Morning headlines for Slovenia: Tuesday, March 29, 2022

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This summary is provided by the STA:

Janša and Plenković talk about gas and nuclear cooperation

ZAGREB – Prime Minister Janez Janša and his Croatian counterpart Andrej Plenković discussed cooperation in gas supply and Krško nuclear power plant during their meeting in the Croatian capital. The potential for concrete cooperation will be discussed by Slovenian Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec and Croatian Economy Minister Tomislav Čorić when they meet in Zagreb next Monday. The ministers will discuss the extension of the pipeline from Lučko, a suburb of Zagreb, to Zalog, on the outskirts of Ljubljana, and to Logatec, southwest of the capital. They will also discuss further cooperation on the jointly owned Krško Plant N.

Pahor calls for consensus on EU enlargement, Metsola considers Ukraine’s EU membership

BRDO PRI KRANJU – The EU’s enlargement to its eastern neighborhood dominated the opening session of the conference of speakers of EU parliaments, with President Borut Pahor saying the EU should reach a consensus on the how to speed up the accession negotiations while preserving the guarantees in terms of compliance with the criteria and the rules. European Parliament President Roberta Metsola said it was important to secure Ukraine’s membership prospect and that Ukraine should become an EU candidate country. Metsola also met Prime Minister Janez Janša to discuss Ukraine, agreeing that the EU should remain united in response to Russia’s aggression.

Slovenia’s interim Chargé d’Affaires arrives in Kyiv

LJUBLJANA/KYIV, Ukraine – Slovenia’s acting charge d’affaires, Boštjan Lesjak, arrived safely in Kyiv on Sunday evening, the Foreign Ministry announced. The Slovenian Embassy in Kyiv reopened today. According to the ministry, Lesjak said upon arrival that the town was deserted and alarms and bangs could be heard in the distance, but other than that life was normal for those remaining in the Ukrainian capital.

Speakers of European parliaments condemn Russian invasion of Ukraine

BRDO PRI KRANJU – Slovenian President Igor Zorčič said speakers of European parliaments will condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and demand an immediate end to the war at a conference at the Brdo Congress Center. He also called for easier EU enlargement as he addressed the press ahead of the start of the two-day event. The conference will be an opportunity to show unity with Ukraine and express support for democracy, peace and the rule of law, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola said as she addressed the press with his two co-organizers of the conference, Zorčič and the National Council. President Alojz Kovsca.

7,000 Ukrainian refugees seek protection in Slovenia

BRUSSELS, Belgium – Some 7,000 Ukrainian refugees have so far applied for temporary protection in Slovenia, Franc Kangler, State Secretary at the Interior Ministry, told reporters at a session of the Council for Home Affairs in the EU. Around 50,000 Ukrainians crossed into Slovenia, most heading for Italy, France and Spain, according to the secretary of state. He also spoke today about helping Moldova, where some 360,000 people have fled war in Ukraine.

The National Hall of Trieste in the hands of the Slovenian minority

TRIESTE, Italy – A contract has been signed in Trieste to officially transfer ownership of the National Hall, a building of great symbolic importance to the Slovene minority in Italy, from the University of Trieste to the minority. The ceremony took place in the presence of Italian President Sergio Mattarella, reports the minority newspaper Primorski Dnevnik. A contract was also signed under which the university can continue to use the building free of charge for ten years, until a building to which it will move is renovated.

Telekom Slovenije finalizes agreement to acquire Actual IT

LJUBLJANA – Telekom Slovenije, the majority state-owned telecommunications incumbent, has finalized a deal to buy software developer Actual IT for 20.6 million euros. The transaction is expected to close within six months, the company said. Telekom plans to buy an outright stake in the company after receiving the green light for the agreement from Actual IT’s shareholders. The agreement will be signed later today.

Žito closes two Slovenian sites

LJUBLJANA – Žito, a bread and pasta maker owned by Croatian food company Podravka, plans to close two production sites in Slovenia, Ljubljana and Novo Mesto, which it says will improve productivity and profitability in long term. The move is in line with the five-year strategic plan confirmed last year to focus on bakery products, the company announced Sunday. Other production programs will be “optimized at the Podravka Group level”.

The number of coronavirus cases continues to fall

LJUBLJANA — Slovenia recorded 910 new Covid infections on Sunday, down 341 from Saturday and 166 from a week ago, according to data from the National Institute of Public Health. It is estimated that there are currently 38,695 active cases in the country, a daily increase of 53 and a week of around 5,400. Data from the Ministry of Health shows that there are currently 147 Covid-19 patients in regular Covid-19 wards and 37 more in intensive care, up 10 and 2 from yesterday, respectively. Five Covid patients have died.

Dissent is stirred as new party wins status giving it more airtime

LJUBLJANA – The public broadcaster has called for a protest by deciding to treat the party of Aleksandra Pivec, the former agriculture minister, as a parliamentary party in election debates, saying it is the legal successor to the Pensioners’ Party (DeSUS), the party that Pivec used to lead. As the position disagrees with the view of the broadcaster’s legal department, DeSUS protested Our Land being declared its legal successor, calling the decision politically motivated.

POP TV Poll Shows SDS Overtakes Freedom Movement

LJUBLJANA – Less than a month before the general election, the ruling Democrats (SDS) lead a poll conducted by pollster Mediana for commercial broadcaster POP TV at 16.8%, just ahead of the Freedom Movement , which polled at 16.7%. The SDS saw its rating rise by 0.4 percentage points over the past month, while the Freedom Movement lost 0.7 points.

Košorok dismissed as state secretary, tipped to be CEO of GEN Energija

LJUBLJANA – Blaž Košorok has been removed from his position as state secretary at the Ministry of Infrastructure after the media presented him as a strong candidate to become CEO of GEN Energija, one of the two main energy groups in the country. Košorok served as CEO of HSE, the state-owned holding company that runs a series of power plants, from November 2012 to July 2017. The Necenzurirano news portal reports that Košorok has the support of Prime Minister Janez Janša to become CEO of GEN Energija.

Hourly labor costs in Slovenia increased rapidly in 2021

LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg – Hourly labor costs averaged EUR 21.1 in Slovenia last year, well below EU and eurozone averages of EUR 29.1 and EUR 32.8, respectively, despite growing rapidly, according to the latest Eurostat data. With 6%, Slovenia recorded the third fastest growth rate last year behind Lithuania (11.9%) and Estonia (6.6%).

Slovenian banks lag behind in digital experience

LJUBLJANA – Slovenian banks scored lower than foreign banks in overall user experience and mobile user experience, according to a digital banking analysis by E-laborat. NLB, the Slovenian market leader, scored the most points among Slovenian banks, similar to last year. NLB, SKB Bank and NKBM all rank among the “digital advanced”, a group that includes banks that set standards in the industry and achieve the best results in all categories.

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