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than 10,000 people and promised to build a new sports stadium within a year as the city's present one is too small and outdated for international matches.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