News roundup - Friday, 28 April

Ljubljana, 28 April - Below is a roundup of major events on Friday, 28 April:

Slovenia's annual inflation eases to 9.4% in April

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's annual inflation rate was at 9.4% in April, down from 10.5% the month before, as consumer prices increased by 1.5% month-on-month, the Statistic Office said. The main cause behind this month's annual inflation was prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages. Meanwhile, the main driver of month-on-month inflation was price hikes affecting package holidays. Amid the cost-of-living crisis, the latest annual inflation rate is a considerable rise on the same figure a year ago when inflation ran at 6.9%.

Pope Francis apologises to Slovenian victims of sexual abuse by priests

VATICAN CITY, The Vatican - Pope Francis received on Wednesday a group of victims of sexual abuse by priests from Slovenia and offered his sincere apologies, in a meeting organised by the Catholic advocacy group for the victims (It's Enough), the newspaper Delo reported. The pope's main message to the group was to continue their fight and expose "bad shepherds". The Slovenian Bishops' Conference is glad that the pope received the victims, saying that his "stance shows us that victims always come first, and that we are all together on a journey to address past abuses."

Telekom Slovenije's revenue slightly up, profit down last year

LJUBLJANA - The national telecoms operator Telekom Slovenije Group saw its sales revenue grow by 1% last year, to reach EUR 652.1 million, while its net profit dropped 1% year-on-year to EUR 37.5 million, but was still 35% above plans. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) dropped 2% to EUR 216.5 million. The group will not be paying out dividends this year.

SDS wants parliament debate farmers' demands

LJUBLJANA - The Democrats (SDS) have demanded an emergency session of the National Assembly to discuss the situation of farmers in Slovenia and adopt recommendations to improve it. The opposition party would reduce the Natura 2000 protected areas, protect the best farming land, reduce large carnivore populations and adjust direct payments to inflation. The party is making these demands in the wake of a large farmers' protest rally earlier this week that featured several thousand protesters.

Sales at Terme Čatež spa up by almost a quarter in 2022

ČATEŽ OB SAVI - The spa operator Terme Čatež recorded 678,424 nights in 2022, which is a 26.1% increase from 2021, while net sales revenue increased by 24.5% to EUR 31.5 million. Net profit dropped by 85.3% to just over EUR 800,000, reads the annual report. The first half of the year was dominated by domestic guests, in part because they were still using the tourist vouchers. Foreigners returned to the spa in the summer after the pandemic restrictions were lifted.

Polish fund decides against selling Intersport

LJUBLJANA - The Polish fund Enterprise Investors has decided against selling its Slovenia-based sport retailer Intersport, Michal Kedzia, a partner in the fund, confirmed for the newspaper Delo. The fund was not happy with the bids submitted and will remain the owner of Intersport. It plans growth for the retailer. Enterprise Investors reportedly hoped for a sales price in the excess of EUR 100 million.

Commissioner Jourova says Slovenia example of bad developments in media

BRUSSELS, Belgium - European Commission Vice-President for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova told the STA that Slovenia was "a good example to illustrate some not very positive things happening" in the media. She added that the Media Freedom Act, which the Commission presented in September, will bring measures to stabilise public media.

Survey unemployment rate down slightly y/y in March

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's survey unemployment rate remained at 3.2% in March, the same as the month before, and 0.1 percentage point lower than in January. Year-on-year, it dropped by 0.8 percentage points, data from the Statistics Office show. The office estimates some 32,000 people aged 15-74 were out of a job in March. Of them 52% were men and 48% women. The survey unemployment rate for men stood at 3.0% and at 3.3% for women.

Watchdog pulls out of healthcare tender case as police are on it

LJUBLJANA - The Commission for the Prevention of Corruption will not continue to consider a complaint against a Health Ministry employee because the case is already being looked into by the police. The man, who has since been fired, was in charge of a multimillion healthcare tender and allegedly tailored it to favour a certain supplier. The EUR 38 million tender involved procurement of 16 magnetic resonance imaging machines for a number of public health institutions.

Survey shows positive impact of traineeships on job prospects

BRUSSELS, Belgium - A recent Eurobarometer survey shows that traineeships are important for young people's labour market integration. It suggests that 71% of Slovenians aged 18-35 have completed at least one traineeship and 61% got a job in the six months following such practical training, which is below EU averages of 78% and 68%, respectively. The vast majority, or 80%, of Slovenian respondents say they have learned useful things during their traineeships, a share that is above the EU average of 76%.

Bovec and Kobarid backdrops for Amazon's new spy TV series

LOS ANGELES, US - Two of Slovenia's most popular tourist destinations, Kobarid and Bovec, will be featured in Amazon Prime's brand-new spy thriller series Citadel. The first two episodes of the USD 300 million project aired on Friday. Amazon's second most-expensive series to date was filmed in Slovenia, England, Spain, Morocco and the US.

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