News roundup - Friday, 28 July, until 3pm

Ljubljana, 28 July - Below is a roundup of major events on Friday, 28 July, until 3pm local time:

BSF to focus on solidarity for global security

LJUBLJANA - The 18th Bled Strategic Forum (BSF) will be held on 28 and 29 August under the slogan Solidarity for Global Security, exploring different ways of ensuring global security by working together, the Government Communication Office announced. Participants of the international conference have not yet been revealed. Slovenia's prime foreign policy event, the BSF is a project of the Slovenian government and is organised by the Foreign Ministry and the Centre for European Perspective.

Pahor to head new chair at private university

NOVA GORICA - New University, a private university based in Nova Gorica, has established a chair focusing on what it termed Slovenian national programme, with former President Borut Pahor serving as its head. Pahor will convene the inaugural meeting of the chair in September. The university told the STA the new chair was formed in June as an internal organisational unit that will not run any study programme itself. Rather, it will be primarily devoted to discussion and research.

Police commissioner remains in acting capacity

LJUBLJANA - The government reappointed Senad Jušić as acting police commissioner in a correspondence session on Thursday, saying the procedure to appoint a commissioner with full powers was still ongoing. Jušić was first appointed acting police commissioner on 23 February after the government dismissed the previous acting commissioner Boštjan Lindav. Media have reported that both Jušić and Lindav applied for a call for applications to fill the post of police commissioner, which expired in early June.

Anti-graft official urged to refrain from expressing political views

LJUBLJANA - Robert Šumi, head of the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption, reprimanded his deputy Simon Savski for expressing his political views in public. He told him his conduct was "reckless" and "unbecoming of the office he holds" and urged him to avoid such behaviour in the future. Šumi summoned Savski after the deputy suggested in a post in a closed Facebook group that former PM Janez Janša and former Interior Minister Aleš Hojs were to blame for public distrust of police.

Vasle: ECB decisions to be informed by economic trends

LJUBLJANA - Boštjan Vasle, governor of the Slovenian central bank, says the European Central bank (ECB) will continue to pursue the 2% inflation goal. Commenting on the ECB's decision on Thursday to raise the key interest rate in the eurozone to 4.25%, Vasle said further decisions would be strongly informed by economic trends. "If we don't see positive signals in the data, we are ready to continue the cycle of interest rate hikes in the autumn months," Vasle told public broadcaster Radio Slovenija.

Over 22,000 permits for non-EU workers in H1

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's Employment Service issued 22,167 work and residence permits in the first six months of the year, of which 21.5% for builders. In the same period, the job office received 25,247 applications for work and residence permits. It takes the Employment Service an average 19 days to process a permit. Last year it received 54,262 applications and issued 21,775 work permits and 26,606 approvals of the single work and residence permits issued by administrative units across the country.

Official: July storms "among worst natural disasters" in modern-time Slovenia

LJUBLJANA - Defence Ministry State Secretary Rudi Medved presented updated figures on the magnitude of the July storms, saying that this was "one of the worst natural disasters in the modern history of the country". A total of 16,000 people helped in the rescue efforts, with the costs of the emergency interventions alone running in millions. Medved said at least 190 of Slovenia's 212 municipalities would definitely need financial help.

Survey unemployment at 3.5% in June

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's survey unemployment fell to 3.5% in June, down 0.1 percentage points from the month before and 0.9 points lower year-on-year, according to the Statistics Office. Labour unemployment has been persisting at historically low levels since autumn last year. The Statistics Office estimates about 35,000 people aged 15 to 74 were out of work in June, which is roughly 10,000 fewer than a year ago. The survey unemployment rate was 3.4% in men and 3.6% in women.

SHOTS ever brighter star on Slovenia's film festival sky

SLOVENJ GRADEC - SHOTS, an international short film festival taking place since 2016 in Slovenj Gradec and increasingly becoming part of the culture tourism highlights of the Koroška region in the north of Slovenia, will delight film fans and film-making talents again from 3 to 5 August. The festival, which is part of a wide network of diverse film festivals that have sprung up all around Slovenia in recent decades, will feature 19 films that have been selected among almost 1,200 entries this year.

Painter Sergej Kapus dies aged 72

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian award-winning painter, lecturer and theoretician Sergej Kapus has died. Kapus won the Ivana Kobilca lifetime achievement award in 2019 and a year later he was the recipient of the Rihard Jakopič Prize, the top annual national award for lifetime achievement in fine arts and visual art. Kapus's work stemmed from the tradition of abstract art, from which he drew inspiration for his well-thought-out visibility analysis. He was also a member of the International Association of Art Critics.

Dončić joins Slovenian team training camp for World Cup

LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian men's national basketball team, presently ranked 7th in the world, is entering the second stage of preparations for the FIBA Basketball World Cup, which starts on 25 August. The team was also joined today by superstar Luka Dončić as well as newly crowned NBA champion with the Denver Nuggets, Vlatko Čančar. After beating China on Tuesday, the team will play the next friendly in Ljubljana on 2 August against Greece. In total, Slovenia will play seven friendlies before the World Cup.

Indictment filed against Kavač Clan cell

LJUBLJANA - The newspapers reported that the specialised prosecution office filed an indictment against 28 members of an international drug ring that was dismantled in January by Slovenian police in cooperation with the Austrian law enforcement authorities. The persons indicted include 19 Slovenian nationals, among them Aleš Zupančič, who was been convicted for drug trafficking before and has been in detention. The ring is believed to have operated as the Slovenian cell of the Kavač Clan, the infamous Montenegrin crime syndicate, having taken over from a previous cell whose members are now on trial.

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