Weekly review of events involving Slovenia, 3-9 May

Ljubljana, 10 May - Below is a weekly review of events involving Slovenia from 3 to 9 May.


LJUBLJANA - President Nataša Pirc Musar expressed support for her predecessor Borut Pahor's efforts to become the EU's next representative for the Belgrade-Prishtina dialogue, an endorsement that came after Prime Minister Robert Golob also endorsed Pahor's bid.

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's merchandise exports declined by 2.1% in March, whereas imports contracted by 6.7%, according to Statistics Office. While exports to EU countries dropped by 8.1%, exports to non-EU markets rose by 6.1%.

PARIS, France/LJUBLJANA - Slovenian journalists voiced the demand for better conditions on World Press Freedom Day, calling on the state to provide for a framework in which independent media could thrive and serve the public.


WASHINGTON, US - Projections of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) showed that, given the expected difference in economic growth rates, Slovenia will overtake Italy in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in purchasing power standards by 2029 and come much closer to the UK and France.

BOLZANO, Italy - The Slovenian men's ice hockey team qualified for the 2025 IIHF World Championship, the elite level of international competition, by securing a top-two finish at the ongoing IIHF World Championship Division I.


JERUSALEM, Israel/RAMALLAH, Palestine - Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon visited Israel and the West Bank for a second time since the start of the Israeli-Hamas war, stating that the recognition of a Palestinian state was no longer a question for Slovenia. Meeting with her Israeli counterpart Israel Katz, Fajon called on Israel to abandon its plan to attack Rafah.

BIELLA, Italy - Tadej Pogačar took the pink jersey as he won Stage 2 of the Giro d'Italia after suffering a puncture before heading into the final climb. The 25-year-old UAE Team Emirates rider is the third Slovenian after Primož Roglič and Matej Mohorič to win stage victories in each of the three Grand Tours.


LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly ordered the launch of a parliamentary inquiry targeting Star Solar, a company owned by PM Robert Golob, Gen-I, a company he used to be the CEO of, and the financing of the ruling Freedom Movement.

LJUBLJANA - MEP Klemen Grošelj (Renew/Freedom Movement) announced he will stand in the EU election as the top candidate of the non-parliamentary Greens of Slovenia party after his Freedom Movement placed him practically at the bottom of the list of candidates and he withdrew his consent to run.

VINICA - Stressing the importance of alliance, Defence Minister Marjan Šarec and outgoing UK Ambassador Tiffany Sadler addressed a ceremony marking the British-Slovenian Friendship Day at the spot in southern Slovenia where a British bomber was shot down just before the end of the Second World War.

LJUBLJANA - Bank of Slovenia said in its latest financial stability report that the banking and the entire financial system in Slovenia remains stable. Currently estimated as low or moderate, the general level of systemic risks keeps declining. However, it warned that cyber security risks have increased amid escalated geopolitical tensions.

LJUBLJANA - The Animal Enterprise Transparency Project, a Slovenian animal welfare NGO, launched a campaign which urges legislation to abolish the use of cages in animal husbandry, foremost for laying hens and sows.


ZAGREB, Croatia/MURSKA SOBOTA - Panvita, Slovenia's leading agri-food company, announced a strategic partnership with Croatian conglomerate Mplus. A EUR 50 million combination of capital increase and stock purchase gives Mplus a 51% stake in the group. The Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry and representatives of farmers expressed concern about the takeover.

LJUBLJANA - Defence Minister Marjan Šarec announced that Slovenia will set up a territorial force on 1 July as a conceptual successor of the former territorial defence force that will complement the permanent force in defending the country's territory.

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia strongly condemned the Israeli attack on Rafah and called on Israel to halt the military operation in the city in the southern Gaza Strip. Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon said the border crossings, including the Rafah crossing that has been captured by the Israeli forces, must remain open.

LJUBLJANA - A draft emergency bill on judicial pay was unveiled bringing a pay rise of up to three pay brackets, or roughly 12%, for judges at courts of first instance. Other judges will also get higher pay, which is to kick in as of 2025.

MALMÖ, Sweden - Slovenian singer Raiven qualified for the final of the 68th Eurovision song contest on Saturday, advancing along with Serbia, Portugal, Croatia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Finland, Cyprus, Ireland and Luxembourg.


LJUBLJANA - National Assembly President Urška Klakočar Zupančič insisted that the anti-graft commission is the body having to say whether provisions on incompatibility of offices were breached in the case of Constitutional Court judge Klemen Jaklič's side work as sole proprietor, even though it returned the ball to the National Assembly's court.

LJUBLJANA - A group of more than 350 public figures addressed a petition to PM Robert Golob and Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon urging them to recognise Palestine, or resign. Disappointed with the government's hesitation at the time of the war in Gaza, they stress that Slovenia should recognise Palestine by the end of May.

VALLETTA, Malta - Interior Minister Boštjan Poklukar visited Malta to meet counterpart Byron Camilleri and the executive director of the EU Agency for Asylum (EUAA) Nina Gregori. The talks focused on migration, particularly preparations for the implementation of the EU migration and asylum pact, as well as on the fight against terrorism and cybercrime.

LJUBLJANA - NLB bank posted profit after tax of EUR 140 million in the first quarter, an increase of 17% on the year before. Net operating income rose by 23% to EUR 298 million, of which net interest income was EUR 232 million, a 30% increase year-on-year, an interim report showed.


LJUBLJANA - The government launched procedures for Slovenia's recognition of Palestine, in what FM Tanja Fajon labelled as the first, irreversible step. She announced the recognition motion would be submitted to the National Assembly within a month or by 13 June. The opposition expressed doubt that Palestine recognition will contribute to peace.

LJUBLJANA - The NLB bank presented its group strategy until the end of 2030, aiming to double its assets, revenue in profit. The plan is for the balance sheet total to reach some EUR 50 billion, revenue EUR 2 billion and profit EUR 1 billion.

NOVA GORICA - On Europe Day, PM Robert Golob and European Commissioner Janez Lenarčič addressed the national ceremony marking 20 years of Slovenia's EU membership. Both highlighted some of the advantages the EU has brought for Slovenia while urging people to vote in EU elections next month when it will be decided what kind of Europe citizens want.

LJUBLJANA - The government endorsed a draft strategy for state asset management under which the postal company Pošta Slovenije and insurer Zavarovalnica Triglav remain classified as strategic assets, even though an earlier draft suggested they will no longer be off limits for sale.

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian companies created EUR 6.7 billion in net profit in 2023, up 10% in nominal terms and 2% in real terms from 2022. Net value added per employee also grew, while revenue stayed level in nominal terms and decreased by 7% in real terms, shows data by the AJPES agency for public legal records.

© STA, 2024