News roundup - Tuesday, 21 May

Ljubljana, 21 May - Below is a roundup of major events on Tuesday, 21 May:

Krško 2 could cost from EUR 9bn to EUR 15bn

LJUBLJANA - Energy company Gen Energija estimated the investment cost of Krško 2 with one nuclear reactor at EUR 9,314 per kilowatt, financing costs excluded but expected inflation taken into account. If Krško 2 had a capacity of 1,000 to 1,650 megawatts, the project's estimated value would be between EUR 9.3 billion and EUR 15.4 billion. The project for what would be the second nuclear power station in Slovenia is at a stage where there are still many uncertainties, including various costs and potential technology providers, while the parliament is to decide tomorrow whether to hold a consultative referendum on it in the autumn.

Court rejects opposition's request to stay referendum on assisted dying

LJUBLJANA - The Constitutional Court rejected the opposition's request to stay a consultative referendum on assisted dying that is scheduled to take place alongside two other referendums and the EU election in Slovenia on 9 June. The court also decided to treat the case as a top priority. The Democrats (SDS) and New Slovenia (NSi) asked the court to review two of the three referendums scheduled for 9 June - the referendum on cannabis use and cultivation and another on assisted dying, and the top court has now rejected both of their requests to stay the referendums.

Türk says ICC prosecutor's decision on Israel and Gaza was expected, necessary

LJUBLJANA - The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor's decision to seek arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders over suspected war crimes in Israel and Gaza was expected and necessary, former President Danilo Türk told the STA. The ICC's credibility depends on how it will treat these severe crimes, he said. Türk, a professor of international law, believes that now the ball is in the ICC judges' court. "An important first step was made, but the global public will monitor how things will continue."

Announcement of new faculty of medicine takes doctors by surprise

LJUBLJANA - Senior health professionals have been taken by surprise by PM Robert Golob's announcement yesterday that the country will get a third faculty of medicine to cope with a shortage of doctors. However, the government decided to sign a letter of intent with the University of Primorska to develop a medicine programme there. The Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation and the Ministry of Health will provide support for the new study programme.

Insurance group Triglav's profit up 154% to nearly EUR 37m in Q1

LJUBLJANA - Zavarovalnica Triglav, Slovenia's largest insurance group, reported EUR 488.7 million in revenue for the first quarter of the year, which is on a par with the same period last year. Its net profit more than doubled from EUR 14.4 million to EUR 36.6 million. Triglav wrote it "effectively overcame the shortfall in supplemental health insurance premium in Slovenia in Q1 2024," a reference to the legislative scrapping of the collective voluntary healthcare insurance handled by insurance companies.

Revenue up, profit down for BTC in 2023

LJUBLJANA - The BTC group, the operator of Ljubljana's shopping and logistics hub BTC City, ended 2023 with EUR 7.2 million in net profit, down from EUR 7.6 million in 2022. The company increased revenue by 12.1% to EUR 96 million, while EBITDA was at EUR 20.5 million. Investments amounted to EUR 7.5 million and were aimed at ensuring the long-term content development of BTC City and the company's logistics activity.

High tech in focus of Slovenian-British Defence Industry Day

LJUBLJANA - Cooperation in the defence sector between Slovenia and the United Kingdom is necessary in light of the tense situation in Europe and the world, heard the Slovenian-British Day of Defence Industry. The cooperation between Slovenia and Great Britain in the defence sector has to strengthen to further improve the security of both countries, as well as Europe, said Željko Kralj, head of the logistics directorate at the Defence Ministry.

Pharmaceutical, IT and energy companies are best-paying employers

LJUBLJANA - Pharmaceutical, IT and energy companies were the best-paying employers in Slovenia last year, according to Finance. SAP and Microsoft topped the list with the average gross monthly salaries of EUR 11,781 and EUR 10,658, respectively. The highest-ranking Slovenian company is Slovenia Control. The average monthly gross pay in Slovenia was EUR 2,221.

FM and FAO head inaugurate beehive in ministry garden

LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon and Director General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Qu Dongyu inaugurated a beehive in the Foreign Ministry's garden to mark World Bee Day and symbolically launching the first international beekeeping forum, which will start in Ljubljana on Wednesday.

Green party says Slovenia should strive for food self-sufficiency

LJUBLJANA - Sales of Slovenian food companies to foreign buyers are putting Slovenia's food self-sufficiency at risk and have a negative impact on the country's economy, the non-parliamentary green party Vesna said, calling for a strategy for food self-sufficiency, better conditions for farming and promoting of local produce. The party is surprised by the sale of "top Slovenian food companies" to foreigners, parry co-president Urša Zgojznik said in the wake of Panvita and Celjske Mesnine sales.

Slovenia gets 68% of gas from Austria, Energy Agency says

LJUBLJANA - In 2023 Slovenia imported 68.3% of gas from Austria and 28.3% from Algeria, through Italy, shows data by the Energy Agency. Russian gas still represents a large share of the gas imported from Austria, the agency said after Slovenia was criticised by the European Commission for importing Russian gas through Austria.

Nearly EUR 78m approved for restructuring of coal-mining regions

LJUBLJANA - The Ministry of Cohesion and Regional Development has approved EUR 77.7 million in EU funds for economic restructuring of Zasavje and Savinja-Šalek, as the two regions phase out coal, and for co-funding economic and business infrastructure in the Savinja-Šalek region. The funds will come from the Just Transition Fund.

Environment Ministry urged to introduce packaging deposit refund system

LJUBLJANA - The association of beverage producers at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) urged the government to promptly introduce a deposit refund system for plastic bottles as intensive talks with the Environment Ministry have been under way for two years already. Several other associations and NGOs joined the appeal. "We've realised this is the only way to meet the national targets and those set for beverage producers," association head Marian Šefčovič said.

Video of masked men threatening migrants stirs Slovenia

LJUBLJANA - A video featuring a group of masked men threatening violence against migrants, which appeared on social media during the past weekend, is being investigated by police. The incident has been condemned in the strongest terms by Slovenia's President Nataša Pirc Musar, Justice Minister Andreja Katič and the police. The video shows the men, wearing what looks like neo-Nazi attire, tying an alleged migrant to a street lamp post with transparent foil. Later, the man was filmed with his face covered by a T-shirt, a noose around his neck and a sign reading "remigration" in his hand.

Tadej Pogačar bags his fifth stage win at Giro d'Italia

VAL GARDENA, Italy - Slovenian cyclist Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) won the 16th stage of this year's Giro d'Italia, his fifth stage victory at his first Giro. He spent the majority of the stage in the peloton, launching an attack just 1.4 kilometres before the finish line to win the race in near-winter conditions. He currently has a lead of 7:18 minutes over the Daniel Martinez in second place in the general classification.

© STA, 2024