Ljubljana related

20 Jul 2022, 04:33 AM

Check the date at the top of the page, and you can find all the "morning headlines" stories here. You can also follow us on Facebook and get all the news in your feed.

This summary is provided by the STA:

Slovenia welcomes start of EU accession talks with N Macedonia, Albania

LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor, Prime Minister Robert Golob hailed the start of EU accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia, which Pahor described as "one of the few pieces of good news recently that boosts confidence in the European perspective of the Western Balkans". Golob described the step as "a historic and long awaited step on both countries' path into our EU family", while praising the Albanian and Macedonian prime ministers for their patience and leadership. The government pledged Slovenia will remain a staunch supporter of the EU's enlargement to the entire Western Balkans' region.

Golob writes to Von der Leyen, Michel on Bosnia's candidate status

LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Robert Golob has called on the presidents of the European Commission and Council for Bosnia-Herzegovina to be granted EU candidate country status based on the fulfilment of realistic conditions. He said the EU must consider its share of responsibility for the situation in the country and the new geopolitical reality in Europe.

Šarec visits troops in Slovakia

LEŠT, Slovakia - After visiting Slovenian troops serving in NATO's Enhanced Presence mission in Latvia, Defence Minister Marjan Šarec also visited Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF) members at the Lešt base in Slovakia, where he was joined by his counterpart Jaroslav Nad. While Nad commended the SAF on its fast response in creating the mission and on the troops' outstanding work, Šarec promised Slovenian troops on missions at home and abroad would be secured a proper level of equipment.

Naval fleet to get its own berths at Koper port

KOPER - The government decided to build docks for the Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF) fleet in Koper port. The project is estimated at EUR 7.22 million including VAT and will be funded by the Defence Ministry, the government Communications Office said in a press release. The docks will be temporary, to be used for the next ten or 15 years, as new berths for the fleet are planned on Quay 3, the construction of which is not planned before 2030. The SAF vessels are currently docked at the port's moorings.

State buying 40,000 tonnes of wheat

LJUBLJANA - Following the government's announcement that the state will buy the country's entire wheat output, the Agency for Commodity Reserves published a call to purchase 40,000 tonnes of wheat produced in 2022 for human consumption in an estimated value of EUR 12.4 million, VAT excluded. The call, published on the public procurement portal and the Official Journal of the EU, is for two lost of up to 14,000 tonnes of wheat and up to 26,000 tonnes of wheat. The bids submitted will be opened on 16 August.

Slovenia to improve protection of Bosnian, Serbian workers

LJUBLJANA - The Labour Ministry announced it had launched talks with Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia to change parts of bilateral labour agreements so as to provide better protection of Bosnian and Serbian workers in the country. Above all the sides are looking at provisions under which workers may not change their employer during the first year of working in Slovenia. This has proven to be harmful, exposing workers to abuse which often goes unreported.

Daily coronavirus case count highest since 4 April

LJUBLJANA - A total of 2,764 new cases of coronavirus were recorded in Slovenia on Monday in what is a 17% increase over the same day a week ago, and the highest daily tally since 4 April. Hospitalisations continued to increase on a weekly basis with 84 patients treated for Covid-19 as their main condition in hospitals on Monday, 27 more than a week ago, as the number of ICU cases was up by one to nine, data from the Health Ministry shows. One Covid-19 patient died.

Covid-19 re-boost being made available to all adults

LJUBLJANA - The national advisory committee on immunization recommended a second booster shot of a Covid-19 vaccine in particular to vulnerable patients, care home residents and those aged over 80, while recommending it to everyone over 60. A re-booster or fourth Covid shot is also being allowed to everyone over the age of 18. Re-boosters will be made available to all the eligible groups after vaccination providers get updated instructions, which is to happen in the coming days.

Slovenia notes lack of alternatives for reduced pesticide use

BRUSSELS, Belgium - The EU agriculture ministers, including Slovenia's Irena Šinko, discussed sustainable use of pesticides at a meeting in Brussels on Monday, with Šinko saying that while Slovenia agreed that the use of pesticides should be reduced to the minimum, the unavailability of alternative methods had not been adequately taken into account. She said 30% of the total area of permanent plantations and more than 40% of arable land in Slovenia was located in sensitive areas which would be subject to a pesticides ban, which would mean abandonment of agriculture in these areas.

Govt to debate water restrictions in coastal region

KOPER - Environment Minister Uroš Brežan met the mayors of coastal communities in Koper to discuss severe water shortages in the region. They agreed to put forward measures to save drinking water to prevent rationing. The measures will be discussed by the government on Thursday. Koper Mayor Aleš Bržan said suspending water supply to households, which is being considered by the water utility supplying the region, was not the best measure and it might be better to close water to some legal entities instead.

Criticism as Slavic studies MA course scrapped in Klagenfurt

KLAGENFURT, Austria - Members of the Slovenian minority in the Austrian state of Carinthia have expressed strong criticism of the decision of the Klagenfurt University to abolish the MA course of Slavic studies, arguing it would cause major damage. Concern has also been expressed by President Borut Pahor and the Government Office for Slovenians Abroad. The decision, prompted by a lack of interest among students, is seen as a significant blow to the minority on a symbolic level.

Members of Slovenian minority honoured in Klagenfurt

KLAGENFURT, Austria - The Austrian state of Carinthia, home to a sizeable Slovenian minority, honoured several of the minority's members as honours were bestowed on distinguished Carinthians in Klagenfurt on Monday. Grand Badges of Honour of Carinthia were bestowed on Angelika Hödl, who helped lead the bilingualism-focused Radio Agora, professor Katja Sturm-Schnabl and Roza Wernig, like Sturm-Schnabl a WWII deportee, who established the Rosental Rož camp site, and music teacher Hans Ogris.

Jesuit missionary to Tokyo and poet Vladimir Kos dies

TOKYO, Japan - Vladimir Kos, poet and Jesuit missionary to Tokyo, has died. The 98-year-old was the author of a collection of poems titled Dober Večer, Tokio (Good evening, Tokyo), the first book in Slovenian to be published in Japan. He also received the 2014 Prešeren Fund Prize. He was born in Murska Sobota (NE), but studied in Rome, Italy. After joining the Jesuit order, he became part of the Japan mission in 1956.

Spain's Gonvarri buys nearly 40% in Hidria

IDRIJA - The newspaper Finance reported that the biggest sole owner of car parts maker Hidria sold its stake to Spanish automotive supplier Gonvarri. The stake of roughly 40% in Hidria had been held by the family of former Hidria CEO Edvard Svetlik through their company ES&G. The value of the transaction is unclear but the magazine Manager valued the interest held by Svetlik and his spouse at EUR 33.6 million last year. The majority stake of some 52% is held by a consortium of Hidria managers.

Higher court annuls bribery case ruling

LJUBLJANA - The Ljubljana Higher Court has annulled a ruling by the Ljubljana District Court sentencing orthopaedic surgeon Gregor Kavčič of the Novo Mesto hospital to three years in prison for allegedly accepting bribes from a medical supplier. A retrial was ordered, but the case will become statue barred at the beginning of August.

19 Jul 2022, 06:44 AM

Check the date at the top of the page, and you can find all the "morning headlines" stories here. You can also follow us on Facebook and get all the news in your feed.

This summary is provided by the STA:

Slovenia supports further sanctions on Russia, aid for Ukraine

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Foreign Ministry State Secretary Marko Štucin expressed Slovenia's support for the European Commission's proposal to impose additional sanctions on Russia over the war in Ukraine which are being discussed by the EU Foreign Affairs Council today. Štucin also said Slovenia supported continued aid to Ukraine, including for critical infrastructure and institutions, and all efforts towards post-war reconstruction. The EU foreign ministers agreed that the bloc will allocate an additional EUR 500 million for aid in arms for a total of EUR 2.5 billion, the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell announced.

Defence minister visiting troops in Latvia, Slovakia

ADAŽI, Latvia/LEST, Slovakia - Defence Minister Marjan Šarec is visiting Slovenian soldiers serving in NATO's enhanced-presence missions in Latvia and Slovakia. He is visiting the Adaži military base in Latvia today and the soldiers serving in Slovakia tomorrow, when he is also scheduled to meet his Slovak counterpart Jaroslav Nad'. Šarec was present at the soldiers' dynamic presentation at the training ground, and met Latvian Defence Ministry State Secretary Janis Garisons on the sidelines of the visit.The Slovenian Armed Forces have been involved in the Enhanced Forward Presence mission in Latvia since its launch in 2017.

Pirc Musar ahead of Logar in presidential poll

LJUBLJANA - Lawyer Nataša Pirc Musar is in the lead three months before the presidential election, with former foreign minister Anže Logar trailing close behind and Freedom Movement candidate Marta Kos in third as the only other serious contender, shows the first presidential poll commissioned by Dnevnik and Večer. Pirc Musar, an independent, polled at 30.1%, just two points ahead of Logar, who is running with the support of his Democratic Party (SDS). Kos is nine points behind Logar, at 19.4%.

Three found guilty in first EPPO case in Slovenia

LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - The European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) announced that the Maribor Local Court ruled in the first EPPO case in Slovenia early this month. Two execs and one legal entity, none of which were named, were found guilty of attempted fraud to the detriment of the EU budget. By submitting false statements in a public call they tried to obtain EUR 31,300 in grants by fraud. However, the Infrastructure Ministry discovered the attempted fraud in time, and did not pay out the grant.

PM Golob visits Constitutional Court

LJUBLJANA - PM Robert Golob visited the Constitutional Court and met its president Matej Accetto, saying in a statement to the press afterwards that this was an introductory meeting which he believes was "useful for both sides". "It was interesting to find out on which points their views are in line with ours, so that we can implement these things as soon as possible in the future," said Golob. He rejected the idea the visit could be seen as an attempt by the government to influence the judiciary.

Government proposes 4% pay increase in public sector

LJUBLJANA - The government offered a 4% increase in public sector pay as of September wages as its representatives met with trade unions. While happy that the government no longer insist solely on one-off payments for the worst-paid public servants, unions would like to see an increase of 12%. Public Administration Minister Sanja Ajanović Hovnik told the press after the meeting that the 4% accounted for half of the 8% inflation forecast for this year by the IMAD macroeconomic think-tank. The minister said the government would not offer any more, with the 4% being "the maximum we can spare". The proposal is estimated at EUR 58 million.

OZS urges govt to include all SMEs in electricity price cap

LJUBLJANA - The Chamber of Craft and Small Business (OZS) called on the government on Monday to amend the measures capping electricity prices for households and small businesses so as to include all small and medium-sized companies (SMEs). The OZS therefore called on the ministers of infrastructure and the economy, Bojan Kumer and Matjaž Han, to include as many businesses as possible, at least for the duration of the crisis, which, Cvar hopes, will not last long. A number of companies are facing another problem related to electricity supply, the press release also said.

Pahor meets Carinthian governor, mayors

GLOBASNITZ, Austria - President Borut Pahor visited the Austrian state of Carinthia, meeting Governor Peter Kaiser and attending a get-together of mayors of communities with Slovenian population. Following their meeting, Pahor and Kaiser said Slovenia and Austria cooperated excellently in a number of fields, also mentioning the potential of future regional cooperation and working together on challenges of the EU. The pair also discussed the Austrian federal government's proposal for a reform on bilingual judiciary, which was coordinated with the Association of Slovenian Carinthian Jurists and minority's umbrella organisations.

Illegal migration up by 75% by summer

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian police handled 6,006 cases of migrants crossing into the country illegally in the first half of the year, an increase of 75% from the same period a year ago. Almost a quarter of the migrants intercepted were from Afghanistan. The number of migrants indicating their intention to apply for international protection status nearly quadrupled to 5,209. The police also handled 6,101 applications for temporary protection, almost all of which were by Ukrainian citizens.

Urbanija appointed TV Slovenija boss despite opposition from employees

LJUBLJANA - Former head of the Government Communication Office (UKOM) Uroš Urbanija was appointed director of TV Slovenija on Monday by the public broadcaster's director general Andrej Grah Whatmough despite loud protests from the in-house trade unions. Grah Whatmough told Radio Slovenija that the protests by journalists do not "have a realistic basis". He said he had appointed Urbanija because the latter had been approved by the programming council and there was really no other option. The director general expressed certainty that Urbanija would do his job well, professionally and independently.

Petrol and diesel ten cents cheaper from Tuesday

LJUBLJANA - Regular petrol and diesel sold at service stations outside the motorway network will be more than ten cents cheaper from Tuesday. Petrol will cost EUR 1.62 per litre and diesel EUR 1.70, the Economy Ministry announced. Prices outside the motorway network are regulated and change every two weeks depending on the price of oil derivatives on the global market and the euro-dollar exchange rate. Along the motorway prices are fully liberalised.

Ryanair in talks with decision makers over Slovenia flights

LJUBLJANA - The Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair has conducted talks with the Infrastructure and Economy Ministries about setting up flights from and to Ljubljana Airport, the Erar web portal reported. Currently working with over 250 airports, Ryanair is now aiming to add Ljubljana to its portfolio in 2023 as Slovenia is currently the only EU country without flights operated by Ryanair. Slovenia urgently needs a greater airline connectivity, said Matevž Frangež, a state secretary at the Economy Ministry, while representatives of the Infrastructure Ministry added they plan to appoint a new concessionaire to manage Maribor Airport.

HSE group reports EUR 47m in net profit for 2021

LJUBLJANA - HSE, the country's largest electricity producer, generated EUR 47.97 million in net profit in 2021 after a loss of EUR 184.18 million in 2020. Its annual report shows the state-owned group generated a record EUR 2.54 billion in net sales revenue last year, a 38% increase from the year before. The Šoštanj Thermal Power Plant (TEŠ), a key HSE company, received compensation over the infamous TEŠ6 generator project to post a net profit of EUR 7.1 million, after a EUR 280 million loss in 2020.

Telekom Slovenije denies knowingly paying too much for IT firm

LJUBLJANA - Telekom Slovenije denied reports it had knowingly engaged in an allegedly harmful and overpaid acquisition of software developer Actual I.T. in March this year. The state-owned telco said the EUR 30 million deal, which is still subject to suspensive conditions, had undergone a due diligence check and two independent valuations. The news portal Necenzurirano alleged the company ignored warnings about the agreed price being substantially too high. One of the state shareholders, KAD, called for a shareholders' meeting to decide on an overhaul of the supervisory board over the matter.

MP disappointed with abolishing of Demography Office

MARIBOR - Dejan Kaloh, an MP from Maribor, and Franci Donko, an employee of the Maribor-based Demography Office, which the government abolished last week, expressed disappointed over the government's decision. Kaloh said this showed the government's attitude towards Maribor. "It is obvious that left-leaning governments are always making Maribor poorer in some way, which is wrong," said Kaloh said, while Donko rejected Labour Minister Luka Mesec's explanation that the office's purview overlaps with that of the Labour Ministry, speaking about a lack of understanding and as he noted the office's work was cross-departmental.

Fire in Kras under control

RENČE - Firefighters have managed to bring the fire in the north-western Kras under control after it came about half a kilometre close to the village of Lokvica during the night. The firefighters have warned though that the strong bora wind is threatening to fan the flames again. More than 400 firefighters with 120 fire engines were at the site this morning. They also have support from the air after the aircraft from Slovenia, Croatia and Italy the helped battle the fire yesterday had to retire for the night. The fire is estimated to have spread to over 390 hectares of pine and brush wood.

Outdoor noise regulation in breach of constitution

LJUBLJANA - The Constitutional Court found the regulation on limit values for outdoor noise indicators to be in breach of the constitution. It argues that significant changes and exceptions were introduced into the document after the end of public consultation period, which means that the public could not express its view on them. The government has one year after the court's decision is published in the Official Gazette to remedy the situation by involving the public to participate.

Weekend coronavirus tally tops 1,000

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia confirmed 1,073 new cases of coronavirus at the weekend, 14% more than the weekend before. Two patients infected with novel coronavirus have meanwhile died since Friday. There are currently 87 patients at regular wards hospitalised with Covid as their primary condition, almost double the figure from a week ago, and another ten in intensive care, up by two, shows data by the Health Ministry. The seven-day average of daily cases has increased by more than 260 to 1,493 from a week ago and the 14-day case notification rate by more than 215 to 910, according to the National Institute of Public Health.

Hoče confectioner found guilty in retrial over THC-laced cookies

MARIBOR - The Maribor District Court found a confectioner from Hoče near Maribor guilty of lacing cookies with cannabis before selling them to unsuspecting customers in a retrial, after the Supreme Court overturned the guilty ruling in the first trial and ordered a retrial. Niko Štekar was handed a 15-month suspended prison sentence after he failed to convince the judge a second time that he did not know the butter for the cookies provided by a retired health inspector contained THC.

Matevž Luzar wins best director award at Cinedays

SKOPJE, North Macedonia - Matevž Luzar won the Silver Star award for best director for his feature film the Orchestra at the Cinedays film festival held in Skopje, North Macedonia, last week. Co-produced by the public broadcaster RTV Slovenija with the help of funds from the Slovenian Film Centre, the film tells the story of a wind orchestra travelling to a music festival held in a small Austrian town. Each member has their own problems and the five protagonists' stories intertwine during the trip.

Heatwave to sweep across Slovenia

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia is looking at a serious heatwave ahead as temperatures climb to hit up to 39 degrees Celsius by the end of the week, according to the Environment Agency. While the bora wind that has spread a wildfire in Primorska is subsiding, temperatures will continue to soar throughout the week, peaking at 39 on Saturday and Sunday, while next Monday might see temperatures up to 40 degrees. This will be followed by a cold front that meteorologists forecast will reach Slovenia next week.

18 Jul 2022, 06:17 AM

Check the date at the top of the page, and you can find all the "morning headlines" stories here. You can also follow us on Facebook and get all the news in your feed.

This summary is provided by the STA:

Ministry urges support for ICC on 20th anniversary

LJUBLJANA - On Day of International Criminal Justice, the Foreign Ministry marked the 20th anniversary since the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court (ICC), took effect on 1 July, by underscoring the court's role and calling for sufficient political and financial support for it. The war in Ukraine has "emphasized the ICC's role in ensuring accountability for the most serious crimes and the urgent need for sufficient political and financial support for the court's work," said the ministry.

More than 180 battle wildfire in Kras

RENČE - More than 180 firefighters are battling a fast spreading wildfire in the north-western Kras, near the border with Italy, helped by an army chopper. An Italian civil protection helicopter has also been activated and a European solidarity mechanism deployed with a request for a Canadair. The fire broke out in the steep and hard to access terrain above Renče in the Vipava Valley, but then spread toward the village of Kostanjevica na Krasu and Cerje with the help of string bora wind.

Roglič quits Tour de France due to injuries

NANTES, France - Primož Roglič pulled out of the Tour de France for a second straight year due to injuries sustained in a crash in the chaotic 5th stage on the Paris-Roubaix cobbles. Ahead of stage 15, his team Jumbo-Visma announced the 31-year-old was quitting the race to be able to recover from his injuries. "I'm proud of my contribution to the current standings and I trust that the team will realise our yellow and green ambitions," Roglič said. His teammate Jonas Vingegaard is currently in the lead.

Vicious Cat award for Taiwanese film The Sadness

LJUTOMER - The Sadness, a Taiwanese film in which mutation of a flu-like virus causes an outbreak of hellish violence on the streets of Taipei, won the Vicious Cat for best feature film as the 18th Grossman Festival of Fantastic Film and Wine came to a close in Ljutomer late on Saturday. Written and directed by Canadian filmmaker Rob Jabbaz in his feature-length directorial debut, The Sadness was praised by the judging panel headed by director Jack Sholder as a great genre film.

Over two-thirds of waste water was treated in 2021

LJUBLJANA - Almost 233 million cubic metres of waste water was brought into the public sewage system in Slovenia last year, which is up 0.6% from the year before. More than two-thirds of waste water was treated before being released into the environment, the Statistics Office data shows. Almost 55% of waste water came from rainwater, followed by waste water from households (31%) and other activities, including industry (6%) and agriculture (0.2%).

Firefighters converging on Celje for Olympics

CELJE - Firefighters from twenty countries began gathering in Celje for the 17th International Fire Brigade Competitions, popularly known as the Firefighting Olympics, in what is the biggest such event ever held in Slovenia. Featuring more than 2,600 participants from 198 teams, the Olympics will officially start on Wednesday with a concert featuring more than 200 participants. Running until next Sunday, the Olympics will be accompanied by a number of events aimed at the general public.

Average Slovenian eats four litres of ice cream a year

LJUBLJANA - An average Slovenian indulges in nearly four litres of ice cream at home a year, shows data released by the Statistics Office to mark unofficial holiday celebrating this treat. Slovenia exports far more ice cream than it imports. Last year, Slovenia imported ice cream worth almost EUR 16 million, mainly from Germany and Croatia, but it exported more than five times as much, primarily to the UK and Germany. Ice Cream Day celebrations originate from the US. They peak on the third Sunday in July.

17 Jul 2022, 06:31 AM

Check the date at the top of the page, and you can find all the "morning headlines" stories here. You can also follow us on Facebook and get all the news in your feed.

This summary is provided by the STA:

Govt adopts legislative changes on same-sex marriage, adoptions

LJUBLJANA - The government adopted on Friday legislative changes to remedy the regulation prohibiting homosexual couples from getting married or adopting children. The changes to the family code will be fast tracked through parliament, the Government Communication Office said. This comes after the Constitutional Court announced last week that a law under which only heterosexual partners can marry and same-sex couples cannot adopt children was a violation of the constitutional ban on discrimination.

Hikers injured by lightning brought safely from the mountains

KRANJ/MOJSTRANA - Hikers who were injured by lightning during a storm in the area of Mt Triglav in the Julian Alps on Friday and spent the night at a hut on Mt Kredarica under the supervision of a doctor and mountain rescuers have been safely transported from the mountain, the Kranj police said. Among them were two foreigners. Two of the 18 hikers sustained serious injuries and had been transported to the valley on Friday evening.

Former Ambassador Peter Toš dies

LJUBLJANA - Former Ambassador Peter Toš has died aged 83, the STA learned from the diplomat's family. Toš started his career as Yugoslavian ambassador to Tanzania and was the head of the club of former Slovenian ambassadors in recent years. He was born in 1939 in Celje and started his career as diplomat as Yugoslavian ambassador to Tanzania. After the break-up of Yugoslavia, he returned to Slovenia to chair a mixed Slovenian-Croatian commission for tackling the border issues. He served as Slovenian ambassador in Cairo and Tel Aviv. President Borut Pahor expressed condolences to Toš's family.

Slovenia's positive net migration lowest since 2017

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia recorded what is the lowest positive net migration since 2017 last year as 2,480 people more moved in than out. Compared to 2020, the number of people who moved in was down by more than a third while the number of people who moved out was up by almost 20%, the Statistics Office said.

16 Jul 2022, 04:39 AM

Check the date at the top of the page, and you can find all the "morning headlines" stories here. You can also follow us on Facebook and get all the news in your feed.

This summary is provided by the STA:

Hungarian president notes need for unity to tackle challenges

LJUBLJANA/LENDAVA - Slovenian and Hungarian presidents Borut Pahor and Katalin Novak praised bilateral relations and noted that the war in Ukraine and its consequences represent a huge challenge for the region and Europe that requires joint and uniform solutions, as they met as part of Novak's official visit. Pahor noted "brilliant continuation of relations between Slovenia and Hungary", which is symbolised by the fact that Novak had chosen Slovenia for her first official visit after taking office. Novak, too, noted the trust and the good relations, also pointing to the care for the rights of the Hungarian and Slovenian ethnic minorities. In the afternoon, the presidents attended the opening of the new Hungarian Community House in Lendava.

Michel replies to Pahor's letter on Bosnia's EU candidate statues

LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor has received European Council President Charles Michel's reply to his 14 June letter in which Pahor advocated giving Bosnia-Herzegovina EU candidate status and only then require of it to meet the accession criteria. Michel says the EU is fully and unwaveringly committed to the European perspective of Western Balkan countries and supports the accelerated process of their EU accession. He also notes the 23 June summit underlined its readiness to grant candidate status and called on all political leaders in Bosnia to stick to their commitments and swiftly implement the necessary reforms.

Brussels welcomes action on media independence

BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Commission welcomed Slovenia's action regarding media independence after the National Assembly passed amendments to the act on public broadcaster RTV Slovenija that strip parliament of its role in appointing members of management and supervisory bodies. "In the past we raised concerns about attempts to undermine the independence of public service media in Slovenia, so it's good that the government wants to take action with the aim to adopt more safeguards to protect this independence," Commission spokesman Christian Wigand said.

Minister vows security to be ensured post-border fence removal

METLIKA - Slovenian soldiers started removing the 51km of razor wire that runs along the southern border with Croatia, starting at a border crossing near Metlika, SE, with Interior Minister Tatjana Bobnar and acting Police Commissioner Boštjan Lindav on hand. Bobnar said the wire fence was a totally disproportionate measure, so the government decided to get rid of it and guarantee security in other ways. Once the razor wire is removed, the panel fence will be also removed in collaboration with local communities once a contractor has been selected in an open call. The razor wire and panel fence had been set up in the wake of the 2015 migration crisis.

Social partners find common ground at first meeting in over a year

LJUBLJANA - The Economic and Social Council (ESS) met for the first time in 14 months to establish that there are no major disagreements and that common ground was found on the essential points of discussion, while commitments were made to revive social dialogue after it was stalled under the previous government. Lidija Jerkič, the head of the ZSSS trade union confederation, said the first session of the country's main industrial relations forum under the new government showed the "meeting was positive and we are pleased with the response of the entire ministerial team present".

PM calls meeting on cost-of-living crisis for Wednesday

LJUBLJANA - PM Robert Golob called a high-level working meeting for Wednesday to discuss the challenges of high energy and food prices in a bid to secure political unity in adopting measures to address the cost-of-living crisis. Invited are the leaders of all parliamentary parties, all deputy group leaders, the finance, infrastructure and economy ministers, the director of the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development, several economists and several representatives of energy companies. Golob said yesterday that both opposition leaders, Janez Janša and Matej Tonin, had expressed readiness to cooperate.

Urbanija to become boss of TV Slovenija

LJUBLJANA - Uroš Urbanija, who served as the head of the Government Communication Office (UKOM) under the previous government, will be appointed director of TV Slovenija by RTV Slovenija general director Andrej Grah Whatmough on Monday, RTV Slovenija said in a statement. The news comes after Urbanija was interviewed by Grah Whatmough today after having already received approval of the broadcaster's programme council last week. The trade unions reiterated their opposition to Urbanija, saying based on his modus operandi in the past, they expect his appointment to lead to further deterioration of relations within the broadcaster.

Two new members appointed to RTV Slovenija programme council

LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly appointed on Thursday journalists Alenka Sivka and Branimir Piano members of the public broadcaster RTV Slovenija programme council to replace two members who resigned. Piano is a culture writer and critic and Sivka a magazine journalist and editor who unsuccessfully ran on the Freedom Movement's ticket in the general election.

Govt to build "giant solar power plants" for households

LJUBLJANA - The government is gearing up to increase the capacity of production of electricity from solar energy, with PM Golob announcing on Thursday a plan to set up "giant solar power plants" available to households in the next three years. The Infrastructure Ministry confirmed for the STA today it was working intensively on the plan to increase the solar power production capacity. On Thursday, the government tasked the infrastructure minister with drawing up a plan to increase this capacity by 1,000 megawatts by 2025 in suitable locations in cooperation with national grid operator ELES and distribution system operator SODO.

Catholic Church regrets legalisation of gay marriage, adoptions

LJUBLJANA - The Bishops' Conference accepts the Constitutional Court's legalisation of gay marriage and adoptions with regret, saying in a statement that the objective is to reject human nature and build a new social order in which every person will be able to shape themselves as they wish and without regard for their natural characteristics. The bishops said that adoption is not a human right, so it was all the more important to prioritise children's rights and optimal circumstances for their growth and development.

Ex-govt officials paid EUR 230,000 for unspent annual leave

LJUBLJANA - The magazine Mladina reported the Janez Janša government distributed EUR 230,000 among its members as compensation for the annual leave they did not take. This was done on 1 June, just one day before the new government was sworn in. The biggest recipients were Zdravko Počivalšek, Simona Kustec and Andrej Šircelj, the former ministers of economy, education and finance. Former officials are entitled to 80% of their pay for a year after end of service if they do not do any other work as it is.

Covid figures keep rising

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia reported 1,592 new cases of coronavirus for Thursday, an increase of 20% from the same day a week ago, as hospital figures rose following a surge in infections over the past two weeks. Data released by the Health Ministry shows the number of patients hospitalised with Covid-19 as their prime condition rising to 78, up by 12 from the previous day as the number of intensive care cases rose by three to ten. One patient with Covid-19 died yesterday.

First section of large solar plant completed at Zlatoličje

PTUJ - A 2.5 megawatt peak (MWp) solar power plant has been connected to the grid at the complex of Slovenia's largest hydro power station as part of what will eventually be a 30 MWp solar plant that would be able to generate over 37,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of green electricity annually. The solar plant was built on the left bank of the discharge canal of the Zlatoličje-Formin power station near Ptuj in a project valued at just over EUR 2 million. The investor was the hydro plants operator DEM.

Hit by worst drought in 35 years, coast braces for severe water shortages

KOPER - Rižanski Vodovod, the company supplying drinking water to the entire Slovenian coast, said the current drought is the worst in 35 years. After a number of restrictions have been in place for a while, the company introduced additional limitation today, saying water shortages are unavoidable this summer. "When every litre of water is in question, cars can stay dirty and wait for the next rain," Rižanski Vodovod director Martin Pregelj pleaded, warning the situation is deteriorating by the hour. He said there will be water every day yet not 24 hours a day, and warned that tap water will not be potable.

*Lightening injures 18 in Alps

KRANJ - A lightning strike in the area of Mt Triglav in the Julian Alps injured 18 mountaineers, two of them seriously. The pair were flown to hospital in Ljubljana but their lives are not at stake. The rescue effort was hampered by fog, the country's Administration for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief said. The accident happened around 3pm CET in the area of Mt Mali Triglav, a 2,725-metre peak, as the mountaineers were en route from Mt Triglav, the country's tallest mountain, towards Mt Kredarica, 2,515 metres, the Kranj Police Department said.

Composer Nina Šenk wins Austria's Johann Joseph Fux Prize

GRAZ, Austria - Slovenian composer Nina Šenk won this year's Johann Joseph Fux Prize, awarded by the government of the Austrian state of Styria, for her new opera composition called Canvas, based on the libretto by Slovenian writer Simona Semenič. The judging panel praised Šenk for her technical skills and maturity, saying they were strongly impressed by her oeuvre. She is the second Slovenian to win the prize after Tomaž Svete, who won it in 2000 for his chamber opera Kriton.

15 Jul 2022, 05:59 AM

Check the date at the top of the page, and you can find all the "morning headlines" stories here. You can also follow us on Facebook and get all the news in your feed.

This summary is provided by the STA:

Electricity prices for households, small business capped as of September

LJUBLJANA - Electricity prices for households and small and medium-sized companies will be capped from 1 September to August 2023, and households will pay between 15% and 60% less for electricity than now, depending on provider, Infrastructure Minister Bojan Kumer told the press after the cabinet session. Prices will be kept low through a combination of lower duties and measures that will reduce the profits of power generation companies, according to Kumer. The excise fee on electricity will remain at 50% of the headline level, whereas the contribution for renewable sources will be cut in half come September.

Brussels projects sharp slowdown for Slovenia in 2023

BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Commission upgraded its forecast for Slovenia's GDP growth from 3.7% to 5.4% for this year, but it expects growth to slow down sharply to just 1% in 2023 compared to its earlier projection of 3.1%. Slovenia is expected to enjoy the second highest growth rate in the EU after Portugal this year based on a strong carry-on effect from last year. Next year the growth rate is expected to be among the third lowest in the EU behind Sweden and Italy, and even below the eurozone average of 1.4%.

PM appeals for cross-partisan unity to address cost-of-living crisis

LJUBLJANA - PM Robert Golob appealed for political unity as he set out his government's plans to ensure energy and food security and address rising prices and inflation in parliament. The government plans to double strategic food reserves and replenish fuel reserves, as it declared level 1 threat with respect to electricity production. The purpose of the latter decision is to "increase strategic fuel stocks in the power industry, of all fuels, from oil products, to gas and coal." The infrastructure minister was tasked to work together with the transmission and distribution system operators to prepare preventive and preparatory measures for the implementation of crisis scenarios of electricity supply.

Bill passed to reduce wait times in healthcare

LJUBLJANA - Parliament passed an emergency bill designed to tackle long wait times for health services by securing more money and prepare the system for a more sweeping reform that is to follow. It lifts the cap on the value and number of services that the public health insurer pays in a given year. Health Minister Danijel Bešič Loredan says that all the services that are provided will be paid for. Roughly EUR 200 million is currently budgeted but the figure could rise further. The bill exposed a fault-line between the Left and the rest of the ruling coalition as the former is worried the law could undermine public healthcare.

Parliament ratifies Sweden and Finland's bids to join NATO

LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly endorsed the bill ratifying the NATO accession protocols for Finland and Sweden. Only the coalition Left reiterated its opposition to NATO enlargement and advocacy of Slovenia's quitting the alliance, voting against. Addressing the MPs before the vote, PM Robert Golob urged them to ratify the accession protocols unanimously, saying Finland and Sweden's decision to join NATO was "historic". The accession to NATO of the countries that were neutral for decades or centuries is, he said, a direct consequence of Russia's aggression against Ukraine.

Parliament ratifies Slovenia-Italy accord on gas supply

LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly unanimously ratified an agreement between Slovenia and Italy on solidarity measures to safeguard the security of gas supply under which Slovenia can ask Italy to supply gas to protected customers in the event of supply disruptions, and vice versa. The mechanism is activated after a country has carried out all measures on its territory to supply gas to protected customers and once all unprotected customers have been cut off. Protected customers include households, healthcare and educational institutions, and providers of social services, according to Slovenia's energy act.

MPs pass omnibus act repealing previous govt's dozen laws

LJUBLJANA - The MPs passed an omnibus act filed to parliament with voter signatures to change eleven laws passed under the previous government that the 8 March Institute NGO deemed harmful to equality, human rights and the rule of law. The act restores the legislation to the state before it was amended by the Janez Janša government either in fast-track procedures or without consulting experts. The opposition Democrats (SDS) plans to challenge the act, which has enjoyed the support of the parties that formed the new government after the 24 April election since it was presented this spring, at the Constitutional Court.

MPs pass changes to RTV Slovenija act

LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly passed in 53:26 vote changes to the act on RTV Slovenija with which the government would like to reduce what it sees as the influence of politics on the public broadcaster. The changes come after RTV journalists recently went on strike twice demanding editorial autonomy. Under the changes, the existing programming council and the supervisory board will be replaced with a single council with 17 members in which more power would be given to the civil society and staff.

Government adopts legislation transposing GDPR

LJUBLJANA - The government adopted a bill on personal data protection that aims to transpose the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) into Slovenia's legislation. The Ministry of Justice said after the government session that new legislation was needed because the GDPR brought substantial changes to personal data protection and had replaced much of the national provisions in the field. The Information Commissioner welcomed the move, noting that Slovenia remains the only EU member state that failed to draft new legislation following the GDPR. The cost of the implementation is estimated at EUR 100,000 in 2023 and 2024.

Act on alternative investment funds passed

LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly passed an act on forms of alternative investment funds that provides for three forms and two types of funds. The long-awaited legislation, with which the state wants to strengthen the capital market, is one of the milestones for the payment of the first instalment from the Covid recovery mechanism. Such legislation is one of the measures from this reform and also a condition that the state must fulfil in order to draw the first instalment of grants the amount of EUR 57 million. It has also been the wish repeatedly expressed by the financial sector.

Govt abolishes Demography Office, postpones long-term care act

LJUBLJANA - The government decided to abolish the Demography Office, whose powers will be transferred to the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. The abolishment was proposed because the office's purview overlaps with that of the ministry, which will hire the office's staff, take over documents and the funding earmarked for the office. The government also postponed the entry into force of the act on long-term care from the start of 2023 to April 2024, so that it could amend it.

Vraničar Erman again appointed high representative for succession

LJUBLJANA - Mateja Vraničar Erman, the ex-finance minister, was re-appointed as Slovenia's high representative for succession to the former Yugoslavia after she was dismissed from the post in March 2021 by the previous government. She is replacing international law expert Miha Pogačnik. Vraničar Erman held the office between 18 June 2019 and 18 March 2021, while she served as finance minister under the Miro Cerar government between September 2016 and September 2018. The country's first and longest serving high representative was Rudi Gabrovec, who served twice - in 2001-2005 and 2009-2014.

Viršek back at the helm of radwaste agency ARAO

LJUBLJANA - The government appointed Sandi Viršek the director of the Radioactive Waste Agency (ARAO), which is in charge of construction of a EUR 194 million storage facility for waste from the Krško N-plant, for a four-year term starting on 15 July with the option of re-appointment. Viršek headed the agency before, until 29 March this year, when his term expired and the previous government appointed Petra Grajžl as interim director. The previous government was critical of Viršek for his failure to meet the obligations regarding the construction of low- and intermediate-level rad waste facility at Vrbina near Krško by 2023.

Lek employees' wages miscalculated for the last 20 years

LJUBLJANA - Pharmaceutical company Lek confirmed reports it has discovered an error in its calculations of wages which led to its staff being underpaid in the last 20 years by a combined total of about EUR 100 million. The company said it would reimburse all current and former employees for the last five years with default interest for the last three years, the minimum required by law, despite appeals by trade unions for more money. The error was discovered when the company switched payroll accounting providers and the new provider carried out a due diligence with an audit.

Wednesday's Covid-19 count up 6% w/w

LJUBLJANA - A further 1,738 people tested positive for coronavirus in Slovenia on Wednesday, an increase of 6% from the same day a week ago. The seven-day average of cases is now at 1,379, up by 17 from the day before and up 295 in a week. The 14-day incidence per 100,000 population rose by 35 and 216, respectively, to 822. Hospitalisations rose by 12 to 66 in a week, with ICU cases down by one to seven. While the figures indicate the spread may be slowing, Nuška Čakš Jager, deputy head of the communicable diseases centre with the NIJZ, said that infections were likely to keep rising for another four weeks.

Slovenia to send EUR 36,000 in demining equipment to Ukraine

LJUBLJANA - In line with Ukraine's request for international assistance through the EU's civil protection mechanism, the government confirmed material assistance to Ukraine in the form of demining equipment, which is valued at EUR 36,140, including transport. Slovenia will send to Ukraine ten metal detectors, protective bulletproof vests, protective visors and collapsible metal shovels that can be worn on a belt, the Government Communication Office (UKOM) said.

Govt revokes Slovenia's withdrawal from Forum of Slavic Cultures

LJUBLJANA - The government annulled the decision of the previous, Janez Janša government for Slovenia to withdraw from membership in the Forum of Slavic Cultures (FSC), which was taken on 21 April, three days ahead of the general election. The government argued that the opinion of the Government Office for Legislation against the decision had been disregarded. What is more, the points of the operative part of the decision, taken three days ahead of the general election, are legally and formally inadequate, as they are not in line with the material regulations, the government said in a press release.

14 Jul 2022, 04:32 AM

Check the date at the top of the page, and you can find all the "morning headlines" stories here. You can also follow us on Facebook and get all the news in your feed.

This summary is provided by the STA:

Delo: Polish KTO Rosomak carriers potential alternative to German Boxers

LJUBLJANA - After the government submitted the deal to buy 45 German-made Boxer troop carriers for a review shortly after assuming office, the newspaper Delo reported the government is now in talks to potentially buy Polish KTO Rosomak carriers instead. Citing several unrelated sources, Delo writes that KTO Rosomak carriers would come at about half the cost of the Boxers for the same number and similar configuration of the vehicles and could be supplied quicker. Former Defence Minister Matej Tonin warned the KTO Rosomak vehicles were outdated and provided a lower level of safety.

Committee proposes ratification of NATO accession of Finland, Sweden

LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee discussed a bill to ratify the protocols on Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO and decided to propose to the National Assembly to pass it. The committee proposed that the bill be discussed at an emergency session on Thursday. Before the 13:1 vote, Foreign Ministry State Secretary Samuel Žbogar told the committee that Finland and Sweden had decided to join NATO in light of the changed security circumstances, mostly due to the war in Ukraine.

Jourova: Developments in Slovenia prompted idea for media legislation for all EU

BRUSSELS, Belgium - As the European Commission released its third annual Rule of Law Report on Wednesday, its Vice President Vera Jourova said past developments in the media in Slovenia, including the suspension of financing of the Slovenian Press Agency (STA) have prompted the Commission to start thinking about media rules that will apply to all EU member stats. The justice and culture ministries as well as human rights ombudsman welcomed the report, while the Trade Union of Journalists said Slovenian media landscape was at a crossroads.

Freedom Movement officially nominates Kos for president

LJUBLJANA - The senior coalition Freedom Movement confirmed its vice president Marta Kos as its candidate for the autumn presidential election. The decisions by the party's executive committee and party council were unanimous. Mirta Koželj, the party council president, said there were no doubts in the party about the nomination, including in the light of criticism that if Kos won, it would be inadmissible to have members of a single party holding the three top positions in the state.

Committee okays healthcare accessibility bill, despite objection from the Left

LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Health Committee approved for third reading a bill aiming to improve healthcare accessibility despite objections from the opposition and the coalition Left. The opposition believes the bill will not have the desired effect, while the Left believes it will undermine public healthcare. Health Minister Danijel Bešič Loredan told the committee that the bill was the first step of a healthcare reform.

NSi determined to oppose gay adoptions

LJUBLJANA - The opposition New Slovenia will use all legal means available to oppose the Constitutional Court's recent decision to allow gay couples to get married and adopt children and its ramifications, including any changes to the family code that will be based in this ruling, the party's deputy group leader Janez Cigler Kralj said. There is no such thing as "the right of adults to adopt children", said the previous minister of labour, family, social affairs and equal opportunities.

New crime police head speaks of "brutal pressure" under previous govt

LJUBLJANA - David Antolovič, the new director of the criminal police department, told 24ur news site he had never witnessed as "brutal pressure" on individual investigations undertaken by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) as under the previous government. Antolovič was deputy NBI director when the NBI started investigating public purchases of the protective equipment during the first wave of Covid in 2020, which he believes triggered efforts to dismantle the NBI.

Regions confirm draft agreement to draw EUR 4.5bn by 2027

LJUBLJANA - The relevant bodies of Slovenia's two cohesion regions last week endorsed a draft agreement that would allow them to tap on EUR 4.5 billion in cohesion funds in the 2021-2027 period, as part of which the EU is to contribute EUR 3.2 billion. The agreement on partnership with the European Commission is one of two strategic documents needed to implement cohesion policy. Slovenia needs to submit it to the Commission as soon as possible or else it risks losing almost EUR 500 million in EU funds. The other document is operative programme for implementation of European cohesion policy in 2021-2027, which is still being drawn up.

Coronavirus cases up a quarter week-on-week

LJUBLJANA - A total of 1,845 new coronavirus cases were confirmed in Slovenia on Tuesday, up 25.5% from a week ago but down 28% from Monday's three-month record daily count. One patient with Covid-19 died, the Health Ministry said. The number of patients hospitalised due to Covid at regular wards was 55 and another eight were in intensive care units, with the former figure by up 72% from a week ago. The seven-day average of cases reached 1,362, up 54 in a day. The 14-day number of cases per 100,000 was at 787, up 38 from the day before, data from the National Institute for Public Health shows.

Banks' pre-tax profit down 18% in first five months

LJUBLJANA - Banks in Slovenia posted a total of EUR 174 million in pre-tax profit in the first five months of the year, which is 18.2% less year-on-year due to higher operating costs and the creation of EUR 12.8 million in net impairments and provisions, the Banka Slovenije central bank reported. Deposits by the non-banking sector increased by EUR 392 million in May, while the volume of deposits by non-financial companies decreased by EUR 140 million. The total assets of banks in Slovenia at the end of May amounted to EUR 48.8 billion, which is an increase of EUR 522 million compared to the beginning of the year.

Third Slovenian satellite launched in space

KOUROU, French Guiana/MARIBOR - Trisat-R, a nanosatellite developed at Slovenia's University of Maribor, was launched in space just after 3pm in French Guiana. It was carried into space aboard Vega-C, a new European launch vehicle, as the third Slovenian satellite to date. Stakeholders watched the launch at an event the university organised in Maribor.

Report: Ex-Mayor Kangler entitled to damages only for Ježovita case

MARIBOR - Franc Kangler, an ex-state secretary who served as Maribor mayor in 2006-2012, will not get EUR 587,700 in damages as the Ljubljana District Court has rejected in a retrial his two compensation claims for the trials in which he was either acquitted or the charges were dropped. This was reported by the newspapers Delo and Slovenske Novice, which noted that the ex-mayor, MP, member of the upper chamber of parliament and state secretary, initially asked for a total of EUR 635,000 in damages.

Slovenia sides with FIFA, UEFA as Super League hearing starts

LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - Slovenia expressed support for FIFA and UEFA in the proceedings at the European Court of Justice related to the proposed European Super League project, arguing that the relevant rules in the statutes of the international organisations were not in conflict with the rules of the EU competition law and fundamental freedoms. Slovenia's position was announced by sources close to the EU as the EU Court started on Monday the hearing of the request of the Spanish court for an interpretation of the EU law in the lawsuit by the European Super League Company against FIFA and UEFA.

NKBM to sell its leasing arm to Luxembourg-based company

MARIBOR - The shareholders of NKBM bank decided on Monday the bank will sell its leasing firm Summit Leasing Slovenija to Biser Topco, the Luxembourg-based owner of NKBM's owner Biser Bidco. Biser Topco is owned by the US Apollo fund and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the former holding 80% and the latter 20%. Shareholders also appointed a new supervisor who will start her term after the ongoing sale of NKBM to Hungarian OTP bank is completed.

Rail freight transport in Slovenia up by 5% last year

LJUBLJANA - A total of 20.3 million tonnes of goods were transported by rail in Slovenia last year, which is 5% more than the year before, the Statistics Office reported. Almost two-fifths of the cargo was represented by unspecified goods in containers and mixed types of goods. The number of tonne kilometres covered amounted to 4,937 million, which is also 5% more than in 2020, the office said, noting that international freight transport, which includes transit, accounted for 86% of the total volume.

Greek human rights ombudsman visiting Slovenia

LJUBLJANA - Human Rights Ombudsman Peter Svetina has met Greek counterpart Andreas I. Pottakis, who heads Europe's section at the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI), as part of hos visit to Slovenia. Pottakis has also been received by President Borut Pahor, Svetina's office said in a press release. Svetina and Pottakis discussed the role of human rights, foremost from the aspect of the war in Ukraine and the Covid pandemic, and issues which prompt people to turn to them for help.

Tadej Pogačar loses yellow jersey in Tour de France

SERRE CHEVALIER, France - Slovenia's cycling star Tadej Pogačar lost the yellow jersey of the overall leader at the world's most prestigious road cycling race as he finished the eleventh stage in seventh place. The 23-year-old defending champion was 2 minutes and 53 seconds behind the winner, Jonas Vingegaard from Denmark, who claimed the jersey.

Ljubljana ballet ensemble honoured in Italy

LJUBLJANA - The SNG Ljubljana ballet ensemble were honoured for their artistic achievements at the International Festival of Dance and Dances in Nepi, central Italy, last weekend after impressing audiences in Granada and Murcia in Spain with their production of Le Corsaire. Staš Ravter, director of the SNG Ljubljana Opera and Ballet, was happy with the outcome of the tour, which culminated with the ensemble being presented with the Schiaccianoci d'oro (Golden Nutcracker) award in Naples.

Syrian pulled over with a vanload of illegal migrants

MARIBOR - A van with Austrian licence plates and driven by a Syrian citizen was transporting 17 illegal migrants when pulled over by Slovenian police on the motorway in Pomurje, north-east, on Tuesday. The driver was detained for unlawful crossing of the border and will be taken before an investigating magistrate in Maribor, the Maribor Police Department said. The migrants he transported - citizens of Afghanistan and Iraq - meanwhile asked for international protection and were taken to an asylum centre.

Maribor successful in UEFA Champions League qualifications

ISTANBUL, Turkey - The Maribor football team has made it to the second round of qualification of the UEFA Champions League after winning a return match against Shakhter Soligorsk 2:0 in Turkey's Adapazari. After a draw in Maribor a week ago, the Slovenian team showed its supremacy tonight at the Atatürk stadium without spectators. Both goals were scored by Rok Baturina, in the 12th and 56th minutes.

13 Jul 2022, 06:59 AM

Check the date at the top of the page, and you can find all the "morning headlines" stories here. You can also follow us on Facebook and get all the news in your feed.

This summary is provided by the STA:

Gas crisis tops Golob-Scholz meeting

BERLIN, Germany - The impact of the war in Ukraine, mainly the energy crisis, was one of the main topics on the agenda as Prime Minister Robert Golob met German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin during his first bilateral visit abroad. Speaking to reporters, Golob said the goal of getting through the winter without Russian gas was very ambitious but attainable if the EU works together. The pair also discussed EU enlargement to the Western Balkans, with both officials stressing the countries in the region had been in the waiting room for EU membership for too long.

Report: Slovenian hauliers get cheaper diesel on motorways

LJUBLJANA - The newspaper Finance reported that Slovenian hauliers are getting cheaper diesel at Petrol service stations along motorways compared to the prices others are paying, as they have commercial agreements with Petrol under which diesel costs the same as outside Slovenia's motorways. Business chambers have confirmed this for the paper. The news comes after Infrastructure Minister Bojan Kumer said in end-June there will be no such different prices in Slovenia. The Infrastructure Ministry declined to comment for the paper.

Companies looking for alternatives to Russian gas

LJUBLJANA - Companies have been looking for alternatives to Russian gas as supply may be disrupted, but this takes time, funds and cooperation, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) told the STA on Tuesday, a day after the Energy Agency issued an early precautionary warning to gas consumers to use natural gas with care. Some companies warn they cannot switch to other energy sources on such a short notice. The OZS chamber of small business meanwhile expects the government to help out, including with measures such as a fixed electricity price. Businesses expect the government to present measures as soon as possible so that they can plan business operations.

EU Commission sues Slovenia over electronic comms legislation

LJUBLJANA - The European Commission filed a lawsuit against Slovenia for failing to transpose the EU directive on the electronic communications law, the government Office for Digital Transformation said. Minister Emilija Stojmenova Duh regretted Slovenia had failed to transpose the directive in time. The bill, set to replace the 2024 electrinic communications act, was voted down twice under the previous government over provisions which would allow the exclusion of Chinese provider Huawei. A relevant bill now passed first reading on 1 July.

Administrative Court nods to Hungarian MP

LENDAVA - The Administrative Court has ruled in favour of Hungarian minority MP Ferenc Horvath in a case in which he challenges the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption's decision that he breached incompatibility of dual office rules because he also served on the council of a Hungarian minority organisation. Horvath said the court had found no conflict of interest because he represented the interests of the Hungarian community in both offices. The decision cannot be appealed, but the commission will request revision of the procedure, and if necessary, later propose changes to the integrity and prevention of corruption act.

FM meets reps of minority in Hungary

SZENTGOTTHARD, Hungary - Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon met the representatives of the Slovenian minority in Hungary as she visited Szentgotthard. The community presented to her topical issues and challenges, while the minister praised their work for the preservation and development of the community, the Foreign Ministry said in a press release. The meeting was attended by Erika Köleš-Kiss, the representative of the Slovenian community in Hungarian parliament, Karel Holec, the president of the Slovenian Self-Governing Community, and Andrea Kovacs, the president of the Association of Slovenians in Hungary. Tomorrow, Fajon will take part in a ministerial of Central 5 countries in Budapest.

Coalition moves to prevent referendum on new Covid law

LJUBLJANA - The three ruling coalition parties tabled a proposal to ban a referendum challenging the latest changes to the communicable diseases act which govern epidemic restrictions. They argue that a bill that aims to remedy unconstitutionality must not be subject to a referendum. The move comes after two petitions for a referendum on the changes to the communicable diseases act were filed last week by ad-hoc groups Conscious Residents of Slovenia and the People's Coalition.

NGO's omnibus bill set for vote at plenary

LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Home Affairs Committee endorsed in a 9:6 vote a bill the 8 March Institute NGO filed to repeal what it sees as harmful measures taken by the previous government. The government supports the bill, which will be put to a vote at the plenary session on Thursday, while the opposition announced its plan to challenge it at the Constitutional Court. The omnibus bill aims to amend 11 laws changed by the Janez Janša government in a bid to eliminate harmful political measures and ensure respect for the rule of law.

Conflicting warnings allege political interference at public broadcaster

LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian Association of Journalists and Commentators (ZNP) denounced the ruling coalition's intention to replace RTV Slovenija management under a fast-track procedure intended for emergency situations as the most brutal political attempt yet to interfere in the public broadcaster. This is after the coalition decided to fast-track a new bill on the public broadcaster yesterday. Meanwhile, RTV journalists' unions urged the broadcaster's director general Andrej Grah Whatmough not to appoint Uroš Urbanija as TV Slovenija director.

NSi against removal of fence on the border with Croatia

LJUBLJANA - The opposition New Slovenia (NSi) expressed its opposition to the government's decision to remove the razor wire from the border with Croatia, where it was erected after the 2015 migration crisis. The party believes the decision has been taken without a security assessment and cannot be justified from the aspect of migrations and security. The NSi is sceptical technical means such as drones will ensure the same level of security as "the tactical hurdles", MP Janez Žakelj said.

Almost half of sustainability bond funds for healthcare

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia has allocated most of the EUR 1.05 billion raised with the issuance of its first sustainability bond for projects and programmes in healthcare and for decarbonisation of transport, mostly investments in railway infrastructure, shows the first report on the distribution and effects of the funds collected with the bond. The report covers fiscal years 2020 and 2021, but this year Slovenia increased last year's EUR 1.05 billion issue by EUR 50 million and EUR 90 million.

New coronavirus cases hit three-month high

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia reported 2,365 cases of coronavirus for Monday, the highest figure in three months, and 29% more than the same day a week ago. One patient with Covid-19 died as hospital figures remained stable, data from the Health Ministry shows. The 14-day case notification rate per 100,000 of the population rose to 749, up by 55, according to the National Institute of Public Health.

EUR 69m for upgrade of ski resorts to all-year centres

LJUBLJANA - The Economy Ministry has allocate EUR 69.14 million to 20 projects of development and restructuring of ski resorts into all-year mountain centres and construction of additional or renovation of the existing accommodation facilities. EUR 63.42 million in subsidies will be available for restructuring ski resorts as part of ten projects and EUR 5.71 million for additional accommodation capacities in the mountain centres as part of another ten projects. The projects are expected to result in more than 500 new beds for tourists and more than 200 beds in upgraded facilities with a higher rating.

ZZZS unhappy with bill aiming to cut waiting times in healthcare

LJUBLJANA - The ZZZS public health insurance fund said the government-proposed EUR 200 million emergency bill aiming to cut waiting times in healthcare will not stabilise the healthcare system. The ZZZS believes waiting lists should be brought up to date because currently the data on the number of patients and the waiting periods is not accurate. Only then will it be possible to see how many staff and how much funds are actually needed. Senior ZZZS officials also regret that "there was no dialogue with key stakeholders", echoing the view of trade unions.

Two Ukrainian teachers suspected of mistreating orphans

POSTOJNA - A Labour Ministry team visited the Ukrainian orphans staying in Slavina near Postojna last week after the local social centre received several anonymous complaints alleging that some Ukrainian teachers were mistreating the children. The ministry decided to suspend two Ukrainian teachers and replace them with Slovenian teachers. "The staff was told that any kind of violence is inadmissible and that there will be more oversight of the work at the orphanage," the ministry told the STA today.

Ljubljana's air quality categorised as poor

COPENHAGEN, Denmark - Slovenia's capital has placed 279th among 344 cities in the European city air quality viewer with its air quality categorised as poor. Maribor, the country's second-largest city, ranks 207th having moderately clean air. The ranking, released on the website of the European Environment Agency, classifies cities from the cleanest to the most polluted on the basis of average levels of fine particulate matter, or PM2.5, over the past two calendar years.

Consumer electronic retailer Big Bang buying Croatian counterpart

LJUBLJANA - Big Bang, the largest Slovenian consumer electronics retailer, announced it had signed a contract to acquire Sancta Domenica, one of the largest Croatian retailers in the same segment. The deal needs to be approved by competition protection regulators. Big Bang said the strategic partnership with Sancta Domenica created a strong regional player with 30 shops in two countries. Big Bang is owned by an affiliate of Adventura Holding, a firm controlled by businessman Darko Klarič.

Mercator to merge certain activities with Konzum

LJUBLJANA - The newspaper Dnevnik reported that after Slovenian retailer Mercator had been transformed from a joint stock company into a limited liability company at the beginning of the month, its owner Fortenova is planning to merge certain business functions of Mercator and the Croatian retail chain of Konzum. Unofficial information obtained by Dnevnik suggests some business functions will first be merged in Bosnia-Herzegovina and later in Serbia, but the Mercator brand is to be preserved.

Florjan Lipuš gets Grand Golden Badge of Honour of Carinthia

KLAGENFURT, Austria - Florjan Lipuš, who is considered the most important writer of the Slovenian minority in the Austrian state of Carinthia, received the Grand Golden Badge of Honour of Carinthia on Monday for his contribution to the preservation of the Slovenian language and for major literary work. On presenting him with the honour, Carinthian Governor Peter Kaiser described Lipuš as one of the most important representatives of Slovenian literature in Carinthia and in Austria as a whole.

12 Jul 2022, 04:24 AM

Check the date at the top of the page, and you can find all the "morning headlines" stories here. You can also follow us on Facebook and get all the news in your feed.

This summary is provided by the STA:

Energy agency launches phase 1 of gas supply emergency plan

LJUBLJANA - The Energy Agency urged Slovenian gas consumers to use natural gas with care as a precautionary measure as it declared an early warning level to notify the public of potential disruption to supply in the future in case of reduced supplies of natural gas from Russia. Commenting on the measure, Infrastructure Minister Bojan Kumer said it was but "an early-warning or awareness-raising phase", while gas supplies continue undisrupted. Last year's total consumption of natural gas in Slovenia rose by 6% to 10,163 GWh in what was the highest total consumption since 2010, the agency's data shows.

Brussels to urge Slovenia to improve press freedom in new report

BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Commission is expected to say there has been no progress with regard to press freedom in Slovenia as it publishes its third annual report on the rule of law in EU countries on Wednesday, according to a draft report obtained by the STA. Since the 2021 Rule of Law Report, the situation of media freedom and pluralism has not improved, says the draft report, pointing to challenges concerning political influence at public broadcaster RTV Slovenija. One of the recommendations is to refer to the rules and mechanisms for strengthening the independent managing and editorial policy of public media.

Slovenia has not yet detected security threats due to Ukraine war

PRAGUE, Czech Republic - Interior Minister Tanja Bobnar attended an informal EU ministerial in Prague, telling her colleagues that the Slovenian police had not yet detected major security threats stemming from the war in Ukraine. However, the police is paying close attention including because of potential human trafficking. She also warned about the great quantity of weapons circulating in Ukraine, saying they were a very big concern as they may be smuggled into the EU, the press release from the Interior Ministry said.

Equality ombudsman calls for changes to asylum legislation

LJUBLJANA - The Advocate of the Principle of Equality has reviewed the international protection act to find potential discrimination in provisions on unaccompanied minors seeking international protection, specifically the requirement that a legal representative of an unaccompanied minor seeking international protection may be dismissed if they do not forward information to authorities about the minor. Urged to draw up legislative changes, the Interior Ministry said it is willing to closely cooperate with oversight institutions, including the equality ombudsman.

Culture Committee okays RTV Slovenija act changes

LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Culture Committee approved the government-sponsored changes to the act on RTV Slovenija which overhaul management and oversight structures at the public broadcaster in a bid to reduce political interference. Culture Minister Asta Vrečko said irreparable damage is being inflicted on the broadcaster. RTV Slovenija director general Andrej Grah Whatmough meanwhile believes fast-tracking the far-reaching changes contravenes the constitution. The same view was expressed by the opposition Democrats (SDS), whose motion to challenge the fast-tracking of the bill was voted down, but the party did not exclude the possibility of a referendum.

RTV poll shows Pirc Musar in the lead in presidential race

LJUBLJANA - Lawyer Nataša Pirc Musar is in the lead in the presidential race, according to a poll conducted by Mediana for public broadcaster RTV Slovenija. She enjoys the support of 23.9% of respondents and is followed by former Foreign Ninister Anže Logar (16.6%) and Freedom Movement vice-president Marta Kos (14.4%). The Mediana poll involved 14 potential candidates, some of whom are unlikely to enter the race.

Ruling party candidate dismisses Kučan's argument against her bid

LJUBLJANA - Marta Kos, a former diplomat who will stand in this year's presidential election as the candidate of the ruling Freedom Movement, dismissed former Slovenian President Milan Kučan's argument that it would be "systemically unacceptable" to have members of the same party in the country's top three offices - those of president, prime minister and speaker. She also believes that Kučan's argument is abuse by some other presidential candidates to disqualify her from the presidential race.

More than half give govt negative marks in Delo poll

LJUBLJANA - More than half of the respondents gave negative marks to both the government and parliament in the latest public opinion poll carried by the daily Delo. The median rating of the government is at 2.35, with Delo noting the previous government scored lower only in November 2021 when almost 60% were unhappy with its work. The ruling Freedom Movement meanwhile continues to lead the party rankings with some 30%, followed by the opposition Democrats (SDS; 19%) and the coalition Social Democrats (SD;7%).

Slovenia marks 27th anniversary of Srebrenica genocide

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia marked the 27th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide perpetrated during the war in Bosnia, with senior officials noting that the massacre must never be forgotten so that it can serve as a cautionary tale. President Borut Pahor highlighted the importance of justice and reconciliation as he visited the Muslim Cultural Centre in Ljubljana at the invitation of Mufti Nevzet Porić, head of the Muslim community in Slovenia, for a ceremony dedicated to the anniversary.

Slovenia-Israel Friendship Day celebrated in Metlika

METLIKA - President Borut Pahor highlighted the support Israel extended to Slovenia during the country's independence efforts 30 years ago and pointed to the fragility of peace amid the war in Ukraine, as he addressed an event marking Slovenia-Israel Friendship Day in Metlika. The day was marked upon Pahor's initiative for the second year running, this time also marking 30 years of Slovenia-Israel diplomatic relations. Israeli President Isaac Herzog addressed the event remotely, thanking Pahor for the leadership that has intensified the strong bilateral Israeli-Slovenian relationship.

Matura results slightly worse than last year

LJUBLJANA - A total of 5,194 final-year secondary school students or some 95% passed the national school-leaving exam, known as the matura exam, which is close to last year's 97%. A total of 302 students passed the matura exams with flying colours, the same as last year, while the number of candidates that scored all points, at 18, is up by three compared to last year, show results released by the National Examinations Centre.

Over 900 new Covid cases over the weekend

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia confirmed 941 new cases of coronavirus over the weekend, an increase of more than 40% over the previous weekend. One patient with Covid-19 died. There are currently 45 patients at regular wards hospitalised with Covid as their primary condition and another eight in intensive care. This compares to 23 and nine, respectively, a week ago.

Opponents of Covid restriction changes to collect signatures in autumn

LJUBLJANA - The proponents of two referendum initiatives challenging the changes to the communicable diseases act which govern epidemic restrictions, and which were passed on 29 June, are to start collecting signatures for the votes on 1 September if a referendum on the bill is permitted. This is because the constitution does not allow bills remedying unconstitutional provisions to be put to a referendum vote. The National Assembly legal service has until 19 July to decide whether to permit the referendum or not.

VonPharma plans manufacturing plant in Velenje

VELENJE - VonPharma, a producer of food supplements, plans to open a manufacturing plant in Velenje and signed an agreement with the city to buy 14,580 square metres of land in a commercial zone. The first phase of the project will see a new administration building and a new manufacturing complex built by 2023. The two-stage project, which involves an administrative centre, manufacturing facility and logistics centre, could create 1,000 new jobs, according to CEO Tadej Von Horvath.

Industrial output up in May

LJUBLJANA - The value of industrial production increased in both monthly and annual comparisons in May, by 0.8% and 3%, respectively, show data released by the Statistics Office. The monthly rise was driven by electricity, gas and steam supply and manufacturing, which grew by 5.1% and 0.2%, respectively. A 7.7% drop was recorded in mining and quarrying.

Domestic output met 83% of Slovenia's electricity demand in 2021

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's electricity output dropped by over 8% in 2021 while consumption rose by 3%. The country's output met 83% of its needs, down by almost 10 points from 2020 but on a par with pre-pandemic years, a report from the Energy Agency shows. The output-to-consumption rate fell from 92.6% in 2020 to 82.9% last year. The production units connected to the transmission or distribution system generated a total of 14,423 gigawatt hours (GWh), down by 1,325 GWh or 8.4% from 2020.

Slovenia's 2021 natural gas consumption at over 10,150 GWh highest in decade

MARIBOR - The consumption of natural gas in Slovenia increased by 6% last year over the year before to a record 10,163 GWh since 2010, Energy Agency data shows. The total consumption increased with all gas consumers. While households's consumption - which accounted for about a third of total consumption - rose by 12%, non-household users consumed over 9% more gas than in 2020. The rise is attributed to an increase in the number of users, from 908 to 137,192, and to colder weather.

Businesses can count on EUR 670m in incentives

LJUBLJANA - Businesses in Slovenia can count on EUR 670.6 million in development incentives this year, after the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology has raised the funds for development-oriented projects of Slovenian companies and their support environment by EUR 29.9 million from what was planned at the start of 2022. "I am very pleased that we will be allocating almost EUR 30 million in additional development incentives to the economy, which companies really need in these unpredictable and challenging times," Minister Matjaž Han said in a press release.

Climbing: Garnbret makes it three in a row

CHAMONIX, France - Slovenia's best climber Janja Garnbret won her third World Cup lead event in a row as she dominated the event in Chamonix, France, on Sunday to affirm her role as the favourite for the coming World Championship. Already the most successful climber of all times, she now has 35 World Cup victories, of which 21 in the lead event and 14 in bouldering.

Pogačar hopes to lead the Tour until end

PARIS, France - Slovenia's star cyclist Tadej Pogačar, the winner of the past two Tour de France races, seems well on his way to make it three in a row. Talking to the press today, a free day in the excruciating three-week grand tour that started 10 days ago, he said he liked wearing the yellow jersey and hopes he gets to keep it until the end. He praised his Team Emirates (UAE), saying each member is excellent at what they do. They are hard-working, experienced and highly motivated, he said.

11 Jul 2022, 06:32 AM

Check the date at the top of the page, and you can find all the "morning headlines" stories here. You can also follow us on Facebook and get all the news in your feed.

This summary is provided by the STA:

Health minister says action at primary level urgent

LJUBLJANA - An emergency law on healthcare that the government adopted this week will be fast-tracked through parliament, possibly as early as next week. Its goal is to calm down the situation in primary care and provide a realistic picture about the capacity of the healthcare system as a whole, Health Minister Danijel Bešič Loredan told the STA. Aside from providing payment for all services performed, the legislation will also improve data on waiting times, he said.

ICT sector increases value added by 10% in 2020

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian ICT companies generated EUR 4.55 billion in revenue in 2020, 2% more than the year before and 34% more that a decade earlier. Their value added reached EUR 1.74 billion, which was 10% more than in 2019, and the number of people working in the sector exceeded 30,000. Data from the Statistics Office shows that over 9,000 companies were registered as ICT companies in 2020, a 3% increase over 2019 and a 67% increase over 2011.

Page 5 of 122

Photo galleries and videos

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