Pahor and Osmani-Sadriu urge EU and NATO future for W Balkans
LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor and his visiting Kosovo counterpart Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu agreed in Ljubljana that relations between the two countries are excellent and expressed the wish to continue this way. Both leaders see a peaceful and secure future for the Western Balkans in the context of European and Euro-Atlantic integration. Addressing the press during Osmani-Sadriu's two-day visit, the pair said Slovenia and Kosovo shared the same views on the Western Balkans.
Ex-foreign minister Anže Logar declares bid for president
LJUBLJANA - Former Foreign Minister Anže Logar announced his intention to run for president in the autumn election. He has the support of his party, the opposition Democrats (SDS). "I will run through the signatures of citizens, and I also have the support of the SDS party," he said. The 46-year-old believes time has come for Slovenia to make a leap by electing its first centre-right president. He joins a growing list of candidates but is only the second after Marta Kos to be backed by a party.
Govt backtracks on pay promise, angering public sector unions
LJUBLJANA - As the government and public sector trade unions kicked off pay talks, the government backtracked on its promise to raise the value of individual pay brackets, offering instead one-off bonuses to cause indignation among trade unions. Public Administration Minister Sanja Ajanović Hovnik said the government had assessed an increase in pay brackets as inappropriate at the moment due to growing prices and inflation. Representatives of both negotiating groups are unhappy with the government's move, and they expect the government negotiators to get a different mandate, or else they will step up union activities.
OECD recommends Slovenia to address inflation, implement reforms
BRDO PRI KRANJU - The OECD recommends to Slovenia in its latest report to focus on high inflation in the short term and then accelerate reforms that would increase productivity, make growth more sustainable and address ageing. Absence of reforms is to put additional pressure on pensions, healthcare and the labour market. Slovenia has bounced back strongly post-Covid but its economic activity is hindered by high inflation, bottlenecks in supply chains and the war in Ukraine, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) says in its 2022 Economic Review for Slovenia.
Government welcomes OECD recommendations
BRDO PRI KRANJU - Several government ministers welcomed the recommendations of the OECD 2022 Economic Review, with Finance Minister Klemen Boštjančič saying the report must be read as a whole, "not just individual parts", and expressing support for structural changes, announcing a broad tax reform. Labour Minister Luka Mesec said the measures would focus on the disadvantaged to help them overcome the growing prices of heating, fuel and food. Digital Transformation Minister Emilija Stojmenova Duh added that her department was already looking for solutions to address the challenges in digitalisation identified by the OECD.
SD decides to run with own presidential candidate
LJUBLJANA - The presidency of the junior coalition Social Democrats (SD) decided that the party will put forward its own candidate for the upcoming presidential election. The internal candidacy procedure will remain open until 15 July. When asked about the sensibility of left-leaning parties each running with their own candidate, Fajon said the decision made today was the only logical move for the SD, "a traditional and still the strongest party on the left". The party presidency also decided to hold an electoral congress on 8 October, with Fajon running for SD head again.
Farmers warn wheat purchase plan rather belated
LJUBLJANA - The Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry (KGZS) welcomed a set of measures taken by the government on Friday to help farmers amid growing prices, including the financial aid worth over EUR 22 million, the purchase of this year's entire wheat harvest, and regular monitoring of prices of 15 food products. However, the chamber warned the wheat buyout came a bit late as the harvest is already well underway and the Cooperatives' Association said they were already buying and selling the crop.
Governor: ECB could raise key interest rate by 0.5 points in Sep
BRDO PRI KRANJU - Slovenia's central bank Governor Boštjan Vasle expects that to fight high inflation, the European Central Bank (ECB) will increase its key interest rate by 0.25 base points in July and by another 0.5 points in September. "In many people's view, one of the most important measures [to deal with inflation] is the handling of interest rates," Vasle said on the sidelines of the presentation of the OECD's Economic Review for Slovenia, adding that the gradual increases could follow after September.
Slovenian army gets highest military decoration from Kosovo
LJUBLJANA - Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu, who is on a two-day official visit to Slovenia, presented the Slovenian Armed Forces with the highest presidential military decoration of Kosovo. The president of Kosovo presented the Slovenian Armed Forces with the Presidential Military Medal, which was accepted by the deputy chief of the general staff, Major General Roman Urbanč, the ministry said. On the occasion, Osmani-Sadriu was received at the Defence Ministry by Minister Marjan Šarec, who said that Slovenia was very proud of its contribution to the security of Kosovo and to regional security.
Pahor tells Politika EU ignoring W Balkans will have consequences
BELGRADE, Serbia - President Borut Pahor noted in an interview with the Serbian newspaper Politika that the EU not wanting or being unable to establish greater presence in the Western Balkans will have consequences. He said he will continue to work for the EU accession prospects of the Western Balkans and expressed understanding for Serbia. Pahor assessed that the geopolitical fate of the Western Balkans for the next ten or fifteen years was being decided right now and in the current conditions. "Russia, China, Turkey and the Gulf countries will consolidate themselves in this area. The EU cannot ignore this," he said.
Fuel prices to drop slightly on Tuesday
LJUBLJANA - Prices of regular and diesel sold outside motorways will drop a bit at midnight under the government-administered pricing model. Regular will cost 2.3 cents less at EUR 1.723 a litre and diesel 4 cents less at EUR 1.808 a litre, the Economy Ministry has announced. The new prices will stay in force for a fortnight until Monday, 18 July. Prices of fuel at pumps along motorways are liberalised.
Kangler successfully sues corruption watchdog
LJUBLJANA - While the top court annulled the parliament's 2019 decision to launch an inquiry into the many court proceedings of ex-Maribor Mayor Franc Kangler, the Administrative Court has now nodded to Kangler's lawsuit against the corruption watchdog over its claim his role in upper chamber that ordered the inquiry constituted conflict of interest. Kangler, who also served as an Interior Ministry state secretary in the 2020-22 Janez Janša government, took issue with the corruption watchdog's stance on the manner, arguing he had not spoken or voted at the upper chamber session that led to the inquiry.
Blaž Cvar appointed new president of chamber of small business
LJUBLJANA - Blaž Cvar has been appointed the new president of the Chamber of Craft and Small Business (OZS) for a four-year term, to succeed Branko Meh, who was at the helm of the chamber for eight years. The restaurant owner from Radlje ob Dravi in northern Slovenia said in his programme he would be fair, conduct dialogue and work for the benefit of all members of the chamber. He also presented the new 15-member executive committee of the OZS, while Danijel Lamperger remained the director of the chamber. Cvar was endorsed by 52 out of the 92 members of the OZS assembly, who represent 62 regional chambers 30 and professional sections.
Pharmacy boss gets prison sentence in healthcare corruption case
LJUBLJANA - In what is the latest verdict in the biggest healthcare corruption case in Slovenia yet, the Ljubljana District Court handed down a three year prison sentence to Nataša Faganeli, the head of the pharmacy at the Valdoltra orthopaedic hospital. Faganeli, found guilty of demanding and accepting kickbacks in exchange for supply orders from the companies Emporio Medical and Advanta, will also have to pay a fine of EUR 35,000 and return EUR 89,000 in illegal gains.
Covid cases up by 40% at the weekend week-on-week
LJUBLJANA - The latest Covid-19 statistics show the number of cases steadily rising, as the number of new infections registered over the weekend increased by almost 40% on a weekly basis to 641, while overall hospitalisations have declined. There is a higher number of patients in intensive care, though, and three persons with Covid-19 have died since Friday. The 14-day case notification rate per 100,000 population now stands at 478, up by more than 140 over the same day a week ago.
Logo chosen for European Capital of Culture 2025
NOVA GORICA - The cities of Nova Gorica and Gorizia are joining forces as the European Capital of Culture 2025 under the name GO! 2025. In a logotype contest a team from Bologna designed the winning logotype for the project. Out of 67 submissions, the jury chose the design by Michele Pastore, Giulia Bardelli and Andrea Guccini from the Studio But Maybe as the official logotype. The organizers say the selected logo is both innovative and avant-garde.
Slovenia defeat Sweden in nail-biting finish
STOCKHOLM, Sweden - Slovenia finished the first round of qualifying for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup second in their group having scraped past Sweden 84:81 after a nail-biting finish in Stockholm on Sunday. NBA stars Luka Dončić and Goran Dragić scored 51 points between them as Dragić bid farewell to the national team to become its top overall scorer in history. In the second round, starting in late August, Slovenia will face off Germany Israel and Estonia in Group J, which also includes Sweden.
Goran Dragić to transfer to Chicago
CHICAGO, US - Slovenian NBA star Goran Dragić will not be joining the Dallas Mavericks as has been rumoured but will instead sign a one-year contract with the Chicago Bulls. After playing for the Brooklyn Nets last season Dragić has now confirmed for the STA his transfer to the Bulls, who finished the regular season in 6th place in the Eastern Conference and were eliminated in the first round of play-offs. According to US media, Dragić will sign a US$2.9 million (EUR 2.8 million) contract.