News roundup - Tuesday, 21 February, until 3pm

Ljubljana, 21 February - Below is a roundup of major events on Tuesday, 21 February, until 3pm local time:

Boštjan Poklukar appointed interior minister

LJUBLJANA - Boštjan Poklukar was appointed interior minister in the National Assembly in a 54:31 vote, after Prime Minister Robert Golob highlighted that Poklukar's priorities were fighting corruption, managing migrations and depoliticising the police. He added that fight against corruption would be a joint effort of the entire country. While the coalition deputy groups backed Poklukar unanimously, saying he was an experienced candidate aware of his responsibilities, the opposition parties, the Democrats (SDS) and New Slovenia (NSi), expressed doubt in his professionalism and independence.

SDS urges Russia be declared state sponsor of terrorism

LJUBLJANA - The opposition Democrats (SDS) deputy group, led by MP Jelka Godec, has filed into parliamentary procedure a proposal for a resolution to declare Russia a state sponsor of terrorism after the European Parliament passed a similar resolution in November. The party prepared the proposal because the government did not do so, SDS leader Janez Janša said at a press conference, adding that the SDS had waited since November for Slovenia to follow the many EU countries and pass the resolution.

Govt plans to adjust fuel margins to inflation

LJUBLJANA - The government is working on a new set of rules for fuel retail margins, under which the margins would be adjusted to annual inflation, shows a draft plan for regulating fuel prices in 2023-2024. The current margin is 9.94 cents per litre of regular petrol and 9.84 cents for diesel. For heating oil, it stands at eight cents. In line with the draft government plan, which was published last week, these margins would be adjusted to the annual inflation this year and the next. The newspaper Finance has calculated that this puts the margin for diesel at 10.85 cents per litre and at 10.96 for regular petrol.

NGO sees positive rule-of-law developments in Slovenia

BERLIN, Germany/BRUSSELS, Belgium - In a report on the rule of law in 18 EU member states, the Civil Liberties Union for Europe, an NGO, has found that Slovenian democracy is recovering well after a change in government last year. The report mentions Slovenia as a country with "stand-out positive development" since the current government "has begun a series of reforms to depoliticise the public service media and restore it to independence after it was taken over by the previous far-right government". The chapter on Slovenia has been prepared by the Peace Institute, an NGO.

MEP Zver wants EU parliament to discuss media situation in Slovenia

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Milan Zver, an MEP for the opposition Democrats (SDS) and the European People's Party (EPP), has proposed in the wake of the Constitutional Court's decision to stay key provisions of the amended act on public broadcaster RTV Slovenija a debate in the European Parliament on the state of the media in Slovenia. Zver argues that the amended RTV Slovenija law is about immediately taking over the public broadcaster's management bodies and turning RTV into a government mouthpiece. He believes that the ruling coalition wants to completely subjugate the Slovenian media arena, "which is already 80% left-wing".

New restrictions in place for disgraced Slovenian Jesuit

ROME, Italy - The Jesuit order has decided to prohibit Slovenian priest Marko Rupnik from pursuing his artistic activity after 15 more people, women and men, came forward with fresh accusations against him of spiritual, sexual and psychological abuse. In a report published today, Johan Verschueren, Rupnik's superior in the religious order, said that a number of people who do not know each other had come forward with similar accusations against the priest, which led to the conclusion that the allegations were "very credible". The order has tightened the restrictive rules against Rupnik, including a ban on leaving the Italian region of Lazio.

Consumer confidence slightly up in February, down year-on-year

LJUBLJANA - The consumer confidence index in February has increased by one percentage point compared to January, shows data from the Statistics Office. The only component of the index that has actually improved is expectations for the financial situation in the country, which is up by five points. The index dropped by 13 points year-on-year and by 12 compared to the long-term average. All four components dropped year-on-year, with expectations for the financial situation in Slovenia down the most (16 points).

Slovenians join call on FIS to act over climate crisis

LJUBLJANA - Leading winter athletes, including four Slovenians, have called on the International Ski and Snowboard Federation (FIS) to overhaul sustainability strategy and demand action over the climate emergency, which is increasingly endangering winter sports, the British Guardian has reported. The four Slovenians that have joined the call are skiers Boštjan Kline, Nejc Naraločnik and Maks Jan Mrnik and snowboarder Žiga Erlač, shows the copy of the letter, published by Slovenian NGO Umanotera.

© STA, 2023