News roundup - Wednesday, 13 March, until 3pm

Ljubljana, 13 March - Below is a roundup of major events on Wednesday, 13 March, until 3pm local time:

Staff at administrative units on strike again

LJUBLJANA - Staff at most Slovenian administrative units are on another one-day strike over pay and working conditions, and their plan is to repeat the industrial action every Wednesday until their demands are met. While on strike, clerks at 54 out of the country's 58 administrative units are performing only urgent tasks and local offices are closed. Their demands include an increase in pay for all administrative unit employees by seven brackets and elevating their titles to be on a par with those at government ministries. They also demand a cashier's allowance.

Work starts to set up asylum units at border crossings

LJUBLJANA - The government confirmed on Tuesday that the work had started to establish asylum centre units near the Obrežje and Središče ob Dravi border crossings with Croatia. Faced with opposition from locals, the government said asylum seekers would only be accommodated there once the existing facilities in Ljubljana and Logatec are full. The head of the Government Office for the Support and Integration of Migrants, Katarina Štrukelj, said works include setting up infrastructure, from siting of the buildings, connecting them to the electricity network and checking possible issues related to sewarage.

Slovenia planning new bond issue

LJUBLJANA - The Finance Ministry announced an additional issue of the ten-year eurobond with a 3% coupon rate and due on 10 March 2034 after an earlier issue of such a bond reached EUR 1.5 billion in January. Three banks were mandated to manage the issue, which is expected in the near future, depending on the situation in financial markets.

NGO seeking closure of compost plant on river Mura

CERŠAK - NGO My Mura has taken the company Kogal to court seeking closure of its composting plant on an island on the Mura in Ceršak, some 20km north of Maribor. The NGO also expects the Maribor District Court to order the owner of the facility to clean up the degraded area. My Mura decided to go to court after their warnings and protests over nearly 20 years since the plant was launched have brought no progress, its president Samo Tuš told the press. He labelled the facility the biggest ecological bomb in this part of Europe, which poses a serious threat to the health of people and to the natural environment.

75 cruise ships expected in Koper in 2024

KOPER - 75 cruise ships with the capacity to carry up to 125,000 passengers in total are expected to arrive in Koper this year. The number of ships will not break any records, but the number of passengers, if all ships are full, could, the municipality said. The first one to arrive on 29 March is cruise line Saga Cruises' Spirit of Discovery while the season will close on 2 November with the arrival of Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Pearl. Luka Koper, the company managing the port of Koper, is planning to build a new passenger terminal, which is expected to be completed in 2025.

Slovenian researchers discover four new spider species in Africa

LJUBLJANA - Researchers from the National Institute of Biology (NIB) and the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU) have discovered four new spider species while doing research in a tropical forest in Madagascar, an island with an incredible biodiversity. All four raft spiders belong to the Dolomedes genus. Biologist Matjaž Kuntner and Kuang-Ping Yu, a doctoral candidate, described the new spiders in the paper Discovering Unknown Madagascar Biodiversity: Integrative Taxonomy of Raft Spiders (Pisauridae: Dolomedes), published in the scientific journal PeerJ.

© STA, 2024