Weekly review of events involving Slovenia, 7-13 June

Ljubljana, 14 June - Below is a weekly review of events involving Slovenia from 7 to 13 June.

FRIDAY, 7 June

LJUBLJANA - A group of some 50 masked far-right men gathered in Ljubljana city centre chanting anti-migration slogans and lighting torches. The group were flying a banner identifying them as the Slovenian Defence Guard, which recently drew attention with a xenophobic video in which an alleged migrant was tied to a lamppost.

LJUBLJANA - President Nataša Pirc Musar signed off on the appointments of Bogdan Batič as Slovenia's new ambassador to Israel and Melita Župevc as head of Slovenia's permanent representation to the UN and other international organisations based in Vienna.

NEW YORK, US - Slovenia's deputy permanent representative to the UN, Ondina Blokar Drobič, told the UN Security Council that Russia's persistent attack on Ukraine's civilian infrastructure amounted to ruthless violations of international humanitarian law. She called for an end to attacks.

LJUBLJANA - NLB, Slovenia's leading bank, published a voluntary takeover bid for the Austrian Addiko Bank. It is offering EUR 20 per share, reduced by the amount of any dividend between the announcement of the bid and settlement, which values the bank at EUR 390 million. NLB wants to acquire at least 75% of all Addiko Bank stock.

ROME, Italy - Slovenian discus thrower Kristjan Čeh won the gold medal at the European Athletics Championships in what is his fourth medal in major competitions and the first gold medal for a Slovenian male athlete ever at European championships.


LJUBLJANA - The ratings agencies S&P Global Ratings and DBRS Morningstar were reported to have confirmed Slovenia's existing ratings. S&P affirmed Slovenia at AA-, and DBRS Morningstar confirmed the country's rating of A (high), with a stable outlook.

SUNDAY, 9 June

LJUBLJANA - The Democrats (SDS) got four seats in European Parliament, double the number the opposition party had so far, and the ruling Freedom Movement two, the same as now. The green party Vesna, the conservative New Slovenia (NSi) and the Social Democrats (SD) got one each. Turnout exceeded 41%, twelve percentage points higher than five years ago.

LJUBLJANA - The right to assisted dying for terminally ill patients was endorsed by over 54% in a consultative referendum. While the government said legislation will be put to parliament before the end of the year, Christian groups warned against it and said they would organise to call a legislative referendum.

LJUBLJANA - Voters endorsed the preferential vote in Sunday's referendum. A clear majority of over 70% backed the introduction of a preferential vote in general elections. Changes to electoral law however require a two-thirds majority in parliament.

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian voters endorsed the use of cannabis for both medical and personal use. More than 66% expressed support for growing and use of medical marijuana but a much slimmer majority, over 51%, voted in favour of allowing people to grow and use cannabis for personal use.

PARIS, France - Primož Roglič (Bora Hansgrohe) clung on in a turbulent last stage to win the Critérium du Dauphiné, a classic one-week race, by just eight seconds ahead of the American Matteo Jorgenson (Visma-Lease a Bike). This is the second Critérium du Dauphiné win for the 34-year-old.

MONDAY, 10 June

LJUBLJANA - Democrat (SDS) leader Janez Janša said the government coalition had suffered a big defeat after his party won four of the nine seats in the European Parliament. He proposed that the government dissolve parliament as a result of the centre-right's win, a notion flatly rejected by the coalition parties.

LJUBLJANA - PM Robert Golob said he was happy with his Freedom Movement's election result, as the party won two of Slovenia's nine MEPs. "In all the EU elections so far, no centre-left party - liberal, if you like - has ever got a better result than us," he said, adding that is why "we will have to work on this trust over the next two years".

LJUBLJANA - The green non-parliamentary Vesna party was thrilled after winning one MEP seat and the third largest share of the vote. The lead candidate, defence expert and Kočevje Mayor Vladimir Prebilič, said this was a fantastic result. People are tired of arguing and want to see more cooperation, he said.

LJUBLJANA - Social Democrat (SD) leader Matjaž Han said his party could be happy with winning one of Slovenia's nine seats in the European Parliament, one fewer than so far. However, the outcome indicated by the near-complete results is a defeat for Slovenia's coalition, which won a combined three seats.

LJUBLJANA - New Slovenia (NSi) leader Matej Tonin, who won his party one seat in the European Parliament, said he felt relief after he indicated in the election campaign he could resign if the party failed to win a seat. He believes victory of the centre-right shows that Slovenian voters want a different Europe and a different Slovenia.

TEL AVIV, Israel - The Israeli Foreign Ministry said it summoned Slovenia's Ambassador Andreja Purkart Martinez to convey to her the country's criticism of Slovenia's "wrong decision" to recognise Palestine. In a press release, the ministry said the move went against the EU policy and the positions of a majority of like-minded countries and that it was a reward for terrorism.

TUESDAY, 11 June

AMMAN, Jordan - Slovenia will provide an additional EUR 2.5 million in aid to the Palestinians through various UN programmes, PM Robert Golob announced at an international humanitarian conference. Despite the adoption of a UN Security Council resolution on Gaza, Golob said that immediate action was needed because the humanitarian situation in Gaza was catastrophic.

RABAT, Morocco - Slovenia and Morocco will open embassies in Rabat and Ljubljana in 2025, Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon and her Moroccan counterpart Nasser Bourita announced during Fajon's visit. The ministers advocated for a stronger economic cooperation and in the fight against illegal migrations and human trafficking.

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia will donate EUR 5 million in humanitarian and development aid to Ukraine this year, the government decided. The money will be channelled through a variety of instruments including the International Red Cross, the OECD, and various institutions performing development and humanitarian programmes in the country.

LJUBLJANA - The Bank of Slovenia upgraded its GDP forecast for Slovenia for this year to 2.5% from 2.2% last December. In 2025, growth is to pick up by 0.3 of a percentage point to 2.6%. Inflation for this year has been downgraded by 0.6 point to 2.4%, while it is projected to hit 3% next year, down 0.1 of a point from December.


LJUBLJANA - The Energy Agency decided to postpone to 1 October the launch of a new electricity network charge system that was supposed to enter into force on 1 July, the third time the launch has been pushed back. The decision is "based on an in-depth report on the readiness of information systems for invoicing."

LJUBLJANA - Minister of Public Administration Franc Props dismissed Andreja Erjavec as head of the Ljubljana Administrative Unit, one of 34 of Slovenia's 58 administrative units that stepped up their strike on 15 May from one day a week to every day. Props said the goal was to make sure that citizens get the services they need despite the strike.

LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary inquiry into energy companies Gen-I and Star Solar in relation to PM Robert Golob and the financing of his Freedom Movement party met for its maiden session. However, the opposition SDS demanded that five of its Freedom Movement members, including its chair Tomaž Lah, be interviewed as witnesses, meaning they cannot remain members of the body.

NEW YORK, US - Ambassador Samuel Žbogar condemned on behalf of Slovenia at a UN Security Council meeting the long-standing, systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations in North Korea. Slovenia joined a special statement of condemnation issued by several countries ahead of the meeting.


LJUBLJANA - The government adopted a bill designed to help Slovenian fishermen who are being fined by Croatia for fishing in the bordering Bay of Piran in waters that have been awarded to Slovenia by a border arbitration tribunal that Croatia does not recognise. Fishermen will be entitled to free legal aid and state aid that will cover any fines.

LJUBLJANA - Trade unions representing police and the army threatened to stage a strike due to the government's decision to offer some public sector employees a pay rise, but not to police officers, soldiers and technical staff. The Public Administration Ministry dismissed the criticism saying that the government proposal would increase the pay of soldiers and police officers by 25-30%.

LJUBLJANA - Lt-Gen Robert Glavaš, the chief of the general staff of the Slovenian Armed Forces, met Robert Brieger, chairman of the EU Military Committee, to discuss the EU's ambitions for strengthening security and defence capabilities. "Slovenia's contribution to the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy missions and operations is highly appreciated," said Brieger.

BELGRADE, Serbia - Economy Minister Matjaž Han concluded a two-day working visit to Serbia aimed at strengthening economic cooperation. He told his hosts that Serbia is Slovenia's most important trading partner in Southeast Europe, and he reaffirmed Slovenia's support for Serbia's EU integration.

LJUBLJANA - The government adopted a bill to streamline procedures to construct projects within the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). The bill features projects which must be treated as a priority, shortens procedures regarding their construction, upgrade, adjustment or change, and covers public procurement.

© STA, 2024