News roundup - Tuesday, 4 April, until 3pm

Ljubljana, 4 April - Below is a roundup of major events on Tuesday, 4 April, until 3pm local time:

RTV Slovenija journalists on strike

LJUBLJANA - Part of RTV Slovenija journalists went on strike to protest against a series of measures affecting their autonomy and independence. Strike committee members told the press that even after 19 meetings, the management does not or won't understand their strike demands, including for editorial autonomy and no intimidation. The strike committee also demands a deal on staffing policy, talks on raising the lowest wages, reintroduction of social dialogue and that the strike be paid.

Slovenian Marko Pisani elected to Friuli Venezia Giulia council

TRIESTE, Italy - Marko Pisani, a member of the Slovenian minority in Italy, has been elected to the Friuli Venezia Giulia Regional Council. His party, Slovenian Community, won 1.02% of the vote, just above the 1% threshold. Pisani, who received 986 preferential votes, the most in the minority's party, has served as regional councillor in the term that is now coming to a close, since he stepped in last year to take Igor Gabrovec's place as the latter was elected mayor of Duino-Aurisina.

Slovenian Jug new alternate member of Carinthia state government

KLAGENFURT, Austria - The Austrian Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) appointed members to the government of the Austrian federal state of Carinthia on Monday. Most of the members are the same but Manuel Jug, a member of Slovenian minority, was named a new alternate member. The SPÖ will form a coalition with the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP). Manuel Jug has led the Association of Slovenian Organisations (ZSO), an umbrella minority association in Carinthia, since 2019 and has advocated for preserving and strengthening the Slovenian language.

Slovenia sees trade surplus as exports increase 28% y/y in February

LJUBLJANA - Exports reached EUR 4.55 billion in February, an increase of 28.2% on the same month the year before, while imports increased by 1.4% to 4.25 billion, the Statistics Office said. With a monthly trade surplus in February, EUR 304 million, the first in four months, the export to import ratio was at 107.2%. Slovenia had been reporting deficits for the past two years, caused by higher energy prices and drops in exports, as well as supply chain problems and a slow period for the automotive industry.

Selection of contractor for major motorway renovation project annulled

LJUBLJANA - The National Review Commission has annulled the national motorway company DARS's decision to award a public contract to renovate a nine-kilometre motorway section in the Štajerska region in the north-east between Dramlje and Slovenske Konjice to a consortium led by the construction company CGP. DARS's decision was challenged by two companies from a rival consortium, Pomgrad and Voc Celje, the commission said.

Former economy minister and ambassador Tea Petrin dies

LJUBLJANA - Tea Petrin, a former economy minister and former ambassador to the Netherlands, has died at the age of 78. She served as economy minster from 2000 and 2004 and after that as Slovenia's ambassador to the Netherlands. Slovenian MEP and former speaker of parliament Milan Brglez has responded to the news by describing Petrin as "an extraordinary professor who served as minister in the most demanding period of Slovenia's path to the EU".

Pošta Slovenije reaches agreement with unions to avert strike

MARIBOR - Postal services operator Pošta Slovenije and the two representative trade unions in the company have reached an agreement averting a strike announced for 17 April. Details of the agreement have not been released, but the public broadcaster RTV Slovenija learnt the wage bill would increase by 15%. Postal workers announced the strike in late March, claiming the employer was unwilling to compromise and even expected the workers to give up their right to inflation salary adjustments.

Kompas Shop wants to take over Vipap paper mill

KRŠKO - Kompas Shop, the operator of what used to be duty-free shops at Slovenia's border crossings, has received regulatory approval to take over Vipap Videm Krško, the Competition Protection Agency said on Monday. Kompas is already the biggest owner of the country's largest paper producer. Kompas Shop owns a combined share of 54% in Vipap following a debt-to-equity conversion in December, of which 38% are held by its subsidiary Astra Invest. However, the second largest owner, the utility company Kostak, is challenging the conversion in court.

Tagging of food couriers suspended, report says

LJUBLJANA - Tagging of Wolt and Glovo couriers in Ljubljana that started in mid-August last year has been brought to a halt pending a decision in a procedure launched against the two food delivery companies by the Information Commissioner, the newspaper Dnevnik reported. Since last week food couriers in the capital no longer have to wear identification numbers, a measure that was introduced to facilitate reporting their potential traffic violations amid the growing number of citizens' complaints.

Vžigalica pays homage to industrial town of Jesenice

LJUBLJANA - Personal takes by various artists on Jesenice, attempting to transcend the stereotypical image of this steelworks and ice hockey town in north-western Slovenia, will feature at an exhibition at the Vžigalica Gallery in Ljubljana. Running until 7 May, the exhibition will present Jesnice as captured by photographer Jaka Glasar, painter, graphic designer and set designer Miran Mohar from the acclaimed Irwin art collective, painters Ema Klinar and Helena Tahir, and designer and visual artist Tanja Radež.

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