News roundup - Thursday, 30 May, until 3pm

Ljubljana, 30 May - Below is a roundup of major events on Thursday, 30 May, until 3pm local time:

Slovenia finds blockade of EU vote in Bosnia unacceptable

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia has not been notified that the Bosnian government has denied consent for Slovenian citizens living in Bosnia-Herzegovina to vote in the EU elections at Slovenian diplomatic missions, the Foreign Ministry said. However, the ministry expects the vote to go ahead, while it also says that it is unacceptable to politicise elections. Nevertheless, Slovenia will continue to support Bosnia on its EU path, provided that the country respects fundamental EU values.

SDS raises eyebrows with video shout-outs and billboards

LJUBLJANA - The Democrats' (SDS) move to include personalised video messages in their EU election campaign has been causing a stir, prompting the privacy watchdog to look into the matter. The emails found their way to potential voters who are not members or supporters of the party, since Janša asks the addressees in the video to send the message to at least five friends or acquaintances. The opposition party also attracted attention with billboards taking aim at its rival, the Freedom Movement.

Govt term marked by crises, key reforms still pending

LJUBLJANA - Saturday marks two years since the Robert Golob cabinet took office. The government has seen success in tackling the energy and cost-of-living crises, and post-flood reconstruction, but its track record is moot when it comes to structural reforms. Halfway through its term, these remain largely on the drawing board. Political analyst Luka Lisjak Gabrijelčič finds the government still has the political capital to carry out reforms, and can complete its term easily - if that is what suits it.

Opposition deems govt ineffective, policies misguided

LJUBLJANA - Opposition leaders provided a scathing assessment of the government's two years in office, arguing that the cabinet is ineffective, the public administration bloated, reform efforts stalled or shelved, and energy policy misguided. What pains the Democrats (SDS) the most is the lack of efforts to tackle migrations. Meanwhile, the New Slovenia (NSi) described the past two years as "watching a slow-learning process," which has produced the same ineffectiveness as previous governments led by political newcomers.

Doctors' dual practice remains divisive

LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Health Committee spent almost all day Wednesday debating government plans to strictly separate public from private healthcare, including by banning dual practice by doctors. The heated discussion pitted the opposition as advocates of a greater involvement of private providers against the government. The debate also saw the Association of Health Institutions and the Association of Slovenian Patients endorsing the government plan.

Power utility HSE pays back last instalment of state aid

LJUBLJANA - The state-owned power utility HSE announced it had paid back the final EUR 75 million it received in a EUR 492 million capital injection from the state in 2022. Despite initial doubts, HSE paid back the money in a year and a half. HSE was able to return the state aid while supplying electricity at regulated rates because of successful operations of the HSE group in 2023 and the first half of 2024, said HSE director general Tomaž Štokelj.

Slovenians worried about environmental issues, Eurobarometer shows

BRUSSELS, Belgium - More than three quarters of Slovenians believe that environmental issues have a direct effect on their daily lives and health, while over 89% share the view that environmental legislation at the EU level is needed to protect the environment in Slovenia, a recent Eurobarometer poll shows. The figures are very similar to those for the entire EU.

Slovenian researchers develop new vaccine delivery method

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian researchers along with German counterparts have developed and tested a new method to deliver vaccines using mucoadhesive film that sticks to the cheek mucous membrane. This method could offer greater protection against respiratory infections compared to traditional methods, but further testing is needed. They published their findings in the Journal of Controlled Release a week ago.

Slovenia pitted against Cuba, Iceland and Cape Verde at handball worlds

ZAGREB, Croatia - Slovenia were drawn in Group G for next year's World Men's Handball Championship and will play Cuba, Iceland and Cape Verde. The group will play the first round of competition in Zagreb, Croatia. Slovenian coach Uroš Zorman said after Wednesday's draw that he had "mixed emotions. "We'll see what these games bring... At the championship you have to take it step by step, game by game," he added.

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