Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Slovenia First to Be Connected to SIS

"Slovenia is the first among the nine candidates for entering the Schengen passport-free zone to have established a full link to the central Schengen Information System (SIS), Interior Minister Dragut in Mate said on Friday, 20 July in Bratislava.

Slovenia will be followed by Hungary and Estonia in establishing the full link. 'This means that the system is working,' Mate said.

Mate, attending a meeting of the candidate countries, added that the country's preparations for joining the zone are proceeding according to plan, as the draft report on the additional evaluation of the air border shows that the Ljubljana airport complies with Schengen standards.

Slovenia's main airport underwent the evaluation in early July after the airport failed the check last June."

Source: STA

Gender Pay Gap in Slovenia among Smallest in EU

"While women in Slovenia earn about 8% less than men, women in the EU earn on average 15% less than their male colleagues, a report by the European Commission says.

Only in Malta and Belgium was the gender pay gap smaller than in Slovenia, according to a Eurostat survey from 2005 that had been included into the report, which was presented in Brussels on Wednesday, 18 July."

Source: STA

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Slovenia sets new presidential election for Oct. 21

"Slovenia will hold new presidential elections on October 21 when the five-year term of President Janez Drnovsek expires, parliament speaker France Cukjati announced Friday.

Drnovsek, 57, said he would not run for the post again. But three prominent public figures — a former Central Bank governor, an ex-assistant to former U.N. Secretary General and a member of the European parliament — have already announced their candidacies.

The elections would be the fourth since the country of 2 million declared independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991. Slovenia joined the European Union and NATO in 2004 and is to take over EU's rotating six-month presidency on Jan. 1, 2008.

All of the three main candidates will run as independents, although each has political backing. The new president takes office in December."

Source: IHT

Thursday, July 19, 2007

FM Tells Independent SE Europe an Opportunity, not a Burden

"Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel wrote in an op-ed for Thursday's issue of UK daily Independent that the 'EU should stabilise its southern flank' by including as soon as possible the countries of SE Europe, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.

'We should start thinking of south-east Europe as an opportunity, not as a burden,' Rupel wrote in his commentary and pointed to not only tourism and cultural attractions but also to energy connections and the diversity of the region's human resources. According to him, the EU needs 'to fill the gap between Slovenia and Greece sooner rather than later - or risk paying a much higher price in the future.'"

Source: GCO

FM Rupel Asks Miliband for Assistance in EU Presidency

"The priorities of Slovenia's EU presidency topped the agenda as For eign Minister Dimitrij Rupel held talks on Thursday with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, with Rupel asking for the UK's assistance in climate change, the Middle East and the Western Balkans. 'We will need British help here,' Rupel said.

Great Britain wishes to work closely with the Slovenian presidency, Rupel said after the talks. 'They are a lot more experienced than we are in presiding the EU, and they expect us to tell them what we know about the 'Balkans quarrels' and issues underway regarding the UN Security Council resolution on Kosovo.'

Rupel also invited Miliband and Gordon Brown, the new British prime minister, to attend several events taking place in Slovenia during its stint as EU president."

Slouce: GCO

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Heather Mills buys holiday home in Slovenia

According to the Daily Mail, Heather Mills has purchased a house in Slovenia that was formerly used by the country's president as a holiday retreat.

"The estranged wife of Sir Paul McCartney is said to have paid £400,000 for the house in the former Yugoslavia.

A senior Slovenian government official has appeared on TV to confirm that the property, once used by president Janez Drnovsek, had been bought by Miss Mills.

Bozo Predalic, who helped negotiate the deal, said: 'Miss Heather Mills has acquired the villa with her bid of 610,000 euros plus taxes. There were just two bidders and we took the highest.'

The wooden house stands alongside a wood and beside a mountain. It is close to Lake Bohinj and has a large garden.

During her split with Sir Paul it was reported that 38-year-old Miss Mills was looking for a property in the country as an escape from the UK. She spent several weeks in Slovenia, staying with friends.

The country holds bitter-sweet memories for the former model. She fled to Slovenia some 17 years ago when her first marriage - to a dishwasher salesman - broke down. She worked as a ski instructor in the Slovenian Alps where she fell in love with a colleague called Milos. The pair dated for several months before deciding to end their relationship."

Source: Daily Mail

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Slovenian stock market may be peaking

"The Slovenian stock rally has made the equity market of the former Yugoslav republic more expensive than China's. Now investors say it's time to sell.

'We are gradually reducing Slovenian shares because the market feels hot,' said Jernej Kozlevcar, a manager at Triglav Asset Management in the capital, Ljubljana. 'Recent growth of the market is mainly based on speculation about consolidation and less on business results.'

The Slovene Stock Exchange index, known as the SBI20, was the best-performing equity benchmark in the world last quarter, jumping 39 percent in dollar terms, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It has more than quadrupled since the end of 2002, paced by Petrol, the largest Slovenian refiner and retailer of petroleum products, and Intereuropa, a logistics company.

Companies in the index trade at an average of 38.9 times estimated earnings, more than twice as much as their average for the past year. The price/earnings ratio is also more than double that of the Morgan Stanley Capital International Emerging Markets index, a global gauge for developing economies. Members of the CSI 300 index in China trade at 32.9 times earnings."

Source: International Herald Tribune

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Prince Caspian Movie Filming in Slovenia

"Filming on The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian has now begun in Bovec with a team of hundreds.

But this year’s largest Disney film project, Prince Caspian, is wrapped in a shroud of mystery even after the first few days of filming. Only a few things are known - for instance, that they have built a 60 metre long wooden bridge.

However, more information will become available next week when the producers and their assistants arrive in Bovec. Until then, only those who are involved in the filming have permission to enter the location.

Security man: 'You must turn off the news camera because they are filming there.'

The filming location is heavily guarded, so we could only see it from a distance. 'Narnia' could not even be seen from the air, because the air space above Bovec is closed. It’s also forbidden to reach the area by the river."

Source: NarniaWeb

Slovenia takes up role of EU presidency in Macedonia

"As of July 1, Slovenia represents the Portuguese EU presidency in Macedonia and Montenegro, where it will perform duties on behalf of Portugal as long as Slovenia takes-over the EU presidency next January.

Slovenia, according to rules set by the European Union, will hold the role of EU presidency in Skopje and Podgorica for a period of one year, as Portugal which took over the rotating EU presidency on July 1 has no embassies in Macedonia and Montenegro."

Source: Makfax