News roundup - Friday, 5 April

Ljubljana, 5 April - Below is a roundup of major events on Friday, 5 April:

Ministry proposal allowing for sale of Pošta Slovenije and Zavarovalnica Triglav

LJUBLJANA - A sale of postal company Pošta Slovenije and insurer Zavarovalnica Triglav is no longer off limits in line with a draft of a new state investment management strategy drawn up by the Finance Ministry and obtained by the STA, but the finance minister said the sale is not in the works. More protection is meanwhile envisaged for Telekom Slovenije.

Govt to address judicial pay in emergency law, Golob tells judges

LJUBLJANA - PM Robert Golob and Justice Minister Andreja Katič met senior judicial officials to outline to them a blueprint for an emergency bill to implement a Constitutional Court ruling that says judges' pay must be raised. Golob's office did not reveal details, but announced the judiciary will get the draft bill in two weeks. Prosecutor Barbara Prevolšek said she was not happy with the contents of the planned bill.

Slovenia condemns attacks on aid workers

NEW YORK, US - Slovenia's Ambassador to the UN Samuel Žbogar condemned attacks on humanitarian workers at a session of the UN Security Council. Only an end to the armed conflict can stop starvation, he said. The meeting was convened after World Central Kitchen workers were killed in an Israeli strike in Gaza at the beginning of the week.

Slovenian PEN calls for recognition of Palestine

LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian PEN Centre has sent a letter to the president, prime minister, foreign minister and the National Assembly saying Slovenia should recognise Palestine as an independent state. This is the only right solution to the war in Gaza and would put Slovenia on the right side of history, it said. The letter says that the war in Gaza has long exceeded the right to defend the Israeli state and has taken on proportions of ethnic cleansing.

Irregularities alleged in digital competence courses for adults

LJUBLJANA - After the allegedly dodgy purchase of laptops, the Digital Transformation Ministry is in spotlight again as a whistleblower has reported irregularities in informal training for adults in digital competencies. One of the contractors, which was given almost EUR 3 million, reportedly did not do its job and falsified relevant documentation.

State asset custodian petitions for receivership of telco T-2

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian State Holding (SSH), the custodian of state assets, has filed a petition for receivership of the telecommunications operator T-2 in order to enforce what it claims is tens of millions in euros of debt. According to the news portal Necenzurirano, at the core of the dispute between SSH and T-2 is EUR 120 million in loans that the company was granted by state-owned banks more than a decade ago for the construction of an optical network. T-2 insists that a large part of this money was never transferred to its account.

Change at helm of emerging OTP Banka at end of year

MARIBOR/LJUBLJANA - John Denhof, the chairman of the NKBM bank, has announced that he will step down at the end of the year, when his current term expires. In the meantime, he will manage the ongoing merger of the bank with SKB Banka, while the Hungarian owner, OTP Group, will be looking for a new chairman of the merged bank.

Physicist Prosen helps unlock quantum computer utility in breakthrough finding

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian mathematical physicist Tomaž Prosen, along with researchers from Google's Quantum AI lab, has demonstrated the first practical application of a quantum computer. The team successfully conducted a quantum simulation of a quantum material and discovered a completely new type of transport in the process.

Janša's constitutional appeal against tweet damages rejected

LJUBLJANA - The Constitutional Court has rejected an appeal by the opposition Democrats (SDS) head Janez Janša against the Supreme Court's decision to reject his request for revision of the procedure in the lawsuit by journalist Eugenija Carl over an insulting tweet, where Janša was ordered to pay EUR 6,000 in damages.

People's Party unveils EU election slate

LJUBLJANA - The non-parliamentary People's Party (SLS) unveiled its list of candidates for the June EU election. The slate will be topped by Peter Gregorčič, former chair of the RTV Slovenija programme council, and tailed by the party's leader Marko Balažic. The SLS's current MEP Franc Bogovič is also on the list, as well as Franc Pukšič, a former MP and mayor, law expert Sara Ahlin Doljak, computer engineer Mija Aleš, neurobiologist Nina Strah, head of the party's youth wing Kaja Galič, and head of its local youth wing in Zagorje ob Savi Aljaž Barlič.

Signage with historical Italian street names in Koper violate the law

KOPER - Culture inspectors have found the signage with Italian historical names of squares and streets in the centre of Koper to violate the Slovenian language law, because they have no Slovenian translation. The city of Koper has appealed the decision, but the appellate body, the Culture Ministry, has upheld it.

Tina Vrščaj's novel gets special mention in Brussels

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Slovenian writer Tina Vrščaj received a special mention for her novel Na Klancu as the EU Prize for Literature was given out in Brussels on Thursday. She was one of the 13 nominees for the prize, which went to Danish writer Theis Oerntoft, while a total of five authors received special mentions.

Tour of the Basque Country over for Roglič after mass crash

BILBAO, Spain - Slovenian cycling star and Bora-Hansgrohe rider Primož Roglič concluded his performance at the Tour of the Basque Country after being involved in a mass crash on Thursday in which he sustained mild injuries while several top cyclists were badly injured. The 34-year-old Slovenian was examined in a hospital to confirm he has no bone fractures, the German press agency dpa reported.

Peter Prevc's helmet sold for EUR 30,000 at charity auction

LJUBLJANA - The autographed helmet that star ski jumper Peter Prevc wore while making the last jumps of his career in Planica last month has been auctioned off to collect EUR 30,000 for a charity project for children. At the auction for Botrstvo, a child sponsorship project launched in 2010 to help fight poverty and social exclusion, which was carried out by the public radio station Val 202, the bidding was quite dramatic with the helmet finally going to Samo Kupljen, CEO of Bauhaus Slovenija.

Three-day gaming festival starts in Ljubljana

LJUBLJANA - The second iteration of the Game Gang Show, a gaming, e-sport and entertainment technology festival started at Ljubljana's Gospodarsko razstavišče fairgrounds. The three-day event will feature tournaments in a number of video games, workshops and panels, said the organisers.

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