LAST PUBLISHED NEWSLETTER

Slovenia News 2 June 2009
Editorial

Education of Roma children is relatively well regulated in Slovenia, compared to other European countries, Education Minister Igor Luksic told the press after the first day of an international conference on education of the Roma, which took place at Brdo pri Kranju.

 

The president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Lluis Maria de Puig, said that Slovenia symbolised the transformation of Europe, its turbulent history and the future Europe likes to imagine for itself, as he addressed a meeting of the Standing Committee of the CoE Parliamentary Assembly in Ljubljana.

 

Veronika Stabej, ambassador and director of Government Communication Office, was presented with the insignia of Chevalière of the ‘Légion d’Honneur’ by Chantal de Bourmont, the French Ambassador in Ljubljana. The decoration has been bestowed on her by the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy.

Foreign Affairs
Zbogar: Talks Continuing, Rehn Ready to Accept Small Changes
Brussels - Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar said that Wednesday's meeting with Croatian counterpart Gordan Jandrokovic and Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn brought agreement that talks on the border issue would continue in the first half of June. "I believe Commissioner Rehn was clear today that thi... More »
International Organisations
Ernest Petric Presents Bid for IAEA Director-General
Vienna - Slovenia's candidate for the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Ernest Petric, presented his bid at an informal session of the IAEA Board of Governors in Vienna on Tuesday. He pointed out that it is not important where the new director comes from, but that th... More »
PACE President de Puig: Slovenia Is a Symbol of Europe
Ljubljana - The president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Lluis Maria de Puig, said that Slovenia symbolised the transformation of Europe, its turbulent history and the future Europe likes to imagine for itself, as he addressed on Friday a meeting of the Standing Committee of... More »
Defence & NATO
President Honours Slovenian Peacekeepers
Ljubljana - President Danilo Tuerk hosted on Monday a reception for Slovenian soldiers, police and civilian experts participating in missions abroad in 2008 and 2009. Marking International Day of UN Peacekeepers, the president highlighted the long history of peacekeeping missions and touched on Slov... More »
Environment
Study Shows Ground in Slovenia Mostly Clean
Ljubljana - Slovenian ground is mostly clean, but there are certain areas that are endangered by pollution, a nine-year study of ground pollution has shown. As much as 70% of the pollution is caused by mining and smelting, intensive farming in some areas and traffic. Ground pollution is critical and... More »
Education | Science & Technology
Minister: Roma Education Relatively Well Regulated in Slovenia
Brdo pri Kranju - Education of Roma children is relatively well regulated in Slovenia, compared to other European countries, Education Minister Igor Luksic told the press after the first day of an international conference on education of the Roma, which is taking place at Brdo pri Kranju on Monday a... More »
Slovenia's First Medical School Marks 90th Anniversary
Ljubljana - President Danilo Tuerk addressed late on Thursday a ceremony marking the 90th anniversary of Ljubljana's Medical Faculty. Medicine was becoming ever more incorporated into other fields of life, Tuerk noted. Recession accompanied by fear also reflects in people's health, he said.
More »
Culture & Media
Minister Sirca Reflects on Media Developments at CoE Conference
Reykjavik - Culture Minister Majda Sirca addressed in Reykjavik on Thursday a Council of Europe ministerial on the situation in the media and on new communication services. She highlighted the latest developments in the field in Slovenia, including plans for legislative changes. Sirca presented plan... More »
Transport
Parliament Confirms Introduction of Short-Term Vignettes
Ljubljana/Brussels - The National Assembly backed the introduction of short-term motorway toll stickers, thus responding to the demand of the European Commission to do so to end discrimination against foreign nationals. The Commission nevertheless suggested it was still not completely happy with the... More »
Events
Schedule of events in the week for 1-7 June:
MONDAY, 1 June
  • LJUBLJANA - The National Council, the upper chamber of parliament, will decide whether to veto amendments to the public roads act and to the police act, which the National Assembly passed last week.
  • LJUBLJANA - President Danilo Tuerk will host a reception for... More »
Exhibition of Foreign Children's Books Opens in Ljubljana
Ljubljana - An exhibition of foreign children's books opened on Tuesday at Konzorcij, Ljubljana's biggest bookstore. The 17th annual exibition "Bologna after Bologna" displays a selection of the most outstanding books from the Bologna Children's Book Fair. The show features more than 500 books, whic... More »
Director of Government Communication Office Veronika Stabej receives Légion d’Honneur
Veronika Stabej, ambassador and director of Government Communication Office, was presented with the insignia of Chevalière of the ‘Légion d’Honneur’ by Chantal de Bourmont, the French Ambassador to Slovenia on Tuesday, 26 May 2009 at the French residence in Ljubljana. The decoration has been... More »
Slovenia News 9 June 2009
Editorial

While three Slovenian MEPs are looking at another five-year term in the European Parliament, Slovenian voters decided in Sunday's European Elections also to send to Brussels four new MEPs. Three coalition, one opposition and one non-parliamentary party will have their representatives in the parliament. According to unofficial results from the National Electoral Commission (DVK), elected for another term were Romana Jordan Cizelj (opposition Democrats; SDS), Lojze Peterle (non-parliamentary New Slovenia; NSi) and Jelko Kacin (coalition Liberal Democrats; LDS). The newly elected Slovenian members of the European parliament are Milan Zver (SDS), Zoran Thaler and Tanja Fajon (coalition Social Democrats; SD) and Ivo Vajgl (coalition Zares). The SDS got the most votes (121,737 or 26.92%). The Democrats won in every electoral unit except in Postojna, which was won by the SD with 13,888 votes. The SocDems took a total of 83,440 votes or 18.45%. The NSi won 73,866 votes or 16.33%. The LDS was voted for by 52,091 people or 11.52%. Zares - the total number of votes for the party stood at 44,407 or 9.82% (one seat). All Slovenian MEPs except Jordan Cizelj were elected with preference votes.

 

While representatives of Ultra, a company Zares leader Gregor Golobic used to work for before his political comeback, rejected accusations about alleged unsecured borrowing from the NLB bank, they confirmed on Tuesday Golobic shareholding in the company, something the politician withheld from the media in the 2008 general election campaign. The higher education minister admitted to having misled the media, saying he did it to protect Ultra from the election campaign. He said he regretted the move and apologised for it, announcing he would reveal his decision on whether to resign next week after hearing the opinions of colleagues, his party, the government, and the public. While opposition parties were united in the view that Golobic should resign immediately, his Zares party gave him complete backing, expressing hope he would stay on. President Danilo Tuerk said he would leave the decision on Golobic's fate to others, while pointing out that Golobic had done nothing illegal, since he reported his shareholding to the Corruption Prevention Commission.

Domestic Policy
Golobic Says Result Will Help Him Decide on Resignation
The head of the coalition Zares party, Gregor Golobic, said that the result of his party, which is projected to have won 11% of the vote in Sunday's European election, was good. He added that the result would help him decide whether to resign as the minister of higher education. More »
Govt Amends Border Control Act and Cuts Police Authorisations
The government adopted on Thursday amendments to the national border control act which significantly cut the powers that police officers have when performing Schengen control measures, according to Goran Klemencic, state secretary at the Interior Ministry. More »
Analysts Not Surprised by Euro Vote Results
Analysts are not surprised by the results of exit polls in Sunday's European elections in Slovenia because they broadly mirror the results of earlier polls. However, the turnout was even lower than expected, two university lectures quizzed by STA noted. More »
Majority of MEP Candidates Assess Campaign as Fair
The majority of leading MEP candidates have assessed the campaign for the June 7 elections to the European Parliament as normal, calm and fair. They also believe that the campaign is preoccupied with national topics and the financial and economic crisis. Zoran Thaler, who tops the slate for the coalition Social Democrats (SD), has told STA that the campaign largely depends on the media. He notices that the media attention has intensified in the last week and expects that the campaign will become very interesting by the week's end. More »
Foreign Affairs
Slovenia, Serbia Sign Protocol on Return of Illegal Residents
Slovenian Interior Minister Katarina Kresal and her Serbian counterpart Ivica Dacic signed in Ljubljana on Monday a protocol determining the details of return of illegal residents. Kresal told the press after the meeting that Slovenia supported Serbia's efforts to liberalise its visa system. More »
Justice Minister Discusses Succession with Serbian Counterpart
Justice Minister Ales Zalar, who is on a two-day visit to Serbia, met his Serbian counterpart Snezana Malovic on Monday. Talks focused on the issue of succession of Slovenian companies in Serbia, the Justice Ministry said in a press release. More »
Eight Slovenian Mayors Elected in Italy
Eight members of the Slovenian minority have been elected mayors in Italy's Friuli-Venezia Giulia region. Regional elections took place on Saturday and Sunday in 142 municipalities in the region which is home to the Slovenian minority in Italy. More »
Minister Zbogar on Two-Day Visit to Belarus
In what will be one of his first moves after Slovenia took over the chairmanship of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers, Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar will start a two-day visit to Belarus on Monday. More »
Slovenian MEP Receives Acknowledgment from Bosnian NGOs
MEP Jelko Kacin received on Thursday the European Friend BiH 2009 recognition from the European Movement in Bosnia-Herzegovina, an association of some 70 Bosnian NGOs. The recognition has been conferred since 2007 to a number of politicians, diplomats and embassies of countries helping Bosnia-Herzegovina in its efforts to join the EU. More »
PM Attends 20th Anniversary of Democratic Elections in Poland
Prime Minister Borut Pahor attended in Krakow on Thursday a ceremony marking the 20th Anniversary of the first post-WWII democratic elections in Poland. He told the ceremony that this event had changed Poland and encouraged change in other countries, including Slovenia. More »
EU Interior Ministers Discuss Balkan Visa Policy
EU ministers in charge of home affairs are expected to debate the readiness of Western Balkan countries for the abolition of visas with the bloc as they meet in Luxembourg on Thursday. More »
EU Topics
Five Parties, Four New MEPs Elected to European Parliament
While three Slovenian MEPs are looking at another five-year term in the European Parliament, Slovenian voters decided in Sunday's European Elections also to send to Brussels four new MEPs. Three coalition, one opposition and one non-parliamentary party will have their representatives in the parliament. More »
Euro Vote: Turnout Edges Higher, But Short of 2004
The turnout in Sunday's elections to the European Parliament was at an all-time low for elections in Slovenia. With all domestic votes tallied, it stood at 28.02%. More »
Euro Vote: Right Celebrates, But Coalition Wins Four Seats
The centre-right celebrated twin success in Sunday's Euro vote, as the Democrats (SDS) topped all parties and New Slovenia (NSi) returned to the scene to claim three seats together. Under fire for its handling of the economic crisis, the ruling SocDems fell short of their general election result, but the coalition still took four seats. More »
Euro Vote: Right Celebrates, But Coalition Wins Four Seats
The centre-right celebrated twin success in Sunday's Euro vote, as the Democrats (SDS) topped all parties and New Slovenia (NSi) returned to the scene to claim three seats together. Under fire for its handling of the economic crisis, the ruling SocDems fell short of their general election result, but the coalition still took four seats. More »
Zalar Stresses Mediation in Civil and Commercial Matters
Slovenian Justice Minister Ales Zalar stressed the significance of mediation in civil and commercial matters and presented Slovenia's priorities during its chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CoE) at a meeting of EU justice ministers in Luxembourg on Friday. More »
Who Are the Seven Slovenian MEPs?
Below are short CVs of all seven members of the European Parliament from Slovenia: More »
Economy & Finance
Govt Amends Decree on Loan Guarantee Scheme Implementation
The government amended at Monday's correspondence session the decree on the implementation of the act on the EUR 1.2bn loan guarantee scheme. The amended decree sets in detail the criteria, conditions and procedures for state guarantees. More »
Think-Tank Sees First Signs of Economic Stabilisation
The government's leading economic think-tank said on Friday that it had registered the first signs that the slump in economic activity in Slovenia was bottoming out. Nevertheless, the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development (IMAD) said it was too early to speak of an upturn. More »
Krizanic Announces First Loan Guarantee Auction for 15 June
Finance Minister Franc Krizanic told the press on Thursday that the SID export and development bank would carry out the first auction for banks as part of the government's loan guarantee scheme on 15 June. More »
Minister Says Economy Will Pick up During Summer
Slovenia's economy will pick up in the summer as export orders increase and business confidence mounts, Finance Minister Franc Krizanic said in an interview for financial wire Bloomberg on Wednesday. More »
Business
Gazprom's Interest in Petrol Lifts Stock Market
Unofficial reports that Russian gas giant Gazprom is interested in acquiring Slovenian energy group Petrol sent the item surging 12.3% on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange on Monday. Gains by Petrol and drug maker Krka also pushed the benchmark SBI 20 index 2.68% higher to 4,369.77 points. More »
Public Eco Fund to Support Eco Investments
The Public Eco Fund has published a public call for soft loans for environmentally friendly investments by companies and entrepreneurs, the fund said in a press release on Friday. More »
Finance TOP 101: Krka Biggest, Gen Energija Best Company
The Novo mesto-based pharma Krka is the biggest Slovenian company and is also the second best company, trailing only energy company Gen energija, according to a survey released by business daily Finance on Thursday. More »
Environment
Slovenia Marks World Environment Day
Environment Minister Karl Erjavec called upon Slovenians to raise environmental awareness and make small changes which go a long way in saving the environment in a press release as Slovenia marked World Environment Day on Friday. More »
Justice
Specialised Justice Team to Combat White Collar Crime
Justice Minister Ales Zalar has announced the appointment of a special group of judges for the combat against the hardest cases of white collar crime carrying a prison sentence of at least five years. More »
Social Affairs
Minister Says Slovenia Among Least Affected by Unemployment
Labour Minister Ivan Svetlik said after a meeting with his EU counterparts in Luxembourg on Monday that the majority of EU countries would face tough labour market conditions next year. He added however that Slovenia was among the least affected countries in terms of unemployment. More »
Companies to Apply for Forced Leave Subsidies as of Monday
Employers will be able to file for subsidies for workers on forced leave as of Monday, Employment Institute director Marija Poglajen told the press on Friday. The act providing for the subsidies will step into force on Saturday, while first contracts are expected to be signed in mid-June and first subsidies to paid out in August. More »
Culture & Media
Ljubljana to Get Another Dance and Music Festival
A new street festival will start in Ljubljana on 12 June, featuring more than 60 dance, music and theatre performances in the city centre. Presenting the June 2009 in Ljubljana festival, Mayor Zoran Jankovic has told the press that it will offer something to everyone. More »
Culture Committee Backs Maribor Culture Capital 2012 Project
The parliamentary Culture Committee discussed the "Maribor, European Capital of Culture 2012" project on Wednesday, confirming the decisions of the National Culture Council taken in Maribor in April. More »
Tourism
Almost 60% Slovenians Took Extended Tourist Trips in 2008
Data on the travelling habits of Slovenians, published by the Statistics Office on Friday, shows that 59% of Slovenians took what amounted to a total of 1.56m longer private trips last year. In 2007 the percentage stood at 57% and the number of trips was 5% lower. More »
Events
Schedule of Events for 9-14 June
Schedule of events in the week for 9-14 June: More »
Slovenia News 16 June 2009
Editorial

Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar said in Luxembourg that European Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn had taken into account some of the amendments put forward by Slovenia in his new proposal for the resolution of the Slovenian-Croatian border dispute. Speaking to the press after a meeting with Rehn and Croatian counterpart Gordan Jandrokovic, Zbogar added that consultations in Slovenia and new talks on the sidelines of the EU summit this week would follow.

Culture Minister Majda Sirca addressed in Ljubelj a commemorative ceremony to honour the prisoners who built the Ljubelj/Loiblpass tunnel during World War II. She said the site was a reminder that the key to our survival was tolerance and respect. "This place of historic memory...should be a reminder to us all that the only law to ensure our survival is mutual tolerance and not prosecution," Sirca told the surviving internees and their relatives who gathered below the Slovenian-Austrian border pass to also mark the 64th anniversary of liberation of a branch of the Mauthausen concentration camp there.

Euro-Mediterranean University (EMUNI) marked its first anniversary with a Euro-Mediterranean Student Research Multi-conference (Research Souk), where experts from 17 co-founding research institutions spoke about Mediterranean identities.

President Danilo Tuerk conferred two Golden Orders for Services, honouring one of Slovenia's most acclaimed poets Tone Pavcek, and painter and cultural worker Karel Pecko.

Defence & NATO
Minister Jelusic: Slovenian Soldiers Promote Country Abroad
Ljubljana - Soldiers serving in missions abroad, especially in Lebanon, are "representatives of our foreign policy", Defence Minister Ljubica Jelusic said on Wednesday upon the return of the Slovenian contingent from the UNIFIL mission to Lebanon. Slovenia is proud of them, as by doing a good job th... More »
Slovenia not to Cut Number of Troops in Kosovo
Brussels - Defence Minister Ljubica Jelusic told a meeting of NATO defence ministers in Brussels on Friday that the Slovenian army would maintain its current presence in Kosovo as part of the NATO-led KFOR mission at least until March 2010. "At this moment we have 380 soldiers in Kosovo and our inte... More »
Minister Jelusic: Slovenia Aims to Expand Activity in Afghanistan
Brussels - Slovenia would in the future like to head an Operational Mentor and Liaison Team (OMLT) in Afghanistan, Defence Minister Ljubica Jelusic said after a meeting of NATO defence ministers in Brussels on Friday. In that case, the country would also need to provide for the security of the team,... More »
EU Topics
Minister Zbogar: New Rehn Proposal Includes Some Slovenian Amendments
Luxembourg - Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar said in Luxembourg on Monday that European Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn had taken into account some of the amendments put forward by Slovenia in his new proposal for the resolution of the Slovenian-Croatian border dispute. Speaking to the press af... More »
Economy & Finance
Slovenia Officially in Recession
Ljubljana - Slovenia's economy shrank at an annual rate of 8.5% in the first quarter of this year, due to slumps in exports and investments, the Statistics Office said on Tuesday. This is the biggest contraction ever and it qualifies Slovenia as a country in recession with two consecutive quarters o... More »
Brussels Approves Slovenian Loan Guarantee Scheme
Brussels - The final obstacle for the implementation of Slovenia's EUR 1.2bn loan guarantee scheme has been removed as the European Commission on Friday approved the scheme aimed to relieve the credit crunch. The commission failed to approve the original loan guarantee scheme, which was passed by th... More »
GZS: Slovenia's GDP to Drop 2.5% in 2009
Ljubljana - The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) estimates that Slovenia's GDP will drop by 2.5% in 2009, but it might increase by 1.6% next year. The investments are expected to slump by over 8% and Slovenia's trade will also face a significant dive, according to analysts of the GZS. The drop... More »
Environment
Ljubljana Bear Supposedly Shot Dead
Ljubljana - The carcass of what is believed to be the wild bear that was spotted in Ljubljana's central park in mid-April was found near the Slovenian-Austrian border on Thursday. An investigation is under way, officials said. The carcass was found in a stream by the road near Solcava in northern Sl... More »
Education | Science & Technology
EMUNI Celebrates First Anniversary
Portoroz - The Portoroz-based Euro-Mediterranean University (EMUNI) is marking its first anniversary on Tuesday with a Euro-Mediterranean Student Research Multi-conference (Research Souk), where experts from 17 co-founding research institutions will speak about Mediterranean identities. At the openi... More »
Culture & Media
Children's Book "Riddles 100 + 1" Wins Two Levstik Awards
Ljubljana - This year's Levstik Awards for children's literature, conferred by publisher Mladinska knjiga for 60 years, went to Andrej Rozman Roza and illustrator Svjetlan Junakovic for the book "Uganke 100 + 1" (Riddles 100 + 1). Polonca Kovac and illustrator Matjaz Schmidt received awards for life... More »
Poet Tone Pavcek and Painter Karel Pecko receive Golden Orders for Services
Ljubljana - President Danilo Tuerk conferred two Golden Orders for Services on Wednesday, honouring one of Slovenia's most acclaimed poets Tone Pavcek, and painter and cultural worker Karel Pecko. "In the month when we are celebrating Slovenia's National Day, it is right to acknowledge important con... More »
Season of Summer Festivals Begins
Ljubljana - The season of summer festivals is just starting with a wide range of open-air concerts. The traditional Rock Otocec will rock the Dolenjsko region next weekend, followed by a jazz festival in the capital, and several festivals in Tolmin, a town at the confluence of the Soca and Tolminka ... More »
Health
Rehabilitation Centre Welcomes Disabled Children from Gaza
Ljubljana - Slovenia welcomed on Thursday in one of its rehabilitation centres a group of 21 disabled children from Gaza, mainly the victims of the Israeli offensive in December. All of the children, aged between four and fifteen, have either severely injured limbs or are tied to wheelchairs. On an ... More »
Transport
Slovenia Gets EUR 34M from EU for Motorway Construction
Luxembourg - Slovenia received on Thursday EUR 33.9m in EU funds for the construction of the motorway section Beltinci-Lendava, Transport Minister Patrick Vlacic said in Luxembourg. The project was confirmed before the European Commission initiated a procedure against Slovenia over its tolling syste... More »
Energy
Minister Lahovnik: Slovenia Wins Most Support for ACER Seat
Brussels/Luxembourg - Slovenia got the most support at Friday's vote of EU energy ministers on the seat of the new EU Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER), Economy Minister Matej Lahovnik said after the meeting. However, the backing was not sufficient for the ministers to reach a f... More »
Sport
Slovenian Third Best Boulder Climber in the World
Eindhoven - Slovenian Natalija Gros became third best boulder climber in the world Saturday evening in Eindhoven, Netherlands. She finished the last world cup event as second. Slovenian Klemen Becan finished the season as tenth. "It was great. Everything went the way it should." 24-year-old Gros was... More »
Events
World's Biggest Ice Cream Eaten in Ljubljana
Ljubljana - Slovenia's largest dairy Ljubljanske mlekarne is looking for an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records by making the world's biggest ice cream. The 35-metre desert, which marked 35 years of the ice cream brand Planica, was a very welcome refreshment to hundreds of people on Ljubljan... More »
Minister Sirca Honours Victims of Slovenia's Only Concentration Camp
Ljubelj - Culture Minister Majda Sirca addressed in Ljubelj a commemorative ceremony to honour the prisoners who built the Ljubelj/Loiblpass tunnel during World War II. She said the site was a reminder that the key to our survival was tolerance and respect. "This place of historic memory...should be... More »
Schedule of events in the week for 15-21 June
MONDAY, 15 June
  • LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar will meet European Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn and Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Jandrokovic at the side of the EU's General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC).
  • LJUBLJANA - The Nat... More »
Slovenia News 23 June 2009
Editorial

Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar rejected on Monday claims that Slovenia was losing credibility in its dispute with Croatia, stressing that Slovenia had been striving all along that the procedure be conducted in a way that would lead to a solution. Slovenian parliamentary parties agreed at Tuesday's meeting with Prime Minister Borut Pahor that talks on the border with Croatia should continue with the mediation of the EU and be brought to a successful conclusion. According to Pahor, Slovenia will propose to the European Commission that the process be continued. The talks came to a halt as Croatia pulled out after the latest arbitration framework proposal by Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn.

 

Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar expressed in his address to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (CoE) in Strasbourg on Monday his regret that the vote on the next CoE secretary general was taken off the session's agenda. He also presented the work and objectives of the CoE under Slovenia's baton.

 

Commenting on Friday's decision at the EU summit in Brussels on boosting of fiscal control, Development Minister Mitja Gaspari labelled as important steps the establishment of a new EU council for systemic risks at the macro level and an European system of financial supervisors at the micro level.

 

A storm with hail and strong winds swept across northeastern Slovenia on Tuesday afternoon, uprooting trees and damaging buildings and cars. The storm moved from Austria to the Slovenian region of Pomurje and also hit Slovenia's second biggest city of Maribor. Agriculture Minister Milan Pogacnik visited on Friday the northeastern region of Pomurje, and promised help from the state. It has been estimated that 40,000 hectares of agricultural land has been damaged.

 

Domestic Policy
Kresal Addresses Asylum Seekers on World Refugee Day
Ljubljana - Interior Minister Katarina Kresal visited on Friday the asylum centre in Ljubljana on the occasion of the World Refugee Day, observed on 20 June. The minister said that this year's slogan - "True People, True Needs" was more than appropriate. Kresal told asylum seekers in the centre t... More »
Foreign Affairs
Zbogar Says Time to Reflect in Dispute with Croatia
Ljubljana - Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar said for TV Slovenija on Friday that in the face of Croatia's refusal to continue negotiating in the border and EU accession dispute with Slovenia, the time has come "to catch breath, to reflect". He suggested Slovenia ... More »
Zbogar: Slovenia Not Losing Credibility over Croatia
Ljubljana- Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar rejected for STA on Monday claims that Slovenia was losing credibility in its dispute with Croatia, stressing that Slovenia had been striving all along that the procedure be conducted in a way that would lead to a solution. Responding to the statement by ... More »
Slovenia In Favour of Continuing Border Talks with EU Mediation
Ljubljana - Slovenian parliamentary parties agreed at Tuesday's meeting with Prime Minister Borut Pahor that talks on the border with Croatia should continue with the mediation of the EU and be brought to a successful conclusion. Pahor told the press after the meeting, which featured all party pr... More »
International Organisations
ICTY President Also Examines Possible Cooperation with Slovenia
Ljubljana - President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Patrick Robinson discussed the activities of the court and the possibility of Hague convicts serving their sentences in Slovenia as he met with Slovenian officials during a short stop in the country on Tuesday.... More »
Slovenian Elected Vice-President of UN Human Rights Council
Geneva - Slovenia's permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Andrej Logar, has been elected one of four vice-presidents of the UN Human Rights Council, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday. The Human Rights Council elected its officers for the coming 12 months on Friday, after the... More »
Zbogar Regrets No Vote on CoE Secretary General
Strasbourg - Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar expressed in his address to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (CoE) in Strasbourg on Monday his regret that the vote on the next CoE secretary general was taken off the session's agenda. He also presented the work and objectives of the Co... More »
Parliament Ratifies CoE Protocol 14-Bis
Ljubljana - The National Assembly unanimously ratified on Tuesday Protocol 14-Bis to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which aims at boosting the effectiveness of the European Court of Human Rights. The protocol was adopted in Madrid on 12 May by the Comm... More »
Defence & NATO
Official: Takeover of New APCs a New Era in Slovenian Army
Sostanj - A new era of the development of the Slovenian army starts today, Defence Ministry State Secretary Uros Krek said on Thursday as the ministry started taking over eight-wheeled armoured personnel carriers from Finnish Patria. In these APCs Slovenian troops will be safer in future military... More »
EU Topics
Govt Endorses Barroso Top Job Bid
Ljubljana - The government endorsed on Wednesday the candidacy of Jose Manuel Barroso for another term as president of the European Commission ahead of a EU summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday. Prime Minister Borut Pahor explained the decision by saying that Barroso did his job well and tha... More »
PM: Slovenian Support of Barosso not Connected to Specific Issue
Brussels - Prime Minister Borut Pahor said in Brussels on Friday that Slovenia's support for the second term of Jose Manuel Barroso as the European Commission President "has no connection with any special issue between Slovenia and the European Commission". EU leaders expressed unanimous support to ... More »
Economy & Finance
Slovenia Remains 32nd in World Competitiveness Ranking
Ljubljana - Slovenia remained 32nd in the rankings of the 2009 World Competitiveness Yearbook, according to annual report of the Swiss International Institute for Management Development (IMD). Slovenia kept its position owing to strong economic results and reforms in recent years, while some indi... More »
Orders in Industry to Increase in Q2
Ljubljana - Economy Minister Matej Lahovnik forecast on Wednesday that the second quarter of 2009 will be much better than the first in terms of orders in industry. He however believes that it is too early to project economic trends until the end of the year as much depends on whether the indicators... More »
Gaspari Welcomes EU's Boosting of Fiscal Control
Brussels - Commenting on Friday's decision at the EU summit in Brussels on boosting of fiscal control, Development Minister Mitja Gaspari labelled as important steps the establishment of a new EU council for systemic risks at the macro level and an European system of financial supervisors at the mic... More »
Business
Slovenia, Serbia Look to Open New Chapter in Economic Ties
Ljubljana - Slovenian and Serbian economy ministers, Matej Lahovnik and Mladjan Dinkic, paved the way to a new chapter in economic ties between the countries as the latter paid a working visit to Slovenia on Wednesday. Their talks received a boost by news that the largest tour operator in Sloveni... More »
Hidria Boosts Production of Steering Wheel Assemblies

Koper - Industrial conglomerate Hidria opened in Koper on Monday another facility for the production of steering wheel assemblies for several car brands, including Audi and BMW.

Parts of steering wheel systems produced in the new facil... More »

Slovenian, Macedonian Companies Hoping to Boost Cooperation
Ljubljana - Participants of a Slovenian-Macedonian business conference organised by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) in Ljubljana on Monday agreed that Macedonia was an important and promising market for Slovenian companies. The event was also attended by Macedonian Deputy Prime Minister Z... More »
Agriculture
Agriculture Minister Promises Help to Hail-Hit Areas
Murska Sobota - Agriculture Minister Milan Pogacnik visited on Friday the northeastern region of Pomurje, which has been severely hit by severe storms with hail and gale-force winds, and promised help from the state. It has been estimated that 40,000 hectares of agricultural land has been damaged. ... More »
Environment
Italy Pledges to Consider Slovenia's Views on Trieste Terminals
Ljubljana - Representatives of the Italian Environment Ministry and of the embassy visited the Slovenian Environment Ministry on Tuesday, assuring their colleagues that Italy would take into account Slovenia's remarks in its final decision regarding the gas terminals that it wants to build in the Gu... More »
Govt to Set up Climate Change Agency
Ljubljana - The government decided on Wednesday to set up an agency for climate change in light of the effects that climate change has on everyday life. Environment Minister Karel Erjavec said the agency will not burden the state budget and will employ 15 people from related ministries. According... More »
Storm with Hail Hits Northeastern Slovenia
Ljubljana - A storm with hail and strong winds swept across northeastern Slovenia on Tuesday afternoon, uprooting trees and damaging buildings and cars. The storm moved from Austria to the Slovenian region of Pomurje and also hit Slovenia's second biggest city of Maribor. While the hail indented ... More »
Education | Science & Technology
Almost Half of Slovenian Teachers Under Great Stress
Ljubljana - A survey carried out by the Trade Union of Education and Science (SVIZ) has shown that 45.2% of school teachers and 32.3% of kindergarten teachers in Slovenia work under a lot of stress. One out of ten teachers also experiences burnout. As much as 62.3% of school teachers find inappro... More »
Social Affairs
Govt Extends Subsidies for Full Working Time
Ljubljana - The government endorsed on Wednesday amendments to the act on full working time subsidies for companies cutting the working week, which shifts the deadline for applications from 30 September to 31 March 2010 and extends the period for which companies can get subsidies. The amendments wil... More »
Government Adopts Bill on Bonuses for the Poorest
Ljubljana - The government adopted at Wednesday's session a bill on bonuses for the poorest, envisaging the state paying out a total of EUR 15m in bonuses to 118,000 persons. The bonuses are expected to be distributed in August or September. Labour Minister Ivan Svetlik told the press that the bi... More »
Slovenia Signs Convention on Access to Official Documents
Oslo - Justice Minister Ales Zalar signed the Council of Europe Convention on Access to Official Documents on the sidelines of a CoE justice ministerial in Tromso, Norway on Thursday. This is the first international instrument granting the right to access to documents kept by public institutions. ... More »
Minorities
Panel Agrees Minority Policies Need Change
Brdo pri Kranju - Participants of a round-table debate on the situation of minorities in Slovenia and Slovenians abroad agreed in Brdo pri Kranju on Tuesday that the minority policy had to be changed because the situation in modern society had also changed considerably. State Scretary at the Gove... More »
Culture & Media
Orient-Express Arriving in Slovenia
Ljubljana - The Orient-Express, an international project of the European Theatre Convention, is to arrive in Ljubljana on Friday, according to Jozko Cuk of the SNG Nova Gorica national theatre. The train that started its journey in Istanbul in May and is headed toward Stuttgart is stopping in towns ... More »
Govt Declares Plecnik's Works in Ljubljana National Heritage
Ljubljana - Culture Minister Majda Sirca presented on Thursday a decree designating architect Joze Plecnik's works in the capital as national heritage monuments, saying that Plecnik's works built through several decades are the greatest asset that a country can have. The state has taken good care... More »
Health
Govt Confirms Health Insurance Institute Supplementary Budget
Ljubljana - The government gave a nod on Wednesday to the supplementary budget of the Health Insurance Institute (ZZZS) for 2009, confirmed by the ZZZS assembly on 12 May. The planned deficit of EUR 125m will be almost EUR 40m higher than initially projected and will be covered from the health purse... More »
Economic and Social Council Wants Stricter Health Care Bill
Ljubljana - The Economic and Social Council, an industrial relations forum, met on Friday to discuss the government-sponsored health care services bill, which focuses on stricter division of public and private health care services. All sides agreed that a regulation of the field is necessary, howeve... More »
Health Institute: First Swine Flu Case Confirmed
Ljubljana - The National Institute of Public Health confirmed the first case of the H1N1 swine flu virus in Slovenia on Friday. The illness was confirmed in a young woman who had returned from New York two days ago, health officials told the press. Alenka Kraigher of the institute said the wom... More »
Slovenia to Invest EUR 32m in Energy Efficiency of Hospitals
Ljubljana - The Health Ministry presented on Monday a EUR 32m project aimed at increasing energy efficiency of Slovenian hospitals. As part of the project, 10 Slovenian hospitals will renovate their facades, doors, windows and infrastructure by 2011. The money for the project that should decrease... More »
Transport
Govt Sets Vignettes Prices, Insists on EUR 15 for Weekly Sticker
Ljubljana - The government set the prices of motorway toll stickers at a correspondence session on Friday, confirming that the weekly sticker will cost EUR 15 and thereby defying the EUR 10 threshold set by European Transport Commissioner Antonio Tajani. The price of the annual sticker has been s... More »
Giant Container Ship Launches New Route with Koper
Koper - The biggest container ship to ever sail into Koper launched a new route with Slovenia's lone maritime port on Tuesday that will present a major logistical challenge but also an important business project for the port. As of this week, Balzac of the French shipping company CMA CGM will shi... More »
Local & Regional Topics
Council Believes Six to Eight Provinces Best for Slovenia
Ljubljana - Strategic Council for Decentralisation and Regionalisation agreed on Tuesday that the best option for Slovenia would be to establish eight to six provinces, Local Government Minister Zlata Plostajner told the press after the council meeting. The council dismissed the alternative of estab... More »
Sport
Slovenians Win Historic Wimbledon Tickets
London - Luka Gregorc became the first ever Slovenian men's tennis player to qualify for the main tournament at Wimbledon on Thursday. He was followed only hours later by his compatriot Grega Zemlja. Gregorc, who is ranked 200th in the world, beat Australia's Joseph Sirianni 6:4, 6:4 and 7:5 in T... More »
Cycling: Fuglsang Wins Tour of Slovenia
Novo mesto - Jakob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank) of Denmark won the 16th Tour of Slovenia. The 4th, 153-kilometre stage between Sentjernej and Novo mesto on Sunday went to Slovenia's Marko Kump (Adria Mobil), who was followed by Italy's Luca Paolini (Acqua Sapone). The 24-year old Dane has not taken ... More »
World No. 1 to Headline Portoroz Tourney
Portoroz - The world's top women's tennis player, Dinara Safina, will be the main draw at Slovenia's top tennis tournament, the Slovenia Open, taking place from 20 to 26 July in the coastal resort of Portoroz. Organisers of the WTA tournament confirmed on Wednesday that the 23-year-old Russian wo... More »
Tourism
Maribor to Get New Tourist Complex
Maribor - Construction company MTB and window and door maker MIK are planing to construct a large tourist complex at the foot of the Pohorje hills near Maribor. The construction of the EUR 100m project, which will include accommodation, sports and bathing facilities, should start next year and be fi... More »
Public Opinion
Politbarometer Poll
Ljubljana - Slovenia's biggest two parties, the ruling Social Democrats (SD) and the opposition Democratic Party (SDS), are neck-and-neck in the latest Politbarometer poll. The survey presented on Friday also put the coalition Liberal Democrats (LDS) ahead of Zares. The poll conducted by the Publ... More »
Poll: Majority of Slovenians Live Same as Before Crisis
Ljubljana - More than a half of the people polled in a survey published by Monday's Delo said their lifestyle had not changed because of the financial and economic crisis. As much as 56.1% of the respondents live the same as they did before the crisis. Meanwhile, 39.6% of the people polled said t... More »
Events
Schedule of events in the week for 22-28 June
MONDAY, 22 June
  • STRASBOURG, France - Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar will address the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (CoE).
  • LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - Agriculture Minister Milan Pogacnik will take part in a two-day meeting of EU Agriculture and Fisheries Counc... More »
Slovenia News 30 June 2009
Editorial

President Danilo Tuerk addressed on Wednesday the main ceremony held on the anniversary of Slovenia's independence, saying that as Slovenia is coming of age in the mids of a world crisis, it is starting to discover its shortcomings. A serious but determined tone also marked other addresses held by officials on the eve of National Day. Honouring the bravery of Slovenian men and women in uniform who secured Slovenian independence 18 years ago and remembering some of the country's key achievements since, Tuerk said that "we rejected the illusions of quick solutions offered from abroad" and avoided unnecessary experiments.

 

Prime Minister Borut Pahor elaborated on the government's plans for structural reform in an interview for Saturday's newspaper Delo, announcing sweeping changes. He argued Slovenia had neglected structural adaptations in the last ten years, missing the opportunity to be better prepared for the crisis. Pahor meanwhile continues to fully trust his cabinet. The prime minister said that certain questions would be raised and proposals put forward at a development conference scheduled for July. He wishes that social parters take the necessary time to establish what kind of compromise they would find acceptable. The government wants to restructure public expenditure, ease the tax burden on the economy and reform the public sector.

 

The Interior Ministry presented on Monday second-generation biometric passports, which will include two fingerprints. Dusan Vucko, who is responsible for administrative affairs at the ministry, said he expected the replacement of the old passports to run smoothly. The new passports are necessary because of the amendments to the travel documents act, which took affect today, Vucko said. The amendments transpose the EU directive which states that EU members must introduce biometric passports by 28 June 2009.

 

 

Domestic Policy
Ministry Presents New Biometric Passports
Ljubljana - The Interior Ministry presented on Monday second-generation biometric passports, which will include two fingerprints. Dusan Vucko, who is responsible for administrative affairs at the ministry, said he expected the replacement of the old passports to run smoothly. The new passports ar... More »
PM Borut Pahor Announces Sweeping Structural Changes
Ljubljana - Prime Minister Borut Pahor elaborated on the government's plans for structural reform in an interview for Saturday's newspaper Delo, announcing sweeping changes. He argued Slovenia had neglected structural adaptations in the last ten years, missing the opportunity to be better prepared f... More »
Foreign Affairs
FM Discuses Bilateral Cooperation with Libyan Counterpart
Tripoli - Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar finished a two-day official visit to Libya on Wednesday, where the talks with his counterpart Mousa Kousa focused on bilateral cooperation, relations between the EU and Libya and topical issues. The pair also touched on the possibility of collaboration bet... More »
Zbogar Discusses Economic Ties with Emirati Counterpart
Ljubljana - Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar and his counterpart from the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Abdallah bin Zayid al-Nuhayyanse, agreed at a meeting in Ljubljana on Friday that there are still numerous opportunities for the countries to boost cooperation, in particular in the economy. Zboga... More »
International Organisations
Pahor: CoE Needs to Remain Committed to Common Goals
Strasbourg - It is important that the Council of Europe (CoE) remains united and committed to common goals in these hard times, Prime Minister Borut Pahor said in Strasbourg on Thursday, as he addressed CoE's Parliamentary Assembly (PACE). Commitment to common goals needs to be specially clear wh... More »
Defence & NATO
Minister Says Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina Not Stable Yet
Istanbul - Defence Minister Ljubica Jelusic, who is taking part in a two-day conference on global security in Istanbul, Turkey, presented on Friday Slovenia's experience in the NATO-led KFOR mission in Kosovo and pointed out that the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo was not stable yet. ... More »
Economy & Finance
Government to Earmark EUR 55M for R&D Projects
Ljubljana - The economy and labour ministries have earmarked a total of EUR 55m this year for the co-funding of R&D projects, outplacement and self-employment. Individual projects applying for the scheme, which will enter into force at the beginning of July, will receive the maximum of EUR 500,000. ... More »
Govt Discusses Programming Budget
Ljubljana - The government confirmed on Wednesday that Slovenia would get a programming budget for the years 2010 and 2011. Finance Minister Franc Krizanic told the press that the budget would be comprised of twelve policies. The budget is to be drawn up by the Finance Ministry and coordinated by... More »
Business
Kolektor Acquires Another German Company
Ljubljana - Kolektor, an Idrija-based maker of electrical components, has acquired Germany's ECS, a leading European producer of plastic magnets. This is the fourth German company acquired by Kolektor in recent years. The head of the Kolektor group, Stojan Petric, told the press on Tuesday that t... More »
Slovenian, Jordanian PMs Attend Business Forum
Ljubljana - A Jordanian-Slovenian business forum agreed in Ljubljana on Wednesday that business cooperation between the two countries was good, it could however be even better. The forum was also attended by the prime ministers of Slovenia and Jordan, Borut Pahor and Nader al-Dahabi. Prime Minist... More »
Environment
Slovenia Happy with Agreement on Industrial Emissions Directive
Brussels/Luxembourg - EU environment ministers have reached an agreement on the proposal for the directive on industrial emissions, introducing a transitional period for large combustion plants, Slovenia's Karl Erjavec told STA on Thursday. "We are happy with the agreement," Erjavec said. In the ... More »
Culture & Media
Jubilee Jazz Festival Ljubljana Kicks Off
Ljubljana - The 50th annual Ljubljana Jazz Festival began on Monday with a performance by Dutch musicians, drummer Han Bennink and pianist Guus Janssen. Drawing from the New York - Chicago - Ljubljana jazz triangle, the jubilee event is set to offer top-notch jazz throughout the week, ending with a ... More »
Lent Festival Kicks Off in Maribor
Maribor - Cuban group Cubanismo opened on Friday the 17th annual Lent Festival bringing around 3,500 artists from around the world to Maribor until 11 July. One of the biggest festivals in Europe will feature a multicultural programme of classical, jazz, world and popular music concerts, singer-s... More »
"Cefurji Raus" Declared Best Novel of the Year
Ljubljana - Newspaper publisher Delo conferred late on Tuesday the EUR 5,000 Kresnik Prize for the best novel of the year to Goran Vojnovic for his notorious novel about immigrants from former Yugoslav republics "Cefurji Raus", for which he had already received the Preseren Fund Prize. The young ... More »
Health
Fourth Case of New Flu in Slovenia Confirmed
Ljubljana - The National Institute of Public Health confirmed on Saturday the fourth case of the H1N1 new flu virus in Slovenia. The latest case involves a woman who returned to Slovenia from France with the same bus as the man who was diagnosed positive on Wednesday. The institute believes th... More »
Transport
Govt Proposes Vehicle Tax Be Tied to Gas Emissions
Ljubljana - The government adopted on Wednesday changes to the motor vehicles tax act which abandon the taxation by engine displacement and introduce taxes tied to the level of carbon dioxide emissions. The new tax rates are to be introduced gradually by 1 January 2011. Tax for motor vehicles was... More »
Sport
Ponomarenko Wins Bronze at Euro Flatwater Kayak Championships
Berlin - Slovenian flatwater kayaker Spela Ponomarenko won the bronze medal at the European Flatwater Kayak/Canoe Championships in Germany's Brandenburg on Friday, finishing third in the women's 200-metre event. This is her best result at European championships so far. Ponomarenko finished 0.8 se... More »
Tourism
Slovenia to Become More Active in UNWTO
Ljubljana - Slovenia has made considerable progress in the field of tourism in past years and it is high time that it becomes more active in the international community, Darja Radic, state secretary at the Economy Ministry, told the regional representative of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) E... More »
Events
Record Numbers Attend Gay Pride Parade
Ljubljana - Around 500 people took to the streets of Ljubljana on Saturday to make a stand against violence and discrimination against gays and lesbians. Protected by enhanced security, the 9th Slovenian gay pride parade has so far passed without incidents. Equal rights for same-sex couples conti... More »
Slovenia Celebrates 18th Birthday
Ljubljana - President Danilo Tuerk addressed on Wednesday the main ceremony held on the anniversary of Slovenia's independence, saying that as Slovenia is coming of age in the mids of a world crisis, it is starting to discover its shortcomings. A serious but determined tone also marked other address... More »
Schedule of events in the week of 29 June-5 July
MONDAY, 29 June
  • LJUBLJANA - The Council for Slovenians Abroad will meet at the request of Prime Minister Borut Pahor to debate topical issues. Minister for Slovenians Abroad Bostjan Zeks will meet representatives of the Slovenian minority in Hungary after the meeting.
  • LJUBL... More »
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