Pahor and Osmani-Sadriu call for the future of the EU and NATO for the Western Balkans
LJUBLJANA – President Borut Pahor and his visiting Kosovo colleague Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu agreed in Ljubljana that the relations between the two countries are excellent, and expressed their desire to continue like this. Both leaders see a peaceful and secure future for the Western Balkans in the context of European and Euro-Atlantic integration. Addressing journalists during Osmani-Sadriu’s two-day visit, the interlocutors said that Slovenia and Kosovo share the same views on the Western Balkans.
Former foreign minister Anže Logar announced his candidacy for president
LJUBLJANA – Former foreign minister Anže Logar announced that he intends to run for president of the republic in the autumn elections. He has the support of his party, the opposition Democrats (SDS). I will run for citizens’ signatures, and the SDS party also supports me,” he said. The 46-year-old believes that the time has come for Slovenia to make a leap by electing its first center-right president. He joins a growing list of candidates, but is only second, after Marta Kos, to be supported by the party.
The government is backtracking on its pay promise, which has angered public sector unions
LJUBLJANA – At the start of negotiations between the government and the public sector unions on salaries, the government backed away from its promise to increase the value of individual salary classes and instead offered one-off supplements, thereby infuriating the unions. The Minister of Public Administration, Sanja Ajanović Hovnik, said that due to the rise in prices and inflation, the government assessed that the increase in wage grades was inappropriate at the moment. Representatives of both negotiating groups are dissatisfied with the government’s move and expect that government negotiators will be given a different mandate or that they will strengthen union activity.
The OECD recommends to Slovenia the fight against inflation and the implementation of reforms
BRDO PRI KRANJU – In its latest report, the OECD recommends Slovenia to focus on high inflation in the short term and then accelerate reforms that would increase productivity, make growth more sustainable and address aging. The absence of reforms means additional pressure on pensions, healthcare and the labor market. Slovenia has recovered strongly after covid, but its economic activity is hindered by high inflation, bottlenecks in supply chains and the war in Ukraine, notes the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in its Economic Review for Slovenia 2022.
The government welcomes the OECD recommendations
BRDO PRI KRANJU – Several ministers welcomed the recommendations of the OECD Economic Survey 2022, and Finance Minister Klemen Boštjančič said that the report should be read as a whole, “not just individual parts”, and expressed support for structural changes and announced a broad tax. reform. Labor Minister Luka Mesec said that the measures will focus on the disadvantaged, helping them overcome the rise in heating, fuel and food prices. The Minister for Digital Transformation, Emilija Stojmenova Duh, added that her department is already looking for solutions to solve the challenges of digitization identified by the OECD.
SD decides to run with its presidential candidate
LJUBLJANA – The presidency of the narrow coalition of Social Democrats (SD) has decided that the party will nominate its candidate in the upcoming presidential elections. The internal application process will be open until July 15. When asked about the sense of left-leaning parties, which each run with their own candidate, Fajonova said that today’s decision is the only logical move by SD, “the traditional and still the strongest party on the left.” The party’s presidency also concluded an electoral congress on October 8, and Fajonova will again run for SD president.
Farmers warn that the plan to buy wheat is too late
LJUBLJANA – The Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry (KGZS) welcomed Friday’s set of government measures to help farmers in the face of rising prices, including financial aid worth more than 22 million euros, the purchase of this year’s entire wheat harvest and regular monitoring of the prices of 15 food products. However, the chamber warned that the purchase of wheat is a bit late, as the harvest is already well underway, and the Cooperative Union says that they are already buying and selling the crop.
Governor: The ECB could raise the key interest rate by 0.5 points in September
BRDO PRI KRANJU – Governor of the Slovenian Central Bank, Boštjan Vasle, expects that the European Central Bank (ECB) will raise the key interest rate by 0.25 basis points in July, and by 0.5 points in September, in the fight against high inflation. “According to many, one of the most important measures [to deal with inflation] is dealing with interest rates,” said Vasle on the sidelines of the presentation of the OECD’s Economic Survey for Slovenia, adding that gradual increases could follow after September.
The Slovenian army received the highest military decoration from Kosovo
LJUBLJANA – Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu, who is on a two-day official visit to Slovenia, awarded the Slovenian Army the highest presidential military decoration of Kosovo. The President of Kosovo presented the Slovenian Army with the Presidential Military Medal, which was accepted by the Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Major General Roman Urbanč, the ministry announced. On this occasion, Osmani-Sadriu was received at the Ministry of Defense by Minister Marjan Šarec, who said that Slovenia is very proud of its contribution to the security of Kosovo and regional security.
Pahor says for Politika that ignoring the Western Balkans will have consequences
BELGRADE, Serbia – In an interview with the Serbian newspaper Politika, President Borut Pahor warned that the EU’s unwillingness or inability to establish a larger presence in the Western Balkans will have consequences. He said that he will continue to work for the accession possibilities of the Western Balkans to the EU and expressed his understanding for Serbia. Pahor estimated that the geopolitical fate of the Western Balkans for the next ten or fifteen years is being decided right now and in the current situation. “Russia, China, Turkey and the Gulf countries will strengthen themselves in this area. The EU cannot ignore this,” he said.
Fuel prices will decrease slightly on Tuesday
LJUBLJANA – According to the national model, the prices of regular and diesel fuel, which are sold off highways, will decrease slightly at midnight. Regular fuel will cost 2.3 cents less to 1.723 euros per liter, while diesel will cost four cents to 1.808 euros per liter, the Ministry of Economy announced. The new prices will apply for a fortnight until Monday 18 July. Fuel prices at the pumps along the highways have been liberalized.
Kangler successfully sues the corruption watchdog
LJUBLJANA – While the Supreme Court annulled the decision of the DZ from 2019 on the initiation of an investigation into the numerous legal proceedings of the former Maribor mayor Franc Kangler, the Administrative Court has now given its nod to Kangler’s lawsuit against the corruption ombudsman because of his role in the upper house, to order the investigation meant a conflict of interest. Kangler, who was also state secretary at the Ministry of the Interior in the 2020-22 government of Janez Janša, took issue with the corruption watchdog’s stance on the method, claiming he did not speak or vote in the upper house session that led to the investigation.
Blaž Cvar appointed as the new president of the Chamber of Small Business
LJUBLJANA – Blaž Cvar has been appointed as the new president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OZS) for a four-year term, succeeding Branko Meh, who was the head of the chamber for eight years. The innkeeper from Radlj ob Drava said in his program that he will be fair, lead a dialogue and work for the welfare of all members of the chamber. He also introduced the new 15-member executive board of the OZS, while Danijel Lamperger remained the director of the chamber. Cvar was supported by 52 of the 92 members of the Assembly of the Polish Association of Polish Workers, representing 62 regional chambers and 30 professional sections.
The head of the pharmacy received a prison sentence for corruption in healthcare
LJUBLJANA – In the last verdict in the biggest corruption case in healthcare in Slovenia, the Ljubljana District Court sentenced Nataša Faganela, the head of the pharmacy at the Valdoltra Orthopedic Hospital, to three years in prison. Faganeli, who was found guilty of demanding and accepting compensation in exchange for orders from the companies Emporio Medical and Advanta, will also have to pay a 35,000 euro fine and return 89,000 euros of illegal pecuniary gain.
The number of covid cases increased by 40% over the weekend compared to the week
LJUBLJANA – The latest Covid-19 statistics show a steady increase in the number of cases, as the number of newly infected people increased by almost 40% to 641 over the weekend, while the number of hospitalizations decreased. However, there is a greater number of patients in intensive care, and three people have died with covid-19 since Friday. The 14-day rate of reported cases per 100,000 population now stands at 478, up more than 140 from the same day a week ago.
The chosen logo for the European Capital of Culture 2025
NOVA GORICA – The towns of Nova Gorica and Gorica are joining forces in the European Capital of Culture 2025 under the name GO! 2025. In a logo contest, a team from Bologna designed the winning logo for the project. Out of 67 entries, the jury chose the design of Michele Pastore, Giulia Bardelli and Andrea Guccini from the But Maybe studio as the official logo. The organizers say that the chosen logo is both innovative and avant-garde.
Slovenia beat Sweden in the final
STOCKHOLM, Sweden – Slovenia finished second in its group in the first round of qualifying for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup after defeating Sweden 84-81 in Stockholm on Sunday. NBA stars Luka Dončić and Goran Dragić scored 51 points as Dragić bid farewell to the national team and became its all-time leading scorer. In the second round, which starts at the end of August, Slovenia will face Germany, Israel and Estonia in Group J, which also includes Sweden.
Goran Dragić transferred to Chicago
CHICAGO, USA – Slovenian NBA star Goran Dragic will not join the Dallas Mavericks as rumored, but instead will sign a one-year contract with the Chicago Bulls. After playing for the Brooklyn Nets last season, Dragić has now confirmed for STA the transfer to the Bulls, who finished the regular season in 6th place in the Eastern Conference and were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. According to the American media, Dragić will sign a contract worth 2.9 million dollars (2.8 million euros).