News roundup - Friday, 9 February

Ljubljana, 9 February - Below is a roundup of major events on Friday, 9 February:

Slovenia points to Badinter's role in its independence efforts

LJUBLJANA - PM Robert Golob, President Nataša Pirc Musar and the Foreign Ministry expressed condolences on the death of French legal expert and politician Robert Badinter, and stressed his important role in international recognition of Slovenia as an independent country. The ministry said the December 1991 report by the International Arbitration Committee that Badinter chaired enabled Slovenia's international recognition; the committee's stance was that Yugoslavia had disintegrated, that five successor states had emerged on its territory and that Serbia and Montenegro could not be the only successor. "We will always be grateful for this personal contribution of his to Slovenia's independence," the ministry said.

Pirc Musar wants to see Bosnia embark on EU path

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina - President Nataša Pirc Musar concluded her two-day official visit to Bosnia-Herzegovina, stressing that she would like the country to embark on the EU path and as a result step up progress and development. Today, she met Borjana Krišto, chair of the council of ministers, Kemal Ademović, chairman of the House of Peoples, and Marinko Čavara, chairman of the House of Representatives. She visited Slovenian troops serving in Sarajevo, and took part in a ceremony naming an Olympic giant slalom course at the Bjelašnica ski resort after Slovenian skier Jure Franko as part of events marking the 40th anniversary of the Sarajevo Olympic Games.

Slovenia calls for new EU industrial policy

GENK, Belgium - Economy Ministry State Secretary Matevž Frangež stressed the need for a new industrial policy to meet new strategic needs and to be able to narrow the gap with tough global competitors, as he took part in an informal session of the EU's Competitiveness Council. The meeting aimed at discussing the future of EU economy, the challenges the bloc faces and ways to improve its resilience and competitiveness.

Around 7,000 appointments cancelled, third of hospital doctors withdraw consent for overtime

LJUBLJANA - About 33% of doctors working in hospitals and 17% of those at community health centres have withdrawn consent for overtime work as part of the ongoing strike, which began 25 days ago. Once their withdrawals take effect, largely at the start of March, they are expected to have a big impact on the public healthcare system. In the first three weeks of the strike, hospitals cancelled or postponed at least 6,900 appointments, with some up to 30%, while others barely seeing any cancellations. There has been no progress in talks to resolve the strike demands.

Industrial output down 5.3% last year, with major December drop

LJUBLJANA - Industrial output in Slovenia dropped by 5.3% last year compared to 2022, the Statistics Office said. The 10.2% year-on-year drop in output in December largely contributed to this after more favourable autumn trends. Industrial output was down on an annual basis in all main activities, with the largest drop recorded in electricity, gas and steam supply (-31.9%), followed by mining and quarrying (-15.7%) and manufacturing (-4.1%). The total sales revenue in industry in 2023 was 1.1% lower than the year before, dropping by 1.3% on foreign markets and by 0.5% on the domestic market.

Days of Comedy arrive in Celje

CELJE - The SLG Celje theatre will host the 32nd Days of Comedy festival between 10 and 25 February featuring eight theatre productions in competition and, for the first time, an accompanying programme bringing plays from Slovenia and abroad, round table debates and workshops. Seven of the plays competing for the jury awards and the audience darling award come from five Slovenian public theatres and one is a private production. According to SLG Celje manager Miha Golob, the competing plays are mostly not based on Slovenian texts, except for one original project and one adaptation of a Slovenian novel.

German hiker missing since August confirmed dead

BOVEC - A 55-year-old German citizen who went missing last August in the mountains above Bovec in northwestern Slovenia has been confirmed dead as his remains, found at the end of December, have been positively identified by means of a forensic analysis. His body was found on 26 December by a local on the rugged terrain at an altitude of 900 metres, and the police later found personal items on the spot, based on which it was assumed that they most likely belonged to the missing German. He most likely fell down a precipice and suffered fatal injuries. There is no evidence of foul play, the police said.

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