News roundup - Thursday, 23 March

Ljubljana, 23 March - Below is a roundup of major events on Thursday, 23 March:

Golob says nuclear must be part of Europe's carbon-neutral future

BRUSSELS, Belgium - PM Robert Golob said nuclear technology must have its place in Europe's carbon-neutral future as he arrived for the summit of EU leaders. A proposal for clean technologies the EU summit will discuss is more important for the long term energy market development that for specific projects such as Slovenia's second nuclear reactor. "It's in Slovenia's national interest for nuclear technology to be part an integral part of this package. Not necessarily as the technology that entire Europe mentions as the leading one but definitely as one of those allowed within this proposal of aid for carbon neutral technology," he said.

Slovenia keen to participate in ammunition production, Golob says

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Slovenia should take part in the production of ammunition, which should be equally divided across the EU, said Prime Minister Robert Golob as he arrived for the EU summit in Brussels. Golob sees it as beneficial that the EU is moving towards not only joint purchases but also joint production of ammunition. "Defence budgets will increase and it is right that the money is spent locally, in the member states and with the goal of economic development," he said.

Synthetic fuels compromise acceptable for Slovenia

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Prime Minister Robert Golob said the EU proposal to exclude synthetic fuels from the 2035 petrol and diesel engine ban was acceptable for Slovenia. "Slovenia's position is that what is good for Germany's automotive industry is generally always good for Slovenia's automotive industry," he said as he arrived for the EU summit. Germany was one of the EU countries to oppose a complete ban. A compromise solution excludes internal combustion engines fuelled exclusively by synthetic fuels made using renewable sources of energy.

Štajerska businesses warn of growing uncertainty

MARIBOR - The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Štajerska warned that many companies in the region are looking to move abroad due to the growing uncertainty, including because of difficulties in obtaining environmental permits and the expected negative impact of the recent changes to the act on cross-border services. "Companies do not want to violate the law, let alone build on their development on shaky, unclear foundations. They prefer to move to environments where there are no such uncertainties," the chamber's director Aleksandra Podgornik said.

Chemistry Institute spearheading EUR 6m multiscale simulation project

LJUBLJANA - A new multiscale simulation project is up an running under the leadership of the National Institute of Chemistry, which will aim to build a research ecosystem for supercomputing and accelerate the transition to supercomputing resources. The MultiXscale Centre of Excellence, as part of which code will be developed to allow supercumputers to execute multiscale simulations, was set up within the framework of the EuroHPC, a joint European initiative for European High-Performance Computing.

Shareholders of insurer Sava to get EUR 1.60 in gross dividend

LJUBLJANA - The supervisors and management of insurance group Sava have proposed that shareholders receive a dividend of EUR 1.60 gross per share, which is 10 cents or 6.7% more than last year. The date of the annual general meeting is yet to be determined. The insurer's dividend policy allows for the payout of between 35% and 45% of the net profit at the group level. Sava exceeded plans in 2022 to post a net profit of EUR 68.2 million.

Consumer confidence improving slightly

LJUBLJANA - Consumer confidence is gradually improving but remains low - the indicator measuring it improved by one percentage point in March compared to both last February and March 2022, while being still eleven points below the long-term average, the Statistics Office said. Compared to February, consumer confidence was boosted by more optimistic expectations about the state of the Slovenian economy (+4pp) and about the state of household finances (+2pp).

Slovenia's GDP measured in PPS up to 92% of EU average

LUXEMBOURG - Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita expressed in purchasing power standards in Slovenia was 92% of the EU average last year, up by two percentage points on the year before, shows data from Eurostat. With 92% of the EU average, Slovenia is in 13th place in the bloc, trailing Italy and standing ahead of Cyprus.

John Zorn returning to Ljubljana, this time with New Masada Quartet

LJUBLJANA - US saxophonist John Zorn's newest ensemble, New Masada Quartet, is coming to Slovenia for the Ljubljana Jazz Festival to give a concert at Cankarjev Dom on 7 July. Established in 2019, the quartet has quickly become regarded as one of the best and most exciting of the alto saxophone player and composer's bands. John Zorn's New Masada Quartet also features Julian Lage on the electric guitar, bas player Jorge Roeder and drummer Kenny Wollesen.

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