Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Friday, 20 May 2022

By , 20 May 2022, 05:04 AM News
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This summary is provided by the STA:

New coalition committed to unity and consensus, PM to have final say

LJUBLJANA - The partners in the emerging ruling coalition will work hard to reach consensus both within the government and parliament, but when it proves elusive the Freedom Movement as the largest partner will tip the scales and Robert Golob as the PM will have the final say, under a protocol to be signed along with the coalition agreement. The protocol also sets out that the three parties - the Freedom Movement, Social Democrats and the Left, will be required to refrain from making statements in public "in contradiction to those of the prime minister and other government members".

Slovenia told by Russia to reduce diplomatic staff in Moscow

LJUBLJANA - Russia demanded that Slovenia reduce the number of staff at its embassy in Moscow by four within ten days, a move that comes a month and a half after Slovenia demanded an 80% cut in the number of staff at the Russian Embassy in Ljubljana due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Slovenia said it was negatively surprised by the move.

Report: Govt revokes arms deal in secret to make donation to Ukraine

LJUBLJANA - The government has taken a secret decision to revoke a deal to sell Yugoslav-made mechanised infantry combat vehicles in order to donate them to Ukraine, the newspaper Dnevnik reported on Wednesday. Slovenia has been trying to sell the decommissioned BVP M-80A vehicles since 2015. S Lux, the company commissioned to sell the vehicles, has brought legal action with the Administrative Court asking for a temporary injunction. The supreme state prosecution and the Court of Audit are looking into the matter.

Pahor discusses United States of Europe as he starts Poland visit

WARSAW, Poland - President Borut Pahor began his official three-day visit to Poland at the University of Warsaw, discussing Europe's future with the students, and calling for a new convention on the future of Europe that would gradually lead to a United States of Europe. Considering the European idea as the most brilliant political concept ever conceived, Pahor said we must be brave and proud to preserve and develop it, his office said.

SDS deputy group proposes changes to two healthcare acts

LJUBLJANA - The deputy group of the Democrats (SDS) continues to file legislative proposals after being relegated to the opposition, with the latest proposals dealing with two healthcare laws, the healthcare and health insurance act and the health services act. They aim to reduce the administrative burden on general practitioners and to ensure the continuity of treatment of patients at concessionaires. Under the proposals, the one-off possibility of an employee's absence from work due to illness without the GP issuing a fit note would be maintained.

Analyst says SDS wants to stay in power and control RTVS

LJUBLJANA - Public opinion analyst Andraž Zorko sees in the Democrats' (SDS) proposing a consultative referendum on changes to the government structure and the act on the RTV Slovenija "a pragmatic goal of staying in power, and having power over the public broadcaster for as long as possible." The director of the pollster Valicon assessed that, when it comes to the changes to the government act, the SDS will be somewhat successful.

Pushback against candidate for home minister over migrant treatment

LJUBLJANA - Several civil society groups dealing with migrants, including the NGO Infokolpa Civil Initiative, have denounced the candidacy of Tatjana Bobnar for interior minister due to pushbacks that police conducted while she was the police commissioner in 2018-2020. Saša Hajzler, a member of the NGO, said that if Bobnar was appointed minister, she should apologise and lay out a clear strategy of how to rectify the injustices. Bobnar responded by saying she understood the protest statement as a voice of democratic society and efforts to change things for the better, which also reflects her striving.

Freedom Movement to get almost half a million euro in budget funds this year

LJUBLJANA - Fifteen parties that have won at least one percent of the vote in the 24 April general election are eligible for a total of EUR 1,733,717 in budget funding this year, with the election winner Freedom Movement to get EUR 486,152, shows data released by the National Assembly on Wednesday. Apart from the five parties that made it to parliament, budget funds will also be paid to ten non-parliamentary parties.

Krka group posts record Q1 net profit

NOVO MESTO - The Krka group posted EUR 432.5 million in sales revenue in the first quarter of the year, up 9% year-on-year. Net profit rose by 5% to EUR 90.7 million, the highest ever for a first quarter, the drug maker said. Sales were increased in all six sales regions and in most of the company's key markets, as well as in all product and service groups," said Jože Colarič, Krka's CEO. Accounting for a third of total sales or EUR 146.7 million, the group's largest sales region was East Europe, where turnover increased by 11%. The AGM will be held on 7 July, and a higher dividend payout has been proposed.

Insurer Triglav's group net profit up by 25% in first quarter

LJUBLJANA - Zavarovalnica Triglav, Slovenia's largest insurance company, posted a group net profit of EUR 33.2 million for the first quarter of 2022, a year-on-year increase of 25%. Revenue grew by 12% to EUR 443 million despite what the company described as a challenging situation. Consolidated profit before tax, amounting to EUR 38.1 million, was 20% higher than in the same period last year, with its growth stemming from underwriting activities and own asset management.

Intereuropa increases net profit by 12% to EUR 1.3m in Q1

LJUBLJANA - The logistics group Intereuropa generated EUR 47.1 million in sales revenue in the first quarter of the year, which is 19% more than in the same period last year and 13% above plans. Net profit was up 12% to EUR 1.3 million, which is 29% above plans, show unaudited results published by Intereuropa.

Insurance group Sava Re reports 29% lower profit

LJUBLJANA - Sava Re, Slovenia's second largest insurance group, posted a 29% drop in net profit in the first quarter, to EUR 16.8 million, reflecting a return to normal post-Covid claims frequency in the automotive segment. Operating revenue remained level at EUR 177.8 million. In the first quarter, the group wrote EUR 231.7 million in gross premiums, up 7.7% year on year, Sava Re said. The combined ratio, a key insurance industry profitability benchmark, deteriorated to 90.8% from 82.9% in the same period last year.

Alfi fund, NLB bank take majority stake in Sportina

LJUBLJANA - Sportina, a large clothing retailer, has been sold to the distressed assets arm of the Alfi fund and NLB bank in a transaction reportedly valued at EUR 15 million. While Sportina did not reveal the details of the deal, business daily Finance recently reported the deal was worth EUR 15 million, which includes a partial debt-to-equity swap and additional loans to the company. Alfi took a 75% stake and NLB 15%, with the rest in the hands of existing creditors.

ZZZS notes problems in implementation of long-term care act

LJUBLJANA - The public health insurance fund has warned about difficulties in the implementation of the long-term care act, which it sees as "internally inconsistent" and thus largely unimplementable at the beginning of 2023, as envisaged. Not all basic conditions for its implementation have been secured by the state, either. The statement came as the management board of the Health Insurance Institute (ZZZS) was acquainted today with the latest report on the implementation of the act, which entered into force more than four months ago.

War in Ukraine affects Slovenia's self-sufficiency

BRASLOVČE - A round-table discussion on self-sufficiency has heard that the war in Ukraine has affected Slovenia's food self-sufficiency. The war has led to a significant rise in the prices of some agricultural products, while farm-gate prices are lagging behind the rise in the prices of raw materials. Slovenia is currently self-sufficient in milk, beef, poultry and eggs, Agriculture Ministry State Secretary Aleš Irgolič said at the panel discussion at a congress of entrepreneurs of the Savinja region.

Death toll of explosion at chemical factory Melamin rises to six

LJUBLJANA - One of the two persons being treated in hospital for severe injuries sustained in last week's explosion at chemical company Melamin has died, the Ljubljana Police Deportment said. The death toll of what is the worst industrial accident in Slovenia's history has thus increased to six. The explosion happened in Kočevje, south, last Thursday.

Covid situation better still, Slovenia no longer wholly dark red on ECDC map

LJUBLJANA/BRUSSELS, Belgium - A total of 407 people tested positive for coronavirus in Slovenia on Wednesday, two-thirds of the figure reported a week ago, and one patient with Covid-19 died, data released by the Health Ministry shows. Slovenia is also no longer wholly dark red on the Covid-19 colour-coded map of Europe of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), as the eastern half of the country was downgraded to red. Slovenia had been fully dark red since 23 September 2021.

Special setting for adaptation of unique Margaret Atwood piece

LJUBLJANA - Penelopiad, a theatre adaptation of Margaret Atwood's eponymous 2005 novella, will be put on stage in the Devil's Courtyard of the Križanke open-air theatre on 29 May, a unique setting that the authors say befits the unique literary piece. Directed by Livija Pandur, the play is a co-production between the SNG Drama and the Festival Ljubljana. There will be five performances between 29 May and 23 June. The role of Penelope is played by Polona Juh, one of the most renowned actors in Slovenia.

Environment-themed exhibition at Museum of Contemporary Art

LJUBLJANA - The Museum of Contemporary Art in Metelkova, Ljubljana, launched a group exhibition tonight in which artists are looking for a way out of an apparently hopeless state of environmental and social cataclysm. The display Emergency Exit examines how both postwar neo-avant-garde artistic practices and current environmental initiatives seek ways to survive in a system affected by the collapsed structure of the ecosystem.

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