs and culture condemned the interference of Hungary in the freedom of press in Slovenia, meeting almost three weeks after Hungarian Ambassador Edit Szilágyiné Bátorfi lodged a verbal note with the Foreign Ministry over the cover of the Mladina magazine portraying Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban with his hand raised in a Nazi salute.
Foreign Minister Miro Cerar pledged to react decisively when basic values of democracy, human rights, the rule of law and Slovenia's sovereignty are under attack in the future.

Parties submit formal candidacies

LJUBLJANA - The Social Democrats (SD), Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), Modern Centre Party (SMC) and the fringe United Slovenia formally submitted their candidacies for EU elections with the National Electoral Commission. SD plans to focus on restoring trust in Europe by highlighting jobs, climate change, security and migration as the main issues, while DeSUS plans to focus its campaign on its top candidate, MEP Igor Šoltes, with the slogan Šoltes, Our Man in Brussels. The SMC counts on winning one seat in the European Parliament, while United Slovenia will campaign for Slovenia's exit from the EU.

Economy minister visits Hisense, promises govt's support

BEIJING, China - Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek visited the headquarters of Hisense, the owner of household appliances maker Gorenje, on the second day of his visit to China. He said Hisense would get the government's support in simplifying procedures and having its investments approved in Slovenia. Počivalšek was received by Hisense group vice president Tang Yeguo and the delegation visited the manufacturing plant for cooling devices and the showroom, the company said in a press release.

Underfunded, scientists driven into bitter rivalry

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian researchers and scientists held a March for Science and a public debate in Ljubljana to draw the attention of the public and decision-makers to what they see as a flawed financing system that is driving cut-throat competition in science. They believe the current short-term project financing system is misguided, because the rivalry it produces impacts on the relationships between researchers and institutions. They want the state to secure more and steadier funding.

Yet another ruling against LB and NLB in Croatia

ZAGREB, Croatia - The Finance Ministry announced that NLB bank and the defunct LB bank had lost another court case linked to Yugoslav-era bank deposits in Croatia as the Zagreb County Court upheld a ruling ordering them to repay more than EUR 8m in principal plus interest and litigation costs. The ruling runs afoul of Croatia's commitments under the 2001 Succession Agreement and the 2013 Mokrice Memorandum signed by Slovenia and Croatia. Should Croatia levy distress on NLB, the bank will be compensated by the Succession Fund, set up by Slovenia under legislation passed in July 2018.

Procedure launched to sell further 10% state stake in NLB

LJUBLJANA - The supervisory board of Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH) gave its go-ahead for hiring a legal adviser to sell a further 10% minus one share in NLB bank after the state already sold 65% in Slovenia'sd largest bank last year. The state needs to reduce its stake to 25% plus one share under commitments given to the European Commission when it approved a EUR 1.56bn state aid for the bank in late 2013.

Business ties with Russian Samara region promoted

LJUBLJANA - The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) hosted a meeting of businessmen from Slovenia and the Russian Samara region as part of a visit by a government and business delegation led by Samara Governor Dmitry Azarov. On the occasion the GZS signed a cooperation agreement with its Samara counterpart that is expected to help boost bilateral trade and business links. Governor Azarov noted huge potential for cooperation in particular in science and education, industry and tourism.

Triglav completes acquisition of Alta Skladi

LJUBLJANA - The fund management branch of insurer Zavarovalnica Triglav completed the acquisition of fund manager Alta Skladi to become the leading provider of mutual funds in the Slovenian market with a 34% market share. Alta, then Slovenia's largest asset management group, was sold in September 2018. The Austrian BKS bank purchased the group's brokerage business, while the fund management business was sold to Triglav pending regulatory approval.

Business sentiment deteriorating

LJUBLJANA - Business sentiment decreased for the second month running in April. The indicator declined by 2.1 percentage points over March 2019 and by 6.4 points year-on-year, the Statistics Office said. The manufacturing confidence indicator had the greatest impact on the deterioration of the sentiment indicator at the monthly level, having dropped by 1.1 points.

Ceremony commemorates Jews deported from Lendava

LENDAVA - President Borut Pahor addressed a ceremony commemorating the Jews deported during World War II from Lendava at the synagogue in this eastern-most Slovenian town. He underlined that the great European idea of peace and security must be protected. Pahor dedicated his address to Erika Fürst, a holocaust survivor, inviting her to join him next year at the ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

Exhibition presents Slovenian scenography

LJUBLJANA - An exhibition offering an overview of set design in Slovenia from the 19th century to 1991 went on display at the National Gallery. More than 220 exhibits are complemented by videos of theatre performances and computer visualisations of contemporary sets. Numerous scale models, sketches of sets in various techniques, and photographs of theatrical scenery will be on display until 8 September.

24 Apr 2019, 03:05 AM

Bookmark this link and find the headlines faster each morning, or follow us on Facebook

A schedule of all the main events involving Slovenia this week can be found here

Visiting Ljubljana? Check out what's on this week, while all our stories on Slovenia, from newest to oldest, are here

This summary is provided by the STA

Commitment to multilateralism voiced as diplomats gather at home

BRDO PRI KRANJU - Slovenian diplomats gathered for annual two-day consultations at Brdo pri Kranju. In their addresses President Borut Pahor and Foreign Minister Miro Cerar pledged Slovenia's commitment to multilateralism and the rule of law. Pahor said the country should strengthen its role in the world. Turning to relations with Croatia, Cerar said the condition for their improvement was that Croatia implement the border arbitration award, while Pahor suggested the countries focus on what united them.

Several parties formally join EU race

LJUBLJANA - Several parties formally entered the race for the 26 May EU elections by submitting their lists of candidates. The coalition of the opposition SDS and the non-parliamentary SLS are running with MEP Milan Zver as the front-runner, the opposition NSi with MP Ljudmila Novak, the ruling LMŠ with journalist Irena Joveva, and the SAB with Austrian ALDE MEP Angelika Mlinar as the top candidate. The new far-right party, Homeland League, fielded four candidates headed by party leader Bernard Brščič. Pundits expect the success in the vote will hinge on mobilising core constituents, and do not expect substantive debates on the EU's future.

Aiming for two MEPs, SocDems confirm manifesto

LJUBLJANA - The coalition SD endorsed a new manifesto as they confirmed their eight candidates for the EU election. They will enter the campaign with the slogan We Want Europe. Europe is not ideal, but we do not have a better option than the EU, party leader Dejan Židan said. MEP Tanja Fajon, the top-ranked candidate, was confident SD had the chance of winning two of the eight MEP slots.

More than 110 migrants apprehended at weekend

NOVO MESTO/KOPER - A total of 111 mgrants were apprehended illegally crossing the Slovenian-Croatian border the past weekend, police reported. Slovenian police have already handed over 30 of them to Croatia, while 12 have asked for asylum in Slovenia. The number of illegal crossings of the border in the first three months of this year rose by almost 150% compared to the same period last year, to 1,639. Most foreigners came from Algeria, Morocco and Pakistan.

Economy minister in China

BEIJING, China - Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek began a multi-day visit to China designed to strengthen economic relations between the two countries as well as Slovenia's role in the Belt and Road Initiative. Počivalšek was to present the government's action plans for potential investors and the situation in Slovenian business, and discuss cooperation in tourism. Počivalšek will attend the second Belt and Road Initiative Forum, addressing participants at the silk road innovation conference.

Ministry to draw blueprint of new social pact by end of May

LJUBLJANA - The Labour Ministry will draw up a draft of a new social pact by the end of May, based on three proposals put forward by employers and one drawn up by trade unions. This was agreed by social partners at Friday's session of the Economic and Social Council, which was tasked to appoint a negotiating group to start talks on the document. The partners hope to agree on the proposal by the end of the year so that a new social pact could take effect in 2020.

Hospital financial restructuring exceeds plans, MPs divided

LJUBLJANA - A year after an intervention that provided state funds for 15 public hospitals, three hospitals fell short of their 2018 financial goals. The first year of the four-year restructuring process has however produced better-than-expected results at twelve hospitals, according to a report debated by two parliamentary bodies. The debate nevertheless divided MPs along party lines, with the coalition labelling the results as insufficient and the coalition pleading for more time for the new health minister to take additional measures.

Two measles cases detected in Ljubljana

LJUBLJANA - About 200 people are believed to have been exposed to measles at the Ljubljana UKC emergency services over the weekend. The hospital treated two measles patients, one on Saturday afternoon, the other on Sunday morning. Although the measles immunisation rate in Slovenia exceeds 93%, those who have not received two doses are at risk of infection. The STA learnt unofficially that the two patients had recently returned from Russia and Germany. Measles vaccination has been mandatory in Slovenia since 1968.

Prices of regular and diesel to go up

LJUBLJANA - Prices of petrol sold at service stations outside motorways will go up at midnight. Regular will be 2.5 cents costlier, at EUR 1.349 a litre, the most expensive since October last year, and diesel will go up by 1.8 cents to EUR 1.279, a five-month high, data from the Economy Ministry show. The prices of petrol and diesel sold outside motorways are regulated by the government, while prices of premium and prices of all fuels sold at motorway service stations are set independently by retailers.

Slovenian book night to honour liberty

LJUBLJANA - Marking World Book Day on 23 April, Slovenians and the Slovenian ethnic minority are celebrating Book Night, hosted by the Sanje publisher and the Slovenian Book Agency. More than 200 events were scheduled to take place across the country and in neighbouring countries to honour creativity and liberty. Book Night is one of the most popular book events in Slovenia, raising awareness about the importance of reading and bringing together fellow book enthusiasts.

21 Apr 2019, 02:47 AM

Bookmark this link and find the headlines faster each morning, or follow us on Facebook

A schedule of all the main events involving Slovenia this week can be found here

Visiting Ljubljana? Check out what's on this week, while all our stories on Slovenia, from newest to oldest, are here

This summary is provided by the STA

Higher Court reduces fine over contentious SDS loan

LJUBLJANA - The newspaper Dnevnik reported that the Higher Court had reduced the fine imposed by the Ljubljana Local Court on the opposition Democratic Party (SDS) over two illegal loans from EUR 20,000 to EUR 4,200. It also reduced the fine imposed on SDS leader Janez Janša from EUR 2,000 to EUR 500. The court granted the party's appeal in the case of a EUR 60,000 loan taken from the publisher Nova Obzorja, while it has yet to decide on a EUR 450,000 loan granted by Bosnian citizen Dijana Đuđić.

Žižek faces off Peterson in sold-out debate

TORONTO, Canada - Slavoj Žižek, the internationally acclaimed Slovenian philosopher, and Canadian bestselling author and psychologist Jordan Peterson, faced off their views on capitalism vs Marxism in a packed auditorium in Toronto on Friday night. The long-awaited debate at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts saw Peterson defend capitalism, arguing it also created wealth for the poor, while Žižek pointed to climate change as one instance of what is eating capitalism inside today.

Easter baskets blessed on Holy Saturday

LJUBLJANA - Easter is considered the biggest church holiday in the predominantly Roman Catholic Slovenia, but even many non-believers went to church today for a ritual that remains hugely popular despite declining church attendance rates - the blessing of the basket of food. Most people filled the basket with pirhi, the elaborately decorated hard-boiled eggs, bread, ham, horseradish, the potica cake, and selected local specialities.

Impol obtains certificate for aerospace industry

SLOVENSKA BISTRICA - Impol, Slovenia's largest maker of aluminium products, has obtained a certificate proving its compliance with the international quality standard for the aerospace industry. The Slovenska Bistrica-based company said the EN 9100 standard certificate would make it possible to get into the demanding market of top-quality products. It will also upgrade the company's profile. Impol had made products for the aerospace industry before, but the clients had not yet set such high demands.

93 evacuated in Ljubljana apartment building fire

LJUBLJANA - Ninety-three residents were evacuated from a block of flats in the Ljubljana borough of Nove Jarše after a fire broke out on the sixth floor just after midnight. The fire was put out quickly, but five people were injured. According to the Ljubljana Fire Brigade, the fire broke out on one of the balconies on the sixth floor of a multi-flat building in Bebler Square, before spreading to other flats and the roof of the building. The blaze completely destroyed two apartments and partly damaged two more.

Protests after waste facility on fire again in Lenart

LENART - Local authorities in Lenart urged suspension of a waste sorting operation in the north-eastern town after waste deposited there went up in flames twice in less than a week. The locals also plan to stage a protest on Tuesday. The latest fire at the Salomon operation broke out on Friday, just hours after Environment Minister Simon Zajc visited the site in wake of a fire last Sunday. An investigation is under way, while unofficial information suggests the fires were caused by a spontaneous combustion.

20 Apr 2019, 09:04 AM

Bookmark this link and find the headlines faster each morning, or follow us on Facebook

A schedule of all the main events involving Slovenia this week can be found here

Visiting Ljubljana? Check out what's on this week, while all our stories on Slovenia, from newest to oldest, are here

This summary is provided by the STA

Career diplomat Šuc slated for top diplomatic job in Croatia

LJUBLJANA - The government has appointed career diplomat Vojislav Šuc Slovenia's new ambassador to Croatia, the newspaper Dnevnik reported. Before leaving for Zagreb, Šuc will need to present himself to the parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee and get approval from Croatia, Dnevnik noted, adding that no complications are expected. Earlier this week, Dnevnik reported that Marko Makovec was considered the favourite for the job. He was reportedly eliminated from contention after threatening a journalist who reported about him receiving congratulations for the appointment on Facebook before the process had been concluded.

Social partners endorse guidelines for new social pact

LJUBLJANA - The Economic and Social Council endorsed starting points for debate on the social pact proposal put forward by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) without taking positions on details yet. The GZS's proposal, presented in early March, seeks a reform of the pay system in the corporate sector for 2019-2025 centred around tying wage growth to productivity gains.

Refugee registration centre case to be taken to Supreme Court

ILIRSKA BISTRICA - The Ilirska Bistrica city council decided on Thursday to appeal to the Supreme Court against the Administrative Court decision banning the municipality from carrying out a referendum on a planned registration centre for migrants. The councillors, belonging to various political parties, believe that by banning the referendum the Administrative Court has infringed on the constitutional rights of the municipality's citizens.

Constitutional Court to treat 2019 budget review as priority

LJUBLJANA - The Constitutional Court has announced it will treat as an absolute priority the request from the centre-right opposition Democrats (SDS) and New Slovenia (NSi) to review the state budget documents passed in parliament last month. The review will apply to three documents: the law on the implementation of the budgets for 2018 and 2019, the supplementary budget for 2019 and the decree on the 2018-2020 framework for public finances. The SDS and NSi believe the 2019 budget is not in line with the Constitution because it does not take into account the fiscal rule.

Šoltes endorsed as DeSUS Euro vote frontrunner

LJUBLJANA - The Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) endorsed MEP Igor Šoltes as its frontrunner for the 26 May EU election. Apart from Šoltes, DeSUS's ticket also includes assistant to the party's outgoing MEP Ivo Vajgl, Damjan Stanonik, and the head of the Slovenian Philanthropy, Tereza Novak. Other are less known names. Contrary to previous speculation, party leader Karl Erjavec will not stand. "I didn't see a challenge there," he said.

Debate calls for definition of precarious work, systemic measures

LJUBLJANA - A debate on precarious work hosted by the Labour Ministry and the National Council agreed that everybody deserves decent pay for their work and has the right to social security. Such forms of work should therefore be defined and measures found at the systemic level to tackle the issue, the debate heard. "Since precarious work brings numerous negative consequences both for the economic and social security of an individual, it is high time to introduce measures at the systemic level," said Labour Minister Ksenija Klampfer.

General govt surplus in 2018 EUR 34m above initial calculations

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia generated a EUR 34m higher general government surplus in 2018 than the initial calculation released by the Statistics Office in March, which put it at EUR 303m. The new figure was calculated following the regular procedure of data explanation to Eurostat, the Statistics Office said. The surplus was equivalent to 0.7% of GDP, while the country's debt amounted to EUR 32.23bn, the equivalent of 70.1% of GDP.

Tourism accounted for 12% of Slovenia's GDP in 2018

LJUBLJANA - Tourism contributed EUR 5.7bn or 12.3% to the Slovenian gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018, according to a report by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). The sector employed 110,700 people or 12.8% of total employment. The annual contribution of tourism to the Slovenian GDP increased by 6% compared to 2017, the Slovenian Tourist Board said.

Consumer confidence drops for third month in a row

LJUBLJANA - The consumer confidence indicator for Slovenia has deteriorated for the third month in a row in April, dropping by one percentage point at the monthly level and by nine points year-on-year, Statistics Office data show. The consumer confidence indicator in April was down four percentage points compared to January, but was still 12 points higher than the long-term average.

Slovenia gets honorary consulate in Seoul

SEOUL, South Korea- Slovenia has opened a consulate in the South Korean capital of Seoul, which is headed by Honorary Consul Chung Mong Won, chairman of Halla Corporation. The consulate was inaugurated on Thursday by Slovenian Foreign Ministry State Secretary Simona Leskovar, who noted that the initiative for the consulate had been made at the Slovenian House at the PyeongChang Olympics in February 2018.

Good State joins EU election race

LJUBLJANA - The non-parliamentary party the Good State, founded by former MP Bojan Dobovšek, will also vie for seats in the European Parliament in the 26 May election. The party, which is no more than a blip in opinion poll charts, is building its campaign on fight against corruption. The first name on the ticket of the Good State is Robert Golob, who is in charge of Slovenia's political relations with China at the Foreign Ministry.

Lonstroff defends Slovenia boss, says site purchase decision collective

LJUBLJANA/ZURICH, Switzerland - The management of Lonstroff, a Swiss maker of elastomers, has spoken up in defence of its Slovenia director in the aftermath of reports that he is suspected of defrauding his company of EUR 1.7m with the acquisition of land for a manufacturing facility near Logatec. The management board of Lonstroff AG contacted the Office of the State Prosecutor General to confirm that "as buyers they were familiar with the provisions of the Sales Agreement for the purchase of immovable property in Logatec," the company said in a written statement for the STA.

Slovenian airline traffic up by 8% last year

LJUBLJANA - Last year around 1.8 million passengers passed through the three Slovenian international airports in Ljubljana, Maribor and Portorož, 8% more than in 2017, according to the Statistics Office. 12,363 tonnes of cargo were transloaded in the three airports, a figure 6% larger than the previous year. Almost all of the cargo was transported with scheduled flights.

Portorož boat show to feature 150 exhibitors in mid-May

PORTOROŽ - Marina Portorož will host between 16 and 19 May a boat show featuring around 150 exhibitors and 100 vessels, which are expected to attract around 15,000 visitors. The organisers are also promising an attractive accompanying programme. The organisers expect around 150 exhibitors and around 100 vessels, including 60 in the water, and are announcing a number of premieres. In addition to large sail boats and motorboats and yachts, also to be presented will be various nautical equipment.

19 Apr 2019, 02:29 AM

Bookmark this link and find the headlines faster each morning, or follow us on Facebook

A schedule of all the main events involving Slovenia this week can be found here

Visiting Ljubljana? Check out what's on this week, while all our stories on Slovenia, from newest to oldest, are here

This summary is provided by the STA

Budget blueprints just within fiscal rule

LJUBLJANA - The Fiscal Council found the budgets planned for 2020-2022 to be on the edge of what is still acceptable under the fiscal rule. While the 2019 budget violates the fiscal rule, the blueprint of 2020-2022 general government sector budgets adopted last week "walk the edge," said council chair Davorin Kračun. The blueprint projects for budget revenue to exceed expenditure by 1% of GDP in 2020. In the two years after that the surplus is to increase even more.

Govt tightens control of bad bank

LJUBLJANA - The government adopted guidelines that will give it more say over the day-to-day dealings of the Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC). These come in response to several controversial decisions adopted by the bad bank and an adverse audit report that highlighted serious shortcomings in governance. The guidelines stipulate that the bad bank will have to consult the government before taking strategic decisions, such as sale of property designated in national documents as strategically important.

Slovenia catching up with EU peers in development

LJUBLJANA - The Institute of Economic Analysis and Development released its annual development report which finds that the gap between Slovenia's economic development and the EU average has been narrowing since 2016. Nevertheless, the country will have to speed up its productivity growth, adjust to demographic change, promote the role of the state in development, and protect the environment. Productivity growth since the crisis has remained modest and innovation indices are negative.

Govt adopts proposal to enter sign language into constitution

LJUBLJANA - The government submitted to parliament the proposal to set down the Slovenian sign language as an official language in the constitution, starting the procedure of enabling the Slovenian deaf and hearing-impaired community to fully exercise their basic human rights. Labour Minister Ksenija Klampfer said the deaf and hearing-impaired considered the sign language their native tongue so its status needed to be regulated. There are around 1,000 deaf people and some 100 deaf-blind in Slovenia who use the sign language.

Real estate valuation delayed by nearly a year

LJUBLJANA - The government adopted legislative amendments to delay the next round of real estate appraisal until next year. Instead of this summer, the valuation will be completed by the end of March 2020. Environment and Spatial Planning Minister Simon Zajc said that the changes to the act on mass appraisal of real estate were needed to allow more time to find consensus about valuation models used. The appraisal is basis for the introduction of the real estate tax, which has been delayed for years.

Slovenia unlikely to hit 2020 renewables target

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia is unlikely to hit the target to raise the share of renewables in total gross energy consumption to 25% by 2020, suggest government documents released on Thursday. Getting there would require tripling the pace of increase achieved in 2010-2017. The share of renewables stood at 21.5% in 2017, 3.5 percentage points or two terawatt hours short of the target, the Government Communications Office said.

Producers and sellers now liable for disposal of waste candles

LJUBLJANA - The government adopted a decree mandating that producers and sellers of grave candles will be liable for the disposal of waste candles. Specially designated waste collecting companies have so far been responsible for disposal, but they have faced mounting problems since the system is underfunded, with mountains of waste candles building up as a result. It is estimated that Slovenians buy 16 million grave candles each year, generating hundreds of tonnes of waste that has to be carefully disposed.

Judge pressure allegations not deemed as dramatic as presented

LJUBLJANA - The Ljubljana District Court established that the allegations of pressure, made by judge Zvjezdan Radonjić as he delivered the verdict on Tuesday acquitting Milko Novič for the December 2014 murder of Chemistry Institute director, were not as dramatic as presented to the public. "The motion for exclusion and the writing by the head of the Specialised Prosecution Service cannot represent unlawful pressure, even less can such actions be perceived as a demand for disciplining the judge," the court said.

EU projection: SDS/SLS and SD to win two MEPs each

LJUBLJANA - The last projection released by the European Parliament before May's elections forecasts that the opposition Democrats (SDS), running on a joint ticket with the non-parliamentary People's Party (SLS), will win two seats, as many as the coalition Social Democrats (SD). The other four Slovenian seats are projected to go one each to the ruling Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) and the opposition Left, National Party (SNS) and New Slovenia (NSi). Compared to the previous projection, the LMŠ lost two seats.

EU issues top agenda of Hungarian official's visit

LJUBLJANA - Foreign Ministry State Secretary Dobran Božič received Hungarian Minister of State for EU Relations Judit Varga for talks on EU issues, the Foreign Ministry said. The officials debated issues including "respect for the principles of the rule of law and the future of the Union, in particular in light of the coming European Parliament elections."

Petrol shareholders endorse record dividend payout

LJUBLJANA - The shareholders' meeting of energy company Petrol endorsed the management's proposal to pay out a record EUR 37.6m in dividends at EUR 18 gross per share, two euro more than last year. The remaining EUR 12.2m out of the EUR 49.8m in distributable profit to be retained for other reserves. Czech financial group J&T as the biggest single shareholder (12.78%) raised its demand to be represented on the supervisory board. The state holds a combined 32% in Petrol directly and indirectly.

Housing fund secures loan for 800-unit developments

LJUBLJANA - The national Housing Fund has secured a EUR 50m loan from the Council of Europe Development Bank to build 600-plus affordable rental units in two developments in Ljubljana, and a 200-unit development in Maribor. The flats are scheduled for completion in 2021. The flats will go some way towards addressing a pressing shortage of affordable housing in Slovenia, although demand is significantly higher with estimates suggesting Ljubljana would need 4,000 affordable rental flats now.

Govt sets priorities in fight against crime

LJUBLJANA - The government endorsed a draft resolution on the new national strategy for the prevention of crime in 2019-2023. The resolution addresses different types of crime, including terrorism and hate speech. Terrorism is not considered a direct threat to Slovenia, but the possibility of terrorist activities cannot be excluded, especially targeting foreign representations in the country. Special concern is violent extremism, supported by religion, in the Western Balkans, and in Austria and Italy.

Air quality in Ljubljana improving, cycling on the rise

LJUBLJANA - The air quality in Ljubljana today is significantly better than it was decades ago, Nataša Jazbinšek Seršen of the environment department of the Ljubljana city told the press. The situation has improved so drastically also because increasingly many people cycle rather than drive a car in the city. Contributing the most to air quality, however, was the development of the city's heating system. In 2015, 74% of the population used the system and the goal is to raise this share to 80% by 2024.

Hypersonic vehicle to represent Slovenia at Venice Biennial

LJUBLJANA - A project titled Here We Go Again...System 317 will represent Slovenia at the upcoming 58th International Art Exhibition in Venice. Creator Marko Peljhan revealed that the project would feature a hypersonic propulsion vehicle enabling visitors to reflect on the current global state. The contribution concludes Peljhan's 20-year artistic project Resolution and will enable visitors to pose questions and search for answers regarding the current environmental and political situation in the world.

18 Apr 2019, 09:01 AM

Bookmark this link and find the headlines faster each morning, or follow us on Facebook

A schedule of all the main events involving Slovenia this week can be found here

Visiting Ljubljana? Check out what's on this week, while all our stories on Slovenia, from newest to oldest, are here

This summary is provided by the STA

EU Commission files suit against Slovenia over seized ECB files

BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Commission lodged a complaint against Slovenia at the European Court of Justice for its failure to respect the protected status of ECB documents (principle of inviolability of EU archives) and for failure to cooperate sincerely in the context of the seizure of ECB documents as part of a criminal investigation at central bank Banka Slovenije. The case refers to a July 2016 police raid of the offices of Slovenia's central bank, a part of an investigation into the causes of the late-2013 bailout of the Slovenian banking system.

Pahor: Bosnia genuinely wants to be prosperous

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina - Bosnia-Herzegovina genuinely wants its future to be safe and prosperous, and this is closely linked with its EU accession, President Borut Pahor stressed as he addressed the Sarajevo Business Forum on the second day of his visit to the country. The EU should thus take action based on this, because it too would benefit from a more flexible enlargement policy to the Western Balkans. Pahor reiterated the EU enlargement to the Western Balkans was an increasingly geopolitical issue.

Explanations sought after Novič case judge alleges pressure

LJUBLJANA - Marjan Pogačnik, the head of the Ljubljana District Court, urged judge Zvjezdan Radonjić to provide explanations for his allegations yesterday that he faced pressure over the retrial of Milko Novič for the 2014 murder of the Chemistry Institute boss, which ended in acquittal. Pogačnik denied being pressured to discipline the judge, but he confirmed that the head of the Special Prosecution Service complained against Radonjić's conduct. The prosecution also denied the allegations of pressure, while Justice Minister Andreja Katič said she condemned any pressure on judges. The opposition Democratic Party (SDS) indicated it would seek an emergency parliamentary session on the matter.

Ministry proposes changes to financing of private primaries

LJUBLJANA - The Education Ministry put forward draft amendments to the education financing act, proposing that private primary schools get full state funding to teach publicly approved curricula, however, the conditions under which they will get the concession are to be stiffened. The proposal, submitted for a three-week consultation period, is set to implement the 2014 Constitutional Court ruling mandating full rather than 85% state financing of publicly approved curricula at private primaries.

SNS first to submit EU election list

LJUBLJANA - The opposition National Party (SNS) filed its list of candidates for May's EU election to the National Electoral Commission as the first party to do so. "We filed it first and we expect the same result in the elections," party leader and MP Zmago Jelinčič, who tops the list, told the press on the occasion. One of the latest opinion polls projected the SNS winning one of the eight Slovenian MEP seats, but Jelinčič said the SNS, which has never had a MEP, did not rely on polls. Parties have until 26 April to submit their lists of candidates.

Croatian courts hand down first rulings on Slovenian fishermen

PIRAN - Croatian courts have delivered the first rulings on Slovenian fishermen fishing in the Bay of Piran along the border as set by the border arbitration tribunal in 2017, which Croatia rejects. In case of fisherman Silvan Radin, the court dropped the charges, but his family company was fined almost EUR 14,800 for a total of eleven cases, lawyer Ivica Senjak, who represents Slovenian fishermen in Croatian proceedings, told the STA. The second fisherman, Elvin Sabadin, was slapped with a fine of some EUR 2,150 in eight cases. Senjak said both decisions had already been challenged.

Lithuanian interior minister starts visit

LJUBLJANA - Border security and migration topped the agenda as Lithuanian Interior Minister Eimutis Misiunas was received by his Slovenian counterpart Boštjan Poklukar for an official three-day visit in Ljubljana. The pair found that their countries were aware of the responsibility to protect the external Schengen border, but established that Slovenia faced much bigger pressure of illegal migrations. Poklukar thanked Lithuania for deploying 50 police officers to Slovenia during the migration crisis in 2015 and 2016.

Erik Kerševan new Judicial Council president

LJUBLJANA - Erik Kerševan, a judge at the Supreme Court, was appointed on Tuesday to head the Judicial Council, replacing Barbara Narat, who resigned for personal reasons. The president is elected by council members in a secret ballot with a two-thirds majority for three years with no option of re-appointment. The eleven-strong Judicial Council is the key body for staffing in the judiciary, also deciding on promotions of judges or their incompatibility with other offices. It has full powers in picking candidates for judges, oversees their work and is fully responsibly for disciplinary proceedings.

Abanka's annual profit more than doubles

LJUBLJANA - Abanka, Slovenia's third largest bank, posted a EUR 66.7m net profit last year, up 56% over 2017, the audited annual report showed. Net interest revenue amounted to EUR 60.6m, down from EUR 71.9m in 2017, while net non-interest revenue was up to EUR 64.4m from EUR 46.8m. Its total assets amounted to EUR 3.73bn, up from EUR 3.66bn at the end of 2017. The bank, in 100% state ownership since it was bailed out with taxpayer money in 2013, is slated for privatisation. Unofficial reports suggest three binding bids were submitted last month.

Bad bank executive director Jaklin dismissed

LJUBLJANA - Jože Jaklin was dismissed as an executive director of the Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC) by BAMC non-executive directors on Tuesday, following two resignations of the bad bank's executive directors in the recent months. The only remaining executive director is now Matej Pirc, acting director general. Jaklin leaving the bad bank was an expected move and is considered just another step in the executive management replacement process. The BAMC selection procedure for the new executive management is in its final phase, with the bad bank having received 24 international applications.

Police, ministry at odds over strike agreement implementation

LJUBLJANA - One of Slovenia's two police trade unions appointed a strike committee on Tuesday in the wake of warnings the Interior Ministry was trying to find a way out of a strike agreement reached in December. The SPS, which noted social dialogue hit the lowest point, said on Wednesday a major issue was the payment of bonuses for police officers working on the Schengen border. The ministry claims the EUR 15m available for 2019 also involves the employer contributions, whereas the unions believe the funds should go exclusively for net bonus payments.

Investment in mutual funds increasing among Slovenians

LJUBLJANA - Slovenians prefer to save in bank deposits, however mutual funds have seen an increase in assets and savers. At the end of 2018 Slovenian households had EUR 1.7bn invested in mutual funds, said Karmen Rejc, director of the Slovenian Investment Fund Association. The average European invests 10% or EUR 5,800 of their assets in mutual funds, whereas in Slovenia the figure is lower, namely 6% or EUR 900, she said at a news conference before Friday's World Mutual Fund Day.

Police arrest two for euro counterfeiting

CELJE - Celje police arrested last week two individuals for counterfeiting 500-euro banknotes, which were being cashed in the wider Celje area, central Slovenia. The Celje Police Department said criminal charges will be filed against a 47-year-old woman and a 54-year-old man on suspicion of money counterfeiting. The police also said the counterfeited bills were of high quality, warning cash businesses to be careful when accepting 500-euro banknotes.

Slovenia's Oblak extended by Atletico Madrid until 2023

MADRID, Spain - Jan Oblak, Slovenia's best goalkeeper and national team mainstay, has agreed on a contract extension with his Atletico Madrid until 2023, the Spanish powerhouse announced. The four-year extension put an end to lengthy negotiations between Oblak and the club for which he has played since July 2014. The 26-year-old from Škofja Loka is to receive around EUR 10m a year under the new contract, which makes him one of the highest paid goalkeepers in the world.

Photo galleries and videos

This websie uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.