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Slovenia News 4 May 2010
The Fabula 2010 short story festival, one of the main events of Ljubljana's World Book Capital, began on Monday evening with German Nobel Laureate novelist Herta Mueller appearing at the Ljubljana Drama theatre. This year's festival, the biggest so far, will feature around 150 events.   This year's Europe Week will be dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration, which laid the foundations of the European integration. Several events will be organised across Slovenia between 3 and 15 May, culminating in Friday's open-air concert by the RTV Slovenija symphony orchestra.   The National Assembly set the date for a referendum on the Slovenia-Croatia arbitration agreement. The referendum, which will be held on 6 June, was supported by 86 deputies.
Domestic Policy
Government Proposes Changes to Tax Laws
Ljubljana - The government endorsed on Thursday changes to three tax laws in a bid to prevent the effects of the financial and economic crisis and boost economic development and growth. The changes bring tax breaks for research and development and for employment of persons at a disadvantage in the l... More »
Foreign Affairs
Referendum on Arbitration Agreement on 6 June
Ljubljana – As expected, at today’s session, the National Assembly set the date for a referendum on the Slovenia-Croatia arbitration agreement. The referendum, which will be held on 6 June, was supported by 86 deputies. In the debate before the ballot, the Prime Minister, Borut Pahor, stresse... More »
EU Topics
MEP Stresses Importance of Euro-Mediterranean University
Brussels - Ivo Vajgl (ALDE/Zares) highlighted on Wednesday the importance of the Slovenian coast-based Euro-Mediterranean University (EMUNI) during a debate at the European Parliament on the Union for the Mediterranean. At Vajgl's initiative, the Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee reaffirmed ... More »
Europe Week marking the 60th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration
Ljubljana - Every year, within Europe Week, several different events take place dedicated to 9 May - Europe Day. On that day in 1950, the then French Minister of Foreign affairs, Robert Schuman, presented a declaration that laid the foundations for European integration. This year, we are celebrating... More »
Social Affairs
Labour Day Highlights Disagreement between Government and Trade Unions
Ljubljana/Kranj/Maribor - The growing rift between unions and government came into sharp focus as Slovenia celebrated Labour Day at traditional festivities Friday and Saturday, with unionists calling people to the streets and the government making its case for reform. In a speech near Kranj on Satur... More »
Culture & Media
Nobel Laureate Herta Müller opens Festival Fabula 2010
Ljubljana - The Fabula 2010 short story festival, one of the main events of Ljubljana's World Book Capital, began on Monday evening with German Nobel Laureate novelist Herta Mueller appearing at the Ljubljana Drama theatre. This year's festival, the biggest so far, will feature around 150 events. ... More »
Crisis Slows Immigration to Slovenia
Ljubljana - Immigration to Slovenia slowed down in 2009 and many foreigners working in the country left due to the economic crisis, the Statistics Office said on Friday. The effects of the crisis started showing in the second quarter of 2009, while in the first three months, a record number of 10,00... More »
Slovenia Rise to 23rd in FIFA Rankings
Zurich - Slovenia have jumped six places to 23rd in FIFA's latest world rankings, hitting their highest ever point in the standings. Brazil have regained top spot from Spain, with Portugal in third. The new high for Slovenia comes just over a month before the start of the World Cup in South Afric... More »
Schedule of events in the week between 3 and 9 May:
  • LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly will meet for an emergency session to call a legislative referendum on the ratification of the border arbitration deal with Croatia. MPs will also vote on the nominee for Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Dejan Zidan and tak... More »
PM Borut Pahor Hails Role of First National Government
Ajdovscina - PM Borut Pahor underscored the importance of Slovenia's first national government, which was formed by WWII resistance leader Boris Kidric at the end of the war, for the country's subsequent independence efforts, as he addressed a ceremony marking the 65th anniversary of this government... More »
Slovenia News 11 May 2010
The government on Thursday backed the eurozone and International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout package for Greece as part of which Slovenia is to secure up to EUR 387m in loans over next three years. Slovenia is making its participation conditional on Greece's consistency in meeting austerity and reform measures, while it is also urging institutional reform of the euro area.   Libyan and Slovenian prime ministers, al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmudi and Borut Pahor, agreed on Thursday that Libya and Slovenia would open up embassies in Ljubljana and Tripoli respectively. Pahor said after the meeting in Ljubljana that this would strengthen political and economic cooperation between the two countries. Slovenian and Libyan business representatives also met in Ljubljana on Thursday, highlighting construction, health care and tourism as the areas with the biggest potential for future cooperation.   Friday marked the official start of the campaign ahead of the 6 June referendum on the agreement with which Slovenia and Croatia are taking their 19-year old territorial dispute to binding international arbitration. Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar has convened the first meeting of a consultative group which will draft a memorandum that Slovenia will table to the arbitral tribunal. Zbogar has invited 20 acclaimed political figures, legal experts and representatives of civil society who have been active in the debate on the border issue.   Slovenia marked the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Ljubljana from the occupying forces in WWII with a nation-wide ceremony and the 54th traditional hike around Ljubljana on Saturday. Slovenia also marked the 60th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration with the celebration of Europe Day on 9 May.  
Domestic Policy
FM Convinced Border Treaty Referendum Will Succeed
Ljubljana - Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar is convinced that the 6 June referendum on the Slovenia-Croatia border arbitration treaty will succeed. "I think we will manage to convince people that the treaty is good, so good it pays off to go to the polls and cast a yes vote," he told Friday's edition... More »
Campaigning Starts Ahead of Referendum
Ljubljana - Friday marks the official start of the campaign ahead of the 6 June referendum on the agreement with which Slovenia and Croatia are taking their 19-year old territorial dispute to binding international arbitration. Parties and other groups will have time to persuade voters to back or ... More »
Dejan Zidan Appointed New Agriculture Minister
Ljubljana - Dejan Zidan, the 42-year-old chairman of food company Panvita, was appointed the new minister of agriculture, forestry and food in a unanimous 50:0 vote in parliament on Wednesday. Zidan had been promised broad support in the debate preceding the vote, with the opposition People's Par... More »
Foreign Affairs
Advisory Group Starts Collecting Pro-Slovenian Arbitration Arguments
Ljubljana - Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar has convened for Friday the first meeting of a consultative group which will draft a memorandum that Slovenia will table to the arbitral tribunal that will determine the border with Croatia. Zbogar has invited 20 acclaimed political figures, legal expert... More »
PM, FM Promote Arbitration Deal as Referendum Campaign Starts
Ljubljana - Prime Minister Borut Pahor launched a campaign for the 6 June referendum on the Croatia-Slovenia border arbitration treaty on Friday by saying the document would bring a fair solution for the border issue. He noted that the treaty was a "reasonable and minimum risk for Slovenia". Pres... More »
Libya and Slovenia Hope to Boost Ties with Help of Embassies
Ljubljana - Libyan and Slovenian prime ministers, al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmudi and Borut Pahor, agreed on Thursday that Libya and Slovenia would open up embassies in Ljubljana and Tripoli respectively. Pahor said after the meeting in Ljubljana that this would strengthen political and economic coope... More »
FM: Adriatic-Ionian Council Proposes New Macroregion for EU
Ancona - Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar took part on Wednesday in a meeting of the Council of the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative in Italy's Ancona, where countries from the initiative adopted a declaration on an EU strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian macroregion. Zbogar told the STA over the phone that ... More »
International Organisations
Slovenia Invited to Join OECD
Paris - Slovenia on Monday received an invitation to join the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), along with Estonia and Israel. With the three new members OECD membership will expand to 34 countries. "Estonia, Israel and Slovenia, along with Chile that has just deposite... More »
Economy & Finance
Pahor Announces Supplementary Budget to Cut Deficit
Brussels - Slovenian Prime Minister Borut Pahor announced a supplementary budget by the end of the summer in a bid to cut public finance deficit after taking part in a summit of leaders from the eurozone in Brussels on Friday. "This will be a very deep cut, I would not like to speak about numbers... More »
PM: Coming Months Crucial for Slovenia's Future
Ljubljana - Slovenia is among the countries which have been dealing most successfully with the crisis and it has managed to avert the worst-case scenario of deep recession. But the coming months will be of key importance, Prime Minister Borut Pahor told the press after the cabinet session on Thursda... More »
Govt Backs Loan Package for Greece
Ljubljana- The government on Thursday backed the eurozone and International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout package for Greece as part of which Slovenia is to secure up to EUR 387m in loans over next three years. But the cabinet also set conditions. Slovenia is making its participation conditional on... More »
Brussels Projects 1.1% Growth for Slovenia
Brussels - Slovenia's economy is to expand by 1.1% this year and its general government deficit is projected to rise to 6.1% of GDP, the European Commission said in its spring economic forecast, released in Brussels on Wednesday. The projection means Slovenia will not meet the target of reducing ... More »
Lahovnik Says Greece Needs to Find Solution At Home
Ljubljana - Economy Minister Matej Lahovnik has told the STA in response to the massive loan promised to Greece by the EU that Greece should find solutions to its problems at home. He expects the country to do more to consolidate its public finances. The prospects of Greece paying back its loan al... More »
Slovenia Will Need Supplementary Budget, Emergency Law for Greece Aid
Ljubljana - Slovenia will have to adopt a supplementary budget and pass an emergency law in order to provide the EUR 384m to Greece as part of the eurozone's EUR 80bn bailout package for the debt-ridden country, Finance Minister France Krizanic said Tuesday. Slovenia will secure the money either ... More »
Slovenian and Libyan Businessmen See Ocean of Opportunities
Ljubljana - Slovenian and Libyan business representatives met in Ljubljana on Thursday, highlighting construction, health care and tourism as the areas with the biggest potential for future cooperation. The business conference, held at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) as part of a visit... More »
Merkur Takeover Earns Plaudits, Raises Anti-Trust Concerns
Ljubljana - Plans by Slovenia's no. 1 retailer Mercator to acquire the technical goods division of retailer Merkur have earned unanimous applause from pundits, but officials have warned that the deal still needed anti-trust clearance. In line with a letter of intent signed on Wednesday by Mercato... More »
Zidan Takes Over as Agriculture Minister
Ljubljana - Dejan Zidan formally assumed the post of agriculture minister on Friday, taking over from Local Government and Regional Policy Minister Henrik Gjerkes. The latter jumped in as caretaker minister after the resignation of Milan Pogacnik amidst corruption allegations in March. Zidan, who... More »
Culture & Media
Mountain Film Festival Kicks Off
Ljubljana - The 4th annual International Mountain Film Festival will kick off on Monday and will feature 46 competing documentary films, lectures and exhibitions in Ljubljana and Domzale until 14 May. The festival is organised by the Association for Mountain Culture, which joined the Internationa... More »
Slovenian Film Shortlisted for Student Oscar
Ljubljana - "Trieste is Ours", a student film with an ironic take on Slovenia's historical trauma of not obtaining the city of Trieste after WWII, has been shortlisted for the "2010 Honorary Foreign Film Award", also known as the student Oscar. The short film by director Ziga Virc, which has earn... More »
Trieste Province to Decorate Writer Pahor
Trieste - Boris Pahor, an acclaimed Slovenian author from Italy, will be decorated on Wednesday by Maria Teresa Bassa Poropat, the president of the Province of Trieste, for his literary testimonies of dramatic events in the 20th century. Pahor's personal experience of the Fascist and Nazi atrocit... More »
Slovenia Reiterates Commitment to Nuclear Non-Proliferation
New York - Slovenia reiterated its commitment to a nuclear-free world at a United Nations conference reviewing the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) on Wednesday. "The NPT is a bedrock of international peace, security and stability. It has to be strengthened," Slovenia's Ambassador to the UN ... More »
Boris Pahor First Slovenian European of the Year
Ljubljana - Slovenian minority author from Italy Boris Pahor was proclaimed on Friday the first Slovenian European of the Year. The title was conferred ahead of Europe Day, 9 May, by three Slovenian Europe-oriented NGOs. Pahor won the title for his literary work on the Slovenian-Italian history a... More »
Local & Regional Topics
Minister Presents Bill on Balanced Regional Development
Ljubljana - Local Government and Regional Development Minister Henrik Gjerkes presented on Friday after meeting OECD officials a bill on balanced regional development as an alternative to individual laws to help underdeveloped regions, such as Pomurje. The state will be able to help individual re... More »
Gymnastics: Medal Harvest for Slovenia at Salamun Memorial
Maribor - Slovenian gymnasts won three golds and one silver medal before the home crowd in Maribor on Saturday at the 43th Salamun memorial, a gymnastics World Cup meet. After a medal harvest on Saturday, day two of the 43rd Salamun memorial saw a single medal go into Slovenian hands as Aljaz Pe... More »
Schedule of events in the week between 10 and 16 May
MONDAY, 10 May
  • BRUSSELS, Belgium - President Danilo Tuerk will attend a two-day World Economic Forum on Europe.
  • LJUBLJANA - The National Council will discuss a proposal for a referendum on the act on the management of state enterprise assets, one of the prerequisites for Slovenia'... More »
President Praises Slovenia's Decision to Resist WWII Occupiers
Ljubljana - President Danilo Tuerk labelled the decision for armed resistance against the occupying forces in the Second World War was the biggest decision in the then history of the Slovenian people as he delivered the keynote at a ceremony marking the 65th anniversary of victory over Nazism and Fa... More »
Slovenia to Mark 60th Anniversary of Schuman Declaration
Ljubljana - Slovenia will mark the 60th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration with a ceremony on Sunday with Prime Minister Borut Pahor as the keynote speaker, to be followed by a traditional open-air concert. The ceremony in the square next to the Ljubljana cathedral will also be addressed by E... More »
World Music Festival to Focus on Radical and Folk Music
Ljubljana - The traditional Druga godba music festival will this year be dedicated to radical social and political music by performers from 13 countries and four continents. The festival, which will run between 19 and 25 May, will also feature folk music, workshops, documentaries and lectures. Th... More »
Slovenia News 18 May 2010
Addressing the ceremony marking TIGR's armed resistance against the Italian occupying forces in Ribnica, President Danilo Tuerk underlined the importance of the national liberation movement. Set up in 1927, TIGR was the first anti-Fascist group in Europe. President Tuerk said that the ceremony, at the site of a battle between the illegal organisation TIGR and the Italian invaders, was honouring one of the most heroic and tragic events in Slovenia's history.   International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victim Assistance (ITF) signed 2010 grant agreement with United States Department, which supported ITF activities in 2010 with a donation in the amount of 12,079,207 USD.   Life in the Ancient city where present-day Ljubljana lies will be explored in an exhibition which opened at the Ljubljana City Museum. "Emona: Myth and Reality" will present the reality of everyday life in the Roman Emona as well as the myth that the settlement was founded by Jason and the Argonauts. Bernarda Zupanek of the City Museum said that the museum wanted to draw parallels between the legend of the Argonauts and the everyday life in Emona in the Antiquity through artifacts uncovered by archaeologists.
Foreign Affairs
Slovenia Helps Form Declaration on Nuclear Non-Proliferation
New York/Ljubljana - Ten European countries, including Slovenia, have drawn up a declaration which calls for gradual abolishment of nuclear weapons. The document was drafted as part of the UN review conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in New York. The declaration puts special... More »
Balkans Coordinator Hopes Border Treaty Will Survive Referendum
Ljubljana - The Slovenian Foreign Ministry coordinator for the Western Balkans, Vojko Volk, told the STA on Wednesday he hoped Slovenians would not reject the border arbitration treaty with Croatia in the June 6 referendum. "However, every decision by the people is legitimate," added Volk, who is se... More »
International Organisations
ITF signed 2010 grant agreement with United States Department
Ljubljana - United States of America has again supported activities of the International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victim Assistance (ITF) with 12,079,207 US$ emarked for ITF activities in 2010. The 2010 US Department of State Federal Assistance Award agreement was signed on 11 May 2010 at Vi... More »
Defence & NATO
Slovenia Welcomes New NATO Strategy
Ljubljana, 18 May (STA) - The Slovenian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday welcomed the new strategic concept for NATO which an international group of experts led by former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright presented in Brussels on Monday. The ministry said that Slovenia had been actively involved i... More »
EU Topics
Minister Gaspari Believes Rules to Quit Euro Needed
Brussels - European Affairs and Development Minister Mitja Gaspari told the STA in the wake of the EU's EUR 750bn eurozone support plan that these short-term measures needed to be followed up by institutional changes in the euro system. These should include the setting down of clear rules for leavin... More »
Economy & Finance
Minister Krizanic Says EBRD to Enter Slovenia's Leading Bank and Insurer
Zagreb - Finance Minister Franc Krizanic, who took part in the annual assembly of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in Zagreb on Friday, said that the EBRD, which had been helping banks in SE Europe during crisis, would enter the NLB bank and insurer Zavarovalnica Triglav. ... More »
Net Profit of Slovenian Companies Drops by Two-Thirds in 2009
Ljubljana - Slovenian companies recorded the worst business results in the last five years in 2009, with the total net profit representing only a third of that in 2008, suggest data released by the Agency for Public Legal Records and Related Services (AJPES). Total revenues for last year stood at EU... More »
Austrian State Treaty Remains Issue of Debate 55 Years On
Ljubljana - It will be 55 years Saturday since the signing of the Austrian State Treaty, which re-established the country as a sovereign state. The treaty also brought commitments for Austria, including protection for the Slovenian minority. Slovenia insists this commitment has not been fully honour... More »
Culture & Media
Museums Open Doors to Celebrate International Museum Day
Ljubljana - Slovenian museums are marking the  International Museum Day today. Over 50 museums across the country will open their doors admission free under the banner "Museums for social harmony" to underline the need of safeguarding cultural diversity and bio-diversity as the common heritage ... More »
Exhibition "Emona: Myth and Reality" Opens
Ljubljana - Life in the Ancient city where present-day Ljubljana lies will be explored in an exhibition which open at the Ljubljana City Museum Monday evening. "Emona: Myth and Reality" will present the reality of everyday life in the Roman Emona as well as the myth that the settlement was founded b... More »
Slovenian Male Choir VAL Wins European Grand Prix for Choral Singing 2010
Varna, Bulgaria - The Vocal Academy of Ljubljana (VAL), a male choir from Slovenia, has won the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing 2010, the most prestigious award in choral singing. The choir led by Stojan Kure was selected out of six finalists in Bulgaria's Varna on Saturday evening in a ... More »
Maribor Rotary Club Collects 12,000 Books for Slovenians in US
Chicago/Cleveland - The Maribor Rotary Club has collected almost 12,000 books, mostly for the youth, to be given Slovenian cultural centre in Lemont near Chicago and the other half to the new Slovenian National Library in Cleveland this week. The project entitled the "Open Book", which ran from Nove... More »
Rally against Homophobia Held in Ljubljana
Ljubljana - Around 30 people gathered in the centre of Ljubljana on Monday to mark International Day Against Homophobia and rally against hate speech. The rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals are human rights just the same and need to be respected, said activist Eva Gracanin. The ral... More »
Survey Shows Positive Trends in Sustainable Development
Ljubljana - The Statistics Office has issued the first publication with a selection of indicators of sustainable development for Slovenia. The publication identifies key goals of sustainable development in terms of prosperity, balance and moderation and intergenerational cooperation, the author Mojc... More »
Matjaz Kek Unveils Preliminary Lineup for South Africa 2010
Ljubljana - The manager of the Slovenian national football team announced on Tuesday the first preliminary lineup for this year's World Cup in South Africa. The team includes all the key players from the qualifying stage as well as a few new names. Kek unveiled a 30-strong lineup, which is to be nar... More »
Government to Form Strategic Council for Tourism
Lipica - The government will set up a strategic council for tourism shortly, to be headed by Prime Minister Borut Pahor and Economy Minister Matej Lahovnik. It will also set goals for this industry, Pahor announced after Tuesday's session in Lipica. Pahor promised that short-, mid- and long-term goa... More »
Schedule of events in the week for 17-23 May:
MONDAY, 17 May        
  • LJUBLJANA - Parliament will begin its May plenary session, with PM Borut Pahor and his ministers answering MPs' questions.
  • PTUJ - PM Borut Pahor will attend a panel organised by his SocDems to outline reasons in supp... More »
President Hails Heroism of Slovenian WWII Patriots
Ribnica - Addressing a ceremony marking TIGR's armed resistance against the Italian occupying forces in Ribnica on Saturday, President Danilo Tuerk underlined the importance of the national liberation movement. Set up in 1927, TIGR was the first anti-Fascist group in Europe. Tuerk said that today's ... More »
Slovenia News 25 May 2010
PARLIAMENT HOUSE DAMAGED AS STUDENT PROTEST TURNS VIOLENT - Rousing speeches and signs of defiance turned to scenes of vandalism and unrest as thousands of students from all around Slovenia gathered to protest against the government's youth policies, foremost a bill curbing student work, in Ljubljana on 19 May. Several hundred of the rowdiest protesters used anything they could pick up to pelt parliament house despite pleas by the organisers for the crowds to disperse peacefully. As tensions were finally calmed three hours later, a picture of a parliament building with a damaged frontage and most of the windows on the front broken emerged. The damage was estimated at EUR 27,000. In the days after the protest, speculation mounted about who was behind the violence - the organisers have even spoken of the possibility of sabotage. There were also differing opinions on the work of the police. While Interior Minister Katarina Kresal maintained that the calm response from the police prevented even worse rioting, some politicians assessed that the police could have done more to push protesters away from parliament. The violence also sparked soul searching in Slovenia. PM Borut Pahor emerged from a meeting with President Danilo Tuerk and Parliament Speaker Pavel Gantar on 20 May defiant that the government would push ahead with key reforms. Without these, Slovenia will not escape the crisis, he said.   ARBITRATION REFERENDUM CAMPAIGN ESCALATING  - The second week of the campaign before the 6 June referendum on the border arbitration agreement with Croatia brought an escalation in the acrimony between the proponents and opponents of the accord. The government struck at the opposition Democrats (SDS) by publishing documents showing that the previous, SDS-led government, had used the ex aequo et bono principle, on which it is now insisting as a key element missing in the accord, only as a tactical device in the talks with Croatia. Another document released by the Foreign Ministry shows that an agreement proposed to the Croatian side by the SDS-led government lacked an explicit demand for contact with the high seas. President Danilo Tuerk also took issue with the SDS and its call to a return to bilateral talks, speaking out against the blackmailing of Croatia during its EU accession efforts. The SDS responded by saying it was in fact Croatia who was blocking Slovenia's access to the high seas. The opposition demanded on 20 May another parliament session dedicated to the accord with Croatia. MPs will debate on 25 May PM Borut Pahor's statement that his Croatian counterpart had promised to him territorial contact with the high seas.   GANTAR REMAINS PARLIAMENT SPEAKER - Parliament Speaker Pavel Gantar won a vote of confidence in parliament on 21 May, after the opposition Democrats (SDS) filed a motion to oust him for refusing to call a session on the funding of a new stadium in Ljubljana. The SDS accused Gantar that the refusals were aimed at protecting Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Jankovic. The motion to oust Gantar failed as the coalition rejected the SDS's accusations, claiming the party abused the debate to attack Jankovic ahead of local elections in the autumn.  
Domestic Policy
Govt Softens Pension Reform Proposal
Ljubljana - The government softened its pension reform proposal at talks hosted by Prime Minister Borut Pahor on Monday, offering to consider the retirement age as well as years of service and an extension of transitional periods. Men could retire at 60 with 43 years of service and women at 58 with... More »
Parliament Speaker Accused of Protecting Ljubljana Mayor
Ljubljana - Parliament started Friday a debate on a motion to dismiss Speaker Pavel Gantar, with the Democrats (SDS) saying that Gantar was trying to protect Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Jankovic by refusing to call a session on loans given by the state-owned NLB bank for the construction of a new Ljubljan... More »
Slovenia to Get Public Procurement Agency
Ljubljana - The government adopted a bill on Thursday to set up an agency for public procurement which would order goods and services for the entire state administration. The government hopes to cut down on the costs of purchases. The agency would also be responsible for public contracting topping ... More »
Coal Mining in Trbovlje Extended at Least Until End of 2010
Ljubljana - The National Assembly adopted on Thursday a bill that extends production at the Trbovlje-Hrastnik coal mine, which was expected to close at the end of 2009, until the end of 2010. However, if the EU approves changes in state aid distribution, the mine would remain open until the end of 2... More »
Foreign Affairs
FM Warns Against Tying Border Accord to Croatia's EU Accession
Ljubljana - Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar warned at a press conference in Ljubljana on Monday that ideas about forcing Croatia into a bilateral border agreement before it enters the EU were a "very serious and dangerous". He said that not only would Croatia not accept this, Slovenia would also not... More »
Italy Deems Talks on Gas Terminals Concluded
Trieste - Italian Environment Minister Stefania Prestigiacomo announced on Monday that Italy had met all conditions set by Slovenia regarding plans for a gas terminal at Aquilinia (Zavlje) and considered the talks on the issue concluded. The announcement, made by Prestigiacomo during a meeting with... More »
Zbogar Says Croatia's EU Membership Not Tied to Border Treaty
Ljubljana - Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar told Monday's supplement of daily Delo that Croatia would become an EU member regardless of the outcome of the 6 June referendum on the border arbitration agreement in Slovenia. However, in that case, Croatia would not be interested in solving the issues r... More »
PM: Possible No at Referendum Will Have No Political Effects
Ljubljana - Prime Minister Borut Pahor believes that the possible rejection of the arbitration agreement at the 6 June referendum will have no consequences for the Slovenian internal politics. There is no one stupid enough to run for prime minister promising to block Croatia's EU accession, he told ... More »
Slovenian, Croatian FMs Optimistic about Border Issue
Metlika - Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar and his Croatian counterpart Gordan Jandrokovic reviewed bilateral issues and the situation in the Western Balkans during Friday's talks in Metlika, which will continue in Croatia's Karlovac in the afternoon. The pair was confident that Slovenia and Croatia w... More »
Croatia to Catch Up with Slovenia in Payments to NEK Fund in 2011
Krsko - Croatian Economy Ministry State Secretary Natasa Vujec announced on Wednesday that Croatia would by March 2011 catch up with Slovenia in terms of financial contributions to a decommissioning fund for the Krsko Nuclear Power Plant (NEK), which is jointly owned by the two countries. Slovenia h... More »
Defence & NATO
Military Airbase Inaugurates New Air Traffic Control Tower
Cerklje ob Krki - A ceremony addressed by Commander of the Slovenian Army Force Command, Brigadier Alan Geder, inaugurated a new air traffic control tower at the Cerklje ob Krki military airport which is to become the main airbase of Slovenian Armed Forces. The EUR 10.8m tower was partly funded by N... More »
EU Topics
Slovenia Supports More Discipline in Eurozone
Brussels - Slovenia supports Germany's proposals for more discipline and responsibility in the eurozone to secure the stability of the single European currency and will put forward some of its own proposals, Development and EU Affairs Minister Mitja Gaspari said ahead of the maiden session of a euro... More »
Economy & Finance
PM Pahor: Drop in Competitiveness Rankings Was Expected
Ljubljana - Commenting on Slovenia's drop in the competitiveness rankings of the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), Prime Minister Borut Pahor said on Thursday the report did not come as a surprise to the government, which focused on social issues last year and will strive to ... More »
Tus Most Respected CEO, Krka Best Rated Company
Ljubljana - Retail magnate Mirko Tus is the most respected business executive, while drug maker Krka is the highest esteemed company in Slovenia, according to a survey published by daily Dnevnik on Monday. Krka chairman Joze Colaric ranks second on the list of chief executives, ahead of Tatjana Fin... More »
Business Sentiment Up for Third Month in a Row
Ljubljana - Business sentiment in Slovenia increased for the third consecutive month in May. The seasonally-adjusted indicator was up 3 percentage points over the month before and 17 points higher compared to the year before, the Statistics Office said on Monday. The confidence indicator in manufac... More »
Trade Union Says Situation Improving in Metal Industry
Celje - The SKEI trade union of the metal and electronics sectors said on Friday that the situation in the industry has improved in the last 12 months and that there are signs of further recovery. However, the situation is still far from being good, SKEI president Lidija Jerkic assessed. "When I sa... More »
Telekom Group Ends First Quarter with a Loss
Ljubljana - The group around telco Telekom Slovenije generated EUR 203.4m in revenues in the first quarter of 2010, up 3% year-on-year. It however posted a net loss of EUR 633,000, which compares to a EUR 12.9m net profit in the same period last year, Telekom said in a press release on Thursday. Pr... More »
Eco Fund to Grant EUR 18M for Energy Efficiency Projects
Ljubljana - The Eco Fund, a public fund promoting green solutions, published on Friday three public calls for subsidies for investments into energy efficiency of buildings and renewables. The fund is offering a total of EUR 18m, which is expected to suffice for 12,000 households, according to the he... More »
Ombudsman: Pollution is Violation of Human Rights
Brdo pri Kranju - A conference on the environment and human rights opened in Brdo pri Kranju on Wednesday with Human Rights Ombudsman Zdenka Cebasek Travnik stressing that everyone had the right to a healthy living environment. Pollution is a violation of the rights of individuals and families, she ... More »
Education | Science & Technology
Girls More Avid Internet Users than Boys
Ljubljana - Slovenian girls are challenging the notion that the internet is a male-dominated technology, according to a survey of internet use in Slovenia. Girls aged 10-14 use the internet 6 hours and 38 minutes per month on average, whereas boys of the same age use is for 5 hours and 44 minutes, ... More »
Angry Words, Stones Fly at Student Protest
Ljubljana - Rousing speeches and signs of defiance turned to scenes of vandalism and unrest as several thousand students from all around Slovenia gathered to protest against the government's youth policies in Ljubljana on Wednesday. Between 8,000 and 10,000 university and secondary school student... More »
Project to Strengthen Ties between Italian, Slovenian Minorities
Trieste - A three-year project called "Jezik-Lingua", which will be carried out by minority organisations on both sides of the Slovenian-Italian border and is designed to promote minority languages, was launched in Trieste on Monday. The EUR 3m project is expected to result in a multimedia centre i... More »
Culture & Media
First Bibliotrain Launched
Ljubljana - Rail operator Slovenske zeleznice, the Ljubljana City Library and the City of Ljubljana launched a bibliotrain at Ljubljana's main railway station on Wednesday, giving passengers travelling between the capital and Maribor a selection of 400 books to read during their ride. The project "... More »
Opening Druga Godba Festival
Ljubljana - Portuguese fado singer Mariza will give a concert on the open-air stage of Krizanke in Ljubljana on Wednesday in the opening night of Druga godba, a popular festival of world music. A special guest of the evening will be musician and singer Tito Paris from Cape Verde. Until 26 May, th... More »
Minister Emphasises Solidarity at Opening of WWII Hospital
Cerkno - Culture Minister Majda Sirca reopened on Saturday Bolnica Franja, the legendary clandestine WWII hospital museum which was heavily damaged by flash flooding in September 2007. She stressed in her address that the most important message of this hospital remains to be solidarity - even after ... More »
Report: Costs of Opera House Renovation Reaching EUR 43M
Ljubljana - Daily Dnevnik reports on Saturday that the costs of the now three-year long renovation of Ljubljana's opera are reaching EUR 43m. After the Culture Ministry already signed two annexes to construction contracts due to unexpected works and new expenses, Minister Majda Sirca might have to s... More »
Story of Dog's Life Wins Children's Book Prize
Ljubljana - The Slovenian Writers' Association has conferred the Desetnica Prize for best book for children and youth on Dim Zupan for a book describing everyday life from a dog's perspective. Zupan received the prize for "Hektor in male ljubezni: zgodba nekega Hektorja" (Hektor and the Small Joys:... More »
Monument to WWII Draftees to the German Army Unveiled
Maribor - A monument to Slovenians forcedly drafted to the German army and killed in WWII was unveiled in Maribor on Wednesday at the location of a former barracks where the first of tens of thousands of Slovenians were drafted in April 1942. German Ambassador Matthias Ludwig Bogislav von Kumm... More »
Festival Brings African Culture to Ljubljana
Ljubljana - A festival celebrating African culture, aimed at connecting Slovenians with Africans living in Slovenia, was opened by President Danilo Tuerk on Thursday. By 25 May, Africa Week will bring various cultural events and workshops to the capital. Max Zimani, head of the African Centre Assoc... More »
Simultaneous Heart-Kidney Transplant a Slovenian First
Ljubljana - Slovenia's main hospital, UKC Ljubljana, achieved another Slovenian first in early March by conducting a simultaneous transplantation of a heart and kidney in a patient. UKC director Simon Vrhunec hailed the procedure as a breakthrough, but warned that financial problems in health could ... More »
Prevention in Focus of EU Health Commissioner's Visit
Ljubljana - The importance of prevention and the need for countries to cooperate in health policies took centre stage as European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection John Dalli held talks with Slovenian Health Minister Dorjan Marusic on Thursday. Marusic highlighted Slovenia's achieveme... More »
Top Rower Forced to Choose between Norwegian, Slovenian Flag
Ljubljana - What was meant to be a friendly gesture has turned into a quagmire for Slovenia's best rower. Three-time Olympic medalist Iztok Cop wanted to row with his Norwegian friend, the world-class rower Olaf Tufte, at the 28-30 May World Cup meet in Bled, but his plan has stumbled at the questio... More »
Slovenia Opens Tourist Info Office in Tokyo
Tokyo - The Slovenian Tourist Board (STO) opened a tourist info-office in Tokyo on Monday, as Slovenia tries to increase its popularity on this increasingly important market, the STO said in a press release. Slovenian Ambassador to Japan, Miran Skender, said that without this office, Slovenia's pop... More »
Bohinj Park Hotel Receives Green Globe Certificate
Bohinj - Bohinj Park EKO Hotel in the Alpine resort of Bohinj is the first Slovenian hotel to receive the Green Globe Certification Award for sustainability. Founded in 1992 in California, the Green Globe Certificate is a prestigious label for the sustainable operation and management of travel and ... More »
Lipizzaner Stud Farm Celebrates 430th Birthday
Lipica - The renowned Lipizzaner stud farm in Lipica celebrated its 430th anniversary on Wednesday with an evening ceremony addressed by Prime Minister Borut Pahor, who stressed that the farm must be preserved and enriched. The Lipizzaner is one of the symbols of Slovenian confidence, sovereign... More »
Slovenia, Croatia to Jointly Promote Their Tourism in China
Zagreb - Slovenia and Croatia will jointly promote their tourism potentials in China and other third markets in order to rationalise costs and create a new tourism product, Slovenian and Croatian officials agreed in Zagreb on Friday. Croatian Tourism Minister Damir Bajs told the press after the mee... More »
PM Urges Courage, Ex-PM Calls for Unity
Ljubljana - Prime Minister Borut Pahor urged Slovenians to have courage to make bold decisions and the prime minister of 20 years ago, Lojze Peterle, made an appeal for unity in keynote speeches at a ceremony in Ljubljana marking the 20th anniversary of the first democratically elected Slovenian gov... More »
Schedule of Events for 24-30 May
Schedule of events in the week from 24 to 30 May: MONDAY, 24 May         LJUBLJANA - The 20th anniversary of inauguration of Slovenia's first democratically elected government will be marked at a ceremony. The first and the current prime ministers, Lo... More »
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