News roundup - Wednesday, 22 May

Ljubljana, 22 May - Below is a roundup of major events on Wednesday, 22 May:

Slovenia welcomes Palestine recognition plan by Spain, Ireland, Norway

LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Robert Golob and Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon welcomed the announcements by Spain, Ireland and Norway that they would recognise Palestine on 28 May. Both of them noted that Slovenia was the first in a group of countries to start the recognition procedure. The country plans to recognise Palestine by 13 June, even though the junior coalition party the Left believes Slovenia should join Spain, Ireland and Norway. The opposition Democrats (SDS) opposes the move, saying that recognizing Palestine at this time would mean recognising the terrorist organisation Hamas.

Fajon urges balanced Europe-Africa cooperation

LJUBLJANA - Africa is faced with severe consequences of climate change although it contributes little to the global greenhouse gas emissions, Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon said as she addressed the opening of Africa Day, an international conference held in Slovenia for the 13th year. She stressed that green transition and sustainable development are key to ensure a better society and industrial growth that will be better adjusted to the future.

Slovenia extends border checks by another six months

LJUBLJANA - Interior Minister Boštjan Poklukar announced Slovenia would extend checks on its borders with Croatia and Hungary by another six months, after Italy decided to extend the measure on its border with Slovenia. Both countries cited unstable situation in the Middle East as the reason.

Slovenia joins initiative for continued operation of UNRWA

NEW YORK, US - Slovenia and 14 other UN member states and Palestine have launched an initiative on shared commitments on the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). They expressed hope that many other states will join them and affirm the commitments. In addition to Slovenia, the initiative was signed by Jordan, Kuwait, Algeria, Belgium, Brazil, Guyana, Indonesia, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Qatar, South Africa, Spain and Palestine.

Pirc Musar opens Slovenia's new embassy premises in Tirana

TIRANA, Albania - Starting a three-day official visit to Albania, President Nataša Pirc Musar opened the new premises of the Slovenian Embassy in Tirana. She stressed that diplomatic ties between the two countries had developed over the past three decades into a strong partnership based on mutual respect, and shared values and goals.

Top court throws out proposal to review expansion of doctors' duties during strike

LJUBLJANA - The Constitutional Court dismissed doctors' application challenging a government decree that expanded their duties during strike due to technicalities. The trade union Fides thinks the court's decision is irrelevant to doctors, since the decree has since been replaced by legislative changes, and intends to challenge these as well.

Tensions rise over arrival of ship accused of carrying weapons to Israel

LJUBLJANA - Ahead of the arrival of the Borkum cargo ship in the port of Koper, tensions are rising between authorities and NGOs, as the ship has been accused of carrying weapons headed for Israel. The Left urged the government to check what the ship is transporting. A pro-Palestinian rally took place in Koper to protest against the decision to allow the Borkum entry.

Slovenia to join effort to ensure water in face of conflicts

NEW YORK, US - Samuel Žbogar, Slovenia's representative on the UN Security Council, said on Tuesday that the country would join others to set up a global alliance committed to water protection in armed conflicts later this week. He pointed out devastating consequences of conflicts on civilian life and infrastructure, as he addressed an open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflicts.

Ljubljana University to vet Israeli institutions in future intl projects

LJUBLJANA - The University of Ljubljana will look into Israeli universities for potential links with the army or support of violence when applying for international projects where Israeli institutions will take part, the university's senate has decided. The university also called on the government to set up a scholarship fund for Palestinian students.

Two-year strike at embattled RTV Slovenija ends

LJUBLJANA - A strike of journalists at RTV Slovenija, which mostly revolved around a perceived loss of autonomy under the previous management and financial instability, ended after almost two years on Wednesday. The new management, appointed after a change in power, pledged to meet all strike demands and strengthen dialogue.

Letter of intent signed for new faculty of medicine

KOPER - PM Robert Golob and University of Primorska Rector Klavdija Kutnar signed a letter of intent to develop medicine studies at the youngest public university in the country. First medicine students are to get enrolled in 2027/28, and the existing Faculty of Health Studies will get new premises next to the Izola General Hospital.

National Assembly orders inquiry into stolen children case

LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly ordered a parliamentary inquiry at the request of the opposition to investigate the cases of infants, which were allegedly stolen from Slovenian hospitals between 1965 and 1991. The Social Democrats (SD) expressed support to the inquiry while the other two coalition parties opposed it.

NGOs find right-leaning MEPs unsupportive of green policies

LJUBLJANA/BRUSSELS, Belgium - An analysis of MEPs' voting over the past five-year term of the European Parliament has shown members of Slovenian right-leaning parties not backing a number of environment-related acts. Support for advanced environmental measures is dropping at a critical point, NGO Umanotera said.

NLB to issue EUR 500 million in bonds on 29 May

LJUBLJANA - NLB, the largest Slovenian bank, is expected to issue EUR 500 million worth of bonds on May 29, to meet the minimum requirement for own funds and eligible liabilities. The principal of the bonds will bear an annual interest rate of 4.5%, while the selling price will be equal to 99.759% of their nominal value, the bank said on Wednesday.

NLB Skladi enters Macedonian market through Generali Investments Skopje

LJUBLJANA - Asset manager NLB Skladi has successfully completed the acquisition of Generali Investments Skopje, the third largest asset management company in North Macedonia. NLB Skladi CEO Luka Podlogar and NLB bank CEO Blaž Brodnjak highlighted significant growth opportunities in North Macedonia, one of the most strategically important markets for NLB Group.

Porton opens R&D labs in Mengeš

MENGEŠ - China's pharmaceutical company Porton opened new research and development laboratories for small molecules in Mengeš. Porton's initial investment was EUR 50 million, the company said. The renovated facility includes labs for research and development and a kilo lab with equipment for process chemistry and analytics.

Property owners oppose restrictions to short-time rentals

LJUBLJANA - Three organisations of property owners have expressed their strong opposition to a bill with which the government plans to curb short-term rentals to 30 days a year with certain exceptions so that more flats would be available for long-term rentals. They believe the bill violates the constitutional right to freely use one's private property.

March salary higher y/y

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's average gross salary in March reached EUR 2,332.70, down 2.3% in nominal terms and 2.1% in real terms from February. The average net salary dropped to EUR 1,480.90, by 2.2% in nominal terms and by 2.0% in real terms, the Statistics Office said. Compared to March 2023, the average gross salary increased by 6.4% nominally while the average net salary increased by 4.0%. In real terms, the increases were 2.7% and 0.4%, respectively.

Beekeeping forum discusses importance of bees for planet

LJUBLJANA - The two-day international forum Bees for People, Planet and Peace, which opened today, highlighted the importance of bees and other pollinators for the future of the planet. The forum, organised by the Agriculture Ministry in cooperation with the Foreign Ministry and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), is the main international event to mark the World Bee Day, celebrated on 20 May.

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