News roundup - Wednesday, 19 April, until 3pm

Ljubljana, 19 April - Below is a roundup of major events on Wednesday, 19 April, until 3pm local time:

Janša and Golob present clashing views on govt performance

LJUBLJANA - Opposition Democrats (SDS) head Janez Janša argued that nothing but a timeline reform is left from the long list reforms announced as he presented the SDS's reasons for the government interpellation debate held in parliament today. PM Robert Golob in turn hailed the government's tackling of the energy and cost-of-living crisis. The views of the leaders of the two largest parties were mostly echoed in the presentations by deputy groups, with Matej T. Vatovec of the Left for instance saying it was hard to take the interpellation seriously, as "its content is somewhat scattered about, lacking clear focus".

Ukraine grain import ban: Slovenia not in favour of unilateral moves

LJUBLJANA - After some EU countries imposed bans on imports of grain from Ukraine, the Slovenian Agriculture Ministry said Slovenia is committed to the principles of the EU's internal market and thus not in favour of unilateral moves. The ministry has not detected any impact of the bans on Slovenia. In a written response to questions from the STA, the ministry said it understood some EU countries were facing major difficulties in their internal markets due to large quantities of agricultural products from Ukraine.

Slovenia welcomes EU carbon market reform

LJUBLJANA - The Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Energy welcomed an overhaul of the EU's carbon market and introduction of a carbon border tax on imports that the European Parliament adopted on Tuesday. "By extending the Emissions Trading System to new sectors, strengthening its instruments and abolishing free emission allowances, we will ensure that the EU's biggest polluters are forced to abandon old practices and switch to clean technologies, processes and products," the ministry told the STA.

Amendments passed to make administrative court more efficient

LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly has passed changes to the Administrative Dispute Act under which simpler cases, which make the bulk of Administrative Court's caseload, will no longer be processed by a panel of judges but by a single judge. Complex cases will still be heard by a three-judge panel. The changes were passed in a 61:21 vote on Tuesday with Justice Minister Dominika Švarc Pipan saying that this would increase the efficiency of the Administrative Court proceedings.

Book exhibition celebrates Slovenia-Hungary diplomatic ties

LJUBLJANA - An exhibition marking the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Slovenia and Hungary will open at the National and University Library (NUK) today. The show features a selection of Slovenian translations and publications of Hungarian fiction in the past three decades. The exhibition Translation - A Cultural Tie between Nations will open at the Ljubljana library at noon to run until 20 May. Simultaneously an exhibition of book editions of translations of Slovenian fiction into Hungarian will open at the National Szechenyi Library in Budapest, to run until 31 May.

Vets very critical of animal protection bill

LJUBLJANA - Veterinarians are very critical of the changes to the Animal Protection Act that all three coalition parties presented last week, arguing the bill fails to address issues with animal protection and dilemmas surrounding the implementing of the existing law, while bringing some potentially harmful and even unlawful solutions. The bill is not in line with the existing law and veterinarians had not been invited to help draft it, which the Veterinary Faculty in Ljubljana and the Slovenian Veterinary Chamber consider a slap in the face of experts and a sign of their degradation.

GEN-I issues EUR 50m worth of commercial papers

LJUBLJANA - Energy company GEN-I has completed a EUR 50 million issue of 12-month commercial papers. The company says the issue renews the existing issue of commercial papers to finance its short-term and permanent working capital needs and maintain diversification of financial resources. The company announced it was considering a new EUR 50 million issue in March when it released business results for 2022, reporting EUR 4.1 billion in revenue and EUR 29.5 million in net profit.

Mutual funds managing EUR 4.2 billion in assets

LJUBLJANA - Mutual fund management companies in Slovenia were managing EUR 4.2 billion in assets at the end of March, entrusted to them by almost 326,000 investors. Almost 70% of all assets was invested in equity funds, the representatives of the Slovenian Investment Fund Association told the press. Mutual fun management companies Generali Investments, NLB Skladi, Primorski Skladi, Sava Infond, and Triglav Skladi managed 78 mutual funds at the end of March.

Tomislav Kramarić appointed new Mercator CEO

LJUBLJANA - Tomislav Čizmić, who has been heading retailer Mercator since 2017, was dismissed today and replaced by board member Tomislav Kramarić, the company announced. The decision was taken by the management board of Fortenova, the Croatian owner of Mercator. The dismissal was consensual, the release from Mercator reads. After taking over as chief operating officer at Mercator in December last year, Kramarić is now assuming responsibility for the company's overall operations and business transformation, focused on making Fortenova Group's regional retail business cost-effective and profitable, Mercator said.

Wolt and Glovo food delivery couriers unionise

LJUBLJANA - A new trade union has been set up under the auspices of the youth trade union Mladi Plus to protect the rights and interests of food delivery couriers in Slovenia amid poor working conditions. Currently, it includes more than 100 couriers working for the companies Wolt and Glovo. The Trade Union of Food Delivery Couriers has been formed because of poor working conditions and increasingly low pay, the two unions said at a press conference.

Algerian man gets 16 years for attempted murder

LJUBLJANA - The newspaper Dnevnik reported that the Ljubljana District Court had found an Algerian man, who tried to stab his friend to death in an asylum home in Ljubljana in mid-April last year, guilty of attempted murder. He was sentenced to 16 years and 7 months in prison, after which he will be expelled from the country for five years.

Head of European Parliament's Office in Slovenia Manja Toplak dies

LJUBLJANA - The head of the European Parliament's Office in Slovenia Manja Toplak has died after a long illness, the office said. Toplak, whose career was connected to the European Parliament from 2007 onwards, led the office - initially as acting head - since March 2018. Toplak started working at the European Parliament in 2007 as web editor and later as the PR officer of the European Parliament's Office in Slovenia.

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