News roundup - Thursday, 13 April, until 3pm

Ljubljana, 13 April - Below is a roundup of major events on Thursday, 13 April, until 3pm local time:

Šketa gets committee nod for another term as state prosecutor general

LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Credentials and Privileges Commissions endorsed Drago Šketa for reappointment as Slovenia's state prosecutor general at the plenary session of parliament. Šketa, 54, who has been serving at the post since May 2017, was the only candidate to apply for the job, Igor Lučovnik, the head of the Prosecutorial Council told MPs. In his presentation, Šketa pointed to acute staff shortages, saying that prosecutors were quitting, having responsible and stressful jobs they were not suitably paid for.

Government moves to freeze top-up health insurance premiums

LJUBLJANA - The government adopted a decree that paves the way for a freezing as of 1 May of the top-up health insurance premium charged by private insurers as part of a mutual insurance scheme. The EUR 35.67 ceiling comes as a scrapping of the current top-up system altogether was recently set in motion in the wake of an announced hike in the premiums. The ceiling will formally be confirmed with a follow-up decree to be adopted on Friday and will be in force until spring next year when the law abolishing the top-up insurance scheme is expected to be passed, Health Minister Danijel Bešič Loredan told the press.

Farmers outline biggest challenges to President Pirc Musar

LJUBLJANA - The representatives of four farmers' organisations outlined their biggest challenges to President Nataša Pirc Musar as she received them for a meeting at Presidential Palace. The farmers were happy that the president received them and openly discussed the pressing issues with them. The main challenges are Natura 2000 areas, attacks by large carnivores, tax changes, a regulation on sustainable use of phytopharmaceuticals and the water situation, Anton Medved, head of the Trade Union of Farmers, told the press after the meeting.

Goodyear Slovenia completes EUR 94m investment in expansion

KRANJ - The Kranj-based tyre maker Goodyear Slovenija announced it has increased production capacity by 25% and created 160 jobs as part of a EUR 94 million investment project that started in January 2019 and was completed last month when the last operating permit was issued. Two new buildings were added to the existing building complex in Kranj where advanced equipment for production of tyres was set up. The equipment reduces the amount of physical labour while creating greater demand for skilled workers, such as machine operators, maintenance workers and engineers. The project addresses increase in demand in Europe for large-wheeled cars.

Concert by Slovenian composer to be performed by Dutch Royal Orchestra

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - The Dutch Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra will play the Concerto for Orchestra by Slovenian composer Nina Šenk on Friday. The work commissioned by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra was first performed in 2020, conducted by Matthias Pintscher, who will be conducting the upcoming performance as well. Šenk said that the whole orchestra has the virtuoso-expressive role of a soloist. The concert will be reprised in Germany on Saturday at the end of the orchestra's residency at the Essen Philharmonic. In May Šenk's new composition for trumpet and brass ensemble will premiere at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Wanted son of Russian governor flees Italy via Slovenia

MILAN, Italy - Russian citizen Artem Uss, who was detained in Italy on an international arrest warrant, escaped from house arrest in Milan and returned to Russia via Slovenia, Italian media report. The 40-year-old businessman wanted by the US over a breach of sanctions imposed on Russia, escaped on 22 March by car, passing through Slovenia and Serbia, shows reconstruction of the escape presented on Wednesday. It was then when Aleksandr Uss, the suspect's father and the governor of the Russian region of Krasnoyarsk, thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin and "friends abroad" for helping his son escape and return to Russia.

Former interior minister reports being assaulted in cafe

LJUBLJANA - Former Interior Minister Aleš Hojs reported being assaulted in a cafe in Ljubljana in the morning, when he was approached by a man who threatened him with physical violence and told him to "watch his back." Hojs told Nova24TV the man had thrown water in his face and clothes and then left the cafe. The former minister was meeting with former US ambassador Joseph Mussomeli when a man approached their table with threats of physical violence, according to Hojs. Hojs said that the assailant's words proved the assault was politically motivated.

Enigma centrepiece of new showcase at military museum

PIVKA - The Park of Military History in Pivka launched an exhibition about the Enigma, a cipher device that German forces used during WWII. An Enigma found in a sunken ship in the Adriatic is the centrepiece of the exhibition. "This is one of the largest exhibition projects in the park's history and the first time we have shed light on this historically important topic in Slovenia," said museum director Janko Boštjančič. Only a handful of machines have been preserved. The M4 model, which was used by the navy, is extremely rare but one of them has found its way into the Pivka museum in 2021. It was discovered by diver Zvone Kralj in the 1980s off the coast of Istria.

German driver unstoppable for 31km in wrong direction on motorway

POSTOJNA - A 65-year-old German driver drove in the wrong direction on the A1 motorway from Divača towards Ljubljana on Wednesday evening for more than 30 kilometres, stopping only when the police blocked the motorway with lorries. After she entered the motorway, the police soon caught up with her after receiving calls from drivers and signalised her to stop, but the driver continued to drive. The police blocked the road at the Postojna exit to stop the driver. She is facing charges for dangerous driving.

© STA, 2023