News roundup - Tuesday, 9 January

Ljubljana, 9 January - Below is a roundup of major events on Tuesday, 9 January:

Doctors on strike

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 sides agreed to start talks tomorrow. Health Minister Valentina Prevolnik Rupel called the strike unnecessary. She is confident that a deal can be reached soon. The government urged doctors to call off a general strike planned to start on 15 January. In protest against the doctors' strike, the Voice of the People, a group of NGOs and individuals, organised a rally in Ljubljana. They group find the strike unethical and unfounded.

President tells troops abroad they stand for national values

LJUBLJANA - President Nataša Pirc Musar addressed Slovenian troops serving abroad by videolink, telling them they were an important representative of Slovenia's values abroad. The commanders of contingents active in international missions in Kosovo, Slovakia, Latvia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Germany and Iraq provided briefings for the president, Defence Minister Marjan Šarec and Chief of the General Staff of the Slovenian Armed Forces Lt-Gen Robert Glavaš. A total of 292 Slovenian soldiers currently serve abroad.

Tonin and Novak running for MEPs for NSi

LJUBLJANA - 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. Novak waived her condition to run as the top candidate and the name sequence on the ticket will be determined in the spring. MPs Janez Cigler Kralj, Vida Čadonič Špelič and Jernej Vrtovec will also run in the election. The opposition party is the first of the parliamentary parties to announce its candidates for the elections.

Fajon says addressing climate change is addressing conflicts

LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon addressed an event of the Institute for Strategic Solutions to argue that fighting climate change also meant dealing with conflicts and migration issues, because a number of ongoing armed conflicts are the result of climate change, water shortage and poor water management. The event was held as as Ljubljana-based think-tank launched the annual edition of its magazine The Adriatic, this year focusing on climate change and its effects on finance and logistics.

No impact assessment needed in C0 sewerage project

LJUBLJANA - The Ministry of Environment, Climate and Energy has decided that an environment impact assessment is not needed for a section of the contentious C0 sewerage system built by Ljubljana and two neighbouring municipalities. Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković urged President Nataša Pirc Musar to apologize for saying in the past that an assessment was required. In response the president underlined that clean potable water must be a priority both on the national and local levels.

Calamity and solidarity declared word, gesture of 2023

LJUBLJANA - The top authority on Slovenian language declared calamity (ujma) the word of 2023, while the gesture for solidarity was picked the gesture of the year in sign language, both selected in the wake of devastating floods that hit Slovenia in the summer. This is the second time that natural disasters affected the lives of Slovenians to such a degree as to be reflected in the word of the year. The word of 2022 was firefighter, after thousands had fought the worst wildfire in Slovenia's history that summer.

December 2023 warmest in 70 years

LJUBLJANA - Last December was the warmest since at least 1950, preliminary data from the Slovenian Environment Agency (ARSO) show. Precipitation was higher than usual, but the high temperatures meant only a few centimetres of snow fell, and it melted within days. There was also more than average number of hours of sunshine. Air temperature in December was 2.9 degrees Celsius above the average for 1991-2020.

Brnik airport marking 60 years of passenger traffic

BRNIK - This year will have marked 60 years since the launch of passenger traffic at the Brnik airport. During this time, 47.7 million passengers travelled through Slovenia's main airport, operator Fraport Slovenija noted in a press release. In the coming months, a number of events at the airport will mark the anniversary. When passenger traffic was launched in 1964, 78,000 people travelled through the airport that year, a figure that can hardly compare to the 1.27 million last year.

Drunk driving deputy mayor of Maribor stays on

LJUBLJANA - Gregor Reichenberg, Maribor's deputy mayor, was caught drunk driving on 31 December and offered to resign, but Mayor Saša Arsenovič has decided not to accept his resignation, Večer newspaper reported. "I am not willing to give up an extraordinary deputy mayor and excellent co-worker because of a single mistake," Arsenovič told the paper.

Renowned philosophers lecturing in Cankarjev Dom

LJUBLJANA - A series of lectures by eight renowned philosophers, dubbed Gray on Gray, started at Cankarjev Dom, addressing various questions, ranging from topics of contemporary relevance to more elementary philosophical themes. The Gray on Gray series will feature four admission-free evenings with four pairs of lecturers until the end of February, including Slavoj Žižek and German philosopher Frank Ruda.

Slovenian researchers turn soap bubble into laser

LJUBLJANA - While soap bubbles are mostly known for their attention-grabbing effect on small children, Slovenian researchers from the Jožef Stefan Institute have now shown that these also have the property of generating colour-tunable laser light. Researchers at the institute's department for condensed matter physics created a laser that could act as a sensitive sensor for measuring atmospheric pressure or detecting changes in the electric field. Their study was published in the scientific journal Physical Review X.

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