News roundup - Tuesday, 26 September

Ljubljana, 26 September - Below is a roundup of major events on Tuesday, 26 September:

Smart post-flood reconstruction measures urged

LJUBLJANA - A body set up to advise the government on post-flood reconstruction called for carefully planned, smart and professionally executed measures as it held its maiden session. "These measures will cost a lot and will end up taking a long time, which is why we must undertake them very studiously," said civil engineer Marjan Pipenbaher, the chair of the Reconstruction Council. "It is key to grasp the gravity of the problem and arrive at solutions in a truly professional and smart way," added Prime Minister Robert Golob.

Govt dismisses reports Golob uses private jet for private flights

LJUBLJANA - The office of Prime Minister Robert Golob dismissed reports by several media outlets implying that Golob might have been using private jets for purposes other than official business. It said private jets were leased just for official trips, while he paid for all private trips out of his pocket. The rebuke comes after several smaller online outlets, using publicly available data on aviation services paid for by the government, questioned whether all the trips were official business.

Slovenia and N Macedonia sign defence cooperation accord

SKOPJE, North Macedonia - Defence Minister Marjan Šarec and his Macedonian counterpart Slavjanka Petrovska signed a defence cooperation agreement which replaces replace an existing cooperation agreement from 1994. "Together, we make a significant contribution to the Allies' deterrence and defence efforts, as well as improving the preparedness and connectivity of our armed forces, and demonstrating the regional dimension of cooperation," Šarec said.

Foreign Minister Fajon attends OSCE, IAEA meetings in Vienna

VIENNA, Austria - Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon took part in a meeting of the enhanced OSCE Permanent Council and the 67th general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). She expressed support for the presence of the OSCE in Ukraine because it reduces the risk for the civilian population. At the IAEA, she noted the need to ensure that the Iranian nuclear programme is peaceful.

Free public transport tickets for pensioners stay for now

LJUBLJANA - Following statements from government officials suggesting that the free public passenger transport tickets for pensioners might be abolished, the government said that such tickets would remain in force for the time being. This comes after a representative of the Environment, Climate and Energy Ministry hinted at the possibility of such tickets for pensioners aged 65 or older, introduced in 2020, being abolished, which caused an uproar.

Slovenian tourism in 2023 expected to match 2019 results

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian tourism is recovering well after the Covid-19 pandemic, Barbara Zmrzlikar, head of the R&D sector at the Tourist Board (STO), said at a press conference ahead of World Tourism Day. The STO estimates that the figures this year will surpass those from 2022 and match the record 2019 figures. According to official statistics, Slovenian tourism is recovering faster than the European and global averages.

Constitutional complaint by SDS MP over discharge from parliamentary inquiry fails

LJUBLJANA - The Constitutional Court has dismissed a complaint by opposition Democrat (SDS) MP Žan Mahnič over his discharge from a parliamentary inquiry into alleged illegal financing of parties through media, web portal N1 reported. Last October, the parliamentary inquiry terminated memberships of Mahnič and Janez Magyar, both SDS MPs, because they were had been called as witnesses in the investigation.

Slovenian artist Maja Smrekar wins Follow Fluxus grant

WIESBADEN, Germany - Slovenian intermedia artist Maja Smrekar, best known in the general public for a controversial performance in which she breastfed a dog, is the recipient of the 2024 Follow Fluxus, a grant for young international artists given out by the German city of Wiesbaden and the Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden, a centre of contemporary art. The EUR 10,000 grant comes with a three-month residency in Wiesbaden, the capital of the state of Hesse, and an independent exhibition at the Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden.

State subsidy approved for prefab bathroom maker Varis

LJUBLJANA - The government approved a EUR 659,000 subsidy for a EUR 1.9 million project of the Lendava-based prefabricated bathroom maker Varis to build a new production facility. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The decision to include the project in the 2023-2026 development programme was made at a session of the government's economy committee and comes after Varis's application had been rejected twice.

North Adriatic Hydrogen Valley project officially launched

PORTOROŽ - The 37 partners of the North Adriatic Hydrogen Valley project from Slovenia, Croatia and Italy signed an agreement to develop 17 pilot projects in the next six years with the aim of producing 5,000 tonnes of renewable hydrogen a year. Launched with the agreement today, the EUR 700 million project looks to establish the entire chain from the production of hydrogen by means of renewable electricity through storage and distribution to the final use as an energy product.

Forum for the Mura discusses August floods and future measures

RADENCI - The floods at the beginning of August that caused extensive damage both in Slovenia and Austria and action that has to be taken in future, were the main topic discussed as the fourth meeting of the Forum for the Mura held as part of the Slovenian-Austrian permanent commission for the Mura River. Mitja Bricelj, the chair of the Slovenian part of the commission, told the STA after the meeting that "it is time for action", adding that tangible steps on the ground were a challenge for the commission.

Agriculture minister discussing future of forests at ministerial

KAPFENBERG, Austria - Agriculture, Forestry and Food Minister Irena Šinko attended the first informal ministerial of the For Forest Group to discuss the future of the EU's forestry sector and forests. The partnership of the four EU member states - Austria, Finland, Slovenia and Sweden, advocates a comprehensive approach to sustainable forest management that sees all functions of the forest - economic, environmental and social - as equally important.

Amount of waste exceeds 11 million tonnes in 2022

LJUBLJANA - A total of 11.66 million tonnes of waste was generated in Slovenia in 2022, the first time it exceeded 11 million tonnes, which the Statistics Office said was mostly due to more construction waste. Compared to 2021, this is a 24% rise, while the country generated by 4% less municipal waste. Construction waste increased by 43% to account for nearly three quarters of all waste generated in 2022, or a record 8.6 million tonnes.

Man who shot at police apprehended after ten-hour negotiation

DRAŽENCI - After almost ten hours of negotiations, the police apprehended a man who shot at police officers from a balcony in Draženci, south east of Ptuj, and barricaded himself in the house. After being called by locals, police officers called on the man to put down the weapon and leave the house, but he refused to do so. He went to the balcony multiple times and some minutes before 10am fired multiple shots from the balcony, aiming at the officers. According to the official information, no one has been injured.

© STA, 2023