Weekly review of events involving Slovenia, 1-7 March

Ljubljana, 8 March - Below is a weekly review of events involving Slovenia from 1 to 7 March:

FRIDAY, 1 March

LJUBLJANA - The Foreign Ministry issued a condemnation of the firing by Israeli forces into crowds of Palestinian civilians gathered around aid trucks in Gaza. It again urged an immediate ceasefire, the protection of civilians and sufficient humanitarian aid deliveries across Gaza.

BAKU, Azerbaijan - Environment, Climate and Energy Minister Bojan Kumer took part in a ministerial meeting of the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council to stress the corridor is a key mechanism to ensure the EU's energy supply. He met Azerbaijani Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov to discuss efforts to step up bilateral cooperation.

KOPER/LJUBLJANA - The Supreme State Prosecutor's Office said the house of a state prosecutor in Koper had been hit by three Molotov cocktails on 25 March and condemned the attack. Senior officials condemned the incident as well.

LJUBLJANA - Around 30% of doctors at public hospitals and some 20% at community health centres withdrew their consent to work more than eight hours overtime, as the Fides trade union of doctors and dentists stepped up the strike that started on 15 January. Negotiations were resumed on 5 March and despite no tangible headway, doctors said that a resolution was on the horizon.

LAHTI, Finland - Slovenia's Nika Križnar and Lovro Kos won the women's and men's Ski Jumping World Cup events in Lahti, respectively. Križnar set a new hill record.

GLASGOW, UK - Slovenian track and field athlete Lia Apostolovski won bronze in the high jump event at the 2024 World Athletics Indoor Championships.


SIENA, Italy - Slovenian cycling star Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) started off his new season by winning the prestigious Strade Bianche race in an impressive fashion.

SUNDAY, 3 March

LJUBLJANA - Against the backdrop of the wars in Ukraine and Gaza, tensions in the Western Balkans and the rise of nationalism in the EU, Defence Minister Marjan Šarec told the STA that Slovenia must remain vigilant and will continue to build up its military capabilities because the army must be strong enough to act as a deterrent.

LAŠKO - Calls for a decent burial of all victims of post-war reprisals marked the 15th anniversary of the discovery of the remains of more than 1,400 victims of summary killings in a disused coal mine near Laško. The government commission for concealed mass graves declared 2024 as the year of remembrance for the Huda Jama victims and of dialogue about the burial of those not yet buried.

LAHTI, Finland - Peter Prevc placed second in the Ski Jumping World Cup event in Lahti for what is the 60th career podium in individual events for the 31-year-old, who will wrap up his successful career at the season's finals in Planica in two weeks.

MONDAY, 4 March

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Interior Minister Boštjan Poklukar ruled out a lifting of the temporary checks on the border with Croatia for the time being, as the number of illegal crossings had significantly increased in the past two months. This is also the reason for the plan to establish two asylum centres close to the border with Croatia, he added about the plan that both municipalities involved oppose.

LJUBLJANA - As the strike in healthcare continued, the doctors' trade union Fides decided to ask the Constitutional Court to review the government's decree which expands the scope of services doctors are obliged to provide during a strike.

LJUBLJANA - The opposition New Slovenia (NSi) lodged a request for a referendum on a bill on cultural rights of ex-Yugoslav communities in Slovenia that was drafted by the Left. The bill would among other things provide state funding for primary and secondary school students of ex-Yugoslav background to learn the languages of their communities.

LJUBLJANA - Almost two years after the general election, all parliamentary parties enjoy less public support than in the election, showed the Slovenian Public Opinion survey, carried out by the Faculty of Social Sciences. The ruling Freedom Movement has lost the most - two-thirds of its voters.

LJUBLJANA - Mendota Invest, which operates on behalf of the Hungarian bank OTP, obtained the final building permit for the construction of the commercial section of the future Ljubljana Passenger Centre, a commercial hub that will include retail space, two hotels, business premises and apartments.

TUESDAY, 5 March

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. Several current and former senior Justice Ministry officials - former Justice Minister Dominika Švarc Pipan not among them - have been named as suspects along with the seller.

LJUBLJANA - MPs appointed Andreja Katič justice minister for the second time in her political career. During her hearing, she announced that the Constitutional Court's June 2023 decision to raise judicial pay will be addressed in a special law as a matter of priority.

LJUBLJANA - The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) conferred its annual outstanding business achievements awards to entrepreneurs 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.

JESENICE - After three and a half years of excavation, workers broke through to the Austrian side of the Karavanke motorway tunnel on Tuesday, marking a major milestone in what is one of the biggest construction projects in Slovenia at the moment. The development occurred a few months later than expected.


TEL AVIV, Israel/LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon expressed Slovenia's expectation of an immediate ceasefire in Gaza during a phone call with her Israeli counterpart Israel Kazt. Slovenia expects the ceasefire agreement to include a deal on Israeli hostages, withdrawal of Israel's plan to attack Rafah and a guarantee of humanitarian aid and essential services for civilians in Gaza.

LJUBLJANA - Vesna Vuković, the powerful secretary general of the ruling Freedom Movement, decided to resign from the post effective in late March. Despite speculation she no longer had the support of PM Rober Golob, the latter said she was leaving off her own accord and after achieving all the goals the two of them had set.

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, Statistics Office data showed.

KRANJSKA GORA - After already giving up on the giant slalom race in the face of unfavourable weather conditions, the organisers of the men's Alpine Ski World Cup meet scheduled for the coming weekend in Kranjska Gora cancelled the slalom event as well due to extremely heavy rainfall.

LJUBLJANA - A bill on assisted dying, initiated by an NGO and supported by voter signatures, failed to pass the first reading in the National Assembly, being voted down 64:9. While the Freedom Movement supports the bill, the party that holds 40 seats in the 90-member parliament said it would initiate proceedings to hold a consultative referendum.

LJUBLJANA - Parliament unanimously passed changes to the Environment Protection Act that bring stricter emission standards for co-incineration. The bill was filed last autumn by several NGOs which campaign for clean air and water in the area of Salonit Anhovo, a cement factory in the Soča Valley, west, that also burns waste.

LJUBLJANA - President Nataša Pirc Musar appealed to the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution for a ceasefire in Gaza. In the face of mass crimes against civilian population the right to veto no longer holds legitimacy, the president said.

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Slovenia was among the EU member states that confirmed the EU's withdrawal from the Energy Charter Treaty as EU ministers in charge of competitiveness met in Brussels. Slovenia will officially withdraw from the treaty in October.

LJUBLJANA - The government changed the articles of association of the Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH), the custodian of state assets, to allow it to allocate its distributable profit for post-flood reconstruction. Around EUR 100 million will be channelled to a special reconstruction fund annually.

© STA, 2024