News roundup - Friday, 24 February, until 3pm

Ljubljana, 24 February - Below is a roundup of major events on Friday, 24 February, until 3pm local time:

Golob, Fajon pledge continued support for Ukraine year after Russian invasion

LJUBLJANA - On the first anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Prime Minister Robert Golob and Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon pledged continued support for Ukraine for "as long as necessary". They said Slovenia would make an effort to ensure a just and lasting peace in the war-stricken country and that it is bound to offer aid by the UN Charter. Golob said Slovenia and its allies were committed to resolving the conflict peacefully, but the call for an immediate end to the war could only be addressed to Moscow. Fajon finds it inadmissible that civilians are killed every single day and civilian infrastructure is being targetted.

Auditors report SDS to police over suspected forgery of election campaign documents

LJUBLJANA - Having reviewed the financing of the 2022 general election campaign, the Court of Audit found problems with reporting by four parties. It notified three inspectorates of suspected administrative offences, while also reporting the Democratic Party (SDS) to the police over suspected forgery of documents. The SDS put forward fake documents as proof of some of the free services it had received and the auditors found several cases where the SDS had used a special campaign bank account to pay for services for which it was not possible to confirm whether they had been performed.

Minister talks digital platform regulation at UNESCO conference

PARIS, France - Minister for Digital Transformation Emilija Stojmenova Duh took part in the two-day Internet for Trust UNESCO conference, speaking at a panel debate on the technical challenges of regulation of digital platforms based on human rights. She said that digital platforms should disclose information about why algorithms recommend certain content to users and whether they use algorithms to moderate and possibly delete content. On the sidelines of the conference, Stojmenova Duh attended several bilateral meetings with UNESCO representatives.

Energy poverty rate in Slovenia up to 7.2% last year

LJUBLJANA - There were around 62,000 or 7.2% of households in Slovenia that met the criteria for energy poverty in 2022, 0.7 percentage points up on the year before. Some 102,000 people lived in such energy-deprived households, shows data from the Statistics Office. In 2014-2022, the share of households that meet the criteria for energy poverty dropped by 26,000 or roughly a third. Last year the share of such households was the largest among one-person households at 15.1%.

Covid-19 advisory group disbanded

LJUBLJANA - The Covid-19 advisory group, which operated as part of the National Institute of Public Health, has been disbanded since the disease is manageable with existing measures, the group's former head Mario Fafangel announced. He said that the state of the epidemic is stable and the situation related to Covid-19 manageable. Existing epidemic recommendations remain in place and the situation is being monitored by epidemiologists. "We can no longer say that this matter is unexpected at a global level," he said.

Piran public utility CEO faces charges for abuse of office

PORTOROŽ - The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has concluded an investigation into the lease of 2,100 sq metres of the central beach in Portorož, with Gašpar Gašpar Mišič, the director of public utility Okolje Piran, suspected of abuse of office to the benefit of Hotel Palace, indirectly owned by Serbian entrepreneur Miodrag Kostić. Investigators found that at Gašpar Mišič's request, the lease price was set at below market rate, whereby Hotel Palace was informed of rival bids so it could adjust its bid, Delo reported.

Higher court confirms sentence to triple murderer Drevenšek

MARIBOR - The Maribor Higher Court has rejected an appeal against a 30-year prison sentence for a man who murdered his estranged spouse and her parents in front of his four-year-old son on Christmas Day 2020, media report. Večer said that the court rejected as unfounded the appeal of both the prosecution, which demanded life in prison, and the defence, which demanded a lower sentence. The 30-year prison sentence was fully confirmed. Slovenian courts have handed down about twenty 30-year sentences since 1998.

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