News roundup - Wednesday, 8 February

Ljubljana, 8 February - Below is a roundup of major events on Wednesday, 8 February:

Slovenia boosting trade with Uzbekistan

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan - Visiting Uzbekistan, Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon signed an economic cooperation agreement with Deputy Prime Minister for Investments and Foreign Economic Relations Jamshid Khodjaev. The agreement is aimed at enhancing economic cooperation with what is Slovenia's biggest trading partner in Central Asia. Fajon is visiting Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan this week accompanied by a delegation of Slovenian business officials and representatives of the SPIRIT agency.

Slovenians celebrate Culture Day

LJUBLJANA/VRBA/KRANJ - Despite the cold weather, Slovenians flocked en masse to cultural events throughout the country to mark Culture Day, a public holiday in memory of the great Romantic poet France Prešeren. The biggest crowds gathered outside the poet's birth house in the north-western village of Vrba, in Kranj, where Prešeren served as a lawyer and died, and in Ljubljana's Prešeren Square where actors interpreted his poetry. President Nataša Pirc Musar hosted lunch at Brdo pri Kranju for this year's Prešeren Prize winners.

European Capital of Culture 2025 to open on 8 February

LJUBLJANA - The opening ceremony for the European Capital of Culture hosted by the Slovenian border city of Nova Gorica and its Italian counterpart Gorizia will be held on 8 February 2025. The date of the opening ceremony was announced by Culture Minister Asta Vrečko at a recital in Ljubljana along with officials in Nova Gorica and Gorizia. Running under the motto From Station to Station, the opening ceremony will be held along the way between the Nova Gorica and Gorizia train stations.

FPÖ youth wing upsets minority with "stop Slovenisation" call

KLAGENFURT, Austria - The local chapter of the youth wing of the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) has upset the Slovenian minority in Carinthia with a post to Instagram in which they call on voters to stop the province's "Slovenisation" at the upcoming provincial elections. The Association of Slovenian Organisations (ZSO) condemned the post, expressing regret that the FPÖ and its Carinthia youth organisation were "trying to incite hatred against our language and our culture".

Impol's annual sales top one billion euros for first time

SLOVENSKA BISTRICA - Impol, Slovenia's largest aluminium producer, generated EUR 1.1 billion in sales revenue last year, the first time to pass the one billion euro mark, which is attributed largely to high aluminium prices. "The exchange market price of aluminium, which was very high for a while and even exceeded 3,000 euros per tonne had a significant effect on the result," Impol CEO Andrej Kolmanič said at a recent press conference. Operating profit is estimated to have topped EUR 100 million.

PM Golob goes public with his new partner

LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Robert Golob went public with his new partner Tina Gaber at the Prešeren Prize ceremony on the eve of Culture Day on Tuesday. Rumours about Golob and Gaber being a couple began to circulate weeks ago. They were seen together at a furniture store and they also attended Christmas concert in the Vatican together. Golob, 56, and Gaber, who is in her mid-thirties, would not wish to comment on their private lives.

Fewer deaths and births in 2022

LJUBLJANA - Slightly over 22,400 deaths were recorded in Slovenia in 2022, which is 4% fewer than in 2021, according to preliminary data issued by the Statistics Office. Compared to 2020, the number of deaths decreased by 7%. Just under 17,400 babies were born in 2022, 8% fewer than the year before. Only in May there were more children born than in the same month of 2021.

© STA, 2023