News roundup - Sunday, 23 July

Ljubljana, 23 July - Below is a roundup of major events on Sunday, 23 July:

Slovenia's Tadej Pogačar second at Tour de France

PARIS, France - Slovenian rider Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) finished the 2023 Tour de France in second place, having had to concede to Dane Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma), just as he did in 2022 after winning the most prestigious road cycling race in 2020 and 2021 in what is a total of his four Tour appearances. The two favourites for victory had a close battle for practically two weeks until Pogačar had a really bad day during the 165.7km stage on Wednesday, losing more than five minutes to the Dane. As riders arrived in Paris today, Vingegaard was 7:29 minutes ahead of Pogačar, with Pogačar's British teammate Adam Yates third, 10:56 minutes behind the winner. Pogačar, a 24-year-old who joined UAE Team Emirates in 2019, donned the white jersey for the best young cyclist at the Tour four times (2020-2023).

WWII aerial bomb successfully deactivated in Nova Gorica

NOVA GORICA - A 250kg British aerial bomb from WWII with around 100kg of explosive was deactivated as two bomb technicians managed to remove both fuses this morning at the train station in Nova Gorica, which was often bombed by allies just before the end of WWII. The bomb, found on Monday during construction works, is now in a storage facility waiting to be destroyed. Some 3,300 residents from both sides of the Slovenian-Italian border had to be evacuated early in the morning. "We're relieved now, because there is always a bit of tension at times like this," Mayor Samo Turel said after deactivation, thanking some 150 staff that were involved in the effort.

Three Slovenian families evacuated from Rhodes

LJUBLJANA - The Foreign Ministry said that three Slovenian families had been safely evacuated from the Greek island of Rhodes, which has been engulfed in wild fires. The ministry strongly advises Slovenians not to travel to Rhodes, especially the south-east. All Slovenian citizens on the island are urged to e-mail the Slovenian Embassy in Athers at to let them know their whereabouts. For emergencies, the embassy opened a phone number +306976407710. The ministry said it was closely monitoring the forest fires.

European Youth Olympic Festival opening in Maribor

MARIBOR - The summer edition of the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) is opening in Maribor this evening, bringing together some 2,400 young athletes from 48 countries to compete in eleven sports. The festival with a rich accompanying programme will run until 29 July. Slovenian athletes have been taking part in the EYOF competitions since the first one was held in 1991 in Brussels. This year the country will be represented by a 138-strong team. Competitions will be held in different venues across Maribor. Total costs of the largest multi-sport events in Europe and the largest event for athletes between the ages of 14 and 18 will are estimated at EUR 11 million. Slovenia has hosted the winter edition of the festival before, in 2003 in Bled, but this is the first time it hosts the summer edition.

Saturday's storms trigger landslides, close roads in north-east

SLOVENSKE KONJICE/VOJNIK - Fierce storms hitting Slovenia on Saturday afternoon caused damage in the regions of Štajerska and Koroška, north-east, triggering landslides and torrential rains in the municipalities of Slovenske Konjice, Vojnik and Dobrna. Several locals roads are closed and basements flooded, while water needs to be boiled in the area of Celje. The area of Velenje was affected by heavy rainfall, while several bridges were torn away by the river Hudinja near Vojnik. Fierce summer storms have been hitting the country almost uninterruptedly since 13 July, bringing downpours, lightening strikes, hail and winds that caused extensive damages.

EUR 93m takeover of Seven Refractories completed

DIVAČA - Austrian multinational RHI Magnesita has completed its takeover of Seven Refractories, a Slovenian producer of materials resistant to high temperatures. The EUR 93 million contract was signed on Monday and the two companies marked their new chapter on Thursday at Seven Refractories' production hub in Divača. The company was founded in 2010 by seven co-owners, among them engineer and director Erik Zobec, a member of the Slovenian ethnic community in Italy, as a smal firm only to develop into a major player in the global refractories industry. In 2022, it manufactured 70,000 tonnes of products with sales revenue at nearly EUR 170 million.

Mountain lodge in Golte rebuilt two years after fire

MOZIRJE - The new Mozirska Koča mountain lodge near the Golte ski centre in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps opened its doors today, some two years after it burned down in a fire in February 2021. The construction cost just under EUR 1 million, Boštjan Goličnik, head of the Mozirje Mountaineering Association, told the STA. The new lodge resembles the old one in looks and capacity. It has some 45 beds and can seat 50 people indoors and 30 outdoors. The first Mozirska Koča lodge was constructed in 1896.

© STA, 2023