News roundup - Wednesday, 15 February, until 3pm

Ljubljana, 15 February - Below is a roundup of major events on Wednesday, 15 February, until 3pm local time:

FM says Slovenia will help Ukraine as long as necessary

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia will continue to provide aid to Ukraine to the best of its ability and as long as necessary, Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon told the parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee. At the same time, Slovenia should keep in mind other humanitarian crises worldwide, such as the recent devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria, she added.

Court rules pay cut for prosecutor during pandemic unconstitutional

LJUBLJANA - The Constitutional Court has ruled that a temporary 30% cut in prosecutors' pay during the pandemic in early 2020 was unconstitutional as it sided with prosecutors who claimed the pay cut was unwarranted and not backed up by sufficient arguments. The 30% pay cut for prosecutors and certain other office holders was in place between 11 April and 31 May 2020 under the provisions of the first omnibus act designed to tackle the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

Taxation of cross-border commuters not incompatible with Constitution

LJUBLJANA - The existing system of income tax for workers who commute for work to Austria is not incompatible with the Constitution, the Constitutional Court has ruled. The judges said such workers are not treated unequally compared to those who work in Slovenia. The motion for review was lodged by a group of centre-right MPs in 2019 with the argument that cross-border commuters are treated unequally because they pay income tax in Austria and additional income tax in Slovenia.

Protestant to represent religious communities on new RTV council

LJUBLJANA - President Nataša Pirc Musar has nominated Klaudija Sedar, a 42-year-old representative of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, as a member of the new governing council at RTV Slovenija to represent the religious communities in the country. Pirc Musar selected the representative of religious communities in line with the changes to the public broadcaster act endorsed in a November 2022 referendum and based on a public call to registered religious communities to propose their candidates.

Freedom Movement announces 5% pension raise

LJUBLJANA - The senior coalition Freedom Movement confirmed that pensions will rise by about 5% in line with the annual adjustment to be decided on by the ZPIZ public pension fund on Thursday. The party moreover pointed to a number of measures adopted in recent months in order to support this vulnerable group.

Slovenia referred to EU Court over illegal landfill

BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Commission has referred Slovenia back to the EU Court of Justice for failing to fully comply with a 2015 judgment to remove illegal waste deposited near an old zinc factory in Celje. "To comply with the judgment, Slovenia is expected to take all the necessary measures to ensure that this landfill is closed and rehabilitated as soon as possible," the Commission said. This is a second referral to Court, which may result in financial penalties for the time elapsed from the first judgment until compliance has been achieved.

DARS gets two new supervisors

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH) dismissed motorway company DARS supervisor Metod Dragonja and appointed Sašo Rink and Tomaž Kuntarič as representatives of capital in the supervisory board. Both will start their four-year terms on Thursday. Rink is the director of the Ljubljana municipal housing fund, and Kuntarič is a former director of the state-run Restitution Fund (SOD).

Wages in 2022 down by around 5% in real terms

LJUBLJANA - The average monthly wage in Slovenia reached EUR 2,023.92 gross in 2022, which is up 2.8% from 2021 in nominal terms but down 5.5% in real terms. The average net wage stood at EUR 1,318.64, up 3.8% in nominal and down 4.6% in real terms, the Statistics Office reported. The average gross wage was up by 6.2% in nominal terms in the private sector but down by 2.5% in the public sector.

Two-thirds of employers intend to raise wages in H1

LJUBLJANA - Some 65% of Slovenian employers plan to raise wages in the first half of the year, shows Manpower's survey on trends in salaries and employee benefits, with over a third projecting an increase between 6 and 10%. Most changes in pay will be due to high inflation, keeping current employees, attracting new ones, and the minimum wage increasing.

Izola Marina expanding to claim leading spot in Slovenian Istria

IZOLA - A new pier has been recently built at the Izola marina in what is an addition that increased the number of berths to nearly 800 and made the marina in the seaside resort Izola the largest marina in Slovenian Istria. The EUR 2.3 million investment resulted in the new pier, providing berths for vessels up to 12 metres in length. The Izola marina now has more berths than its rival in Portorož, another popular seaside resort in Slovenia, the municipality of Izola told the STA.

Air and railway passenger traffic significantly up in 2022

LJUBLJANA - Almost 15 million passengers travelled by train in Slovenia last year, up almost 26% on 2021, while passenger figures at Ljubljana airport rose by a staggering 131% year-on-year to 968,800. Public transport recorded a rising trend as well, shows data published by the Statistics Office. Slovenia's ports recorded 3,623 ships, which is a 21% increase. Ship passenger figures jumped significantly, to just under 103,700.

© STA, 2023