News roundup - Friday, 14 June

Ljubljana, 14 June - Below is a roundup of major events on Friday, 14 June:

Fajon meets with Emirati FM to discuss cooperation, aid to Gaza

LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon and her Emirati counterpart Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan met to discuss the strengthening of economic cooperation between the countries, current international challenges and possibilities for Slovenia's aid to children in Gaza through the United Arab Emirates (UAE). After the talks, Fajon expressed the satisfaction that UAE is interested in investing in tourism, economy, transport, AI and renewables.

Govt reportedly appoints ambassadors to Algeria, Ethiopia and Russia

LJUBLJANA - The government appointed on Thursday several new heads of embassies and consulates, the N1 news portal reported on Friday, citing unofficial sources. Urška Kramberger Mendek is to become Slovenia's ambassador at the consulate in Klagenfurt.

Slovenia ready for joint border patrols with Italy and Croatia, minister says

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia is ready to launch joint border patrols with Croatian and Italian police forces, while Croatia does not seem to be, said Interior Minister Boštjan Poklukar, who plans to discuss this with his Italian and Croatian counterparts on Tuesday. He said he expected explanations from Croatia's Davor Božinović as regards the country's readiness.

Šarec says NATO not a party to Russia-Ukraine conflict

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Defence Minister Marjan Šarec attended a NATO ministerial, underlining that a shared understanding was needed that NATO was not and would not become a party to the conflict in Ukraine. The countries also have to be aware of financial, staffing and industrial limitations when it comes to aid to Ukraine, the minister was quoted as saying by the Defence Ministry.

Prime minister in Dallas to root for Dončić

DALLAS, US - Prime Minister Robert Golob is in Texas rooting for Slovenian star Luka Dončić, whose Dallas Mavericks are playing in the NBA playoffs against the Boston Celtics. While he says this is a dream come true for him, he has faced criticism at home for the trip. Several media reports implied he was sidelining his duties, in particular because he will miss the Ukraine peace conference in Switzerland despite announcing at the end of May that he would attend. President Nataša Pirc Musar will represent Slovenia instead.

Ministry says justice system overview shows need to continue reforms

LJUBLJANA - The overview of the state of justice in EU member states, presented by the European Commission, shows the need for the continuation of reforms, Slovenia's Justice Ministry said, adding the reforms should improve the quality, efficiency and independence of Slovenia's justice system. Slovenia ranks high in caseload in civil and administrative matters, taking the 3rd place. It ranked 4th in the indicator for the expected time to resolve a case, the ministry said.

Protocol in place for action in case of threats to schools

LJUBLJANA - A protocol that determines the course of action in the event of security threats aimed at schools was put in place two months after an anonymous online threat lead to panic in schools due to what was widely condemned as an overreaction by the authorities. Each threat will be assessed on a three-level risk scale. Green means a low threat, yellow a medium level threat, and red signals there is realistic risk to life.

Bankers lament untapped potential

BRDO PRI KRANJU - Slovenian bankers were critical of government policy at their annual conference, saying the country is not exploiting its potentials, and not enough is being done to make it a more attractive investment destination. Blaž Brodnjak, the CEO of NLB bank, underlined the need for Slovenia to be more ambitious in innovation and competitiveness, while Stanislava Zadravec Caprirolo, the chair of the Bank Association, said the corporate sector needed a stable regulatory and tax environment.

Interior minister hopes for compromise after police union threatens strike

LJUBLJANA - Interior Minister Boštjan Poklukar believes that the government will be able to reach a compromise with police and military trade unions that threatened with a strike on Thursday after the government's negotiators in public sector pay talks apparently offered higher pay to other professional groups comparable to police officers and soldiers. He is confident that the negotiators will relaunch talks and find a compromise that will be to everybody's satisfaction.

Discovery by Slovenian researchers has potential for advancing quantum communication systems

LJUBLJANA - Scientists from Slovenia's Jožef Stefan Institute (JSI) and the German Max Planck Institute have made a breakthrough in the field of quantum light in liquid crystals, such as the ones in TV screens. This will allow for the development of more effective quantum communication systems, the researchers said.

Govt allocates EUR 5.5 m for cultural infrastructure

LJUBLJANA - The government approved on Thursday EUR 3 million for renovation works on the SNG Maribor and EUR 2 million for the second phase of the construction of an auditorium at the SNG Nova Gorica theatre. It allocated EUR 500,000 to the Slovenian Film Centre for film production.

Two Slovenian film critics named voting members for Golden Globe Awards

LOS ANGELES, US/LJUBLJANA - Simon Popek, the long-serving programme manager of the Ljubljana International Film Festival, and Matic Majcen, a seasoned film critic presently working for the paper Večer, have become the first Slovenians to be selected as voting members for the 2025 Golden Globe Awards.

Football Association head expects record number of Slovenian fans in Germany

BRDO PRI KRANJU - The president of the Football Association of Slovenia (NZS), Radenko Mijatović, expects that Euro 2024 will be organised extremely well and see a record number of Slovenian fans. "I expect the record from Amsterdam to fall," he told the STA, referring to the 2000 Euro group encounter with Spain that featured almost 10,000 Slovenians in the stands.

Soča water level and fish population declining

TOLMIN/NOVA GORICA - The Soča river is considered one of the most beautiful rivers in Europe and despite good water quality, environmentalists are concerned about possible unforeseen industrial incidents, while fishermen are observing a decline in fish numbers due to receding water levels. According to the Environment Agency, water quality in both rivers is good, but the biotic situation has deteriorated, especially in terms of fish.

Aleotti surprises competition in stage 3 of Tour of Slovenia

NOVA GORICA - Italian cyclist Giovanni Aleotti (Bora-hansgrohe) won the third stage of the 30th Tour of Slovenia cycling race, which spanned 160.5 km from Ljubljana to Nova Gorica. Aleotti attacked on the final descent and secured the win, finishing 11 seconds before Ecuador's Jhonatan Narvaez (Ineos Grenadiers) and Frenchman Jordan Jegat (TotalEnergies).

Tax consultant Snežič acquitted of fraud

MARIBOR - Tax consultant Rok Snežič, who has been implicated in several scandals in recent years, was acquitted in one of multiple cases against him as the Maribor District Court ruled that he did not defraud the Tax Administration with a loan agreement with his grandmother that authorities suspected was fictitious.

Idrija Lace Festival kicks off

IDRIJA - The 42nd Idrija Lace Festival opened in the evening, featuring a bobbin lace competition, exhibitions, craft fair, concerts and workshops across the three festival days. This year's slogan Pop-Up Lace hopes to bring bobbin lace closer to the youth.

© STA, 2024