Ljubljana related

17 Jun 2019, 08:08 AM

STA, 16 June 2019 - Slovenia ranks eighth among 163 countries in the latest Global Peace Index (GPI), having climbed two spots from last year. Iceland remains the world's most peaceful country for the 12th year running.

This year's GPI report finds that the average level of global peacefulness improved slightly in what is the first improvement in five years. However, the world continues to be less peaceful than a decade ago.

Peacefulness improved in 86 countries, deteriorating in 76, with the average level of global peacefulness deteriorating by 3.78% in a decade, according to the report, released on the website of the organisation Vision of Humanity.

Iceland at the top is followed by New Zealand and Portugal, which climbed a spot to come ahead of Austria, which lost a spot to 4th. Denmark ranks 5th.

Slovenia placed after Singapore in 7th and Japan in 9th. Of the neighbouring countries only Austria ranks higher (4th), while Hungary, Croatia and Italy trail in 21st, 28th and 39th spots.

The index ranks three key factors: societal safety and security, ongoing conflicts and militarisation. Slovenia ranked third in militarisation.

Europe has maintained its position as the most peaceful region in the world, which it has held for every year of the GPI, which was first launched in 2007.

By contrast, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) remains the least peaceful region for the fifth year in a row, although it did become more peaceful last year.

Afghanistan is now the least peaceful country, replacing Syria, which is now the second least peaceful. South Sudan, Yemen, and Iraq are the remaining five least peaceful countries.

Bhutan has recorded the largest improvement of any country in the top 20, rising 43 places in the last 12 years to 15th.

The report is produced by the Sydney-based Institute for Economics and Peace and developed in consultation with an international panel of peace experts from peace institutes and think tanks with data collected and collated by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

The GPI covers 99.7% of the global population, using 23 quality and quantity indicators.

The full report can be found here

29 May 2019, 10:36 AM

STA, 28 May 2019 - Slovenia remains level in the latest World Competitiveness Rankings, retaining 37th place among 63 countries after climbing six places last year. While it made gains in business efficiency, government efficiency and development of infrastructure, it fell behind in economic efficiency.

Slovenia slipped four places in economic efficiency to rank 33rd, while gaining seven spots in business efficiency (40th), one spot in infrastructure (27th) and three spots in government efficiency (39th).

"Slovenia's overall ranking is solid," said Sanja Uršič of the Institute of Economic Research, which partners with the Swiss-based International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in compiling the index.

But as researcher Peter Stanovnik pointed out, several challenges remain, among them an insufficient scope of investments, tax restructuring and health reform. He also pointed to innovation, staffing and productivity as areas that need to be tackled.

On the other hand, Slovenia performs well in measures such as exports, price competitiveness and education.

Stanovnik said investments had improved, but not enough. "Investments are essential for gains in productivity, which is still 20% behind the European average."

The government efficiency indicator improved due to progress in public finances and legislation governing business, while fiscal policy and the social framework held it back.

The improvement of business efficiency was driven be higher productivity, better management practices and values. The situation on the labour market deteriorated. "This is probably due to changes of the minimum wage act, which employers feel will not achieve their intended purpose," said Mateja Denovšek of the Ljubljana Faculty of Economics.

Gains in infrastructure are the result of higher marks for technological infrastructure and education.

"The overall estimate of Slovenia's attraction is based on a well trained workforce, high education levels and reliable infrastructure," according to Drnovšek.

Singapore tops the IMD rankings, followed by Hong Kong and the US. Statistical indicators account for two-thirds of the grades and survey-based indicators provide one-third of the final estimate; in Slovenia 100 managers responded to the survey.

The full rankings can be seen here

16 May 2019, 12:00 PM

Looking through a recent report on immigration and Slovenia, we found an interesting table at the end, created using Eurostat data, showing the number of foreign citizens registered as resident in Slovenia by country of birth. The headline news was that out of total of 2,066,880 people living in Slovenia (as of January 2018), 250,226 were born in another country, with the vast majority (86%) being from other Ex-Yugoslavian nations.

Related: The places where foreigners live in Slovenia and where they come from (July 2016 data)

Since such figures are of obvious interest to our readers, we reproduce them below in two forms. First, place of birth ranked by number of residents, and second (here) in alphabetical order. Note that continents and regions are also included in the data, and we know that Africa is not a country.

Place of birth, by number

Slovenia 1,816,654

Bosnia and Herzegovina 107,676

Croatia 44,994

Serbia 25,372

Northern Macedonia 17,128

Kosovo 17,050

Germany 7,255

Italy 4,136

Montenegro 3,344

Russia 3,009

Asia 2,966

Austria 2,641

Ukraine 2,495

America 2,358

Bulgaria 1,241

North America 1,140

East Asia 1,123

France 1,119

China including Hong Kong 977

Switzerland 922

South America 832

Africa 822

United States 768

United Kingdom 642

West Asia 554

Slovakia 541

South East Asia 529

South Asia 464

Hungary 429

Argentina 413

Romania 407

Poland 392

Canada 372

Oceania 372

Australia and New Zealand 368

Czech Republic 363

Moldova 361

Australia 342

Netherlands 336

North Africa 333

Sweden 324

Belgium 308

Central Asia 296

Caribbean 288

Thailand 269

West Africa 214

Syria 199

Belarus 192

Kazakhstan 187

Dominican

Republic of 185

Turkey 184

India 181

Spain 179

Brazil 165

East Africa 164

Philippines 150

Iran 143

Egypt 127

Albania 126

Greece 119

Central America 98

Iraq 93

Japan 87

Cuba 85

Mexico 78

Tunisia 78

Venezuela 75

Uzbekistan 70

Denmark 68

Nigeria 64

South Africa 62

Jordan 60

Portugal 59

Ireland 58

South Africa (Rep.) 58

Ghana 56

Indonesia 56

Peru 56

Central Africa 49

Colombia 49

Libya 47

Pakistan 46

Lithuania 46

Israel 42

Luxembourg 41

Afghanistan 38

Finland 37

Algeria 37

Chile 36

South Korea 35

Kenya 33

Morocco 31

Guinea-Bissau 31

Lebanon 30

Nepal 28

New Zealand 27

Eritrea 26

Somalia 25

Azerbaijan 25

Georgia 24

Norway 23

Cameroon 23

Estonia 22

Vietnam 22

Taiwan 22

Saudi Arabia 21

Gambia 20

Kyrgyzstan 13

Madagascar 18

Armenia 18

Sri Lanka 17

United Arab Emirates 17

Ethiopia 16

Zimbabwe 15

Yemen 15

Uruguay 14

Bangladesh 13

Kuwait 12

Sudan 12

Turkmenistan 12

Bolivia 12

Democratic Republic of Congo 11

Malaysia 11

Ecuador 11

Liberia 10

Liechtenstein 10

Singapore 9

Tajikistan 9

Congo 9

Cambodia 8

Cyprus 7

Guinea 7

Jamaica 7

Malta 7

Mauritius 7

Zambia 7

Burkina Faso 7

Iceland 6

Costa Rica 6

Sierra Leone 5

Uganda 5

Belize 5

Burundi 4

Cape Verde 4

Mali 4

Mongolia 4

Mozambique 4

Nicaragua 4

Palestine 4

Senegal 4

Trinidad and Tobago 4

Angola 4

Ivory Coast 3

Honduras 3

Laos 3

Malawi 3

Melanesia 3

Namibia 3

Paraguay 3

Tanzania 3

Barbados 3

Central African Republic 2

Guyana 2

Haiti 2

Myanmar / Burma 2

Panama 2

Papua New Guinea 2

Qatar 2

Rwanda 2

Western Sahara 2

Aruba (NL) 2

Benin 1

Botswana 1

Chad 1

Dominica 1

Salvador 1

Fiji 1

Former Netherlands Antilles 1

Gabon 1

Guatemala 1

Maldives 1

North Korea 1

Oman 1

Polynesia 1

San Marino 1

St. Thomas and Prince 1

Togo 1

Wallis and Futuna 1

Andorra 1

In alphabetical order

Afghanistan 38

Africa 822

Albania 126

Algeria 37

America 2,358

Andorra 1

Angola 4

Argentina 413

Armenia 18

Aruba (NL) 2

Asia 2,966

Australia 342

Australia and New Zealand 368

Austria 2,641

Azerbaijan 25

Bangladesh 13

Barbados 3

Belarus 192

Belgium 308

Belize 5

Benin 1

Bolivia 12

Bosnia and Herzegovina 107,676

Botswana 1

Brazil 165

Bulgaria 1,241

Burkina Faso 7

Burundi 4

Cambodia 8

Cameroon 23

Canada 372

Cape Verde 4

Caribbean 288

Central Africa 49

Central African Republic 2

Central America 98

Central Asia 296

Chad 1

Chile 36

China including Hong Kong 977

Colombia 49

Congo 9

Costa Rica 6

Croatia 44,994

Cuba 85

Cyprus 7

Czech Republic 363

Democratic Republic of Congo 11

Denmark 68

Dominica 1

Dominican

East Africa 164

East Asia 1,123

Ecuador 11

Egypt 127

Eritrea 26

Estonia 22

Ethiopia 16

Fiji 1

Finland 37

Former Netherlands Antilles 1

France 1,119

Gabon 1

Gambia 20

Georgia 24

Germany 7,255

Ghana 56

Greece 119

Guatemala 1

Guinea 7

Guinea-Bissau 31

Guyana 2

Haiti 2

Honduras 3

Hungary 429

Iceland 6

India 181

Indonesia 56

Iran 143

Iraq 93

Ireland 58

Israel 42

Italy 4,136

Ivory Coast 3

Jamaica 7

Japan 87

Jordan 60

Kazakhstan 187

Kenya 33

Kosovo 17,050

Kuwait 12

Kyrgyzstan 13

Laos 3

Lebanon 30

Liberia 10

Libya 47

Liechtenstein 10

Lithuania 46

Luxembourg 41

Madagascar 18

Malawi 3

Malaysia 11

Maldives 1

Mali 4

Malta 7

Mauritius 7

Melanesia 3

Mexico 78

Moldova 361

Mongolia 4

Montenegro 3,344

Morocco 31

Mozambique 4

Myanmar / Burma 2

Namibia 3

Nepal 28

Netherlands 336

New Zealand 27

Nicaragua 4

Nigeria 64

North Africa 333

North America 1,140

North Korea 1

Northern Macedonia 17,128

Norway 23

Oceania 372

Oman 1

Pakistan 46

Palestine 4

Panama 2

Papua New Guinea 2

Paraguay 3

Peru 56

Philippines 150

Poland 392

Polynesia 1

Portugal 59

Qatar 2

Republic of 185

Romania 407

Russia 3,009

Rwanda 2

Salvador 1

San Marino 1

Saudi Arabia 21

Senegal 4

Serbia 25,372

Sierra Leone 5

Singapore 9

Slovakia 541

Slovenia 1,816,654

Somalia 25

South Africa (Rep.) 58

South Africa 62

South America 832

South Asia 464

South East Asia 529

South Korea 35

Spain 179

Sri Lanka 17

St. Thomas and Prince 1

Sudan 12

Sweden 324

Switzerland 922

Syria 199

Taiwan 22

Tajikistan 9

Tanzania 3

Thailand 269

Togo 1

Trinidad and Tobago 4

Tunisia 78

Turkey 184

Turkmenistan 12

Uganda 5

Ukraine 2,495

United Arab Emirates 17

United Kingdom 642

United States 768

Uruguay 14

Uzbekistan 70

Venezuela 75

Vietnam 22

Wallis and Futuna 1

West Africa 214

West Asia 554

Western Sahara 2

Yemen 15

Zambia 7

Zimbabwe 15

16 May 2019, 08:39 AM

STA, 14 May 2019 - Although the general belief in Slovenia is that immigrants from the Western Balkan countries are mostly unqualified labourers, a survey presented by the charity Caritas on Tuesday suggests that most immigrants have secondary education and are often overqualified for the work they do in Slovenia.

Interestingly, Slovenia also does not export only young educated people but also unqualified workers and the number of people leaving the county almost matches the number of people moving into Slovenia, says the publication Our Common Home (Naš skupni dom), funded by the European Commission and the Slovenian Foreign Ministry.

In 2017, 17,555 people moved out of the country, mostly to other EU countries, while 18,808 people moved to Slovenia.

Slovenians living abroad significantly contribute to the development of Slovenia, the authors say. "Our data show that the Slovenian diaspora contributes more (to Slovenia) than the immigrants here contribute to their source countries," a co-author of the publication, Nina Stenko Primožič, said at today's presentation.

Most migrants in Slovenia (86%) were born in one of the Western Balkan countries. According to Eurostat data from 2018, 108,000 of them were born in Bosnia-Herzegovina, 45,000 in Croatia, 25,000 in Serbia, 17,000 in Kosovo, 17,000 in North Macedonia and 3,300 in Montenegro.

Most of the people moving to Slovenia have finished high school but since they could not find a job that would suit their education, they take on jobs for which they are overqualified and accept lower pay.

However, most young people from the Western Balkan countries who currently reside in Slovenia are highly qualified and often work as experts.

In 2015, 10% of female immigrants and 8% of male immigrants in Slovenia had tertiary education. Among Slovenians, the share of people with tertiary education was higher, at 25.7%. But the authors of the publication note that not all highly qualified people from the Western Balkans move to Slovenia.

Foreign students accounted for 4.5% of all students in tertiary education in Slovenia in 2017/2018, according to data by the Statistics Office. Most of them (over 90%) came from the Western Balkan countries, especially North Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia, and EU countries (mostly Croatia).

Among migrants from non-EU countries, most came from Russia (3,000), China (977), the US (768), Argentina (456) and Canada (372). Migrants from Russia were highly educated (more than 50% of men and 43% of women had tertiary education). Among South Americans, 35% of men and 40% of women finished tertiary education.

Since the end of the crisis, companies and public institutions in Slovenia are trying to attract highly qualified staff from abroad, doctors in particular. In mid-2018, the government prepared legislative changes facilitating the hiring of doctors from non-EU countries.

According to data from 2016, 13% of the 7,500 doctors in Slovenia were foreigners.

The biggest share of migrants from the EU (24%) live in central Slovenia, 18% in Podravje in the north-east and 14% in the western and coastal region.

Most people from Bosnia-Herzegovina live in central Slovenia as do more than half of those from Montenegro and almost 40% of those from Serbia.

People from Albania and Kosovo are more widespread around the country, mostly because of their family businesses.

Many migrants who moved to Slovenia while it was still a part of Yugoslavia live in the areas which used to be strong industrial centres.

According to Eurostat data, just over 250,000 people living in Slovenia at the beginning of 2018 were born outside the country, which is 12.1% of the population. More than a half of them had Slovenian citizenship.

The publication is a part of the project MIND (Migration. Interconnectedness. Development.), financed by the European Commission and led by Caritas Austria with Caritas Europa in the co-lead and ten further Caritas organisations as partners.

The full report, in Slovenian, can be found here

29 Apr 2019, 14:20 PM

STA, 28 April - Forty-seven 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).

Drug-related deaths have been rising since 2013. In 2017, one person who died was a teenager aged 15-19, four were aged 20-24, and as many as 16 were older than 45.

The vast majority of the casualties, or 79%, were men, according to the NIJZ's publication on illegal drugs in Slovenia in 2017 and in the first half of 2018.

The majority of the deaths from 2017 resulted from heroin and cocaine intoxication, 18 and 14, respectively.

As many as seven resulted from other synthetic opioids, and there were eight intentional intoxications, or overdoses.

Marijuana remains the most popular illegal drug

Police processed almost 2,000 criminal acts related to illegal drugs, with cannabis accounting for the majority, followed by cocaine, heroin and amphetamines.

A survey on treatment has shown 211 persons (86.4%) who sought treatment for the first time or re-entered such treatment in 2017 did so due to problems with opioids.

Fifteen persons (6%) cited problems with cannabis as the reason for treatment.

The number of people seeking treatment for cannabis rose in 2017, after falling in 2016 for the first time in several years.

Ever since 2011, cannabis (THC) has been the drug for which patients were most often treated at the Centre for Clinic Toxicology and Pharmacology in Ljubljana.

Meanwhile, results of a survey into drug abuse has shown that 42.5% of all surveyed 17-year-olds have tried cannabis at least once, boys more often than girls.

An online survey on the use of new psychoactive substances has shown that 12% of University of Ljubljana students abuse them.

According to another online survey, carried out by the Slovenian Traffic Safety Agency in 2016, 5% of almost 3,030 persons polled were involved in driving under the influence in the 12 months before the poll, again more men and women.

In 2017, the Ministry of Labour, the Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities earmarked almost 3.3 million euro for various programmes to fight addiction.

Meanwhile, the NIJZ's estimates the country earmarked a total of 10.4 million euro to deal with the issue, including for preventive programmes.

All our stories on marijuana in Slovenia  (and it's changing status) and can found here, while those on recreational drugs in general are here

25 Apr 2019, 18:00 PM

STA, 25 April 2019 - 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.

 

Employment most notably affects the material aspect of life. "Households with no working family members who have to support children, are at the highest risk of poverty. Some 70% of the members of these households live below the poverty line," said Karmen Hren, deputy director of the Statistics Office, at Thursday's press conference.

Some 17% of the unemployed Slovenians are recipients of financial or material assistance from welfare organisations.

Being out of a job also affects health; some 80% of the working population would describe their health as good or very good, whereas for the unemployed that figure is lower, at 60%.

Following students, the working population is the most content with their life. Among the employed and the self-employed, over half describe themselves as very happy, and 2% as unhappy. The unemployed and other non-active Slovenians are the least happy.

All our stories on employment in Slovenia are here

19 Apr 2019, 16:20 PM

STA, 17 April 2019 - 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 1.7 billion euros invested in mutual funds, said Karmen Rejc, director of the Slovenian Investment Fund Association.

The average European invests 10% or 5,800 euros of their assets in mutual funds, whereas in Slovenia that figure is lower, namely 6% or 900 euros, Rejc said at a news conference leading up to Friday's World Mutual Fund Day.

Matjaž Lorenčič, president of the Slovenian Investment Fund Association and Infond Investment Funds chairman, said that out of the over 20 billion euros in last year's bank deposits, between 250 and 300 million euros were lost due to inflation.

Slovenian asset managers manage approximately 2.7 billion euros in 100 mutual funds. Adding the assets in alternative funds and those managed based on contracts for the sound management of operational risk, this figure amounts to approximately 3.7 billion euros. The number of investors in mutual funds is approximately 450,000.

Slovenian mutual funds are managed by six companies. Last year they recorded an inflow of approximately 540 million euros, an outflow of 550 million euros. This year, cash flow is positive, according to Lorenčič.

There are 96 foreign mutual funds operating in Slovenia. These manage 211 million euros in assets.

18 Apr 2019, 18:02 PM

STA, 18 April 2019 - The level of precarious forms of employment among Slovenian youth is high, which is related to increasing fear of unemployment and stress, a study conducted by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation has found.

Youth Study Slovenia 2018/2019, is the product of a broad survey conducted last year among 1,000 young people aged between 14 and 29, and is part of a project carried out in ten SE European countries (see more here).

"Individualism is increasingly prevalent among the youth, which is being manifested in many areas, from greater care for personal health to getting independent from parents faster, and increasingly individualist values," research manager Andrej Naterer from the University of Maribor said in presenting the study on Wednesday.

One of the findings is that in the period between 2010 and 2016 the number of young people leaving the country increased almost four-fold. It is the youth from wealthier families who tend to move out more often, which shows the pull factors are more important than the push factors.

Naterer said that at the same time youth immigration was increasing as well, with trends indicating circular migration.

When it comes to their values and opinions, young people are increasingly pro-European. Compared to their peers in other countries, they have very liberal values, but they are very supportive of the idea of a strong welfare state.

Researcher Miran Lavrič said that young people were worried about their health, had higher level of stress, which induced them to be active in sports.

"We are by far the most active in this respect, we have very active youth. Alcohol consumption has declined substantially as well so that Slovenian youth is increasingly responsible, in particular in the individualistic sense, because they feel they must take care of themselves in a very precarious labour market," said Lavrič.

The most surprising finding as pointed out by him was that among youth surveyed in all SE European countries, young Albanians are the happiest with their lives, whereas Slovenian youth are the least happy with their lives and with their physical appearance.

This is the second major youth study by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the Centre for the Study of the Post-Yugoslav Societies at the Maribor Faculty of Arts after the one in 2013.

A PDF of the full study on Slovenia, in English, can be found here

17 Apr 2019, 12:39 PM

STA, 16 April 2019 - Slovenia is one of the most environmentally friendly countries in the world, according to the Good Country Index, compiled by analyst and professor Simon Anholt from the University of East Anglia. It ranks fourth among 153 countries in terms of its positive contribution to the planet and climate, preceded only by Norway, Switzerland and Portugal.

The survey, measuring countries' impact on the environment, considers several factors, including the size of the country's economy, according to the website of the Good Country project.

Slovenia did particularly well in the implementation of environmental agreements and reducing the use of substances that cause ozone depletion.

It also got good scores for ecological footprint and exports of dangerous pesticides, and it was close to average in terms of the share of renewable energy sources.

The photo at the top of the page shows the River Soča, a great destination for outdoor sports - read more about it here

The Good Country Index measures how much a country contributes to the planet and the human race, through their policies and behaviours.

Slovenia ranked 16th in terms of its contribution to culture and 21st for its contribution to the global science and technology. It is 45th in terms of its global contribution to the world order and the 47th most important advocate of prosperity and equality.

Slovenia is also 65th in efforts towards health and well-being, and 128th when it comes to promotion of international peace and security.

You can see Slovenia’s results, in more detail, here

05 Apr 2019, 11:25 AM

STA, 4 April 2019 - Slovenia recorded the biggest drop in the number of road casualties among all EU member states, with the number decreasing by 13% compared to 2017 and by 34% compared to 2010, European Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc noted on Thursday as she presented the latest EU transport statistics.

The number of road casualties in Slovenia dropping below 100 for the first time last year is encouraging data, said Bulc, adding that Slovenia's statistics were specific, as many accidents happen due to driving in the wrong direction.

The positive trend has not continued this year, unfortunately, with as many as 26 persons in Slovenia being killed on the roads in the first three months, compared to 14 in the same period last year.

While recording the biggest drop in the number of casualties in the whole EU last year, Slovenia is still far behind the leading countries in terms of the number of casualties per million people, recording a ratio of 44.

The most successful EU country in this respect is the United Kingdom with 28 casualties per million people, followed by Denmark (30). Faring the worst are Romania with 96 and Bulgaria 88 casualties per million people.

With 49 casualties per million people, European roads are the safest in the world, but 25,100 casualties is a horrific number and no one should be satisfied with it, said the Slovenian commissioner.

This is 1% less than in 2017 and 21% less than in 2010, Bulc said, adding that safety-related measures should be stepped up for the EU to reach the set goals in road transport.

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