Last Week in Slovenia: 17 - 23 June, 2022

By , 25 Jun 2022, 10:11 AM Politics
Last Week in Slovenia: 17 - 23 June, 2022

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What follows is a weekly review of events involving Slovenia, as prepared by the STA.

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FRIDAY, 17 June
        BRUSSELS, Belgium/OHRID, North Macedonia - PM Robert Golob said he would propose that Bosnia and Herzegovina be granted EU candidate status at the next EU summit. He acknowledged that a single member state can prevent this process, but hopes reason will prevail.
        LJUBLJANA - The Foreign Ministry said Slovenia would pay legal expenses to Croatia over its border arbitration-related lawsuit against Croatia before the EU Court of Justice, which rendered the lawsuit inadmissible. The ministry said Slovenia saw this issue as part of the procedure to implement the 2017 border arbitration award.
        NEW YORK, US - International law expert Vasilka Sancin failed to get re-elected for another four-year term on the UN Human Rights Committee. She said her bid failed because the former government blocked her nomination, so her candidacy was submitted as the last one, in early June, almost two months after the 6 April deadline.
        LJUBLJANA - The coalition parties filed to parliament changes to the communicable diseases act that will make the country's efforts to fight infectious diseases in line with the constitution after the top court ruled a year ago Article 39 unconstitutional, giving the National Assembly two months to remedy the situation.
        LJUBLJANA - Irena Vodopivec Jean, one of the three vice-governors of Banka Slovenije, asked the parliament to be relieved of her duties for personal reasons. Her term would have expired in October 2027.
        LJUBLJANA - Legendary illustrator and painter Marlenka Stupica, best known for her illustrations of world classics such as Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Mehurčki, the collection of children's poetry by Oton Župančič (1878-1949), died aged 94.

SUNDAY, 19 June
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - Slovenia produced a proposal to grant Bosnia-Herzegovina EU candidate status as early as at the next EU summit. Under the proposal, Bosnia would have to adopt the laws set out in the political agreement reached by Bosnian political parties at talks in Brussels a week ago before accession talks could start.
        NOVO MESTO - Slovenia's star rider Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) won the 28th Tour of Slovenia to defend the title from last year. The 23-year-old two-time Tour of France winner finished the race, which he sees as a good rehearsal before the upcoming Tour de France, ahead of his Polish teammate Rafal Majka, with Slovenia's Domen Novak (Bahrain-Victorius) finishing third.
        LJUBLJANA - As owners of motor vehicles headed for service stations en masse ahead of expected price hikes all three major fuels providers, Petrol, OMV and MOL, experienced occasional fuel shortages. Economy Minister Matjaž Han assured the public the next day the country had sufficient reserves of fuel, while PM Robert Golob said this was a scandal.

MONDAY, 20 June
        LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - Slovenia's proposal that the EU should grant Bosnia EU candidate status as soon as possible received a great deal of support and, above all, a great deal of understanding among EU foreign ministers, Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon said after she outlined it to her counterparts at a session of the Foreign Affairs Council.
        RIGA, Latvia - President Borut Pahor urged the leaders of Three Seas EU countries to endorse Slovenia's proposal at the EU summit later this week to give Bosnia the status of EU candidate country, as he addressed the summit of the Three Seas initiative in Latvia.
TUESDAY, 21 June
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia donated 35 Yugoslav-era armoured combat vehicles to Ukraine. In return, Slovenia is to receive a credit from the US to be used for equipment needed by the Slovenian Armed Forces in their operations.
        LJUBLJANA - The prices of petrol and diesel at service stations along Slovenian motorways became completely deregulated under the new fuel pricing model, which pushed them up by roughly 20 cents a litre compared to those at stations outside the motorway network, which are now fully regulated.
        LJUBLJANA - The Competition Protection Agency launched an investigation into whether Petrol and OMV Slovenija, the country's two largest fuel retailers, abused their dominant market position as fuel shortages occurred right before a new pricing regime kicked in, raising fuel prices.
        LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary EU and foreign affairs committees outlined Slovenia's foreign policy for the future, with PM Robert Golob saying after the closed session that Bosnia-Herzegovina should get immediate EU candidate status and that Slovenia would help Ukraine with demining in the future.
        LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon spoke over the telephone with her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba assuring him of Slovenia's support for Ukraine's EU candidate status and the country's post-war reconstruction. She also announced that she would visit Kyiv soon.
        LJUBLJANA - The new police commissioner sacked two high-ranking police force members who have reportedly been involved in a contentious hiring of an employee in which security check results had been falsified.
        LJUBLJANA - The management of energy company Petrol said fuel price regulation in Slovenia and Croatia would affect Petrol's business in the first half of the year, so the Slovenian group did not expect to achieve the planned results.
        LJUBLJANA - After rejecting the candidacy of RTV Slovenija journalist Urban Laurenčič for the position of director of TV Slovenija (TVS), the public broadcaster's TV arm, the RTV programme council endorsed the appointment of music advisor Patrik Greblo as TVS acting director.
        LJUBLJANA - Two European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIH) will be set up in Slovenia, the European Commission decided upon evaluating applications in the first call of the DIGITAL Europe Programme.

        LJUBLJANA/KYIV, Ukraine - Prime Minister Robert Golob had his first conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, with the talk focusing on the status of EU candidate country that is expected to be given to Ukraine. Golob assured the Ukrainian president that although there had been a change of government in Slovenia, the country's attitude towards Ukraine had not changed.
        LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly passed changes to the government act allowing Prime Minister Robert Golob to shape his government as he wants as it deflected an attempt by the opposition Democrats (SDS) to hold a referendum on the act. A new referendum motion may however be initiated by a group with close ties to the SDS.
        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor said the Russian aggression against Ukraine had confirmed the need for Slovenia to have a highly trained and professional army, as he addressed via video call Slovenian soldiers serving in missions.
        LJUBLJANA - The works council at public broadcaster RTV Slovenija urged director general Andrej Grah Whatmough to "step down immediately and irrevocably", presenting a number of reasons for its decision, taken a day after RTV staff went on strike as the talks following the 23 May strike brought no major progress.
        LJUBLJANA - Ljubljana Archbishop Stanislav Zore expressed the wish for a continuation of the dialogue between the state and the Roman Catholic Church as he berated previous governments for not showing willingness to address all open issues during a sermon at a mass celebrating the anniversary of Slovenian statehood.
        LJUTOMER - A multi-stakeholder commission for cereals proposed that the government purchase all wheat Slovenian farmers will harvest this year, and then sell it on to millers. Slovenian farmers will grow 100,000 tonnes of wheat and they would reportedly like to sell it to Slovenian millers, but if the price is not right, they will sell to whoever is willing to pay more.
        BRUSSELS - While Slovenia did not succeed with its proposal that Bosnia-Herzegovina be granted EU candidate status along with Ukraine and Moldova at the EU summit, Prime Minister Robert Golob said an "important step" has nevertheless been made since the country has been put back on the EU's agenda and given a rough timeline on when it could get the status.
        LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Justice Committee unanimously endorsed a draft declaration on the European Parliament's resolution on fighting impunity for war crimes in Ukraine, which was tabled by the opposition Democrats (SDS) and endorsed by the government the previous day.
        LJUBLJANA - The government adopted two regulations to temporarily abolish two environmental duties on diesel at service stations on the motorway network, where prices are fully liberalised, to help hauliers cope with the price hike.
        LJUBLJANA - The government changed a regulation laying down the cooperation between the police and the prosecution and other bodies in pre-trial procedure, abolishing a restriction that allowed prosecutors to communicate their orders to the police only in written form. The restriction was put in place by the previous government.
        LJUBLJANA - The government replaced members of the supervisory boards of nine hospitals due to the institutions' poor financial performance. It also ordered a special audit to see how they continue to post losses despite receiving hundreds of millions of euros in extra funding last year.
        LJUBLJANA - Lawyer Nataša Pirc Musar, best known in her former role as information commissioner, announced she would enter the presidential race in the autumn election as an independent, becoming the first candidate to formally announce her bid.
        LJUBLJANA - Checks carried out by market inspectors at service stations across Slovenia in the aftermath of severe fuel shortages have not produced indications that fuel retailers intentionally kept supplies low to take advantage of higher prices after the transition to a new price regulation model.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Commission said it had opened an in-depth investigation to assess Hungarian energy group MOL's purchase of service stations of OMV Slovenija, the second largest such network in Slovenia, over concerns that the takeover would severely reduce competition on the Slovenian retail motor fuel market.

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