Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Thursday 16, June 2022

By , 16 Jun 2022, 07:12 AM News
Catch up with the news from Slovenia, wherever you are Catch up with the news from Slovenia, wherever you are Flickr - Julian Stallabrass CC by 2.0

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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:

C-bank substantially upgrades GDP growth forecast for 2022

LJUBLJANA - Banka Slovenije upgraded its economic growth forecast for Slovenia by 1.8 percentage points from its December outlook to 5.8% for this year as a result of a carry-over from last year, while downgrading the projection for 2023 by 0.9 points to 2.4%. "Economic growth is moderating, but annual growth for this year remains high and is largely due to the carry-over effect, which is the result of favourable developments towards the end of 2021," Robert Zorko, deputy head of the central bank's analysis and research centre, said. Inflation is projected to run at 9% this year before easing to 4.5% and 2.3% over the next two years.

Slovenia among 10 EU countries urging to keep Fit for 55 ambitious

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Ten EU member states, including Slovenia, addressed an open letter to decision makers in the EU warning about making the Fit for 55 package less ambitious, arguing that this could affect the EU's reaching the set climate goals. The letter, posted on Twitter, has been signed by Slovenian Environment Minister Uroš Brežan alongside his counterparts from Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. It comes after the European Parliament rejected at last week's plenary some key Fit for 55 legislative proposals and sent them back to the relevant committee.

Govt reintroduces two-tier fuel pricing model

LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Robert Golob set out the first government measure to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, announcing a return to a model where fuel retailers' price margins at service stations outside motorways are regulated while prices of fuels sold along motorways will be liberalised. The new regime will kick in for a year on 21 June. "If the market doesn't work a return to retailers' margin regulation makes sense," Golob said. Under the new model fuel prices would be similar to those in Croatia, but below those in Austria or Italy. Other mitigation measures are to follow as well as measures to tackle rising food prices and those to deal with the rising cost of electricity and heating.

PM expresses Slovenia's support to Ukrainian counterpart

LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Robert Golob talked to his Ukrainian counterpart Denys Shmyhal on the phone, expressing Slovenia's firm support for the war-torn country, its sovereignty and peace efforts, the prime minister's office said in a press release. They discussed the situation in Ukraine and the upcoming EU Council session, where Ukraine is to be one of the main topics. Golob moreover expressed support for Ukraine's efforts to acquire EU candidate status and Slovenia's firm support for the Western Balkans. He promised Slovenia would help with demining in Ukraine.

Slovenian, Japanese export banks sign cooperation agreement

LJUBLJANA/TOKYO, Japan - SID Banka, the state-owned export and development bank, signed a cooperation agreement with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). The two banks plan to create new business opportunities in digitalisation, clean energy, environment and quality infrastructure in Slovenia and third countries. The goal is to strengthen the relations between SIB Banka and JBIC and thus create new business opportunities for Japanese and Slovenian companies in digitalisation and clean energy, and promote environmental projects that contribute to carbon neutrality, quality infrastructure and connectivity.

Slovenia improves in IMD Competitiveness Ranking 2022

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia has gained two spots in the annual IMD Competitiveness Ranking, placing 38th among a total of 63 countries included. Considering the circumstances, the result is satisfactory, economists taking part in the project have said. They warned, however, that Slovenia failed to reduce its gap toward countries with which it likes to compare itself. The IMD Competitiveness Raking is determined using 163 statistical indicators and 92 indicators based on a survey among managers.

Public health authority appoints Eržen its medical director

LJUBLJANA - The National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) appointed Ivan Eržen its acting medical director. This comes after weeks of speculations whether Eržen, the previous head of the public health authority, will replace NIJZ current director general Milan Krek. The appointment follows recent changes to NIJZ bylaws that curtailed the powers of the director general. Eržen said he counted on cooperation with Krek, and announced that a response strategy will be prepared in the summer to be put in place if there is a renewed increase in coronavirus infections in the autumn.

Govt moves to replace two SSH supervisors

LJUBLJANA - The government is proposing to the National Assembly to recall two supervisors of the Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH) as it argues that Božo Emeršič and Leon Cizelj do not meet the necessary requirements for the job. The goverment said after a session that Emeršič, who is also the board's vice chair, stopped meeting the requirements after he became the CFO of railway builder 2TDK in 2021, and Cizelj had not met the condition of 10 years of experience in business management from the very first day he was appointed SSH supervisor.

Govt appoints new head of JGZ Brdo

LJUBLJANA - After Marjan Hribar resigned as director of the JGZ Brdo State Protocol Services, the government appointed in his stead Franci Jagodic, who will assume the position of acting director on Saturday, the Government Communications Office said. Jagodic, who has been until now JGZ Brdo's deputy director, was appointed by the government for the period until the appointment of a full-fledged director of JGZ Brdo, but no longer than one year.

PM expects govt act changes enacted next week

LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Robert Golob expects the National Assembly to change the government act next week, which he believes will allow him to shape the cabinet according to his wishes before the parliament's summer break. The coalition-drafted changes have been blocked by the opposition Democrats (SDS), which want to call a referendum on the matter. However, their motion is unlikely to be endorsed given the balance of power in the National Assembly.

Speaker pledges support for judicial independence

LJUBLJANA - National Assembly Speaker Urška Klakočar Zupančič pledged her support for the smooth and independent work of the Judicial Council as she met its head Vladimir Horvat. The pair also discussed the need to provide sufficient funds for the Judicial Council so that it can work in a competent, expert and independent manner. As for the procedure to appoint judges, the pair agreed that politics should withdraw from the appointment process.

Slovenia drops two spots to 7th on Global Peace Index

LONDON, UK - Slovenia ranks seventh among 163 countries in the latest Global Peace Index (GPI), having dropped two spots from last year, as the average level of global peacefulness deteriorated by 0.3% this year. The level of peacefulness increased in 90 countries and deteriorated in 71 countries, while staying the same in two countries, shows the 2022 GPI report compiled by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a status it has held since 2008.

Aided by pandemic, Slovenia met two of three climate goals in 2020

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia met its greenhouse gas emission reduction and energy efficiency targets in 2020 in sectors not covered by the Emissions Trading Scheme, shows the 2022 Climate Mirror report. While stressing the key contribution of measures related to the pandemic, the report notes the country did not meet its renewable energy target, staying 0.9 percentage points bellow the targeted 25% share of renewables in gross final energy consumption.

Steady climb in Covid case count continues

LJUBLJANA - A total of 471 people tested positive for coronavirus in Slovenia on Tuesday, about a third more than the same day a week ago. There were no further deaths as hospitalisations remained stable. A total of 32 patients continue to be treated for Covid-19 as their main condition in hospitals, including five in intensive care. Compared to the same day a week ago, hospitalisations are up by seven. The 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 of the population rose to 189, up by seven from the day before and up by 22 week-on-week. The 7-day case average rose to 311, up by 16 and 57, respectively, fresh data shows.

RTV Slovenija journalists to go on strike on Monday

LJUBLJANA - Journalists at public broadcaster RTV Slovenija will go on strike on Monday after their 23 May strike and subsequent talks with the management brought no progress on their strike demands. The strike will take place between 2pm and 11pm, and a rally will be held at 7pm in Republic Square, across the street from the National Assembly. The journalists will demand urgent action to preserve the public service, including from parliament, the strike committee said as it decided on the strike.

Municipalities report of problems in access to basic services

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian citizens have problems accessing some basic services in virtually all municipalities in the country, the Court of Audit has found. The most problematic seem to be access to the internet, banking services and postal services. The court inquired about this among all of Slovenia's 212 municipalities, with 96.7% of them reporting of problems. The most problems have been reported in areas where municipalities do not have direct influence such as access to ATM services and postal services.

Digital vouchers available as of today

LJUBLJANA - Digital vouchers worth 150 euros are available as of today for students from 7th grade of primary school through to university. The vouchers can be used to purchase computer hardware and were introduced under an act on digital inclusion passed in February. The vouchers, available to students who had permanent residency in Slovenia on 12 March, come in the form of credit and can be used to buy new, refurbished or used computer hardware, such as keyboards, screens, laptops and headphones.

Ukrainians with temporary protection status to get special card

LJUBLJANA - From Thursday, Ukrainians whom Slovenia awards the status of temporary protection will receive a card rather than a written decision to prove their status. The Interior Ministry said that this will simplify the procedure of granting temporary protection status. The cards will be valid until 4 March 2023. They will also serve as an ID card and as a permit for temporary residence in Slovenia. Card issuing will be free of charge, the ministry said.

Book Days open with reading from Pahor's Necropolis

LJUBLJANA - A reading of an excerpt from Necropolis, a 1967 novel about late author Boris Pahor's experience with Nazi concentration camps, will open the 27th Slovenian Book Days in Ljubljana this evening. The Necropolis reading will be followed by a literary evening at which members of the Slovenian Writers' Association, the Association of Slovenian Literary Translations and of Slovenian PEN will read their works. A number of other events will then take place until 19 June, including Fabula Voices, a sound installation in honour of the Fabula Literary Festival that will be heard around the capital city.

Painter Elda Piščanec's work on show at National Gallery

LJUBLJANA - A comprehensive exhibition on Trieste-born painter Elda Piščanec (1897-1967) is being launched at the National Gallery in Ljubljana, showing 99 of her paintings, drawings and prints as well as multimedia featuring her monumental sacral works. Running until 18 September and curated by Sara Müller, the exhibition is the gallery's contribution to help bring women artists and the art between the two world wars into focus. The gallery notes that Piščanec was one of the women artists who had to work hard to carve a space for themselves in the predominantly male world of art.

Slovenian researchers help fight grapevine disease in South Africa

LJUBLJANA - A team of Slovenian women researchers from the National Institute of Biology has developed a test for detecting a specific strain of phytoplasma that causes flavescence dorée, a grapevine disease that causes the most damage in vineyards in South Africa. According to the institute, wine growers from all over the world are affected by flavescence dorée, caused by different strains of phytoplasma transmitted by leafhoppers. "We currently have no real defence against these diseases. We try to reduce the number of transmitters with insecticides to prevent them from infecting more plants," the institute said.

Poland's Rafal Majka wins stage 1 of Tour of Slovenia

POSTOJNA/NOVA GORICA - Polish rider Rafal Majka (UAE Team Emirates) won the first stage of the Tour of Slovenia race. Slovenia's Domen Novak (Bahrain Victorious) finished in second place and Slovenia's cycling star and current No. 1 cyclist in the world, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), was third. Majka, who won the 2017 Tour of Slovenia, led the way with the two Slovenians in the second half of the 164.7 km hilly stage from Nova Gorica to Postojna in the west of the country.

Hall at Foreign Ministry named after Boris Pahor

LJUBLJANA - A hall at the Foreign Ministry was named after Boris Pahor in memory of the famous Slovenian writer from Trieste who died aged 108 last month. Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon said it was a great honour to name the hall after Pahor. The ministry hopes the Boris Pahor Hall will be a crossroads of opinions, ideas and policies and a meeting place for friends and partners from Europe and the world. The event was also addressed by Pahor's contemporary and friend Evgen Bavčar, who wishes that Slovenian diplomats would follow Pahor's ideals.

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