Weekly review of events involving Slovenia, 5-11 January

Ljubljana, 12 January - Below is a weekly review of events involving Slovenia from 5 to 11 January:

FRIDAY, 5 January

LJUBLJANA - Urged by judges to step down over the government's failure to implement a Constitutional Court decision on their pay, Justice Minister Dominika Švarc Pipan said the decision would be implemented, albeit with a delay. Her potential resignation would not bring the matter any closer to a solution, she said, a view backed by Prime Minister Robert Golob.

LJUBLJANA - PM Robert Golob has become the owner of a company registered for the production of solar power as part of the division of assets with his former wife, according to a filing with the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption. Called Star Solar, the company owns four large photovoltaic installations and was previously owned by his ex-wife.

SATURDAY, 6 January

LJUBLJANA - The November cyber attack on Slovenia's state-owned power group HSE prompted plans to create a joint security operation centre for all state-owned energy companies, while HSE is to spend about half a million euros to upgrade its IT system, media reported.

LJUBLJANA - The decrepit unfinished commercial section of Ljubljana's Stožice sports complex has changed ownership after Rastoder, a banana trading and real estate company, sold it to MG Mind, a company based in Bosnia-Herzegovina, for an undisclosed sum. The new owner is said to have ambitious plans for the Stožice property.

KRANJSKA GORA - Canadian Valerie Grenier won the women's World Cup giant slalom in rainy conditions at the 60th Golden Fox Cup, her second career victory after she won her first one at the Golden Fox last year. Lara Gut-Behrami of Switzerland came in second (+0.37 sec) and Italian Federica Brignone (+0.51) third. Slovenia's Ana Bucik did not make it to the finish line.

BISCHOFSHOFEN, Austria - Slovenia's ski jumper Anže Lanišek placed third at the World Cup event in what was the final event of the prestigious Four Hills Tournament. Lanišek mustered the longest distance in the final series in snowy conditions, at 141 metres, to score 281.8 points overall, 7.1 points less than the winner of the event, Austria's Stefan Kraft.

SUNDAY, 7 January

LJUBLJANA - Slovakia's Petra Vlhova won the women's World Cup slalom race in Kranjska Gora in what was her third victory at the Golden Fox slalom events. German Lena Dürr was second (+0.72) and AJ Hurt from the US was third (+0.87). The best Slovenian was Andreja Slokar in 14th place (+2.43), as Ana Bucik did not make it to the finish line.

MONDAY, 8 January

CERKNICA - Five people who had been trapped in Križna Jama, a karst cave with underground lakes in south Slovenia for two days because water levels rose due to heavy rain while the three-member family was touring the cave with two guides, were rescued from the cave after water levels receded enough to allow cave rescuers to bring them out. This was the first rescue from a tourist cave in Slovenia.

PARIS, FRANCE - Bilateral cooperation was in focus as Slovenia's Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon met her French counterpart Catherine Colonna. They signed a cooperation action plan that will allow their countries to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in politics, economy, science and culture. The ministers also discussed a number of international issues.

LJUBLJANA - The government service for post-flood reconstruction published a list of 348 buildings slated for demolition due to the August floods and landslides. The buildings are located in 23 municipalities, but most of them, 137, are in Braslovče in the north. The list is to be updated as some assessments are still under way.
TUESDAY, 9 January

LJUBLJANA - Doctors and dentists staged a day-long strike to get the government back at the negotiating table to continue talks on better working conditions, including pay and a separate pay pillar for healthcare within the public sector. The government urged doctors to call off a general strike planned to start on 15 January.

TEL AVIV, Israel/LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon said in an interview with CNN that Israel's strikes on Gaza had violated international humanitarian law. Responding, Israel dismissed the allegation on Wednesday and said that Hamas was responsible for all civilian casualties in Gaza.

NEW YORK, US - Slovenia joined a number of United Nations members in expressing opposition to the use of veto on the Security Council when it comes to resolutions about Gaza. "We welcome the adoption of two UN Security Council resolutions on specific aspects of the crisis, but the steps taken so far have not been enough," Ambassador Boštjan Malovrh told the debate at the UN General Assembly.

NEW YORK, US - Slovenia joined a group of nearly 50 countries in condemning the sale of North Korean missiles to Russia which were then used against Ukraine on 30 December 2023 and 2 January. The statement was signed by the US, UK and several EU countries.

LJUBLJANA - The opposition New Slovenia (NSi) announced that its current and former leaders, Matej Tonin and MEP Ljudmila Novak, will both be running in the European Parliament elections in June. MPs Janez Cigler Kralj, Vida Čadonič Špelič and Jernej Vrtovec will also be on the ballot.

WEDNESDAY, 10 January

LJUBLJANA - Hearings in most litigation and commercial cases and in a number of criminal cases were cancelled as judges began a two-week protest over the government's failure to implement a Constitutional Court ruling declaring judges' salaries inadequate. Justice Minister Dominika Švarc Pipan said the ruling would be implemented as soon as possible.

LJUBLJANA - Roughly half of public sector trade unions signed an agreement with the government in line with which wages will be adjusted in June to 80% of the rise in inflation in 2023. Signing by the majority of unions by the end of the month is needed for the deal to be wrapped up.

LJUBLJANA - The Left and unaffiliated MP Mojca Šetinc Pašek condemned an invitation the Israeli Embassy sent to members of the parliamentary group of friendship with Israel to the screening of footage of Hamas's attack on Israel on 7 October 2023. The government dismissed the Left's demand that ambassador the be summoned over the issue.

LJUBLJANA - Agricultural and food security, and efforts for sustainable forms of farming will be in the focus of the likely new agriculture minister Mateja Čalušić, who had her confirmation hearing before the relevant parliamentary committee. The MP for the ruling Freedom Movement said she sees "agricultural and food security as the cornerstone of any country's existence".

KOPER - The port operator Luka Koper inaugurated a new lorry terminal, which has 203 parking spots and cost EUR 13 million. One of the operator's major investments, the EU co-funded upgrade is an important milestone in Luka Koper's development, the operator's chairwoman Nevenka Kržan said.

THURSDAY, 11 January

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia will participate in proceedings before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over Israel's alleged violations in the Palestinian territories that were initiated based on a 2022 resolution by the UN General Assembly, but cannot join yet South Africa's case against Israel at the same court, Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon said after three MPs of the Left called on the government to join the case.

LJUBLJANA - The number of illegal entries into Slovenia via the border with Croatia, which accounted for 96% of all illegal crossings, rose by 84% in 2023 compared to the year before, to over 58,193. Police detected in the last two months an increased number of attempts to smuggle migrants from northern Slovenia into Austria over sparsely populated mountain passes, so they beefed up their presence there.

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia will issue a long-awaited treasury bond for domestic retail investors in early February, the Finance Ministry announced. The country intends to issue EUR 250 million worth of papers with a maturity of three years. The yield will be set before the issue.

LJUBLJANA - Spanish flag carrier Iberia Airlines and Norway's budget carrier Norwegian Air secured subsidies offered by the Slovenian government to link Ljubljana with Madrid and Copenhagen, respectively, as part of a scheme designed to improve the country's air connectivity. The amount of subsidies has not been set yet.

LJUBLJANA - The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is looking into potential irregularities in the government's purchase of new premises for several Ljubljana courts, as the Justice Ministry did not commission its own price check of the building in Litijska Road, and allegedly overpaid, several media reported.

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