News roundup - Monday, 3 April, until 3pm

Ljubljana, 3 April - Below is a roundup of major events on Monday, 3 April, until 3pm local time:

Golob says N Macedonia's EU accession talks must not be suspended

BRDO PRI KRANJU - PM Robert Golob and his Macedonian counterpart Dimitar Kovačevski signed a declaration on boosting cooperation, with Golob assuring Kovačevski that Slovenia strongly supports North Macedonia on its path to the EU, stressing its membership talks must not be suspended. "This process must be concluded as soon as possible," Golob said, adding that this was a historic moment for North Macedonia. Kovačevski thanked Slovenia for support so far in all areas, especially in its efforts to join the EU and NATO. "Slovenia's support has not been only political and declarative but tangible and practical," he said.

Phasing of EU cohesion funds on track, officials say

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia will fully use the cohesion funds that were made available to the country in the EU's previous financial perspective and all is on track for drawing funds from the 2021-2027 package, Cohesion and Regional Development Ministry officials told the press. State Secretary Marko Koprivec said that close to 90% of the almost EUR 3.1 billion in funds available in the 2014-2020 scheme had been drawn so far. The deadline for securing the rest, about EUR 300 million, is the end of 2023. As part of 2021-2027, Slovenia is looking at a total of EUR 3.2 billion in potential cohesion policy funding. First calls for applications for this year will be published in April, expectedly to total around EUR 600 million.

Mosaics by disgraced priest Rupnik in Lourdes could be removed

PARIS, France - Mosaics made by Slovenian priest Marko Rupnik in the Rosary Basilica within the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in France could be removed out of consideration for victims of abuse following sex abuse allegations against Rupnik. The final decision will be made in April, said Bishop of the Diocese of Tarbes-et-Lourdes Jean Marc Micas, according to an official statement from the Lourdes sanctuary. "Lourdes is a place where many victims turn to the Immaculate Conception for comfort and healing. Their anguish is great before the mosaics of Father Rupnik in this very place," Micas was reported by the Catholic News Agency as saying.

First documented cave beetle turned into giant model

LJUBLJANA - Researchers of the National Building and Civil Engineering Institute and the Museum of Natural History have made a two-metre model of Leptodirus hochenwartii, the first documented cave beetle in the world, found in Postojna Cave in the 19th century. The model is based on 3D images of a real beetle, which was only 13 millimetres long, and morphologically, its is virtually identical to the actual beetle, featuring all the details, including the colours. It is exhibited at the Museum of Natural History in Ljubljana.

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