Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Thursday, 21 July 2022

By , 21 Jul 2022, 06:51 AM News
Catch up with the news from Slovenia, wherever you are Catch up with the news from Slovenia, wherever you are Flickr - Pedro Ribeiro Simões 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:

First round of presidential election to be held on 23 October

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia will hold the first round of election to pick its fifth president on 23 October under a decision taken on Wednesday by Speaker Urška Klakočar Zupančič. Under law, a potential second run-off between the two candidates wining the most votes needs to be held within 21 days after the first round, with the most likely date being 13 November. President-elect is expected to be sworn in on 23 December, a day after the second five-year term of incumbent Borut Pahor ends. Candidates will be able to submit their bids starting from 22 August.

Speaker calls local elections for 20 November

LJUBLJANA - National Assembly Speaker Urška Klakočar Zupančič called local elections for 20 November with the run-off mayoral elections in the municipalities that fail to elect their mayor in the first round to follow on 4 December. The mayoral run-offs will wrap up the super election year in Slovenia after the country already held a general election in April and the speaker called the first round of the presidential election for 23 October today. The date of regular local elections is fixed by law as the third Sunday of November in the election year.

Elections to National Council called as current term nears end

LJUBLJANA - Parliamentary Speaker Urška Klakočar Zupančič set 23-24 November as the dates for the elections to the National Council as the incumbent councillors will have their five-year terms expire in end-December. The vote for the upper chamber of parliament will be an indirect vote involving interest organisations and local communities. The National Council consists of 40 councillors, 22 of whom represent local interests. Members of the upper chamber are elected indirectly, by electors picked by municipalities and individual interest organisations.

Opposition not in disagreement with cost-of-living measures planned by govt

LJUBLJANA - Political leaders and energy professionals met for a cost-of-living meeting, after which Prime Minister Robert Golob listed several measures the government is to adopt before autumn, including VAT cuts and gas price regulation. He described the meeting as constructive, while opposition leaders indicated support. "We need to act swiftly and decisively to protect the most vulnerable groups with targetted measures, while at the next stage we must not forget the business sector and make sure the economy does not come to a standstill," said Golob.

Several villages in Kras evacuated due to fire

LJUBLJANA - Some 1,000 firefighters from all across the country and several aircraft have been battling a vast fire in the Kras area all day. Prime Minister Robert Golob told TV Slovenija in the evening that the fire, which had spread across 1,000 hectares, was under control and that no houses burnt down. Earlier in the day, about 300 people from the villages of Sela na Krasu, Hudi Log, Korita na Krasu, Nova Vas and Miren had to be evacuated, but most of them have been allowed to return to their homes, MMC said. Golob announced an emergency law to help the locals and increasing capacities for fighting fires from the air.

Nemec proposes EU firefighting plane to be stationed in Slovenia

LJUBLJANA/BRUSSELS, Belgium - As fires have been raging across Europe in recent weeks, MEP Matjaž Nemec (S&D/SD) sent an initiative to European Crisis Management Commissioner Janez Lenarčič, proposing that a firefighting plane from the civil protection mechanism rescEU be permanently stationed in Slovenia or the somewhere in the northern Adriatic region.

Upper chamber vetoes two laws, MPs to vote on them again tomorrow

LJUBLJANA - The National Council vetoed two laws today, an omnibus act passed by the lower chamber of parliament to reverse what have been deemed as harmful measures of the previous government and the government-sponsored changes to overhaul the governing bodies of the public broadcaster so that their members will no longer be appointed by parliament, political parties or the government. The National Assembly will vote on both laws tomorrow and the ruling coalition has a comfortable enough majority to override the vetos.

Minister calls for investment in education, research as way to innovation

PRAGUE, Czechia - Speaking at an informal meeting of EU ministers in charge of competition, Economy Minister Matjaž Han stressed the importance of public and private investment in education, research and skills for boosting innovation. According to the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, the ministers discussed ways to integrate industries from regions with less innovation into the new European and global movements, emerging in the context of economic transformation.

Slovenia upholds standards to fight human trafficking, report says

WASHINGTON, US - Slovenia has retained its position among a group of countries which meet the standards to combat human trafficking in the 2022 Trafficking in Persons Report released by the US State Department on Tuesday. Slovenia has shown some improvements, among them easier access for human trafficking victims to healthcare, housing and temporary residence permits.
Nevertheless, the report lists several recommendations, including that Slovenia launch more intensive investigations of worker exploitation, improve victim identification procedures, partner with NGOs, and allow better access for victims to aid.

Discus thrower Čeh wins gold at World Athletics Championships

EUGENE, US - Discus thrower Kristjan Čeh won the gold medal at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, US on Tuesday, with a throw of 71.13 metres, which is the best throw at world championships ever. The 23-year-old from Ptuj is the second winner of the gold medal at world championships in athletics for Slovenia after Primož Kozmus in the men's hammer throw in Berlin in 2009. "I set the goal before the competition to throw over 70 m and the championships record. I threw over 71 m, and then I wanted more," Čeh, wrapped up in a Slovenian flag, told reporters. He is now aiming to break the world record (74.08 m), achieved in 1986.

Tuesday's Covid tally slightly down from last week

LJUBLJANA - A total of 1,821 people tested positive for coronavirus in Slovenia on Tuesday, slightly fewer than the same day a week ago. Three patients with Covid-19 died, figures released by the Health Ministry show. The number of patients hospitalised with Covid-19 as their main condition dropped by two in a day to 91, of whom nine continue to be treated in intensive care.
According to the National Institute of Public Health, the 7-day average of new daily cases dropped by four in a day to 1,552 as the 14-incidence rate per 100,000 of the population rise by a further 17 to 974.

Pahor congratulates N Macedonia at the start of EU accession talks

LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor talked over the phone with his Macedonian counterpart Stevo Pendarovski about the start of EU accession talks for North Macedonia. He congratulated Pendarovski for his country's progress on the path to the EU, noting this was an important signal for the entire region, as it strengthened trust in the European perspective of the Western Balkans. Pendarovski thanked Pahor for Slovenia's support, adding he was looking forward to the upcoming meeting of leaders from the Brdo-Brijuni regional cooperation initiative to be held on 12 September in Brdo pri Kranju, the president's office said.

Takeover of nearly 40% in Hidria by Spain's Gonvarri confirmed

LJUBLJANA - The family of Edvard Svetlik, former CEO of car parts maker Hidria, sold its 42% in H&R, the 89% owner of Hidria, to Spanish automotive supplier Gonvarri, H&R confirmed after the news was reported by the business newspaper Finance the day before.
While the value of the transaction has not been disclosed, last year the business magazine Manager estimated the stake held by spouses Edvard and Ivica Svetlik in Hidria at EUR 33.6 million. The deal is pending regulatory approval, after which Gonvarri Industries will become a strategic partner of H&R, the latter said in a press release.

Police chief says fence removal will not result in lower security

LJUBLJANA - New Police Commissioner Boštjan Lindav has told the STA in an interview that the police will be capable of providing security even after the fence on the border with Croatia is removed, noting that the influx of migrants in recent years has not undermined security. Since as many as 95% of all murders in Slovenia take place within the family or in a narrow social circle, addressing domestic violence will be the second strategic priority of the police, right after migration, he announced.

BSF to discuss war in Ukraine, crisis of multilateralism

LJUBLJANA - The theme of the 17th Bled Strategic Forum (BSF), which will take place on 29-30 August, will be the consequences of the Russian aggression against Ukraine and the crisis of multilateralism, announced Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon as the host of the largest foreign policy event of the kind in Slovenia. Under the title The Rule of Power or Power of Rules, the participants of this year's BSF will seek answers to questions about the future of multilateral order and its role within the EU, the website of the event says, noting the topics of global crises (climate, economic, food, energy) and the emergence of new hotspots.

Austrian postal operator enters Slovenian market

LJUBLJANA - The Austrian national postal company, Österreichische Post, has entered the Slovenian postal market, the newspaper Delo reported. Its newly-established Slovenian subsidiary Express One Slovenia has started with package deliveries, with the online clothing retailer Zalando being part of its clientele. While it is unclear whether the arrival of the rival is already affecting the business of the Slovenian national postal company Pošta Slovenije, Delo reports that Zalando is not the only major online retailer to change allegiance and join forces with Österreichische Post.

Defendants in high-profile prostitution case have assets unfrozen

KOPER - The Koper District Court was no longer allowed to extend the provisional securement of the asset recovery claim in the prostitution and sex trafficking case known as Marina. Four main suspects have had their assets unfrozen on Saturday and can now dispose freely of them again, the newspaper Večer reported on Tuesday. Three years after the indictment was filed, criminal proceedings against Sergej Racman, Dejan Šurbek, and Vesna Trnovec are still ongoing, so the court was forced to unfreeze their personal and business assets. They are believed to have made at least EUR 21 million in illegal gains.

Two Ljubljana hotels leased to Latvian group for 20 years

LJUBLJANA - The Latvian Mogotel Hotel Group will lease The Fuzzy Log and Hotel Central in Ljubljana for 20 years, with the rents for both hotels during this period to amount to a total of EUR 12 million, the Slovenian real estate fund Equinox has announced. Equinox noted that it had signed the long-term lease contract with the largest hotel chain in the Baltic countries for The Fuzzy Log on Tuesday.

Pogačar bags stage win, remains second overall

PAU, France - Cyclist Tadej Pogačar (UAE Emirates) won the 17th stage of Tour de France, which took the cyclists up four mountain passes in the Pyrenees. This was the second of a total of three Pyrenees stages which many believe are Pogačar's last chance to reclaim the yellow jersey before the end of the grand tour on Sunday

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