Weekly review of events involving Slovenia, 14-20 June

Ljubljana, 21 June - Below is a weekly review of events involving Slovenia from 14 to 20 June.

Sebastien Abramov in court.
Photo: Vesna Pušnik Breovnik/STA
File photo

Julija Adlešič in court.
Photo: Lili Pušnik/STA

FRIDAY, 14 June

LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon and her Emirati counterpart Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan discussed the strengthening of economic cooperation, current international challenges and possibilities for Slovenia's aid to children in Gaza through the UAE. UAE is interested in investing in tourism, economy, transport, AI and renewables.

LJUBLJANA - The government appointed several new heads of embassies and consulates, the N1 news portal reported, citing unofficial sources. Urška Kramberger Mendek is to become Slovenia's ambassador to Algeria, Kristina Radej is slated for Ethiopia, and Alenka Suhadolnik for Moscow.

DALLAS, US - PM Robert Golob was in Texas rooting for Slovenian star Luka Dončić, whose Dallas Mavericks played in the NBA playoffs against the Boston Celtics. He faced criticism at home for the trip with media reports implying he was sidelining his duties, in particular because he missed the Ukraine peace conference in Switzerland.

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.


LUCERNE, Switzerland - Only Ukraine can decide what kind of peace agreement it finds acceptable, President Nataša Pirc Musar said at the Ukraine peace conference. Even though Russia is not taking part, she is convinced of the necessity and expediency of holding a peace summit. "Our meeting is part of a longer process," she said.

LJUBLJANA - After winning the EU election with over 30% of the vote, the SDS launched preparations for a snap election as its governing council met for a session, saying the defeat of the coalition parties will "very likely affect the length of the second half of the government and parliament's terms", so "a snap election is very likely".

LJUBLJANA - Vlado Dimovski, an economics professor and former labour minister, was elected the leader of the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) in an 86:8 vote at a congress. "A new cycle has arrived, we must act in unison and be conciliatory," he said in his first statement after the vote. Dimovski, 63, was a member of the Social Democrats (SD) but left in 2009. He joined DeSUS last March.

SUNDAY, 16 June

LUCERNE, Switzerland - Taking part in a Ukraine peace conference in Switzerland, President Nataša Pirc Musar said that participants in the summit had taken a "small step in the right direction". She plans to visit Ukraine this month at the invitation of her Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky.

NOVO MESTO - Italy's Giovanni Aleotti (Bora-Hansgrohe) managed to hold onto his general classification lead to win the 30th Tour of Slovenia. Irish rider Ben Healy (EF Education-EasyPost) was the winner of the final stage of the race. "That's definitely my biggest achievement so far in my career," he said.

STUTTGART, Germany - Slovenia earned a 1:1 draw with Denmark at their opening match of Euro 2024. After Denmark dominated the first half, Slovenia stepped up in the second to score an equaliser. There were more than 10,000 Slovenian fans cheering for their team at the Stuttgart Arena.

MONDAY, 17 June

BRUSSELS, Belgium - PM Robert Golob echoed the positions of the Renew group of liberal parties as he arrived for talks in Brussels on the new EU leadership. He is in favour of Estonian PM Kaja Kallas as the head of EU diplomacy or Belgium's Alexander De Croo as a second option. He also advocated a second term for Commission head Ursula von der Leyen.

BRUSSELS, Belgium - SDS leader Janez Janša said on X after a European People's Party (EPP) meeting that the party forming a coalition with left-leaning parties again could be a path to defeat. He called for a coalition with one right- and one left-leaning party. He also met Italian PM Giorgia Meloni and Hungarian PM Viktor Orban.

LJUBLJANA - President Nataša Pirc Musar said in an interview with POP TV that she shared the view of many citizens that half of this government's term had passed without major achievements, especially in strategic reforms. She still hopes the government will complete the overdue reforms in the remaining two years.

LJUBLJANA - A news portal reported that the parliamentary Commission for Oversight of Security and Intelligence Services had received no report that would serve as a basis to visit the police last year after motorway company DARS and its then chairman, a senior member of the opposition NSi, were house-searched as part of a corruption investigation. The commission chair insists the visit was lawful.

LJUBLJANA - The shareholders of the bank NLB decided at a general meeting that the bank pay out EUR 110 million in dividends in June, amounting to EUR 5.50 a share. This will presumably be the first of two payouts planned for this year, with the decision for a second round planned for the end of the year.

LJUBLJANA - The shareholders of Telekom Slovenije approved the management's proposal to hold on to EUR 26.2 million in distributable profit, after having approved a EUR 40.3 million dividend payout for 2022 in February. If Telekom owners decided the company should share the profit generated last year, it would have to repay nearly EUR 4 million in state aid it received last year.

LJUBLJANA - The four-member management board of public broadcaster RTV Slovenija saw a third resignation in just over six months, as Andrej Trček handed in his resignation. This comes after management board member Simon Kardum stepped down in December and chairman Zvezdan Martić in late May.

TUESDAY, 18 June

PARIS, France - PM Robert Golob and director general of the European Space Agency (ESA) Josef Aschbacher signed an agreement under which Slovenia will become a full ESA member at the beginning of next year. The agreement must now be ratified by parliament.

GORIZIA, Italy - The interior ministers of Slovenia, Italy and Croatia, Boštjan Poklukar, Matteo Piantedosi and Davor Božinović, said that cooperation in the fight against illegal migration is yielding good results as they met in Gorizia. They expressed hope that border checks will be abolished soon. Poklukar said Slovenia is ready to take part in joint patrols on external EU borders.

NEW YORK, US - Slovenia's representative on the UN Security Council Samuel Žbogar congratulated Switzerland on the Ukraine peace summit, which he said did not target Russia. Addressing a Security Council debate on Ukraine, he stressed that peace conferences should be hosted by the UN. He hopes Russia will show willingness to end the war.

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia met the renewables target for the first time last year, producing more than 25% of its gross energy consumption from renewables, Environment Minister Bojan Kumer announced. Slovenia will not have to purchase a statistical transfer as it did in the three years before, which cost nearly EUR 18 million.

LJUBLJANA - Ten Slovenian restaurants were deemed worthy of Michelin stars by the relevant restaurant guide, one more than in 2023. Ana Roš's Hiša Franko retained three stars and restaurant Milka, run by chef David Žefran, kept its two stars. Seven restaurants kept one Michelin star, while Restaurant Pavus is the only newcomer on the list.


LJUBLJANA - The newspaper Dnevnik reported that an alleged Russian spy, who was recently expelled from Austria, had worked unnoticed in Slovenia for several years posing as a journalist. He allegedly came to Slovenia during the snap general election in 2018, and interviewed PM Marjan Šarec in 2019 before his trip to Moscow.

BRUSSELS, Belgium - As part of its spring semester, the European Commission recommended that Slovenia strengthen its economic competitiveness, including by addressing labour shortages and improving conditions for investment. The country should also strengthen its administrative capacity to manage EU funds and address delays in the implementation of the national recovery plan.

LJUBLJANA - The government extended checks on the borders with Croatia and Hungary for six months, until 21 December, after Italy announced the same measure on the Slovenian-Italian border. The government's decision is based, among other things, on the security situation around the world, particularly the Middle East.

BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European People's Party (EPP) elected Slovenian MEP Romana Tomc (SDS) as one of the group's ten vice-chairs during the next European Parliament. Tomc told Slovenian correspondents in Brussels she would be a "clear conservative wing" of the group.

LJUBLJANA - Parliament passed changes to the Criminal Procedure Act that make it harder for law enforcement to acquire communication and financial data from electronic devices as part of criminal investigations. This comes after the Constitutional Court ruled last year that the existing provisions disproportionally interfere in privacy rights.


LJUBLJANA - Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH) and telco T-2 reached an agreement to engage in talks to determine the amount of T-2's debt to SSH and on its settlement. This means that T-2 is no longer at risk of receivership, which SSH initiated in April, and its recently announced sale to Telemach, a rival operator, can proceed.

MUNICH, Germany - The Slovenian football team played out a 1:1 draw with Serbia in its second match at 2024 Euro. Slovenia scored first, in the 69th minute, but Serbia fought until the very end and scored through a header by Luka Jović, assisted from a corner kick, in the last seconds of the five-minute stoppage time.

LJUBLJANA - A number of seismic safety studies carried out over the past decades have shown that the Krško Basin in southeast Slovenia is safe for nuclear energy facilities, said Gen Energija, the company in charge of the only Slovenian nuclear power station. The company said it had worked with world-renowned institutions and experts while also commissioning national and international reviews and revisions for all the studies.

LJUBLJANA - Former Environment Minister Andrej Vizjak is being investigated due to the deals he made in the last months of his term in the government of Janez Janša (2020-2022), Necenzurirano reported. The police are looking into suspected irregularities in granting money from the Climate Change Fund to hydro power company HESS.

LJUBLJANA - The Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry (KGZS) regretted the approval of the Nature Restoration Law by EU ministers in charge of the environment, saying that the new regulations bring additional restrictions to farmers. The green party Vesna meanwhile said the law is essential for the preservation of nature.

© STA, 2024