Sunday, November 29, 2009

Slovenians in mass protest over wages, retirement

"Some 30,000 workers, pensioners and students from all over Slovenia demonstrated in the centre of Ljubljana on Saturday for a higher minimum wage and against a rise in the retirement age.

Trade unions organised the gathering to back their demand for a 31 percent rise in the minimum wage to 600 euros ($900) and the scrapping of a government plan to raise the retirement age to 65.

At present men can retire at 58 and women at 56 in Slovenia.

Despite the threat of lay-offs, 'we will continue to demand that the minimum wage be raised to 600 euros,' Davorka Pregl, a public sector trade union representative, told the crowd.

'We demand that the government scrap its pension reform plans,' Pregl added, winning cheers from the crowd, many of whom waved red flags and wore red raincoats carrying the slogans 'For higher wages' and 'For social Slovenia'."

Source: Reuters

Friday, November 20, 2009

Slovenes celebrate after qualifying for World Cup finals

"The centre of Ljubljana was packed on Thursday as thousands of soccer fans gathered to greet the Slovenia team which beat Russia in a playoff to qualify for next year's World Cup finals.

Slovenia's 1-0 win over Russia on Wednesday in the country's second largest city Maribor, earned them a spot in South Africa on the away goals rule after a 2-2 aggregate draw.

'Ljubljana is proud to greet its champions,' mayor Zoran Jankovic told a crowd of more than 10,000 people and promised to build a new sports stadium within a year as the city's present one is too small and outdated for international matches.

This is the second time Slovenia, which has only two million citizens, has qualified for the World Cup. The country declared independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991 and made its debut at World Cup finals in 2002."

Source: Reuters

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Grenade planted by Slovenia nightclub

"Slovenian police say four people have been arrested on suspicion of planting a hand grenade in front of a nightclub.

Eight people were wounded in Sunday's explosion in front of the Million Club in downtown Kranj, three of them seriously.

The head of the criminal police in the north-western city of Kranj, Bostjan Lindav, told reporters yesterday that the four suspects were arrested as they fled toward neighbouring Croatia."

Source: AP

Friday, October 2, 2009

International arbitration to solve Slovenia-Croatia border row

Slovenia and Croatia have decided to resolve their long-standing border dispute through international arbitration, Slovenian Prime Minister Borut Pahor said Thursday.

Pahor said that the two countries decided, behind closed doors, to let the arbitration commission resolve their dispute and that the European Commission will 'soon' present that agreement.

Pahor, speaking to journalists in Ljubljana, did not give details of the agreement.

'I would not put my hand in the fire if I was not sure the agreement was a good one,' he said."

Source: Deutsche Presse-Agentur

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Slovenia hosts international forum on economic crisis (

"More than 400 politicians and economists from around the world are taking part in an international Strategic Forum that opened on Sunday (August 30th) in Bled.

During the two-day forum, the participants will discuss ways to deal with key global issues, particularly the consequences of the current economic crisis in Europe and Eurasia."


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Slovenia and Croatia "getting closer" to resolving border dispute

"The Slovenian and Croatian foreign ministers said Sunday they had made further progress towards resolving their border dispute which has hindered Croatia getting European Union membership.

Croatia's Davor Jandrokovic and Slovenia's Samuel Zbogar said their talks in the Slovenian resort of Bled had discussed 'major and serious' cooperation which could result in Slovenia eventually lifting its objection to Croatian EU membership.

'We're going to agree first on what to say, then make a public statement,' said Zbogar after the meeting, which was also attended by Slovenian Prime Minister Borut Pahor."

Deutsche Presse-Agentur

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Slovenia arrests Croat with grenades at border

"Slovenian police have arrested a Croatian man carrying hand grenades, saying he wanted to assassinate a senior politician from Slovenia because of the country's stance against EU membership for Croatia.

Police chief Janko Gorsek said Saturday the 59-year-old man was caught on a train Friday night during a routine border check."

Source: AP

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

EU Wants Slovenia, Croatia To Resolve Border Row This Week

"E.U. Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn Monday stressed the need for Croatia and Slovenia to settle this week their border dispute which is hampering Croatia s bid for E.U. membership. 'It is really the moment of truth now and we should all try to settle this before the European council' summit meeting Thursday Rehn said as he entered E.U. foreign ministers talks in Luxembourg. The foreign ministers were to hold talks with their Croatian and Slovenian counterparts on the sidelines of the talks. 'I certainly hope that we could complete and conclude the process ' said Rehn."

Source: AFP

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Recession hits Slovenia in Q1, budget gap to widen

"Slovenia fell into recession in the first quarter, data on Tuesday showed, and the government forecast a budget shortfall of 6 percent of GDP this year.

Analysts said the figures released by the statistics office did not bode well for the country that was the fastest growing euro zone member in the past two years, but a mild improvement of quarterly GDP data was still possible later in the year.

The office said gross domestic product (GDP) had dropped 8.5 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, following a 0.8 percent fall in the last quarter of 2008. It said April exports fell 29.7 percent year-on-year and imports shrank 34.9 percent."


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Defence Ministry Introduces Safety Measures after Robbery

"Defence Minister Ljubica Jelusic told the press on Tuesday that the ministry has introduced strict safety measures after 20 mortars were stolen from a warehouse near Postojna last week. She also disclosed that the ministry was missing destruction records of 57 hand grenades and 12 rocket propelled grenades (RPG)."

Source: STA

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Grenade Thrown at Kranj Police Station

"An explosive device, probably a hand grenade, exploded near the entrance to the police administration headquarters in the city of Kranj at around 1 AM on Friday. There were no injuries."

Source: STA

Croatia rejects changes to EU proposal for resolving dispute with Slovenia

"Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader said on Monday (May 25th) that Zagreb would not accept any Slovenian changes to an EU proposal for solving the long-standing border dispute between the two countries through international arbitration.

'We shall not agree to any amendments,' he said.

The plan, tabled by EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn last month, was not an invitation for either Zagreb or Ljubljana to suggest possible changes to it, but a 'take it or leave it' offer, which Croatia chose to accept, Sanader said.

It envisions the establishment of an ad hoc five-member international arbitration tribunal, operating in line with international law, to solve the 18-year-long dispute between the two former Yugoslav republics.

But politicians in Slovenia criticised the plan, claiming their country was not explicitly recognised as a maritime nation in it and therefore 'lost its right to declare a sea belt', Croatian media reported earlier this month.

Critics also reportedly opposed a provision, under which Slovenia would have to lift its veto of Croatia's EU accession talks, once both countries consented to arbitration."


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Slovenia to sign South Stream project deal

"The Russian Federation is close to concluding agreements with Austria and Slovenia on their participation in the South Stream gas network project launched by the Russian oil and gas giant Gazprom Russian and Slovenian officials said in Moscow and Ljubljana on Friday.

Slovenia will sign the agreement in June Slovenian Economy Minister Matej Lahovnik said at a news conference in Ljubljana.

The South Stream pipeline will transport Russian natural gas via the Black Sea and Bulgaria to Italy. 'Slovenia has made this decision and wants to be a part of this project. We are working on a final text of the agreement and we expect its signing in June ' Lahovnik said after meeting Igor Shchegolev the Russian Minister of Telecommunications and Mass Communications."

Source: SEE news

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Trading in Istrabenz suspended over insolvency

"Trading in shares in Slovenian energy and tourism group Istrabenz (ITBG.LJ) has been suspended until April 17 due to the company's insolvency after it failed to reach a deal with creditors, the Ljubljana bourse said on Thursday.

There was no trading in the shares on Thursday but the price fell 3.46 percent to 8.46 euros in thin volume on Wednesday, the day after the company declared itself insolvent. Over the past year the share price has dropped by 91 percent.

Under Slovenian law the company has 60 days to reach a deal with creditors on debt repayment otherwise it has to go into bankruptcy which would be the biggest corporate failure in Slovenia in the last decade."

Source: Reuters

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Trade in Slovene Istrabenz halted for debt talks

"The Ljubljana Stock Exchange said on Tuesday it had suspended trade in energy and tourism group Istrabenz ITBG.LJ pending the outcome of debt talks with its creditors.

The Exchange said Istrabenz itself had requested the suspension following media reports regarding talks with creditors 'and the future fate of Istrabenz'. Istrabenz said it was in talks with banks but declined any further comment.

The bourse said Istrabenz which has market capitalisation of 49.7 million euros was expected to announce details of its talks with bank creditors on March 30. It said the suspension was expected to be lifted on March 31."

Source: Reuters

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Slovenia seeks delay of EU accession conference with Croatia

"Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar on Monday (March 16th) called for the postponement of the EU accession conference with Croatia, scheduled for March 27th. According to Zbogar, Slovenian and Croatian officials will not reach a deal on mediating their border dispute by the end of the month. Slovenia blocked Croatia's EU accession talks last year over fears that Zagreb's entry may influence the outcome of their years-long border dispute."


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Slovenia: Hundreds of corpses found in WW2 mine

"Slovenian authorities have found the mummified remains of several hundred people believed to date from World War II in a disused mine. State prosecutor Barbara Brezigar told Slovenian television on Thursday that up to 300 corpses were discovered in a deserted mine near Lasko, in central Slovenia.

“What I have seen is the most horrendous thing that a person can see in a lifetime,” Brezigar said.

Andrija Valic, an investigator from Slovenia's Centre for National Reconciliation, said it would be difficult to identify the victims discovered in the mine before the investigation was completed.

But he said he was confident the massacre had been carried out by the communist partisans of late Yugoslav president Josip Broz Tito.

Tito’s partisans reportedly killed thousands of Croat and Slovenian soldiers at the end of World War II who had collaborated with Nazi occupiers and were withdrawing with German forces in 1945."

Source: - Adnkronos Security

Monday, February 23, 2009

Slovenia Risks Becoming Just Another Bump In The Road

"Each year hundreds of thousands of Europeans flock to the coast of Croatia for their summer vacations. Many of them choose to drive, happily speeding from their home cities to their destination along Europe's modern superhighways.

Except for one 60-kilometer stretch that runs through Slovenia. There, motorists encounter a tiny, narrow, old roadway, and they never know if it will take them one hour or three to drive it. Either way, they have plenty of time to wonder why no one has bothered to improve this god-forsaken stretch.

The story goes back to 1969, and a Yugoslavian political scandal dubbed the "Road Affair." Yugoslavia applied for and received an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan for highways. But Slovenian officials were unhappy when their share of the largess turned out to be smaller than they expected. They tried to divert attention from the fact that they had failed to submit the proper documentation.

In the intervening decades, Slovenia has had several opportunities to improve the highway from Austria to the Croatian border, but officials always refused. Germany and Austria both expressed interest in the project, but Slovenia lobbied instead for a road to take vacationers to the Slovenian coast. In 1993, Croatia offered to improve the 60-kilometer stretch, but again Ljubljana refused.

In 1989-90, Yugoslavia and Italy agreed on a project to construct a railway from Trieste to the Croatian resort of Rijeka. But after gaining independence in 1991, Slovenia backed out of the deal.

Two decades later, the railroad is still a dream and the road through Slovenia to Croatia remains a nightmare. Now, Slovenia is a member of the European Union and money for a new highway would seem within grasp. But last year, Ljubljana started a new Road Affair when they began charging the outrageous amount of 35 euros ($45) for drivers wishing to pass through the country into Croatia. The same old, hated road -- but now with a 35-euro price tag. The EU protested, and Slovenia decided to rescind the fee -- beginning next year. In the meantime, drivers will just gnash their teeth and the millions of euros will keep rolling in."

Source: Radio Free Europe

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

NATO in Fear of Possible Slovenian Referendum

"NATO fears that Slovenia will not manage to ratify the protocols for accession of Croatia and Albania to the alliance by the April NATO summit or US President Barack Obama's first visit to Europe, especially if there is a referendum.

Everybody expects a new, fresh wind from the new US president, but the question looms if the wind will be stopped or slowed by a 'no' from a member state to the accession of two new countries, Jelusic said after meeting NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.

De Hoop Scheffer was concerned by the latest developments regarding Slovenia's ratification of Croatia's and Albania's NATO accession protocols, in particular last week's delay of the vote on the ratification in the National Assembly."

Source: STA

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Slovenia: Consumer confidence, economic sentiment fall sharply in January

"Slovenia’s Statistical Office has released its latest data for consumer confidence and overall economic sentiment in the country, which pointed to a continuing decline in January that dragged the indices to an all-time low.

As even the most optimistic forecasts expect up to 1.1% GDP growth this year after more than 4% in 2008, the consumer confidence indicator declined by a seasonally adjusted 9 percentage points in January compared to December, and unemployment outlook for the current year worsened.

Compared to the previous year, the confidence indicator was 24 percentage points below last year's average."

Source: SEE news