News roundup - Wednesday, 4 January

Ljubljana, 4 January - Below is a roundup of major events on Wednesday:

Slovenia's foreign trade of goods remains robust

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia exported EUR 4.8 billion worth of goods in November, a rise of 29.7% from the same month a year ago, as imports of goods rose by 21.1% to EUR 4.8 billion, fresh figures from the Statistics Office showed. The export-import ratio hit 99.9%, as the country generated a EUR 3 million deficit. Compared to November 2021, the value of exports to EU markets was up by 11.7% to EUR 2.8 billion and the value of imports by 12.7% to EUR 3 billion.

Delo: Slovenia takes out EUR 1.5bn in fresh borrowing

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia issued an EUR 1.25 billion ten-year sustainability bond plus expanded the outstanding 3.125% bonds due in August 2045 by an additional EUR 250 million, Delo reported, citing Bloomberg Adria. This is the second time that Slovenia issued sustainability bonds, which can be used exclusively to finance sustainability-oriented projects. The first such ten-year bond issue in late June 2021 was worth EUR 1 billion.

Slovenia not planing testing of travellers from China, will follow EU recommendations

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia will follow the example of the majority of EU member states in deciding whether to test travellers from China for coronavirus, Health Minister Danijel Bešič Loredan announced on Wednesday. Slovenia will not be taking any such measures on its own, he said, stressing the role of solidarity at the EU level.

Speaker defends use of govt jet for trip to Vienna

LJUBLJANA - Finding herself under media scrutiny, parliamentary Speaker Urška Klakočar Zupančič defended at a press conference her use of the government jet for a 1 January trip to Vienna. She said her attendance at the Vienna Philharmonic New Year's concert had been part of a state visit conducted upon the invitation of counterpart Wolfgang Sobotka. "The meeting was a great success. We have established relations that did not exist in previous terms," said Klakočar Zupančič, adding this was the only sensational thing to report about the visit executed completely within legislative norms.

Draw at Presidential Palace determines council term lengths for RTV Slovenija

LJUBLJANA - A public draw carried out by President Nataša Pirc Musar determined the individual term lengths for the 17 members of the RTV Slovenija council, the body introduced by legislative changes seeking to depoliticise the management and oversight of the public broadcaster. The RTV Slovenija staff will elect two members from among their own ranks for two-year terms and four more for four-year terms. Two more two-year-term members will be contributed by the National Council for Culture, one each by the Italian and Hungarian national minorities, the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the Council for Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection, and the umbrella organisation of associations of people with disabilities.

Rally of assistant teachers in kindergartens confirmed for 14 January

LJUBLJANA - The head of the SVIZ trade union Branimir Štrukelj confirmed plans for a protest rally of assistant teachers in kindergartens in Ljubljana on 14 January. Noting that their wages fail to reach even 80% of the average pay for public sector employees with the same level of education, Štrukelj said this would be a final warning before measures are stepped up.

Estonia, Finland to help Slovenia with health reform

LJUBLJANA - Estonia and Finland will help Slovenia in its effort to reform the public healthcare system, Health Minister Danijel Bešič Loredan announced after meeting representatives of the Estonian health insurance authority. The reform is planned to kick in in 2024. The focus of the talks was on health insurance and healthcare management as well as on the related legislative and systemic solutions.

Medical Chamber and Union of Patients sign cooperation agreement

LJUBLJANA - The Medical Chamber and the Union of Patient Associations signed a cooperation agreement to improve dialogue and implement the fundamental goals of healthcare for all patients. The chamber's head Bojana Beović said the deal meant they would meet, exchange views on various topics and possibly draft joint positions. Next Tuesday a protest for patients' rights will be staged followed by a one-day strike called by doctors the next day.

Mlekarna Planika reflects importance of locally produced milk

KOBARID - The Kobarid-based dairy Mlekarna Planika processes around seven million litres of milk per year. What makes it special is that it purchases and processes only milk produced locally, in the face of difficult Alpine conditions, said the company's director Miran Božič. Despite being fully aware that the decision to buy only locally produced milk would somewhat limit its choices, the dairy has embarked on this venture, and its production is tied to the amount of milk produced by farmers from the Posočje and Cerkljansko areas.

Lanišek climbs to 3rd in Four Hills Tournament standings

INNSBRUCK, Austria - Slovenia's ski jumper Anže Lanišek placed third in the third event of the Four Hills Tournament in Austria's Innsbruck to advance to third spot in the tournament's overall rankings. It was Pole Dawid Kubacki who won today's event with 265.2 points. Norwegian Halvor Egner Granerud scored 261.7 points to place second.

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