News roundup - Wednesday, 5 July, until 3pm

Ljubljana, 5 July - Below is a roundup of major events on Wednesday, 5 July, until 3pm local time:

Novartis to build new biotherapeutics development centre in Mengeš

MENGEŠ - Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis is to build a EUR 111 million centre for technical development of biotherapeutics in Mengeš. The centre is to become operational in 2026 and create 100 jobs. Addressing a ceremony to mark the investment, Prime Minister Robert Golob stressed the importance of investment in know-how. The construction of the Centre for Technical Development of Biotherapeutics will further strengthen the importance of Mengeš as the largest industrial centre for modern innovative biotechnology in Slovenia.

Exports up 4% y/y in May, imports down 0.3%

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's exports rose by 4% year-on-year to EUR 4.9 billion in May after they were down 5.8% year-on-year in April. Imports decreased by 0.3% to EUR 5.2 billion following a 12.6% drop in April. The ratio between imports and exports stood at 94.2%, the Statistics Office said. Both exports to and imports from non-EU countries increased, by 18.6% to just over EUR 1 billion and by 10.7% to EUR 823.6 million, respectively.

State budget deficit more than triples to EUR 413m in H1

LJUBLJANA - State budget revenue totalled EUR 6.3 billion in the first six months of the year, 1.3% less than in the same period in 2022. At around EUR 6.7 billion, expenditure was 3.1% higher, putting the budget deficit at EUR 413 million or more than three times higher than in the first half of last year. The Finance Ministry said the budget revenue in the first half of the year was almost in line with the plans at the time of the passage of the supplementary budget, while expenditure was slightly lower.

Registered jobless at 46,178 in June, new low since 1990

LJUBLJANA - A total of 46,178 people were registered as unemployed at the Employment Service at the end of June, which is 2.1% fewer than at the end of May and 14.3% less year-on-year. This is the new lowest jobless total in Slovenia since 1990. The demand for workers remains very high, with the Employment Service registering almost 5,000 vacancies on a daily basis.

Corruption watchdog finds many risks in healthcare procurement

LJUBLJANA - The Commission for the Prevention of Corruption reviewed procurement processes of over two dozen healthcare institutions involving the ten biggest medical suppliers in the country, finding a number of corruption risks. Recommendations include steps for a centralised procurement system. The analysis also found risks of personal integrity violations.

Two fmr execs found guilty in Zvon Ena case

MARIBOR - The Maribor District Court has found two former managers of the defunct Church-owned holding Zvon Ena guilty of abuse of office in complicity for moving around shares of two troubled Argentinian companies the holding had bought. They each got a suspended sentence of a year and a half with a four year trial period. The ruling is not yet final and both sides intend to appeal.

Review launched at Social Services after toddler death

PREBOLD - Following the death of a toddler in an overheated car two weeks ago, the local Social Services have reportedly launched an internal review. Earlier this year, the police were tipped of alleged neglect, of which the Social Services were notified, but failed to make a home call, news portal N1 reported. The anonymous tip said that in March the mother forgot the child, dressed only in a onesie, in the car for an hour.

Rail transport resumes after rockfall

LITIJA - Rail transport between Litija and Trbovlje resumed after being interrupted due to a rockfall caused by heavy rain and storms that hit central Slovenia on Monday. The derailed train is to be removed from the track by 4pm today after which trains will run normally in both directions between Litija and Trbovlje.

Ljubljana Jazz Festival lineup for music fans of all ages

LJUBLJANA - The 64th Ljubljana Jazz Festival is getting under way to feature 27 concerts by musicians from 18 countries until Saturday, headlined by Gard Nilssen's Supersonic Orchestra and British artist Benjamin Clementine. The programme is marked by diversity from all over the world that caters to different generations of audiences. The concerts will take place at several venues, centred at the Cankarjev Dom arts centre and Europe Park outside it.

Two Slovenian films receive EUR 400,000 in EU funds

LJUBLJANA - A couple of Slovenian feature films in the making will receive Eurimages financial support. The Council of Europe's cultural support fund will chip in EUR 400,000 in total, the Slovenian Film Centre (SFC) said on Tuesday. The two films are Little Trouble Girls, a feature debut by Urška Djukić whose animated documentary Granny's Sexual Life won the French film award César for best animated short this year, and children's feature film Blok 5 (Block 5) by Klemen Dvornik.

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