News roundup - Wednesday, 8 May

Ljubljana, 8 May - Below is a roundup of major events on Wednesday, 8 May:

Govt urged to immediately recognise Palestine or resign

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. The petition has been signed by university professors, researchers, journalists, writers, poets and others.

Slovenia in the Eurovision final

MALMÖ, Sweden - Raiven qualified for the final of the 68th Eurovision song contest, advancing in Tuesday's first semi-final along with Serbia, Portugal, Croatia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Finland, Cyprus, Ireland and Luxembourg. The 27-year-old singer, harpist and mezzo-soprano performed Veronika, a dark song inspired by the historical figure of Veronika Deseniška, a 15th century countess and the first woman in Slovenia to be tried for witchcraft.

Klakočar Zupančič calls for courage when deciding on judge Jaklič

LJUBLJANA - National Assembly President Urška Klakočar Zupančič told the STA 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. She hopes that whoever decides on the matter, will muster enough courage.

President urges youth to vote in EU elections

LJUBLJANA - President Nataša Pirc Musar said Slovenia has not done enough to call on voters to go to EU elections, as she discussed topical issues with secondary school and university students amid the country's 20th anniversary of EU accession. "Go to the polls and vote for the candidate in whom you believe," she said, welcoming the fact that most of the parties have put young candidates on their slates.

SDS unveils election manifesto aimed at protecting EU way of life

LJUBLJANA - The Democrats (SDS) unveiled their EU election platform, which focuses on six priority values: protection of the European way of life, increased birth rate, efforts to tackle illegal migration, EU market's competitiveness, democracy, and EU enlargement. "The European way of life is built on the foundations of peace, security and solidarity. Those who come to us must adapt to our way of life and not the other way around," said MEP Romana Tomc, the party's lead candidate.

Two ministries, negotiating group decorated as Slovenia marks 20 years of EU, NATO accession

LJUBLJANA - As part of celebrations of the 20th anniversary of Slovenia's EU and NATO accession, President Nataša Pirc Musar honoured the Foreign Ministry, the Defence Ministry, and the members of the country's EU accession negotiating team with the Golden Order of Merit for their contribution to the country's joining the EU and NATO, the key foreign policy goals after Slovenia gained independence.

Poklukar discusses implementation of migration and asylum pact in Malta

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.

NLB bank reports 17% increase in Q1 profit

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, shows an interim report released on Wednesday. The results show that "the group is well on track to bring about the expected results communicated in the 2024 outlook," the report says.

Postal workers announce strike for 3 June

LJUBLJANA - The Postal Workers' Trade Union announced it will go on strike on 3 June over what it says is the failure of the management of the national postal operator Pošta Slovenije to meet any of its demands for better working conditions. It also noted that the company has been left without a works council due to election irregularities. The management said it saw no reason for the strike because social dialogue and efforts to improve work conditions were ongoing.

Report: Pošta Slovenije, Zavarovalnica Triglav to remain strategic assets

LJUBLJANA - Forbes Slovenia reported that the postal company Pošta Slovenije and the insurer Zavarovalnica Triglav will remain classified as the state's strategic assets, despite earlier reports that they will no longer be off limits for sale. The government is expected to discuss the relevant draft strategy on Thursday.

Slovenia sees biggest drop in services production in EU in February

LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - Slovenia recorded in February the biggest month-on-month drop in services production among 21 EU member states for which data was available, a 1.9% decline, Eurostat said in its initial estimates. The country lagged behind the EU average on both the monthly and annual bases despite a year-on-year increase.

Committee okays changes to compulsory vehicle insurance

LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Finance Committee endorsed changes to the Compulsory Vehicle Insurance Act that transpose the relevant EU directive. While the government argues they will bring greater protection to victims of traffic accidents, the opposition says this is an additional burden on farmers and some businesses.

Slovenian and Briton climb new route in Alaska

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian Gašper Pintar and Tom Livingstone from the UK have made the first ascent of a new 1,600-metre mixed climb up the South Face of Mount Dickey (2,909m) in the Ruth Gorge, Alaska which they named The Great Wall. The pair climbed what is one of the highest rock and combined walls in the world during an expedition between 14 and 17 April with the Alpine Association of Slovenia announcing their now.

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