News roundup - Monday, 22 April

Ljubljana, 22 April - Below is a roundup of major events on Monday, 22 April:

Slovenia and its neighbours advocate open borders and EU enlargement

BRDO PRI KRANJU - Together with her counterparts from Slovenia's neighbours, President Nataša Pirc Musar urged open borders within the EU and the bloc's enlargement as she hosted the event to mark the 20th anniversary of Slovenia's EU membership. This is the first time the presidents of Austria, Croatia, Hungary and Italy met in Slovenia since June 2011, when the country hosted them to celebrate its 20th anniversary of independence.

Slovenia supports activities for EU's greater defence readiness

LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - Defence Minister Marjan Šarec attended a joint meeting of EU foreign and defence ministers, stressing that Slovenia supports any activity to boost the resilience and defence readiness of the EU and Ukraine. He called for the EU strategy in defence industry and the accompanying European Defence Industry Programme to be implemented as soon as possible. The purpose of the strategy is for EU states to jointly order military equipment to the greatest possible extent.

Slovenia's ambassador to Israel summoned over Palestine vote in UN

LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon confirmed that the Israeli Foreign Ministry summoned Slovenian Ambassador to Isreal Andreja Purkart Martinez yesterday over the country's vote for a draft resolution that recommended Palestine be admitted to full UN membership. Fajon said Slovenia believes all criteria for Palestine to become a UN member have been met and does not see this membership as threat to Israel's security. She intends to soon visit the Middle East again.

Slovenian Lt Gen Glavaš vying for EU Military Committee chair

LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - Lt Gen Robert Glavaš, the Slovenian Armed Forced chief of the general staff, is among the candidates for the head of the EU Military Committee (EUMC), the highest military body within the EU Council, Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon confirmed on the sideslies of an EU ministerial. The decision on the successor to Austrian General Robert Brieger at the helm of the committee in charge of the EU's military affairs is scheduled for mid-May. Glavaš become chief of the general staff in 2020.

PM: Govt wants to increase value added

LJUBLJANA - The strong investment cycle Slovenia is seeing at the moment is the best indication that investors are confident in the stability of the country and its government, Prime Minister Robert Golob said as he took questions from MPs. He said a number of domestic and foreign businesses, from SMEs to multinationals, have launched "extraordinary investment cycles", which is in line with the government's vision to increase value added per employee to EUR 100,000 from EUR 56,000 in 2022.

MEP Joveva Freedom Movement's top candidate for EU elections

LJUBLJANA - The council of the ruling Freedom Movement unanimously endorsed the party's list of candidates for EU election, which is topped by MEP Irena Joveva and brings some surprises. For instance, doctor Aleksander Merlo, who was tipped earlier this month as the top candidate, decided not to stand, while ex-Environment Minister Jure Leben, the founder of the party's predecessor, was added to it. Joveva said that the party winning as many MEPs as it has now (2) or more will be a success.

SDS proposal on designated referendum day rejected

LJUBLJANA - A proposal by the opposition Democrats (SDS) to designate the second Sunday in May as the annual day for voting in all potential referendums was rejected by the Home Affairs Committee. The government as well as the parliament's legal service said that the option of merging referendums was already provided for and argued that waiting for a single day a year to hold a referendum could result in the infringement of voter rights.

Green party registers candidates for EU elections

LJUBLJANA - Vesna, a non-parliamentary green party, submitted its list of candidates for the June EU elections having collected more than 1,680 voter signatures. Kočevje Mayor Vladimir Prebilič, the party's top candidate, said Vesna collected the required 1,000 signatures, which non-parliamentary parties are required to submit, in less than three days.

Speaker notes importance of representation of women in politics

PALMA DE MALLORCA, Spain - National Assembly President Urška Klakočar Zupančič attended a summit of women parliamentary speakers from EU member states in Palma de Mallorca on Sunday to note that the under-representation of women in politics undermines trust in the democratic process and the ability of the authorities to consider the needs of the entire population.

Revoz revenue down, net profit up last year

NOVO MESTO - Revoz, the Slovenian subsidiary of the French car manufacturer Renault, posted EUR 822.5 million in sales revenue in 2023, down from EUR 933.3 million in 2022. Net profit doubled from EUR 4.7 million to EUR 9.4 million, the company said in a press release. Revoz, which currently assembles Clio, Twingo and electric Twingo, employs 1,400 workers and makes 325 vehicles daily.

Petrol up 1.8 cents, diesel 1.5 cents cheaper

LJUBLJANA - The price of regular petrol sold outside the motorway network will go up 1.8 cents to EUR 1.56 per litre on Tuesday, while diesel will be 1.5 cents cheaper at EUR 1.527. The last time diesel was cheaper than petrol was before the Covid-19 pandemic, the Economy Ministry said. Heating oil will be one cent cheaper, at EUR 1.170 per litre.

Funds approved for digital transformation of public administration

LJUBLJANA - The Ministry of Cohesion and Regional Development has approved EU funds to accelerate the digital transformation of society, with a focus on the public administration. The project is worth EUR 26.8 million, with the European Regional Development Fund chipping in EUR 15.5 million. The project will introduce new business models and cutting-edge technologies.

Study shows Slovenian graduates employable, frequently overqualified

LJUBLJANA - A study monitoring the employability of graduates in Slovenia has shown that Slovenia lags behind top EU countries when it comes to studying and teaching methods, but employment levels are high while overqualification is also a frequent occurrence. The EU-supported Eurograduate Slovenija project was conducted for the first time, said its head Tomaž Deželan from the Faculty of Social Sciences as he presented the results.

Sanctorius of Padua honoured in his native Koper

KOPER - An exhibition opened in Koper on the heritage of Sanctorius of Padua, a doctor and inventor born in Koper in the 16th century who set the foundations of quantitative medicine and physiology. One of the key inventions Sanctorius has worked on was the thermometer. Running until 10 May, the exhibition features his printed works and models of his instruments.

Jože Plečnik kiosk reopens to promote entrepreneurs

LJUBLJANA - A kiosk designed by Slovenia's greatest architect Jože Plečnik (1872-1957) officially reopened in Prešeren Square in Ljubljana to give up-and-coming entrepreneurs a boost. It used to sell newspapers and cigarettes, but now it will foster innovative ideas and aim to promote products by entrepreneurs who trained under a Regional Development Agency programme dedicated to meet local challenges.

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