Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Wednesday, 6 July 2022

By , 06 Jul 2022, 04:48 AM News
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This summary is provided by the STA:

Zelensky to address Slovenian parliament on Friday, Delo reports

LJUBLJANA - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will address the National Assembly via video link on Friday at 10am, newspaper Delo reported. Zelensky was invited to do so by Speaker Urška Klakočar Zupančič, who was authorised to invite him by the parliamentary foreign policy and EU affairs committees behind closed doors two weeks ago upon the proposal of the opposition Democrats (SDS). PM Robert Golob talked with Zelensky before the June EU summit, at which Ukraine was granted candidate status, whereas his predecessor Janaz Janša of the SDS was among the first politicians to visit Kyiv after the war broke out, in mid March.

Slovenian, Albanian presidents discuss EU enlargement

LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor hosted a working lunch for Albania's outgoing President Ilir Meta in Ljubljana, with the pair underlining the importance of EU enlargement onto the Western Balkans and Pahor warning against an idea of a more vague political community which would not see the region integrated in the EU. Talking to the press after their lunch, Pahor said he had the opportunity to speak to several Western Balkan leaders recently, all of whom were very concerned about this idea. Meta said the EU must not go down that path because "it would be a historical mistake".

Kosovo president discusses EU future of Western Balkans

MENGEŠ - Completing her two-day visit to Slovenia, Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu discussed the Euro-Atlantic future of the Western Balkans with Slovenian diplomat Vojko Volk in an event hosted by the Centre for European Perspective and the Bled Strategic Forum (BSF). The pair agreed that if EU does not integrate the region, someone else will. For the first time ever the EU sees its enlargement as a geostrategic concept and not a bureaucratic process, said Osmani-Sadriu, who believes this is seen from Ukraine and Moldova receiving EU candidate status.

Exports in May up 49% year-on-year, imports up 57%

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's exports of goods in May were up by 48.7% year on year to EUR 4.8 billion, as imports to the country increased by 56.7% to EUR 5.3 billion. Like in all preceding months in 2022, a trade deficit was recorded, standing at EUR 600 million, with the exports-to-imports coverage at 89.6%. In the first five months of the year, exports were up 27.4% year-on-year to EUR 20.3 billion, while imports increased by 49.4% to EUR 23 billion, for a trade deficit of EUR 2.7 billion and the exports-to-imports coverage of 88.2%, the Statistics Office reported.

Initiative submitting petition for referendum on new Covid law

LJUBLJANA - The People's Coalition, an ad-hoc group opposing strict coronavirus measures, including vaccination, filed to parliament a petition supported with more than the required 2,500 signatures for a referendum on the changes to the infectious diseases act, which were passed on 29 June. The group criticised what they see as lack of transparency in fast-tracking the bill through parliament, arguing this was to deliberately exclude the public the discussion. The NGO that drafted the changes said a referendum on this law might not be allowed because a referendum is not allowed on legislation remedying unconstitutionality.

SDS referendum signature collection scheduled for autumn

LJUBLJANA - The opposition Democrats (SDS) will be collecting 40,000 signatures for a referendum with which they want to challenge government expansion by three departments between 1 September and 5 October, the parliamentary speaker's office said. This is a second attempt by the SDS to prevent PM Robert Golob from expanding his government to 20 departments after Golob's emerging coalition filed the bill to parliament in May. If the SDS succeeds in the referendum, the National Assembly will not be allowed to pass a law going against the referendum decision for a year from.

Parliamentary committee wants to beef up labour inspectorate

LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Labour Committee called on the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities to hire more labour inspectors by the end of next year as it met upon coalition MPs' request in the wake of reports revealing grave labour and hygiene conditions in fish-processing companies Marinblu and Selea. Dan Juvan, a state secretary at the ministry, said legislative changes were being drafted and had already been sent to the Economic and Social Council; they concern record-keeping and social security. The committee urged that these be filed in parliamentary procedure as soon as possible.

Jobless total continues to drop in June

LJUBLJANA - The number of registered jobless continued to decline in June reaching a new post-1990 low. At the end of the month, 53,860 unemployed persons were registered at the Employment Service, down 3.6% on May and 24.2% fewer year-on-year. At the end of June, there were 1,994 fewer registered unemployed people than in May, and 17,234 fewer compared to June last year. A total of 3,949 people registered as newly-unemployed, up 2% on May and 11.8% year-on-year, and 3,618 people found a job, down 6.5% in May and 36% year-on-year. Most of the newly-registered were unemployed due to the end of a fixed-term job.

Covid cases surge to over two-month high

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia confirmed 1,815 new coronavirus infections on Monday, up 33% week-on-week, in what is a new high since mid-April. Two Covid patients died, shows fresh official data. The number of patients hospitalised with Covid as their primary condition remained broadly flat, with 31 in hospital altogether, down by seven week-on-week, including eight who are in intensive care, same as a week ago. The 14-day case notification rate per 100,000 population topped 520, rising by 165 on the week before.

State budget deficit slashed to EUR 128m at half-year

LJUBLJANA - State budget revenue in the first half of the year totalled EUR 6.4 billion and expenditure EUR 6.5 billion for a deficit of EUR 128 million, preliminary data from the Finance Ministry shows. The figure compares to a deficit of EUR 1.965 billion in the same period last year. Year-on-year, revenue rose by 18% and expenditure fell by 11.6%.

Privatisation of Cinkarna Celje halted

LJUBLJANA - The Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC) decided on Monday to halt the procedure to sell an almost 13% share in chemical company Cinkarna Celje although it received two binding bids. BAMC said on Tuesday that the sale would not be appropriate under the current conditions and circumstances. BAMC will not be selling Cinkarna as all of its assets will be transferred onto the Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH) by the end of 2022 and SSH will then draft a joint assets management strategy.

Survey: Quarter of companies see current situation as life-threatening

LJUBLJANA - A survey by the Chamber of Commerce of Slovenia (GZS) sees more than a quarter of the surveyed companies assessing that the raising prices of energy, raw materials and services are threatening their existence. The survey conducted in June among more than 60 companies, 80% of which are industrial companies, sees their biggest challenges in the need to increase prices of products, and in lower operating profit and competitiveness and a drop in market share. "These are strong arguments for the government to act immediately," GZS director general Aleš Cantarutti commented on the survey, presented on Monday.

Slovenian Ski Association head appointed FIS treasurer

ZURICH, Switzerland - Enzo Smrekar, the president of the Slovenian Ski Association, has been appointed the treasurer of the International Ski Federation (FIS) as the first Slovenian to be in charge of the financial affairs of the governing body for international skiing and snowboarding. Smrekar, director of Croatian-owned Slovenian food company Atlantic Droga Kolinska, was appointed at an inaugural meeting of the new FIS council in Zurich on Monday.

Slovenian and Italian firefighters sign cooperation agreement

NOVA GORICA - Slovenian and Italian firefighters signed an agreement on cooperation in the border area as part of the European CROSSIT SAFER project, which is expected to enable more effective action during rapid rescue missions. Aleš Markočič of the Nova Gorica fire brigade said it brought rapid, successful and precise interventions that will be safer for people and nature, as quoted by the national Civil Protection and Disaster Relief Administration on Twitter.

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