News roundup - Thursday, 5 January, until 3pm

Ljubljana, 5 January - Below is a roundup of major events on Thursday, 5 January, until 3pm local time:

Slovenian president, ambassador, archbishop at ex-pope funeral

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - President Nataša Pirc Musar, Ambassador to the Holy See Jakob Štunf and Archbishop of Ljubljana Stanislav Zore attended the funeral of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in Vatican City. Pirc Musar said Slovenia appreciated Benedict's commitment to promoting dignity for fellow human beings, solidarity and compassion for the poor and vulnerable, her office said in a release.

Slovenia again slightly short of renewables target, arranges transfer with Czechia

LJUBLJANA - In a repeat of the 2020 scenario, Slovenia met its EU-committed target for renewables to account for 25% of its gross final energy consumption in 2021, but this was again achieved only after a statistical transfer with Czechia, the Statistics Office said. The share achieved last year on the basis of national measures and efforts reached 24.64%, according to Eurostat.

Govt okays upgrade of coast power line

LJUBLJANA - The government green-lighted an upgrade of a 30-kilometre high-voltage overhead transmission line between Divača and Koper. The doubling of capacity of the 110kV power line is needed above all due to an expected increase in demand at the port of Koper. In some situations the grid no longer allows for reliable operations. This will become only more pronounced after ports across the EU are obligated to connect docked ships to electricity as of 2025.

Registered unemployment in December down 19% year on year

LJUBLJANA - A total of 53,181 people were registered as unemployed at the end of last December, which is up 1.2% compared to last November and down 19.4% compared to December 2021, the Employment Service said. The registered unemployment rate in October reached 5.4%, which is 0.1 percentage point more than in September and down 1.4 percentage points year on year.

Car sales down 14% last year, sales of e-vehicles rising

LJUBLJANA - A total of 46,339 cars were registered for the first time in Slovenia last year, which is 14.2% less than in 2020, while the sales of vans dropped by 26.3% to 7,139. Sales of electrified vehicles increased by almost 12% to 9,170, Chamber of Commerce data show. Volkswagen was the most popular marque in Slovenia with 7,354 vehicles sold, followed by Škoda (4,575) and Renault (4,031).

Shortages of antibiotics for children reported in some pharmacies

LJUBLJANA - Some pharmacies in Slovenia are faced with a shortage of antibiotics in liquid form for children these days, with media reports suggesting this is due to manufacturers' shortages of active substances or excipients. The authorities assert these are temporary disruptions and that appropriate substitute medications are available.

Community service for two who pleaded guilty in laughing gas scandal

NOVA GORICA - Two of six defendants pleaded guilty in a case from 2015 involving a faulty gas supply installation job that caused the deaths of at least two patients at the general hospital in Šempeter pri Gorici. Responsibility for the installation mix-up was acknowledged by one of three persons in charge of construction supervision and one of two contractors managing the construction of the emergency ward. The pair were handed a year and 10 months in prison each, however with the option of serving it with 1,330 hours of community service.

Film tells about grand piano caught in whirlwind of history

LJUBLJANA - A grand piano that had been gathering dust in a corner of one of the studios at Radio Slovenija until 2011 is the main protagonist in a film that premiered at Kinodvor on Wednesday. The film Broken Piano (Pošvedrani Klavir) was written and directed by Miha Vipotnik. Its story, still shrouded in mystery, also involves a famed Slovenian composer and a couple who were immortalised in an award-winning novel by Drago Jančar.

Pokljuka turning into Biathlon World Cup venue

POKLJUKA - The best biathletes in the world will assemble at Pokljuka in northwestern Slovenia to take part in men's and women's World Cup events. From Thursday through Sunday the organisers expect almost 270 competitors from 31 countries. This time around, Covid will not put a damper on the events as there will be spectators to cheer competitors on and many accompanying events.

Šeško ranked third most exciting teenager by FourFourTwo

LJUBLJANA/LONDON, UK - Slovenian men's national football team member Benjamin Šeško has been ranked third on a list of the 50 most exciting teenagers in world football by the British football magazine FourFourTwo. The 19-year-old from Radeče, who currently plays for Austria's Red Bull Salzburg, "has emerged as an old-school focal point" a player who "combines and offers robotic efficiency in front of goal."

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