News roundup - Friday, 12 January

Ljubljana, 12 January - Below is a roundup of major events on Friday, 12 January:

Mateja Čalušić appointed new agriculture minister

LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly appointed Mateja Čalušić new agriculture, forestry and food minister in a 45:29 vote. MPs agreed that the new minister faces many challenges. Prime Minister Robert Golob believes that Čalušić, an MP for his party Freedom Movement, will be able to show her potential in a number of areas. Čalušić pledged efforts to improve food security and farmers' situation, but farmers themselves have been so far reserved in their comments about her.

Doctors' strike to proceed even as talks continue

LJUBLJANA - Several rounds of talks between the government and the Fides trade union of doctors and dentists this week have not brought much headway and doctors intend to start a general strike on Monday as planned. Fides said Friday it received a strike-ending proposal from the government today and plans to provide its feedback by Saturday but had rejected the government's proposal to call off or postpone the strike.

Judicial Council to request constitutional review of law on judges' pay

LJUBLJANA - Judicial Council president Vladimir Horvat announced that a request would be filed by Tuesday for a constitutional review of the law on the public sector pay system regulating judges' pay. He noted that the implementation of the Constitutional Court ruling on judges' pay was not tied to the tackling of public sector pay anomalies, as the prime minister's office has suggested.

Rift between govt and judges may lead to EU election complications

LJUBLJANA - Five months before the European elections, there is a possibility judges would obstruct the electoral process in Slovenia by declining to participate in district and local electoral commissions in protest over the government's failure to raise their pay to implement a Constitutional Court ruling. The National Electoral Commission said 156 judges are currently involved in the work of electoral commissions, but 30 had already resigned.

Slovenia buys one German IRIS-T surface-to-air missile system

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's decision to pick German manufacturer Diehl Defence as a medium-range air defence system supplier became final, the Defence Ministry confirmed for the STA. The company will deliver one IRIS-T surface-to-air missile system. The price, including all support elements and missiles is EUR 146.82 million. The system is surface-to-air variant with a range of up to 40 kilometres that can hit targets at altitudes of up to 20,000 metres.

Slovenia supports extension of UN mission in Cyprus

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia supports an extension of the UN peacekeeping mission in Cyprus and intends to contribute up to 15 troops, Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon said at a joint press conference with Cypriot Foreign Minister Konstantinos Kombos. The UN Security Council - Slovenia is a member this year and next - will vote on the extension by the end of the month and Fajon was confident it will endorse the extension.

Slovenia expresses support to UN mission in Colombia

NEW YOR, US - As the UN Security Council discussed the situation in Colombia on Thursday, Slovenia's special representative to the council, Samuel Žbogar, expressed Slovenia's support for the work of the UN mission to verify the peace agreement between the government and the Colombian rebels. Žbogar said that seven years after the signing of the final peace agreement between the government and the FARC rebels, its implementation remains a priority.

Fajon warns against escalation of situation in Yemen and region

LJUBLJANA - After the US and UK militaries launched strikes against multiple targets in the Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen on Thursday, Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon warned against escalation of the situation in the region. She said the attacks brought a new dynamics to the region that could make the Middle East situation even more complex. Addressing the press, Fajon also condemned Houthi attacks on international maritime transport, which indirectly also affect Slovenia's sole seaport in Koper.

New call published for airline subsidies

LJUBLJANA - Subsidies for airlines wishing to fly to Slovenia are available under a fourth call for tenders published by the Infrastructure Ministry. Applications are due within 30 days. Slovenia has made EUR 16.8 million available between 2023 and 2025, whereby a portion of the funds has already been disbursed in previous calls.

Most of hazardous silt removed from Koroška

PREVALJE/RAVNE NA KOROŠKEM - Some 1,700 tonnes of silt contaminated with heavy metals which had accumulated in the northern region of Koroška during the August 2023 floods has been successfully removed from the region and decontaminated in neighbouring Austria in a EUR 500,000 deal the state concluded with the company Saubermacher Slovenija. The Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Energy told the STA that an annex to remove another 250 tonnes was now in the making.

Clash with NSi over proposed heating sources ban intensifies

LJUBLJANA - Representatives of the government and the ruling Freedom Movement stressed at a session of the Infrastructure Committee on Thursday that the energy reform bill does not involve a ban of gas and biomass as heating sources for existing users and accused the opposition New Slovenia (NSi) of misleading the public. The party accused the NSi of openly lying about the implications of the changes. Opposition MPs insisted that the changes are harmful.

Cinematheque paying tribute to actor Peter Musevski

LJUBLJANA - A series of films starring Peter Musevski in a number of memorable roles will open at the Slovenian Cinematheque today to honour the actor who died in 2020 aged 54. Musevski broke into the world of Slovenian film in a major way with his role of an alcoholic in post-socialist Slovenia in the award-winning drama Bread and Milk by Jan Cvitkovič.

© STA, 2024