News roundup - Thursday, 27 June

Ljubljana, 27 June - Below is a roundup of major events on Thursday, 27 June:

Golob expects signing of security agreement with Ukraine in July

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Slovenia and Ukraine plan to finalise the bilateral security agreement soon and the signing is likely to take place in July, Prime Minister Robert Golob said after holding talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The negotiations are currently revolving around Ukraine's wish that Slovenia provide "more concrete assurances, in particular financial assurances, regarding assistance in the reconstruction of Ukraine."

Janša says SDS remains reserved about support for von der Leyen

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Democrats (SDS) head Janez Janša said upon arrival at the European People's Party (EPP) summit that the party that secured four of Slovenia's nine MEP seats continues to harbour substantial reservations regarding support for a second term of incumbent European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen. He said SDS's support would hinge on the composition of the future coalition at the EU level.

New information commissioner nominated

LJUBLJANA - President Nataša Pirc Musar has put froward Jelena Virant Burnik for the post of information commissioner. Virant Burnik has been with the Office of the Information Commissioner, which is in charge of access to public information and personal data protection, since 2009 and has acted as the head of international cooperation and supervision since 2018. The National Assembly vote is scheduled for July.

Progress made in efforts to end strike at administrative units

LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Robert Golob, Finance Minister Klemen Boštjančič and Public Administration Minister Franc Props met with representatives of unions of administrative units employees to discuss ways to end the ongoing strike of administrative unit employees. The unions said progress had been made with unionist Dragan Stankovič saying that employees should express their opinions on the draft agreement by next week.

In response to RTV appeal, PM says money alone never helps

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Prime Minister Robert Golob dismissed an appeal by public broadcaster RTV Slovenija that the government should raise the licence fee. He said the broadcaster should first prepare a development roadmap viable in the long run before the government steps in to help, because "more money alone has never solved the problem."

Arčon pledges startup support for Slovenians from abroad

LJUBLJANA - Minister for Slovenians Abroad Matej Arčon pledged his office's continued support for young Slovenians living abroad and announced new measures promoting startups and sports cooperation as addressed 20th Welcome Home, an annual meeting of Slovenians from abroad. Young Slovenian expatriates or their peers who have Slovenian ancestry should feel they have options to return or move to Slovenia, he said.

Police gearing up to tackle new security challenges

BRDO PRI KRANJU - The police force celebrated Slovenian Police Day amidst warnings that there are new security challenges which need to be tackled. Police Commissioner Senad Jušić said society, values and the security situation in the region and beyond had changed substantially, resulting in new security challenges. "It is increasingly obvious that the biggest security challenges are related to global developments," he said.

Country's largest greenhouse complex planned in Prekmurje

DOBROVNIK - Slovenia's northeastern-most region will become home to the largest greenhouse vegetable production complex in the country in an investment valued at EUR 80 million. Production is set to begin in 2026. The GreenGardens project, presented today, involves building greenhouses on a 22-hectare plot to produce vegetables in a sustainable way using renewable energy.

Regulators approve merger of NKBM and SKB Banka into new bank

MARIBOR - The European Central Bank and the Bank of Slovenia endorsed the merger of the NKBM bank and SKB Banka into one legal entity. The merger is scheduled for 22 August, and on the next day the merged bank will be renamed OTP Banka, NKBM announced. The new bank will be headquartered in Ljubljana.

German fund completes takeover of Ljubljana department store

LJUBLJANA - The German private equity fund Katera P11 has completed its takeover of Nama, the company owning the Ljubljana department store of the same name, having increased its stake by 12.16% to 99.73% in a takeover bid. Along with the companies it acts in concert with, Katera now controls 99.89% of Nama.

Luka Koper shareholders confirm dividends of EUR 2 per share

KOPER - The shareholders of port operator Luka Koper confirmed the proposal by management for a dividend payout of EUR 2 gross per share, down from last year's EUR 2.5. Of the EUR 44 million in distributable profit, EUR 28 million will be spent on dividends.

Slovenia to play Portugal in Euro 2024 round of 16

HAMBURG, Germany - The Slovenian men's football team will play Portugal in the round of 16 at the Euro 2024 in Frankfurt on 1 July as the third-placed team from Group C and the winner of Group F, respectively. This will be the second match between Slovenia and Portugal this year, after Slovenia defeated Portugal 2:0 in a friendly match in Ljubljana in late March.

Contract signed to build new Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

LJUBLJANA - The University of Ljubljana and the Austrian builder Strabag signed a contract on the construction of a new Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Ljubljana. Worth almost EUR 80 million and co-financed by the EU, the project is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2026.

Maribor Health Sciences Faculty to get EUR 12m extension

MARIBOR) - The University of Maribor's Health Sciences Faculty will get a EUR 12 million extension and renovation under a financing agreement signed by the Higher Education Ministry, University of Maribor and the Faculty of Health Sciences. Because the existing faculty building is too small, the school cannot increase enrolment to meet growing demand for healthcare workers, said faculty dean Mateja Lorber.

Over 100 performers featured in street theatre festival

LJUBLJANA - More than a hundred performers from 15 countries will take to the streets of 14 Slovenian towns for the Ana Desetnica International Festival of Street Theatre, starting this evening in Maribor. Running until 7 July, the festival will feature 40 performances and 94 other events at 41 venues.

Kamerat film festival kicks off with Laibach concert

HRASTNIK - A concert by Laibach will kick off this year's iteration of Kamerat, Slovenia's only working-class film festival, this evening. One of the few festivals of its kind in the world, this year Kamerat will remember miners' strikes and put French films in focus.

Tolmin's Sajeta Festival to mark 25 years on music's frontiers

TOLMIN - Sajeta, a small but iconic international festival of genre-transgressing and free music that invented the lively festival scene on the confluence of the Soča and Tolminka rivers in Tolmin, is turning 25. The organisers say this year's programme, scheduled from 3 to 7 July, is worthy of the silver jubilee. Visitors, among them a sizeable crowd of regulars loyal to the nature-emersed event, will be treated to about 30 concerts featuring performers from seventeen countries.

Jazz music from US, Finland and Brazil coming to Ljubljana

LJUBLJANA - The 65th Ljubljana Jazz Festival will feature 20 concerts by nearly 100 performers from more than 20 countries, starting on 10 July with two concerts reminiscent of New Orleans by Chief Adjuah and Terence Blanchard. The festival will open with concerts by trumpeters Adjuah, formerly known as Christian Scott, and Blanchard, who has won seven Grammys and has two Oscars nominations under his belt.

Film Under the Stars coming back to Ljubljana Castle

LJUBLJANA - The courtyard of Ljubljana Castle will once again turn into an open-air cinema for Film Under the Stars between 11 July and 3 August to host the screenings of 24 films, including six premieres. It will open on 11 July with the Finnish film Fallen Leaves (Kuolleet lehdet) which won its director Aki Kaurismaki the Cannes Jury Prize and The Man Who Could Not Remain Silent (Čovjek koji nije mogao šutjeti), a Palm D'Or winning short film by Nebojša Slijepčević.

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