News roundup - Wednesday, 6 March, until 3pm

Ljubljana, 6 March - Below is a roundup of major events on Wednesday, 6 March, until 3pm local time:

Insurance group Triglav posts EUR 16m profit for 2023

LJUBLJANA - Zavarovalnica Triglav, Slovenia's largest insurance group, posted a net profit of EUR 16 million for 2023 on revenue of EUR 1.78 billion, a 12% increase on the year before, show preliminary figures released by the core company. The net profit for the year compares to a EUR 7 million net loss for 2022, even though the company's audited annual report for 2022 shows it had posted a net profit of EUR 110 million. Pre-tax profit amounted to EUR 21 million, compared to a EUR 10 million loss in 2022 according to the new calculations, as the company has transitioned to new accounting standards.

Trade with third countries underpins Slovenia's export growth

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's merchandise exports grew by 8.3% year-on-year in January on the back of a strong increase in trade with non-EU countries. Imports rose by 6.6%, likewise due to surging imports from countries outside the EU, shows Statistics Office data. Exports to the EU declined by almost 2% and exports to non-EU countries jumped by 20.8%, but even that increase was largely due to what are called "processing operations". Processing activities excluded, exports to non-EU countries rose by just 2.7%, and imports from non-EU countries were up by 2%.

Judges turning to State Attorney's Office over pay issue

LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian Judges' Association handed over to the State Attorney's Office requests from judges for an amicable solution of the pay issue after the Constitutional Court ruled judges' salaries are too low, which breaches the principle of judicial independence and of the division of powers. Some 50 judges had filed the requests early and another 320 did so today, delivering them to the State Attorney's Office through the head of the Slovenian Judges' Association Vesna Bergant Rakočević and her deputy Andrej Ekart. The State Attorney's Office has three months to process the requests.

Katič takes over at Justice Ministry

LJUBLJANA - Andreja Katič took over as justice minister from her predecessor Dominika Švarc Pipan, announcing a lot of hard work. Her first decision was to temporarily revoke all delegated decision-making powers of senior ministry officials. She said she would provide more details about the handling of the court building case, which swept away her predecessor, in the coming days. Also among the challenges ahead is the implementation of the Constitutional Court's decision on judges' salaries, which the court deemed so low as to violate the principles of judicial independence and the division of powers.

Only one Slovenian EPP member supports Von der Leyen's bid

LJUBLJANA - The three Slovenian members of the largest political group in the EU, the EPP, are split on the candidacy of Ursula von der Leyen for lead candidate at the June EU elections. While New Slovenia (NSi) plans to vote for her at the EPP's congress in Bucharest, the Democrats (SDS) and the People's Party (SLS) will not. Delegations of all three parties are attending the congress, led by party heads Janez Janša (SDS), Matej Tonin (NSi) and Marko Balažic (SLS).

Slovenia sees elections, constitution as South Sudan's priorities

NEW YORK, US - Preparations for the general election and completing the constitution must be a priority for South Sudan, Slovenian representative in the UN Security Council Samuel Žbogar said during Tuesday's debate on the situation in the country. Ambassador Žbogar condemned the serious human rights violations, in particular sexual violence, including rape, attacks against civilians, and recruitment of children for soldiers. Žbogar also said that the agreed minimum quotas for women in transitional official bodies must be respected. "The humanitarian situation remains worrying," he added.

Brežice council unanimously against asylum centre in municipality

BREŽICE - The Brežice municipal council voted unanimously on Tuesday against the government's plan to erect an asylum centre at the Obrežje international border crossing with Croatia, located in their municipality. They are not convinced by the assurances that this is a temporary measure and that police will ensure the safety of residents. Should the government go on with its plan to set up a unit of the Ljubljana Asylum Centre in Obrežje (E), some councillors said that locals would organise protests and block the border crossing. Another unit is to be set up in Središče ob Dravi (NE).

Doctors reiterate opposition to assisted dying legislation

LJUBLJANA - A day before the National Assembly is to debate a bill on assisted dying, which was filed by an NGO last year, the Slovenian Medical Chamber reiterated its strong opposition to the bill, saying that many doctors would raise conscientious objections if it is passed. The chamber's president Bojana Beović said at a news conference that their opposition was rooted in their basic wish to help patients.

Precious private collection of Slovenian art on show at National Gallery

LJUBLJANA - A collection of over 60 Slovenian works of art made from the second half of the 19th century to the late 20th century is being put on show at the National Gallery in what its director Barbara Jaki has described as one of the finest private collections of Slovenian art. Jaki wrote on the occasion that "the Kroples Art Collection is distinguished by its exceptional quality, exquisite taste and original concept". The show features 61 paintings and five sculptures.

Carinthian Culture Days opening with an exhibition

LJUBLJANA - The Carinthian Culture Days festival, which celebrates Slovenian culture in the Austrian region of Carinthia, is starting with the opening of Na Robu Barve (On the Edge of Colour), an exhibition by painter, writer and journalist Vincenc Gotthardt. The festival will bring a number of other events, including a concert, theatre plays and book presentations, until 14 April. It is hosted by the Club of Carinthian Slovenians in Ljubljana, two Klagenfurt-based minority associations and the Ljubljana Association of the Slovenian-Austrian Friendship.

Dončić's assistant coach to help Slovenia qualify for Paris

LJUBLJANA - Sean Sweeney, the assistant coach of the Dallas Mavericks, the NBA team of Slovenian superstar Luka Dončić, will join the coaching staff of the Slovenian men's basketball team for the Olympic qualifying tournament in Greece in July, the web portal Siol reported. Saša Dončić, the director of sport of the Slovenian Basketball Federation, and Luka Dončić's father, said regarding Sweeney that people in Dallas and Texas in general knew a lot about Slovenia and appreciated it because of Luka. He added that the basketball federation would try to make more additions to the coaching staff.

© STA, 2024