News roundup - Monday, 10 July

Ljubljana, 10 July - Below is a roundup of major events on Monday, 10 July:

Govt sets out budget expenditure for 2024 and 2025

LJUBLJANA - The government endorsed a breakdown of budget expenditure for 2024 and 2025, reducing the 2024 spending cap by EUR 300 million to EUR 15.2 billion. The figure is to increase to EUR 15.9 billion in 2025. The aim is to bring the budget deficit below 3% of GDP in 2024 and then reduce it further. Despite the cuts, the budget still allows the government to address key development goals and government priorities over the next period, Finance Minister Klemen Boštjančič said.

Some projects scrapped from recovery and resilience plan

LJUBLJANA - The government amended the national recovery and resilience plan, scrapping several projects which cannot be completed in time, among them a new infectious diseases clinic in Maribor and several flood safety projects. Overall, Slovenia plans to draw EUR 2.16 billion, of which EUR 1.49 billion in subsidies, EUR 545 million in loans and EUR 122 million in RePowerEU funds. Finance Minister Klemen Boštjančič said the scrapped projects would be completed with own funds and in line with more realistic timelines.

Fajon agrees on closer cooperation in North Adriatic with Italian, Croatian ministers

ANCONA, Italy - The foreign ministers of Slovenia, Croatia and Italy signed a declaration on closer cooperation in the management and protection of the North Adriatic as they met in Ancona. "By signing the declaration, we also committed to jointly carry out a search and rescue operation at sea in the autumn. This is important to prevent human tragedies at sea and tackle the problem of illegal migration in a humane way," Slovenia's Tanja Fajon said at a joint press conference. The ministers agreed that migration should be tackled at EU level and that more attention should be paid to countries of origin.

Health digitalisation bill off parliament's agenda

LJUBLJANA - Coalition parties withdrew a key health reform bill, on digitalisation, from the agenda of an extraordinary session of the National Assembly scheduled for Friday, saying that there is not enough time to amend it in line with a number of recommendations by the parliament's legal services. The bill was withdrawn two days before a planned session of the Health Committee, which needs to approve any amendments. The STA learnt from an unofficial source that the bill will likely be on the National Assembly's agenda in the autumn.

PM Golob to step in as health minister

LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Robert Golob will temporarily take over the duties of health minister after Danijel Bešič Loderan resign on Friday. Parliament is expected to get formally acquainted with the change at the helm of the Health Ministry on Thursday. Golob will thus be the fourth prime minister to temporarily take over the health portfolio, following Alenka Bratušek, Marjan Šarec and Janez Janša, while it is not yet clear who could be appointed as Bešič Loredan's successor.

Slovenia praised as reliable partner at conference in Germany

STUTTGART, Germany - Economy Ministry State Secretary Matevž Frangež took part in a conference on the Danube region in Stuttgart, where German panellists praised Slovenia as a reliable partner with which they were keen to strengthen cooperation, the Ministry of Economy, Tourism and Sport said in a press release. On the sidelines of the conference, Frangež met representatives of the government of Baden-Württemberg, Slovenia's top economic partner among the German states, and of the automotive giant Porsche.

Culture Ministry initiates erasure of association over hate speech

LJUBLJANA - The Culture Ministry will ask the Administrative Court remove an association linked to the Identitarian Yellow Jackets movement from the registry of associations for inciting hatred, Minister Asta Vrečko said. She said no association was allowed to incite religious, racial or other hatred, and expressed concern over a growing trend of incitement against those who are different, including at the June Pride Parade.

Government rating down in July, Delo poll shows

LJUBLJANA - The latest poll commissioned by the newspaper Delo shows that less than a quarter of respondents are happy with the government compared to some 28% in June. The number of those that rated its work as negative grew by two points to 42%. Both the ruling Freedom Movement and the strongest opposition party, the Democrats (SDS), gained ground in the party rankings - the prime minister's Freedom Movement polled at 23.8%, up by roughly a point on June, while the SDS gained two points to 22.3%. The rest of the parties lag substantially behind the leading two.

Parliamentary committee discusses Slovenia's programme for Frankfurt Book Fair

LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Culture Committee discussed the alleged omission of late Trieste-based author Boris Pahor from the Frankfurt Book Fair in October at the behest of opposition Democrats (SDS). Culture Minister Asta Vrečko said the claim was a misunderstanding, while curator Miha Kovač confirmed Pahor (1913-2022) will definitely be represented in Frankfurt. He said that at the press conference in June only the names of the authors who will attend the fair had been presented, while the entire programme of Slovenia's presentation will be revealed in September.

Matura exam success rate slightly below last year's

LJUBLJANA - In a slight deterioration from last-year's 95% success rate, the national school-leaving exam, known as the matura, was passed this year by 91.6% final-year secondary school students who took it. Eighteen students scored all points. Just over 89% of candidates meanwhile passed the national school-leaving exam for vocational students, down from 91% last year, show data by the National Exam Centre.

Talum gets EUR 15m loan to green aluminium production

LJUBLJANA - Aluminium producer Talum received a EUR 15 million loan from SID Bank to make its production processes greener by increasing the share of recycled aluminium in its products. The funds will be used to increase the share of recycled aluminium in billets and slugs, two major types of aluminium products, from 39% to 55%.

Industrial output up in May, but still down over year before

LJUBLJANA - Industrial output was up 7.9% in May compared to April but down 4.9% over the year before. Compared to the month before, industrial output increased by 8.9% in manufacturing and by 5.5% in mining and quarrying, but fell by 6.5% in the supply of energy, gas and steam.

Slovenia win U18 women's European Championship title

KONYA, Turkey - Slovenia made history after they won their first ever U18 Women's European Basketball Championship crown by beating France 63-61 on Sunday. The Slovenian team cruised to the title by winning all seven games.

© STA, 2023