News roundup - Thursday, 11 January

Ljubljana, 11 January - Below is a roundup of major events on Thursday, 11 January:

Slovenia cannot join South Africa case against Israel, says Fajon

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.

FM Fajon says Israel violating international law in Gaza

TEL AVIV, Israel/LJUBLJANA - In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon said that Israel's strikes on Gaza had violated international humanitarian law. The number of Palestinian civilian casualties is too high, Fajon said and called for a sustainable ceasefire and a two-state solution. Responding, Israel dismissed the allegation on Wednesday and said that Hamas was responsible for all civilian casualties in Gaza.

PM's office says Hamas attack film is no interference in internal affairs

LJUBLJANA - Israel's invitations to MPs to the screening of a film about Hamas attacks do not constitute interference in Slovenia's internal affairs, the prime minister's office said in response to the Left's demand that ambassador be summoned by the foreign minister. "The same rules would apply if invitations came from the Palestinian community," said State Secretary Vojko Volk, warning against excluding any side or turning down dialogue.

Hamas attack footage screening no reason to summon ambassador, FM says

LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon rejected the Left's call to summon the Israeli ambassador over yesterday's screenings of footage of Hamas's attack on a music festival on 7 October. A screening falls under activities diplomatic representations are allowed and there is no reason for a summons. Nevertheless, Slovenia expect these activities to be in line with diplomatic practices and Slovenian law, she said.

Unauthorised entries via Croatia up 84% in 2023

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, show data provided by police. Last year brought a tripling of illegal Afghan immigrants in Slovenia to almost 18,000, while the number of Moroccans to enter illegally rose from 300 to over 8,800. The number of Pakistani and Russian citizens handled by police doubled.

Constitutional Court upholds restrictions on self-styled militias

LJUBLJANA - The Constitutional Court has found no flaws in legislative changes passed in 2020 to restrict the activity of self-styled militias in Slovenia. The applicants argued they are discriminatory and target registered organisations, but the court held that the changes do not encroach on the right to assembly and to form security organisations.

Slovenia to issue domestic retail bond in February

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. Individuals with permanent or temporary residence in Slovenia will be able to invest between a minimum of 1,000 and a maximum of 100,000 euros.

Iberia and Norwegian win airline subsidies

LJUBLJANA - Spanish flag carrier Iberia Airlines and Norway's budget carrier Norwegian Air have secured subsidies offered by the Slovenian government to link Ljubljana with Madrid and Copenhagen, respectively. Announcing the results of the latest call in a scheme designed to improve the country's air connectivity, the Infrastructure Ministry said the amount of subsidies will be known once contracts with the two successful bidders are agreed.

Strategic council to help govt draft tax reform

PORTOROŽ - The government will form a strategic council for taxes as part of its plan to reform the country's tax system, Finance Ministry State Secretary Katja Božič told a tax conference. The government would like to secure the broadest possible consensus on tax reform, a reason why it decided on the strategic council, which will feature tax experts, as well as representatives of individual employers and employees, she said.

Bill implementing EU Digital Services Act adopted

LJUBLJANA - The government adopted a bill implementing the EU Digital Services Act, legislation that Digital Transformation Minister Emilija Stojmenova Duh says is key to a safe, predictable and trustworthy online environment. The act holds providers of intermediary services, online platforms and online marketplaces legally accountable for the content posted on them. In Slovenia it will apply to entities including telecoms providers Telekom Slovenije, A1, Telemach and T-2, and the online marketplace Bolha.

Police investigating purchase of new court premises

LJUBLJANA - The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is checking 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 it. The ministry said it will fully cooperate with the NBI. Should any irregularities regarding the appraisal be established, it will immediately act to annul the contract, Minister Dominika Švarc Pipan said.

Crime numbers return to pre-Covid levels

LJUBLJANA - Police dealt with 54,017 criminal offences last year, which is comparable to pre-Covid years, the latest police statistics show. The number of crimes increased in all areas compared to the five-year average, with juvenile crime up by 26% and organised crime by 18%. The crime clearance rate however rose above 51% for the first time in ten years, said Damjan Petrič, director of the Criminal Police Directorate.

Chief defendant in Kavač Clan case allegedly unfit to stand trial

LJUBLJANA - The chief defendant in the trial against the Slovenian cell of a Montenegrin drug trafficking cartel has been assessed as unfit to stand trial, and has been temporarily excluded from what is currently one of the largest trials in Slovenia, according to multiple media reports. The alleged reason for the complications is a hunger strike on which Kadivec has been since 16 December in protest over the solitary confinement in detention.

Migrants now smuggled to Austria over less-known mountain passes

ČRNA NA KOROŠKEM/MOZIRJE - The police have detected in the last two months an increased number of attempts to smuggle migrants from northern Slovenia into Austria over sparsely populated mountain passes. Nine traffickers who tried to smuggle a total of 92 foreigners, mostly Syrians, have been apprehended since the beginning of December, the Celje Police Department told the STA.

© STA, 2024