This summary is provided by the STA:
Gas crisis tops Golob-Scholz meeting
BERLIN, Germany - The impact of the war in Ukraine, mainly the energy crisis, was one of the main topics on the agenda as Prime Minister Robert Golob met German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin during his first bilateral visit abroad. Speaking to reporters, Golob said the goal of getting through the winter without Russian gas was very ambitious but attainable if the EU works together. The pair also discussed EU enlargement to the Western Balkans, with both officials stressing the countries in the region had been in the waiting room for EU membership for too long.
Report: Slovenian hauliers get cheaper diesel on motorways
LJUBLJANA - The newspaper Finance reported that Slovenian hauliers are getting cheaper diesel at Petrol service stations along motorways compared to the prices others are paying, as they have commercial agreements with Petrol under which diesel costs the same as outside Slovenia's motorways. Business chambers have confirmed this for the paper. The news comes after Infrastructure Minister Bojan Kumer said in end-June there will be no such different prices in Slovenia. The Infrastructure Ministry declined to comment for the paper.
Companies looking for alternatives to Russian gas
LJUBLJANA - Companies have been looking for alternatives to Russian gas as supply may be disrupted, but this takes time, funds and cooperation, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) told the STA on Tuesday, a day after the Energy Agency issued an early precautionary warning to gas consumers to use natural gas with care. Some companies warn they cannot switch to other energy sources on such a short notice. The OZS chamber of small business meanwhile expects the government to help out, including with measures such as a fixed electricity price. Businesses expect the government to present measures as soon as possible so that they can plan business operations.
EU Commission sues Slovenia over electronic comms legislation
LJUBLJANA - The European Commission filed a lawsuit against Slovenia for failing to transpose the EU directive on the electronic communications law, the government Office for Digital Transformation said. Minister Emilija Stojmenova Duh regretted Slovenia had failed to transpose the directive in time. The bill, set to replace the 2024 electrinic communications act, was voted down twice under the previous government over provisions which would allow the exclusion of Chinese provider Huawei. A relevant bill now passed first reading on 1 July.
Administrative Court nods to Hungarian MP
LENDAVA - The Administrative Court has ruled in favour of Hungarian minority MP Ferenc Horvath in a case in which he challenges the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption's decision that he breached incompatibility of dual office rules because he also served on the council of a Hungarian minority organisation. Horvath said the court had found no conflict of interest because he represented the interests of the Hungarian community in both offices. The decision cannot be appealed, but the commission will request revision of the procedure, and if necessary, later propose changes to the integrity and prevention of corruption act.
FM meets reps of minority in Hungary
SZENTGOTTHARD, Hungary - Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon met the representatives of the Slovenian minority in Hungary as she visited Szentgotthard. The community presented to her topical issues and challenges, while the minister praised their work for the preservation and development of the community, the Foreign Ministry said in a press release. The meeting was attended by Erika Köleš-Kiss, the representative of the Slovenian community in Hungarian parliament, Karel Holec, the president of the Slovenian Self-Governing Community, and Andrea Kovacs, the president of the Association of Slovenians in Hungary. Tomorrow, Fajon will take part in a ministerial of Central 5 countries in Budapest.
Coalition moves to prevent referendum on new Covid law
LJUBLJANA - The three ruling coalition parties tabled a proposal to ban a referendum challenging the latest changes to the communicable diseases act which govern epidemic restrictions. They argue that a bill that aims to remedy unconstitutionality must not be subject to a referendum. The move comes after two petitions for a referendum on the changes to the communicable diseases act were filed last week by ad-hoc groups Conscious Residents of Slovenia and the People's Coalition.
NGO's omnibus bill set for vote at plenary
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Home Affairs Committee endorsed in a 9:6 vote a bill the 8 March Institute NGO filed to repeal what it sees as harmful measures taken by the previous government. The government supports the bill, which will be put to a vote at the plenary session on Thursday, while the opposition announced its plan to challenge it at the Constitutional Court. The omnibus bill aims to amend 11 laws changed by the Janez Janša government in a bid to eliminate harmful political measures and ensure respect for the rule of law.
Conflicting warnings allege political interference at public broadcaster
LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian Association of Journalists and Commentators (ZNP) denounced the ruling coalition's intention to replace RTV Slovenija management under a fast-track procedure intended for emergency situations as the most brutal political attempt yet to interfere in the public broadcaster. This is after the coalition decided to fast-track a new bill on the public broadcaster yesterday. Meanwhile, RTV journalists' unions urged the broadcaster's director general Andrej Grah Whatmough not to appoint Uroš Urbanija as TV Slovenija director.
NSi against removal of fence on the border with Croatia
LJUBLJANA - The opposition New Slovenia (NSi) expressed its opposition to the government's decision to remove the razor wire from the border with Croatia, where it was erected after the 2015 migration crisis. The party believes the decision has been taken without a security assessment and cannot be justified from the aspect of migrations and security. The NSi is sceptical technical means such as drones will ensure the same level of security as "the tactical hurdles", MP Janez Žakelj said.
Almost half of sustainability bond funds for healthcare
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia has allocated most of the EUR 1.05 billion raised with the issuance of its first sustainability bond for projects and programmes in healthcare and for decarbonisation of transport, mostly investments in railway infrastructure, shows the first report on the distribution and effects of the funds collected with the bond. The report covers fiscal years 2020 and 2021, but this year Slovenia increased last year's EUR 1.05 billion issue by EUR 50 million and EUR 90 million.
New coronavirus cases hit three-month high
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia reported 2,365 cases of coronavirus for Monday, the highest figure in three months, and 29% more than the same day a week ago. One patient with Covid-19 died as hospital figures remained stable, data from the Health Ministry shows. The 14-day case notification rate per 100,000 of the population rose to 749, up by 55, according to the National Institute of Public Health.
EUR 69m for upgrade of ski resorts to all-year centres
LJUBLJANA - The Economy Ministry has allocate EUR 69.14 million to 20 projects of development and restructuring of ski resorts into all-year mountain centres and construction of additional or renovation of the existing accommodation facilities. EUR 63.42 million in subsidies will be available for restructuring ski resorts as part of ten projects and EUR 5.71 million for additional accommodation capacities in the mountain centres as part of another ten projects. The projects are expected to result in more than 500 new beds for tourists and more than 200 beds in upgraded facilities with a higher rating.
ZZZS unhappy with bill aiming to cut waiting times in healthcare
LJUBLJANA - The ZZZS public health insurance fund said the government-proposed EUR 200 million emergency bill aiming to cut waiting times in healthcare will not stabilise the healthcare system. The ZZZS believes waiting lists should be brought up to date because currently the data on the number of patients and the waiting periods is not accurate. Only then will it be possible to see how many staff and how much funds are actually needed. Senior ZZZS officials also regret that "there was no dialogue with key stakeholders", echoing the view of trade unions.
Two Ukrainian teachers suspected of mistreating orphans
POSTOJNA - A Labour Ministry team visited the Ukrainian orphans staying in Slavina near Postojna last week after the local social centre received several anonymous complaints alleging that some Ukrainian teachers were mistreating the children. The ministry decided to suspend two Ukrainian teachers and replace them with Slovenian teachers. "The staff was told that any kind of violence is inadmissible and that there will be more oversight of the work at the orphanage," the ministry told the STA today.
Ljubljana's air quality categorised as poor
COPENHAGEN, Denmark - Slovenia's capital has placed 279th among 344 cities in the European city air quality viewer with its air quality categorised as poor. Maribor, the country's second-largest city, ranks 207th having moderately clean air. The ranking, released on the website of the European Environment Agency, classifies cities from the cleanest to the most polluted on the basis of average levels of fine particulate matter, or PM2.5, over the past two calendar years.
Consumer electronic retailer Big Bang buying Croatian counterpart
LJUBLJANA - Big Bang, the largest Slovenian consumer electronics retailer, announced it had signed a contract to acquire Sancta Domenica, one of the largest Croatian retailers in the same segment. The deal needs to be approved by competition protection regulators. Big Bang said the strategic partnership with Sancta Domenica created a strong regional player with 30 shops in two countries. Big Bang is owned by an affiliate of Adventura Holding, a firm controlled by businessman Darko Klarič.
Mercator to merge certain activities with Konzum
LJUBLJANA - The newspaper Dnevnik reported that after Slovenian retailer Mercator had been transformed from a joint stock company into a limited liability company at the beginning of the month, its owner Fortenova is planning to merge certain business functions of Mercator and the Croatian retail chain of Konzum. Unofficial information obtained by Dnevnik suggests some business functions will first be merged in Bosnia-Herzegovina and later in Serbia, but the Mercator brand is to be preserved.
Florjan Lipuš gets Grand Golden Badge of Honour of Carinthia
KLAGENFURT, Austria - Florjan Lipuš, who is considered the most important writer of the Slovenian minority in the Austrian state of Carinthia, received the Grand Golden Badge of Honour of Carinthia on Monday for his contribution to the preservation of the Slovenian language and for major literary work. On presenting him with the honour, Carinthian Governor Peter Kaiser described Lipuš as one of the most important representatives of Slovenian literature in Carinthia and in Austria as a whole.