News roundup - Tuesday, 30 January, until 3pm

Ljubljana, 30 January - Below is a roundup of major events on Tuesday, 30 January, until 3pm local time:

Business cooperation in focus of high-level Chinese visit

LJUBLJANA - A high-level Chinese delegation was on an official visit to Slovenia on Monday. Led by Wang Yong, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the delegation included the heads of postal services and top global train maker. Wang and PM Robert Golob expressed hope of further cooperation and affirmed traditionally friendly ties between their countries and a high level of cooperation in business, culture and science.

Macroeconomist Mrak says high time for structural reforms

LJUBLJANA - Reflecting on the government's economic policies and future outlook, Ljubljana School of Economics and Business professor Mojmir Mrak told the STA that at least some of the announced structural reforms in Slovenia will have to be executed this year. Mrak also feels the government opted for a too ambitions timeline regarding post-flood reconstruction. He hopes the global tensions will not escalate further.

Slovenia in favour of further UNRWA funding

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia has joined UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres's call for countries to continue funding the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), some of whose members have been accused by Israel of having taken part in Hamas's October 2023 terrorist attack in Israel. The Foreign Ministry said that freezing funds would jeopardise UNRWA and put at risk the lives of Palestinians in the Middle East.

Kočevje mayor confirms EU election bid

NOVO MESTO - Vladimir Prebilič, the mayor of Kočevje, confirmed he will enter the European Parliament election. He is currently discussing potential collaboration with several partners, whereby Vesna, a small green party that is not in parliament, is the likeliest backer. Vesna had backed Prebilič in the 2022 presidential election, when he beat expectations by winning over 10% of the vote in the first round. "I would personally wish additional support, but talks on that are still ongoing," he said.

Slovenia loses a spot in corruption perceptions index

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia scored 56 out of 100 points on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) in 2023, keeping the same score as in 2022, said Transparency International (TI) Slovenia. The country lost one spot compared to 2022 and ranked 42nd. Slovenia is lagging behind the EU average at 64 points, which according to TI Slovenia signifies insufficient efforts in corruption prevention. TI Slovenia president Neža Grasselli said she was not surprised by the result and the Corruption Prevention Commission noted the country has been stagnating if not declining for years in the fight against corruption.

Municipal aid to help keep heating cost manageable in Šalek Valley

VELENJE - Following a civil initiative-led uproar against a jump in district heating costs in Velenje and Šoštanj, the two municipalities announced aid subsidies amounting to 40% of heating expenses with a monthly cap of EUR 150. Along with what is termed a heating bonus, the councillors promised a 6% lower price of the variable part of the heating costs, as well as 10 euro subsidies per MWh for January and February and 5 euro subsides for March and April.

Work by photographer Kranjec exhibited at EU parliament

BRUSSELS, Belgium - The Overlooked, a photo exhibition by Slovenian Mankica Kranjec, opened at the European Parliament in Brussels today to highlight the often overlooked women who play vital roles in society by sharing their inspiring stories. The exhibition features portraits of women across a wide range of professions, of different ages, as well as social and religious backgrounds, and short excerpts from interviews. The work shows how their many roles intertwine and overlap.

Exhibition on forgotten medieval town opens in National Museum

LJUBLJANA - An interactive exhibition telling the story of Gutenwerd, a thriving medieval town in what is today south-east Slovenia that was destroyed by the Ottomans, is opening in the National Museum in Ljubljana. The exhibition aims to present the everyday lives of residents of Gutenwerd by means of some 600 exhibits put on display, which gives context to different archaeological, numismatic and written sources, said Tomaž Nabergoj from the National Museum.

© STA, 2024