BSF opens with calls for stability and sustainability
BLED – The two-day Bled Strategic Forum (BSF) opened with addresses by senior Slovenian and UN officials who highlighted stability and sustainability as well as fighting climate change as the main factors for Slovenia and the EU and the world. PM Marjan Šarec called for a unified and coordinated approach to global challenges such as climate change, water supply and food security and Foreign Minister Miro Cerar said that the BSF would propose clear plans of action. UN General Assembly President María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, who said that climate change was the “greatest challenge we must address”. The event is attended by around 1,000 participants from some 60 countries.
Presidents hail friendship between Estonia and Slovenia
LJUBLJANA/BLED – President Borut Pahor and his visiting Estonian counterpart Kersti Kaljulaid noted genuine friendship between the two nations and many shared interests, as they addressed reporters after talks in Ljubljana. Pahor labelled the two countries as success stories. Kaljulaid said that Estonia and Slovenia advocated a strong Europe with clear goals such as the fight against climate change, and shared views on migrations, which she said were “no longer a crisis, but a fact”. Kaljulaid and Pahor also took part in a BSF debate, speaking in favour of a strong EU as the best framework for European action.
Former Italian PM Letta honoured with Bled forum award
BLED – Former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta was honoured with the Bled Strategic Forum Distinguished Partner Award, conferred by the BSF and the Slovenian Foreign Ministry on prominent and engaged individuals who have embodied the principles espoused by Slovenia’s largest foreign policy event. The presenter of the award, Ambassador Iztok Mirošič, praised individuals who “are a driving force of strategic thought, dialogue, progressive ideas for the mobilisation of the public, for the bettering of individuals, regions and the world, and thus also support and foster the ambitions, the mission and activities of the Bled Strategic Forum”.
Cerar meets UN General Assembly president, ministers in Bled
BLED – Foreign Minister Miro Cerar held several bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the Bled Strategic Forum. He held talks with the president of the UN General Assembly, Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces as well as the foreign ministers of North Macedonia and Turkey. Cerar and Espinoza Garces discussed the importance and role of multilateralism and ways in which it can be strengthened. In talks with ministers Nikola Dimitrov from North Macedonia and Mevlüt Cavusoglu from Turkey, the main topic was the countries’ efforts to join the EU.
No news yet on Slovenian commissioner candidate’s brief
BLED – Prime Minister Marjan Šarec told reporters that he had no information yet about the brief to be assigned to the Slovenian candidate for European commissioner Janez Lenarčič, even though he had talked to the European Commission’s president elect Ursula von der Leyen twice. “As far as I know she intends to have another round of talks this week, and then she would probably decide,” Šarec told the press on the sidelines of the Bled Strategic Forum.
Lek aborts investment in new factory at Prevalje
PREVALJE – Lek, the Slovenian subsidiary of drug maker Novartis, aborted its EUR 150 million investment into expanding production in the northern town of Prevalje where Lek has been present for more than 40 years. The decision appears to have been made due to lower demand for generics. “The analysis has shown the facility is suitable for introducing the technology of continuous manufacturing, but this has proved to be merely a short-term solution, so we decided not to continue the investment,” Lek said, announcing it would return EUR 1.5 million it had already received in state incentives. The local community met the news with a bitter disappointment, not least because the plant was to create 140 new jobs.
Počivalšek sole candidate for SMC leadership
LJUBLJANA – Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek is the only candidate for the top job at the Modern Centre Party (SMC), with the deadline for bids passing on Saturday. The party’s congress has been moved forward from 5 October to 21 September. The Ljubljana congress will mark the end of an era of Miro Cerar being at the helm of the party. Počivalšek decided to accept this challenge due to the support of the party’s top echelons, in particular Cerar’s seal of approval.
Terme Čatež AGM approves sale of Marina Portorož
ČATEŽ OB SAVI – The shareholders of spa operator Terme čatež approved the sale of Marina Portorož to MMNT on Friday, according to minutes of the AGM. The joint venture established by investment company Adventura Holding and Glen, a company owned by the management of furniture retailer Lesnina, is to pay EUR 21.6 million for the country’s largest marina, the newspaper Finance reported. The shareholders also decided not to cover EUR 5.5 million in loss, which several small shareholders intend to challenge.
Eligma wins EUR 4m foreign investment
LJUBLJANA – Eligma, the Slovenian company providing smart commerce solutions, announced it had received a EUR 4 million investment from the Swiss Pangea Blockchain Fund and Bitcoin.com to finance its expansion in the global market. Eligma, which raised start-up capital in an initial coin offering, has developed the app Elipay, which allows instant cryptocurrency transfers, while the merchant gets paid in the local currency of choice, in order to avoid potential currency volatility.
New school year starts for 261,500 kids
LJUBLJANA – After ten weeks of holidays, a new school year started for roughly 74,000 Slovenian secondary school students and 187,525 primary school children. Among them, 20,840 six-year-olds entered school for the first time in their lives, with schools organising reception parties to welcome them. President Borut Pahor encouraged students to welcome new knowledge with open minds, and above all to think about everything with their own heads.
International schools increasingly popular
LJUBLJANA – International schools operating in Slovenia are mostly intended for foreigners, but interest has been growing also among Slovenian children. This year they will have 600 students. Three private international schools, the British International School of Ljubljana, the American QSI International School and France’s Ecole Francaise Ljubljana, each teach curricula from the countries of their origin. Internationally compatible courses are also offered by several Slovenian public schools.
British author sets explosive debut novel in Slovenia
LONDON, UK – British chemical engineer and author Fiona Erskine has set her literary debut The Chemical Detective in the snowy slopes of the Slovenian Julian Alps. The crime novel revolves around Dr Jaqueline Silver who works on avalanche control and finds herself caught in a cobweb of lies, mysteries and threats after uncovering an international chemical smuggling operation. According to Aurora Walshe, editor of magazine Chemistry World, the novel is fast-paced and thrilling.
UEFA to hold football match in Ljubljana
NYON, Switzerland – The UEFA management will visit Slovenia at the initiative of its boss, Slovenian Aleksander Čeferin. The European football’s governing body will hold a couple of events on the margins of its executive committee assembly in Ljubljana on 24 September. UEFA will first launch Football in Schools, a new project for the 2020-2024 period which includes two Slovenian schools and one from each of Slovenia’s neighbours. It will also hold a football match in Ljubljana’s Republic Square.