News roundup - Tuesday, 14 February, until 3pm

Ljubljana, 14 February - Below is a roundup of major events on Tuesday, 14 February, until 3pm local time:

Slovenia's economy expanded by 5.4% in 2022

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's economy expanded by 5.4% last year, however by the last quarter of the year GDP growth slowed down to an annual rate of 0.2%, fresh data released by the Statistics Office shows. The office noted that most of GDP components grew at a faster rate in the first half of 2022 than they did in the second half. Growth was driven by final consumption expenditure and gross capital formation, while external trade had a negative impact because imports grew at a faster rate than exports.

Minister says Slovenia to receive first recovery funds by end of March

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Slovenia can expect the first funds from the EU recovery and resilience fund by the end of March, said Finance Minister Klemen Boštjančič as he arrived for a session of EU finance ministers in Brussels. He said Slovenia had "quite a few challenges" drawing the money. Slovenia sent the first application for some EUR 50 million in grants last October. Originally it was expected to receive the money in January, but the funds have not been transferred yet, because the country has not fulfilled all the conditions.

Boštjančič welcomes EU commission ideas for changes to fiscal rules

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Finance Minister Klemen Boštjančič welcomed in Brussels the European Commission's November guideline proposal for a reformed EU economic governance framework as heading in the right direction. Slovenia advocates more emphasis on monitoring debt level trends as opposed to structural fiscal variables. Boštjančič already said before the meeting of EU finance ministers that the Commission's proposal to change the EU's fiscal rules was moving in the right direction.

EUR 635m in fresh funds available for economy, tourism, sport

LJUBLJANA - As much as EUR 634.4 million in fresh financial incentives will be available to businesses, tourism and sport this year from the Ministry of the Economy, Tourism and Sport's own funds and in collaboration with other institutions in a bid to improve their competitiveness in the long run, Minister Matjaž Han told the press today.

Slovenia collecting bids to buy back two bond issues

LJUBLJANA - The treasury announced it was collecting bids for the repurchase of two government bond issues maturing at the end of March this year and on 9 September 2024 respectively. The offer is expected to be open until 20 February. Slovenia moreover announced plans to issue new euro bonds under market terms.

New court year starts as Đorđević takes over as Supreme Court president

LJUBLJANA - The start of the new judicial year was marked at Court Palace in Ljubljana with senior officials praising the progress the judiciary has made while pointing to the issues yet to be fully addressed, including inadequate premises and low pay, especially as they require cooperation by the other branches of government. Outgoing Supreme Court President Damijan Florjančič said that courts had a positive year, having processed more cases than they received, worked quickly, and sped up digitalisation.

Wire fence to be removed by company that erected it

LJUBLJANA - The Interior Ministry has chosen Minis to remove the wire fence at the Slovenian-Croatian border, the same company that erected it in response to the refugee crisis in 2015, the newspaper Dnevnik reported. The company's EUR 7 million bid was more than three times higher than the lowest bid. The wire fence is to be removed in four years. Its erection cost the state some EUR 30 million, according to the last calculations available. Minis earned EUR 9 million erecting the fence.

Public sector trade unions ready to suspend protest rally

LJUBLJANA - The negotiating group of public sector trade unions said it was ready to temporarily suspend the "protest rally for decent pay" that was announced for 24 February. Since the government has started talks by presenting proposals for the pay system reform, the trade unions are willing to give the negotiations a chance, they said.

Exhibition dedicated to water and global issues opening at Jakopič Gallery

LJUBLJANA - A photo exhibition entitled Ripples: A Visual Diary of Water, which seeks to cast out the world's deeper, nuanced, transnational connections through the overarching theme of water to explore the climate crisis, human life and social inequality, will open at the Jakopič Gallery this evening to run until 4 June. It features water-themed works by 12 photographers of the Dutch photography agency NOOR Images, re-examining the conventions of gallery settings with their expensive frames, large formats and high-end display equipment.

© STA, 2023