Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Russian FM cancels Slovenian trip

"Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov cancelled his visit to Slovenia, where he was to take part in the traditional ceremony at Russian Chapel near Vrsac.

The meeting with Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa has been canceled as well. Jansa had previously cancelled his participation in the economic forum in St. Petersburg on 9-10 June, where he was to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin."

Source: Makfax

Friday, June 22, 2007

Slovenia lawmakers will consider changing rules

"Slovenia's lawmakers will next month start debating changes to gaming and business-ownership laws that would allow Harrah's Entertainment to partner on a $1 billion casino development near the Italian border.

The Las Vegas gaming company agreed in early June to take a 49 percent stake in partnership with Hit, a Slovenia-based developer, for a mixed-used project in western Slovenia.

The agreement allows Slovenia's Finance Ministry to propose and debating changes to regulations that only allow a 20 percent stake by foreign investors in businesses and to the country's gaming tax, which is close to 60 percent.

'The government has a desire to see an increase in tourism,' said Jan Jones, Harrah's senior vice president of government relations. 'They also realize they need partnerships to realize that goal.'

Jones said the current tax rate is prohibitive for Harrah's to see a return on its investment.

The casino would be Eastern Europe's largest, with 1,500 rooms, 2,000 slots, table games, convention and event space, clubs, bars, restaurants and a spa. The partnership is considering six building sites around the western city of Nova Gorica."

Source: Casino City Times

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Slovenia gets new Central Bank governor

"Slovenia's parliament on Tuesday approved a new Central Bank governor, after months of political wrangling.

Marko Kranjec, 67, a prominent economics and financial expert who was the young nation's first finance minister and once worked at the World Bank, was supported by 74 deputies in the 90-seat chamber. One voted against him, others abstained.

Slovenia's Central Bank was without a governor — who automatically is a member of the European Central Bank — for nearly three months as a result of President Janez Drnovsek and Prime Minister Janez Jansa's argument over the candidates."

Source: IHT

EU Warns Slovenia Again over Finance Sustainability

"The European Commission has issued another warning to Slovenia over the sustainability of its public finances. In an annual report on the finances of the eurozone countries, the Commission says the structure of Slovenia's finances is expected to weaken in the future.

Slovenia is not among the ten countries in the report that the Commission expects to achieve their mid-term goals in the field in 2008.

The Commission says in the report that the eurozone members are not doing enough to utilise the current favourable economic situation to undertake structural changes and to shore up the public purse.

The public finances of the eurozone countries have improved in recent times not on account of government measures but because of higher-than-expected tax revenues, a result of the current economic upswing, the report suggests. "

Source: STA

Monday, June 18, 2007

Pakistan pilots get bravery award

"Two Pakistani pilots who carried out a daring rescue of a mountaineer are to be given Slovenia's top award for bravery, Pakistani officials say.

Slovenian Tomaz Humar got stranded on the western end of the 8,125m Nanga Parbat mountain in the Himalayas two years ago. He remained for around a week on top of the world's ninth-highest peak.

The helicopter pilots plucked the 38-year-old from an icy ledge 6,000m up the peak known as 'killer mountain'.

The Slovenian president will present Lt Col Rashid Ullah Beg and Lt Col Khalid Amir Rana with the Golden Order for Services in the country's capital, Ljubljana, this month 'for risking their lives during the rescue mission', a Pakistan army statement said."

Source: BBC

Slovenian president meets China's Tibet Autonomous Region delegation

"Slovenian President Janez Drnovsek met on Sunday with a China's Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) delegation which is visiting there to expand the ties between the former Yugoslav country and China.

During the meeting at Strmol Castle in northern Slovenia, Drnovsek said that every individual and every country needed to play their part in fighting climate change, and large countries such as China, India and the United States have an important role to play in preventing pollution.

Drnovsek also pointed to the need to preserve cultural heritage and tradition. He said that globalization was positive as long as it made one's life easier, but must not be allowed to destroy the traditional ways of life."

Source: People's Daily Online

Monday, June 11, 2007

Slovenia asks EU to extend roaming zone: CommsUpdate : TeleGeography Research

"Slovenia has called on the European Commission to extend new rules cutting the costs of cross-border mobile roaming within the European Union to candidate countries, including Croatia and Turkey, the Slovenian Press Agency reports. ‘Roaming should be one of the priority fields that candidate countries must transpose into their legislation as they implement the EU body of law,’ Economy Minister Andrej Vizjak said, adding that ‘It is in Slovenia’s interest that this matter be arranged with candidate countries as soon as possible.’"


Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Majority of Slovenians Satisfied With Euro Switch

"Two-thirds of Slovenians are satisfied with the switch to the euro, but the majority believe that the changeover caused price hikes, according to a Eurobarometer survey on the euro changeover in Slovenia, which was published in Brussels on Thursday.

The majority of Slovenians are convinced that the euro strengthens Slovenia's position in the international community, while paying with euros makes them more European.

More than four-fifths believe that the changeover was simple, while only 2% say that the change of prices from tolars to euro presented a problem."

Source: GCO

Poll: Pahor and SocDems in the Lead

"The opposition Social Democrats (SD) are gaining in popularity, a poll commissioned by daily Vecer has found. MEP and SD leader Borut Pahor topped the poll on the presidential race front, while the SD holds the lead among parliamentary parties.

Pahor, who is waiting for his party's endorsement to enter the 2007 presidential race, would receive 40.5% of votes, while 24.6% of the respondents would support MEP Alojz Peterle, who enjoys the backing of all three centre-right coalition parties.

If the presidential poll were held this Sunday, Zmago Jelincic, leader of the opposition National Party (SNS), would take third place, with 9.8%, followed by incumbent Janez Drnovsek, who would get only 4.9%."

Source: GCO

Economic and Social Council Increases Work Permit Quotas

"The Economic and Social Council, the industrial relations forum, has reached an agreement on Monday to increase the quota for work permits for foreign workers from 18,500 to 24,500.

The members of the council also agreed to prepare a detailed analysis of employment of foreigners as part of the economic migrations strategy, which the Labour, Family and Social Affairs Ministry is to draft by September.

The ministry proposed to increase the quota because only some 400 work permits were left by the end of May, representative of the national Employment Service explained. The ministry thus suggested that the quota should increase by 4,870 permits."

Source: GCO

Slovenia agrees to clear way for Harrah's entertainment park

"The Slovenian government has agreed to amend legislation to allow the US firm Harrah's to help build a 750-million-euro (1.01-billion-dollars) entertainment park in western Slovenia, a spokesman said Tuesday.

'The government has decided to propose parliamentary changes in the gaming law in order to enable this and similar projects,' Andrej Sircelj, Finance Ministry state secretary told journalists.

He said the stake in domestic gaming companies that could be owned by foreign investors would be increased from 20 to 49 percent and the tax on profits from gaming would be cut from 38 percent to 17.5 percent.

The decision comes two years after Harrah's Entertainment and the Slovenian Hit Group, holding the largest casinos in the tiny European Union state, started talks on building a mega-entertainment park in Nova Gorica, a region bordering Italy."

Source: AFP

Monday, June 4, 2007

E.Leclerc Opening Supermarket in Maribor

"E.Leclerc, a leading European retailer, will open its second outlet in Slovenia in Maribor on 7 November in an investment worth EUR 26m. The shopping centre will create 200 new jobs and is expected to attract two million shoppers and turn over EUR 50m a year, its owner, Alain Gomez, told reporters in Maribor on Wednesday, 30 May.

The centre will spread over an indoor area of nearly 20,000 square metres, the supermarket covering a quarter of this, while the remaining area will accommodate 31 shops. The car park will have the capacity for 1,000 vehicles.

According to Gomez, the supermarket will offer 70,000 goods, one fifth of them French-made, while all major Slovenian brand names will also be available. Shoppers are expected to come from as far as Croatia, Austria and Hungary."

Source: Slovene Press Agency STA

Work Permit Quota for Foreign Workers in 2007 Reached

"The work permit quota for non-EU workers was exceeded for the first time in a decade, since many citizens of former Yugoslavian republics are looking for work in Slovenia, a senior Slovenian official said after a meeting of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council in Brussels.

Marko Strovs, state secretary at the Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs, said on Wednesday, 30 May that the quota amounted to approximately 54,000 work permits.

It is time to discuss whether Slovenia should raise the number of work permits issued per year, which is what employers strive for, said Strovs, adding that the quotas should remain the domain of the member states.

According to Strovs, too few work permits present a problem for Slovenia, since the domestic workforce does not cover all of the less paid jobs due to a well developed education system."

Source: Slovene Press Agency STA