LAST PUBLISHED NEWSLETTER

Slovenia News 3 August 2010
Editorial

The Slovenian and Croatian prime ministers, Borut Pahor and Jadranka Kosor, met in Bohinj on Saturday in a bid to come up with a solution for the last major outstanding issue in bilateral relations, the debt of Slovenia's LB bank to Croatian savers. They set the course for removal of the last major stumbling block in bilateral ties, which will be "in compliance with the succession agreement" and would "satisfy the expectations of people who are facing this problem," as Pahor said at the press conference.

 

The Slovenian Environment Ministry denied on Friday reports by two Trieste-based papers on the alleged horse trading between Slovenia and Italy over the planned energy and transport facilities in the northern Adriatic. The ministry said preparations for taking Italy to the European Court of Justice were under way.

 

The Ministry of Education and Sport welcomed the bill on the Planica sports centre which the government adopted on Thursday. Minister Igor Luksic said the construction of the centre would be an important step toward unification of sports policies in Slovenia.

 

The next newsletter will be issued on 7 September 2010.

 

We wish you a nice summer holiday.

 

Domestic Policy
Govt to Speed Up Procedures under International Protection Act
Ljubljana - The government adopted on Thursday amendments to the international protection act that are meant to speed up procedures involving people requesting international protection in Slovenia and increase standards in this field, Interior Minister Katarina Kresal told the press after the govern... More »
Investigation Ongoing in Cybercrime Sting
Ljubljana - The Slovenian police and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) presented on Friday the first results of their joint cybercrime investigation into Maribor-based hackers, as part of which seven house searches were carried out, two people detained and 75 pieces of computer equipment ... More »
Foreign Affairs
Germany and Slovenia Stress Commitment to Stronger Ties
Ljubljana - The German and Slovenian foreign ministers, Guido Westerwelle and Samuel Zbogar, stressed the commitment of both countries to stronger cooperation, especially economic ties, as they met in Ljubljana today. Addressing a press conference after the first half of their talks, the pair emphas... More »
Pahor's Talks in Bosnia Focus on Economic Cooperation, Succession
Banja Luka - Prime Minister Borut Pahor and his Bosnian counterpart Nikola Spiric agreed at an informal meeting on Tuesday evening that regional issues, such as succession regarding former Yugoslavia, should be resolved as soon as possible. They also pledged to further enhance economic ties. Ther... More »
Slovenian, Croatian FMs Laying Groundwork for Meeting of PMs
Obrezje - The Slovenia and Croatian foreign ministers, Samuel Zbogar and Gordan Jandrokovic, highlighted the new spirit in Slovenian-Croatian relations as they met on the border on Wednesday to prepare Saturday's meeting of the prime ministers of the two countries. Speaking ahead of their meeting... More »
Slovenia, Croatia Set Course for Resolution of LB Debt Issue
Bohinj - The Slovenian and Croatian prime ministers, Borut Pahor and Jadranka Kosor, set the course for removal of the last major stumbling block in bilateral ties Saturday, but they fell short of reaching a concrete agreement, suggesting instead that an actual solution could be on the table in thre... More »
Economy & Finance
New Economy Minister: "I'm a Supporter of Privatisation"
Ljubljana - New Economy Minister Darja Radic has declared herself a supporter of privatisation, which "needs to be completed once and for all". "The withdrawal of the state from the economy has been absolutely too slow," she said in an interview with the STA. Radic believes this has contributed t... More »
Govt Looking for Ways to Make 2011-12 Budgets Workable
Ljubljana - Development and EU Affairs Minister Mitja Gaspari said after a government session on Thursday that talks on the 2011 and 2012 budget are continuing as demands by individual ministries are currently exceeding the envisaged spending cap of EUR 10bn by EUR 800m. Announcing that the gover... More »
Annual Inflation at 2.1%, Deflation at Monthly level
Ljubljana - Slovenia's inflation rate rose by 0.2 percentage points to 2.1% at the annual level in July, even though consumer prices fell by 0.7% at the monthly level, according to official statistics. Measured with the harmonised index of consumer prices, an EU benchmark, the annual inflation ra... More »
Succession Boss: LB Talks will Continue in Basel
Ljubljana - Slovenia's high representative for succession interprets Saturday's agreement by the Slovenian and Croatian prime ministers to resolve the LB debt issue in line with the succession agreement as meaning that negotiations will be held at the Basel Bank for International Settlements (BIS). ... More »
President Says NLB Ownership Matter of National Interest
Ljubljana - President Danilo Tuerk deems state ownership of Slovenia's largest bank, NLB, to be a national interest, but he also warned in an interview for POP TV Sunday evening that "national interest needs to be carefully defined. Not everything that is being depicted as national interest is in fa... More »
Business
GZS Calls for Internationalisation of Companies
Ljubljana - The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) called on the Economy Ministry on Tuesday to draw up a long-term strategy for the internationalisation of Slovenian companies, to support exporters and to introduce measures promoting exports. The GZS has drawn up a list of proposals to encou... More »
Gorenje Takes Over Swedish Rival Asko
Velenje - Household appliances maker Gorenje announced on Wednesday it had taken over Swedish rival Asko Appliances Group in a bid to seek synergy and to foster growth. The contract was signed on Wednesday. The Velenje-based company did not say how much it paid for the 100% stake in the Swedish h... More »
Lesnina Sold to Austrian Furniture Giant XXXLutz
Ljubljana - Slovenian furniture chain Lesnina has been sold to Austrian furniture retailer XXXLutz for an undisclosed sum pending approval by the competition authorities, Lesnina chairman Bojan Papic told the press on Wednesday. The company was sold by the sole shareholder Siringa, one of the fir... More »
Govt, Management Fail to Save Prevent
Ljubljana/Slovenj Gradec - It appears that the government and the management of Prevent Global failed with their last-ditch attempts to save the troubled maker of car seat covers with 1,260 employees. While talks with potential investors were still underway at the Economy Ministry on Monday, the man... More »
Slovenian Firm to Produce Coils for Ford
Bovec - A subsidiary of Slovenian car parts maker Iskra Avtoelektrika has launched production of ignition coils for US car maker Ford, creating 20 new jobs in the process, the company said in a press release. Iskra Bovec was selected for the job by German industrial conglomerate Robert Bosch, bus... More »
Agriculture
Agriculture Minister Meets Eco-Farmers
Izola - Agriculture Minister Dejan Zidan met on the Slovenian coast on Friday representatives of Slovenian eco-farmers to discuss the problems they are facing and their proposals. The meeting concluded with an agreement to hold regular meetings three or four times a year. Slovenian farmers know h... More »
Environment
Slovenia Denies Horse Trading on Gas Terminals
Ljubljana - The Slovenian Environment Ministry denied on Friday reports by two Trieste-based papers on the alleged horse trading between Slovenia and Italy over the planned energy and transport facilities in the northern Adriatic. The ministry said preparations for taking Italy to the European Court... More »
Minorities
Inzko Advocates Comprehensive Bilingual Place Names Solution
Klagenfurt/Trieste - The new president of the National Council of Carinthian Slovenians (NSKS) Valentin Inzko urged a comprehensive solution of the bilingual place names issue in Carinthia, according to Wednesday's issue of the Trieste-based minority newspaper Primorski dnevnik. The solution shou... More »
Minority in Italy Hails Bilingual ID Issued in Resia
Trieste - The Slovenian minority in Italy welcomed on Monday the first bilingual ID issued by the Italian municipality of Resia on Saturday. One of the two umbrella minority organisations, the Council of Slovenian Organisations (SSO), called the event a milestone not only for the Slovenians living i... More »
Culture & Media
New Media Bill Seeks to Increase Journalist Autonomy
Ljubljana - The Culture Ministry presented a draft media bill to the public on Wednesday saying that the main guideline in its preparation was journalists' autonomy. The bill also redefines public interest in the media. Culture Minister Majda Sirca explained that the draft included proposals made... More »
Print Media Starting to Attract Readers Again
Ljubljana - The first half of 2010 saw an uptick in popularity of print media in Slovenia after years of steady decline, shows the National Readership Survey released on Wednesday. Free daily Zurnal and TV guide supplement Vikend remain the most widely read papers in Slovenia and the only two rea... More »
Transport
DARS to Take Over Complete Financing of Motorway Construction
Ljubljana - The government adopted on Thursday a bill on DARS under which the motorway company will wholly take over the financing of construction and renovation of motorways and expressways in Slovenia. Under the motion DARS will act in its own name and on its own behalf. Moreover, the motorw... More »
Energy
All Cartel Members Pledge to Pay Back Overpriced Electricity
Celje/Nova Gorica - Elektro Celje as well as Elektro Primorska confirmed on Tuesday that they would join the remaining three electricity distributors with which they increased energy prices in a cartel agreement on 1 January 2008, in refunding the price difference resulting from the collusion. El... More »
Society
PM Pahor and Archbishop Stres Honour Victims of Communist and Nazi Executions
Lasko/Celje - PM Borut Pahor and Archbishop of Ljubljana Anton Stres visited the Huda jama mass grave near Lasko on Saturday to honour jointly for the first time the victims of post-WWII Communist reprisals at this site, discovered in March 2008. The pair also visited the site of Nazi executions at ... More »
Sport
Cyclist Valjavec Cleared of Doping Charges
Ljubljana - A special panel of the national doping watchdog cleared Slovenia's best road cyclist Tadej Valjavec of doping charges on Thursday. The disciplinary panel of the National Anti-Doping Commission found a lack of irrefutable proof that Valjavec used performancing-enhancing drugs. The comm... More »
Minister Welcomes Bill on Planica Sports Centre
Ljubljana - The Ministry of Education and Sport welcomed the bill on the Planica sports centre which the government adopted on Thursday. Minister Igor Luksic said the construction of the centre would be an important step toward unification of sports policies in Slovenia. This is a very complex pr... More »
Events
Schedule of events in the week for 26 July - 1 August
MONDAY, 26 July
  • LJUBLJANA - Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who is also eurozone president, will visit Slovenia upon the invitation by his Slovenian counterpart Borut Pahor.
  • LJUBLJANA - Ombudsman Zdenka Cebasek Travnik will present Speaker Pavel Gantar with the... More »
Schedule of events in the week for 2-8 August:
MONDAY, 2 August        
  • No major events are scheduled.

TUESDAY, 3 August        
  • LJUBLJANA - Human Rights Ombudsman Zdenka Cebasek Travnik will present cases of human... More »
Slovenia News 31 August 2010
Editorial

The annual Bled Strategic Forum began on Sunday with debates focusing on challenges facing the world in the next decade. One of the biggest international events in Slovenia has also touched on cooperation in the Balkans.

With over 400 participants from around the world, the forum is a showcase event for Slovenia. It is hailed by Slovenian officials as one of the most important of its kind in Central and Eastern Europe.

Slovenian Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar voiced satisfaction with the results of the fifth Bled Strategic Forum at the end of the two-day event. He said he hoped the issues raised at the event will be used by decision-makers in tackling topical challenges.

Domestic Policy
Minister Underlines Cooperation at Salzburg Forum Meeting
Salzburg - Interior Minister Katarina Kresal underlined at the importance of cooperation as the eight members of the Salzburg Forum signed in Fuschl, Austria on Friday a document aiming to boost regional cooperation of police forces and promoting a more active contribution to the EU foreign policy s... More »
Foreign Affairs
Zbogar Lauds Value of Bled Forum Debates
Bled - Slovenian Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar voiced satisfaction with the results of the fifth Bled Strategic Forum at the end of the two-day event. He said he hoped the issues raised at the event will be used by decision-makers in tackling topical challenges. Praising the role of Slovenia's p... More »
EU Needs Balkans Just as Balkans Need EU, Bled Panel Told
Bled - A panel on the progress of the Balkans towards EU integration heard warnings that the EU should not ignore the importance of the region for Europe. If the EU wants to be a global economic force, it must continue to expand, Kosovo Minister for European Integration Besim Beqaj said in Bled on M... More »
Slovenian, Croatian FMs Hope for LB Issue Solution by October
Bled - The Slovenian and Croatian foreign ministers, Samuel Zbogar and Gordan Jandrokovic, met on Monday on the sidelines of the Bled Strategic Forum, continuing talks on the LB bank savings issue. Zbogar told the reporters that the countries were making efforts to close the issue by the end of Octo... More »
Foreign Minister Hails Progress of Economic Diplomacy
Ljubljana - Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar hailed the progress of Slovenia's economic diplomacy as he addressed in Ljubljana on Monday the first event of a three-day annual meeting of Slovenian diplomats. Zbogar told the meeting of business executives with the heads of Slovenian embassies and con... More »
New Ambassador to Croatia Takes Over
Zagreb - New Slovenian Ambassador to Croatia Vojko Volk presented his credentials to Croatian President Ivo Josipovic in Zagreb on Wednesday, expressing confidence that the relations between the two countries would strengthen further during his term, according to the Croatian president's office. ... More »
Defence & NATO
Defence Minister: Canada Role Model to Slovenia in Many Ways
Ljubljana - Defence Minister Ljubica Jelusic welcomed on Saturday in Ljubljana her Canadian counterpart Peter Gordon MacKay, who arrived on an official visit to Slovenia. After discussing bilateral cooperation in the field of defence and the challenges faced by NATO, Jelusic stressed that Canada was... More »
Agriculture
Minister Discusses Agricultural Policy with Polish Counterpart
Ljubljana - Agriculture, Forestry and Food Minister Dejan Zidan, who is paying a working visit to Poland on Monday, discussed the reform of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) with his Polish counterpart Marek Sawicki. The ministers agreed to cooperate in preventing abuses by food manufacturers.... More »
PM Calls for Joint Tackling of Problems in Agriculture
Gornja Radgona - Prime Minister Borut Pahor attended on Wednesday a joint session of the parliamentary agriculture and economy committees as part of the AGRA agricultural and food fair in Gornja Radgona. He noted that the government was paying attention to the problems in agriculture and called for ... More »
Culture & Media
Piran to Host Traditional Festival of Classical Music
Piran - Classical music will fill the streets of Slovenian coastal towns between 27 August and 11 September as the 9th annual Tartini Festival gets under way. The opening concert of Hungarian chamber orchestra Budapest Virtuosi featuring French violinist Pierre Hommage will be held on Friday evening... More »
Veronika Prize for Poetry Goes to Andrej Medved
Celje - Poet Andrej Medved won the 2010 Veronika Prize for best poetry collection in the past two years for "Razlagalec sanj" (Interpreter of Dreams). The Celje municipality presented the award at a ceremony in Celje on Tuesday. "It is Medved's poems that offer an opportunity for meditation on po... More »
Slovenia's Biggest Poetry Festival to Open in Ptuj
Ptuj - Slovenia's leading poetry festival is moving from its traditional location in the wine region of Goriska Brda to the country's oldest city of Ptuj. Starting on Wednesday, the 14th Days of Poetry and Wine will host 27 poets from over 20 countries, including Australian poet and anthologist Les ... More »
Islamic and Asian Elements at Young Lions Festival
Ljubljana - The 13th Young Lions festival of performing arts will kick off on Friday to focus on documentary performances with Asian elements and the link between art and broader social practice. The opening performance "Radio Muezzin" features Egyptian muezzins, singers of Islamic prayers who ar... More »
Transport
Pahor and Mehdorn Announce Logistics Holding Conference
Ljubljana - PM Borut Pahor met former Deutsche Bahn boss Hartmut Mehdorn in Ljubljana on Wednesday, determining that all is ready for a 13 September conference dedicated to restructuring Slovenia's logistics sector. Mehdorn's plan for the merger of rail operator Slovenske zeleznice, port operator... More »
Energy
Slovenia, Italy Sign Memorandum on Electricity Market Coupling
Ljubljana - The Slovenian Economy Ministry and the Italian Ministry of Economic Development signed in Ljubljana on Friday a memorandum of understanding on principles and objectives related to the coupling of the Slovenian-Italian electricity market. According to a press release from the Slovenian... More »
Tourism
Tourist Numbers Up This Year
Ljubljana - The number of tourists visiting Slovenia was up by some 4% to 1.6m in the first seven months of 2010, the Statistics Office said on Wednesday. According to the office's figures, tourists generated some 4.7m overnight stays in this period, a rise of 1% on last year. While the number... More »
Events
Schedule of Events for 30 August - 5 September
MONDAY, 30 August
  • BLED - The Bled Strategic Forum, the annual get-together of officials from around the world dedicated to topical issues, will come to a close.
  • LJUBLJANA - Public sector trade unions will announce their decision on the government's offer to a achieve a pay fr... More »
Powell Urges Optimism in Dealing with Global Challenges
Bled - Praising the progress of Slovenia and the EU since the end of the Cold War, former US Secretary of State Colin Powell called for optimism in dealing with the challenges of the modern world in an address during the official dinner at the Bled Strategic Forum. Powell, who served as secretary... More »
Global Governance in Focus of Bled Debates
Bled - A panel dedicated to discussing the key challenges facing the world in the next decade at the Bled Strategic Forum highlighted the importance of strong global governance and equitable representation in international organisations. The need for equitable representation was raised by a numbe... More »
Need for Cooperation Raised as Bled Forum Examines Key Global Issues
Bled - One of Slovenia's premiere international political events was launched at the lake-side resort of Bled on Sunday with calls for imaginative ideas for key challenges facing humanity. The world has reached a crossroads and decisions must now be made on how to proceed, Slovenian Foreign Minis... More »
Bled Forum to Discuss Challenges of Next Decade
Bled - Global challenges of the next decade will be in the focus as one of Slovenia's biggest international events gets underway at Bled on Sunday. With over 400 participants from around the world, the Bled Strategic Forum is a showcase event for Slovenia. It is hailed by Slovenian officials as o... More »
Global Problems Require Partnerships, Powell Says
Ljubljana - Global problems need to be tackled in partnership, as there is no superpower that can tackle them on its own, former US Secretary of State Colin Powell told Slovenian journalists in Ljubljana on Saturday. He warned against allowing Afghanistan to become a safe haven for terrorists again.... More »
Slovenia to Promote Its Tourist Destinations in Turkey
A day ahead of the official opening of the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey on 27 August, the country’s capital, Istanbul, is to host a presentation of Slovenia jointly organised by the Government Communication Office (GCO), the Slovenian Tourist Board (STB) and the Basketball Federation of ... More »
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