News roundup - Friday, 10 May

Ljubljana, 10 May - Below is a roundup of major events on Friday, 10 May:

Fajon to return to Middle East in search of solutions for Gaza

LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon is travelling to the Middle East on Saturday to meet representatives of Egypt, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia until Wednesday. The talks will focus on the regional tensions related to the war in Gaza, the Foreign Ministry said. Her tour comes after she visited the Middle East last Sunday to meet Palestinian and Israel officials and after the Slovenian government started the procedure to recognise Palestine yesterday.

Slovenia welcomes UN General Assembly vote on Palestine

LJUBLJANA - PM Robert Golob and Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon welcomed the UN General Assembly's vote in favour of a resolution that promotes Palestine's full UN membership, labelling it an important step towards lasting peace in the Middle East.

Slovenia condemns attack on East Jerusalem UNRWA HQ

LJUBLJANA - The Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the arson attack on the compound of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in East Jerusalem. In a post on X it also called on Israel to protect UN staff. This is the second attack on the UNRWA HQ in East Jerusalem in the last week.

Judges unhappy with govt pay proposal

LJUBLJANA - The Judicial Council dismissed the government's latest pay increase proposal as inadequate at a session on Thursday. In a statement released today, they said the draft bill did not meet the criteria set down by the Constitutional Court and did not guarantee pay equality between the three branches of government. It is also unsuitable in terms of timeline because the court had ordered that judges' pay be sorted out by January this year.

Greens submit list of candidates, hope to get at least one MEP

LJUBLJANA - The non-parliamentary Greens filed their list of candidates for the EU election, with their lead candidate, MEP Klemen Grošelj (Renew), saying that they will promote "a social Europe, sustainable development and an efficient green transition", the respect for human rights, solidarity, the role of local farming and self-sufficiency, while "not excluding anyone". They hope to get at least one MEP. The European Greens meanwhile support the Slovenian Vesna party.

NOT files EU election list

LJUBLJANA - The non-parliamentary party None of This (NOT), established by former Left MP Violeta Tomić, filed its list of candidates for the European Parliament election. Topping the list, Tomić hopes the party makes it to the EU parliament. She said the list was filled with "experts who were never afraid to revolt against the system if the system started working against the people".

Voice of the People launching get-out-the-vote campaign

LJUBLJANA - The Voice of the People, the coalition of NGOs and civil initiatives that spearheaded anti-government protests in 2020-2022, is launching a get-out-the-vote campaign for EU election that aims to promote informed voter participation. It will also organise a public debate of the EU election candidates at the end of May. The upcoming election is the most important in the entire history of Slovenia, perhaps even the most important in the history of the EU, said the organisation's Jaša Jenull.

SocDems start campaign under Strong Europe, Strong Slovenia slogan

MARIBOR - The Social Democrats (SD) kicked off their EU election campaign, with their top candidate, MEP Matjaž Nemec (S&D) saying it's time to lead politics of a strong and safe Europe. The party would like to see an EU based on solidarity and capable of making a socially just green transition. SD leader Matjaž Han said that people should go to what he labelled as a "landmark election" in as greater number as possible to "get the kind of Europe they want".

Gen Z driving EU vote turnout projections up

LJUBLJANA - Opinion polls suggest turnover in the upcoming EU elections will be higher than in 2019, with the latest Slovenian survey suggesting it is being pushed up by the Gen Z, who are more likely than the generations X and Y to vote. The Millennials' reluctance to vote has raised concerns in the past that turnover among young was going down, but this has been disproved as Gen Z (1996-2010) is coming of age. Carried out between 6 and 8 May on a sample of 1,520 people by Valicon, the poll showed that 28% of Gen Z have the intention to vote, while another 18% said they are very likely to go to the polls.

Commission discusses post-war victim burials

LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Commission on Petitions, Human Rights and Equal Opportunities discussed an appeal by four NGOs civil groups to reinstate the National Day of Remembrance for the Victims Communist Violence, which the Janez Janša government introduced in May 2022 and the Robert Golob government abolished in May 2023. Matija Ogrin, head of New Slovenian Testament, urged the government to issue death certificates for 14,901 of identified victims of the Communist regime, include them in state registers and release these publicly. The session was obstructed by the coalition.

Public transport in Jesenice discontinued

JESENICE - Jesenice, a municipality in northwest Slovenia, will no longer have public transport as of 1 July after three open calls for bus transport over the past year have ended without a single bidder taking part. Locals and greens think more should be done to preserve a valuable service. The announcement was made in a Facebook post on Thursday, leading to dozens of angry comments by locals who said the absence of public buses would severely affect older persons and people with disabilities.

SIJ group's figures improve in Q1 after tough 2023

LJUBLJANA - The steel group SIJ generated EUR 286.6 million in sales revenue in the first quarter of the year, up 33% over the final quarter of 2023, and sold 93,400 tonnes of products, up 48%. EBITDA reached EUR 18.3 million and the group invested EUR 20.3 million. SIJ finished 2023 with a loss EUR 18.8 million.

Industrial output down in Q1

LJUBLJANA - Industrial output in Slovenia fell by 2.9% in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the same period in 2023. Electricity, gas and steam supply recorded the largest decrease, by over a third, shows data released by the Statistics Office. Output in March was also down in monthly and yearly comparison.

Tadej Pogačar wins stage 7 of Giro d'Italia

PERUGIA, Italy - Slovenia's cycling star Tadej Pogačar (UAE Emirates) won the first time trial of the Giro d'Italia and increased his lead in the general classification. He finished 17 seconds ahead of Italian Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) in the 40.6km race. This is Pogačar's second stage win in his debut appearance at the Italian grand tour after he won stage 2 on Sunday.

Joker Out's Carpe Diem 2nd most played track in Slovenia in 2023

NOVO MESTO - The Slovenian 2023 Eurovision entry Carpe Diem by Joker Out, hugely popular in the wider region and beyond, was the second most played track on Slovenian radio stations last year, shows data presented by the IPF institute at a ceremony in Novo Mesto on Tuesday. The song came second only to Miley Cyrus's Flowers. The IPF, an organisation promoting the rights of recording artists, pointed out that no Slovenian contributions could be found among the most played tracks for many years.

© STA, 2024