Weekly review of events involving Slovenia, 24-30 May

Ljubljana, 31 May - Below is a weekly review of events involving Slovenia from 24 to 30 May.

FRIDAY, 24 May

LJUBLJANA - President Nataša Pirc Musar called on the government to show more resolve and recognise Palestine together with Norway, Spain and Ireland instead of waiting. The country has been advocating a two-state solution in the UN Security Council, but that cannot be achieved without recognising Palestine, she added.

LJUBLJANA - The government unveiled a reform management strategy for state equity that envisages a change of status of certain companies and their duties. The real estate investment firm DSU would take over real estate and be put in charge of the construction of public flats. In tourism, separation of real estate ownership and tourism activity is planned.

LJUBLJANA - The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) held a conference on on EU enlargement. EESC head Oliver Röpke said the candidate countries need strong social dialogue structures, which must be a clear criterion for enlargement. Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon noted the importance of EU enlargement, but not only to the Western Balkans.

LJUBLJANA - The government hears the calls by small businesses for a better business environment and will continue with its efforts for appropriate measures to be implemented, PM Robert Golob said at a forum hosted by the Chamber of Trade Crafts and Small Business (OZS), at which 137 demands to the government were presented, from less red tape to lower taxes.

LJUBLJANA - The opposition Democrats (SDS) tabled a bill to help Slovenian fishermen after their applications against fines imposed by Croatia for fishing in what Croatia perceives its waters while they were awarded to Slovenia by an arbitration court, were deemed inadmissible by the ECHR. The idea is to compensate them within 30 days for the enforced fines and fines that are still subject to proceedings.

KOPER - The Borkum cargo ship, which had been accused by Spanish NGOs of carrying weapons headed for Israel, left the port of Koper after causing tensions between Slovenian authorities and pro-Palestinian groups, who demanded that the authorities check the cargo.


LJUBLJANA - Following 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, President Nataša Pirc Musar said the independence of the ICC was crucial. She said any attempts at putting pressure on the ICC and its prosecutor were unacceptable.

SUNDAY, 26 May

DOHA, Qatar - Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon told Al Jazeera she saw "signs of genocide" and violations of international law through Israel's exploitation of starvation as a weapon of war in Gaza. She argued insufficient efforts have been made to end the war and that it is unacceptable that "Western bombs or weapons are used to kill civilians and continue the war in Gaza".

ROME, Italy - Slovenian cycling superstar Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) won the Giro d'Italia, finishing his debut in the Italian grand tour almost ten minutes ahead of his closest rivals. The 25-year-old clinched the win well before the all but ceremonial ride in Rome, winning six of the 21 stages, finish second twice and third once.

MONDAY, 27 May

ALGIERS, Algeria - Slovenia's Geoplin and Algeria's Sonatrach signed changes to the gas purchase agreement during Prime Minister Robert Golob's official visit. Gas deliveries to Slovenia will increase by 200 million m3 per year, and Algerian gas will cover 50% of Slovenia's needs, compared to 30% now. Slovenia also officially opened its embassy in Algiers.

BRUSSELS, Belgium - FM Tanja Fajon announced a new aid contribution for Syria worth EUR 200,000 at an international conference titled Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region in Brussels. Since 2013, Slovenia has donated EUR 2.25 million to humanitarian efforts in Syria and neighbouring countries.

LJUBLJANA - The opposition New Slovenia (NSi) tabled a bill to change the Criminal Code to prevent high-profile criminal cases from becoming statue-barred just before the end of trial. The party thinks the prescriptive period for the prosecution of criminal offences should be suspended for the duration of trial.

BRUSSELS, Belgium - FM Tanja Fajon inaugurated the new building housing Slovenia's Embassy in Brussels and of the country's Permanent Representation to the EU. The Foreign Ministry bought the renovated building, which spans 3,000 m2 across seven floors, for EUR 22.5 million.

LJUBLJANA - The police announced they have identified some of the masked persons threatening violence against migrants in a video that appeared on social media in early May. Ljubljana Police Department director Tomislav Omejec said the group was known to the police and some of its members that appeared in the video are minors. Heads of all coalition parties condemned self-styled "village guards".


LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Robert Golob said Slovenia would not wait for another group of countries to recognise Palestine before it does so. "We are trying to send a clear message to the whole world that we have to do everything to find a permanent solution for peace in the Middle East," he told TV Slovenija.

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Defence Minister Marjan Šarec revealed Slovenia had never imposed any limitations on Ukraine for the use of weapons it supplied it for the fight against Russia's aggression. "Slovenia donated many types of weapons and we never set any conditions," he said.

GRAZ, Austria - The Slovenian, Austrian and Croatian finance ministers met to sign a letter promoting progress in the creation of a Capital Markets Union (CMU), which they will send to European Commissioner for Financial Services and Financial Stability Mairead McGuinness. They urged further progress towards the creation of the CMU.

LJUBLJANA - Zvezdan Martić resigned as the chairman of the management board of RTV Slovenija after being faced with a lot of criticism at a session of the public broadcaster's council. Martić said it had become clear that he no longer enjoyed trust of the majority of council members.

LJUBLJANA - The interest of German investors in Slovenia increased again after a dip in 2023, with the annual survey by the Slovenian-German Chamber of Commerce ranking Slovenia first among Central and Eastern European countries. Nevertheless, long-standing complaints such as high labour taxation, unpredictable economic policies and skilled staff shortages remain a problem.


LJUBLJANA - Investigators searched the premises of Telekom Slovenije and Nova24TV, a media platform with links to the opposition Democrats (SDS), over deals Telekom made with Nova24TV under the previous SDS-led government. SDS head Janez Janša accused prime Minister Robert Golob of abusing the police for political purposes, a charge that Golob dismissed as bogus.

NEW YORK, US - Slovenia's deputy permanent representative to the UN Ondina Blokar Drobič stated at the regular open session of the UN Security Council on the situation in the Middle East that international law is not an a la carte menu and called on all states to respect Security Council resolutions and decisions of international courts.

MARIBOR - Branko Šturbej won this year's Borštnik Ring, the top accolade for theatre actors in Slovenia, the organisers of the Maribor Theatre Festival announced. The actor, a member of the country's leading theatre, SNG Drama Ljubljana, said he considered the award a great honour and recognition of his work so far.

LJUBLJANA - Hungarian energy group MOL, owner of the second largest network of service stations in Slovenia, said it sees no need for regulation of fuel prices and intends to sue the state over a 2022 fuel price freeze that made operating service stations unviable.


LJUBLJANA - The government unanimously endorsed a motion for Slovenia to recognise a state of Palestine and referred it to parliament for final approval. The National Assembly will vote on the motion on 4 June. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz expressed hope on X that the Slovenian parliament will reject the government's recommendation.

NEW YORK, US - Slovenia's deputy permanent representative to the UN, Ondina Blokar Drobič, called for the continuation of the political process in Syria, saying the process was essential for improving the humanitarian and economic situation in the country, and must also include women.

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia completed talks on its full membership of the European Space Agency (ESA) and expects to become a new member as of 2025. Prime Minister Robert Golob will sign the accession agreement in Paris on 18 June, which will be followed by ratification in Slovenian parliament, the government said after its weekly session.

LJUBLJANA - The government adopted guidelines to change the Health Services Act to strictly separate public and private healthcare. This means that doctors employed at public health providers could no longer work for private providers in their free time, not even for those who work for the public healthcare system, the concessionaires.

LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Robert Golob said he is personally reserved about growing and possessing cannabis for limited personal use, on which Slovenian voters will be deciding in a referendum on the day of the EU election on 9 June at the initiative of his Freedom Movement. He said it is up to people to decide whether Slovenia is mature enough for this.

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.

© STA, 2024