News roundup - Thursday, 20 April, until 3pm

Ljubljana, 20 April - Below is a roundup of major events on Thursday, 20 April, until 3pm local time:

Africa Conference hears partnership key to addressing climate change

BRDO PRI KRANJU - The two-day International Africa Day Conference began at Brdo pri Kranju addressing key challenges of climate security. Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon said climate change policies can be successful only if all stakeholders work together. Echoing this, President Nataša Pirc Musar also noted Africa's unfair climate change predicament. In one of the panels, the foreign ministers of four African countries noted the need for global cooperation in fighting climate change. They said Africa is not to blame for the climate crisis, while being the most affected by its consequences. The conference is also an opportunity for Slovenia to lobby for support for its bid to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council and some countries expressed their support for Slovenia's bid.

Slovenia receives first EUR 50m from EU recovery facility

BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Commission paid out the first EUR 50 million to Slovenia from the Recovery and Resilience Facility after the country met the 12 milestones required. Slovenia's overall recovery and resilience plan will be supported by EUR 1.50 billion in grants and up to EUR 3.2 billion in loans. To date, the country has received EUR 281 million in grants, including today's payment and the EUR 231 million in pre-financing it received in September 2021.

Govt grilling debate ends without conclusions

LJUBLJANA - The 14-hour grilling of the Robert Golob government in parliament wrapped up just before midnight without conclusions or a vote of no confidence but with opposition leader Janez Janša urging the government to "get a grip". Speaking to reporters after, Janša made a prediction that the government would not complete its term. He indicated his party will fight proposals it deems harmful for the country with more referendums if necessary. Golob said the debate showed clearly the difference between his government, which he said was facing reality and Janša's, which lived in the past.

Illegal migrations quadruple in first quarter

LJUBLJANA - Police recorded 8,133 instances of migrants entering the country illegally in the first three months of the year, more than four times the figure in the same period last year. Most migrants came from Afghanistan, Morocco, Russia and Cuba. As many as 7,628 migrants stated their intention to apply for international protection, but only 1,400 applications were actually filed, which is even fewer than in the first quarter of last year, data from the Interior Ministry show.

Draft supplementary budget for 2023 reduces deficit by 11%

LJUBLJANA - The government adopted a supplementary budget proposal for 2023, which follows the government restructuring and accordingly redistributes funds between individual departments. Finance Minister Klemen Boštjančič noted that expenditure was not increasing anywhere. The deficit is being reduced by EUR 376 million to EUR 2.9 billion, or 4.5% of GDP. "Fiscal rules will apply again next year, so we must manage public finances prudently," the minister said.

Committee approves govt budgeting plans for 2024-2026

LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Finance Committee approved the regulation setting the general government budgeting framework for the next three years. The government aims to gradually reduce the deficit, which is expected to drop below the reference cap of 3% of GDP as early as next year. In 2022, the deficit amounted to 3.9% of GDP, and the currently valid regulation allows the deficit to rise to 5% of GDP this year, but the new regulation sets it at 2.8% of GDP for 2024, 2.2% in 2025 and 1.3% of GDP in 2026.

Govt adopts changes to insolvency legislation

LJUBLJANA - The government adopted changes to the insolvency legislation, transposing EU law and introducing solutions that should prevent insolvencies and improve the situation of creditors. The bill brings two major changes - a new procedure to eliminate looming insolvency and changes to the simplified procedure for small businesses. "We believe the proposed changes will help improve the situation of creditors, especially workers, and the payment of their claims in insolvency procedures," Justice Minister Dominika Švarc Pipan said.

Slovenian space companies visiting US

COLORADO SPRINGS, US - A delegation of ten Slovenian space companies is visiting the US under the auspices of the Ministry of Economy, Tourism and Sport and the investment promotion agency SPIRIT. The companies were presented at the Space Symposium conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Featured are the companies Dewesoft, Duol, Ferročrtalič, Ineor, Intectiv, Instrumentation Technologies, Magneti Ljubljana, Skylabs, and X-lab. The companies also had bilateral meetings with US companies and institutions.

Exhibition on WWI widows, orphans, invalids opens in Maribor

MARIBOR - An exhibition on the victims of the First World War that history research often sidelines - widows, orphans and war invalids - is opening at the National Liberation Museum in Maribor. The Forgotten Victims of WWI - Widows, Orphans and War Invalids was curated by historian Gregor Antoličič based on his extensive research. Rough estimates show that there were around 90,000 war invalids, 180,000 war widows and 200,000 war orphans in the of Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes after 1918.

© STA, 2023