News roundup - Friday, 27 January, until 3pm

Ljubljana, 27 January - Below is a roundup of major events on Friday, 27 January, until 3pm local time:

Constitutional Court annuls automatic extension of healthcare concession

LJUBLJANA - The Constitutional Court has annulled some provisions of the health services act that provide for the possibility of extending a concession for private doctors working within the public healthcare system almost automatically. Until amended legislation is in place, a new open call will be required to extend a 15-year concession. There are two different procedures for granting a new concession and for extending concession status, which is incompatible with the general principle of equality, court held.

STA director says new funding contract to allow normal functioning

LJUBLJANA - STA director general Igor Kadunc and acting Government Communication Office (UKOM) head Petra Bezjak Cirman signed a new contract on the financing of the public service provided by the press agency. The EUR 2.27 million contract raises annual funding by EUR 243.600. It also ends a financing system based on the number of articles published put in place by the previous government, instead reintroducing monthly payments set at EUR 189,300. Kadunc welcomed funding for 2023 being raised by roughly 10% compared to 2022, saying this would allow the STA to function normally.

Petrol expects record revenue in 2023, return to profit

LJUBLJANA - Energy group Petrol expects to generate a record EUR 10.2 billion in sales revenue this year and a net profit of EUR 117.1 million after posting a loss in 2022, according to a business plan confirmed by the supervisory board. "Although we are looking at a demanding year due to the difficult situation on energy markets, the Petrol Group's plan for 2023 is optimistic," CEO Nada Drobne Popović said.

Agricultural factor income up 19% in 2022

LJUBLJANA - Agricultural factor income in Slovenia increased by 19% in 2022 over the year before, the Statistics Office said. The value of agricultural production is estimated to have reached EUR 1.67 billion last year, lifted by a 20% increase in sale prices and despite a 1% drop in production. Compared to the under-average yield of 2021, the growth is attributed to an increase in prices in plant production and animal rearing, with production cost going up as well.

Celje hospital tightens security after assault by patient

CELJE - After a patient assaulted two staff members, reportedly an ER nurse and a doctor, the Celje hospital has tightened security. Dragan Kovačić, the hospital's acting director, said that the patient, who was rowdy and impatient, injured the arm of one staff member, who then suffered a heart attack, and broke the nose of the other by head-butting them. Hospital management condemned the incident. Kovačić said the hospital was shocked that the situation in healthcare had become so strained.

Turnover in retail up 20% last year due to fuel sales

LJUBLJANA - Retail turnover in 2022 was 20.3% higher than the year before. It was up the most in retail in automotive fuel, rising by 57% due to high prices. Retail trade in food products was down by 2%, the Statistics Office said. Retail trade with automotive fuel excluded, the turnover would have been 3.1% higher than in 2021. In monthly comparison, turnover decreased for the fourth consecutive month in December, this time by 1.3%.

Koležnik's production among top 10 in German-language theatre

BERLIN, Germany - Slovenian theatre director Mateja Koležnik's take on Maxim Gorky's play Children of the Sun, staged at the German theatre Schauspielhaus Bochum, has made the list of ten remarkable productions from the last season in German-speaking theatre. The jury of critics wrote that at first glance, Koležnik's production brings to mind somewhat dated theatre traditions, "and yet, there is nothing museum-like about Koležnik's approach. In fact, her work is highly topical."

Poet to accept prize after decades of protest over honouring now disgraced priest

LJUBLJANA - Author Svetlana Makarovič will accept the Prešeren Prize, Slovenia's top award for achievements in arts, after she refused it for 23 years in protest against Marko Rupnik, a Jesuit artist and priest who was awarded the prize the same year and has since been revealed as a serial sexual abuser. In 2000, she refused the prize because Rupnik was included among the recipients based on different criteria that bypassed established rules.

Dončić makes All-Star starter roster

PHOENIX, US - Slovenian NBA star Luka Dončić has made the starter roster for the All-Star game for the second time. This will also be his fourth appearance at the All-Star tournament in his five seasons at the NBA. Dončić, the Dallas Mavericks forward, will play in the west pool along with LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers), who will be the team captain, Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), Nikola Jokić (Denver Nuggets) and Zion Williamson (New Orleans Pelicans).

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