News roundup - Monday, 30 January, until 3 pm

Ljubljana, 30 January - Below is a roundup of major events on Monday, 30 January, until 3 pm local time:

Two Russia spies apprehended in Ljubljana

LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian intelligence and security agency SOVA apprehended and detained in December, in cooperation with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), two foreign citizens accused of spying for Russia, the newspaper Delo and news portal Siol reported. The alleged spies were arrested in an office building in Ljubljana where they were based under the pretence of being businessmen. The Ljubljana District Prosecution told the STA that this was the first time they handled suspects for the crime of espionage.

Slovenia proposing new labels for honey origin in the EU

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Slovenia will present at today's session of EU agriculture ministers an initiative for changes to the directive on honey introducing more detailed labelling of honey origin, Agriculture Minister Irena Šinko told the STA ahead of the meeting. Nineteen countries support the changes. Slovenia would like the label to state the country of origin or how much of the honey comes from each country. This should apply for EU countries and third countries, she said.

NGO suing former interior minister over referendum claims

LJUBLJANA - The NGO 8 March Institute is suing former Interior Minister Aleš Hojs for damages over his allegations on Twitter that water shortages during the massive fires in the Kras region last summer were the result of a referendum on the waters act initiated by the NGO. The institute demands EUR 3,000 in damages. Members of the 8 March Institute told the press they had been a target of insulting tweets by previous government officials on many occasions.

Slovenia's largest solar power plant exceeded targets last year

LJUBLJANA/HRASTNIK - The largest solar power plant in Slovenia, located in a rehabilitated and closed section of the Prapretno landfill near Hrastnik, produced 3,015 megawatts of electricity between April and December 2022, which is 8% above plans, the state-owned power utility HSE said. According to HSE, the power plant currently produces enough electricity to sustain some 820 households for a year.

Deželna Banka's net profit up by more than half in 2022

LJUBLJANA - Deželna Banka Slovenije, one of the smallest Slovenian banks, posted a net profit of EUR 7.38 million last year, up 52% from 2021, and so the bank's management considers 2022 a successful year despite a demanding situation. "We generated EUR 8.28 million in pre-tax profit, or 39% more than the year before, and achieved 11.19% return on equity, which is 33% more than in 2020," the management wrote in the unaudited business report for 2022.

Mysterious cave paintings in Slovenia hidden in Bestažovca Cave

DIVAČA - Prehistoric cave paintings are extremely rare in the area southeast of the Alps, but in 2009 a scientist exploring karst caves stumbled upon an interesting find of more than 50 red and black lines and dots in Bestažovca Cave, south-west Slovenia. The first such discovery in Slovenia, the drawings are believed to be at least 7,000 years old.

Festival highlights city theatres of former Yugoslav countries

LJUBLJANA - The Ruta Grupa Triglav travelling theatre festival will kick off at the Ljubljana City Theatre (MGL), bringing together five other city theatres from the former Yugoslavia. The festival aims to strengthen cooperation and bring high-quality theatre to the region. This is the second time Ljubljana will be one of the host cities.

Couch Festival bringing concerts, events to unconventional venues

LJUBLJANA - A festival turning homes, offices and other public and private spaces into event venues kicks off today. Until 5 February, some 190 concerts and artistic performances will be held in towns and villages across Slovenia as well as in Italy's Trieste. More than 125 groups from 25 countries will perform.

© STA, 2023