News roundup - Tuesday, 5 March

Ljubljana, 5 March - Below is a roundup of major events on Tuesday, 5 March:

NBI conducting 16 house searches in connection to court building purchase

LJUBLJANA - The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) conducted searches at 16 locations in connection to the controversial purchase of a building that was to house several courts. A total of 13 persons are suspected of abuse of office or trust in business activity which resulted in EUR 3.4 million in proceeds from crime, NBI head Darko Muženič said. While neither former Justice Minister Dominika Švarc Pipan nor her former state secretary Igor Šoltes are among the suspects, several current and former senior Justice Ministry officials have been named as suspects along with the seller, the businessman Sebastjan Vežnaver, and appraiser Anton Rigler.

Andreja Katič appointed justice minister

LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly appointed Andreja Katič justice minister in what marks the second time in her political career that she will take over at the helm of the Justice Ministry. She replaces Dominika Švarc Pipan amid an ongoing investigation into allegations about irregularities in a purchase of a building by the ministry. She was appointed in a 45:18 vote after opposition MPs made it clear she did not enjoy their support. She has already been sworn in.

Easing of tensions with doctors on the horizon

LJUBLJANA - Representatives of doctors and the government held their first round of talks in two weeks. While no tangible headway was made, it was agreed that the negotiations will continue. The negotiations were held after Damjan Polh, the president of the Fides trade union, met with Prime Minister Robert Golob. Polh thinks that disagreements between the government and the doctors could be resolved "in a short time, probably in two weeks", but he stressed that the strike will not end or be suspended for now.

Slovenia "deeply regrets" Security Council veto on Gaza

NEW YORK, US - Slovenia deeply regrets the use of veto by the US to block a resolution that urges an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, Slovenian Ambassador to the UN Boštjan Malovrh said as the UN General Assembly continued its plenary meeting on the veto. He stressed that ending the hostilities is the only way to stop the suffering in Gaza. "The call of this Assembly was clear, the call of the global community was clear," said Malovrh.

Slovenia strongly condemns chemical weapons at UN Security Council meeting

NEW YORK, US - Slovenia's representative in the UN Security Council Samuel Žbogar strongly condemned at Monday's meeting of the UN Security Council the use of chemical weapons and warned Moscow against double standards, after the Russian representative dismissed the debate as unnecessary. In Slovenia chemical weapons were used during the First World War and their use in the 21st century is unacceptable, he said.

Court sides with SIJ in energy state aid dispute

LJUBLJANA - The Administrative Court has ordered Spirit Slovenije, a public agency, to pay to SIJ Ravne Systems the overdue state aid designed to help companies cope with high energy prices. Spirit withheld the payments on the grounds that the company did not deserve the aid since it generated a profit in 2022, but he court held that there is no legal ground not to pay. The ruling is not yet final, the company said.

GZS gives outstanding achievements awards to four managers

Ljubljana, 05 March (STA) - The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) honoured four entrepreneurs with its annual outstanding achievements awards: Janko Koprivec of silicon maker Siliko, Robert Medle of shades maker Roletarstvo Medle, Milan Košeljnik of metallurgy company Kolding and Dragan Mešič of flanges maker Megras. The outstanding achievement awards have been given out by the GZS since 1969 and are among the most prestigious business awards in the country.

Registered unemployment dropped below 50,000 again in February

LJUBLJANA - After two months of growth, registered unemployment dropped by 3.7% in monthly comparison and by 6.9% at the annual level to 49,716 in February, the Employment Service said. In February, 4,681 newly unemployed people were registered, which is 49.5% fewer than in January and 6.6% more than in February last year. Among them, 1,959 registered because their fixed-term contracts expired, which is almost 60% fewer than in January and 3.1% fewer year-on-year.

Slovenian-led initiative seeks to ensure accessible, safe reproductive choices

LJUBLJANA - The 8 March Institute, a Slovenian NGO, will coordinate a European Citizens' Initiative called My Voice, My Choice, which aims to collect one million signatures across the EU in support of a financial mechanism that would ensure accessible and safe abortions for women across Europe. The campaign brings together organisations from France, Poland, Spain, Finland and Ireland and is expected to spread wider, said Maja Koražija from the 8 March Institute.

City of Women honours women for invisible work and courage

LJUBLJANA - City of Women, an association fighting for women's rights, has given out the Women about Women award for the fifth year in a row to showcase the invisible work, stories and courage of women. The recipients include the author Dijana Matković, theatre director and playwright Tjaša Črnigoj, writer and event organised Tea Hvala, retired sociology professor Sonja Lokar, and Rejv Utopija, a collective which is striving to remove violence, discrimination and harassment from entertainment and social spaces.

FIS giant slalom in Kranjska Gora cancelled, slalom moved to Saturday

KRANJSKA GORA - The organisers of the Alpine Ski World Cup in Kranjska gora were forced to cancel the giant slalom event, planned for Saturday, due to unfavourable weather conditions which could endanger the safety of the competitors, said the International Ski and Snowboard Federation (FIS). Instead, the organisers will try to hold the slalom event, which was originally scheduled for Sunday, FIS said.

Ski season cut short by high temperatures

KRANJSKA GORA/CERKNO - Ski resorts around Slovenia are struggling because of unseasonably high temperatures and will not be able to make up for the poor results of the first half in the second half of the season. Some ski resorts are already closing, while most others are operating at limited capacities. One of the country's most popular ski destinations, Kranjska Gora in the northwest will shut down this afternoon.

Two Slovenians climb new route in Patagonia

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's Luka Krajnc and Luka Lindič have completed a first ascent to the top of a new climbing route on Aguja Poincenot, a mountain located in Argentinian Patagonia. The 500-metre climb was documented in February in what was the climbers' third attempt to complete the route, the Slovenian Alpine Association said. The route, which they dubbed Pot (The Way), is located in the southern face of the 3,002-metre Aguja Poincenot.

Researcher Tušek wins additional ERC funds for elastocaloric technology research

LJUBLJANA - Jaka Tušek, a researcher at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, has received EUR 150,000 in additional ECR funds to upgrade his research of elastocaloric cooling and heating technology, a breakthrough technology that could help fight the greenhouse effect, and to transfer it into everyday use. Tušek developed the technology part of his first ERC project, SUPERCOOL, for which he received EUR 1.4 million for researchers at the start of their careers.

Skobe wins regional Sony World Photography award

LONDON, UK - Slovenian architect and photographer Ana Skobe has won the top regional award of this year's prestigious Sony World Photography Awards competition. An exhibition of the award-winning entries is scheduled from 19 April to 6 May at Somerset House in London. Skobe won the regional award for Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, and Bosnia-Herzegovina with a photo of a lighthouse in soft evening light.

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