News roundup - Thursday, 23 May, until 3pm

Ljubljana, 23 May - Below is a roundup of major events on Thursday, 23 May, until 3pm local time:

MPs adopt resolution on long-term use of nuclear energy, back referendum

LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly passed a resolution on long-term peaceful use of nuclear energy in Slovenia. The document is an expression of political will in favour of further use and development of nuclear energy in the country, including by expanding the existing nuclear power plant. All parties bar the Left also passed a proposal for a referendum on the planned new nuclear power plant in Krško. While most MPs described a new reactor as the only path to secure power supply, the junior coalition party argued the referendum was about getting a blank cheque for a potentially unviable project.

FM Fajon calls for Palestine recognition ASAP

LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon said that she saw no reason to hesitate to recognise Palestine, noting ahead of the government session that she would like to see the government make this decision as soon as possible so that the National Assembly may then vote on the proposal. The government discussed the issue, but did not make any decisions. Matej Arčon, a deputy prime minister, told reporters the timeline is not clear yet. "It may happen next week or in two weeks, in agreement with the strategy we set," he said. The government earlier set 13 June as the deadline.

Police take action against suspected author of 2 April school shooting post

LJUBLJANA - Ljubljana police have filed a criminal complaint against a 36-year-old man believed to have been behind an alarm-causing news portal comment announcing a school shooting in Slovenia after the 2 April shooting in Finland. In an investigation into the post under a news portal 24ur report on the tragedy in Finland, which said "On 10 April it will happen here", the criminal police seized several electronic devices and live ammunition during a house search.

Consumer confidence in May unchanged over April, improves y/y

LJUBLJANA - The consumer confidence indicator in May stayed at the level recorded in April, but improved by four percentage points year-on-year, the Statistics Office said. The index remains three points below the long-term average, while compared to the 2023 average, it is still higher by seven points. What improved month-on-month were expectations about household finances (+3 points) and about the economic situation in the country (+1 point).

Most parties in favour of preferential vote proposal

LJUBLJANA - Seven out of ten parties involved in the campaign for the preferential vote referendum support the motion, as do two legal entities involved. The advocates believe the preferential vote would give voters more influence on the choice of MPs, while the opponents are concerned it would increase centralisation.

Research agency changes rules in face of discrimination against mothers, sick

LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian Research and Innovation Agency (ARIS) has changed its project manager appointment rules after coming under fire for discrimination, mostly against mothers and sick people, who are absent for longer periods of time. The new conditions are based only on substance-based criteria, abolishing the time-based criteria and taking into account researchers' entire work. This comes after a group of trade unions last week sent an open letter to ARIS, accusing it of discrimination against pregnant women, mothers and people forced into long absences by illness.

All set for 40th Druga Godba festival

LJUBLJANA - Druga Godba, Slovenia's leading international festival of world music, is getting under way today at Križanke with a concert by duet Mats Gustafsson & Kimmo Pohjonen and another by Ibrahim Maalouf. French-Lebanon trumpet player Maalouf, the most popular instrumentalist in France, will give a concert on the same day at the same venue, accompanied by The Trumpets of Michel Ange. The festival, first organised in 1985, has since gained global recognition.

Some 60,000 residents of Slovenia experience transport poverty

LJUBLJANA - An estimated 60,000 people in Slovenia, or just over 2.8%, experience transport poverty, and the situation varies a lot by region, according to a project that has looked into the matter. The researchers have found find that dependence on cars and the related high costs of personal mobility make people very vulnerable to mobility poverty.

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