News roundup - Friday, 19 January, until 3pm

Ljubljana, 19 January - Below is a roundup of major events on Friday, 19 January, until 3pm local time:

SocDems have justice minister's back but await clarifications

LJUBLJANA - Justice Minister Dominika Švarc Pipan has the support of her SocDems for the time being, but party leader Tanja Fajon said "we will take firm action" in case it turns out that irregularities occurred in the ministry's acquisition of a building to house several courts in Ljubljana. "We all want to protect the public interest, together with the minister, but no one has a blank cheque with us in advance," Fajon said in her first substantive response to the allegedly mismanaged EUR 7.7 million acquisition.

Jobs outlook remains positive but less so than in 2023

LJUBLJANA - Around 56% of Slovenian employers plan to raise wages in the first half of the year and 46% expect to expand their workforce, shows the last survey by the employment company Manpower. The net hiring forecast for the first half of the year is meanwhile significantly lower than last year, at +42.41% compared to +54.49%. The most optimistic about hiring are employers in the transport and logistics, healthcare and pharma, and banking, finance and insurance sectors.

Geoenergo enters bankruptcy as court deflects move by Ascent Resources

MURSKA SOBOTA - The Murska Sobota District Court approved a bankruptcy application by Geoenergo, a Slovenian company that paired up with the UK's Ascent Resources to extract gas by controversial fracking in the northeast of the country. As Geoenergo's creditor and partner, Ascent Resources had asked the court to prevent the insolvency proceeding, arguing Geoenergo tried to abue insolvency legislation to avoid its claim. The court sided with Geoenergo.

Acclaimed architect Stanko Kristl dies

LJUBLJANA - Stanko Kristl, an award-winning architect who left a strong mark on Slovenian Modernist architecture in the second half of the 20th century, died aged 101 on Thursday, his family announced. Considered one of the key representatives of the golden generation of Slovenian Modernist architects, Kristl is perhaps best known for UKC Ljubljana. He received practically all major awards for architecture, and was elected a regular member of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts in 2011.

Banksy showcased at pop up gallery in Ljubljana

LJUBLJANA - An exhibition of works by world-renown street artist Banksy is on display at a pop up gallery in Ljubljana's Čopova Street. Set up by curator David Rjazancev, head of the Deva Puri Gallery, Banksy in Ljubljana also features copies of works by renown artists who have inspired Banksy, such as Picasso and Warhol. The exhibition showcases the diversity of Banksy's world, from his original prints to album covers, posters and his cooperation with The Simpsons project.

Snow disrupting traffic, particularly on motorways

LJUBLJANA - The heavy snowfall that spread to most parts of the country in the morning slowed down traffic. Motorways are affected, with trucks being removed and sections closed for all traffic. With up to 20cm of snow reported for some areas, the road situation has deteriorated further and authorities have called on drivers to avoid travelling if possible. The snowfall is to calm down in the afternoon but the snow is here to stay during what will be a dry and sunny weekend.

Ski jumper Nika Prevc wins another World Cup event

ZAO, Japan - Slovenian ski jumper Nika Prevc (235.2 points) clinched her fifth victory in the current season of the women's World Cup as she won an event in Zao, Japan. The 18-year-old finished as many as 12.1 points ahead of Japan's Yuki Ito. Third place went to world champion Alexandria Loutitt from Canada (216.7 points), while Slovenia's Nika Križnar placed fourth, missing the podium by a mere half a point.

Accordionists from six countries playing in Avsenik's birth town

BEGUNJE NA GORENJSKEM - Fans of Slovenian pop folk music are in for a treat this weekend, as Begunje na Gorenjskem, the birth town of legendary accordion player and composer Slavko Avsenik, hosts the 17th international competition of accordion players vying for the Avsenik Prize. The competition, which is open for public, will be held at Avsenik Inn from today until Sunday, featuring 140 accordion players from Slovenia, Austria, Croatia, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

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