News roundup - Friday, 17 February, until 3pm

Ljubljana, 17 February - Below is a roundup of major events on Friday, 17 February, until 3pm local time:

Golob and Sanchez stress importance of EU's strategic autonomy

BRDO PRI KRANJU - Prime Minister Robert Golob hosted his Spanish counterpart Pedro Sanchez. Two pair the importance of the EU's strategic autonomy, economic competitiveness and reform of the European energy market. Sanchez said that when it came to strategic autonomy, Spain "advocates four main areas where this issue needs to be addressed - energy, health, the primary sector, meaning the agricultural and livestock sectors, and new technologies, including the production of semiconductors and microchips". Only through a globally strong and competitive economy can Europe maintain its status of a continent of prosperity, Golob said.

DeSUS will not merge with Freedom Movement but is willing to cooperate

LJUBLJANA - The Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), which was a member of nine Slovenian governments until 2020 but then failed to make it to parliament in the last election, has rejected an offer to merge with the ruling Freedom Movement. However, it is willing to cooperate with the party on issues concerning pensioners, DeSUS head Ljubo Jasnič told the STA. The Freedom Movement has offered DeSUS cooperation a while ago.

One person killed, two seriously hurt in blast in Vrhnika

VRHNIKA - One person has died and two have been seriously injured in an explosion that occurred just before noon at a facility of fireworks manufacturer Hamex in the town of Vrhnika, south-west of Ljubljana. The wider area has been secured and firefighters are in control of the situation, the Ljubljana Police Administration said. Police explained that several explosions had occurred and that the cause remained to be determined. The blast comes less than a year after the deadliest industrial accident in recent history, at chemical company Melamin in Kočevje, left seven workers dead and ten injured.

Unions, employers endorse healthcare reform guidelines

LJUBLJANA - The Economic and Social Council discussed the coalition's guidelines for health reform. The Association of Free Trade Unions (ZSSS) said it is one off the best health reforms to date, while employers said they supported the plan in principle. ZZZS's Lučka Böhm said all stakeholders, including the public health insurer ZZZS, agreed they are working towards common goals such as reducing waiting times, retaining the scope of services covered by compulsory health insurance, and improving capacity by implementing digitalization.

Railway operator gets three new supervisors

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian Sovereign Holding as the sole shareholder of the railway operator Slovenske Železnice recently took note of the resignation of two members of the supervisory board, while also dismissing Franci Matoz as supervisor. The new supervisors appointed in their place started their terms on Wednesday. The new supervisors Marko Babič, Vinko Filipič and Hilda Pipan will serve a four-year term, joining Gabrijel Škof and Aleksander Nagode. Matoz and Markočič were appointed under the Janez Janša government in August 2020.

First Slovenian congress on electroporation kicks off

BLED - The first Slovenian congress on electroporation is being held in Bled on Friday and Saturday, bringing the latest research and guidelines in electroporation, where Slovenia is among the leading countries in research and applications. An important achievement is electrochemotherapy, an approach that treats cancer locally. The congress will serve as an opportunity for future connections and looks to ensure progress in electroporation and related processes, and the aim is to improve the communication between researchers and clients.

Slovenian film about Sava River wins Mountain Film Festival

LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian film Ena za reko: Zgodba Save (One for the River: The Sava Story) is the winner of the 17th Mountain Film Festival. Directed by Rožle Bregar, the film impressed the jury with its cinematography and environmental message. The best mountaineering film award went to PASANG: In the Shadow of Everest by American director Nancy Svendsen, which recounts Pasang Lhamu Sherpa's venture to become the first Nepali woman to summit Everest in 1993.The awards were presented in the Cankarjev Dom arts centre in Ljubljana today.

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