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Slovenia News 6 December 2011
Editorial
Positive Slovenia, the party of Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Jankovic, emerged as the surprise winner of Sunday's early general election in Slovenia, confounding the expectations of the country's shift to the right. Positive Slovenia won 28.53% of the vote or 28 seats in the 90-strong legislature, show the results after some 90% of the ballots were counted. The turnout was high at 64.83%.
Domestic Policy
Positive Slovenia Surprise Winner of Election
Ljubljana, 4 December (STA) - Positive Slovenia, the party of Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Jankovic, emerged as the surprise winner of Sunday's early general election in Slovenia, confounding the expectations of the country's shift to the right. Positive Slovenia won 28.53% of the vote or 28 seats in the ... More »
Foreign Affairs
Tsunami-Hit Japanese City Gets Slovenian-Made House
Ljubljana/Tokyo - A ceremony was held on Sunday in the Japanese city of Higashimatsushima in the Miyagi Prefecture, which was hit by a devastating earthquake and tsunami in March, to mark the hand-over of a Slovenian-made house to the fisherman community Murohama. The donation was a result of cooper... More »
President Wraps Up Netherlands Trip with Visit to ICJ
The Hague - President Danilo Tuerk concluded his two-day trip to the Netherlands by visiting the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague on Tuesday. He addressed the members of the court and discussed development of international law and its role in international relations with ICJ Preside... More »
International Organisations
ITF Presents New Mine Scanning System in Cambodia
Phnom Penh - The International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance (ITF) presented a new system of scanning of mine-infested areas from helicopters in Phnom Pehn on Tuesday on the sidelines of a conference of signatories of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention known as the Ott... More »
Defence & NATO
Defence Minister Calls for Support for Reserve Forces in Bosnia
Brussels - Slovenia called for a reflection Wednesday on the use of the EU battle groups for the needs of reserve forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Sufficient reserves are am must, as the violence in Kosovo raises fears that something similar could happen in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Defence Minister Ljubica ... More »
EU Topics
Pahor: Countries to Choose Between Fiscal Union and Euro
Ljubljana - PM Borut Pahor on Friday warned that the eurozone was sliding into an unprecedented debt crisis and that soon euro countries "will be choosing between consenting to a single fiscal policy and quitting the eurozone". Pahor's comments at an election debate hosted by AmCham Sloven... More »
Foreign Ministry Welcomes European Parliament Vote on Croatia
Brussels/Ljubljana - The Foreign Ministry welcomed on Thursday the green light given by the European Parliament to Croatia signing the EU accession treaty next week. According to the ministry, outgoing PM Borut Pahor will sign the treaty on behalf of Slovenia on 9 December. Parliament backed... More »
Zbogar: Serbia Could Earn Candidate Status in Kosovo Talks
Brussels - Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar told reporters in Brussels on Wednesday that a breakthrough in today's talks between Prishtina and Belgrade could earn Serbia the status of a candidate for EU membership in December. He said Montenegro's progress also depended on Serbia. The eighth roun... More »
Zbogar Confirms Running for EU Ambassador to Kosovo
Brussels - Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar confirmed in Brussels on Wednesday that he was running for the seat of the EU ambassador to Kosovo. He believes that he could greatly contribute to the bloc's activities in the country with his experience from diplomacy and politics. "I can confirm that... More »
Economy & Finance
Gaspari Urges Fast Action by New Govt
Brussels - Outgoing EU Affairs and Development Minister Mitja Gaspari urged immediate action by the new Slovenian government in Brussels on Monday, saying that the time for reflection on how to cut public expenditure has expired. He moreover described the upcoming EU summit as historic. Gaspari said... More »
SKB Bank Entitled Bank of the Year in Slovenia by The Banker
Ljubljana - SKB bank is Slovenia's Bank of the Year according to British magazine The Banker. The title has been awarded to the French-owned SKB, a member of the Societe-Generale Group, for its good business results in a period marked by very demanding and unstable financial conditions, the bank sai... More »
Education | Science & Technology
Faculty of Social Sciences Marks 50th Anniversary
Ljubljana - The Ljubljana Faculty of Social Sciences (FDV), where many Slovenian politicians, journalists and diplomats are recruited from, marked its 50th anniversary on Thursday with the keynote speaker, President Danilo Tuerk calling for intellectual broadmindednes. The FDV's mission is a demandi... More »
IEDC School of Management Honoured by President
Ljubljana - The IEDC Bled School of Management was honoured by President Danilo Tuerk on Thursday for its pioneering work in business education in Slovenia and the wider region of Central and Eat Europe. The school, which has recently marked its 25th anniversary, received the Golden Order of Se... More »
Minorities
Emigrants' Association marks 60th Anniversary
Ljubljana - The emigrants' association Slovenska izseljenska matica (SIM) marked on Saturday its 60th anniversary with a ceremony in Ljubljana. SIM president Sergij Pelhan highlighted in his address the development of the association that was initiated by Slovenian living in the US and France. In th... More »
Culture & Media
Animated Film to Take Over Kinodvor and Slovenian Cinematheque
Ljubljana - More than 500 animated films will be screened as part of the eighth Animateka film festival, running between 5 and 11 December in Ljubljana's Kinodvor art cinema and the Slovenian Cinematheque. This year's festival will focus on Spanish animation and a retrospective dedicated to the conn... More »
Maribor Culture Capital Project Presented in Brussels
Brussels - Slovenia presented Maribor's stint as the European Capital of Culture in 2012 at a meeting of EU culture ministers in Brussels on Tuesday, inviting everyone to visit Slovenia's second biggest city next year. The main opening ceremony is scheduled for 14 January. The programme features 412... More »
European Mannerist Prints on Display at National Museum
Ljubljana - An exhibition of 240 European Mannerist prints, mostly copper engravings, opened at the National Museum at Metelkova in Ljubljana on Tuesday evening. The exhibits, which are a part of the museum's Print Room collection, will be on display until 12 February 2012. The collection on Manneri... More »
Energy
Large Amount of Gas Found Near Lendava
London/Lendava - British Ascent Resources, an oil and gas exploration and production company, recently announced that there are considerable natural gas reservoirs in NE Slovenia around the village of Petisovci, near Lendava. Initial 3D models show two gas reservoirs that are estimated to hold some ... More »
Events
Ljubljana Aglow with Christmas Lights
Ljubljana - Ljubljana mayor Zoran Jankovic switched on the Christmas lights on the streets of Ljubljana at an open-air event that marked the start of the holiday season in the capital. Like every year, December in Ljubljana will feature the traditional Christmas market on the banks of Ljubljanica ri... More »
Schedule of events in the week from 5 to 11 December:
TUESDAY, 6 December
  • LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar will hold a New Year's reception for members of the diplomatic corps in Slovenia.
  • LJUBLJANA - The Transport Ministry will hold a press conference to speak about the state of Slovenian ski lifts ahead of ... More »
Slovenia News 13 December 2011
Editorial
Slovenia welcomed the signing of the Accession Treaty with Croatia on Friday which will pave the way for Croatia to become an EU member in mid-2013. It is in Slovenia's interest that Croatia join the EU as soon as possible, the Foreign Ministry said in a press release.   Slovenian economists mostly welcomed on Friday the fiscal union ideas agreed on at the EU summit, with Igor Masten for instance stressing that Slovenia had been invited to come along and should not miss the opportunity. The majority of parties which were voted into parliament on Sunday expressed support on Friday for a European fiscal pact that would lead to more fiscal discipline.   The Ljubljana Opera House reopened on Saturday with a ceremony featuring all ensembles and the best soloists of the resident SNG Opera and Ballet theatre. The ensembles of the Ljubljana SNG Opera in Balet theatre have returned to the renovated opera house after six years of practising and performing at eight different locations around the Slovenian capital.    
Domestic Policy
Election Result Confirmed
Ljubljana, 6 December (STA) - The National Electoral Commission published on Tuesday the unofficial results of the Sunday election with all votes from Slovenia counted, including those that arrived by mail. The allocation of seats in parliament remains unchanged, but the results remain unofficial un... More »
Foreign Affairs
Slovenia Welcomes Croatia's Imminent EU Accession
Brussels - Slovenia welcomed the signing of the Accession Treaty with Croatia on Friday which will pave the way for Croatia to become an EU member in mid-2013. It is in Slovenia's interest that Croatia join the EU as soon as possible, the Foreign Ministry said in a press release. Slovenia and Cro... More »
International Organisations
Amnesty International Marks Human Rights Day
Ljubljana - The Slovenian branch of human rights NGO Amnesty International (AI) marked Human Rights Day on Saturday by staging a marathon of writing appeals for those who had their human rights violated. Freedoms of thought, speech and assembly were put into the spotlight this year. The worldwide... More »
EU Topics
Economists OK with EU Deal, Unions Reserved
Ljubljana - Slovenian economists mostly welcomed on Friday the fiscal union ideas agreed on at the EU summit, with Igor Masten for instance stressing that Slovenia had been invited to come along and should not miss the opportunity. Trade unionists on the other hand were not convinced, arguing the de... More »
Parties Welcome Summit Agreement, Will Meet Pahor Next Week
Ljubljana - The majority of parties which were voted into parliament on Sunday expressed support on Friday for a European fiscal pact that would lead to more fiscal discipline. They will also respond to outgoing PM Borut Pahor's invitation for a meeting on the pact. Pahor stressed in Brussels aft... More »
Environment
Ljubljana Opens First Public CNG Filling Station
Ljubljana - Slovenia's first public compressed natural gas (CNG) filling station opened in Ljubljana on Thursday, with head of the Ljubljana city transport company LPP Peter Horvat saying that this was not only a great day for Ljubljana, but also for Slovenia. The opening in Ljubljna could serve ... More »
Slovenia Content with Durban Climate Conference Results
Ljubljana/Durban - The results of the UN climate change conference in Durban, South Africa are good, commented Andrej Kranjc of the Slovenian delegation at the conference that ended early Sunday morning. However, a lot still needs to be done, he added. Speaking to the STA upon returning from Durb... More »
Culture & Media
Ljubljana Archdiocese Celebrates 550th Anniversary
Ljubljana - A book and an exhibition dedicated to the history of the Ljubljana Archdiocese were launched as the archdiocese celebrated its 550th anniversary on Tuesday. Apart from works by 21 authors the book contains important documents, among them the golden bull with which Holy Roman Emperor F... More »
Ljubljana to Host Exhibition of World's Best Press Photos
Ljubljana - The Cankarjev dom arts centre will host an exhibition of some of the best photographs published in the world's media in 2010. The World Press Photo 2011 exhibition will open on Thursday and run until 2 January. The exhibition that is considered the most prestigious in the world of pre... More »
Ljubljana Opera House Reopens after Six-Year Renovation
Ljubljana - The Ljubljana Opera House will open its doors on Saturday after a lengthy and costly restoration that was initially supposed to be concluded before spring 2009 and ended up costing EUR 43m instead of the initially planned EUR 27.8m. The ensembles of the Ljubljana SNG Opera in Balet th... More »
"The Last Bus" Wins Grand Prize at Animateka
Ljubljana - An animated film about forest animals taking a bus ride, by Slovakian directors Martin Snopek and Ivana Laucikova, has won the grand prize of the international jury at the eighth Animateka animated film festival, which is drawing to a close in Ljubljana on Sunday. The judges, Max Ande... More »
Opera House Shines in New Glory
Ljubljana - The Ljubljana opera and ballet house reopened on Saturday with a ceremony featuring all ensembles and the best soloists of the resident SNG Opera and Ballet theatre. It was inaugurated by President Danilo Tuerk, Culture Minister Bostjan Zeks and SNG Opera and Ballet director Mitja Bervar... More »
Jezek Award for Lifetime Achievement Goes to Radio Comedian
Ljubljana - Acclaimed Slovenian satirist Tone Fornezzi - Tof won the Jezek Award for lifetime achievement, while actress Barbara Cerar won accolade for her roles in two TV comedies as the public broadcaster RTV Slovenija presented its awards to comedians on Monday. Fornezzi was given the award be... More »
Transport
Slovenia, Carinthia Sign Letter of Intent for 2nd Tube at Karavanke
Brdo pri Kranju - Slovenia and the Austrian Province of Carinthia signed on Friday a letter of intent to build a second tube through the 20-years old Karavanke tunnel, a vital line between the two countries. Slovenian Transport Minister Patrick Vlacic and Carinthian Governor Gerhard Doerfler, who... More »
Society
Foreign Ministry Urges Upholding of Human Rights
Ljubljana - The Foreign Ministry urged all countries on Human Rights Day on Saturday to uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and protect the activities of the human rights defenders. The United Nations highlighted this year the significance of social media and technology in assisting ... More »
Tourism
Slovenian Winter Resorts Introducing Single Ski Pass
Ljubljana - Slovenian winter resorts, which will soon open for visitors if the weather is favourable, are introducing a single ski pass for all ski resorts in Slovenia. Ski lift operators said at a press conference on Tuesday that the ski fares had not been increased from last year. According to ... More »
Events
Schedule of Events in the week for 12-18 December
MONDAY, 12 December
  • LJUBLJANA - The trial against Janez Jansa and four other defendants on charges of bribery and complicity to bribery in relation to the Patria defence deal will resume.
  • KOPER - The Foreign Ministry will organise a meeting with foreign economic adv... More »
Slovenia News 20 December 2011
Editorial
An exhibition presenting the work of the world-renowned Slovenian industrial designer Niko Kralj opened at the Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO) in Ljubljana, focusing on his work and the role he played in the history of Slovenian design. "Niko Kralj: The Unknown Famous Designer" will showcase Kralj's archives, sketches, photographs, prototypes and final products, including the famous Rex armchair, Lupina series, 4455 and modular system furniture Futura, Savinja, Javor and Konstrukta. The exhibition will run until 4 March 2012.   Slovenian writer Brina Svit, who lives in Paris, has won the European prize for literature founded by Madeleine Zepter for her latest novel "Une nuit a Reykjavik" (A Night in Reykjavik). The award was presented to Brina Svit by Madeleine Zepter at Fouquet's last week, in the presence of the jury and Slovenian Ambassador Veronika Stabej.
Domestic Policy
Official Election Results Published
Ljubljana - The National Electoral Commission published on Friday the final official results of the 4 December general election with no changes to the numbers of deputies representing particular parties in parliament. Upon receiving the report, President Danilo Tuerk called the maiden session of the... More »
Parliament to Hold Inaugural Session on 21 December
Ljubljana - The National Assembly elected in the 4 December general election will meet for the inaugural session on Wednesday, 21 December, at 10 am, President Danilo Tuerk announced on Friday after receiving a report from the National Electoral Commission. The president hailed the "very goo... More »
EU Topics
Anti-Drug Trafficking Declaration Signed in Ljubljana
Ljubljana - Representatives of European countries active in the Pompidou Group signed in Ljubljana on Tuesday a declaration on cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking in Southeast Europe, which is a part of the so-called Balkan drug trade route. Pompidou Group chair Etienne Apaire ... More »
Slovenia Against Rural Development Fund Cuts
Brussels - Slovenia underlined at the EU agriculture ministerial in Brussels on Friday that further cuts in rural development funding were unacceptable, according to Tanja Strnisa, Agriculture Ministry state secretary, who represented Slovenia. The country welcomed a 2014-2020 fisheries plan by the ... More »
Agriculture
Ptujski Lük Red Onion Gets EU Geographical Protection Status
Brussels - The European Commission labelled yet another Slovenian product with protected geographical status. Ptujski lük, a sort of red onion grown in the area of Ptuj (NE) for over a century, has become the tenth Slovenian product to get special origin protection in the EU. Ptujski luek receiv... More »
Environment
Slovenia Not Happy with Durban Deal on Carbon Sinks
Brussels - The agreement on the effects of carbon sinks on emission reduction, which was reached at the Durban Climate Conference, is not favourable for Slovenia, Environment Minister Roko Zarnic said in Brussels on Monday, adding that Slovenia would strive for solution more favourable to densely-fo... More »
Education | Science & Technology
Broadband Internet Access in Slovenia Near EU Average
Ljubljana - Slovenia is very close to EU average in terms of broadband internet access, as 67% of households have broadband internet access, only one percentage point below the average in 27 EU members, according to a survey conducted by EU statistics office Eurostat. The survey compared the 2011... More »
Minorities
Rezija to Stay under Minority Protection Act
Trst/Trieste - Rezija will remain on the list of Italian municipalities where the 2001 minority protection act must be observed, a board of minority and majority population representatives under the act decided at its meeting at the headquarters of the regional government on Thursday. The bo... More »
Culture & Media
Exhibition "Niko Kralj: The Unknown Famous Designer" opens
Ljubljana - An exhibition presenting the work of the world-renowned Slovenian industrial designer Niko Kralj will open at the Ljubljana-based Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO), focusing on his work and the role he played in the history of Slovenian design. "Niko Kralj: The Unknown Famo... More »
Writer Brina Svit Wins Madeleine Zepter Prize
Paris - The Paris-based Slovenian writer Brina Svit has won the European prize for literature founded by Madeleine Zepter for her latest novel "Une nuit a Reykjavik" (A Night in Reykjavik). Presented for the 9th year running, Le prix litteraire Europeen Madeleine Zepter, along with the ... More »
Sever Awards Conferred on Best Actors of Season 2011
Skofja Loka - Matjaz Tribuson of the SNG Drama Ljubljana theatre and Romana Salehar of the Slovensko mladinsko theatre won the Sever Awards for this year's acting achievements in professional theatre companies, while Mario Dragojevic of Sentjakobsko won the accolade for non-professional actors. T... More »
Events
Slovenia Won Key Recognitions of Its Sovereignty 20 Years Ago
Ljubljana - Germany, Sweden and Iceland were the first west European countries to recognise Slovenia's independence 20 years ago, on 19 December 1991, triggering a process that eventually led to the country's membership of the UN. Germany's and Sweden's recognition took effect on 15 January 1992, wh... More »
Schedule of events in from 20 to 25 December

TUESDAY, 20 December

  • LJUBLJANA - Two trade union associations will stage a protest against the sale of grocer Mercator to Croatian food and retail chain Agrokor.
  • BRDO PRI KRANJU - President Danilo Tuerk will hold separate receptions for representativ... More »
Exhibition to Mark 20th Anniversary of Constitution
Ljubljana - An exhibition on the Slovenian Constitution opened at the National Assembly on Tuesday to mark the 20th anniversary of the adoption of Slovenia's fundamental document, with Parliamentary Speaker Ljubo Germic praising the feat as the one that ensured Slovenia's political and legal stabili... More »
Slovenia News 27 December 2011
Editorial
Slovenia celebrated on Friday the 20th anniversary of the Constitution and 21 years since its independence referendum, which was staged exactly a year before the Constitution was adopted. The celebration culminated in the main national ceremony in Ljubljana which was addressed by Constitutional Court President Ernest Petric.   The EU's high representative for foreign and security policy Catherine Ashton confirmed in Brussels on Wednesday that outgoing Slovenian Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar will become the EU ambassador to Kosovo.   Gregor Virant of the namesake centrist list won 52 votes to be elected speaker of the National Assembly at Wednesday's inaugural session of the National Assembly to overcome a stalemate that saw two failed votes earlier in the day.            
Press release
GreenLight WorldFlight to fly around the world again
New story
In the first days of 2012, Matevž Lenarčič will embark on another lonely round-the-world flight, this time flying from East to West. He will fly an ultralight aircraft - weighing only 290 kg - manufactured by Pipistrel, a globally renowned manufact... More »
Domestic Policy
Tuerk Addresses Maiden Session of Parliament
Ljubljana - President Danilo Tuerk addressed the maiden session of the new National Assembly on Wednesday, stressing that the new deputies should put Slovenia's interests before their own or their party's, as real change was needed in the country. "It is an opportunity and it is a necessity. We... More »
Virant Elected Speaker
Ljubljana - Gregor Virant of the namesake centrist list won 52 votes to be elected speaker of the National Assembly at Wednesday's inaugural session of the National Assembly to overcome a stalemate that saw two failed votes earlier in the day. Virant was put forward and endorsed by his list together... More »
EU Topics
Slovenia to Provide EUR 910m to IMF as Part of Assistance System
<inssc></inssc> Brussels - Slovenia is to pay in EUR 910m to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as part of a eurozone assistance system totalling EUR 150bn, according to a press release issued by the EU financial ministers late on Monday. Slovenia's contribution will amount to 0... More »
Ashton Confirms Zbogar for EU Ambassador to Kosovo
Brussels - The EU's high representative for foreign and security policy Catherine Ashton confirmed in Brussels on Wednesday that outgoing Slovenian Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar will become the EU ambassador to Kosovo. The appointment will be confirmed once all formalities are carried out. Zbo... More »
Economy & Finance
Austerity Bill Passed in Unanimous Vote
Ljubljana - The National Assembly unanimously passed a fiscal austerity bill on Friday to keep social benefits, pensions and public sector pay frozen at 2010 levels in the first half of 2012, securing EUR 65m in immediate savings. The bill is the result of a concerted effort by the outgoing governme... More »
Justice
Law Experts Debate Constitution at Its 20th Anniversary
Ljubljana - A conference was held on Wednesday to mark the 20th anniversary of the Slovenian Constitution with former constitutional judge Franc Grad stressing that the Constitution had a number of flaws and inconsistencies which were reflected in the legislation. One of its authors France Bucar, me... More »
Education | Science & Technology
Most Slovenians Have Secondary Education, OECD Survey Shows
Ljubljana - Results of the latest report by Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on education show that the young in Slovenia are "extremely well educated", Slavica Cernosa of the Education Ministry said on Tuesday. According to the 2011 report "Education at a ... More »
Culture & Media
Writer Zarko Petan Wins Serbian Satire Award
Belgrade - The Serbian Writers' Association has conferred the "Excellency of Satire" award on acclaimed Slovenian writer Zarko Petan, because he "is not only a Slovenian but also a world-renowned writer, whose works have been translated to more than 40 languages", according to th... More »
Maribor Culture Capital Info Centre Opens
Maribor - Maribor 2012, the institute in charge of the European Culture Capital (EPK) project, launched in Maribor as well as Ljubljana on Thursday information centres at which visitors will be able to get familiar with the EPK programme and buy tickets. The Maribor centre is located at the city's ... More »
Architectural Competition for NUK II Launched
Ljubljana - The Higher Education, Science and Technology Ministry has published a new international architectural competition for the long-awaited new National and University Library (NUK II) after outdated 20-year old plans for the new building to supplement the existing library had been scrapped i... More »
Society
Volunteer Chosen Val 202 Name of Year
Ljubljana - Volunteer Aleksander Doplihar, the head of an outpatient clinic for people without health insurance, was proclaimed the "Name of the Year" by public radio Val 202 at a ceremony in Ljubljana's Kino Siska on Wednesday. Doplihar has been working as a volunteer for more than 60 yea... More »
Sport
Skier Maze, Kayaker Kauzer Chosen Athletes of the Year
Ljubljana - Skier Tina Maze and kayaker Peter Kauzer were named Slovenian Athletes of the Year for 2011 at a ceremony in Ljubljana on Wednesday evening. The award for the best team went to the ski jumping team. Maze, a double Olympic silver medallist and World Champion, won 368 points in voting by 1... More »
Events
Slovenia Celebrates 20th Anniversary of the Constitution
Ljubljana - Slovenia is celebrating on Friday the 20th anniversary of the Constitution and 21 years since its independence referendum, which was staged exactly a year before the Constitution was adopted. The celebration culminated in the main national ceremony in Ljubljana which was addressed by Con... More »
Schedule of events in the week from 26 December to 1 January
MONDAY, 26 December
  • LJUBLJANA - Independence and Unity Day, a national holiday.
  • PEC, Kosovo - Defence Minister Ljubica Jelusic and Chief of the General Staff, Maj-Gen Alojz Steiner will visit the Slovenian troops serving in Kosovo.
TUESDAY, 27 Dec... More »
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