News roundup - Monday, 27 February

Ljubljana, 27 February - Below is a roundup of major events on Monday, 27 February:

Fajon affirms Slovenia's commitment to human rights at UN event

GENEVA, Switzerland - Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon attended a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to note that Slovenia would always advocate for respect for international law, human rights, multilateralism and solidarity. She said it is time for a renewed commitment to respecting the Charter of the United Nations and international law and join forces to protect human lives and dignity, with maintaining solidarity being crucial in these efforts. "Today, the need for multilateralism, dialogue and cooperation is more important than ever before."

Slovenia to donate EUR 300,000 to Yemen in 2023-2025

GENEVA, Switzerland - Slovenia will donate EUR 300,000 in humanitarian aid to the war-stricken Yemen between 2023 and 2025, Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon announced at a donor conference held on the sidelines of the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva. "Unfortunately, humanitarian aid still does not reach all those who need it. That is why Slovenia will allocate EUR 300,000 of humanitarian aid to Yemen in 2023-2025," the ministry quoted Fajon on Twitter.

ZPIZ proposes 3.5% extraordinary pension increase

LJUBLJANA - The council of the public pension fund ZPIZ has proposed to the government a 3.5% extraordinary adjustment of pensions for all pensioners and a 1% additional adjustment for pensioners who had retired up to and including 2011. EUR 206 million will have to be set aside for the pension rise in 2023 and roughly EUR 274 million in 2024. The proposal, which still needs to be endorsed by the government, comes on top of a 5.2% regular pension rise that will translate into higher pensions tomorrow.

Govt approval rating falls below 50% in POP TV poll

LJUBLJANA - The voter approval rating for the Robert Golob government fell to 46% in a poll commissioned by the commercial broadcaster POP TV, the first time to drop below 50% in this poll. The government's rating fell by 4.6 percentage points from January. The Freedom Movement, the party of PM Robert Golob, lost 1.5 points to poll at 26.8% this time, as the opposition Democrats (SDS) gained 1.9 points to 22.2%. SDS MP An┼że Logar continues as the most popular politician.

Laibach concert in Kyiv cancelled

KYIV, Ukraine - The Kyiv concert planned by the world-acclaimed Slovenian band Laibach for 31 March has been cancelled. The subversive industrial rock band confirmed for the STA that the organiser decided to cancel the event because its announcement had caused too much controversy in Ukraine. Laibach said it had been confronted with the categorical demand to explicitly state that all Russians are bad and that all Russian art is worthless, which was something they could not agree to.

Regulated fuel prices flat after excise duties raised

LJUBLJANA - The government has decided to raise excise duties on diesel and heating oil, a move that means regulated prices will remain broadly unchanged in the next two-week period. Regular petrol, where the excise duty remains unchanged, will cost EUR 1.359 per litre from Tuesday, a fraction more than now, while the price of diesel will remain the same, EUR 1.489 per litre. Heating oil will be half a cent cheaper at EUR 1.078 per litre.

Key rules governing occupational diseases ready, business critical

LJUBLJANA - A regulation allowing the notification of most occupational diseases will enter into force in May after years of efforts by trade unions to have it instituted, including through a complaint filed against the state with the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Business has voiced criticism, calling for a greater inclusion of employers. While agreeing with the need to have the field managed properly, the Chamber of Trade Crafts and Small Business (OZS) said "this by no means should mean that the employer is completely excluded from the process of determining an occupational disease".

Unemployment rate drops to 3.5% in Q4

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's unemployment rate dropped to 3.5% in the last quarter of 2022, half a percentage points lower than in the previous quarter and 1.1 percentage points lower than in the final quarter of 2021, the Statistics Office reported. Unemployment among men was at 3.2% and at 3.8% among women. Some 35,000 people were unemployed in the final quarter of 2022, which was 15% fewer than in the third quarter and 25% fewer than a year earlier.

Revenue in services up by almost a fifth in 2022

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's services providers increased sales revenue by 18.4% last year. The hospitality industry saw its sales going up by 57% in what was the most substantial growth, according to the Statistics Office. All groups of services posted growth last year compared to the year before. However, month-on-month sales were slightly down in December, by 0.9%.

Adventura Investments expects EUR 450m in revenue in 2023

LJUBLJANA - Adventura Investments, the owner of electronics retailer Big Bang and part owner of coach company Nomago, expects to generate nearly EUR 450 million in revenue this year after having completed three mergers and acquisitions in 2022. If Croatian electronics retailer Sancta Domenica and software developer Imaging Systems had been a part of the group the entire year, its revenue would have been a record EUR 409 million. Initial estimates show the group's EBITDA exceeded EUR 40 million.

Riding instructor charged with sexual abuse of minors

LJUBLJANA - The newspaper Dnevnik reported that a riding instructor from Ljubljana had been charged with sexual abuse of two under-aged girls following a four-month police investigation. The police based their case on testimonies by the two victims and a number of witnesses. The victims are the young women who talked to Dnevnik last year when it broke the story. The abuse allegedly started over a decade ago, when the victims were 11 and 12 years old.

Bird flu outbreak in Gorenjska contained

LJUBLJANA - After a bird flu outbreak was confirmed at a poultry farm near Cerklje na Gorenjskem on Friday, around 1,000 laying hens have been culled. The eggs and other potentially contaminated products and equipment at the farm have also been destroyed, while inspectors have not found any new cases in the area so far, the Inspection for Food Safety, Veterinary Sector and Plant Protection said.

Celje hosting best of Slovenian comedy

LJUBLJANA - The 31st Days of Comedy festival is getting under way in Celje to feature eight productions over the next two weeks. Three are one-person shows, which programme director Alja Predan says are a result of creativity during the Covid-19 pandemic. Predan selected the eight comedies from 19 entries. They will be in the running for the awards that will be presented at the closing ceremony on 12 March. The festival will open with the original Slovenian comedy Nikoli Ni Prepozno (It's Never Too Late).

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