Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Thursday, 11 August 2022

By , 11 Aug 2022, 06:38 AM News
Catch up with the news from Slovenia, wherever you are Catch up with the news from Slovenia, wherever you are Photo: Gordana Grlič

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This summary is provided by the STA:

Pahor and Erdogan discuss cooperation, Ukraine, W Balkans

ANKARA, Turkey - President Borut Pahor met his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan before wrapping up his two-day state visit to Ankara. The presidents confirmed the good and friendly relationship between their countries. They discussed the war in Ukraine and the Western Balkans, agreeing to meet again on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in late September to revisit the topics. Pahor and Economy Minister Matjaž Han also addressed a business event aimed at strengthened trade and investment. The countries also signed a bilateral agreement on education, science and sports.

Change at helm of Govt Communication Office

LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Robert Golob put forward TV Slovenija journalist Petra Bezjak Cirman for the new head of the government Communications Office (UKOM) after news broke that Dragan Barbutovski was quitting after only a little more than two months on the job. Like Barbutovski, Bezjak Cirman will be named acting director of UKOM. Barbutovski will in the future be working in the PM's office as foreign communications officer. The newspaper Dnevnik cited differences linked to the ruling party's expectations and work methods at the office as the reason for the replacement.

Chief labour inspector resigns

LJUBLJANA - Jadranko Grlić, the country's chief labour inspector, resigned in the wake of a TV report on another case of exploitation of foreign workers in recent months. The Labour Inspectorate said he had stepped down over differences of opinion with the Labour Ministry about the powers and manner of work of the inspectorate. Minister Luka Mesec indicated change at the helm of the Labour Inspectorate as he commented Tuesday on TV Slovenija report about exploitation of Indian workers at a Ljubljana car wash.

NBI oversight finds minor flaws in Covid procurement probe

LJUBLJANA - The newspaper Dnevnik reported that the oversight of the work of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) ordered by the new police commissioner found that the NBI leadership was not in hurry to wrap up the investigation targeting former Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek over emergency procurement in the early stages of the Covid-19 epidemic. The report obtained by the paper finds no major flaws and concludes that NBI investigators handled investigations comprehensively and that those were on principle run continuously and at the right pace.

Italy starting proceedings against Slovenia over balsamic vinegar

ROME, Italy - The Italian government is launching infringement proceedings against Slovenia to defend the authenticity of its geographically protected balsamic vinegar, according to reports by the Austrian and Italian press agencies APA and Ansa, and the British newspaper The Guardian. Italy first objected over a year ago to Slovenia's draft regulation on vinegar and dilute acetic acid quality, which sets down that any vinegar mixture with concentrated fruit juice or must could be labelled balsamic vinegar.

Gynaecologist Senčar 11th to announce presidential bid

LJUBLJANA - Gynaecologist Sabina Senčar joined ten hopefuls who have so far announced their bids for the 23 October presidential election. She intends to run with the support of, a non-parliamentary party founded amid the Covid epidemic to oppose restrictions. Senčar criticised the manner in which the authorities had managed the epidemic, saying the world had ground to a halt in the past two years and a half due to the disease while "we aren't any healthier today".

Covid cases remain on downward trajectory

LJUBLJANA - A total of 1,714 people tested positive for coronavirus in Slovenia on Tuesday, down 3% week-on-week. Six Covid patients died, the Health Ministry said. The number of people hospitalised for Covid-19 as their primary condition declined by eight in a day to 96, of whom twelve require intensive care, down by three. The 14-day case notification rate per 100,000 people dropped by ten in a day to 983 and the 7-day case average is down by 33 to 1,408.

Socerb fire contained

KOPER - Some 150 firefighters, five Slovenian and two Italian helicopters and two Italian water bombers largely contained the fire under Socerb hill on the Slovenian-Italian border. The fire is no longer spreading, Koper fire brigade official Jan Brodar said in the afternoon, expressing optimism about the night ahead. A new team of roughly 120 firefighters will keep an eye on the fire during the night.

Key power company gets new supervisory board

LJUBLJANA - GEN Energija, the parent company of the state-owned power group that also includes the Krško nuclear power plant, has got a new supervisory board after the previous line-up was dismissed by Slovenian Sovereign Holding on Tuesday for what it described as a loss of trust over "appropriate corporate governance at GEN Group". GEN Energija CEO Blaž Košorok had served as a state secretary at the Infrastructure Ministry in the previous government until he was appointed to the post in late March.

Industrial output drops slightly in June

LJUBLJANA - The value of industrial production was down 0.2% in June compared to May, driven by declines in all relevant fields. It continued to increase year-on-year though, as it was 0.8% higher than in June 2021. The value in the first half of the year was also 2.9% higher on the annual level, the Statistics Office said. After three months of growth, the monthly drop in June is a result of declines in mining and quarrying, which recorded a 6.8% drop, in electricity, gas and steam production (-0.7%).

Court of Audit finds several flaws at SAZU

LJUBLJANA - The Court of Audit issued the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SAZU) an adverse opinion for its 2020 operations, establishing a number of flaws and irregularities regarding jobs, pay, purchase of services and oversight of funds, while also taking issue with the academy's legal status. The audit report also identifies a failure to establish adequate internal oversight in awarding funds to SAZU's Science and Research Centre (ZRC). SAZU said it would act on the court's recommendations.

Attempted murder convict gets 15-year prison sentence halved

LJUBLJANA - Media reported that the Supreme Court had almost halved the 15-year prison sentence against an elderly man for attempting to murder his neighbour in 2018, reclassifying the crime from attempted murder to attempted manslaughter. Jože Šercer took his shotgun, hid in the bushes waiting for the neighbour and shoot her as she was leaving her home to go to work. He hit her in the right arm and stomach, but the woman managed to escape and survived the attack.

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